Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Handmade Holiday

Photos by EV Photography

I am so excited to share with you today a few of my DIY tree decorations that I've been working on over my holiday break last week. My intentions for creating my tree decorations was this: Just because I'm on a limited budget doesn't mean that I can't craft up a few things to transform my space into feeling a bit more like Christmas. Not only was I able to use most of my own crafting supplies but I even had enough money to purchase a few boxed ornaments to complement all the DIY goodness! Below is a breakdown of resources and materials used to create the yarn ornaments, dot garland, and Christmas banner.

Paper Mache Yarn Ornaments:


Paper Mache ornaments- 40 cents/each
Red and Green (multi colored) Yarn- $4
Red Rick Rack Ribbon ( in 1/2" and 1" widths)- owned
Elmers craft fabric glue- $3.27 (or any glue that dries clear)

All the materials for these ornaments were purchased at Hobby Lobby.
If you act fast you can even get the paper mache ornaments at 40% off! I stocked up
and purchased 12 to decorate my tree.

Total for 12 ornaments: $12.07


To decorate these I really just let me creativity take over and used the red and green yarn and rick rack sparingly. Just make sure to use a glue that dries clear, so if the yarn doesn't cover it you won't end up with white splotches of dried glue on the paper mache. I kept some of the paper mache exposed to keep with the handmade theme.

Dot Garland


Avery round 3/4" and 1" white round labels- $6.50/a pack
Monofilament fishing line (clear)- owned
Painter's Touch spray paint in Apple Red and Herbal Green- owned

I owned most of the supplies for this garland and purchased the labels at Staples.

Total cost: $13 for an endless (almost) amount of playful garland.


Place your labels on a covered surface and spray paint both sizes with spray paint. Make sure to leave some of them unpainted as well. Once they are dry, take two (of the same size) and stick them together in between a strand of clear fishing line. I repeated this mixing the red, green, and white labels leaving a few inches in between each other.


Christmas banner


Cotton cream strip of fabric- owned
Red acrylic paint-owned
Small paint brush-owned
Set of foam alphabet letters- owned

It's always exciting to come up with a project that costs you nothing! I just happened to have a large roll of this cotton fabric (about 4 inched wide) that I found for a dollar at the thrift store last year. The alphabet letter set I purchased at Micheal's. It comes with lower case and upper case letters. I ended up making about 15 feet of this using lines from Christmas songs.


I painted each letter using a small paint brush and red acrylic paint. And because each letter was hand stamped onto the fabric I ended up with some paint splotches around some of the letters, which I think just adds character. Set aside to dry and then hang! To give the banner some extra weight I taped a thin piece of wire on the back to better manipulate it's shape and placement on the tree branches.

I hope you enjoyed these DIY projects. I had fun creating them and now look forward to using them again next year! May your creativity be limitless!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Welcome back!

Jayson Home & Garden

Hi everyone. I'm back from a week long staycation. And what a great time it was to say the least! I slept in almost every day, dyed my hair back to it's natural color (dark brown), decorated my first real Christmas tree, made some yarn ornaments (photos to come) and other holiday decorations, stayed home on black Friday (yeah!), and managed to sneak in some rejuvenating workouts among all the yummy treats and eats! Although I throughly enjoyed my time off, I have to admit I enjoy coming back to a routine of a scheduled work day... I know, I just do :)
How was your holiday? Did you take some time for yourself?

West Elm

Here are some of the lovely shops I visited this week:

Jayson Home & Garden
Sprout Home
West Elm
Urban Remains

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cozy Comfort

The weather in the Chicago has begun to show its true colors this week. Meaning up until this week the temperature has remained somewhere between the mid to high 60's. Which for the Midwest, at this time of year, is almost unheard of. Add daylight savings time on top of the chilliness and I've got good reason to find comforts in the little things, one of them being a classic childhood favorite- mac & cheese. I'm warming up to a bowl tonight as I write this post and it's such a small but significant comfort to me. My choice in mac is the Trader Joe's variety made with Wisconsin cheddar. So warm and cheesy, it's hard for me to stop at just one bowl! What are some of your cozy comfort foods? Ones that just make you all warm and cozy inside.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Exploring Chicago in the Fall

Earlier this week I had one of those days where I kept saying to myself (in my head of course) "I can't believe I'm getting paid to do this!" And the assignment for work was taking dramatic angled photos of buildings downtown and textures of the city as well. I first started out by walking around my hood (Bucktown) and then I hopped on the blue line and headed towards downtown. I walked all afternoon to scout my shots and in the end I feel really good about what I'm bringing back to the work table next week. I've posted just some of my findings to share with you. I've also just posted more of my photos over on my flickr stream too. Enjoy :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Have a great weekend!

Happy Friday to everyone! Excuse me for being mia this week. Although we are heading into our slow period at work we (all the photographers) just got handed a major photo assignment from the marketing and sales department. It entails exploring the city for me and capturing its architecture in an interesting way. I'm excited to check out some of our studios awesome equipment and lenses to make this happen. On another note, I've started making my Christmas list this morning! I'm starting early this year to make sure I put enough time and love into creating all my homemade goodies for the ones I love. I'm so excited to start and will be happy to share my creations along the way. The lovely magazine Gifted definetly got my creative wheels spinning earlier this week. If your looking for a beautifully inspiring digital mag to cozy up to this weekend please do check this one out! You will keep coming back to this one for ideas, for sure!