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Simple Embellished Burlap Rose Zip Pouch Tutorial

I absolutely cannot make a trip to the Mainland without stocking up at a major craft store! On a Hobby Lobby run last year I picked up a lot of burlap roses (they were on sale, how could I resist?), and today I’m finally putting them to use! This simple embellished zip pouch tutorial features these cute roses, and there’s no sewing involved. Learn how to spruce up a makeup bag, pencil pouch, or purse with a few simple tricks and the right glue!

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The Blogging Business Artisans Etsy team has a blogging challenge each month. April is more than half finished, so it seemed time to write about the BBArtisans April challenge! This month’s challenge is from BeadedTail: “Spring is here – what does that mean to you? Are you planning summer getaways? Planning a garden? Enjoying the flowers and trees blooming? Spring cleaning? Fresh air from open windows? Share your spring projects or creations!”

As I wrote last week, we’re currently planning our summer trip to West Virginia. Since I’ve written a bit about that before, and probably will again in the coming months, I thought it would be fun to share something else today! Although spring may not be as different from the other seasons here in Hawaii as spring in other places, there are some seasonal variations. For one, there are several lovely-smelling plants that bloom most abundantly this time of year. I also can’t help associating spring with spring cleaning, opening windows, and letting fresh air in (even though we have our windows open year-round here!). To celebrate spring this year, I decided to make a bright-smelling water beads essential oil diffuser!

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I heart a great quotation in a CreativeLive class recently. Photographer Chris Orwig said “If you know it’s going to work, then it isn’t that big of a risk.” If you don’t take photographic risks and challenge yourself, it limits your opportunities to grow and learn. This quotation inspired today’s post where I’m going to share several shots that I had hopes for but just didn’t work out!

Shortly after Valentine’s Day, when the roses my husband gave me were looking droopy and sad, I had this idea for an image. I got my husband dressed up in nice clothes and directed him to stand in an upturned umbrella with the sad looking flowers. It was supposed to be about rejection and disappointment…and I absolutely could not get it to turn out!

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DIY Ombre Cork Monogram Letter Tutorial

I have approximately one zillion unused wine corks at home because I purchased a very large quantity to get a bulk discount a while ago. I already had to pay the shipping, so I wanted to make it worth my while! You may remember the ombre beachy monogram letter tutorial I shared last month – this cork monogram letter is what I originally had in mind for the project. Ultimately I decided to make two versions of the monogram and share them both! Today I’m demonstrating with an “N” again because N is both my first and last initial. As usual, this project is easy to customize and decorate to match your decor, so I hope you enjoy!

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Wellbeing Wednesday – Adopt the Pace of Nature

After a very busy week for my Etsy store that’s left me feeling rushed, today I wanted to share a quotation inspiring patience. Unsurprisingly, I was drawn to a quotation by Ralph Waldo Emerson (for a little more on him and his fellow transcendentalists, please see this post from two weeks ago and the post from the week before that.)

All too often we rush from worry to worry. We try to “multitask,” even though research shows there is no such thing. We try to cram so much into our days there’s no time left for sleep or simple enjoyment. It’s okay to say no to activities that are draining you instead of leaving you full. It’s okay to cut back or to make extra time for yourself. It’s okay to be patient with yourself and, as Emerson wrote, adopt the pace of nature. 🙂


Editing this photo for Instagram made me realize I wanted to write about how it is completely possible to take a beautiful photo anywhere.

The lovely golden hour light, bokeh from the sparkling sand, wind in my hair – isn’t it lovely? It was also taken in a parking lot. Or, really, directly next to one. Some of the grey areas behind my hair and head are actually a car that’s out of focus. The rock I’m leaning on is the barrier between the parking lot and beach area. In this crop from a different, but similar, shot, you can more clearly see the parking lot directly behind me: [click to continue…]


Friday Photoshare – Dreaming

Welcome to the first Friday Photosahre in a couple of weeks! I’m really excited to share today’s picture, Dreaming, because I spent so long looking for an appropriate prop. I’d wanted a model ship for ages to use in several different pictures. One evening we were browsing at TJ Maxx (for nothing in particular) and came across the perfect model ship! I have several other photos in mind with it, too, but here’s today’s image:

The grey/blue light around sunset that particular day was absolutely perfect for creating a melancholy mood. The intent behind the photo was to create an image showing longing and daydreaming, but not in a happy, joyful way. Instead, the subject is dreaming of how much better life would be if she could use this toy ship to sail away to some distant time or place. [click to continue…]


Starfish hairpins are such a beautiful, but simple, accessory. They can dress down for a casual, beachy, “mermaid hair” look, or they can dress up for a beach wedding. When I lived in South Carolina and could easily get starfish from a local beading supply store, I sold them in my Etsy shop. Today I’m sharing my best tips learned from making dozens of mermaid hair bobby pins to help you learn how to make super simple starfish hairpins that last!

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I am not a naturally carefree person. On the contrary – I’m predisposed to worrying! I’ve usually mask to hide it as “planning” or “being prepared,” but it really does come down to worrying. This habit is one of the mindset-related topics I frequently put work into! Worrying really doesn’t get you anywhere – all it does is steal the present. When I saw this quotation, I knew it would be absolutely perfect for a Wellbeing Wednesday printable:

I’ve seen it attributed to a “Randy Armstrong,” but I haven’t been able to uncover anything else about the person or the quotation so I don’t know if that’s accurate. I’ve also seen it attributed to others, so I’m not sure anyone really knows where it ‘truly’ came from. Regardless of who said it first, it’s an important fact to remember.

Being truly present really helps take care of worrying. When you stop dwelling in the past or obsessing over the future, it’s much easier not to worry! However, like I said, it’s one of those things I need to put work into on a regular basis. What mindset work do you frequently return to? Do you have to work to be present, or does it come naturally to you?

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I love strawberries so much! They are absolutely, hands down, my favorite fruit. Where I grew up, u-pick strawberry were fairly common. You could get a basket or bucket, head out into the field, and pick strawberries so ripe you could smell them in the sun. Grocery stores frequently have amazing deals on strawberries during peak season – last summer I got 3 pounds for $6 on the Mainland! Unfortunately, the usual price for strawberries in Hawaii is about $7 a pound. Womp-womp. The other day at Costco they had a large container something slightly better than that per pound, and I convinced my husband to let us buy strawberries.  I drew up this strawberry shortcake cupcake recipe to help us celebrate our delicious treat!

I wanted a strawberry cupcake that was more than just pink colored fluffy cake – I wanted it to be reminiscent of rich, creamy shortbread. Many traditional shortbread recipes actually aren’t that sweet (I’ve seen plenty recipes without any sugar in the actual biscuit portion!), but are definitely rich. These strawberry shortcake cupcakes hold true to that tradition; they do have sugar, but about half as much as many other cupcake recipes with a similar batch size. The cupcakes are topped with a sweetened whipped cream frosting and, of course, you can always add a strawberry on top!

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