Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Quick and Very Cute Earring Display Tutorial

This will be the first tutorial I do so stick with me, it will not be perfect.

I did have a bunch of photos to show more step by step but they have mysteriously disappeared so I will work with what I have and take a few more pics just for you.

But it is extremely simple to make this earring stand/display so I have no doubt that you'll be able to follow. It also shouldn't cost too much, which you have to love. I already had the material, and my mum had just sent a parcel with some foam protecting some bottles, so that was perfect. I just bought the frame and trim which didn't cost much at all!

Ok so you need:
1 photo frame of your liking
1 piece of foam the same size or slightly larger than the backing of your frame
1 piece of material larger than your piece of foam
3 pieces of crochet lace trim a bit longer than the width of the frame
Hot glue gun

So lets get started.
First you need to take out the glass of your frame, you won't be needing it. Now if your piece of foam is already the same size of the backing of your frame, you're ready to roll. If it's larger than just cut it down and play around with it a bit. You do want it to pop out of the frame a little rather than just sit flat.

Once your foam is the right size you can go onto the material. It needs to wrap around the foam piece and you want to keep it rather tight. Glue it down along the edges and in the four corners to hold it tight in place. 

This next step takes a little bit of trial and error to get right as you don't want your earrings hanging all over the top of each other. So lay down the crochet trim, hang a pair of earrings on it and see where you can put the next row of trim. Once you have them all in place you can go ahead and glue them down AT THE BACK ONLY.
When it's all glued and dry go ahead and put it together. Pop the fabric covered foam into the frame with the fabric facing out through the front of the frame and slip the backing piece back in place.


You're all done. Now go and grab some of your cutest earrings and hang them onto the crochet trim then stand back and admire how cute it is.

xo Katie

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Shampoo vs No-Poo

It was September 2010 and I was about to run out of shampoo. Ok, so that sounds a bit dramatic. Just go to the store and buy some more you say. Read here about my battle with eczema. Before leaving home I had been using a local product that was all natural and I loved it, but it wasn't available in my new home town so my mum had been posting me bottles for a while. Since moving to New Caledonia I had constantly been on the lookout for a natural shampoo and conditioner but had found nothing with an ingredient list that I trusted enough to try and I didn't want my mum to have to be constantly sending it over from Oz. So I decided to go no-poo.

I got myself two plastic bottles, a container of bicarb soda and a bottle of apple cider vinegar. And I jumped straight into it.

The How To:

First bottle- 1 tablespoon of Bicarb in a cup of water - this is your "shampoo"
Second bottle- 2 tablespoons of the vinegar in a cup of water - this is your "conditioner"
*note: I read a lot that people use warm water, this obviously helps the bicarb to dissolve easier. However I do not have hot running water so I just give it a good shake and it dissolves just fine.

This picture is from a blog called Momma Muse where she has an interesting addition and some great question/answers in the comments. Site linked by picture.

Jump into the shower and saturate your hair. With the first bottle, pour the mix over your hair focussing on your scalp (I use a sauce bottle that has a pointed tip so it's easier to get the mixture through my thick hair and onto my scalp). Give your scalp a good massage as you normally would with shampoo. This breaks up oil and dirt and cleans the scalp. Give it a really good rinse. Then pour over the second mix. I'm sure I read somewhere that this helps to restore the ph balance, but don't quote me on that, it's been a while since I did my research. Leave it for as long as you wish then give it a really really really good rinse. You want to do a good job of the last rinse because if you don't it can stay smelling a little vinegary.

As you are allowing you hair to return to more of it's natural state rather than lathering it with chemicals all the time, there can be some time of adjustment. Most people report some amount of excess oil production, this is due to the fact that using regular shampoo overly strips our hair and scalp of it's natural oils, resulting in our scalps producing even more to try to compensate. Then when you let your hair go natural there is a period where your scalp continues to make too much oil because it hasn't yet realized that it's not being stripped and doesn't need to make as much.

I personally didn't have any adjustment period. Maybe due to the fact I was already using a natural shampoo. I found after a few weeks I didn't need to wash my hair as often. I found it was a lot softer and easier to look after. I also found that the curl was nicer and I didn't need to use anywhere near as much product. I was amazed and in love. I had never particularly liked my hair and now it was growing on me!

I continued for well over a year and washed my hair only when it felt it needed it otherwise I just wet it to refresh it. I'm sure I went over 2 weeks sometimes without washing, to which my brother declared, after years of telling me anyways, "you really are a hippy".

In February of this year I went to Australia to visit my family and while shopping with my mum came across a new product. I had been using this oil (below) for a while and loved it, now they had shampoo and conditioner. It had to be good right? So I gave it a go.

It was great! My hair was so soft and silky smooth. Then after a few washes I realized that my hair was... too soft, it was all fly away and it was loosing it's curl. The curl I had fought for so many years and finally begun to love, was hardly there any more. I stopped straight away and went back to no poo, where I found my hair felt waxy! Don't forget, I only have cold water where I live, I think it would possibly be a bit better if I had hot water to rinse and help get rid of this feeling. And a few weeks later I am still waiting for my hair to return to it's no poo state. It's slowly getting there, but it's too slow!

My conclusion- No more shampoo for me. I found something great in no poo. My hands/eczema is better, my hair 'was' so much better and I will not risk that again! Bring on the odd looks I get from hair dressers when I tell them I can't use regular shampoo due to the harmful chemicals and what it does to my hands and that instead I use bicarb and vinegar.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Back to it!

After a few tough months and no regular access to the internet I'm back.

I'm working on getting my blog up and going again and getting out there. This time I'm going to jump in and not let anything hold me back!!

So, I have a few things exciting coming up so stay tuned.

I have posted photos before of some jewellery I made to wear to a friends wedding, well I have been making plenty more, particularly earrings and hope to get them up for sale soon. I am also working on necklaces and bracelets and a few items of girls clothing.

Motivation is the key here. I get stuck, no make that mesmerized on the net, looking at amazing blogs and shops full of so much talent or finding things that inspire me and give me ideas of what I could do. But I get trapped when it comes to the doing: doing blog posts, doing sewing, doing jewelry, doing up my blog.

Where can I find me a shark?  ; )

Last week I came across the blog Acute Designs and read an article called A Case of the Somedays. She has a list of things that she will do someday. Someday I will do this, someday I will do that, this has me written all over it. We get so comfortable where we are that we won't step forward into something more.  Gina says "...sometimes you have to take a crazy leap and risk falling if you ever want to get to that someday.The only thing holding me back is ME. "

Someday I want to see in reality the 'somedays' that I think about today.

What's on your list to do someday?

xo Katie

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fear, Failure and Success

Fear is a darkroom where negatives develop.  ~Usman B. Asif
How true is that quote?
Fear can be so dibilitating. Holding us back from amazing opportunities and experiences. Stopping us from pursuing dreams and visions. Obstructing our view of God's plans for our lives. Preventing us from reaching our full potential.

I believe there is so much pressure these days to be successful. Prosperity surrounds us. Billboards tell us if we don't have the latest and greatest clothes, mobile, house, laptop or car that we are somehow not as good as those who do. This then creates fear. Fear of failure. If I try and I don't succed, I have failed.

And we don't like that!

But if we allow fear to hold us back and conqure us, we will never actually know for sure the end result. It is ok to not succeed. We just need to learn from it and keep pushing on forward.

I love what I read in an article called How Does The Bible Define Success?
It said: When King David was about to die, he gave his son, Solomon, the following advice: “Do what the LORD your God commands and follow his teachings. Obey everything written in the Law of Moses. Then you will be a success, no matter what you do or where you go” (1 Kings 2:3 CEV).

When we give ourselves over to God and obey Him, He leads us on a journey that is even greater than we can imagine. Greater than the success the world has to offer.

 Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them.  ~Brendan Francis

Where is all of this coming from you ask? I have a fear of failure! Since the beinning of the year I have been wanting to start my own small business. I have spent time thinking about it and planning different parts, but to date, still nothing has really happened. And I have realised it is a fear of failing that is holding me back. That first step is the hardest.

Where are you on the Highway to Success? Are you obeying and following all the amazing things God has for you. Or are you being held back in a little dark room affraid to take a step out?

Check out the history of Abraham Lincoln. It is such an inspiration that he kept trying and attempting, never giving up.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Under One Roof

Last Friday a YWAM (Youth With A Mission) group arrived from Vanuatu and will be staying with us for a little while as they do outreach here in Noumea.

It blew my mind when I realised that the five people in my house are from five different nations. There is myself from Australia and my husband from New Caledonia then on the team, one from Vanuatu, one from Solomon Islands and one from Taiwan.

I love being around people from different nations, from totally different cultures and all with different native languages. It's amazing! I love it! And it makes me want to go out exploring the world and see more of this amazing place that God created for us. It is so awesome to see the different cultures He placed here and the gifts in different people groups.

We're having heaps of fun, hope you are too what ever you're up to right now.
Have a good weekend.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Natural Facial Cleanser.

For the last few years I have suffered with eczema on my hands. It is only my hands and it is a "special" type of eczema as one doctor once told me. I'm so lucky! Anyway, now any product that touches my hands must be natural. Yes, that basically means everything!

My mum had found a great brand local to our area which I loved. They used honey and bees wax among other natural ingredients and had a great gentle cream facial scrub. When I looked at the ingredients I realised that I should be able to make it myself!

From there my passion grew. I searched for recipes on the internet, bought books and even did a one day course on making natural products. I have learnt so much about the harmful effects of the loads of chemicals found in our "everyday" products and of the many benefits of going natural.

Sure, at times it can be annoying. I can't just go to the store and grab something when I run out and I live in a country where natural costs at least twice as much and where supplies to DIY are not easy to come by. But I know that it's better for my body, my health and the environment.

I want to share with you my most recent DIY natural product. A simple, all natural face cleanser. I came across someone sellling this on etsy and as it only has three main ingredients that I already had I thought I'd whip up a batch. I took my time as I wasn't sure about what quantities to use and I didn't want to rush into it. Then before I got around to making it I borrowed a book off someone and found an actual recipe for it. So here it is:

30ml aloe vera gel
50ml olive oil
30ml rose water
4 drops of rose essential oil
2 drops grapefruit seed extract

How to make it:
Throw it all together and mix!

How to use it:
It will separate so make sure you give it a good shake before each use. I use it in the shower after I have already wet my face. I squirt a bit onto my hands and then massage it all over my face for as long as I wish. It feels so nice! I then use a face washer that is wet with warm-hot water to gently scrub/wipe away the cleanser.
And that's all there is to it. A simple, fast and all natural facial cleanser. I love it! Go on, give it a try and tell me what you think!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Photos and Editing

I'm trying to make a logo for my hopefully soon to open online shop! I'm telling you, this stuff is not easy!

I'm using Pixlr, a free online photo editing program. I discovered it recently and I really like it. It's not too difficult to use, it easily saves straight to my computer and for the first time ever using anything like it, I think it has a good range of 'tools'.

But my problem is I just really don't know how to achieve what I want! Maybe if I had a clearer idea of what I wanted it might be a tad easier. But I am enjoying myself along the way. Learning tricks here and there. As I am a hands on learner this is great. But I really want my logo done! I'm a little impatient.

I keep searching pictures and different ideas. Looking for inspiration and trying to find out what I really want it to look like. I'm trying to find images that I can use and wondering if maybe I should go out and photograph something instead! So much on my mind!

How did you get your logo? Did you pay someone to design it or did you make it yourself? If you made it yourself what program did you use and what was the hardest part of it? Where did you get graphics from or did you use photos?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Slight Obsession

Yes I do admit it. I have an obsession... with baskets! I can always see a purpose for them. I can always see a place for them to go. And they always look good.

Wicker, wire, bamboo, I'll take some of each! For use as drawers in furniture, to hold accessories or toys, pegs or eggs, candles, books, garlic or onions. In the kitchen, bathroom, lounge or bedroom. A picnic basket, shopping bag, gift basket, beach bag. I told you it was an obsession!

Here are some that I love.

Do you like baskets? What do you use baskets for in your home?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Not bad for a first time....

Last year my mum gave me a nice chunky beaded necklace that she had bought on one of her many travels. She wasn't sure if I would like it even though, somehow she usually does really well shopping for me. I did like it. A lot. But it wasn't quite me. So we had talked about how I could re-fashion it into something I would get a lot more use out of. When I was younger I did a lot of beaded jewelry making, nothing too fancy it was really just for fun, so I knew it wouldn't be too difficult I just needed the supplies which are not possible to get here in New Cal. Anyway, I just returned from an unexpected trip to Australia and my mum gave me a bunch of jewelry making supplies. So, knowing I wanted to wear this necklace and possibly earrings to a wedding tomorrow, I got myself organised and did the re-fashion this morning. I just didn't take a before picture! Oopps! So here it is, the final product.....

I'm pretty proud of how it all turned out. Oh and by the way, no, I didn't get the black and white/silver beads mixed up. I freaked out myself when I looked at the photos. In fact the bead is half black and half clear/crystaly. I should have fixed it up for the photo. Oh well.

And here are some pretties I found that I thought I'd share.



Monday, June 20, 2011

Screen Printing Dreams...

Recently I have been thinking a lot about screen printing. I have never actually used a screen, when I was younger I used to make stencils with a craft knife and then paint onto clothing using a sponge. I always wanted to try real screen printing and now that desire is coming back!

For some tutorials on screen printing check out these, I prefer the first one, it seems a bit more simple:

Using a silk screen block out medium.

 Using photo emulsion.

And here is some eye candy and inspiration:

And for the little ones:

Click on the photos for the link.

Have you ever tried screen printing?