Happy first day of spring!! It doesn’t quite feel like it here in Connecticut just yet, but I know it’s only a matter of time. I’ve found a few ways to fill our home with flowers, even if they aren’t blooming yet.
1. Botanical Napkin Rings via Terrain. Brighten up your tablescape with these easy to make floral napkin rings. This tutorial uses real flowers, but you can substitute fake ones if, like me, you live in what has apparently become the arctic zone.
2. Floral Wall Backdrop via I Spy DIY. I love the floral backdrop trend! I know the blooms will only last a few days before they wilt, but aren’t they so pretty?
4. Tissue Paper Pom-Poms via Poor & Pretty. These have become a permanent fixture in our kitchen, and I always get compliments when we have people over. My response? “They’re so easy to make! Don’t ever buy them!” Seriously. Buying them is a rip-off, and you’re far too crafty and clever for that.
6. DIY Pressed Flower iPhone Case via The Etsy Blog. These remind me of the pressed flower bookmarks Suzi and I used to make with our Nana when we were little. :)
7. DIY Fresh Flower Framed Mirror via Paper & Stitch. How perfect would these be as a wedding day photography prop?! If I were putting this in my house, I’d want to use fake flowers because it would be such a shame to see them wilt after all that hard work!
One of PANTONE’s color trends for this spring is Lucite Green ~ a pretty color that looks like the lovechild of seafoam and aqua. I loved putting this inspiration board together because it reminded me that spring is coming (eventually) and that there are actual colors in this world (not just white, brown, and gray). Here are a few of my favorite Lucite Green things:
Five years ago, my friend Mish and I began Poor & Pretty as a way to share our frugal DIYs, beauty tips, thrifted outfits, and favorite places to shop, eat, and play in our great/tiny state of Connecticut. I took the reigns solo a few months in and have continued to pour my heart and soul into this blog. Other than my relationship with Stan, it’s the longest commitment I’ve ever had! This blog pushes me to be creative and live passionately every day. It led me to meeting some of the most inspiring people I know call friends, and empowered me to make the leap into entrepreneurship. And I could not have done it without all of you amazing readers!
To thank all of you for sticking with me these last five years (and hopefully many more!), I’ve got some fantastic goodies for you. I’ve partnered with a few of my favorite Connecticut-based small businesses and lady entrepreneurs to bring you the biggest giveaway bash I’ve ever hosted. These businesses embody everything Poor & Pretty readers hold dear: creativity, a sense of place, a reverence for quality handcrafted goods, and a zest for life. Let’s meet the makers:
Remember Rachel DeCavage of sugarplumUSA? She’s transitioned most of her designs over to her new company, Cinder + Salt. Her focus remains on creating eco-friendly, sustainable clothing and accessories for men and women. The new brand is inspired by the residue of a weekend well spent; the scent of campfire on your clothes and the taste of salt water on your skin. Through Rachel’s hand drawn designs, she always aims to capture her appreciation for nature, whole living and authenticity.
Cinder + Salt is giving away a $20 gift card to their shop, so you can use it on any of Rachel’s hand-drawn designs — whether it’s on a tee, a comfy slouchy pullover, an overnight bag, skinny tie, or even ornaments! Check out her shop here. Details on how to win the $20 gift card is at the end of this post.
The Confetti Bar’s Jessica Serra Huizenga is on a mission to “spread happiness & confetti all around.” She’s doing a great job of it, too, with over 40 unique handcrafted confetti mixes, including biodegradable and plantable options. She does customization for weddings, birthdays, or other fun events, and has worked with kate spade new york and West Elm. She’s one of my favorite inspiring Instagrammers.
Jessica has been sweet enough to donate one cup of confetti to the Poor & Pretty Blogiversary Giveaway Bash, so go look at all of her pretty mixes! I’m especially fond of Reindeer Food (made with real oats!) and Unicorn Dandruff (pictured above). Details on how to win is at the end of this post.
Meet the Gale sisters! From left to right: Rory (younger sister), Callie (middle sister), and Addy (older sister), founders of Hartford Prints!, a boutique letterpress shop right in thehart of Connecticut. From stunning wedding invitations to offbeat greeting cards, Addy’s printing prowess, Callie’s killer style, and Rory’s graphic genius work together to make effortlessly beautiful designs. They just celebrated one year in their retail space on Pratt Street, and if you’re in the area and haven’t popped in, you should definitely visit the bright turquoise shop.
They’re giving away a 6 pack of their punny holiday greeting cards – 2 each of the above designs. A few of my friends can expect to see these from Stan and I this year. ;) Details on how to win the greeting card pack is at the end of this post.
Like her unique, handcrafted jewelry, Kate Stephen is a total gem. She creates beautiful, sculptural adornments with natural and upcycled materials. Some of her favorite materials are copper, brass, handpicked seashells, sea glass, stones and vintage beads. She made me the lovely copper necklace and wire-wrapped quartz ring I wore in my Something Wicked outfit post. As a fully self-employed entrepreneur, Kate works tirelessly to inspire and foster community within the Connecticut maker community, which is why she co-founded State of Makers. Details on how to win is at the end of this post.
Kate has contributed one of her half moon brass necklaces as a giveaway item. It features a sculpted and hammered brass half moon on a brass chain. Kate would like you to know that copper and brass naturally oxidize over time and develop a patina. Some people love that look and some prefer to keep it shiny. Here are some suggestions for how to shine up your copper or brass jewelry using common household supplies like lemon juice or ketchup.
Who bakes the best cupcakes (and sometimes s’mores) in Connecticut? Carrie Carella, founder of NoRA Cupcake Company, nestled North of Rapallo Avenue in downtown Middletown. With over 100 flavors, I can’t say I’ve tried them all, but believe me I’m working on it! So far, I’m all about the Bananas Foster, Irish Car Bomb, and Raspberry Lemonade.
Carrie is giving one lucky Poor & Pretty reader a coupon good for any 6 cupcakes from her bakery. You can bring ‘em to your next holiday party (they’re big enough to share), or you can keep them all to yourself while muttering “my precious” under your breath. We won’t judge you either way. ;) And if you’re nearby this Thursday, stop in for NoRA’s First Thursday to stroll, shop, eat and drink in the local vibe! I’ll be there with my Apothecary products. Details on how to win the NoRA Cupcake Company 6-pack coupon is at the end of this post.
Northeast Nutmeg is the new kid on the block, having just launched last month. Founders Erin and Allie have a knack for inventing deliciously creative handmade candles that both smell and look incredible. Each candle is made using soy wax from soy grown right here in the USA and feature lots of local Connecticut small business ingredients.
Erin and Allie are giving away one of their hand-poured candles! All of their scents are wonderful — I just bought a bunch of them and haven’t decided if I’m going to keep them all to myself or give them as gifts. It’s been that kind of holiday shopping season for me! They will also be at NoRA’s First Thursday this week. (I’ll have to control myself.) They’re also hosting a candle-making demonstration at the Haven Collective on December 14th. Want to win the Northeast Nutmeg soy candle? Details below.
OMG How do I win?!I know, it’s a little overwhelming. What do you choose? So many awesome things! Here’s the deal: Scroll through the items in the Rafflecopter box below until you’ve selected the item you’d like to win and enter your email address. Then, leave a comment on this blog post about what you entered to win (and if you’re going to keep it or gift it ;) You can score extra entries by sharing this giveaway with your friends or following any of these wonderful companies on Twitter. Please only enter once, and for one item. We want to spread the joy around by letting lots of people win this holiday season. If we catch you using alter egos or different email addresses, we’ll sadly have to disqualify your entries. :( The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only until 11:59 pm Monday, December 8th. Good luck!!! This contest is closed – thank you for entering! Congrats to the winners!
Veritas, the latest For the Makers collection, is all about back-to-school marbling. But I have to be honest: I’m not really into the marbled look. I think it’s a beautiful art form, but it’s not really my thing. So, I color-blocked everything in my kit instead.
This may come as a shock to you, but I’m more into pink than blue. (Who knew?! ;) So I did a lot of color substitution.
For the Honor Society Notebook, I mixed together magenta and white acrylic paints (actually, I think the magenta is a fabric paint) for a lighter pink color.
I taped off the section I wanted to paint with washi tape and used a foam brush to slather on the pink. Don’t forget the spine!
While I waited for the paint to dry, I made a heart cork stamp using leftover supplies from the Toketee Collection.
After affixing my label, I dipped my stamp in the paint and stamped little hearts all over the front of the notebook. Cute! Here’s a tip for stamping: it’s better to apply the paint to the stamp with a brush, rather than dipping it in the paint. As you can see, I have a few half circles from the cork getting into the paint.
I liked the pink color so much, I decided to color block the pencils with it! I also used the gold fabric paint that came with my tote bag Brit Kit I picked up during my road trip! I did 3-4 layers of gold because it was a bit more translucent.
Occasionally, For the Makers will share an alternative way to make one of their projects on their blog, The Source. They suggested painting their Aurelian Lockets with nail polish for an enameled look. So I grabbed a hot pink OPI color and painted away! You can see the finished locket below:
I squeezed the word “CREATE” on my Dalton Pennant, which of course is also very pink. I love how it came out! So inspiring. :)
I went a bit outside the box, but I really love how everything came out. Yay creativity!
What was your latest DIY project? Need a monthly reminder to craft? Sign up for a For the Makers subscription here.
Full disclosure: This post is not sponsored by For the Makers, but if you sign up for a subscription using the link above, I will receive a small discount off of my next box. (Lead image is from For the Makers.)
Since I was on a road trip for a good chunk of last month, I missed a lot of crafting time (totally worth it though!) So this is a double-whammy Maker Takes for both June and July’s kits. Let’s start with June / Honey Nectar:
I was so excited about the Honey Nectar collection! I love the sun kissed palette of gold, copper, and peachy pinks. It came with pretty iridescent lamé fabric and vinyl covered fabric for the adorable Foxtail Twist Scarf, chain and embroidery floss for the Marmalade Bracelet (which I haven’t yet made), a gold plated base and peach and pink rhinestones for the Linden Ring, and my personal favorite: organic coconut oil, beeswax, honey, beet root powder, and a gold tin for the Wild Pollen Lip Balm. Love!
I made the ring first, which was pretty easy. I substituted super glue for the E6000 glue as I usually do because the E6000 glue has these warnings all over it that it is known to cause cancer. Yikes! I’ve been wearing chunky cocktail rings more lately, so I’m happy to add another to my collection.
I’m a pro at making lip balm, so I had no trouble with this one, and I love how it came out. It leaves your lips with a pale pink shimmer, which I love. I will say, it’s very difficult to mix in the honey. I found this out while I was making my own soy-based Coco Balms, which is why I sweetened those with Stevia extract rather than honey. Plus, I wanted my Coco Balms to be purely vegan, and many vegans do not eat honey.
Because I was watching Saved by the Bell while working on the Foxtail Twist Scarf, I totally botched cutting and sewing the fabric. I did the complete opposite of what you’re supposed to do and ending up making a flag or banner of some kind. But the head scarf is SO CUTE that I’m going to buy the solo kit so I can do it right. I’d better turn off the TV the second time around.
The Makena Collection is inspired by richly colored African prints and tropical paradises. I was most excited about making the Zozo Eye Pillow.
I chose not to use the pom pom trim because it’s so fun, I’d rather save it for something else! The pillow took me quite a while because I forced myself to do it on the sewing machine. The only part I sewed by hand is the left seam, to close up the pillow. After it was filled, I didn’t trust myself not to mess it up on the sewing machine, which would have probably resulted in lavender, chamomile, and rice stuck in the machine.
The Dory Pinch Pot was very easy — all I had to do was paint! (So easy, I did this while watching SBTB and didn’t mess up ;) It’s great for storing rings, little charms, buttons, or other tiny things we tend to lose if we don’t put them somewhere safe.
I haven’t made the West Cape Hoops or Sapeurs Bangle yet because I can’t wear normal earrings (I’ve got orbitals, remember?) and I kind of like the bright blue bangle by itself. Maybe I’ll use the fabric for a headband.
What have you been making lately? Need a monthly reminder to craft? Sign up for a For the Makers subscription here.