New Inspirations / What I Want My Blog To Be

FREE DIY tutorial for the easiest pom-poms using just a fork!

Inspiration is hitting. I feel like all of my creative ideas are coming to light and all coming together in way that fits who I am and who I’m becoming and the lifestyle I’m trying to achieve.

I have changed this blog around quite a bit since starting it and even since becoming more serious about it about 6 months ago. I think I am finally at the point where I know what I essentially want it to be.

It is so easy to fall into the “make money from blogging” mind set. Just search that phrase on google or pinterest and you will get countless articles and blog posts on how this is possible and what a certain blog did to earn thousands a month from blogging. This seemed amazing to me at first. All I wanted was to make something creative that I loved my full time job. But although it is totally possible to make money from blogging, the way that people were going about it was something that I couldn’t see myself doing long-term. My dad once told me “Make yourself rich, don’t spend your days making other people rich” (or something a long those lines).

I don’t necessarily need to be rich, but I don’t really like the idea of making other people rich by being paid to promote a product that I don’t necessarily use or enjoy or by selling ad space on my website that I want to truly reflect the truest sides of my soul.  I don’t really want to entice my readers into clicking on affiliate links. I want the things I write to seep out of my brain and not be there to include a link to a product.

I also read an article from Melissa Griffin saying that the best way to make money blogging is to sell your own product instead of someone else’s. This made so much sense to me because believe it or not, my passion IS making my own products. I have recently fall en in love with both fiber arts and home decor and I decided to start up a hand-crafted home decor business and use my blog as a support system to that. I want my blog to be filled with pretty pictures and musings about design and art and what was actually going on in my life at the time. I want it to be a way to relate to me for anyone who may see my products that I am going to make. To connect to me as the seller/maker on a more personal level.

My etsy shop is going to be up soon, I have invested in a pretty good loom, and am going to be making tapestries, rugs, blankets and other home decor items I may think of. I have been focusing mainly on weaving but my sewing skills will also be helpful in case I use my weavings as fabric for throw pillows and the like. I also have become interested in macrame and I am beginning to learn to crochet. I have seem some beautiful crocheted blankets and baskets that I would love to try to make for myself.

You can expect this blog to be filled with musings from my journey as a fiber artist and just as a 20 something woman, pictures of my work and spaces, and things that inspire my work spaces and living space.

More to come very soon!
Sarah xx

 

 

DIY Pillow Covers // Plus Pom-Poms and Tassels

Pillow covers are a really easy way to update a room. Since I temporarily moved back home, my bedroom decor from high school has been needing a huge change. If there’s one thing I can suggest for peace and happiness, it’s to create your zen den, your happy place, your indoor oasis. Having a space, even if it’s just one room, filled with things that make you happy and calm your senses makes such a difference to your mental well- being.
My love of fiber arts and home decor has been growing rapidly, so I decided to make some pillow covers to cover some old, ugly ones I had lying around. I then decided to take it one step further and hand-sew some yarn in the form of pom-poms and tassels onto them. Disclosure: The links are affiliate links to brands I like to support.
Free Envelope Pillow Cover Tutorial Plus How To MaKe Your Own Pom-Poms and Tassels To Add On. Click through to see the matching tassel pillow!

How To Make The Pillow Covers

  • Measure the pillow that you want to cover. Mine were 17×17 inches.
  • Cut out two pieces of fabric. One with the same dimensions as your original pillow PLUS 1 inch for seam allowance, so 18×18 inches for the front of the cover and one piece of fabric for the back of the cover with the same width as the first but 6 more inches in height. So the back piece of my cover was 18×24 inches. I then cut this piece in half lengthways like shown below.
  • Make two small hems on each of the back pieces by folding either the top or bottom edge over 1/2″ and sewing across.

DIY PIllow Covers // Envelope Style
4. Lay the back piece down “right side up”. Overlap the two back pieces on top so that “right sides are touching. Pin all three layers together at the sides.
5. Tip: Snip off small triangles at the corners so that they will be nice and sharp when you turn the pillow cover right sides out again. I like to use my rotary cutter for this.
6. Sew all the sides together. When going over the hem as shown below, simply sew across all three layers of fabric. This will ensure no pieces of fabric are sticking out at the end. (I mistake I made the first time I sewed one of these)
7. Sew diagonally when you get to the corners. To do this, simply lift up the presser foot and turn the fabric to a diagonal and sew down that line. Turn the fabric straight again under the presser foot when you’re done.
8. (optional) For a more professional finish, serge the edges of the fabric after they are all sewn together. You don’t need a serger for this. I don’t have one. All I did was set my needle very close the the edge and sew down all the edges with a zig-zag stitch. This technique prevents fraying.
simple sewing tips for a DIY pillow cover.
Pillow Covers Add-Ons
I show other people explaining how to make tassels here.
As for the pom-poms, you will need:

  • A fork
  • Yarn: The best place to get yarn is thrift stores, I got a whole bag of balls of yarn for $1.99 at a local thrift store (Saver’s). If you don’t have any local thrift stores that sell craft supplies, I recommend craftsy.
  • Small, sharp scissors.

FREE DIY tutorial for the easiest pom-poms using just a fork!

  1. Wrap the yarn around the fork. For my smaller blue ones, I wrapped the yarn around 35 times and for the bigger multi-colored ones, I wrapped the yarn around 50 times. You can play around with this number depending on how big or small you want your pom-poms to be.
  2. Cut out a small piece of yarn and “thread” it though the middle prong of the fork and tie it tightly around the middle of the wrapped threads. Double knot it and then thread it back through the other side of the prongs and tie it tightly and double knot it on this side as well to make sure its extra secure. Cut off the excess yarn.
  3. Carefully pull the bundle off the fork and you should be left with a cute little thing like in the bottom left picture above.
  4. Take your small, sharp scissors and  carefully cut through the loops on each side and you will see the pom-pom start to emerge. (lol)
  5. Fluff it out and give it a little hair-cut to make it a nice, even, round shape.

Putting It All Together
Thread a needle with regular thread and stick the needle right through the middle of the pom-pom or through the top of the tassel and into the edge of your fabric and pass the needle in and out of the pom-pom/tassel and fabric several times. I like to make the needle go through the piece of yarn that is tying the pom-pom/tassel together to make sure its secure. Tie it off tightly and cut off the excess thread. Repeat for all of the pom poms and/or tassels. Tip: Place your pieces on the pillow covers beforehand and figure out where everything looks best before you sew them on.
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FREE DIY tutorial for the easiest pom-poms using just a fork! FREE DIY tutorial for the easiest pom-poms using just a fork!
There you have it! I hope to make many more in all sorts of variations. If you try this DIY, please let me know and use the hashtag #diysarahlune on instagram so I can see it!

-Sarah

DIY Tassels Sun Hat

Tassels seem to be everywhere lately and I don’t hate it. Here’s a fun and summery  tassel DIY  for ya! I’m normally not one for super bright colors, but when summer is just beginning, I get really excited and start wearing the most summery things I can find.

I found this really awesome tutorial for making mini tassels using a fork! Learn to make the tassels from Flamingo Toes here.

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I got the hat a few years ago from a random beach-side shop while I was on a vacation in Florida and thought it needed some life brought back into it. The hat probably wasn’t meant for this, but I have been wearing the tassels in the front and in the back! What you do will be up to you! That’s the  beauty of DIY and creativity. 🙂

You Will Need:

  • Small scissors.
  • Needle and Embroidery thread in the colors you choose.
  • A hat. You could very easily thrift one!
  • A fork.

The Process

Basically, all I did was take an old hat and hand-sew the tassels I made on to the blue cloth part. You could definitely sew them right on to the hat, you would just have to make big enough knots so that the thread doesn’t slip right out. You could also take a rectangle of fabric and tie it around the hat if your hat doesn’t have one already.

To sew the tassels in place, I made sure to pass the needle through the piece of thread knotting the tassel together and I passed the needle in and out several times before knotting it at the end. You could also add some Fabric Glue to better ensure they don’t fall off.

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Fun and Summer DIY- A Sun Hat With Tassels!

Since learning to sew, I’ve been getting into all fiber arts and I’m really excited I can make these tassels now. I’m planning on also making my own pom-poms and some DIY pillows with different fiber arts techniques. What techniques are you guys into lately?

-Sarah

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Four Ways To Journal Every Day

I have always loved to journal and write. In the past, I would fill up a journal with thoughts and feelings, get really embarrassed about it and in my terror that someone find it and read it, I would rip up the pages and throw them away.

Although I do wish I had those journals to look back and chuckle on. (The things you write about and are embarrassed about at 13 don’t seem to bother you as much at 23), I think writing things down has so many benefits in the moment.

Four Ways To Start Journaling When You Don't Know What To Write

Writing, for me at least, is extremely calming and helps me realize what my mind and my body have been trying to tell myself but didn’t know how to put into any spoken or thought of words. Something about writing freely really just lets myself let loose and i find myself spewing out words that I didn’t know were in me.

Writing things down is a way to make sense of things and to help things manifest into your real life. For instance, if I write down my plan for my blog, it helps me to realize what is true and what can really happen.

Here are some things to practice if you don’t know how to start or what to write about.

Free Writing:

A process in which you just write whatever comes out of your keyboard or your pen for at least a few minutes without stopping. Some would say not even to lift your pen or pencil off the paper. (or hands off the keyboard) You will be surprised at what you find you were thinking or needed to say.

Make Lists:

I like to clear my head by making the most random lists in a notebook. I’ll literally write a title at the top of the page like “Things I want To Buy For My Apartment” and then just brainstorm. Sometimes something like that as materialistic as it is can lead to more thoughtful writing like the one I wrote below. Excuse my messy hand-writing. I’m working on it.

Four Ways To Start Journaling When You Don't Know What To Write

Doodle: 

I personally am more of a words person, but you may not be. Doodling some pictures or even abstract designs is really therapeutic as well. You can experiment with different colors and textures.

Four Ways To Start Journaling When You Don't Know What To Write

Buy “Prompt” Journal Books: 
I like the “Q&A a Day: 5-Year Journal“.  I received this as a Christmas gift from my sister and I’ve been using it everytime I don’t know what to write about but want to write. I’m really bad at opening it everyday and keeping up with it, but I like to block off 20 minutes to “catch up” with it and fill in like 10 questions at once. There are lots of book stores that will probably sell it really overpriced as novelty gifts, but I found it for cheap at this link on Amazon.

Four Ways To Start Journaling When You Don't Know What To Write

Do you guys have anything else you like to do when you’re journaling? Any other prompt books like mine? I’d love to find another good one!

-Sarah

Creative Habits: How To Stay Creative Every Day

Creative ruts happen to me all the time. I realized that when I take a break from writing my thoughts down and taking time to do creative things, I feel much less creative. I seem to lose my own voice and am much less likely to chase after the things that make me happy and feel like my soul is radiating sunshine.

When I was younger, I thought that I wasn’t creative and I wasn’t good at anything. I thought that creativity and talent were something you were born with. But…that is the thought that hurts creativity the most.

Here’s the thing. Creativity is something to practice everyday. It’s not something we’re born with or preselected to have. Anyone and everyone can be creative. Some may be more inclined to do creative things and keep their creative juices flowing, but if you want to be creative all you have to do is practice is everyday.

There’s lots of ways you can practice creativity.

1. Journal Everyday. I like to keep a journal to jot down ideas as soon as I get them. I also have a note on my phone, but I much prefer real paper and ink. That way, I don’t forget them when I go back to my computer to work on something. Journaling is also a way that I find I can get out thoughts that I didn’t know how to say or express otherwise. Even if the only writing you do is blogging or work related, I highly suggest writing down your ideas on paper first. I did that with this blog post and it’s going swimmingly.

2.Read for at least a few minutes everyday. I heard somewhere that the key to being a good writer is reading a lot. That always stuck with me. It also helps you see from perspectives outside your own which is why it is so important to creativity. I made a list of books that are really inspiring to me for when I’m feeling anxious or uninspired.

3.Look at art everyday. You don’t have to go to an art museum or anything. I get a lot of inspiration through photography and I like to browse instagram and pinterest for pictures that inspire me. I find pictures can set a whole mood. Browse whatever kind of art inspires you!

4.Do Something Where You’re Around Creative People. Take a class or join a meet-up or even just go to a cafe where people are working on different things. You may see someone coding on a computer and someone else drawing on paper. Seeing what other people are working on will inevitably inspire you.

5.Find out the time of day your creative juices flow most. Most of my creative urges happen at night. For that reason, I try to establish a night time routine where I step away from my computer and screens and sit down with a notebook.  For you, this could be early in the morning or in the middle of the afternoon. If you get a sudden idea or creative urge, follow it.

How To Stay Creative Everyday

6.Go Outside. This might just be me because I grew up in New Hampshire near lots of trees and green things, but nothing rejuvenates me or changes my mood better than being in fresh air. Walks are some of the most meditative things if you let them. I love to walk through the woods the most. For you, it could be a walk by the ocean, through a park, down a busy city street. Wherever you are in the world, you can get outside and get inspiration from whatever your surroundings are. People watching is also great!

7.Create an inspiring space. I do have dreams of building my own sewing/writing/blogging studio with lots of natural light and plants, incense, candles, art, and a place to do yoga. But I don’t have that yet. If you’re like me, you can practice creativity in creating a small space for yourself anywhere. Even if its your bedroom or  just the nightstand beside your bed. Even if its just a frame of mind. Take the time to learn about the game-changing technique of mindfulness. Take time to set up an inspiring environment when you sit down to do whatever it is you do. Light a candle, make a cup of tea, put on some music that inspires you. The beauty of creativity is that this place can look like whatever you want!

 

I hope these tips helped. What are some things you do to stay creative or to get out of a creative rut? Where do you feel most inspired?

-Sarah

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The Anxiety Relief Reading List

If you struggle with anxiety, books are some of the most healing things out there. I don’t think you necessarily have to go to the self-help section of a book store in order to find something helpful for mental health. The best books are the ones with characters you relate to and that inspire you to live life the way you want to live. Their stories can teach you valuable lessons you can apply to your own life. It’s okay to escape into the world of a book sometimes!

All of these have helped me in some way whether I was going through a tough time, needed to escape. or just needed some inspiration. Disclosure: The links are through my amazon affiliate account.

  1. Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned” by Lena Dunham

“I didn’t know why this was happening. The cruel reality of anxiety is that you never quite do. At the moments it should logically strike, I am fit as a fiddle. On a lazy afternoon, I am seized by a cold dread.” – Lena Dunham

No other book but this one has made me feel that my ordinary experiences growing up as a girl not only deserve to be heard, but that they are remarkably similar to other girls.

The Reading List For Anyone Who Struggles With Anxiety or Mental Health

2. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

“Nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun” -Christoper McCandless

Into the Wild was one of those life changing books for me. (The movie actually was as well). It was one of those books where I would practically yell in people’s faces that they just had to read it and it explained what I was feeling like no other book could. It’s the story of a 23 year old guy who gives up all of his possessions and money and heads for Alaska. It’s full of the most beautiful insights about life and love and what truly matters. It made me feel like no matter what petty problems I had in my life and what I was scared of for the future, everything would be okay. It was a reminder that there is so much beauty in the world around you and in life itself.

3.Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed.

“I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.” – Cheryl Strayed

I’m not sure what it is about books about people who explore wilderness, but this book was incredibly inspiring as well. Cheryl Strayed tells her experiences from when she hiked from Southern California to Washington by herself. And does it beautifully. She is a woman who went through so much loss and then succeeded in doing something so incredible. It’s definitely the kind of story that inspires you to be braver.

4. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

“Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle.” -Marie Kondo

I never thought I would be into a self-help book that helps you tidy up your house, but Marie Kondo’s approach really inspires you to look at life differently, to embrace minimalism, and to take a good look at what truly makes you happy.

The Ultimate Reading List for Anxiety and Mental Health

5. It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

“People are screwed up in this world. I’d rather be with someone screwed up and open about it than somebody perfect and ready to explode.” – Ned Vizzini

This book is about a teenage boy who has a suicidal episode and ends up in a psych ward and the people he meets and things he learns there. Along with being funny, it helps you to realize how ordinary and common mental health problems are and makes you feel better about being open with your own.

6.The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.” – J.K Rowling

What to say about Harry Potter except that if you struggle with anxiety, or depression, or a mental health issue of any kind, Harry Potter should be on your list. The character of Harry alone is so complex and through his eyes you learn about love, friendship, grief, death, bravery, among many other things. Not to mention that no book series has ever been so captivating and successful at pulling me into a completely different world. Not only is the magical world a nice escape from reality, you find that magical people are just as relatable as regular ones.

7.Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

“I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value.” -Herman Hesse

Siddhartha is my first recommendation to anyone who is looking to get into mediation or mindfulness as a way of dealing with stress or anxiety. For such a short read, it’s full of wisdom.

I will add more books as I think of them! I’d love to know your recommendations! What are some books that have helped you through a tough time?

-Sarah

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DIY Turban Headbands

I made this headband that I had from an old bed sheet that I was using to practice sewing with. Bed sheets are a great way to get cheap fabric as you can find them at a lot of thrift stores or get them from family members. Another benefit of upcycling a sheet was that these were SO SOFT. But actually you can make these with any fabric you want. You just need to measure around your head and decide how wide you want it to be.

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//You Will Need//

//Instructions//

  1. Cut out two strips of fabric that are the same length as around your head plus an inch or two for seam allowance. You can make it any width you like. You are going to be folding these two strips in half, so the width of one unfolded strip will be the approximate width of the final result.

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2. Fold each strip in half length ways so that the “wrong” side of the fabric is facing up. Place pins along the raw edges to secure it.

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3. Sew along the raw edges on the sides and ONE OF THE ENDS. You will need to keep the other end open so you can turn it right side out again. Tip: Use a zig-zag stitch if your fabric is stretchy. Don’t forget to backstitch! You can also do this with a needle and thread. It’s a small enough project that you can definitely hand sew.

4. Repeat with the other strip and then turn both right side out so you have two “tubes”.

5. Place one tube on top of the other to form an X. Then put the ends together so you have two interlacing loops.

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6. Match up all the raw edges and sew them down. You can stop here, but I like to put another piece of fabric around this seam to make it look a bit cleaner.

7. Optional: Cut out another small rectangle of fabric in the same way that you made the previous two tubes. Sew along the raw edge while inside-out and then turn it right side out again.

8. You can sew the edges together around the headband’s seam, but I found it easier to just use fabric glue, which you can find here.

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Done!

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DIY turban headbands

I hope this tutorial was helpful. Leave any questions down in the comments below!

-Sarah

A Beginner’s Guide To Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a quickly growing movement that reminds you to realize what you are feeling and what is going on around you. I am slowly but surely adapting this practice to my current every day life and I have felt so much more positive and motivated now that I have.  Mindfulness to me is the practice of finding the joys in each little moment through out the day. It can be in a cup of tea or in noticing the color of the sky outside. It can be taking a few breaths during a stressful moment to figure out what you really feel and need.

 

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Taking this into account in the past couple weeks, I see more clearly my need to spend my days being creative, taking time to be mindful, and enjoying each cup of tea, each hour that I can sit and write without interruption, each moment that I share with someone I love.

I’ve read about some different techniques including breathing exercises, yoga, and mediation. Here are some things I’ve learned.

  1. Do a quick body scan: Be aware of your body and its surroundings. Feel your feet against the floor or your back against your chair.
  2. Stretch: If I’m ever feeling lethargic or moody, I find that stretching can instantly re-energize me and lift my mood.
  3. Keep track of your breath: Being aware of your breathing is really enlightening once you do it. Taking deep, conscious breaths in and out can really calm my mind.
  4. Unplug. Through blogging and just day to day life in the 21st century, I spend a lot of time looking at screens. I find that its really important for mindfulness to spend some time each day or even just each night to help me sleep, to do things that don’t involve screens. I read, journal, go for walks, do something crafty, etc.

Looking for a good read that’ll help you relax? I wrote a list of books that are great for anxiety and mental health (and none of them are self-help books!)

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My goal in writing blog posts about my journey with learning to be mindful is to showcase my moments in life no matter how insignificant seeming they are. To organize my thoughts in a tangible and shareable way. To even help or inspire just one person that struggles with stress, mental health, or who just wants to live his or her life in a more authentic way. I am also using mindfulness as a learning method to talk about self-confidence and self-love. Join me as I learn.