July 30, 2014
I’m convinced that everyone on the face of the planet has at least one Ikea Ribba frame mounted somewhere within their home. They’re timeless, pretty, and simply do the trick when budget is of the essence (read: crazy inexpensive as far as frames are concerned). But one thing that’s always driven me crazy about them is the fact that their mats are a creamy (almost yellow) hue instead of a crisp white. We have a gallery wall front and center in our dining “room” in our teeny condo, which means you can see it from, well, everywhere. And the creamy mats have always made me batty. So I did what any sane person does: went to the dollar store, bought a ton of bright white cardstock and made my own. Though the difference may seem minute, it instantly made our space feel more vibrant and alive. So if you happen to be a fellow Ikea Ribba horder, I promise you the minimal effort involved in making this change is more than worth it!
July 24, 2014
Seeing as my sister is offfiiiicially getting married on Saturday (!!), it only seemed fitting to finally share the details of the bachelorette survival kits I put together for her last hurrah. I created one for every guest in attendance just as a wee little thank you for being so awesome to my big sis over the years. An adult loot bag, if you will! The best part is that they can be totally customized depending on your preference/location/event. Staying in Miami? Toss in some sunscreen and aloe. Vegas? Obviously a poker chip to get everyone started. The one thing that I must insist upon: glitter glasses. Fun group photoshoots are bound to ensue! (Tip: pick up the kids glasses – they’re only $1 at most party stores in lieu of the $8 adult ones. They don’t totally fit, but they do stay on, and nobody will ever know)
PS – scenes from that weekend right here!
Read on for the instructions…
June 11, 2014
If my tea party favour project is any example, when it comes to DIY I definitely fall into the simpler-the-better camp. Though I like to believe that there are many things I excel at, DIY projects are not one of them. That said, I did (loosely) come up with another ridiculously simple project for my sisters’ bridal shower and I couldn’t help but share. This Yipee cake topper ended up being a bit of a star, making this fantastic cake shine just a little bit brighter.
Click below for the steps!
June 4, 2014
My mom and I recently hosted a mini bridal shower in celebration of my big sisters’ upcoming nuptials. The theme: a modern tea party, complete with delicious eats, unexpected decor, and really great people. Though the gathering was intended to be small and intimate, I didn’t want to send our guests home empty handed and needed a way to thank them for joining us on that sunny Saturday afternoon. Enter: a simple tea party favour. A mini box (shaped as a milk carton, no less!) filled with everything your guests will need to steep a cup of warm deliciousness at home. I wasn’t originally planning on sharing them (DIY is not exactly my forte), but I’m really happy with how they turned out and I thought they were too cute to keep to myself!
Click for instructions…
April 16, 2014
Hey guys! Erin here from House of Earnest holding down the fort while Jacquelyn is off in Mexico! I’ve whipped up a totally adorable DIY that is so easy to do I swear you could do it blindfolded. When it comes to creating beautiful things for the sake of having beautiful things, this hanger may fall into that category, but it’s so pretty when complete, that I decided to go ahead and make a bunch. When it was finished, however, I realized that it was worked wonderfully for holding onto tanks on tight and keeping dress pants in place.
Not only is it a great use for some pretty prints I have laying around (that aren’t large enough to make something substantial from), but it’s also a really unique and pretty idea for a bridal shower, housewarming or in miniature for a baby shower.
I made a few for some pretty lace tanks that I have hanging in my closet, but totally plan on making some fun colored versions for friends.
The steps are super easy, it just takes a bit of patience in the wrapping. Materials are readily available and really really customizable. Use pretty florals for a wedding shower, brightly color polka dots for some children’s hangers, or just plain colors if you’re looking for a practical solution to your slipping shirts (and pants).
:: Plastic tubular hangers
:: Scrap cotton printed fabric
:: Spray adhesive
:: Super glue
ONE Tear your fabric into 1″ wide strips. It will be a little frayed, but that is ok.
TWO: spray hook portion as well as the first few inches of the hanger with spray adhesive on one side.
THREE: start at the bent hook portion of the hanger. Wrap the fabric flatly around the tip of the hanger. Once you get it wrapped once, start twisting the fabric and re-wrap the start of the hanger with the twisted fabric, covering the flat start to the wrap.
FOUR: keep twisting and wrapping around the hanger.
FIVE: just before your strip ends, start another piece – wrapped flat. Wrap the previous piece overtop of the new piece for a few rotations. Then start twisting and wrapping the new piece around the tail end of the previous piece.
SIX: once you make it around the entire hanger, superglue the loose end into place.
It’s not difficult at all, it just take a bit of patience. Once hanger took me about 15 minutes, so set out an hour of time and make a nice set of four for someone close to you!
I hope you like this lovely little project as much as I do!
DIY, Copy & Photography: House of Earnest
March 26, 2014
Inspired by my sweet friend over at Oh So Pretty, I thought I’d try my hand at my own version of a rose body scrub. With my upcoming vacation (and the warm weather that promises to be right around the corner), I’ve come to the realization that old man winter has not been kind to my poor skin. It’s rough and dry and anything but ready to be exposed to the masses. Enter: this scrub. It smells delicious, it does it’s job in a quick minute, and it can be made with ingredients you likely already have on hand. Plus, the fact that you make it yourself means you know just what’s going in it – all natural, all day long. That right there is what you’d call a no brainer!
Click for instructions…
March 14, 2014
I’m certain I’m not alone when I admit that I find the majority of St. Patrick’s day projects slightly lame. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love an excuse to gather with friends and enjoy a green beer (or a boozy shamrock shake), but the DIY’s that go along with it tend to feel more cheesy than chic. Clover this and leprechaun that – I could easily do without. But this year? This year I’ve made it my mission to unveil a handful of clever St. Patty’s day DIY’s that are anything but tacky. And if you ask me, I’d deem this mission a success!
Shamrock Whoopie Pies: Style Me Pretty Living | St. Patricks Day Cereal Bars: Sugar and Cloth | Lucky Succulents: Snap Creativity | Lucky Treat Bags: Oh Happy Day | Shamrock Wreath: The House that Lars Built | Pot of Gold Printables: Oh So Pretty | Rainbow Cupcakes: Freutcake
February 5, 2014
Though I’m a Valentine’s Day advocate, it’s one of those “holidays” that always tends to sneak up on me, leaving me scrambling at the last minute for cute meaningful gifts for my loved ones. But this year? Well this year I’ve done my research, I’ve come prepared, and I’m more inspired than ever. Whether you celebrate with your significant other, your very best friend or your family in it’s entirety, here are a few fun projects from around the web that are guaranteed to get you in the spirit.
ps – If you click on the heart it will take you to the original post
Inspired Outfit from Could I Have That | Be Mine Cupcakes from Better Homes & Garden | Raspberry Linzer Cookies from Freutcake | DIY Heart-Shaped Tea from Coco/Mingo | Valentine’s Day Garland from Coco/Mingo | Heart Shaped Pillow DIY from Design Love Fest | Candied Valentine Printables from Oh So Pretty via Sugar & Cloth
January 10, 2014
September 25, 2013
I’m sure you’ve heard it from a million and one other bloggers already this week (we’re so informative, aren’t we?), but fall is officially here! And, I’m happy to admit, I’m finally ready to welcome it with open arms. It turns out that all it took was a few cool days and lots of warm tea to get me in the spirit.
I’ve been holding on to this amazing shoot we did last year with SMP Living for what feels like forever. I’ve been sitting on pins and needles waiting for the perfect time to share it and I’m thinking that today’s the day. Because, as far as I’m concerned, there’s no better way to ring in my favourite season than with a day filled with baking. And who needs traditional pie crusts when you can get creative? Not me. Not when we have THESE guys to chose from! I am now, more than ever, ready to get my bake on.
For details & step by step guide, click here.
September 13, 2013
I have a lot of skills when it comes to decor, but coming up with brilliant DIY projects is simply not one of them. Instead of beating myself up about the fact that I lack in this regard, I’ve decided to turn focus on the others that excel at it. The following projects are a few that I’ve come across through my internet travels, and are well worth a peek. I’m fairly confident that a number of these will be making their way into my home in the not too distant future.
July 24, 2013
Bar none, the number one question I get asked around here is “why are you so pretty?” No. Terrible joke (I know). It’s “how do you edit your photos?” This question pops up in my inbox, on Facebook and even, on occasion, over Twitter almost every other day. I’ve always been slightly reluctant to share my steps because it’s honestly so ridiculously easy, and I’m a part-photo editing thief (I’ll get to that part later!) I’ve come a long way since my last photo tutorial (I cringe at the yellow undertones of those photos) and thought it was high time for an update. It should be noted that I am definitely (emphasis on definitely) no expert, and I’ll claim to be one as such. BUT I am quite happy with how my photos have been turning out as of late, so here goes!
So I use Photoshop CS5 for all of my photo editing. If you don’t have Photoshop, I highly recommend you get it. It’s well worth the investment if you’re hoping to get serious about blogging (that isn’t to say that there aren’t other fab programs out there, I just don’t really have a ton of knowledge on them at this point!) So here’s a solid before picture from my recent trip to the Amalfi Coast. Pretty (I mean, it always helps to have a good subject matter), but kind of flat and sad.
::STEP No. 1::
With your image open in Photoshop, click image > auto-tone. The results should look something like the above. It doesn’t ALWAYS work – sometimes it makes the colours look all wonky, but for the most part this is my first step. If auto-tone doesn’t look right, I usually head into image > adjustments > brightness/contrast and play around until the photo gets a little more, um, “poppy” (for lack of a better word – it should be noted that I am sick to death of such a word).
::STEP No. 2::
This is the step in which I become a photo-editing thief. I downloaded Wish Wish Wish’s photoshop actions (right here) some time ago and have used it a million and a half times since. I’m totally obsessed.
Once you’ve downloaded it, click window > actions > wishwishone (the only one out of the three that I use) > and then push the little play (triangle) at the bottom right of the actions pop-up. The results should look like they do above – crazy vivid, saturated and vibrant.
::STEP No. 3::
I’m really into “soft and pretty” type photos these days (I happily blame my exposure to them at SMP Living). So I like to take it up a notch and add a pretty pink filter. To do that:
:: Create a new layer (make sure the layer is at the very top of your layer palette like so)
:: Using the bucket tool, colour the entirety of your photo in solid pink (I use #fee5f3)
:: Change the opacity of the pink layer to 50%
:: In the drop-down menu in your layers palette, click on the “soft light” overlay
::STEP No. 4::
Lastly, I add a soft grey layer to tone everything down just a touch. To do so:
:: Add another layer on top of your pink layer
:: Using the bucket tool, colour the layer entirely in the light grey of your choice (I use #e4e4e4)
:: Change the opacity of the layer to 35%
:: Using the drop down menu in your layers palette, select the “soft light” overlay
Let me know if you have any questions at all in the comments. I’ll do my best to answer them! And if I don’t know, I’ll try my darndest to figure it out for you ;)
All images original to lark & linen
December 19, 2012
I’ve mentioned in the past that when it comes to wrapping presents I do not mess around. People have since come to expect their Christmas gift to be clad in something crafty (the pressure!) After scouring multiple paper stores around Toronto I’ve come up with a theme: winter mint with a twist (indulge me, won’t you?) The combination of red, white & mint keeps things feeling festive while straying from the a-typical.
Once I wrapped my first present I took a step back and decided that something was missing. The washi tape, twine and polka-dotted gift tags were all well and good, but it needed a bit of pizzazz. After all, I had to compete with that year I swapped wrapping paper for tin foil (some ideas are better than others by the way). So in came the pompom! Once the template was created and cut out the process went pretty quickly (and the template lasted for the 15 others I’ve since made). I’m beyond thrilled with how the entire ensemble came together and cant wait to distribute my gifts come Christmas morning.
Step 1: Trace two small circles onto thick cardstock (or cardboard). As a rule – the smaller your circle, the smaller your pompom. I used a shot glass for this step (keepin’ it classy)
Step 2: Place a smaller template (in my case, a nickel) in the center of your first circle and trace around it
Step 3: Carefully cut your circle templates out (this does not need to be perfect)
Step 4: Place both circle templates together and tie a long length of wool around them
Step 5: Wrap the wool around the templates
Step 6: Keep wrapping…
Step 7: … until it looks something like this. If your length of wool runs out, not to worry, simply tie a new length on and keep going – nobody will know. (Note: the more times you wrap the string, the denser your pompom will become. This pompom ended up being QUITE full)
Step 8: Holding the wrapped templates between your index finger and thumb, carefully cut the wool using thin, sharp scissors…
Step 9: … until it starts to look something like this
Step 10: Once you’ve cut all around the template, spread the two cardstock pieces apart
Step 11: Thread a short length of wool in between the two cardstock templates and tie it in a tight knot. Then, carefully pull the cardstock templates off at either side. (note: your pompom may need a bit of a trim if he’s looking a little uneven)
Ta da!! Now tie it on to your gift using a ribbon (or twine in my case!)
November 15, 2012
I can’t take full credit for this DIY as I’ve seen it floating around the interwebs in the past, but it’s a goodie and one that I’ve long wanted to duplicate myself. If I must admit, I had originally planned this post last fall but I just never got around to it. The sticks were gathered (this is no easy task when you live in a condo downtown Toronto), the glass votives were purchased and they’ve hung around all lonely-like ever since.
When I woke up last Saturday morning, I felt the urge to get crafty so that’s just what I did. It was so simple that I almost feel silly writing out the steps, but what kind of “DIY’er” would I be then? So here it goes:
What you’ll need:
-a hot glue gun
-a sharp exacto knife
-a handful of (straight) sticks
-glass votives (I picked mine up at Ikea for $2.99/pack of 12)
using the exacto knife, carefully cut the stick to your desired length (mine were approximately 3″ long)
repeat with remaining sticks until they’re all similar in length
add a dollop of hot glue to the bottom of the stick
hold it firmly against the votive until the glue dries
repeat until the entire votive is covered
wrap twine around the base, using hot glue to secure it in place, for a more “finished” look.
June 27, 2012
I’m thrilled to share my contribution to this months Xquisit magazine. For this issue, I’ve put together a wonderfully simple tutorial that takes you through the steps necessary for creating your own necklace tree, for just a few dollars. If you have a second, pop over and check it out (it can be found on page 87 here)!
April 12, 2012
When Justin and I first moved into our condo we picked up a few discarded wine boxes at the LCBO for a dollar a piece, unsure of what exactly we’d do with them. For the last year they’ve sat stacked next to our bed as a nightstand placeholder until we could afford those we really wanted. Though they were unfinished, their rough and tumbleness began to grow on me. When operation get-bedroom-finished came into full swing not long ago, I decided they could stick around (dang budget) but they needed to step it up. Enter: stain. After two quick coats (and three days of air drying on the balcony), I brought them in and couldn’t believe the immediate difference. The result feels rustic and well-loved, bringing about an immediate sense of warmth. Extra bonus: you would never even guess that the entire project cost a mere three dollars (plus a can of stain, which I happened to have on hand). I think I’ll keep them around, for a while at least.
February 10, 2012
I am far from what you would call a Valentines day enthusiast, but I do appreciate any reason to do something special for those whom I love. While I don’t partake in lavish gifts and over-the-top celebrations, I like to recognize the event in little ways. Whether it’s for your significant other, your best friend or that neighbour who simply needs a pick-me-up, here are a few great ways to celebrate in a simple fashion. Besides, everyone could use some additional love now and again:
one:: heart-shaped egg in a hole
two:: paint edible hearts and messages on your dishes at brunch
three:: heart-shaped sugar cookies
four:: diy sugar cube hearts (for their morning coffee)
five:: cupid’s arrow red velvet cupcakes
six:: diy glitter cards
December 14, 2011
Considering the notion of a well plated dish tasting better than one that was just haphazardly thrown together, I believe the same is to be true for the presentation of ones Christmas gift. The packaging surrounding it always seems to make the contents that much more appealing (obviously there are exceptions: hi aunt Betty and your hand knitted kitten sweater! I’m not sure a pretty package could save this one.) With that in mind, each year I try to take that bit of extra time to assemble my gifts. While not all of my ideas end up being well thought out*, I am pleased with how my gift tags fared this year. They’re simple, inexpensive and add a little bit of sparkle to the organic vibe of my wrapping.
*One year I wrapped all of my gifts in tinfoil thinking they would look sparkly and glamorous. They didn’t. People still bring it up.
here’s what you’ll need:
a scrap piece of cardboard
a sharp exacto knife
blank gift tags
and here’s what you’ll do:
step 1: cut desired shape out of cardboard using a sharp exacto knifestep 2: place your template overtop your gift tag
and spray a thin, even coat of spray adhesivestep 3: sprinkle glitterstep 4: brush away excess glitter. Yes, it’s that simple!
August 24, 2011
I think it’s fairly safe to say that our apartment is more or less complete in the decor department. Apart from the bedroom, which always seems to be the last place to receive that special touch (why is that?), everything else has fallen into place.
Most recently, we’ve added art to our otherwise naked foyer. After a recent stint at an antique store in Prince Edward County, I stumbled upon this beautiful burlap flour sack. For a mere $10 I decided that it needed to come home with me, not yet sure where it would end up. In the end, we framed it in a $34.99 Ikea frame, resulting in a huge, 28″ x 40″ piece of art for just a few dollars. It instantly warms up the empty wall in our entryway and I could not be more pleased with the results.
When we first moved in to our condo I was concerned how we would fill up our many, many blank walls on a quite limited budget. But with a little patience, and a touch of creativity it’s all coming together.
July 27, 2011
I’ve been getting a number of questions regarding how I edit my pictures (specifically these ones), so I thought I’d take a moment to show you how I do it. Before I begin, I should probably tell you that when I began editing them, I originally used Sydney‘s photoshop tutorial (and if you don’t read her blog, you’re missing out on some ridiculous awesomeness). I’ve adapted it slightly along the way to suit my needs (and it often gets adapted even more depending on the image), but this is a great starting off point for those of you who want to be in the know. Unfortunately, in order to edit them with this method, you’ll need access to photoshop (a small amount of knowledge of the program would also help – I’ve tried to be as clear as possible but if you’re new to photoshop and need additional help feel free to shoot me an e-mail, or leave a comment). So here it goes!
Step 1:: Import your image into photoshop and open the layers palette. Right click on the background layer and select “duplicate background” so that you aren’t working on the original file (in case you would like to keep it in it’s original state for future use.) This is the image I’m going to be working with:
Step 2:: Look at the top left bar. You see where is says “Layer”? Click on it. And then click on the following: new fill layer, solid colour, and select a navy blue (I chose #070144). Next, change it’s opacity to 75%. It should look something like this: pretty, right?
Step 3:: Once again, go up to the top left and click layer, new fill layer, solid colour and select a peach colour (I use #de9b82) to end up with this:
Step 4:: Annddd again, for good measure; click layer, new fill layer, solid colour and select a light pink (I use #fed1eb). Next, change it’s opacity to 50%. At this point your picture should look something like so:
Step 5:: For the last time I swear; click layer, new fill layer, solid colour and select navy blue again (#070144). Change the opacity to 18% to end up with this:
Step 6:: And once you’ve gotten this far, duplicate your background image once more, and drag it to the very top of your layers palette. Once it’s at the top, click on the drop menu at the top of your layers palette that says “normal” and change it to soft light for this lovely, vintage appeal.
And there you have it!
You can feel free to play around with the layers, the opacity, the fill colours, the brightness, the contrast… Heck, you may even like the image after the first step. Like most things in life (at least I like to believe so), there are no real rules.
And because I like a solid before and after, here you go:
June 23, 2011
The idea of dying my own fabrics to create something unique and one of a kind has always been something that intrigued me. When I stumbled upon this do-it-yourself recipe in the latest Sweet Paul Mag for doing just that, I had to add it to my list of things to do in my lifetime. And the fact that you use produce from your local grocery store to achieve this beautiful look makes this process all the more appealing.
aaand here’s how it’s done:
all images found here
ps. if you have yet to peruse through that which is Sweet Paul‘s online mag, I highly recommend moseying over. It’s riddled with delicious recipes and lots of pretty things to feast your eyes on.
April 20, 2011
How pretty are these tie-dyed business cards? So simple. So beautiful. So unique! Head over to Caro’s blog (here) for the step by step guide on how to make your own.
June 30, 2010
You may have noticed in my previous post, a fabric flower fastened to my hair (you can see it here too). I knew that I wanted a flower to adorn my head for my aunts wedding, but I could not for the life of me find the one that I was imagining (don’t you hate when this happens?). It seemed that every store I visited carried a selection of horrible plastic flowers trying to look as if they were the real thing. H&M even had one with a fake drop of water atop its petals. (Really, H&M, did you need to go there?) One of my pet peeves is objects that are not true to themselves. For that reason, I detest laminate flooring, faux finishes and, of course, plastic flowers. Quit trying to replicate something you are not! You are the only you! Be the best you that you can be! I don’t believe I’m alone in this, so quit giving me that look.
Back to the point: I marched on out of there (not really – I may have given a look of disgust, a small scowl, and a “did you SEE that thing?!” while meandering over to another section of the store), and decided to make my own.
.1. go to the dollar store. Purchase a cotton t-shirt (mine was a whopping $1.25. I went for the good cotton – clearly). Or, use any fabric scraps (or old t-shirts) you have lying around the house.
.2. cut your fabric into various circles. The size of your circles will depend on how large you’d like your flower to be. Mine were approximately 3” in diameter, but honestly, anything goes here. They don’t need to be perfect. In fact, the more imperfect, the better! They should, however, get slightly larger as you go about your cutting.
.3. grab a hold of your first circle (the smallest one), and fold it in half
.4. fold it in half again!
.5. stitch the bottom of your flower together like so, and tie a small knot when you’re done. (I only used 2-3 stitches each time; and ideally, your thread should match the colour of your fabric)
.6. grab your second circle
.7. fold it in half overtop your first stitched circle
.8. fold it again!
.9. stitch the bottoms together
.10. and repeat steps 6 through 9 and again and again, until you run out of circles, or your flower is to the size you desire
.11. when you’re satisfied, hot glue a small clip or bobby pin to the base of the flower, ruffle or re-arrange your petals until they’re to your liking and enjoy!
Additional note: you could also hot glue a safety-pin to the bum of your flower and wear it as a broach
And all of this for a grand total of… $1.25. (for the t-shirt). Take that all you “dewy” plastic flowers.
June 8, 2010
I’m sure you’ve seen these pendant lights around before. They’re kind of everywhere! (As an aside, I totally designed a wire one with semi-transluscent beads while I was in school, well before they became popular. I’m just putting that out there guys. Call me avant-garde. Trendsetter. A fool for not selling them to Ikea. Whatever. Mine had beads!) I love the way they look and make a space feel, but I do not love their price tag upwards of $1000.00 a piece. Lucky for us, Pickles has put together a tutorial on how you can make your own! So nifty! I’m absolutely going to try this – and I’ll let you know how it goes.
Click here for the step-by-step tutorial.
May 28, 2010
This made me smile this morning (click on it to see its full size).
found via 9Gag