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March 30, 2015

non-toxic easter eggs

Non-toxic Easter egg decorating
Happy Spring! The bees are out, the flowers are blooming, & the pollen is falling in CLUMPS (here in Florida, at least). While I love the wintertime, I'm pretty happy to feel warmer breezes on my face. Springtime has me all excited to decorate eggs!
Decorate eggs using non-toxic chalk paint
I haven't decorated Easter eggs since I was a kiddo. I have fond memories of putting those strange little dye-pellets in cups of water & watching them fizzle out into translucent colors. My brothers & I would always try & double or triple dye our eggs, which meant they would turn a muddy-green color in the end. They weren't ever very pretty, but it was definitely the highlight of our Easter activities. That & chocolate, obviously.
How to decorate your eggs safely by using chalk
This time around I decided to go with decorating of a different method. Having seen many a tutorial on egg-doodling, I knew that's how I wanted to decorate my eggs. Rather than using a marker or a pen which contain toxins, I opted for a more edible route. What's the point in decorating eggs if you can't eat them? Using a non-toxic chalk marker really did the trick.

I love the look of the white on the natural brown. While I'm excited that I could use a non-toxic method to decorate, I'm even more excited that I was able to use local eggs. Thanks, hens!
Non-toxic Easter eggs: Chalk pen does the trick again!
If you'd like to doodle your brown eggs the way I have, all you'll need is a bit of imagination & a

Before you begin doodling, start by hard-boiling your eggs. My eggs were really natural so I had to wash off a little bit of chicken poop before I boiled them. Gross, gross, but at least I knew they were fresh!
  • In a pot, cover your eggs with cold water, about an inch past the top of the eggs. 
  • Cook the eggs at medium to medium-high heat until the water boils. 
  • Remove eggs from pot & rinse in cold water in a colander. 
  • Dry eggs thoroughly before you begin to doodle. 
  • The chalk marker does take time to dry, so be careful when handling. Try drawing on the top half first, wait for it to dry, & then move on to the bottom half. 
Hello, Spring!
I love revisiting holiday traditions. Most of the people I've chatted with about Easter seem to have similar traditions to what my family did growing up. Lots of starched dresses & straw hats for church, egg dyeing, & Easter baskets. If your family had other traditions for Easter, let me know in the comments! Happy spring, gang.

xoxo, 
-m.e.

// Amazon links used in this non-sponsored post. Amazon is an affiliate sponsor of WeCanMakeAnything. //

P.S. // Put some spring in your pocket with these iPhone wallpapers.

March 27, 2015

links i love // it's the freakin' weekend


Instagram @wecanmakeanything | Twitter @wcmanything

It's a glorious weekend, folks. I'm currently in the midst of a FOUR DAY WEEKEND courtesy of my amazing boss who noticed I was looking a little frazzled. What this means for me is lots of pleasant bike-rides, time spent making my first quilt, spray-painting some furniture, & coming to terms with the fact that I will no longer be 25 as of Tuesday.

The long weekend has been tainted with tragedy. The Heather/M.e. house has been hit with a nasty rash of poison ivy. Mostly Heather since I'm too lazy to do yard work. Any tips for getting rid of the itchies would be greatly appreciated. 


Links for the week:

xoxo, 
-m.e.

Related // Last year on my birthday I made skinny-jeans.


March 25, 2015

wake up earlier

Wake Up Earlier: Tips on enjoying the morning

In an attempt to be more of a grown-up (I'm turning 26 here in a few days), I've been making the conscious effort to wake up earlier. No sarcasm when I say it's been grand. 

Little bit about me: I'm currently in a love-hate relationship with sleep. Sleep & I have a very codependent, unhealthy kind of bond. Basically I think of sleep fondly when I don't have enough, & curse it when I have too much. If I could function properly on five or six hours of sleep a night, I totally would. Sleeping just takes up so much damn time.

Back to waking up early. Due to my reluctance to go to bed at a decent hour, I always sleep in. I push my alarm back so much that I have developed an extreme morning ritual which clocks in at under ten minutes. As in, if I have to leave for work by 6:45 to make it there on time, I'm waking up at 6:35. Period. There is no room for error with this method. In trying to be an adult, however, I've been giving myself an extra fifteen minutes in the morning. I'm not being dramatic when I say it has been life-changing. 

If you're not a morning person, waking up earlier will turn you into one. Why was I so groggy in the morning before? Because I was trying to switch gears from sleepy-sleeptime to WIDE AWAKE LET'S GO too quickly. 

Here are some of the pros to giving yourself a few extra moments in the morning:
  • You're less groggy: Yes, you'll still be groggy when you first awaken, but you can get that grouch-o attitude out of your system before you leave the house, not on your way to work (cue road rage).
  • You're less stressed: You won't have to worry about being late for work or school because you've given yourself an ample period to prepare. Relax, kiddo. You've got plenty of time.
  • You'll get better sleep: If you're waking up later, your body gets accustomed to a schedule that has you going to bed later. Waking up even a few minutes earlier will naturally transition your body into going to bed at a more decent hour. 
Here's a tip though: don't force it. If your goal is to wake up an hour earlier, transition slowly. Start by waking fifteen minutes earlier for a few days. Then transition to a half an hour. Pushing up your waking time too quickly will only cause you to crash in the long run. Right now I'm waking up fifteen minutes earlier, but my plan is to push it back to about forty-five minutes.

You also want to wake up with a plan. Don't just wake up to be up. Give yourself something to look forward to in the morning. You could use that extra time to exercise, straighten your hair, or sit down with your coffee. Morning time is all about you.

xoxo,
-m.e.


Related // Waking up early means you won't miss out on the beautiful sunrise


March 23, 2015

ombre-inspired knit scarf



I know, I know. It's spring already. 

In light of the cold-front that the weather man promised us, coupled with the horrifying realization that I had not knitted or crocheted a single stitch this past winter, I made a scarf. I may not get to wear it until next November, but I made it & I like it. 




This little project, like the needle case I made earlier in the month, was made entirely from the leftovers of other projects. You guys, I'm embarrassed by how much yarn I have collected. It's not like I have nice, full skeins of yarn lying around just waiting to be used. No no, I have dozens & dozens of teeny, tiny balls of yarn. I even have about 30 inches of yarn from a scarf I made back in high school. That was like forever ago. I may be a yarn-hoarder.




It was time for a purge, so I laid out my yarns to find similar colors (the above picture in no way reflects my entire yarn collection. This is only a small fragment. Someone call A&E). I had a lot of blues & some whites & blacks. I wouldn't call this an "ombre" scarf per say (the transitions between colors are too clunky for that title), but it's certainly "ombre-inspired." While I had a variety of colors that worked together, I didn't have a similarity in weights.




The key to using a variety of different yarns is to keep the thickness the same. This means doubling or tripling up on your skinnier yarns to match the stockiness of your thickest yarn. If you look at the "ombre" picture with all my yarn laid you, you can see I had already separated my very thin black into three balls of yarn so I could knit with three threads at a time.

One of the pluses to knitting a "bits-n-pieces" scarf is you really don't have to keep track of your row count. You just knit until you run out. I did a simple knit one, purl one for the entirety of the scarf, tying my ends together as I ran out.




If you're looking to use up your yarn with a scarf like this one, try & pick colors that work well together. Pick colors with the same temperature (warm, cold), or similar hues in the same color family. Alternatively you could pick colors that are totally wacky together for a funkier look. Just remember to double up to the largest yarn size, & knit on with the confidence that you are putting your scrap yarn to good use.

xoxo,
-m.e.

Related // Some more scrap yarn put to use by making pom-poms


March 20, 2015

links i love // goodbye, hoopdie. hello, spring!

Sleepy kitty
Badass tofurkey tattoo
Instagram @wecanmakeanything | Twitter @wcmanything

Are you excited for the weekend? Any big plans? Let me know so I can live vicariously through you! I’ve got the itch to travel, but sadly that is the furthest (financial) objective right now. I’m so ready to hit the road, though. 

Sadly the road-hitting has been taken down a notch this week - the Hoopdie has been sold. I’ve got mixed feelings on the matter. I know it will be better for my health & the environment to be entirely bike-dependant, but something about not having a car makes me feel like my house is an island & I’m stranded on it. One of the bright sides of this whole biking deal is that this beaut of a helmet is coming in the mail any day now.

(Can I just tell you how long it took for me to find a cute helmet? There is a serious lack of adorable brain-holders in the world.)

I hope you do have a great weekend - it’s getting all spring-y out! 

This week's links:
xoxo, 
-m.e.

Related // My new bike helmet matches my mint green bike. Hey-o.

// Amazon affiliate links are used in this post! // 


March 16, 2015

how-to // alter cuff length (button-down edition)



This past weekend my girlfriend & I hit the big four year mark (four years, you guys. This is cray-cray.) Naturally we took the opportunity to celebrate. Fancy drinks, unpronounceable food, a valet (what a weird grown up experience that was), & dapper dress. Before we went out Heather requested a minor alteration be done to her button-down. If you're a lady who has ventured to purchase men's shirts you may have come across this problem yourself.

Men's shirts are made to fit a man's chest (i.e., flat). As women, we have a little extra going on up there, so the only real option is to buy a larger size. Taking a shirt in around the torso is easy enough - just two stitch lines along the sides will bring it in (foreshadowing! I might do this tutorial in the future!). Those long sleeves though. They're a dead-giveaway that the shirt is too big. This is the problem Heather has with her fitted shirts, & fortunately it's an easy fix.

This type of alteration will only take the cuff up so far, but if your sleeves are just a bit too long then this is the perfect method. It's quick, easy, & you don't have to cut up the shirt.

All you need for this alteration is some pins & a needle & thread. If you can't find a thread color that matches exactly, the rule of thumb is to always go darker. Lighter threads appear to "pop" more than darker ones.




The first thing you'll do is pin the cuff up to the desired length. I brought this cuff up about 1/4 inch, right at the base of the first button hole. Bringing it up further runs the risk of losing the original buttonhole. If you do need to bring the cuff up higher you can either forgo the button entirely or reposition the button & create a new buttonhole. 

When pinning, start with the non-pleated side of the cuff, working your way towards the pleated side. Make sure to keep the pleats intact - do not unfold them. 




By hand, stitch all the way around the topstitch line at the top of the cuff. Tie off. 




When sewing, use small stitches on the right side of the cuff, & use wider stitches on the wrong side, as seen above. Make sure to keep your stitches in line with the original top stitching so they are less noticeable. When you first make this alteration the stitching will seem obvious, but don't fret - after a go in the wash the threads will loosen & will become much less noticeable. 




Don't you feel better now that you're not drowning in all that extra sleeve length? Yes you do. 

xoxo, 
-m.e.


Related // Dapper tailoring continues! How to fix a long sleeve in a blazer


March 13, 2015

links i love // springtime is here



Instagram @wecanmakeanything | Twitter @wcmanything

One day I'm wearing scarves & boots, the next it's shorts-weather. Springtime is here, folks. It's indicated primarily by the swarms of bees eagerly pollinating the flowers outside my front door. You do your thing, bees, but please stop flying into my hair.

It may just be the changing of the seasons, but everything that's happening just feels so lovely. Heather & I are about to reach our four-year anniversary (eek! - time is a'flying). Last night we got all dolled up & went out for a fancy dinner to celebrate. Date nights are the best. I can't believe that after four years we still have so much to talk about. I've also got a lot of fun projects in the works - even a project that Heather is working on all by herself! I'm so proud of my little crafter.

Top links of the week:


xoxo,
-m.e.


Related // The flowers are all blooming, which means it's time to crank out the flower press

P.S. The transition to the new domain has been a little rocky... for those who follow us on Bloglovin, we've updated the feed to the new domain & you may need to re-follow to avoid all the redirects! 


March 11, 2015

out & about // it's going to be a crazy year



Doing // Covering myself in temporary tattoos. If you've missed in on Instagram, I found a load of tattoos while cleaning out the craft room & I've been slowly rolling them out. I've got SO MANY LEFT. Also, in addition to battling the sluggish feelings brought on by Daylight Savings (trying to look on the bright side, we do have more sunlight now!), Heather & I have been working on a... project of sorts. It's kind of a secret. Sorry to leave you in the lurch. I hate secrets, & I especially hate it when someone says they have a secret & then refuse to talk about it. I'll be able to discuss it soon enough, but for now it's hush-hush. I'm not bringing it up to maliciously titillate you, my fair readers - I'm just bringing it up because this "project" is taking up a lot of our time & I may not be able to post as frequently as I have been. But stay tuned! Exciting things are a'coming.

Watching // I am absolutely in love with Tina Fey's new show. I've watched it all & I'm about to watch it again. SO GOOD. & so quotable!

Listening // Here's a secret about myself: I like really trashy music. Like dirty-bass, get-your-butt-in-motion kind of music. My love of trap music began with the purchase of my car about seven years ago. It's a '98 Oldsmobile the size of a boat & is lovingly dubbed "The Hoopdie." Basically it is a piece-o-crap car, & something about its ghetto nature has me driving along to equally ghetto music. I mention this now because sadly the Hoopdie & I are about to part ways. The ceiling is rusting out, it's developed a weird moldy smell, & it is making too many suspicious noises to count. Essentially it's time to say goodbye. During these last few days with my car, I've been blaring a lot of trap music in memoriam. RIP, Hoopdie. You have served me well.

Feeling // Stressed! What am I going to do without my car? I'm not selling it with the intentions of buying a new one - I'm going car-free! Cue panic mode! I'm hoping that I can become completely dependent on my mint-green ride since our city is becoming more & more bike-able. Needless to say it is going to be a rough transition. Transitional pro: watch out, calves, you're about to get muscle-y.

Loving // The sheer fact that Snoop Dogg has a Pinterest account. What a time to be alive.


xoxo, 
-m.e.


P.S. We have officially made the change to wecanmakeanything.net! Exciting times! 


March 9, 2015

rollup needle case

Rolled Needle Case: Keep your knitting needles & crochet hooks in order with this DIY needle case
Spring cleaning season means it's time to get organized! You can corral all your crochet hooks & knitting needles in a super easy, super quick rollup organizer. 
Rolled Needle Case: How organized! Make your own with this tutorial.
So there's this ever-present cycle in my life of always having extra (a.k.a. a super first-world problem). Maybe you're dealing with the same predicament. You know how at the beginning of a project you have to go out & buy a bunch of material? You, being the practical lady you are, always buy a little extra of what you need in case you mess up or run out halfway through. Maybe it's just a few inches of fabric or an extra skein of yarn from the same dye lot (running out of yarn from the same dye lot is a horror story for another time). Anyway, once the project is done you have just enough leftover material to do... nothing with. Too little to start another project & too big to throw out. This is my life, only multiplied by a lifetime of projects. Those little scraps add up! I've been consciously trying to use up my arsenal of little bits, & this project was just perfect for that. This needle case was made with the Berkus fabric leftover from the ottoman makeover. It's the perfect project for using up leftovers, & you can even mix & match fabrics.
Rolled Needle Case: Never lose a pair of knitting needles again! Keep your craft supplies in order by sewing a knitting needle case
This rolled needle case that I made most recently is actually a replacement for my old one. I was doing some organizing in the craft room (spring cleaning season has gone into full effect at my house) & noticed my old case was too small to contain all my hooks & needles. Literally 20 minutes later I had made a new one. This project was completed so quickly that I forgot to photograph the steps! So here are a few illustrations instead. 
Rolled Needle Case tutorial
You'll need:
  • Two pieces each of the following sizes of fabric* :
    • 18"x15"
    • 9"x8"
    • 8"x5"
  • 30" of ribbon (or some sort of tying material - I used bias tape)
  • Sewing machine & notions
* The fabric widths & lengths are based off of the size & amount of my needles. If you're making a case to hold knitting needles only, you only need one tall pocket. If you're making a crochet hook case, you'll only need the one long short pocket & the entire case can be shorter.
Rolled Needle Case tutorial
  • Step 1 | Take your two 18"x15" pieces of fabric & lay one on top of the other, with the wrong sides facing out. Sew a straight stitch along the edges, leaving an opening towards the middle on one side. 
  • Step 2 | Turn the fabric inside out through the opening. Fold your ribbon in half & pin it inside of the opening. Now sew your ribbon in place, closing the opening. Continue topstitching along all edges of the fabric. This is your needle case cover!
  • Step 3 | Do the same with your pocket pieces (the 9"x8" & the 8"x5"), only without the use of ribbon. You will only need to topstitch one of the long sides - the topstitched side will be the top of the pocket. 
  • Step 4 | Lay your two pockets, topstitching at the top, about 1/2 inch up from the bottom of your needle case cover. Stitch along the bottom & sides of each pocket. Then stitch up each pocket, creating pouches for your needles & hooks. The longer pocket is for knitting needles, & the shorter pocket is for crochet hooks. If you have any irregularly large needles, lay them inside the pocket first to see how far apart your stitch lines should be. 
  • Step 5 | Load up your case with needles, & roll towards the ribbon side. Tie the ribbon around the rolled case. Done! 
Rolled Needle Case: Look at all those hooks in a row!
Don't forget to add a dab of white glue to the raw edges of your ribbon to prevent fraying. 
Rolled Needle Case DIY
I asked what I should do with my scrap fabric on Instagram & I love the ideas. I still have some more of this fabric leftover, so you might be seeing it again soon. #BerkusForLyfe.

xoxo,
-m.e.


P.S. Super quick shell-stitch crochet baby blanket.

March 6, 2015

links i love // daylight losing


Instagram @wecanmakeanything | Twitter @wcmanything

If you follow us on Bloglovin', heads up! We've transitioned to a new domain & you will have to re-follow! Please do so by clicking here. Thanks guys!

Don't forget! This Sunday something horrible happens! Of course I'm talking about Daylight Savings, a.k.a. capital punishment. I keep forgetting about it & then remembering with an audible groan. Losing an extra hour of sleep is highway robbery in my opinion. I suppose I shall prevail... 

I've got a couple projects in the works to tackle this weekend. I'm starting a quilt (my first one!), doing some knitting with skein leftovers, & getting a head start on some spring cleaning. Any big plans for your weekend? 

This week's top links: 

xoxo, 
-m.e.

Related // To keep track of the time change, make a DIY clock!



March 2, 2015

the poor man's chocolate croissant



This past weekend was unproductively-productive. By that I mean Heather & I partook in some much needed & greatly appreciated down time. The only activities we participated in that could even be remotely considered constructive involved food - making food & then eating said food. Part of our lazy-days menu included these super easy & cheap chocolate "croissants." 

I use the word croissant lightly, because it's more of a basic chocolate pastry. Don't get me wrong, it's delicious (it's chocolate & carbs, how could it go wrong?), but I'm guessing that any native of France would be repulsed by this concoction. Regardless of it's no-frills simplicity, it does the trick in a pinch when you've got an insatiable craving for warm, gooey calories. 




Ingredients // 
  • 1 package ready-to-bake crescent rolls 
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet or milk)
  • 1 egg, beaten 



Directions // 
  • Preheat oven to temperature indicated on crescent roll packaging. 
  • Pop open your can of crescent rolls & lay out your triangles. 
  • Place chocolate chips on each triangle & roll into a crescent shape - use as little or as much chocolate as desired. As long as your crescents can roll you're good to go. 
  • Using a fork, pinch the edges of the crescent roll together to keep the chocolate from melting out.
  • Brush tops of pastries with beaten egg (if you don't have a kitchen brush you can use a paper towel). 
  • Place on greased baking sheet & bake for time indicated on packaging. 




Now that you've got your easy delicious snack, you're ready to binge-watch House of Cards. 


xoxo,
-m.e.

Related // I'm drinking coffee with my pastries, but they would also go well with hot cocoa if you're taking your chocolate consumption seriously.  


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