Jewelry as Delicious as Dessert!

Happy Wednesday!

To answer the question of the week (how you like your easter eggs?): I think as a kid I liked the plastic ones best when they were filled with: reeses peanut butter cups, starburst jelly beans, or money! I do like deviled eggs, too (my dad makes the best ones!)

Today I wanted to share some ideas for keeping your jewelry organized. Up until about a month ago I had the biggest problem leaving my jewelry laying the kitchen discarded before doing dishes...on the tv stand when I get home from work...and in the bathroom before taking a shower...the list goes on and I live in a studio apartment people! This has changed my life:

I LOVE the idea of taking a tiered dessert tray and turning it into a place to hold all of your baubles. I think this would make a great display in a home or in a store (note to self). Here are just a couple of the ones I am drooling over today (who doesn't love milk glass?):

I have the strongest urge to buy this lace one and spray paint it a delicious shade of robin's egg blue...just in time for Easter, and Spring! You can click the images to go directly to the websites to purchase. Prices range from $20-$50 dollars.

If you try out this project or find another jewelry organize to call your own, please comment and link to photos, and if I can't resist the urge to buy this little lace one, I'll be sure to let you know how my own project goes.

Happy Easter!

To Boldly Crochet What No One Has Crocheted Before...

Hello everyone! Here's my answer to this week's little question: I like my Easter eggs full of caramel or peanut butter! I don't like eggs much (unless they're deviled!), but these:

are my favorite parts of the holiday!

Anyway, here's what I promised you last Wednesday:

Today I'm going to share my pattern for this cute little Starfleet Insignia, from the Star Trek series! I made up the first one as I went along, and then wrote the pattern as I made a second one, so it may not be prefect! Make adjustments as you see fit, and email me if you figure out a better way to do something! And make sure you post pictures of whatever you use this on in our Flickr! I'm not sure what to do with mine yet, but I suggest making a brooch out of it and pinning it on a bag, perhaps?

I made the first one, the gold, with a 4mm hook and some regular Red Heart acrylic. The second one, the grey, was done with the same kind of yarn and a 5mm hook. They are both a little over 3 inches long.

1. Chain 2.

2. Single crochet 2 into the second chain from the hook. Chain 1 and turn.

3. Single crochet 2. Chain 1 and turn.

4. Increase 1. Single crochet 1. (You should have 3 stitches in this row.) Chain one and turn.

5. Increase 1. Single crochet 2. (You should have 4 stitches in this row.) Chain 1 and turn.

6. Single crochet 4. Chain 1 and turn.

7. Increase 1. Single crochet 2. Increase 1. (You should have 6 stitches in this row.) Chain 1 and turn.

8. Single crochet 6. Chain 1 and turn.

9. Increase 1. Single crochet 4. Increase 1. (You should have 8 stitches in this row.) Chain 1 and turn.

10. Single crochet 8. Chain 1 and turn.

11. Single crochet 8. Chain 1 and turn.

12. Single crochet 3. Chain 1 and turn.

13. Decrease once. Single crochet 1. Chain 1 and turn.

14. Single crochet 2. Chain 1 and turn.

15. Decrease once. Bind off and cut yarn.

16. Put a slip knot on your hook. Insert the hook into the next stitch:

Put the yarn over the hook and pull it through the stitch. Yarn over again and pull through both loops on the hook. Single crochet 4. Chain 1 and turn.

17. Single crochet 3. Decrease once. Chain 1 and turn.

18. Single crochet 4. Chain 1 and turn.

19. Single crochet 2. Decrease once. Chain 1 and turn.

20. Single crochet 3. Chain 1 and turn.

21. Single crochet 1. Decrease once. Chain 1 and turn.

22. Decrease once. Bind off and cut yarn.

Finishing: Make sure the insignia is facing the correct way and weave in all ends. Add felt embellishments if desired (reference images here). Add a pin to the back and put it on a bag, or make it into a hair clip or a headband!

I hope everyone understands the pattern alright. This is the first time I've ever made one, so I decided against using all the abbreviations and such. I figured it would be easier if I wrote everything out.

By the way, if you aren't into Star Trek, you can also use the same technique to make little hearts! That idea came from this awesome blog post on Bella Dia.

Until next week, live long and prosper!

easter typography and eggs

Get the full size, printable easter card at our flickr.

My favorite way to eat an Easter egg? To start with, I like my eggs organic or free range. I like them soft boiled on a slice of bread or filled, like here:

To make these eggs you need hard boiled eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, chives, curry, pepper and salt. Cut the boiled eggs in half and remove the yellow part, mix the egg yellow with the mayonnaise, mustard, chives, curry, pepper and salt till you get the taste you like. I like it with a good mustard and curry taste and a bit chunky. Fill the egg halves with the filling you just made. Serves with some freshly cut chives.

Do you like to serve colored eggs for easter? Go organic and try these
natural egg dyeing techniques.

Peeps, Photography, Principles, and Picnik

Happy 'Almost' Easter everyone!! My favorite way to eat an Easter egg? Well, I don't really indulge in the hard boiled eggs very often, but I do LOVE Cadbury candy coated chocolate eggs. They are probably my favorite candy in the world! Easter is the BEST holiday for candy. I am not really into peeps, but there is a lot of yummy candy on the shelves right now. What is your favorite??

For my birthday weekend in April, I am planning a big scrapbooking/crafting retreat April 16th, 17th, and 18th. I am planning on putting together some sort of a mini-book from my recent Las Vegas trip. For the next few weeks I will be sharing my progress with you on this big project.

Read more about my goals here.


My goal for this week included editing my photos and getting them printed so that I can start putting them into a book form.

I love adding text to my photos. I even like to add the occasional 'sticker.' I am not a genius at photoshop or anything like that, so I do nearly all of my editing on Picnik. You can try the software for free if you are interested, you can upgrade to a premium account for one year. It is sooo worth it for me!

If and when you decide to add things like text or 'stickers' or fancy frames to your photos, there are a few do's and don'ts that just seem appropriate to me as someone who is familiar with the principles of art, I tend to implement them without realizing why or what I am doing.

Now, take them for what they are worth. You may completely disagree with me, but I just cringe on facebook when people picnik a photo and it is just ruined by the 'creative' editing that the person did. Granted, there is a learning curve...I am sure I ruined some of my first images by getting to liberal with my edits...But the more I work with the program, the more I learn about what looks good and appropriate.

1. Do create collages with photos that don't deserve a scrapbook page all alone. Similar themes that seem to go together will create lovely collages. With this 'architecture' collage below, I loved how all the photos had a 'worm's eye view' so I wanted to put them all together to add a bit of visual drama! By playing around with PROPORTION, your photos can become a work of art! You will see that nearly all of my collages below have some sort of a theme. By grouping them, I am able to tell a non-linear story from my trip.

By stacking the photos from shortest to tallest, I have created MOVEMENT across the composition.

(This collage was edited using the 'cross process' filter. I really liked the way that it UNIFIED the blues in the sky.)

2. Do create with photos that you might've normally thrown away or deleted. I love creating these collages because I probably wouldn't have printed all of the the photos below...but when I put them together, they look really neat. By using REPETITION, in the same-sized squares, the composition works even when the photos have completely contrasting elements.
3. Do group pictures of certain people or places. Sometimes it is easier to have all the photos in one place rather than have to think of how to journal for each one individually. I ran these collages through a series of photos through a couple of filters. I am not totally happy with the resolution on the first one...but I felt like the pictures needed something to create HARMONY between the changing the texture, as opposed to converting them to black and white, I am hoping they will look a little more unified without losing the great color! I love to modify the texture by using one of the picnik filters (or if you are Photoshop savvy, you probably know how to do this!). You have to be careful though, sometimes a little bit goes a long way and you can lose the essence, simplicity and beauty of your photos.

4. Don't do anything that you see below in the next photo. I edited it two ways to show you what makes me cringe about some of my Facebook picnikers. Things that are wrong with the first photo:
  • The text is bad. Font is bad, placement and color are both bad. Don't be afraid to rotate your text to make it work for the layout of your photo. (See good version below!)
  • The frame is horrible. Just because the frame is cute or it matches the season...that doesn't mean it is going to make my photo might do the might make my picture look dated.
  • The sticker crown is just dorky and doesn't have anything to do with what was going on that day. Refrain from adding little 'stickers' just because they are cute. If I had a picture of a bulldog and his name was kingsley, the crown would be appropriate! Obviously this is an exaggerated example...I am ALL for adding hearts, mustaches and even little flowers to my photos....just be careful that what you are adding actually ADDs to the design and doesn't distract from what is important.
5. Do change photos to black and white with a pop of color for CONTRAST. Below is the exact same photo and here are the things that work:
  • In this photo, my dress didn't match the coloring of the heart so I converted the photo to black and white, leaving the heart in color.
  • I made sure that the font was playful and matched the mood of the photo. By keeping the font black, it mirrors the hand-drawn look of the heart! I also rotated the text to hug the edge of the photo rather than overlap the important parts of the photo: me and the heart. This creates a visual BALANCE.
  • After converting the photo to black and white, I also used a 'cross processing' filter so that the white would have a yellowish tinge and I rounded the corners. I try not to get too corner-rounder happy. I love the look of rounded corners, but it isn't always appropriate.

6. Don't be afraid to use status updates, memorable quotes or tweets from that day as your journaling or title! Also, DO layer various fonts. I use graphic posters, magazine covers and even websites for inspiration. Sometimes I like to fade some of the 'subtitles' a little to really emphasize the main headline.

Well, those are the main tips that I have for you. I ordered my photos on Saturday from Snapfish and I can't wait to get them back (yay free shipping coupon)!! Here are a few more collages. I will share my journaling with you so that I can get a head start and have a little bit done whenever my prints arrive!

Food, food, food. Las Vegas is all about eating. The first photo in the collage shows our dinner at the Japanese steakhouse in Tulsa before we even left for Vegas! I didn't take a photo of every meal, but I certainly could have. The bread on the right is from our fancy steak dinner-yum! The bottom left picture is a meal prepared by my sister-in-law's mom, Frances. She was a fantastic cook. I am still craving those tamales and eggs!!

Airplane, airplane. I love to travel. I especially love airports and flying. I wish that I could travel in my career. I am already anxious to go on another flying adventure. I always try to have a carry on that is a backpack. I have found that shoulder bags can be very annoying an heavy when standing in line or walking through terminals. In my carry on, I always try to have something to read. I love to take magazines and then leave them behind for people in the airport to enjoy. The book that I chose for this trip is by Tom, so visually stunning, I can't wait to finish it! I love to sit by the window. The flight from Vegas to Denver was absolutely beautiful, those are snow-covered Rocky mountains, not clouds! I love airline snacks and meals. I have been on flights that serve up to 3 courses and I always wake up long enough to lower my tray table so that I don't miss the snack and complimentary beverage. Isn't it funny how people order ginger ale and tomato juice on airline flights....I would never order either one anywhere else!

(photos taken on my iPhone)

Okay, I hope I didn't use to many art teacher terms for I read back over my post, I noticed that I used a lot of principles of art, UNITY, EMPHASIS, CONTRAST, REPETITION, BALANCE, HARMONY, PROPORTION. These concepts come naturally to me...I don't have to force it...I really wanted to share with you what goes on in my head when I am editing my photos to create one-of-a-kind works of art for my albums and scrapbooks.

I hope you will check back on my progress next week. (and I hope my photos are here!) If my photos do not arrive in time for me to get anything done before my post, I have something special planned!

To be continued......

Sunday DIY - Fabric flowers

Happy Sunday!

Today, I would love to share a very cute and also (as usual) very simple DIY:

This cute fabric flower could be used as a pin or a brooch or even as a cute hair accessory. Just see how it's made:

You will need fabric, scissors, thread and a sewing needle. And a button, if you want to. :)

First, cut straps from your fabric. I cut 3, but actually only used 2 in the end ^^

Then, fold the first strap to half.
You can iron it, but no need to. :)
Then, take needle and thread and sew along the open end, using a loose stitch.

Once your strap is all "closed",

pull the thread.

There will magically be a ruffle.
And it already looks like a flower, doesn't it?! :)

Now, you can sew the open ends together to make it look more like a circle/flower.
Don't cut off the thread! Take the second strap, fold it to half and start sewing it onto the ruffle/flower using the loose stitch again.

Once you've reached the end of your strap, pull again and you have a second ruffle.
It may take a while, but try to stretch the second ruffle a little bit so it will be wider than the first one.

Sew the ends together again.
At this point, your basic flower is finished!

I thought a button in the center of the flower would look cute.
And I was right, mh?! :)

Those flowers are so much fun and so easy to make! I suggest it's a perfect Sunday evening craft ;) Hope you like this cute idea and have fun creating!


Yellow Says Springtime

Hello! I'm AJ (the purple owl!) and I'll be doing posts about COLOR! I love color and believe it's absolutely necessary for a happy life :-) Every Saturday you'll get a post about color in craft, design, art, wardrobe...anything! I thought I'd start off with a little color inspiration and a style tip.

To me, nothing says springtime like yellow. Yellow is sunshine, chicks, daffodils, and butterflies. (And an itty-bitty, teeny-weeny, yellow polka dot bikini. But we won't go there.) Here are some yellow pretties for you:

Happy Spring, Yellow!

Wardrobe tip: Black and white is timeless and classy, but you can never go wrong with a pop of COLOR! Try a pair of bright shoes, a scarf, or a headband! [Check out Katja's awesome headband tutorial.] Spring is a time for color - embrace it!

love, aj
(all images via weheartit)

My First Post!!! - Chicken's Risotto

Hello World!
My name is Larissa Santos also know as Lara (easy one!) and I'm the dark blue owl with glasses and a kitchen roller in my wing. You all need to know that without my glasses I (literally) can't see anything and I'm passionate about food and drinks. It is funny to pretend being a cute owl as a teenager I was used to be called like that (because of my huge glasses at my thin face!) lol
I will be posting about food, recipes, tips and advices about healthy food, wonderful (and taste!) things that you can do it in your own kitchen - without any previous experience!

I'm originally from Brazil (South America!) but I live in UK (Leicestershire, England) with my sweet (and sometimes not so sweet) husband Abner and our little princess Tchutchuca (it means 'sweetheart' in Portuguese - PS: Brazilian people speak Portuguese and not Spanish!) - she is our first daugther and, no, she is not a real kid but a 2 year old yellow Labrador! We still trying to have a real baby (actually we will be attending our Insemination processes very soon)... But this is another story - maybe later on! ;)  - do you want to know more about me...? HERE

Let's cook!!!

- To celebrate my fisrt post I will teach you a very easy recipe with Chicken - one of my favourites recipes:

Chicken's Risotto
- Rice
1 medium onion finally chopped
2 cloves of garlic finally chopped
3 tablespoons of oil
1 teaspoon of salt
1 mug of white rice (or your usual type of rice)
2 mugs of boiled water
How to Prepare:
Prepare the rice as usual - gold the onion and garlic on the oil with salt (be carefull to not burn the garlic!), add the rice, mix and then add the boiled water. Leave to cook until dry all the water. Keep.
- Chicken Sauce 
1 medium onion finally chopped
1 teaspoonf of Mango Pickle sauce (I normally use Patak's)
2 cloves of garlic finally chopped
3 teaspoons of oil
3 chicken breats (cooked in water and salt) unravelled
3 tablespoons of tomato sauce (any of your choice)
1/2 mug of boiled water
How to Prepare:
As the rice, gold the onion with the garlic, salt, the mango pickle on the oil. Put the chicken on the pan and mix well. Add the tomato sauce and the water, mix again and leave to cook for about 5 minutes.
- The Risotto's
How to Prepare:
Put the rice into a big bowl and add the chicken sauce, mising well. You can leave the risotto on the same bowl or beautifully arrange into a nice glass/porcelain dish - where you can take to oven (if you preffer) with some parmesan cheese on top - to gratinate.

It's done!
- Of course you can add anything you want: pickles, cucumber, leek, tomatoes,... It's up to your taste and imagination!

Hope you all enjoyed my post as I really enjoyed doing it for you!!!