8.29.2013

Clearing Out Challenge

 When I came back from India, I found myself looking at my belongings and thinking "I don't need that!" or "Why did I buy that?!" I believe that traveling across the world really made me see that we live with so much that is unnecessary. None of it really brings us true joy, and I have met my fair share of people that are happier with the little that they own. So when I came home I was in the process of unpacking and threw away/donated a few bags full of clothes and other knick knacks that I never used or wore.

I got to thinking and decided to myself I was going to go through my closet at the end of each month and rid myself of things that I have no use for. Things other people could use more than I could. My mom has always taught me that before I buy any new clothes I should donate to goodwill (you can read more about this in this post) so that kind of made things easier since it was already a semi-habit. This started in May and even though I have only done it three times so far, it has really made a difference. It has changed the way I see things when I make a purchase and really changes the way I spend my time because I spend less time going to thrift stores or the mall unless there is something I am on the hunt for.  It has even altered the materials I use for DIY projects because I want to use more scraps and materials I already have.

So as August is winding up, I want to challenge you to clean out your closet or chose a room in your home once a month and find a bag (big or small) of things you can donate to someone or a thrift store. To remind yourself, put it on your calendar! It doesn't have to be an all day event, you can just turn on some tunes and go through your closet for an hour and see if there is something you feel like donating. It's a nice way of simplifying your life and reevaluating the importance of things, and how they really aren't important. 

Maybe one day you'll eventually look through and not find anything that is overcrowding or unnecessary!


8.27.2013

Ear Cuffs: Two Ways | DIY

Here are two ways to make your own ear cuffs. They are a great accessory to wear into the fall months to pair with a chunky scarf and a ponytail. 
Materials: Earring, wire, chain link, chain, bead, ear cuff (I found mine at Hobby Lobby), & wire pliers
Take your wire and bead, thread your wire through and make a loop using your pliers. Connect to ear cuff using a chain link. Before you close the link, add your chain. Your chain should be approximately 4 inches long. Connect end of chain to earring using pliers. 


Materials: Embroidery thread, ear cuff (I found mine at Hobby Lobby), E6000 glue. Tie your first color of embroidery thread to the ear cuff and glue in place. Wrap thread around and glue in place periodically. Keep wrapping and change colors if you want. Tie off and make sure to secure with glue.

*All photos by Arielle Kennedy
Hoop earring is Lucky Brand


8.26.2013

Not As I Planned | Outfit

Shirt: hand-me-down from a friend originally Forever21//Shorts: Pacsun//Cuff: Local boutique//Watch: Casio//Climbing Rope Bracelet: handmade by my boyfriend//Friendship bracelet: LACC//Boots: c/o Minnetonka
*photos by Arielle Kennedy

I would consider myself a "planner" I like to know what my day, week and months are going to look like. Well, I'm learning plans change-and that is perfectly fine. Sometimes the things you don't plan out can be the best decisions you've made. They can be stepping stones to greater things. A week before classes started, I decided I was going to take off this semester to work. I never imagined of doing such a thing because I really think education is vital, but something just felt right about it. So here is to doing things I haven't planned, and loving it.
Have a great monday. 

8.22.2013

How I Made My Own Bed Part II

You can read part one here. Building my bed did not take as long as one would imagine. I spent about twelve hours at the most on it, split into a few days of work. I'm now confident that I'd rather build something with wood and tools than sew something any day. 
After finishing my bed, I ordered wire baskets from amazon and patiently waited for them to arrive. This made room for me to throw away my plastic drawer organizer I've had way too long. There is storage on the other side against the wall for year around storage, and there is room on the sides for books and other baskets, one side even has our internet router stored on the side. My baskets now hold my fabrics, scarves, headbands, paint and craft supplies. 
Overall, I'm super pleased with how my bed turned out and how the baskets look under it. A huge thanks to my brothers for moving it in for me, it weighs a ton..but I guess that is what happens when you use real wood.

P.S. If you are wondering, my quilt & pillowcase are from my recent trip to India and my rug is handmade by me (here is the tutorial)

8.21.2013

How I Made My Own Bed Part I

I've had it in my head for a while that I wanted to make my own bed, it seemed like a big feat at the beginning. It would be the biggest thing I've made yet but knowing I made my own kitchen table last year gave me more confidence to try to make my own bed. I gathered inspiration from magazines and pinterest and sketched out what I wanted it to look like in the end. My main inspiration ended up being this photo and this photo. I definitely wanted to make sure I had room for storage underneath because my closet is pretty small. I first thought it would be cool to keep my bed close to the ground, but after having my mattress on the ground for a few days I realized that was not my style.
I didn't start building my bed until I moved into my new rental home just to make sure it would fit in my room. I measured my room and my mattress and settled on making the bed four feet wide by seven feet long. I sketched out my bed and urgently got to work. My brother-in-law Aric let me use his tools at his shop to work on my bed and give me direction when I got stumped. He also stripped the pieces of wood if I needed them cut long ways by a table saw.
 First I built the middle structure by cutting three boards that measured 1 foot high by 4 feet long as well as a board that measured 1 foot high by five feet long. I used a kreg to connect the boards to match my sketch. I cut one of the 1x4 boards in half to make the middle piece. I stained the middle piece before connecting anything else so it would be easier to get to.


 The top piece was built by putting 1x3'' boards together until they measured 4x7. I used wood glue and a nail gun to secure the board in place.
 By this time, I realized my bed was really heavy...the original plan was to make the bottom piece just like the top piece, but that would double the weight of the bed. After some thinking and talking it through, I decided on using fewer boards on the bottom to make slats instead of a full piece. This way I could still fit the baskets underneath for extra storage as I originally planned.
I used 3 1/2 inch caster wheels on the bottom and an inch wide piece of wood in between the bottom piece and the wheels for extra height. After sanding down my bed with a sander, I stained it with English Chestnut brown and sealed it with two coats of polyurethane and finished it off with a quick sand by hand.

Tomorrow I'll post the finishing details and photos on my bed!

8.20.2013

RopeSouls | Outfit






Top: Free People//Skirt: TJ Maxx//Bracelet: Borrowed from a friend//Watch:Target//Shoes: c/o RopeSouls
Photos by Arielle & Chase Kennedy
These RopeSouls came just in time to take on a few fun trips toward the end of my summer. I found myself wearing them in Minneapolis, home in Alabama, Orlando & back at the beach in Alabama. They have been the comfiest shoes to slip on with my shorts or a skirt and travel around in. My favorite part about wearing my RopeSouls is I get to tell people that these shoes help provide jobs for people to help them lift themselves out of poverty and improve their lives!

Along with my recent travels, I've been carrying around my Holga film camera. One roll of film was filled with so many great memories from a trip home and when I rushed to get it developed the film came completely out of the roll and was ruined. I guess that is the "fun" in film? I don't really think that is the fun part...but that is what the dude at Walgreens tried to get me to believe. But, hey...you win some you lose some. 

Have you ever tried your hand at film? Have any fun tips to share?

-Courtney 

8.19.2013

The One I've Trusted In...

This past week I've been completely blown away by God's faithfulness. When you put your trust completely in Him, you will see Him do things in your life you never thought would be possible.

8.17.2013

Lamp Restyle With Wood

One of the best company partnerships is Target & Goodwill...whoever came up with the genius idea to donate items from Target to each local Goodwill rules. I picked up this Nate Burkus for Target lamp for $5 at Goodwill a few weeks ago (originally $50!!) with the cheap price ticket came just a few little pen marks so a restyle was in order.
Materials: Lamp, E6000 glue, pencil, scissors & wood veneer edging. I started out by cutting a few different shapes and laying them out on the lamp to see the pattern I wanted. After trying a few things, I ended up cutting two triangle shapes for the middle to make a diamond and strips to frame around the diamond. 

Now I just need to find a shade to top off my lamp. Have fun restyling!