Sunday, December 8, 2013

Every time a bell rings ...

... an angel gets her wings. I always loved that line from "It's a Wonderful Life," although the actual line is "his wings," rather than "hers." But, for the sake of today's blog post, I've changed it to "hers."

"Her" is in reference to my daughter Hayden, who, like myself, has been noticeably absent from this blog for the last few months. We just needed a break, and in the process, I opted to make her not quite as visible on the site. She's growing up, and it is time to give her some privacy (my decision, instead of hers; she still begs to do Eco Emi videos when the monthly boxes arrive).

I will let you know that we are doing well and plan to check in every once in a while, when inspired to do as such. For example, I was so happy with our latest angel wing DIY that I thought it would be nice to share it with you. Much like many other little girls this holiday season, Hayden needed to be an angel in her Christmas program. Rather than buying her a pair of wings, we utilized what we already had at home. Here's how I made them:

To start, I found two wire hangers in the back of the closet that I shaped into wings and attached together with the handles. I wrapped packing tape around the handles to hold them in place, as shown.

Next, I selected some white lace fabric from our scrap fabric box (thank goodness I save what's leftover from various sewing projects, etc.). I taped it to one of the hanger wings to hold it in place.

Then, I carefully cut out the lace around the first wire hanger wing, leaving a little extra lace to wrap around the wire frame.

I wrapped the lace material around the frame, as I hand-sewed it with gold thread for a special touch.

I continued stitching all around the first wing.

Then, I repeated the steps with the other wing.

Once both wings were covered in the lace fabric, I opted to incorporate some of the scalloped edge. I cut just enough to fit the bottom of both wings ...

... and attached them to the wings by sewing them on with white thread.

Lastly, I wrapped some thick gold ribbon around the center of the wings to hide the hanger handles and tape, threaded the ends of the ribbon through the sides to hold it in place, and brainstormed an idea to attach them to my little angel.

I simply decided to drape the ribbon handles over her shoulders, and then bring them under her arms and around her back. I tied the ribbon in a bow to hold them in place. Here is how it looks from the back ...

... and here is a front view. I was lucky enough to be able to use clothing from Hayden's wardrobe, rather than having to make or buy something special for the event.

As for the halo, Hayden loves to have her hair braided into different styles, so we opted to braid a halo into her golden hair, as shown.

Speaking of Hayden, she's begging me right now to play in the snow (yes, we have snow). Gotta go. Happy holidays!  

Monday, August 26, 2013

DIY to-go x2

Inspired by this month's Eco Emi's end-of-summer picnic theme, I opted to make two DIYs that extend the life of both the patterned brown paper bag, as well as the tiny wooden utensils found inside. The chevron-printed bag was too fun to go to waste, and the colorful spoons couldn't have been cuter. Therefore, I used part of the bag, some of the blue and yellow tissue paper, and the utensils themselves to create a carrying case for taking the tiny spoons on the go, and the rest of the bag, tissue paper, etc., to make a matching lunchbox for Hayden.

At first, I had planned on designing the lunchbox out of the actual Eco Emi shipping box (I've made plenty of crafts out of those boxes, including the DIY for last month) by lining it with metallic duck tape and decorating the the outside of it with the paper, more duck tape and contact paper to protect it from the elements. Lucky for me, though, I still had the metal box from the February 2013 Eco Emi to really take the lunchbox idea to another level. Here's how I made it, using some leftover ribbon from a past project for handles, a hammer and nail to poke holes in the metal and some crafty brads to hold it all together.

To start, I decided how I'd lay out the ribbon handles and marked the eight spots where the holes would go for the brads to anchor the ribbon in place. Four of the holes were marked on the lid, and the other four on the base.

Then, I used a hammer and nail to make the holes on the lid.

I repeated the process on the base, as seen in the photo above.

Leaving more than enough ribbon to form a handle at the top of the lid, I attached the ribbon to the lid with a mint green floral brad (although you could use any other strong brad or small screw/nut combo to do this). This is how it looks from the outside ...

... and here is what it looks like from the back, once the brad is secured.

I covered the back of the brad with a piece of duck tape, just to be safe.

Next, I stretched the ribbon across the inside of the lid and secured it with this button brad, as shown.

Moving on to the back of the box, I used brads that look like screws (a screw/nut combo could also be used) to attach more of the ribbon, as you can see in the above pic. I made sure to leave a loop of ribbon at the top for a handle.

I kept the ribbon path flowing across the other half of the lid, attaching it with more brads and duck tape. I also formed the other ribbon loop handle at the top of the lid, which I secured with the first brad and more duck tape.

Here's how the box looked with the ribbon handles fully attached. The lunchbox could be left as is at this point, but I decided to fill in the clear window with some of the tissue paper, the zig-zagged paper bag and the rectangle card stock coupon from this month's Eco Emi.

After carefully deconstructing the paper bag, I cut off a rectangular section of it, using the original fold as a guide.

Then, I taped on some of the tissue paper and the backside of the coupon card, which I personalized with an "H" for Hayden.

I placed my design inside the lid's window, so it could be seen clearly.

I used duck tape to attach it and to cover the back of the paper, protecting it from whatever gets put inside the finished lunchbox.

To match the lunchbox, I used the remaining piece of paper bag and tissue paper to create a coordinating design for a roll-up utensil holder/carrier.

I decided to cover it in contact paper, so the finished product could be easily wiped clean, as needed.

Then, I trimmed off the excess contact paper.

I wrapped metallic duck tape around the edges and folded it to form a pocket.

I added more duck tape strips to act as pocket dividers, just the right size to hold the tiny utensils.

Since I wanted to roll up the utensil holder, I also needed some of the matching ribbon to tie the roll shut. I used a brad to attach the ribbon, near the end of the roll.

Then, I rolled up the utensil holder to determine where I should place the other brad.

This is how the utensil holder looks unrolled with both brads securing the ribbon in place.

Here is how it looks from the inside ...

... and this is the finished utensil holder when rolled and tied shut.

See how perfectly it fits in Hayden's new lunchbox ...

... and her having fun showing it off for you.

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

All set for an end-of-summer picnic

The summer has come to an end, and I just sent my son Jacob off to his first day of the fifth grade. I'm already missing him and counting the minutes until he gets home. At least my daughter Hayden doesn't go back to preschool for another couple of weeks, and the two of us can enjoy some special girl time.

Speaking of girl time, Hayden talked me into doing today's Eco Emi post and video. Already bummed about the start of the school year, I wasn't in the mood to vlog our unboxing, but my camera-loving sidekick insisted we tape it. She also hopes we use some of the end-of-summer picnic items from the box to have a picnic of our own. I think we'll do that this afternoon, after I share our thoughts on the products we received in this month's box.

Gluten-free Double Chocolate Chip Mini Cookies by Home Free Treats: Hayden was so excited to find these gluten-free vegan treats tucked inside a tiny decorative brown paper bag (that we plan on using in our next DIY). She's been a fan since we received the brand's basic chocolate chip cookies in a past box. It's amazing that I actually got a picture of one of the cookies, as she polished them all off before I could snap a pic last time and ate most of them before the video was over this time (I guess they won't be making it to our picnic). They are definitely Hayden approved. 

Wooden Spoons - Pick your color by The Bakers Confections: Aren't those the cutest mini wooden spoons in the cookie photo? They have Hayden's name written all over them (not literally). They are an eco-friendly alternative to plastic spoons, perfect for picnic-packing. I just love the colorful designs on them, too.

Raw Organic Walnut Butter by Artisana: Most of you know I'm a big Artisana fan, especially of the company's coconut butter (not to be confused with coconut oil). Not only do I love all the different flavor options, but I also like that you can buy them in both full-sized jars, as well as individual packets that are just right for travel.

Edible Green Tea by Eat Green Tea: If you opt to eat your walnut butter with the little wooden spoons, Christine (founder of Eco Emi) recommends pairing it with this edible green tea. She also adds this tea to sandwiches and salads. Being that I didn't have something to sprinkle these dried tea leaves on at the time, I opted to eat them right out of the palm of my hand on camera. I thought they tasted grassy or earthy, much like matcha green tea powder. They also got a little stuck in my teeth, so I wouldn't advise eating them on video. Oh, I have to add that only a tiny pinch of the tea leaves kept me very energetic the rest of the evening.

Natural Eye Shadow in Gun Metal Gray by Gourmet Body Treats: This loose powder shadow is gray with some sparkle, which reminded me of the movie, "Stardust." It really does look like dust from a fallen star. It would be an excellent color for creating a smoky eye.

Tiffany Color Nail Polish by Coco LacQuer: Hayden seemed to know this was nail polish, even before she removed the tissue paper that was wrapped around it. This sample size fit perfectly in her hand and painted smoothly onto her nails. I like that it is quick-drying, but I wasn't fond of the smell (maybe I'll stick with Suncoat for her nails). The color is pretty, though. What girl doesn't adore Tiffany blue?

Carrot, Grapefruit & Egyptian Geranium Rose Body Lotion by Valenti Organics: I have to admit that I have yet to try this one. I've tossed it in my purse for hydrating my hands on the go. I can't wait to rip this packet open, though, as that fragrance combination is right up my alley.

Cafe Machiatto Body Oil by Valenti Organics: Again, I haven't ripped open this packet yet either, but I just might sample it soon. I have a headache today, and for some reason, the smell of coffee sometimes helps. I haven't drank coffee in years; however, I do enjoy its aroma.

Natural Lemongrass Soap with French Yellow Clay by Craftsmansoap: This natural soap smells just like lemon PEZ candy. It reminds me of a soap I used to buy from Trader Joe's. Obviously, it had me at one whiff.

BTW, it's Hayden's 4th birthday tomorrow. Happy b-day little lady!