Category Archives: DIY

Windy Days and Afghans

Today is a beautiful day in Wisconsin.  84 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.  The only thing that has put a damper on my day is the fact that it is windier outside than a Category 4 hurricane.  Okay, maybe not a Category 4, but at least a Category 2.  I have been picking up umbrellas, cushions, lawn furniture, you name it.  It seems like every time I go outside, there is another pillow or umbrella I have to chase across the lawn before it gets out into the road.  Thank god it’s not garbage day.

So, since it’s so windy out and I’m sick of bugs hitting me in the face, I have decided to hole up in my room for a bit until the tornado outside dies down.  I decided to start a new afghan for my dad’s birthday/Father’s Day.  His birthday is four days after Father’s Day, so I’m not sure yet for which occasion he’ll get it.

I decided to go with a mixture between brown and red because when I went to Michael’s to get more of the brick color, they were all out!  Then, I went to Joann Fabrics, and they didn’t have it either!  What kind of crafting store doesn’t have my color of yarn, especially because that’s where I got the color from in the first place?  So basically, I had to choose another color to continue the afghan, because I have no idea when they will get it in stock again.  Oh well.  Hopefully it doesn’t end up looking too weird.

My camera skills suck.

I hope you’re all having a great Thursday!

Holly, not Hollie

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Well, I Finished!

With an hour and a half to spare, I finished my friend’s afghan.  After five days, 14 balls of yarn, and roughly forty hours put in, I can’t believe I pulled it off.

Unfortunately, since I quite literally finished at the eleventh hour, I wasn’t able to take pictures of my completed blanket.  But surprisingly, it turned out really beautifully, and my friend loved it.  Plus, it looked pretty darn good next to the Walmart candle my other friend bought her as a housewarming gift. 🙂

Just thought I should share this update with you guys, in case anyone was wondering if I pulled it off in time.  How were your Saturday nights?

Holly, not Hollie

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Eight Balls of Yarn Later…

In the last four days I think I’ve knit more than I have in my entire life.  My hands are cramping, I’m losing motivation, and, quite simply, I’m sick of knitting the same pattern over and over and over.  And so far, I’m only about halfway done.

I laid the ruler on the pattern to give you guys an idea of how large it is.  It’s about 48″ wide and 30″ long, so far.  I have to finish by Saturday for my friend’s party, so hopefully I can keep trekking through.  I’m not going to lie though, for my next housewarming party, I’m going to need at least two weeks heads up in order to finish something like this again.

The only thing keeping me going is seeing how well it’s turning out.  I’ve made a few mistakes, but this is actually the first afghan I’ve ever knit, and I’m really surprised at how beautiful it looks.  It always amazes me some of the things you can create with your hands, and I’m really proud of myself because I’ve never been very creative.  It’s good to know that I’ve found my creative calling.

Now, I’m off to Michael’s to buy out their entire yarn department again.

Holly, not Hollie

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Some More Nail Art

Bored with my marbled nails, I decided to visit my nail art board on Pinterest in hopes of some inspiration.  I came across this fabulous tutorial from Birchbox and decided to try it out.

Items needed:

  • At least three colors of contrasting nail polish
  • Scotch tape
  • A pair of scissors

First, I painted my nails three different colors.

I used (blue) Noel by Zoya (which I also used for the marbled nails), (green) Envy by Ulta, and (silver) Agent Glam by Anise.

The tutorial made it clear that I should wait until the next day to do the actual art, which I only understood after I attempted to tape up my nails.  Let me tell you from experience, you should definitely wait until the next day.  Waiting sucks, but you don’t want to rip the paint off half of your  nails.

So, next day arrives.  Cut the tape into different shapes to form different patterns on your nails.  Be sure to press down firmly on the tape, since you don’t want the polish to seep underneath.

I made my patterns pretty simple because my nails aren’t super long, but there’s a lot of really cute ideas in the tutorial.

Next, take a contrasting color of your choosing and paint the exposed part of each nail.  Alternate colors depending on your base color.  Then, peel off the tape while the nails are still wet, let dry, and paint on a nice clear top coat.

And voila!

Beautiful, unique nails!

Holly, not Hollie

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Day Two of Afghan Mania

Yesterday I told you guys about my friend L’s housewarming party, and that I was going to knit up an afghan for her in five days.  I thought I should show you the progress I’ve made so far.

This is after one day of knitting.  I think it’s a pretty decent start, considering I’m already about 15 inches in.  Only 40 inches to go!

Also, I bought out Michael’s supply of oatmeal-colored yarn yesterday, and it still won’t be enough for the afghan, so I decided to throw in a middle section of brown to give it some more color.

I think these two colors will go nicely together.

I’ll probably update again tomorrow.  I’m hoping to be at least halfway done by then, but that’s probably pretty ambitious.

Hope you guys are having a good Tuesday!

Holly, not Hollie

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Well, I’m Feeling Motivated

Nothing makes you feel like you’re behind in the game of life than having your best friend buy a house.  At age 20.

One of my best friends L just bought her own house.  She works and goes to school full-time, and somehow has saved up enough money to buy a beautiful house, while paying for school out of pocket.  My other friend M bought a house with her fiance a few months ago too.  And here I am, living with my mom and boyfriend, just trying to make it through school.  Oh, did I mention M is 20 too?  I feel like a slacker.

Anyways, L is having a housewarming party on Saturday, and M and I were trying to figure out some cute housewarming gifts for her.  That’s when I decided that I was going to knit her an afghan.  In five days.

The pattern is pretty simple, but the last time I tried to knit an afghan, I got annoyed about halfway through and decided to turn it into a blanket for my dog.  And that afghan took weeks, so I have no idea how I’m going to pull this off in only a few days.  But, now that I’ve told M I’m going to do it, I can’t back out.  This will be a challenge, but if I finish it in time, I will be absurdly pleased with myself.

Wish me luck!

Holly, not Hollie


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Marbled Nails

Ever since I kicked my nail biting habit, I have realized one of the most basic satisfactions of life: painting your nails.  Before about a year ago, I had never noticed just how many truly beautiful colors of polish were out there.  Although my bank account is probably a little pissed with newfound polish obsession, I’m just happy that I can now create art on my nails.

I recently saw on Pinterest that someone had essentially “marbled” their nails, and I couldn’t resist trying.  Now, this might be really common and I’m just now getting on the bandwagon, but I thought it was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.  So, without further ado, my attempt at the marbled nail.

So by now, hopefully you know to have very low expectations when it comes to my photography skills, and this picture is no exception.  It’s a little blurry and hard to see, but I layered green and blue to give my nails the marbled effect.

First, I started with Limelight by Ulta.

I got this color for Christmas, and while I was layering the blue I was thinking that layering this green with red might make a cute Christmas polish. Or it might look really gaudy.  Who knows.

These were the two colors I used.

The green (right), like I said, is Limelight by Ulta, and the blue that I used as a top coat is Noel by Zoya.

The whole process of making the marbled look is actually really simple.  All you have to do is paint your nails with your base coat (green, in my case).  After it dries, take some plastic or Saran wrap, tear it up, and scrunch it into little balls, one for each finger.  Then, paint your nails with the top coat (I found doing my nails one by one to be easiest) and while the polish is still wet, dab at the polish with the plastic wrap.  Let the polish dry, paint on a clear coat of polish, and you’re done!  Simple as that.

Let me know if you guys try it!  I’d love to see how yours turn out.

Holly, not Hollie

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What I Do Instead of Studying

Normally I’m not a procrastinator, but it’s days like these where I suffer from a highly rare condition: idontwanttodomyhomeworkitis.  This condition stems from days where you have already finished a lot of things on your to-do list, and although there’s more, you just want to put it off as long as possible.  Now when I say “finished a lot of things”, I mean two.  But whatever.

So, instead of doing homework, this is what I did.

Just a little hemp bracelet.

I was planning on making a beaded bracelet, only to find out that after going to Walmart AND Michael’s, they didn’t offer the type of cord that I needed (mind you, this was after I bought $20 worth of beads and things to make the bracelets).  So instead, I bought some hemp, found this wonderful tutorial, and made this bracelet.

If you’re planning on following in my footsteps and using the tutorial, just a couple notes.

  • You do NOT need seven feet of hemp, especially if you’re just making a bracelet.  If you use seven feet, this is what happens when you’re finished.

Such a waste of material.

  • In the tutorial, it says to clip down the middle two strands of hemp while you weave the outer strands.  Although this is helpful, you don’t really need to do this.  I simply taped the loop of the bracelet down to my laptop and wove the bracelet.  Since I’m lazy, it was easier than finding a clip and worked just as well.
  • I would suggest using thick hemp for this project.  As you can see from the picture above, I used thinner hemp and it turned out pretty small.  I didn’t feel like going out and buying more hemp, so in order to make a second bracelet I doubled up on the hemp (using four pieces instead of two) and although it worked pretty well, it ended up being too short which is why it’s not pictured.  So, this is an option for you too if you don’t have thicker hemp.
My plan is to make some beaded bracelets (I ended up ordering the cord online), so I’ll post those once I’ve made them.  Can’t wait to layer these this spring and summer!

Happy crafting!

Holly, not Hollie

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Oh, the Woes of Knitting

There is perhaps nothing more disheartening than a severely-tangled ball of yarn.

I’m not sure if the yarn that I bought was cheap or what, but it originally came in a center pull ball.  After each row, however, I would be forced to yank out the yarn and untangle it, because for some reason it kept getting tangled inside the ball.  So, after hours of meticulously untangling after each row, I finally said eff it and completely massacred the entire ball in hopes of finding an easier way to untangle it.  And hence, the picture above.

I only spent about $9 for the one pound ball, so it’s not like it was expensive, but I just can’t bring myself to toss it and start over with a new ball of yarn.  It just seems like such a waste.  But then again, I don’t have the time nor the patience to unravel the entire mess I have created.

Awhile ago, I said that I was feeling a little guilty because I am a self-proclaimed lover of crafting, and yet I have nothing to show for it.  I thought I should share this little setback with you guys in hopes of explaining my lack of crafting posts.  Also, here’s how far I got in my afghan before disaster struck.

I’d say this is a pretty admirable feat for someone who taught themselves how to knit from a couple Youtube videos and a lot of determination.

Any pointers on how to untangle this ball of yarn without ripping my hair out?

Holly, not Hollie

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Six Pack Abs, Here I Come!

Today was a pretty good day for me, exercise- and eating-wise.  I made a ham and spinach omelet for a late breakfast (the first omelet I’ve ever not ruined, might I add), then some chicken pasta for dinner.  I know a lot of people shun pasta when their on a diet, but I just can’t give up my carbs.  Plus, I figure pasta once a week isn’t too bad, right?

Then, feeling extra motivated, I actually took my dog on a run.  Normally at the gym, I just ride the elliptical for about thirty minutes or so, but today it was absolutely beautiful outside (63 degrees in Wisconsin in March…how could I not take advantage of that?!).  I’m not going to lie, the run was more like half run, half walk, since my body just isn’t quite ready to go sprinting up the hills yet.

After my walk/run, apparently I just hadn’t had enough, because I decided to do these ab workouts.  I did all ten, and oh my God was I dead afterward.  I literally laid on the ground for a full ten minutes afterward because it hurt to even sit up.  I’m not sure that I would recommend doing all of them in one sitting, because I know I sure as hell won’t be doing that again.

Also, I’m in the process of starting up some knitting again.  I’ve been neglecting it because of my extreme school workload (see last post for details), and I think it’s time I start again.  I feel kind of guilty calling this a “crafting” blog without having any “crafting” to show for it.  Anyway, I got this free pattern for knit slippers on my Nook last night, so I’m hoping I can have them finished (and started) in the next day or two.

So cute! Can’t wait.

Holly, not Hollie

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