DIY Midcentury Modern Coffee Table

These past few months have definitely been an adjustment. I graduated college, got a job, and moved (again). Then there were holidays and birthdays and SXSW… it’s safe to say I got a bit behind in my posting.

But, I’m back in the saddle again! This time with the biggest (and best) DIY project I’ve tackled to date.

You see, I really wanted a simple, minimalist coffee table for my living room (in my new apartment). Turns out, “simple” and “minimalist” are expensive words in furniture these days. And let’s not get started with “midcentury modern.”

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Crochet Yoga Mat Strap

It’s amazing how many things you can crochet if you put your mind to it. I needed a strap to carry my yoga mat, but I didn’t particularly care for the velcro-y patterned ones sold at places like Target.

Crocheted yoga mat strap by LorynwithaY

All together it’s only three rows of SC, with one adjustment: on the second row, SC two, chain 3 & skip 3, and then continue your SC until 5 from the other end, then chain 3 & skip 3, then SC two and turn for the final row. This gives you two gaps, one on each end. When you’ve finished and tied off, pull an end through each gap so you have two adjustable loops on each end. Wrap over your mat and enjoy!

I made mine out of jute, but if you want to use a normal yarn without sacrificing strap width, all you need to do is add more rows. Just make sure you do an odd number and the row with the gaps is in the middle.

Summer Reads, Thrifting & Scarves

Classes have been out for a week or so now, and I still have a couple weeks before I start my account planning internship at a wonderful agency, Firehouse. Let me tell you, time could not move fast enough!
I’m packing up and moving to my *last* college apartment at the end of this week, and then I know I’ll keep myself busy decorating. But until then, I’m keep myself busy with whatever I can get my hands on: DIY projects, thrift store shopping, cooking, reading (all the books!!) and trying to not spend all my decorating money on a new wardrobe. Continue reading

From blog to fully-functional site

Man, the holidays are crazy. I would like to know whose idea it was to cram so many things into a week. Family visits, cooking, gift-buying, cat-transporting… But now they’re over. And I even managed to finish two books. Two!

One, a classic — Tess of the D’Urbervilles. SO GOOD.

Tess of the D'Urbervilles

If you’re into classic lit at all, read it. I gobbled the whole thing in about three days — all 450-odd pages of it.

The other is a perfect candidate for an advertising book review, so I’ll probably write up a post when I get bored in the next couple of weeks (probably).

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Reblog: Laptop sleeve for less than $5

Hey all! In case you didn’t know, this is not the first blog I’ve attempted. It’s just the first semi-successful one. In my first blog, File It Under Miscellaneous (awfully long title), I had three posts. The first one was a, “Hey blagosphere, I’m here!” the second was a cool laptop sleeve tutorial, and the third and final post was a promise to blog more often. Whoops.
The point is that I decided to delete the blog, but I’m reblogging the tutorial because I’d like to preserve it for future generations of bloggers.
I guess recycling blog posts is my way of being environmentally friendly. Just kidding, it’s only laziness. Here we go.

From August 19, 2010 ——–

I recently purchased my very first MacBook, and because I was completely in love with the thing, I began to search for ways to protect it. I already owned a fancy laptop backpack, but I was concerned about scratches and dings to its wonderfully glossy aluminum surface.

After some research, I discovered that protective sleeves for my MacBook could run as high as forty bucks, and even after the price, sleeves for my tiny 13″ were scarce. I had just blown a solid grand on my laptop, so it’s not like I had money to burn. One day while I was searching, I discovered that a seller on Etsy had created her own, and the wheels in my head started spinning…

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Antiquing, DIY, and Pinterest Success

Well, I’m all moved back into my dorm! It’s not as small as I remember it, but it’s still lonely and overpriced, so I’m already looking forward to moving into my apartment this summer. My roommate is already living there, so while we were out antiques shopping yesterday, I found this gorgeous winged table and… well, sad to say, I bought it.

Sorry about the photo quality, I didn’t have my camera.

I’m also sorry to say that I don’t regret it. The man who sold it to me told me that it used to belong to an historic family from my college town (he said this after I had run my credit card, so it wasn’t just sale patter!).
  It’s about 3.5 feet in diameter and when it’s fully open, it makes a great dining table for four. When it’s completely folded up, it will be perfect for an entryway. I can tell this is a piece I’m going to hold onto, and for only $75!

Classes haven’t started yet, and work really hasn’t either, so I’ve had to find inexpensive ways to entertain myself, especially after buying that table. Firstly, I finished my rug!

It perfectly complements my dorm-room style and its completion kept me occupied for an entire well-spent afternoon. I highly recommend this project; rugs make any room cozier.

This evening I needed something to keep me busy, so I got on Pinterest. Thanks to Pinterest, I now have a much better way to procrastinate than Facebook!
  I found a tutorial for this very cute crocheted soap scrubby in which I placed a bar of sweet-smelling Aerie soap. I might have to shower tonight instead of in the morning because I can’t wait to test it out!

Adorable. I just love a happy ending.

Easy-peasy T-shirt Rug

I love being on break because when I want to craft, I can. I’m not hindered by classes or work or that essay due in a week that I really should start but lack the willpower. On break, I’ve got glue and fabric and time on my hands, and it’s great. So today when I was struck with the desire to begin a t-shirt rug, I did. And I’m pretty excited about it so far.
  A crocheted t-shirt rug requires a lot of t-shirts and a lot of cutting, so after about an hour I stopped for fear of developing a blister from the scissors, but the rug itself is simple. All you need are some old t-shirts, scissors, and crocheting skills.

The first step is to cut up some t-shirts. I do this by cutting in a spiral, starting at the bottom and working up to the armpits. It doesn’t really matter how neatly you cut, just keep in mind that thin strips will yield a neater-looking rug. I varied mine because I’m going for a carefree-cute-crafty vibe.
  On the first t-shirt I attempted to cut up the whole thing up past the armholes, but it wasn’t worth it. I say just cut until you run into a hole.

You can make your rug rectangular or circular, crocheting with a t-shirt isn’t too different from crocheting with yarn. If you choose, you can go buy a huge crocheting needle that’s great for projects like this, or you can do like me and crochet with your fingers. It’s surprisingly easy.

This is my rug after an hour of work. There’s hardly anything to it! I’m not counting row numbers, but after the initial magic circle, I crocheted one row of two stitches in each stitch and then continued with alternating one and two stitches in each. My rug just now started to crinkle on the edges so I’ve switched to one stitch in each, and I’m just going to keep adapting that as I go. I can’t wait to have this in my dorm next semester!

Also, I would like to share a really awesome thrifting find. I usually don’t look for shoes in thrift stores, but when I saw this pair at Goodwill I couldn’t resist.

They’re just my size, genuine leather, and 100% hipster! I paid $8 for them and wore them the very next day. This, my friends, is why I thrift.

Repurposed Tea Box

I love tea. And I love more than one type of tea. I habitually drink three teas, and I casually drink about 20 more, meaning I usually have about six tea boxes in my kitchen. And even six tea boxes can take up a lot of space. I’ve been dying for a tea chest for quite awhile now, but the nice wooden ones can be pretty expensive, or at least out of my price range. That’s when I found that a silverware divider worked just as well, for a fraction of the cost.

This bamboo drawer organizer from Bed Bath & Beyond fits my Stash teabags perfectly and only cost $5.99. I labeled mine with a soldering iron, because I need everything labeled. And it’s pretty cool. Drawer organizers come in all shapes and sizes, so choose the one that’s best for you!

Adventures in Natural Skin Care

I was blessed with clear, healthy skin throughout high school. I rarely used any sort of concealer or foundation and cleansed with only a mild astringent at nights. Now I’m in my second year of college and my hormones have decided to have a party on my face and not clean up the mess. It’s not like I can’t go out in public or anything, but for someone as untrained as I am in the ways of acne products, it’s a bit traumatizing. I’ve committed all sorts of skin care faux pas trying to muscle my skin into submission, leaving my skin dry, itchy, blotchy, and using lots of chemicals in the process. That’s not what I want.
  No, I want the clear, natural skin I had a few years ago, and I don’t want to rely on some chemical, specially-formulated, commercial cleanser for the rest of my life. That’s why I’m going to try the oil-cleansing method.
  Tsh at has an extremely popular post that’s still going around on Pinterest, and it’s the best resource that I’ve found. Tsh goes into excellent detail about what’s going on when you clean your face with oils and offers great advice about different oils you can use and how to use them. The best part of it is that she has used this method for over a year and still loves it!
   When I first found the post, I didn’t have any castor oil, but I had tea tree oil, so I mixed that with some extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) and tested it out. After just one night I swear I had fewer blackheads and my softer skin. Today I bought some castor oil and I am quite excited to try it tonight.

The ratios in the mixture are flexible depending on your skin care needs, so I began mine in the middle:

  • 1 part EVOO
  • 1 part castor oil
  • 5 drops tea tree oil

Money-saving tip: I found castor oil pretty much right next to the tea tree oil in the health section of my H.E.B., but it was way cheaper in the laxative section at the pharmacy. I paid $2.75 for the castor oil, $3.58 for H.E.B. brand EVOO, and $7.99 for the tea tree oil. I barely made a dent in the bottle over the past few nights, so it looks like this is definitely a green, frugal choice!

UPDATE 1/14/12:
Tsh says this, but I didn’t believe it until I tried — this stuff is great for removing makeup! In my opinion, it’s worth it just for that. Also, I’m not sure whether it’s just hormones or the OCM, but my skin has definitely cleared up in the past few weeks. Either way, I’m going to keep using it!

Ah-dorable Crocheted Elephants

Pinterest is truly a gift from the Internet gods. Before I left school, I found this super cute elephant pattern by blogger Dawn Toussaint. My youngest sister is obsessed with elephants, so I decided to make her one for Christmas. It turned out to be much easier than expected, and everybody complimented me on the results. One of my cousins loved it so much I decided to make one for her as well.

The pink one is my sister’s, and the blue one is going to my cousin. The first elephant took me about three days, but the blue one went much faster and I finished it in less than one.

Aren’t they charming? If you’re looking for an awesome crocheting project, I highly recommend making one of these little guys. Happy New Year!