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Project DIY: Joan of Arc Collection

27 Nov

Wow, I think that this is just going to be a full DIY week.

I had the GREAT REVEAL of the DIY Challenge yesterday, three of my favorite blog friends (aka the Glue Crew) also posted their DIY Challenge results, and then I have today’s subscription kit…which happens to be called Project DIY!

YAY for DIY and being crafty. Not the sneaky kind of crafty though… the kind covered in glitter and glue.

M&J Trimmings sent me their Project DIY: Joan of Arc Collection box which included their starter kit of tools, as well as everything I needed to make a Joan of Arc inspired cuff and necklace.

DIY box - Joan of ArcThe first thing I noticed was that the quality of the kit was quite impressive. The chain, bracelet cuff and all the details were quite heavy and well-made. I was initially disappointed that the instructions were online (and not provided in the kit), but once I visited the link I found the instruction breakdown and images really helpful.

The first project was the Joan of Arc necklace:

Necklace - 1

Here are all the pieces that need to magically come together into a necklace…

Necklace - 2

First phase done, the pendant and tube beads are attached to the chain mail.

Necklace - 3

I tried a few different variations until I came up with my favorite… and then changed it again when I broke out the glue.

Necklace 4

Look, I’m gluing. You guys smile when you’re gluing right? Maybe not Katie though, who has a history of glue gunning stuff to her face.

Necklace - 5

My finished masterpiece!

Necklace - 6 Joules

I let it dry for 30+ hours and here’s the finished look!

Then, I tried my hand at the Joan of Arc cuff bracelet:

Bracelet - 1

Only a few pieces needed for this project. YAY!

Bracelet - 2

Once again, I tried out a few different designs only to change it all once I started gluing.

Bracelet - 3

It’s like Wonder Woman’s cuff — don’t mess with me!

I think that this kit was definitely high on the ‘coolness’ scale. Each collection is based on runway and street styles, so this would make a great fit for the crafty fashionista friend that is hard to buy for.

Project DIY starter kitI also really like that they included a starter kit with needle nose pliers, a wire cutter, chain nose pliers, a jump ring opener, assorted clasps, earring hooks, jump rings and chain extenders. It’s a nice little package of everything you really need to start with this type of jewelry work… and much better than trying to wrap the wire around a pencil or wrench or something.

If you are interested in trying out a subscription for yourself or purchasing one as a gift, check them out here .

Disclosure: I was provided a Project DIY kit to review; however all thoughts and opinions in this review are my own. I am not rewarded or compensated in any way if you click through to purchase a Project DIY kit.


November Stitch Fix: Help Me Decide!

20 Nov

I can’t believe my THIRD Stitch Fix is finally here. I feel like I’ve been looking forward to this Fix as soon as I scheduled it. That’s how they suck you in, right?!

If you are interested in checking out my first two Fix’s, you can see my first Stitch Fix box here and my second Getting Warmer Fix here.

Claire styled this month’s fix and I think overall she did a really great job. It’s actually my FAVORITE Fix so far… even better than last months Fix. Which is why I really need your help in deciding what to purchase!

Stitch Fix - November style cardThey updated the styling cards that come with the Fix so that now the outfit suggestions are all on one sheet of paper. I actually really like the new design because you don’t have a big laminated tag poking you while you try on the clothes. I also like that I have all the outfit suggestions in case I want to mimic any from my own clothes.

Stitch Fix silkTop - November FixHere’s my first item, which is the only one that wasn’t a winner AT ALL. I really like the color of the shirt… but there is no way that I’d ever pay $78 for a extremely thin short-sleeved blouse. You can’t see it in this picture, but it’s so thin that you can easily see my bra. As you can tell by my face, Joules no likey and this isn’t even included in the voting.

Stitch Fix Doman Top - November FixSo I need your opinion on this top. It’s a Dolman Sleeve Jersey top, which means that I kinda look like Batgirl when I lift my arms. Is this a good thing? Do I WANT to be Batgirl? I thought it looked cute as a date night top (even though I accidentally cut my head off in the picture…) and maybe for a more casual work outfit. What do you think?

Stitch Fix sweater and jeans - November FixI really like the feel of this sweater, but the color and shape doesn’t really do anything for me. Thoughts? The jeans are also from this Fix (also worn in the last picture) and I love the way they fit…however I JUST bought an identical pair of jeans a month or so ago.

Stitch Fix Jacket - November FixWhen I pulled this jacket out of the box I was like, “UM…didn’t I JUST leave feedback on how awful asymmetric jackets look on busty girls?!” and kind of glared at it for a while. I really didn’t even want to try it on because I was convinced that I’d look like a busty heifer. I was pleasantly surprised though that when I actually tried this top on…it looks kinda cute. Right? Or am I fooling myself? I like that the two zippers on the front are working zippers, so you can wear the jacket zipped asymmetrically or straight up the middle. I think this could be really cute as a more badass version of a work suit jacket. Do you think I should buy this one?

After trying everything on with my clothes, I’m strongly considering purchasing the black and white dolman sleeve top and the asymmetric jacket. I have until Friday to make my final decisions though… which is why I’d love to know what you think. Feel free to use this snazzy voting tool or just leave your comments below.

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by Stitch Fix, I pay for the $20 styling fee and any clothing I purchase with my own hard-earned money. I do have a special referral link though and if you decide to click through and sign up I will receive a small referral reward. Here’s my link. So thank you for anyone who chooses to click through and support my shopping addiction.

11/21/13 Update: Thank you so much to everyone who gave feedback! I ended up purchasing the black and white BATGIRL top from this Fix. I was on the fence on the asymmetrical jacket… but after trying it on for the 10,000th time, the zipper stuck and I figured it was a sign that I should pass. I already scheduled my next fix for December and requested a holiday party dress and all fun tops!

Brit Kit Fun: Clay Candle Holder Kit

18 Nov

I haven’t blogged about Brit Kits for a few months now, so I figured I’d fix that just in time for a fun holiday gift recommendation!

I previously wrote about my Polka Dot Popcorn Party Brit Kit and then about my first Brit Co-Op Par-DIY. I loved being a part of the Brit Co-Op, but they’ve decided to take a few months off since it was getting overwhelming for some hosts to have a party every single month. I can’t wait until it starts up again though, because I LOVE having an excuse to send the boys out of the house and have some fun girlie time!

This month’s kit included everything you need to create three clay candle holders:

Clay candle Brit KitI followed the instructions word-for-word…check it out.

Step 1 - ball of clay

First, roll a lump of clay into a big ball. Boom. A blue ball.

Step 2 - roll out clay

Then, flatten your ball and roll it out using your votive holder.

Step 3 - on candle holder

Fit it to the outside of the votive holder and trim off the excess. Roll it around on the counter some more to get rid of any lumps or seams.

Step 4 - poke holes with stick

Decorate the votive holder — I poked some dots with the stick that came with the kit.

Step 5 - bake

After repeating the process for the other two votive holders, I baked them for 10 minutes to set the clay (it goes from being rubbery to hard).

Finished Brit Kit candles

Take a pretty picture of the finished project! So cute, right?!

I really enjoyed this kit because it was quick, it was relatively easy, and I love that I ended up with three really cute candle holders. I think that this kit could be the PERFECT Christmas gift for the tween or teen in your life – it’s crafty (which automatically makes it cool) and it’s also kind of trendy because everything Brit does is pretty much awesome. If you’re interested in this kit, it’s available on Brit + Co’s website for $19.99. And no, I’m not rewarded for recommending this to you. I just think it’s a super cute idea!

Disclosure: I was provided a Brit Kit for free as a ‘thank you’ for participating in the Brit Co-Op. I was not required to review the kit, recommend it or even blog about it at all. I just loved it so much that I wanted to share it with my readers!

Darby Smart Review: Making my Own Soy Candles

4 Nov

I consider myself kind of a crafty person. I mean, I rocked the crap out of making my own lip balm and painting a pretty tote bag, right? So when the nice people at Darby Smart contacted me asking if I’d like to try out one of their kits, I only hesitated a few minutes.

Then, they sent me this video….

I’m not even kidding when I say I watched it a few times and giggled nonstop. It’s SO me!

So that is the story of how I came to try my hand at candle making.
You think that this isn’t going to go well, don’t you?
Well, you’re a little bit right.

When I received my box, I was super excited to try it out. However, you can’t exactly throw together some hot wax candles while also chasing after an active toddler… so it took me almost a month before I was able to even open the box.

Darby Smart box openedThe instructions seemed pretty straightforward. Well, except for the part of using a “microwave safe glass container.” I don’t have one of those fancy glass containers, but I figured I could use an old Tupperware and it would be fine. {insert ominous music here}

Darby Smart instructionsThey provided me with four different scents to try: bacon, spiced pumpkin, a dozen roses and French vanilla. I decided to mix the spiced pumpkin and French vanilla for my first try…

Darby Smart - scentsSo, I grabbed an old plastic bowl and threw in a few handfuls of wax. Yeah, that’s right I’m living on the edge with the whole ‘not measuring’ thing.

Darby Smart - waxThen, I put it in the microwave for the instructed four minutes and wandered around munching on candy corn. When the microwave dinged, I realized that I might have misjudged the awesomeness of my plastic bowl.

Darby Smart - melted bowlOopsie. So, after cleaning out the entire microwave… I started again with a thicker plastic bowl…

Darby Smart - wax againI put that big ol’ boy in the microwave for just ONE minute this time and started shaving my colored wax (while eating a few more candy corn).

Darby Smart - shave waxThe wax wasn’t quite melted yet, but after just 45 more seconds it was fully liquid AND my bowl was still intact! I grabbed the scents and splashed in some spiced pumpkin, followed by some French vanilla. Nope, I didn’t measure. Just splashed in a generous dollop of each.

Darby Smart - adding scentThen, I filled up a few of the provided votives, added the shaved colors (a mix of the yellow and red) and stuck in the wicks.

Darby Smart - wicksI left them on the kitchen counter for a couple hours while I did other stuff (which may or may not have included eating more candy corn) and when I came back they were BEAUTIFUL! And they smelled darn good too.

So besides my initial mistake of melting an entire bowl in my microwave, I think I did a pretty darn good job at my first attempt at candle making! I have plenty of leftover supplies in the kit to make more candles and think I’ll try the bacon scent next.

Darby Smart - candlesIf you are interested in making your own candles or trying out another fun kit, stop by the Darby Smart website and poke around a bit.

Disclosure: I was provided a Darby Smart kit to review; however all thoughts and opinions in this review are my own. I am not rewarded or compensated in any way if you click through to purchase a Darby Smart kit.

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