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Wednesday, January 30

DIY: Feather Stamped Fabric

Fabric stamping is popular in the craft world right now, and for good reason. It's cheap, super easy, and really fun! The trick, I've found, is to be ok with non-perfection. Each imprint of the stamp is different, and it's almost impossible to control the paint entirely. Inspired by Kinsey's feather stamped tee, I decided to attempt a feather stamped throw pillow. 

You'll need: 
  • Craft foam. I bought a giant pack at Target because they don't sell single sheets, but it still didn't cost much. 
  • Sharpie or ink pen
  • Fabric paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Glue
Step 1: Draw a feather on the craft foam. 



Then, cut out around the outside of the feather. Using the scissors, carefully snip the edges to create fringe on both sides. 

Cut out two rectangles of craft foam that are the same size, and glue them together to make a base for the stamp. Apply a thin coat of glue to the feather, and glue it onto the base.


Squirt a bit of paint onto the stamp, and spread it evenly with the paintbrush. 

Flip it over, and press firmly onto your test paper or test fabric. Experiment with amounts of paint until it looks the way you want. 


I had lots of fun practicing and doodling! I also made a heart stamp: 


When you're ready, stamp your fabric! I recommend you keep a piece of paper underneath the area you're stamping, because sometimes the paint soaks through.


Here's my finished fabric. Interestingly, I don't like these feathers as well as the ones on paper. I think its because I practiced with the stamp so much that the grooves filled with paint and dried, so it didn't leave as good of an impression. 


I made a new stamp, and decorated a little pouch for carrying my sunglasses.


Have you tried fabric stamping yet? It's perfect for dressing up plain tees, pillows, or making unique art. Just be warned, it's a little messy and highly addicting! Have fun!


Tuesday, January 29

Scribbles' New Look!

Yes, I redesigned Scribbles From Emily again. But this time, I think I've found the one. The one look that I'll be happy with forever.

Or at least a year.

In six months, remind me of this post.


My goal for this design was a fresh, clean, minimalist look. At the same time, I didn't want it to be boring, and I craved color. I also wanted it to still feel like you're reading my inspiration notebook. After experimenting with making watercolor wedding invitations, the idea came to me to try a watercolor-esque logo, and the rest fell into place.

You probably noticed the new header, but another new feature I'm excited about are the categories on the sidebar. I'm still in process of updating and changing tags and labels for the past 376 posts (!!!) so be prepared to find posts in strange categories for awhile. You can always use the search bar to look for a specific post or topic, or the tag cloud at the bottom of the site.


And, look at those awesome social media icons at the top of the page! I didn't make those; they're from the amazing Ink Nest. But if you're not following me already, let's be friends! I'd love to see your tweets, pins, and 'grams.

P.S. There's more exciting news that I can't wait to tell you! I'm bursting at the seams! I can't even tell you when I can tell you...it's all very secret and exciting. How's that for a teaser?

What do you think of the new look?

Monday, January 28

Tutorial: Easy Valentine Pillowcase



I'm super excited to be guest posting on Liz Makes today! If you've never embroidered before, don't worry. I designed this project with first time embroiderers in mind. Check out the full tutorial, and while your there, check out Liz's fabulous crafts, recipes, and style!


If you're interested, here's the tutorial for the sweater pillow that goes nicely with the pillowcases.

In other news, we made it safely home from our trip to California. If you follow me on Instagram, you got to see the incredibly thick fog we drove through early in the morning, the pretty rain soaked rose, leaves, and clover, the lovely backyard orange tree, and the Downtown Disney Lego store. And you also found out that I slept two and a half hours during the first 24 of the trip. I slept maybe six more the next night, and then I slept most of the six hours home. I'm exhausted!

But in other news, get ready for some amazing things coming soon here on the blog! You'll find out probably this week.

 Hope you had a great weekend, and are having a happy Monday!

Friday, January 25

Beauty Find Friday: Art from Society6

It's Friday! I'm going to a concert tonight with my best friend and it's going to be AMAZING, and early tomorrow morning (like, 3am early) Brian and I are driving to California for a quick visit to help my sister-in-law move! Woot! This weekend is going to fly by.

For this week's beauty find, I couldn't wait to share this website I found while searching for my ideal iphone case: Society6. 
"The artwork on Society6 is created by hundreds of thousands of artists from around the world.
When you buy a product from Society6, we produce it using only the highest quality materials, and ship it to you on behalf of the artist."
Society6 features artwork, illustration, typography, photography, and mixed media. When you find a work of art you love, you have the option of purchasing it as a print or a canvas in various sizes, but you could also get it on a tee shirt, sweat shirt, iphone case, stationary cards, pillow, or tote bag!

It's such a neat way to support artists, and it's an inexpensive way to procure unique art for your home, and embellish your wardrobe. Here's a few of my favorite pieces.









All of those are available as prints or canvases, and most are also available on clothing, pillows, iphone cases, or more.

My favorite artists include Amy Hamilton, Pocket Fuel, Kelli Murray, and Teagan White. After you spend some time browsing, I'd love to know who your favorites are! Feel free to come back and share a link in the comments!

Wednesday, January 23

Confidence Challenge: Saying No

I didn't plan for this to be the confidence challenge for this month, but it kind of just happened. I found myself saying "No" a lot, and not only did I find that it got SO much easier, I discovered that people actually respect your limits when you state them.



I had a suspicion that saying no was a problem for me, but after I started working, my co-workers quickly confirmed it. I had a horrible time saying no when asked to come in early, stay late, or cover someone else's shift. Even if I'd already made plans, or was already working my maximum number of hours, I still felt guilty, like I'd somehow let them down. The one and only time I called in sick (so far) I rehearsed what I'd say for fifteen minutes. I called, told the manager why I couldn't come in, and all she said was, "Ok, thanks for letting me know." And yet, I felt so guilty that I couldn't stop myself from apologizing profusely. 

On another occasion, after I'd responded to the fifth call for back-up cashiers in fifteen minutes, one of my co-workers said, "You know, you can just tell them 'no'!" And she was right. I wasn't getting my work done because I kept going up front to help cashier. So the next time they asked for me to back-up cashier, I told them I'd come up the last several times, and it would be great if someone else could do it this time. And someone else did. After that, they were better about asking for specific people to make sure that one person wasn't filling in all the time. 

When HR called me twice to fill a shift after I'd already told them I had my church small group to go to that night, I got better about saying "no" like I meant it. No excuses or unnecessary apologies, just "No, I have ______ planned for tonight and I won't be able to." 

I said no to doing special music next Sunday because something came up and I knew I'd be out of town. Then, I took that opportunity to say no to singing special music for the next couple months, since my schedule is already packed with church activities, traveling, and work through March, and I really didn't want the added stress.

I'm glad that that's one less thing I'll have to worry about for the next few months, but it's still really hard for me to say no to things like that, when I feel like people are counting on me. But, I recently read an article in Real Simple's January issue that offered some helpful tips for turning people down.


1. "Crack a joke." Using humor helps diffuse the tension and helps people not take the rejection too personally.

2. "Don't over-estimate your importance." This describes me exactly:"People who have a hard time declining others often exaggerate the impact their rejection will have on the other person. Then when they manage to say no, they divulge their guilty feelings or act like they're intensely burdened by their own response - which succeeds only in making a spurned pal more uneasy." It definitely helps take the pressure off to realize that it's not that big of a deal to the other person, most of the time. 

3. "Offer praise." The president of a casting company offered this tip, and gave the example of turning down people who've auditioned for parts by complimenting them on something from their performance. 

4. "Act now." The literary agent who gave this tip tries to respond quickly when writers pitch her an idea so that they can submit their idea to someone else. She suggests doing the same when responding to a friend, client, or even a date when you know you want to say no. For something that's a bigger responsibility, she recommends taking some time to think about it, but then responding with "I've given your request a lot of thought and I'm honored that you asked, but I don't think I'm the right person." Short, sweet, and to the point. 

Do you struggle with saying no? How do you work through it? 


Monday, January 21

DIY Quick and Easy Curtains

Happy Monday friends! Last week I finally crossed of a DIY I've wanted to accomplish for a long time: living room curtains! 

I knew exactly what I wanted. Navy and white horizontal stripes. It can go modern or nautical, and it would tie together all the blue and white china, as well as the blue winged back chairs. The only problem was that I couldn't find any such curtains. I looked everywhere for an affordable option. Then one day, as I was browsing the home section of Target, I saw it. 

A navy and white striped shower curtain! 


Here's what you'll need to turn a shower curtain into the curtains of your dreams: 
  • A shower curtain. Double check the measurements to make sure it will fit your window, but keep in mind, if you need to you could add extra fabric to make them longer. My curtain cost $15!
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Sewing machine
First, lay the curtain on the floor, and with the measuring tape, find the middle. Use pins to mark the middle, and cut the curtain in half. 



Then, pin the edges you just cut to create a hem. 


Sew the hem.


Since it's a shower curtain, it already has slots at the top for hanging. I had to cut the slots to make them a little bigger. Then, just thread the curtain onto your curtain rod, and you're done!


It's so easy, and yet it makes me so happy every time I look at them.


Matching!


Not bad for $15! I think it's a great improvement to the room. What do you think?

The moral of this story is that if you need a low cost option, don't be afraid to think outside the box!

The DIY Dreamer

Friday, January 18

Beauty Find Friday: New Phone

I know this is an odd topic for Beauty Find Friday, but this happened last night:

Look, it's my reflection!
I got an iPhone!

I can hardly believe it's really mine. Here's my old phone, next to it's replacement.



I didn't think I'd ever get an iPhone, because for my 21st birthday Brian got me an iPod touch. But then this happened: 


After I synced it with all my iPod apps, photos, music, etc., I may or may not have momentarily lost the call button. You know, the thing that actually makes this a phone. Minor detail. No worries, I found it. 

So now that I have an iPhone, I need a case for it. Last night I spent some time browsing cases, and I'm having a hard time deciding. Here's a few of my favorites. 

Aztec Case $19.99



Native Case
There's more along those design lines in Cases by Csera's Etsy shop, all for $19.99.

I like the geometric/woodgrain look, but I also like the classic chic Kate Spade cases. These are all $35-$40.


Source: katespade.com via Emily on Pinterest

Source: katespade.com via Emily on Pinterest

Source: katespade.com via Emily on Pinterest

Source: katespade.com via Emily on Pinterest

There's also this one:
Source: vonmaur.com via Emily on Pinterest


Or this one:


Just kidding!!!

Maybe you can help me pick one. Which case is your favorite? If you have a smartphone, where did you get your case?


Wednesday, January 16

Fresh-Brewed Life: A Book Review

Stop waiting for your life to begin.
"Say this out loud (if you're alone in the room): 'The quality of my life is determined by one thing: my attitude toward it.' Now, say it again.
Our quality of life is not determined by our circumstances, but we can let it be. It isn't determined by our health, but we can believe it to be. It isn't determined by our bank accounts, but we can choose it to be. No, the one thing that truly determines the quality of the life we have is the attitude we bring to it." Nicole Johnson, Fresh-Brewed Life.

I first read Fresh-Brewed Life when Booksneeze sent it to me a year ago. It challenged me in some areas and greatly influenced my entire year. As I flipped through the pages, refreshing my memory, underlines, circles, stars, and brackets jumped out at me. I don't often write in my books, but this was one of those books. 

Fresh-brewed life is about waking up to the life God has called and equipped you for, a life of purpose and passion. Jesus said he would give us life, abundant life. According to the back cover, "in a robust blend of relationship, ritual, and hope, we are summoned on a journey of discovery that awakens us to God, to ourselves, and to others. And - like a lingering over a cup of coffee - this is a process to be savored." 

With prose rich in coffee metaphors, Nicole writes about surrendering to God, journaling, listening to your longings, embracing your beauty, interviewing your anger, savoring your sexuality, celebrating your friendships, changing your world, enriching your relationships, and enjoying your freedom. 

I enjoyed the sprinkling of inspiring quotes throughout, as well as the journaling prompts and "fresh-brewed adventure" challenges to apply the chapter. 

This book was a great starting place. The chapters aren't long, but they are thought provoking and inspire further study. I do wish that Nicole would have backed up her insights with more scripture, instead of so much of her personal experience and the experiences of others. Also, because of the chapter on embracing your sexuality (which is a really good chapter and well written), I recommend this book for married women.

I'd give this book a four out of five. If this book piques your interest, you can find it at your local book store, or on Amazon*: Fresh-Brewed Life Revised & Updated: A Stirring Invitation to Wake Up Your Soul


I review for BookSneeze®


*Disclosure: I'm an amazon affiliate, and this is a link. 



What have you read lately? Any recommendations?

Monday, January 14

Birthdays and Cornbread

My dad turned fifty last week. It's a day I knew was coming, but it surprised me all the same. Fifty? For some reason I think he should be eternally forty-five.

When I think about my dad, the first memories that come to mind involve food. In our family, there were certain foods that only dad made. Cheese sandwiches, pancakes, and cornbread. 


Cheese sandwiches were a staple on Monday afternoons while Mom taught music classes at the Christian school. Since we were homeschooled and dad was a pastor, he oversaw our education on Mondays. That usually meant a trip to the library, and cheese sandwiches. This delicacy consisted of two slices of bread spread with mayo, or my favorite, miracle whip, with two slices of American cheese inside. 

Pancakes were a much bigger affair. This was not a breakfast food as you might suppose, in fact, I don't remember ever having pancakes for breakfast. Dad usually made pancakes for dinner, and I always got to help. 

Donning aprons and wielding spatulas, we'd get creative with cloves, cinnamon, bananas, or chocolate chips. And the spatulas were perfect for practicing our racket ball serves. 

Pancakes were, and still are, my favorite food.


But a close second would be cornbread. Dad would make cornbread and baked beans, and with the addition of syrup, we had a balanced meal.

When I first began stocking my pantry as a newlywed, I bought a big bag of cornmeal, intending to continue the mealtime traditions. But then, every time I started craving the golden bread soaked in syrup, I chickened out. I'd tried to make cornbread once before when I still lived at home, and it was a colossal failure- full of tunnels, salty, and gross.


But last week, I made a second attempt. I used this basic recipe from culinaryarts.about.com:

1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 Tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup half and half
¼ cup melted butter or shortening
¼ cup honey
¼ cup sugar
Preparation:
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Sift together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.
Combine the half and half, eggs, fat, honey and sugar.
Thoroughly grease and flour a 9" × 9" baking pan (or use a nonstick baking pan or a flexible silicone pan).
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ones and mix just until the flour is moistened, no more than ten seconds. The batter should be visibly lumpy — leave it that way! It's extremely important not to overmix the batter.
Once the liquid and dry ingredients have been combined, pan and bake the cornbread immediately.
TIP: The dry and wet ingredients, respectively, can be mixed in advance, but as soon as the wet and dry ingredients have been combined with each other, the liquid will activate the baking powder and the batter must be baked right away.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean and the edge of the bread starts to separate from the pan.

And I'd give this cornbread a four out of five star rating. It's a little overcooked. But look dad, no tunnels!



Happy Birthday Dad! I love you!