DIY Inspiration: Eco-friendly Picture Frames

Every time I move into my dorm, or get a package, or walk by the school post office I am faced by a mountain of cardboard boxes. I absolutely hate unnecessary waste and it seems as though we carelessly toss these containers into the recycling, or even more horrifying into the dumpster. After searching for some nifty wall decorations for my dorm I came across a BRILLIANT way to repurpose old cardboard
picture frames! 
All you'd need would be some cardboard, an x-acto knife, adhesive, and a lot of patience...
Here are a few frames I stumbled upon that left me breathless. If I have a few dozen hours on hand I could take a shot at these remarkably intricate pieces - but most definitely shouldn't take anywhere near that long!

Seems like a cute idea for a family or free time craft! This project is also versatile enough to suite all styles and artistic abilities. Hope you're inspired to give it a shot and I'll definitely keep you updated on any attempts I make!

~Until next time~
Andrea


Cranberry Crazed: DIY Skin Care Regimen

The first day of winter is upon us; Thanksgiving has come and gone; and for most of us Northerners the cold front has come. And somehow I still can't get my mind off of this holiday dinner staple. Cranberry sauce aside, this little fruit is packed with anti aging and detoxing capabilities. So, since they're in season, I figured now's the time to reap internal and external benefits of this super fruit.

These past few weeks I've been guzzling home made cranberry tea. They've even been found to fight infections, promote oral and intestinal health, and even combat certain cancers; and have a whopping number of antioxidants inside their small crimson skins. It's such a refreshing and healthy drink that's great hot or cold. This is definitely way better than any cranberry juice cocktail that you'll find at the supermarket - which most likely has more than 20 grams of sugar a serving!! Don't forget the artificial coloring and flavoring too.


Cranberry Tea Recipe:
Just add half a cup of berries to 2-3 cups of water and boil until the berries open up. At this point you can turn off the heat and let it steep on it's own. I love to add fresh ginger slices to my tea before its boiling for some added flavor.



Somehow these little beauties have gone under the radar all these years, but when it comes to skin care they are the mother load - salicylic acid, vitamin C, antioxidants, oil absorbing, skin firming, moisturizing! 

So here are 3 ways I've found to put them to good use in your beauty regimen this holiday season. Hell, you can literally use them in each part of your daily face routine!

Cranberry Tea Toner 
Step 1. Strain and cool your cranberry tea.
Step 2. Mix with equal parts Witch Hazel and put in a bottle to store.
Step 3. Apply with a cotton ball and enjoy radiant skin!

This toner will give you antioxidant fighting power, act as an anti-inflammatory, tone skin, fight oil and acne, and leave you feeling radiant and not the least bit dry!

Cranberry Detoxing Mask
Don't toss the boiled berries! With these left overs we can make a super packed facial mask.
Step 1. Put boiled cranberries in food processor and add 1 teaspoon of corn starch.
Step 2. Blend until cranberries are smooth add teaspoons of water as needed.
Step 3. Apply thin layer to face and store rest in an air tight container to last for the next week or so.

This mask is detoxing and will give you more prolonged exposure to cranberry's benefits. Never has this once dried out my skin. If you don't like cornstarch or don't have it around any natural flour like substance will act as a thickening agent.

Cranberry Firming Scrub 
Too many berries on your hands? No problem! Whip up an amazing smelling natural firming scrub!

Step 1.Follow directions for Cranberry Detoxing Mask
Step 2. Add 1 parts coarse brown sugar to 2 parts mask and mix for even consistency.
Step 3. Step into the shower, slosh away dead skin, and let the cranberry goodness rejuvenate you.



Your skin will feel revived from head to toe with these DIY beauty treatments. Considering they're in season and such a steal what's there to lose?!

~Until next time~

Andrea

Crazed for Crayons: DIY Melted Crayon Wall Art


Crayon art has been around for quite some time now and makes for a really great craft for home decor or holiday gift giving. I decided to take a shot at this simple and very versatile medium after perusing Pinterest and finding great renditions like thisthis, and this. I chose to use negative space to great an Ohm symbol -the final piece will be a gift for my yogi, veggie-loving best friend, and I recommend taking a shot at this very unique and simple gift for your loved ones this holiday!



Supplies:
canvas (I used 6 3x5 mini canvases)
Crayons
X-acto knife
painter's tape
hair dryer

optional: iron, scissors, news paper

time: 1.5 hours



The first step, which I did not snap a picture of, is to adhere your painter's tape in strips on the canvas. Unfortunately, I used duct tape which I do not recommend because some crayon seeped underneath- but I didn't mind because in the end it kept the Ohm from looking rigid and too sharp. 

I then marked the outline and used an x-acto knife to cut away the excess. If you want to use positive space instead (making the symbol or picture out of the melted crayon) then just peel away within your markings and leave the larger strips of tape.
The process of melting the crayons is all up to you. Here is a great Buzzfeed list of different types of melted crayon art.
I ended up using a mixture of the steam setting of an iron and my hair dryer on high heat. If either tool hits the melted crayons just wipe with a wet cloth immediately - once it dries its a pain to get off, but it's not impossible!


The final product!
Although there was some running of the crayons I really love how it turned out - it looks great up on the wall adding an unexpected pop of chaotic color to a serene Ohm symbol. 

~Until next time~




Thrifting Tales: unloading baggage

I just arrived back home for the holidays - and what's the first thing I do? Hit the local Salvation Army, of course. As of now, my closet is 80% thrifted; its the ultimate way to get unique, quality made items for an absolute steal. Get over the fact that it was someone else's grandma's; it's good for the earth and for your wallet.

I must admit I have been spoiled back in central florida where I have found some stellar local thrift shops pricing items as low as 50 cents! So, coming to the Salv where things are as low as 5$ almost shocked my broke wallet back into my purse. But I prevailed, and left with some one of a kind vintage bags that I'd like to share with you.

This by far one of my favorite items I found that day and if I didn't have so many damn backpacks already It'd definitely be staying in my closet. This baby came with the tags still on and is in brand new condition even though its from the mid 90's. Super soft leather with so many useful pockets; I can already see it on a festival-goers back holding all the necessities.

This 6x6 burgundy soft leather cross body is much deeper in color than my camera could capture. You can see better photos in my Vinted closet here.

This is an amazing vintage leather-bottomed drawstring backpack! I love the colorful detailing and the deep forrest green. Definitely had to keep this one for myself. 
Can you believe it was only $1.99?!


These bags can be found in my Vinted closet (click the vinted icon!) - or just click here!

~Until next time~

Andrea

DIY Summer Shell Hippie Wall Hanging




Supplies: 
Shells
 fabric
scissors
wooden stick (store bought or scavenged - at least 12")
5-10 shells

Time: 20 minutes




Although summer is in its final swing there's no need to let go of the memories of sun rays and ocean mist. One of my favorite things to do on the coast is collect shells, and over the years I have found that sticking these pretty little wonders in containers isn't doing them any justice. Instead, I decided to display them right up on the wall for all to see - and to remind me that summer is always right around the corner.


1. I was lucky enough to have the help of my dad to drill small holes in the top of each shell. It can be done with a small drill bit - just drill slowly so that they don't shatter.
If power tools are not your thing or not available you can use a dab of hot glue or super glue to adhere the fabric strips to the shell.




2. I used an old tie-dye tshirt for this DIY and cut it into as many thin strips as there are shells about 2 cm each and 14" long. Cut a 2" thick strip to hang with. Since the fabric was t-shirt material I pulled on each end to roll the hems which makes them look more like rope and tied them onto the stick roughly 1-2 inches apart (for extra security dab each knot with glue).




3. If you have beads now is the time to add them! Tie a knot before and after each bead to keep in place and add more texture to the strings. You can also glue on feathers and other knick-knacks that remind you of summer bliss. Thread the ends of the fabric strips through the drilled hole of each shell and secure with a loop knot. Mix up the lengths of each string to add more movement.



...And that's it! Hang your new creation with pride! I hung mine above my mirror and it frames it quite nicely.

Happy DIYing!


DIY Clay and Oatmeal Facial Mask

ingredients: bentonite clay powder, colloidal oat powder, apple cider vinegar, water

Calcium Bentonite has been widely used for detoxing purposes, especially it's pore cleansing benefits for skin. It has deep purification and pore refining qualities unlike any other product I've used. My favorite bentonite based product was Queen Helene's Mint Julep Mask but I prefer a natural homemade remedy to a store bought one filled with chemicals! I bought pure bentonite clay powder a while back and found I don't use it too frequently because of the process of mixing it up every time (I am a very lazy when it comes to beauty regimens). When I use bentonite clay or oatmeal masks I'm always left with soft glowing skin and smaller pores, so creating a ready made batch to grab on days when my skin needs some deep cleaning is the perfect move!  

The recipe I used is based off the basic mixture used with Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay which simply calls for bentonite and apple cider vinegar (a wonderful natural skin and hair cleanser).
For an extra boost in soothing qualities I mixed in colloidal oatmeal - a fine oat powder that lowers inflammation, has antioxidants, balances PH, moisturizes, softens and cleanses. Packets of the powder are sold as bath treatments and can be found easily in stores (my favorite is from Från Krämer because it's from a small Etsy business and 100% organic!) 

To mix I added apple cider vinegar and water to equal parts bentonite and colloidal oatmeal and mixed in my Magic Bullet until it was a thick and smooth paste as shown. 

When adding the liquid begin with a few teaspoons and go from there until the desired consistency is reached. Then package it up in a small mason jar to store. Its that easy! To use just apply a thin layer on problem areas and wait for it to dry. When it dries it must be removed with warm water and towel.  Not too sure on the longevity of this mask but I'll be keeping it in the fridge till I notice any changes. 

Can't wait to use it all up and mix some more!

DIY Free People Inspired Pointed Hem Maxi Skirt




The other day I walked into my favorite little Indian shop where I found some of the most incredible dresses. They were on the brink of fairytale and hippie heaven and every one of them had the most marvelous hemline. Somewhat like the items above from Free People (without the price tag). I realized how easy it would be to cut into an existing maxi dress or skirt to give an existing item more movement and pop so here are five hemlines to do just that.


Although they may seem a little "out there" these hem alterations only take basic sewing skills (measure twice cut once!) and add so much body and movement to full skirts. I cut the downward triangle on this tie dye jersey maxi skirt and love the results. Keep in mind the fabric when deciding whether or not to finish the hem with a sewing machine.

 Whether you want to channel your inner fairy or are following some of the latest runway trends the asymmetrical hemline is right for you. This wispy wonder is perfect for shorter girls because it doesn't cut bluntly across the legs and the style also looks great on all shapes and sizes. You have seen the high low hem time and time again so do something different and experiment with this fall ready trend.

DIY: 10 minute T-shirt to halter top refashion


check out FLUFFSHOPP here
check out Motel Rocks here
classic Brandy Melville cropped halter
inspirational tutorial here
The summer scorching is about to settle in this August so get ready with a new kick ass halter á la Brandy Melville's 'good vibes' top; that rad Etsy tie-dye find; or like my favorite Motel Rocks design above. I took inspiration from Panache's halter crop DIY but made it friendly for dorm room crafting sans sewing machine so you don't wake up your roomie when inspiration strikes at midnight. We're bringing back the 90s - just without the dungarees, crimped hair, bandanas, and denim. All you need is a graphic tee and scissors to get started! 


I used a crop top I already owned and was quickly getting sick of - Brazil losing the World Cup may have been a factor in this change of heart. The benefits are that its very oversized on me (more length for straps) and since it is a crop top I can keep the original hem (hell yes, no sewing.). 
To begin, turn the top over and cut upwards down the middle. Then cut horizontally (this depends how thick you want the back tie to be) I cut at the halfway mark till I hit the side seams. 

Open up the tshirt to get a clearer view at the full shape. Then measure your front bust measurement - or just eyeball it like I did. A key part to this is keeping in mind how revealing you want the halter to be. Just remember you can always cut away more, unfortunately, the opposite is never true. Once you have determined the measurement make marks across the area where your girls will hit.
Begin at the bottom corner of one of the open flaps and cut diagonally until you hit the bust mark made before. Continue until you are 3 to 4 inches away from the neckline and cut in the opposite direction to remove excess fabric (although it doesnt look pretty keep the excess fabric at the neck for now). Repeat this step on the opposite side.
Fold the top in half to make both sides symmetrical. Decide how you want the straps and begin cutting upwards. Since the neckline was oversized I decided to keep the original hem by cutting away any excess fabric around it.  It was long enough to tie around the back of my neck - however many tshirts may not be like this so cut off the neck line and replicate the shape. 
Now that you have the basic structure try on your halter and make any finishing touches to get your desired shape and style - have some fun and see what works best for you.
Once you are done you may be tempted to find the nearest payphone and tell all your friends -  dont be fooled its really 2014 and Facebook and Pinterest are much better ways to share this find. Click below!

A Little Natural Inspiration

For the past two months I have been lucky enough to travel around Europe. Thanks to the big hearts of family members who have welcomed me into spare bedrooms my small wallet has not been horribly traumatized. Needless to say I have been left with a countless amount of beautiful memories. I have sipped mint tea on a balcony in Morocco; ran through a golden sunflower field as the sun rose; explored the tide pools and caves of my favorite beaches; and bravely went on my first solo trip to Amsterdam and London. Proving that some of the most memorable experiences cost nothing at all. Getting into nature is the most therapeutic remedy there is and throughout my travels I have inevitably seen some absolutely stunning landscapes - the kind that forces inspiriation and peaceful energy into my soul. So here I am sharing that same feeling with you 
Beavertail Park in Jamstown, Rhode Island.
Moon over sunflower fields in the outskirts of Seville, Spain
Lonely boat on the Mediterranean sea
still waters of a serene canal in Amsterdam
Marina Port Vell in Barcelona, Spain
The busy streets of London
The famous cathedral in the small town of Exeter, UK
serenity in the countryside outside of London
cliffs meet the ocean in Newquay, UK


I am now finishing up the last days of my trip in Exeter, UK and I have so much gratitude and joy in my heart for all of the new experiences I have been blessed with. Although I feel some sorrow ending this journey I know that this is only the beginning of a life full of travels. 

Until next time
Andrea

13 ways to transform old clothing



Here's a compilation of some of the best clothing refashion DIYs. All perfect for even the most novice crafter. So make sure you think twice before you toss that pile into the donation box - better yet, do the tutorials then donate it all for some instant crafting karma ☆


1. Probably the simplest way to add edge to a plain top is to find some sciscors and get cutting .

This site has lots of ideas for your next tshirt cutting project

2. Transform one of your many tank tops into the perfect party top inspired by Balenciaga (no need to tell anyone its not designer)
Learn how here

3. If you're handy with a pen give your boring leggings a pick me up with a bleach pen. Get inspired and transfer this technique over to tops, jeans, shoes, and decor.



4. Transform a pashmina scarf into an equally warm but much more stylish kimono cardigan 
Learn how here

5. Alter one of your moms abandoned attic sweaters into something that's actually wearable. 
Learn how here

6. Your bra straps will never be a fashion statement but this quick fix will change your life for the better. Just get a strapless bra cut off the thick straps and sew elastic bands on instead. Extra points if you use colored bands.


7. Because even Todo deserves a little something - and because no human should ever wear that horrid sweater. 

8. If you're over that maxi skirt don't toss it! Reincarnate it into your new go-to slip dress
Learn how here

9. Hide stains on a pre-loved shirt or just add some zest to a new basic tee with this Free People inspired tutorial
Learn how here

10. How to make an easy and super versatile skater skirt using a tshirt - feel free to use cool patterns for this one. 

11. Add some glamor to your basic tee using nothing but beads, a needle, thread, and imagination.
Learn how here 

12. Bleached & Faded did a tutorial on cage crop tops back in 2012. She's a woman ahead of her time; catch up by following this simple no sew tutorial - I've done it and the tshirt to trendy transformation is incredible.
Learn how here 

13. Alter a grandma's closet or thrift store find into something a little more generation-X friendly. 
Learn how here

Until next time ♡
Andrea