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It’s May, so that means we’re leaving for West Virginia next month!! Getting ready to visit WV always makes me think about lighting. Last summer we relied heavily on battery powered lanterns, flashlights, and a couple USB light bulbs. Unfortunately, our lanterns and spare batteries were stolen in November’s break in. This year we’re planning to start work on re-wiring the house and may have some electricity before the month is through, so I’m not keen on buying a whole new batch of lanterns. Instead, I’m thinking about getting new wicks for some kerosene lamps and lanterns that are already on site. Lighting by fire has a certain romantic appeal, doesn’t it? Thinking about lanterns made me wonder about how to make my own lanterns. This, in turn, lead to today’s project – a DIY lantern from a recycled can! This project is a bit different from other DIY lantern tutorials you’ve seen. It has a fun, beachy vibe and would look lovely on a long summer night. Fill your recycled can lantern with citronella oil to help keep bugs away outdoors, or use a cooking oil you already have at home indoors. Either way, this DIY lantern is a great way to recycle a can into something cute!

DIY lantern from a can

Although I automatically gravitate towards beachy projects, you can absolutely alter the way you decorate your lantern to match your decor. Don’t feel constrained by my choice of colors and embellishments! This project is amazingly flexible from the size of the can you choose to recycle, the oil it can burn, and even your wick material. You probably already have everything you need at home for this DIY lantern, so let’s jump right in! [click to continue…]


As a lifelong mermaid lover, I’ve enjoyed seeing mermaids gaining popularity in recent years. There are so many more cute mermaid things available now then there used to be! In elementary school, I was probably the only blond kid who desperately wanted red hair (thanks to the Disney version of The Little Mermaid), and my mom made me mermaid costume, complete with a bag of sparkly gems, that I loved to play dress up in. I’m still playing mermaid dress up nearly 25 years later! Do you remember last fall’s mermaid bra tutorial and all the photos of me splashing around in the water? It’s been a little while since I shared a mermaid-themed tutorial, so it felt like the right time to share this DIY polymer clay mermaid box. It’s the perfect place to keep your sparkly mermaid gems and other sea treasures safe. 😉

DIY polymer clay mermaid box tutorial [click to continue…]


May 2017 Blog Planner Printables

Spring is a season for renewal and change, so it seems a fitting time to refocus and redirect The Artisan Life. When I first began blogging, I had no clear notion of what I was doing (or, honestly, even a foggy one!). Blog content has reflected this lack of direction – various post series have come and gone over the years, with the exception of one thing: crafting. Virtually every crafting tutorial I’ve shared over the years was either inspired by the natural world or has included natural/upcycled materials because I have always been deeply inspired by nature. I love the scents and sounds of nature – the way fresh dirt feels in my hands while gardening, the sound of water lapping against the shore or running along a stream, the smell of a forest. I have pages and pages of jotted down ideas for crafting posts, partially completed patterns for felt creations I want to share, and a list of crafting classes I’ve been meaning to film. That’s why I’m re-focusing The Artisan Life. If you’re a regular reader, you’ve probably already spotted a couple of differences. There will be more in the coming days and weeks and a few post series will be going away. It’s difficult because I know people like these series I’m discontinuing, but it will help me create a more cohesive message. Don’t worry, new things will take their places. The blog won’t become an endless litany of crafting tutorials – I have other fun posts planned, too, but they will all tie directly into the blog’s main message. So what does all of this have to do with the May 2017 blog planner printables???

May 2017 blog planner printables [click to continue…]


Driftwood Crafts to Buy and DIY for Summer

Driftwood crafts are the perfect way to prepare your space for summer! I love driftwood projects because they’re surprisingly versatile – they can work equally well near the ocean or by a lake, and they’re a great way to add a touch of summer vacation to any room. After a good storm, I love visiting a couple local beaches to collect driftwood, sea glass, and other items that wash ashore, so I usually have a stockpile of driftwood ready to use for various crafts and projects! With spring in progress and summer on the way, it felt like the perfect time to share a round up of driftwood crafts to buy and DIY for summer. I love creating with found and salvaged materials – the results are so rich and every piece has its own unique story. I hope you enjoy this round up and are inspired to do some crafting with found materials soon!

Driftwood Crafts to Buy & DIY

Of course, the first step in any driftwood project is gathering driftwood! Honestly…I don’t always sanitize driftwood for decor projects.. However, if you’re collecting fresh water drift wood, doing a project that might involved indirect food contact, suspect pests or growth, or want to lighten its color, sanitizing your driftwood is a good idea. The process also helps preserve the wood so your driftwood crafts will last longer. To sanitize your driftwood: [click to continue…]


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…]

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