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June 29, 2016

projects for the home

Our apartment's #currentdesignsituation is in limbo. On hold. Logging hours in the waiting room. Stuck. It's driving me nuts.
I have a visions for how the tiny space should look, specifically the living room / dining room / hangout space (we live in less than 700 sq. feet). Now I'm just waiting for the gods of affordably-priced furniture to shine down on me & bestow us with a credenza. A lovely, mid-century modern credenza. Prayers said, fingers crossed.
I miss having space to refinish furniture - if I had space I'd love to try & build it myself. However, no yard = no go. On the other hand, I do not miss mowing that yard.
Since I'm about spent on DIYs for our home while I wait for some furniture miracle, here are some of the projects we've done around here to spruce things up. From right to left:

1. bedroom wall art | 2. diy blackout curtains | 3. fridge makeover | 4. envelope pillow cases | 5. cats, coffee, & cardigans cross-stitch | 6. mini mail organizer | 7. painted vinyl chair (this one lives at my mom's place!) | 8. hanging engineering prints

xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. See the "Home" page for all of our home decor tutorials & tips.

June 27, 2016

how to have an awesome time at twin cities pride

How to Have an Awesome Time at Twin Cities Pride
Step 1 | Get excited! Pride is finally here!
Step 2 | Celebrate early. Why not get a head start & hit the scene on Friday night? Heck, why wait at all? Thursdays are the new Fridays after all. Make an utter fool of yourself.
"Time Travel" by artist Hot Tea | Loring Park, Minneapolis, MN 2016
Step 3 | Wake up Saturday morning & realize you're not 21 anymore. Drink lots of water.
Step 4 | Go to the festival & see all there is to see. Like this amazing work of art by artist Hot Tea, made up of a million pieces of string. 
Step 5 | Go to every animal rescue booth at the festival & pet as many puppies as possible (not pictured as was too busy petting said puppies).
Enamel Pride pins, courtesy of Target #takepride
Step 6 | Take lots of selfies on a colorful blanket. Collect free pins (collect free everything - the festival is like swag-city).
Step 7 | Realize you're sweating in places you never thought possible because the park is packed & it's a million degrees outside. Play it cool.
Twin Cities Pride 2016 | Crushed ice = exactly what I needed.
Step 8 | Have a cold treat!
Step 9 | Pray you don't run into anyone you know from work because you look a hot mess.
Step 10 | Have a brief nap. Find your zen place.
Step 11 | Try & find more dogs to pet. 
Step 12 | Eat free ice cream & call it a day. Immediately take a shower because you nasty.
Step 13 | Wake up on Sunday & debate whether or not you want to go to the parade. Make the right choice.
Step 14 | Get decorated for the parade (crucial). Also, apply sunscreen to your pasty white skin.
Step 15 | Show up to the parade at a time that you think is early, but upon arrival you realize you're totally not early because all of the well-prepared lesbians look like they've basically camped there overnight.
Step 16 | Find a spot to sit. Make mental notes for next year about waking up earlier.
Step 17 | Realize it's WAY too hot outside. Curse your unpreparedness.  
Step 18 | Purchase a cheap umbrella to provide yourself with shade. Revel in your ingenuity. 
Step 19 | Start to get excited for the parade!
Step 20 | Come to the conclusion that the best part of the parade is Dykes on Bikes. 
Step 21 | Contemplate buying a motorcycle.
Step 22 | Realize how lucky you are to be alive in a time & live in a place with so much support, love, & community.
Step 23 | Go home & take a nap. Start getting excited for next year.


xoxo,
- m.e.

P.S. If you're queer or just like puns, you'll probably like this cross-stitch pattern.

June 24, 2016

life | links

Summer fruits
Instagram @wecanmakeanything | Twitter @wcmanything

It's Pride weekend here in Minneapolis! I can hardly believe an entire year has passed since last June. It's strange how completely different this summer is versus the last go around. Last year Heather & I were just in awe of all the activities & places to visit, while simultaneously being perfectly lost like 95% of the time. We were rattling around like absolute tourists, camera-around-neck to boot. This time we're total pros with a plan. We know where we're going, what we're doing, who we'll be with. There was a kick-off party last night at Heather's work, & tonight we're celebrating early with drinks & dancing. It's gonna be a good weekend. Happy Friday!

HAPPY THOUGHTS 

It's officially summer, the 4th of July is almost here (3-day weekend FTW), & the succulents I'm attempting to propagate are actually growing! I feel like a proud mama every time I look into their little pot.

HAPPY LINKS

xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. How are you guys coming on your summer bucket lists?

June 20, 2016

pride iphone wallpapers

June is LGBTQ Pride month. Last year, this nation celebrated like never before in the history of the United States. On June 26th, 2015, the Supreme Court passed a bill to allow same-sex marriage across the board - all 50 states. No take-backs, at least not without a major fight. The date was marked with joyous (& long overdue) unions across the country. People who had been fighting their whole lives to have their relationships - their very existences - recognized, were now granted that right. By proxy, same-sex marriage validated same-sex relationships. We were validated. We as a community & those who are our allies have been riding on the coattails of that victory for the past year.

The attack in Orlando was a stark, jarring wakeup call - at least for me. In the midst of mourning, pain, grief, I'm looking for the small sliver of light. The whole nation has been grieving the lives of those we lost last weekend. The support from allies, friends, & leaders has been overwhelming in a way that I don't think would have been possible prior to June of 2015. The country as a whole recognizes the tragedy that has befallen our community & mourns along side us. Yes, there are still those who oppose (exhibit A being the crazed individual behind the Orlando shooting), but the voices of hatred & bigotry are growing quieter. That's my light in the darkness. The support that outweighs the negativity. The encouragement that cancels out the malice. The love that offsets the hate. 
This month I'm not only proud of my community, but I'm proud of my country. I'm proud of those who support, I'm proud of those who continue to fight for what is good & decent. To celebrate Pride, feel free to download one of these wallpapers (I'm on a black & white kick right now but don't worry, there's a rainbow one in there too).

black on white | white on black | teal on white | rainbow

xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. Check out last's years Pride project: this smartly-stenciled DIY tank.

June 17, 2016

life | links

Happy flowers
Instagram @wecanmakeanything | Twitter @wcmanything

It's been a tough week. Lots of feelings. Lots of tears. Lots of love. I need a break from the news articles & theories flooding my social media, so I'm posting nothing but the silliest stuff I can find on the internet (spoiler alert - it's mostly puppies).

I hope you all are taking good care of yourselves - taking the time you need, letting yourselves feel the things you need to feel. Lots of love to you all, my dear friends.

HAPPY LINKS

xoxo,
-m.e.

June 15, 2016

diy utensil holder

DIY Utensil Holder: Pack your lunch with style! Roll-style, that is. Make a reusable utensil holder to carry your cutlery to and from the office or school.
Happy Wednesday - I hope you all are doing well & taking care of yourselves.
For the past couple of weeks I've been feeling what I can only describe as writers-block-but-for-crafting. Yikes - it happens every once in a while, which is a problem as I all I care to do in my down time is make stuff. As is often the lucky case, my fiancé came to the rescue! She wanted a carrying case for her utensils. Heather's all about the brown bag lunch & frankly her & her little lunchbox full of salad & fruit is adorable. She asked me to make her something cute to tote her silverware to and from the office. Taking note from the rolled needle case I made a while back, this project was born. Hooray problem-solving!
DIY Utensil Holder: Rolled & ready to go. Sew a quick & easy silverware carrier to cut down on your use of plasticware.
The biggest difference between this roller as opposed the last one I made for my crochet hooks & knitting needles is the flap. The top of this one folds down to keep all the stuff inside once it's rolled up. 
DIY Utensil Holder: Step-By-Step
What you'll need: 
  • Non-stretch fabric, one 16 x 8" piece
  • Lining fabric, one 16 x 8" piece & one 6 x 8" piece (for pocket)
  • Cord, ribbon, or string for tying - 16-18"
  • Sewing machine & notions
  • Utensils for reference
How to:
  • Lay both 16 x 8" pieces of fabrics on each other, ride side in. Pin the rectangles in place, & leave an opening about 7" from the bottom along one side. Sew along the perimeter of the fabrics, leaving the opening. Turn right-side out through the opening. Fold cord in half, & place in the opening. Stitch in place, simultaneously closing the gap.
  • Sew a hem along one alongside of the lining pocket piece (the 6 x 8" rectangle). Pin hemline up at the bottom of the piece made in step 1. Topstitch along all edges of the piece made in step 1, simultaneously sewing three sides of the pocket down. 
  • Using the utensils for reference, stitch down the pocket to create smaller pockets. These should be around 1-1.5".
  • To use: Place utensils in pockets, fold top flap down to meet with pocket, roll, & tie!
DIY Utensil Holder: Handmade carrier for your silverware. Learn how to make your own with this step-by-step tutorial.
I also made one for myself - now if I can just remember to actually take it to work with me.

xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. Keep this reuse/recycle party going & make an eco-friendly coffee cup sleeve.

June 13, 2016

prayers for orlando

Instead of a tutorial today, I'm going to save my little corner of the internet for a moment of remembrance for those we lost in Orlando this weekend. My heart is heavy. When I heard about the shooting & the attempted attack at Los Angeles Pride, I was immediately overcome with a familiar feeling in the pit of my stomach. It was a feeling that I haven't had to deal with in a really long time (thank god), but I recognized it immediately. It was fear - a specific kind of fear. I've felt that fear walking down the sidewalk next to my partner. I've felt that fear having to use a public restroom. I felt that fear when I was outed in high school.  It's the fear that someone is going to hurt you because of who you are. Because of something you can't change. Because of who you love. I'm so grateful to live in the city I do now, because those feelings have pretty much disappeared. Today I felt it though. Along with a slew of other feelings. Sadness. Anger. Frustration.

We need to do better. This kind of fear has no place in this world. We need to make a better world. This needs to stop.

Love, support, & vibes of kindness go out to Orlando. If you live in the area, please donate blood. If you don't, you can donate at www.orlandohealth.com. To those in the LGBTQ community, stay strong. To humans everywhere, let's love more, love harder, do better.

xoxo,
-m.e.

June 10, 2016

life | links

Instagram @wecanmakeanything | Twitter @wcmanything

So I mentioned that we moved offices at work. I work for a pretty small company, so all the work has been done in-house (minus the actual moving of boxes, thank goodness). We moved from the 6th floor of what used to be a parking garage to what is basically a skyscraper. You guys, I'm not a huge fan of heights, & watching helicopters fly past AT EYE LEVEL FROM MY DESK has me flipping out a bit. Seriously, when planes go by it's like I can wave at the passengers & they wave back, we're up so high. It's definitely going to be an adjustment. That view though. It's almost worth my ears popping when I ride the elevator. I am, however, glad to get grounded again at the end of the day - & stay grounded for the weekend.

HAPPY THOUGHTS 

Heather & I are going on a biking adventure, I'm going to make hummus, & it's not supposed to rain. Oh, & this is the 300th post on We Can Make Anything! Yayayay!

HAPPY LINKS

xoxo,
-m.e.

June 8, 2016

summer bucket list

What's on your Summer Bucket List? - Ideas to get your fun-in-the-sun on!
Summer is almost here again! Even if you don't have a summer break, that's no excuse to not have some fun-in-the-sun. One of Heather's friends asked her the other day what was on her "Summer Bucket List." I just love this idea - especially as someone who forgets all the activities I want to do unless I write them down. Heather made our Bucket List & put it up on the fridge. Most of what's written down is locally-specific, like visiting this adorable craft store (which I can't believe I haven't been to yet - it's been like a year). Here are some ideas to spark your imagination as you make your own Bucket List:

Go camping
Have a picnic

Make your own lemonade
Throw a BBQ & invite your neighbors
Grow a tomato plant
Visit a National Forest

Tie dye!
Have an epic water balloon fight
Grab a sno-cone
Bike a greenway or a rail-trail

Beach trip!
Or road trip, if you've got the time
Make your own popsicles 
Try pedal boating (or paddle boarding!)
Make a t-shirt to sport in the sun
Learn how to plug a watermelon

Go on a movie date
Spruce up your sunglasses
Visit your local farmer's market
Make ice cream

Take some swimming lessons
Paint your bike
Press some flowers
Walk or bike to work
Sun-bleach your hair
Try rollerblading again
Kayak down a river
Visit your local museum

Read a book in the park


Happy summering! If you're a pasty white girl like me, don't forget to slap on the sunscreen. It's only June & I've already gotten a sunburn. Yikes!

xoxo,
-m.e.

June 6, 2016

envelope pillow cover

Envelope Pillow Cover tutorial: Add a pop of fun to any room on the cheap!
This project has been a long time coming. The couch in our living room has been itching for a pop of pattern, color - something. The couch came with matching pillows, which was just all together too much gray. The cheap & easy solution to drowning in a wash of neutral was envelope pillow cases. Emphasis on easy.
Envelope pillow case DIY: Perfect beginner's sewing project

June 1, 2016

the dress | chapter one

Ever since my loving partner agreed to marry me (!!!), wedding planning has sprinkled our afternoons & weekends. I say "sprinkled" because we're taking our time. The last thing either of us want is for stress to cast a pall on what should be one of the happiest days of our lives. We've got a time frame in mind, Heather bought an organizer, & this is what we have decided thus far is this: 
  • The wedding's going to happen during the winter
  • We're eloping (sort of*)
  • I'm making my own dress
*Before launching into the whole not-probably-but-definitely insane idea of me making a wedding dress, I'll address the "elopement." All of our friends & family live back down south & we want to get married in snowy Minnesota - so we're aiming for the best of both worlds. We're having a mini ceremony here, then a reception party down south later.
Even though our ceremony will be elopement style, we're still having pictures done. Hence the need for a dress. A DIY dress. Does that make me crazy? Probably. Cue the Gnarls Barkley, because it's happening. I want to keep you all abreast on the progress - all my failures & hopeful successes - so I'm starting a new segment here on the blog. So far I've got a basic idea of how I want The Dress to look & feel. It's going to have a drop skirt, traditional waistline, & sleeveless top with a sheer overlay. I've made a dress before so I'm aware of my limitations & I know I'll be using at least one pattern - that being said that dress was for my prom almost a decade ago (dating myself here), so I'm hopeful that my sewing skills have increased since then.

The big decision on my plate right now is the choice of fabric. Yikes. I picked up swatches to choose from this past weekend. While we were browsing the dauntingly high number of choices, I thought I'd found one I loved. Now that I've got all the swatches in front of me again, I'm struggling to make the big decision. Is taffeta too tacky? Do I really want to steam pleats in silk? Decisions, decisions.

More updates to come. Wish me luck!

xoxo,
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