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February 27, 2015

links i love // life hacks


Instagram @wecanmakeanything | Twitter @wcmanything

I've been giving a lot of thought to wasted time this week. I read a saying the other day that I've been unable to stop mulling over in my head. It goes (& I'm paraphrasing here), "There is no such thing as down time. There is only wasted time." I don't remember where I saw it or who said it, but I've been in a personal debate over whether that's true or not. On one hand I know I waste a lot of time (thanks a lot, Pastry Paradise), but on the other hand I know that I can only run so hard until I break down. I've definitely been feeling a burn-out of late, which only makes me feel guiltier about down time. I just have to remind myself that my resting moments are not wasted moments, they're necessary to recharge. 

While we're talking about stream lining our time, this week's links are all life-hacks! 

  • 18 Infographs to Make Cooking Easier // Beautiful & helpful. Considering printing a few of these out & framing them in the kitchen. 
  • Professional-Looking Gift Bags in a Pinch // I always realize I'm out of wrapping materials right when I go to wrap something. This will come in handy. 
  • How to Clean an Air Filter // When we moved into our current home we had to buy a reusable air filter instead of the disposable kind because standard ones wouldn't fit our air duct. Thank goodness, because those reusable ones are way more economical. A vacuum cleans them right out & they're better for the environment. 
  • Walnuts & Wood Scratches // I can speak from personal experience that this actually works. No idea how, but it really does. 
  • Cleaning Reusable Grocery Bags // As someone who works at a grocery store, God bless the woman who wrote this. 
  • How to Fold Plastic Bags // While we're on the subject, how to turn your plastic grocery bags into space-saving triangles. 
  • Cupcake Sandwich // Liz Lemon knows the right way to live life. 


xoxo,
-m.e.

Related // The picture of the silver leaf is a result of this project



February 26, 2015

birthdays, giveaways!



I'm excited for three reasons today:

One, it's our birthday! The blog is a year old, & what a great year it has been. Seriously, I love being a part of this community. It was a little bit intimidating at first, but everyone is just so nice here. I love my readers & I'm so lucky to get to share my life with you guys. 

Two, I get to announce the winners of the cross stitch giveaway. Thank you everyone for following the blog on Instagram & Twitter, & for reading & leaving comments! We got a bunch of entries, & our two winners are:

LUCY C.
& RACHIL!

Thanks so much you guys! Keep an eye on your mailboxes! 

The third reason I'm excited (if you're still keeping track) is the blog's new makeover! Finding a look for this site has been an ongoing process, but I'm pretty excited with this one. We're also working on moving to our own domain! About time, right? You can still find us through our Blogspot links, but in the next few days we will make the official move to www.wecanmakeanything.net! Yay yay!

Leave me a comment letting me know what you think about the new layout! Or about our transfer to our own domain! Or if you just want to say hi. I love hearing from you guys. 

xoxo,
-m.e.

Related // The tutorial that made me fall in love with the craft blogging community.


February 23, 2015

desk chair, transformed!

Desk Chair, Transformed!
Desk Chair, Transformed!: See the before & after
Ooo you guys, we are getting funky up in here today! Do you see this print? Do you see that chrome silver? I know it sounds weird, but I'm super excited to have a piece of metallic furniture in my house. I think most of you can probably deduce from reading this blog that I'm a pretty tame person, stylistically-speaking. Okay, I'm tame across the board, but you don't need to know that! For all you know I could be the wild-child, partying kinda girl, rocking it until the sun comes up. In reality my idea of a crazy night is staying in & watching Castle while drinking a hard cider (don't judge, it's a good time). Okay, back to my muted sense of style - you've seen it before (for example: here, here, & here). I wouldn't have imagined I could live with a hunky piece of silver furniture in life, but I am seriously digging on this redo.
Before & After - Office chair gets new life in a single afternoon
The old chair had to go, obviously. I don't even remember where I got it, although based on its appearance, I'm guessing it spent its formative years in some conference room somewhere. We found the fabric first (ah Nate Berkus, you make me weak in the knees with your patterns), & decided on the silver after. There was a lot of deliberation on the matter. I suggested gold (Heather wouldn't have it), she suggested teal (potentially a good choice but not bold enough), we both thought maybe silver? But what if we hated it? We needn't have doubted though. This chair is banging.
Before & After - Boring office chair gets a snazzy new look
The first thing we did was remove the cushions - they were held in place with screws which we held on to. Next, we lightly sanded the metal so the new paint would adhere to it better. After wiping away any dust & grime, we applied two coats of spray paint (while showing complete disregard for the grass in our backyard - oops).
Repainting a chair frame
The old screws also got a fresh coat of paint to match. I stuck them upright into the side of an empty cardboard box, which allowed me to paint the entire head & the sides of each screw.

After the silver paint dried, we did a coat of spray semi-gloss polyurethane to protect the paint from scratches. The polyurethane can take up to a day to dry.
Desk Chair, Transformed! Nate Berkus fabric FTW
New fabric was stapled to the old cushions, the screws went back in, &...
Peacock pattern from above
Ta da! God, I love a good makeover.
Go from bore to bling with this office chair makeover
What do you think? Was silver a good choice? Do you have any metallic furniture in your home?

xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. Before the chair, there was the ottoman!

February 20, 2015

links i love // brr city chick


Follow us on Instagram @wecanmakeanything for more photos

Brr, you guys! I feel crazy saying this, but it's super cold here in Florida! I mean, it's cold by my soft, southern standards... I swear I used to be less of a wuss. The cold has made me a real lazy-bones this week. I've got to start being more diligent with my spare time. All of this laying about & Netflix is not good for my soul. Laziness has its place, but if I don't get moving soon the winter blues will get the best of me. 

Here are some links to keep you warm:



xoxo,
-m.e.

Related // Stay warm with a cup of hot cocoa.


February 18, 2015

birthday giveaway - GIVEAWAY CLOSED (+ free pattern!)



We Can Make Anything has a birthday coming up! We're about to be a whole year old! I'm so excited - I wouldn't have imagined a year ago that the blog would be where it is now. I've learned a lot this past year, made a lot of mistakes, & had a blast. We've got some short-term & long-term goals for the blog (foreshadowing - we will soon be moving to our own domain!), & Heather & I are excited to see where the blog goes from here! Either way it's always an adventure, & I can't thank you guys enough for going on this adventure with us.




THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANKS FOR FOLLOWING, GUYS!


On to the giveaway! You, my dear reader, could win one of these two "D.I.Y. or DIE" cross-stitch pieces. They're about 2.5 inches in diameter, & come with a gold frame. Here are the rules:

  1. Follow us on Twitter @wcmanything or on Instagram @wecanmakeanything to enter! 
  2. If you already follow us on Twitter or Instagram (or don't use these social medias), leave a comment on this post to enter!
  3. The contest will close at midnight on February 25th.  If you follow us on Twitter or Instagram or leave us a comment during that time you will be added to the contest! 
  4. On February 26th (our birthday!) we will (literally) draw names from a hat to determine the two winners!*
*Sorry, due to shipping reasons, contest is only open to those in the contiguous United States.





If you want to make this cross-stitch on your own, I've made the pattern available to download. DIY4LIFE! This piece would go great in your workspace as a reminder of all the things you're capable of making. 

Don't forget to follow us or leave a comment! Good luck! 

xoxo,
-m.e.

Related // Our 100th post


February 16, 2015

why i don't shave my legs



Because I'm too lazy.

Because it's just cheaper not to.

Because my girlfriend likes it.

Because I can.


That last one seems like more a manifesto than it's meant to be. It's not like it's an anarchy thing. It just is what it is: I don't shave my legs. I have my reasons. Razors & shaving cream can get hella expensive so not shaving seems like a no-brainer for saving money. The fuzz doesn't bother me or my girlfriend either, so that's a plus. I'm also stubborn about it: I just flat out don't want to shave. The thought of spending extra time scraping off every last hair from my calves & fretting over their growing presence (no pun intended) stresses me out. Even though I have a casual attitude about my leg-sweaters, I do get some flack from others. I've gotten looks when I wear shorts & even some questions. My favorite questioning always comes from one of Heather's young nephews, who insists that I am definitely "not supposed to let hair grow there." I'm okay with the judgement - I'd take that over having to shave my legs any day. 

It's not like rejecting silky-smooth legs is a proclamation of my rights either, even though that's how it all started. I was fresh out of high school when I began letting my hairy little friends blow free in the wind. All the ladies in my circle of friends were allowing their body hair to exist au naturel, throwing scowling faces at those who dared glance their way. I thought this was what I wanted too. Eff the man, right? Who were we to let beauty magazines & cultural norms determine the look of our bodies? 

Over the years I've gone back & forth with the whole shaving thing, though. If I was with someone who shaved their legs, I thought perhaps my leg hair would also make them uncomfortable. In spite of all of my previous confidence in my choice not to shave, I was still insecure about my body. 

As I've gotten older I've realized that there's a giant difference between choosing not to care what others think & actually not caring about what others think. Being okay with myself & my looks started with choosing to accept myself & then having that choice challenged. Each time my decision was tested it got easier, & eventually the action of choosing dissolved. I don't have to choose to care how others perceive me & my looks. I just don't anymore.

Me & my legs have found a good rhythm now. While they remain in their fuzzy state most of the time, I will sometimes shave if I think an outfit will look better with smoother legs, or if I'm feeling impulsive. But I never feel pressure to shave. I just let my legs do their thing, while they let me do mine. 



Bonus pic of Heather's adorable gams.

So, do you ever let your legs go rough? Even if it's just for the winter? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. 


xoxo, 
-m.e.


Related // This isn't the first time you've seen my hairy uprights


February 13, 2015

links i love // quick valentines

Instagram @wecanmakeanything | Twitter @wcmanything

I don't know about you, but I'm excited to see this week come to a close. It's been a rough one - too many hours at work, too much bad news, & not nearly enough time enjoying the last bit of our Florida winter (I say that because Florida pretty much moves straight from winter to hot, humid summer & it happens quick). I am, however, looking forward to what's happening this weekend: lunch date with my mom, playdate with Heather's nephew, & Valentine's Day. All we're really doing on Saturday is cooking a fancy dinner & spending some time together. We'll be making a dish with field peas, fried green tomatoes, pickled okra, & goat cheese in a roasted garlic-horseradish sauce (YUM). Oh, & wild berry hard cider (ALSO YUM).

If you're still in the market for some Valentines, check out this week's link:


xoxo, 
-m.e.

Related // More puns! More Valentines


February 11, 2015

gift giving // for your valentine



If you're the type who likes to give gifts for Valentine's Day, there's still a couple of days left to get ready! Here are a couple of ideas that are sure to tickle your lady lover. 



1. // "Love You More" Linen Throw Pillow Cover 
(It's just the pillow cover, but I thought it was too cute not to include)
2. // Conversation Hearts Earrings
3. // 8 Bit Pixel Sunglasses
(If your sweetheart has a geeky streak)
4. // Grace & Dignity Soap 
(Let her know how you really feel)
5. // "You're My Lobster" Ceramic Mug
(who's still watching Friends on Netflix? Just me? AHH!)
6. // I Love You: The Activity Book for Lesbian Couples 
(A gift you can do together! Also comes in M/M & M/F format)


I've mentioned before that Heather & I don't really do gifts for Valentine's Day ("window/computer screen shopping" is still fun though, hence this list). If you & your partner are not the gift-giving type, it's still good to let them know how you feel. Take a little extra time this Saturday to tell your sweetheart how much you love them & how much they impact their life. A little thought goes a long way. 


xoxo, 

-m.e.

P.S. Check out our feature on Cut Out + Keep!




[This is not a sponsored post, Amazon is an affiliate sponsor of WeCanMakeAnything. All images belong to their respective companies.]


Related // If you're looking for a personal gift, give her a homemade bouquet of flowers.



February 9, 2015

diy lip balm



Valentine's Day is almost upon us, & during this cold, dry month of February the least we can do for our sweethearts is to keep our lips kissable. A.k.a. not the chapped, sandpaper-like mess that mine are right now. Lip balm is easy to make & only takes a few ingredients. Plus nothing says "I love you" quite like proper moisturizing. This recipe also works great for a hand salve if your lover doesn't enjoy the exfoliation that happens every time they reach for your hand (if you can't tell the winter has been rough on my skin & I'm bitter about it).




A hint about working with wax - it's messy, so don't use any tools that you're super attached to. Use popsicle sticks to stir your wax as it melts, & use glass in your double boiler for an easier clean up. Because wax repels water, make sure you thoroughly wipe your tools with a dry paper towel after you've used them & before you wash them. I like to make my lip balm in a glass measuring cup for easy pouring.





To make some DIY lip balm, you'll need:



In a double-boiler, melt together the beeswax, shea butter, & coconut oil on medium-low heat. Stir frequently & heat up until your ingredients have turned to liquid. 




Add the essential oil, stir thoroughly, & remove from heat. Pour the melted mixture into your containers. Cool, & done! 




Don't forget to add some labels. I printed these hearts onto watercolor paper & adhered with double-sided tape. 

Stay moisturized, my lovelies.


xoxo, 
-m.e.


// This is not a sponsored post, Amazon is an affiliate sponsor of WeCanMakeAnything //


Related // Some Valentine's links.



February 6, 2015

links i love // it's a weird month


Instagram @wecanmakeanything | Twitter @wcmanything


This month is a weird month. There's only 28 days, Friday falls on the 13th, & then there's this weird thing. So far this month has been busy, busy, busy for me. Too much working & not enough of the other good stuff in life. I'm excited for this weekend though. I'm planning on re-doing another piece of furniture, making a round of homemade lip balm, & finishing reading #GIRLBOSS (I know, everyone finished it weeks ago, but I'm savoring it, okay?).


This Week's Top Links


xoxo, 
-m.e.

Related // Get ready for Valentine's Day! It's so soon!


February 4, 2015

ottoman makeover



I am in love.

I'm not sure if it's a crush or the real deal - only time will tell. All I know is I can't keep my eyes to myself. But just look at this ottoman & tell me you're not smitten too.




The old ottoman wasn't a thrift store find or anything; we actually had it in the house already. Heather made it for a photography project while she was in school (such a little woodworker, that one). I love the graphics she printed for this piece: they're cyanotypes of her making awesome faces on each side. Sadly the cushioning on the ottoman had deflated & the cat had been using it for a scratching post. We also managed to get some kind of cleaning solution on one side that completely ruined one of the cyanotypes (oops). We decided to give it a fresh look, & also make it more movable by installing wheels. Don't fret - we saved the cyanotype prints. I think they'll look pretty good framed.

To redo this ottoman, we used: 




First we dissected the ottoman, removing the cushions on the side & seat (a screwdriver helped us pry up all the old staples). We saved all the old padding to reuse in the top cushion. After the ottoman was completely naked, we used wood filler to cover any noticeable holes left from previous staples. Quick shout-out to wood filler for being amazing! You don't even need a tool to apply: just fill the holes & spread it with your fingertip until it's smooth.




After the wood filler dried (15 minutes for small holes, 2 hours for large cracks) we sanded the bad-boy down for a splinter-free, smooth finish. Always sand after you use wood filler to even out the surface. There were also some uneven edges that weren't an issue when the ottoman was covered in fabric, but were noticeable once the fabric was off. We sanded those down too.




The casters (or wheels, if you're not feeling fancy) went on next. I measured the first caster, traced the placement on a small piece of scrap cardboard, then cut the traced shape out. This allowed me to use the cardboard as a template for each corner rather than re-measuring. It's the lazy-girl's way to do things, but it worked really well.




After the wheels came three rounds of spray finish. Yes, we should have applied the finish before the wheels, but there was a change of plans. We had initially considered staining the wood, but after seeing how it good it looked sanded we decided to keep the natural color. The finish dried super quick, so I was able to move onto the next layer by the time I made it around to the first side I sprayed.




On to the seat cushion! I took all the old stuffing & some scrap fabric & made a quick pillow the size of the seat. We wrapped the home decor fabric over the top of the seat & stapled it in place on the bottom of the seat. Side note about using a staple gun: don't fret if the staples do not go all the way through the wood. Use a hammer to hammer them the rest of the way.




xoxo,
-m.e.


// This is not a sponsored post, Amazon is an affiliate sponsor of WeCanMakeAnything //


Related // See a rocking chair transform from old to new. 


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