Tag Archives: oh you crafty huh

Learning A New Craft In Lock Down

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Learning A New Craft In Lock Down

Hello! Life in lock down is, honestly, so boring at this point but the safety of ourselves, loved ones, and complete strangers is important and it makes all of the monotony worth it. If you have exhausted all of your ideas to keep you occupied at home, then it might be time to retire from your streaming services and try a new craft. There are so many amazing videos, kits, and how to guides out there to create something new and, today, we’re going to discuss a few of those options:

Knit Kits:

If you are interested in knitting, crochet, or macrame or would like to take the hobby up again, then there are so many websites that you can purchase kits from. Ranging in difficulty from beginner to intermediate and advanced, each kit provides you with the pattern, step by step guide, and materials needed for you to make a scarf, sweater, or blanket. Stitch & Story, We Are Knitters, and Wool And The Gang are all great websites to browse through for your next project! When the weather is nice, you could even host a social distanced knitting circle in your own backyard.

Restoring Old Furniture:

A trip to the local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or even shopping online through Facebook Marketplace can give you access to all kinds of gently used furniture just begging for a makeover. You could repair, repaint, or reupholster new life into secondhand items and redo your entire living room. Not to mention, make some extra cash if you ever want to turn your craft into a side hustle. Don’t forget garage sale style apps as well as Poshmark if you would like to profit from your new hobby.

Building With LEGO:

My boyfriend and I absolutely love building with LEGO and, although it isn’t a craft per se, I just had to include it on this list. Did you know that a LEGO replica of Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night will soon be available for purchase? What about a botanical collection that boasts bouquets, bonsai trees, and succulents? LEGO is constantly adding new sets with unique pieces and colors and are always finding innovative ways to work surprises into each build, which makes it an exciting hobby to have.

You can showcase your creative side with LEGO through free building or incorporating different sets into your home decor. I would sure like to have a LEGO Starry Night hanging on my wall!

Homemade Products:

Making your own cleaning products, candles, and bath and body care can be a really fun hobby, makes great gifts, and helps save you money. Online guides will help you develop your new craft and you can even experiment with your own recipes once you have a better idea for the best ingredients and techniques. You will feel comforted in knowing exactly what is going into the products that you are using and, who knows, it could just turn into a side hustle in the future if you create something really good!

Don’t forget to check in with your local businesses and boutiques because some of the owners might be offering online workshops for homemaking different products or art. For example, the local specialty knitting shop in my area, Harps & Thistles, offers knitting kits too and it’s always cool to shop local. 🙂

Have you learned a new craft during the pandemic? How about improved on any old hobbies? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

4 Stress-Busting Means Of Engaging Your Creativity

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4 Stress-Busting Means Of Engaging Your Creativity

To open this post, we need not speak about the difficulties of the last year, and just how life has changed. It’s a well-worn topic. However, it’s very true that the importance of self-care and the willingness to keep ourselves in check (and to check up on others) has never been so important. As such, figuring out a few methods for achieving exactly that is certainly worth our time. One method that is rarely spoken of when it comes to self care is that of practicing creativity.

Why is this? Well, sometimes, creativity can feel like work or practice. It’s not as if playing a piano is something we can all sit down and just learn by ear, it takes hard work and practice to get good before you can begin really flexing your creativity. The last thing you want to assign to someone having a stressful time is more work.

Or is that the case? Does creativity have to feel like work or could it feel like play? Perhaps it could be both. After all, most runners are all too familiar with the feeling we get when starting a run (feeling groggy, tired, irritable) and then how fun it gets once the endorphins are flowing and we feel like we could keep going for hours. Creativity can function in that way. It can also help us feel confident, relaxed, energized, inspired, productive, useful, and able to express ourselves. That has to be worth something quite important, to the point where we would totally recommend keeping on top of those considerations from now into the long term.

Let’s see what creative ambitions can fit within this worthwhile category:

Journaling:

People rarely feel that journaling is a creative hobby, but it truly is. Putting your thoughts, ideas, impressions, beliefs, or experiences down into written form can be very cathartic. Journaling can not only help you expel your ideas more readily, but it helps you understand exactly what you were thinking and why. This is doubled when you return to that which you’ve written and see just where you were at the time, and how you’ve grown. Giving yourself this kind of insight is not only a great practice for your mental health, but it can help you learn a new skill. Writing isn’t easy and it takes plenty of practice to get good at. A journal is a fantastic place to become more literate. It can also serve our next task:

Creative Writing:

People often think that creative writing needs to be strictly within a category. Either you’re writing poetry, a short story, a novel, or a travel log. That’s not true, of course. Writing is whatever you’d like it to be. Some of the best writing we have is when authors have the courage to break the rules, like the novel Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce, filled with difficult-to-decipher language that is both strange and very curated, almost poetic.

Creative writing helps us focus on our thoughts and what impressions we may wish to grant an audience, but it also helps us present a story line, write our thoughts for people to read, or perhaps veil our artistic insights in poetry or songwriting. Creative writing, like journaling, can be quite cathartic except the rules are much more open and freeing, giving you a sense of potential in every word you jot down. Why not try and write a page long stream of consciousness this week? It might inspire you to further expand your creativity.

Arts & Crafts:

Of course, many people prefer feeling like they have something tangible to offer, and arts and crafts can help us focus on actually making something rather than endlessly reflecting. That can be great to keep us focused and somewhat distracted, rather than ruminating on the tough times we’re going through.

For instance, you might find that putting together a wonderful mandala kit helps you create a beautiful decoration that you take pride in every time you see it. Arts and crafts can also serve a real purpose. You might use your seamstress skills to fix up some of your old clothes or reupholster your furniture by giving it a lick of paint and a varnish. Maybe you’ll just reclaim some wood and use a chisel and hammer to try your hand at amateur sculpture in your garage. Having a project like this on the go can feel very rewarding, as over time it takes form and you see your plans come to actual life.

Painting:

If you’re looking for some inspiration, there’s a special Twitch channel playing Bob Ross episodes 24/7, showcasing how even amateurs can enjoy painting and get something from it if they try. Why not gather some paints and give it a shot? You could mess around with watercolors and have fun with your teenage child. You might decide to do a self-portrait, something fun and whimsical or perhaps as realistic as you can try to make it. You can also experiment with the surfaces you paint on if you like, such as painting a beautiful family mural in your kitchen or corridor wall with images of your loved ones.

Don’t discount painting just because you may not have had time to enjoy it before. The process can be highly rewarding if you give it time, piece by piece, with a little verve and care.

With this advice, we hope you can more easily see the benefit in trying a new creative passion, even if you’ve never touched that process before. These suggested activities are cheap, fun, and can sustain you during difficult times. Best of luck!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Let’s Paint!

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Let’s Paint!

Hi! One of the things that I love about my neck of the woods is all of the wonderful libraries. Prior to the pandemic, I would always take my clients to the fun programs being offered at different library branches. We were particularly fond of vinyl record club, crafts, and movie showings. Now in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the libraries in my area have turned all of their programs virtual and you can hop onto Zoom to join in.

The last time my dad was at the library to pick up some books for me and my mom, he also grabbed a craft kit complete with a mini canvas, paint, and brushes. Like so:

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Now, I am in no way shape or form an artist and I have absolutely no clue what to paint on my canvas. So, I am open to suggestions! I will make an attempt to paint the idea from the comments that I like the best and, what’s more, I will even send it your way if your comment was chosen so you can have a Lil Red Original. Who knows, maybe Johnny will even make a “celebrity” contribution to the painting too. Let’s see what happens!

What should I paint on my canvas? What kind of programs does your local library offer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Alina Vilchenko from Pexels

Monster Mash

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Hello! A few days ago, I posted about a Halloween craft that I made with my client out of Popsicle sticks. They turned out like this:

While the Barney sticks were for my client, the ghosts, Jack-O-Lantern, and Frankenstein were for Johnny who wanted to decorate his space at work for Halloween. Despite forgetting to bring his flat friends with him on the job for the first few days, my sweetie finally remembered and he claims that he is never going to take them down. 🙂

The day that Johnny brought the Popsicle sticks into work, he took a picture of his decorated area WITHOUT ME EVEN ASKING! Check it out:

I was not expecting my fairly simple crafts to be the crowning jewel of Johnny’s display and it made me so proud that he liked them that much. His little paper cut out ghosts make me smile and that applies for basically everything he does, lol.

While we are all worried about the outcome of Election Day today, I just had to post some mushy nonsense to help take the edge off. And I am so thankful to get through whatever the results will be together with my Johnny. ❤

How did you decorate for Halloween? How is your work space decorated? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Simple Popsicle Stick Halloween Craft

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Simple Popsicle Stick Halloween Craft

Hi! Lil Red may not be the craftiest gal in the bunch but, I’ll be damned if I don’t try my best with my clients when we’re creating something together. One of my pals had a plethora of Popsicle sticks so I figured we could try to do a Halloween craft with them by painting them into little ghosts. While my client opted for making names of his loved ones out of the sticks (So sweet!), I made the following for Johnny’s desk at work and something special for my crafting partner. Check it out:

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I started my crafting palooza with something easy by painting the Popsicle sticks white and making little ghost faces with Sharpie markers once the paint was dry. Simple, yes, but they turned out so cute I decided to try my hand at a few more designs even though they were going to be much harder for my non crafty self.

I thought a Frankenstein stick would look awesome and I knew Johnny would love it so I looked up a picture of ol’ Frank and did my best. While the green paint on the stick dried, I practiced drawing his face several times on paper before I Sharpied in the final effort and, frankly (lol), I couldn’t believe how good it turned out. In fact, it ended up being Johnny’s favorite creation.

After seeing my Frankenstein, my client asked me if I could make him a Barney one. I told him I’ll see what I can do and got to work on two Barney themed Popsicle sticks. In honor of the Barney Halloween episode that he loves, I painted a stick purple with green polka dots, just like the pumpkin Barney had in the show.

The real challenge, now, was going to be making Barney’s face because I can’t draw for crap. Lol, like with Frankenstein, I looked up a picture of Barney and practiced drawing his face while the purple base paint dried. Once I was satisfied, I Sharpied in the face of the friendly purple dinosaur and I thought it turned out great. I added a green tummy and his yellow toes and my client was so happy with what I made him, which is all that matters to me.

To wrap up our crafting, I made a Jack-O-Lantern stick to complete Johnny’s spooky set. Both my client and I had a blast with our arts and crafts hour and I was so happy to come up with something that was simple but we both enjoyed so much. Oh you crafty, huh?!

Would you consider yourself crafty? What is something that you have made that you are proud of? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Pumpkin Party

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Pumpkin Party

Hi! This past week, I thought I would bring the pumpkin patch to one of my clients so that we could paint them together. Painting pumpkins is one of my favorite activities to do with clients because for one: it’s a lot of fun and for two: I have never even carved a pumpkin before so I definitely don’t trust myself with that!

During the “pumpkin party”, we had Casper The Friendly Ghost playing on the TV while we worked on our masterpieces. We painted away until we were satisfied with our creations and then gave each other a grand reveal of the end results. They looked a little something like this:

While I opted for multicolored polka dots on my pumpkin, my client decided he wanted to make one with the likeness of yours truly. I’ve got to say, I can definitely see the similarities and I was so touched that that’s what he wanted to make with the pumpkin I brought him. We both gave each other the pumpkins we made at the end of the day and I have mine proudly displayed in my apartment.

Whether it be painting pumpkins, hand traced turkeys for Thanksgiving, or ornaments for the holiday season: Painting is a blast. Make an afternoon of your crafting by putting on a movie or music to fit the theme and get to stepping on your own handmade holiday decor. And, always remember, that fun times can still be had from the safety of your home – all it takes is a little creativity!

Do you have any holiday craft ideas? What is your favorite holiday to decorate for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Easy Bathroom Upgrades

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Easy Bathroom Upgrades

For most people, the bathroom is the second most important room in the house, after the kitchen. It’s traditionally seen as a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the home, providing a relaxing space where we can get away from it all. But there’s a problem: most bathrooms are lacking in the decor department and are in desperate need of an upgrade. Fortunately, there are a bunch of things that you can do to improve your bathroom and make it even cozier than it already is:

Tile the Floor: Most modern bathrooms are tiled. The days of vinyl flooring to save on costs are long gone, especially now that the price of tiles has come down so much. Installation is quick and easy, usually done in about a day by an expert. Or you can save labor costs and do it yourself by watching videos on YouTube on how to do it. The only problem with bathroom tiles is that they can be cold, a big problem if you’re disrobed. Underfloor heating is an excellent solution, but you’ll need a specialist to install it for you.

Install a New Shower: Modern showers are a heck of a lot more advanced than the power showers of old. These days, it’s possible to get power showers where sensible movements of the temperature dial don’t result in enormous swings in the temperature of the water. New bathrooms are also going eco-friendly. As Solarark.com.au explains, hot water can be heated using solar energy which is essentially free once the system has been set up.

Anchor a Towel Bar: You might not think that there was much to anchoring towel bars. But it turns out that they have to be a lot sturdier than you might think. It’s surprising just how much a wet towel can weigh and how much force it exerts on your bathroom wall. The last thing you want is for the bar to rip away from the wall, bringing a load of tiles and plaster with it. Learning how to anchor a towel bar is important for making sure that your towels stay off the floor and that your walls remain intact.

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TOWEL TIME!

Tile Your Tub: There’s nothing worse than sitting in the bath, worrying about the water splashing out and damaging the walls. But bath areas that aren’t tiled run this exact risk. Water that splashes out of the tub can seep into the walls, making them damp and leading to the possibility of mold. Tile around the bath: it’ll spruce up the space and it’s easier than you think! thisoldhouse.com explains how to do this.

Create Your Own Vintage Towel Rack: Regular towel racks and bars are nice and functional, but they’re not exactly inspiring. Instead of using a boring, plastic bar to hang your towels, you could opt for a vintage-inspired rack. These racks are usually made from wood, have a shelf for keeping things like towels and maybe a flower pot and come with three or four hooks for towels. There are all sorts of guides out there on the internet explaining how to make vintage towel racks, so get started and spruce up the throne room.

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DIY

Featured Image By: Donut Rock City

Reader Map DIY Craft

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Reader Map DIY Craft

Hi! One of the things that I love about blogging on WordPress is how they tell you what countries are reading you every day on your stats page. When I first started lifewithlilred, it was always exciting to get a new country reading me and it still is. So, I decided to pin a world map to a bulletin board and placed a thumbtack in the designated position for each country that I had readers in:

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Over five years ago when I began my reader map, my dad and I spent an entire afternoon locating each country so I could place a pin to start keeping track. It was a fun and downright educational way to spend some time and I thought that it was a great craft for my blogger friends to work on, especially when we all should be practicing self isolation.

Dig up an old map from your school days or print one out for yourself and you will get a visual representation of your blog’s global klout by the end of the project. I love having a reader map and the best part? Adding new thumbtacks to it as new countries start reading me! My most recent pin being in Seychelles. 🙂

What have you been crafting to help pass time in quarantine? Which DIY project that you made are you most proud of? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Giving Gifts To Be Cherished

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Giving Gifts To Be Cherished

Almost anything could constitute as a ‘gift’. That being said, we all know that gifting is a complex and often nuanced art. For instance, purchasing someone a new car, while amazing, does not necessarily make it better via expensive than something perfectly tailored to the person in question, thought of carefully, used as a means to illustrate a beautiful point. The gift’s worth is defined in presence of the particular giftee and gifter,  no matter the particulars.

Yet sometimes it can be that you hope to give a gift that will leave an excellent and positive mark upon the recipient, ensuring that they not only appreciate your generosity, but that they can return to the memory of said item as a truly beautiful thing to appreciate. To help you achieve that, we have some of the following advice:

Experiences:

It’s hard to shed the impression a wonderful experience can leave someone. Each of us only has a set amount of time on this Earth, and so spending that time within an experience that helps us learn, grow, and feel grateful can be truly fantastic. It might be that you bring a family member along for a cruise or that you head on a road trip with your friend to explore the best of what your coastline has to offer. What matters is spending time with those you most love and appreciate, as this generates memories all by itself.

Indulgences & Treats:

A small indulgence can make for a phenomenal gift, because not only are you giving them a wonderfully handcrafted treat from Eastern Standard Provisions, but you are granting them the chance to indulge in a treat they most enjoy. This also serves as the best approach to gifting, because it matters, and it provides them with that sense of comfort they may have been missing thus far. Small indulgences are not small, they are an example of the little things that make life worth living and plenty enjoyable.

A Particular Craft:

Crafting something yourself is perhaps one of the most interesting and satisfying measures you can enjoy. However, gifting said craft to someone you love or appreciate is a cherry on the cake. Don’t think this needs to be some otherwordly example of the craft makers art in order to be assured in this. Giving someone a small clay pot from a pottery course you took, a bouquet of flowers you have arranged yourself, a small knitted jumper for a nephew or niece, or even just a painting you have applied yourself to can all be wonderful. Don’t think that because you may not have spent hundreds acquiring said item that it’s worthless. Quite the contrary, it will have soul.

With this advice, you can leave your signature mark on what you gift your loved ones with in the future.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Making A More Creative Living Space

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Making A More Creative Living Space

If you are someone who enjoys creating and is passionate about the arts, then you may find that being in a sterile home environment can be a bit uninspiring. If you are all about the arts, then why not let that shine through in your home decor? Here are some ways that you can make a creative impact on your living space with some little decorating tips that will make a big impact:

Create A Rainbow Bookshelf:

If you are a lover of literature, then you will probably have plenty of books in your home. One creative decor idea would be to arrange your bookshelves by color order. Image having a beautiful rainbow bookshelf! It may take some time to perfect, but the results will look amazing.

Musical Instruments Make The Most Creative Ornaments:

Of course, we would all love the centerpiece of our home to be a Steinway art case pianos, a beautiful work of art that, if played by the right person, can take your breath away. However, that may be wasted on you if you are not a pianist! How about getting some old guitars and mounting them to your wall? Pick an instrument that looks great, or is similar to one that was played by one of your musical heroes.

Hang The Art That You Want To See:

We all have our favorite types of images. Whether photography or paintings, having the types of pictures on your walls that you like will make a statement about you. Think about the placement of the items. You could go with large paintings which are not crowded on the walls, leaving a lot of space around them. Or, you could go for a cluster of images. You could either keep the pictures in a pattern, which will look neat on the walls. Or, you could fill the wall with quirky and interesting images using every piece of space possible.

Go Big Or Go Home On Your Feature Wall:

How often do you see a design makeover show where a feature wall is created, but it is somewhat lackluster? If you are going to create a wall in your home that stands out against the rest, make it a real eye-catching statement. Get a crazy wallpaper print, or even find a design that will fill the entirety of the wall.

Create A Unique Wallpaper Look:

Have you ever gone into a DIY store and had a sample of wallpaper to take away and help you decide on what you want on your walls? Well, why not collect wallpaper samples and use all of them to create the most unique look possible on your walls? Start collecting as many pieces as possible. Think about getting pieces that are up to one foot in size and then fill your wall using them. Have pieces overlapping, in a haphazard fashion and mix up the colors to create a really eye-catching and creative look.

Let your love for the arts shine through in your home decor to keep you inspired and your guests impressed!

Featured Image By: Pexels