Beauty Find Friday: How I Ethically Shop

This week’s Beauty Find Friday is a real look what it looks like for me to shop ethically. If you don’t like to think about how your actions affect others, stop reading now. But, if on some level, you want to be a world changer, keep reading. If you’ve ever wondered how an ordinary person like you could make a difference, keep reading.

My edited closet
But keep reading over on Mercy Ink, because that’s where you’ll find the rest of this post! 

Beauty Find Friday: My Latest Thrifted Finds

Like I mentioned Monday, I found some fantastic finds thrifting in Iowa. After lunch at the local taco establishment, my friend and I went to Goodwill, as is our tradition. I’d been looking for a big black purse for some time, so this jumped out at me: 
A purse like this at Target would cost around $30, so when I found out it cost $3, I had to get it!

It’s in almost new condition, and since it’s super roomy inside, it worked perfectly for carrying my magazines and books on the plane.

Then I saw this…

Just kidding! This was so crazy, I had to take a picture of it, but even I would not attempt a project that daring. I’ll let Marisa handle that!

 I also found this belt. I’ve never really seen anything like it, and I debated about getting it. But since it was only $1.50, I splurged and bought it.

Last Sunday, this is what I wore to church:

The necklace you’ll recognize from Noonday Collection, with the thrifted belt, and the thrifted cardigan from Savers a couple weeks ago, and a black dress from Sears.

(Also, notice the fighter jet calendar in the background. Brian and I have different ideas when it comes to bedroom decor!)
My former voice coach and friend from church spotted these at another local thrift store, and since she’d seen my living room decor post, said “Emily must have these!”

Right now, they’re chilling in the dining room until I find the perfect spot, and the perfect candles.

Aren’t they perfect though?! I love that they don’t match, because most of my blue and white stuff doesn’t match, so it fits perfectly!

Have you found anything awesome thrifting recently? Last night Brian and I found some great stuff at Target on clearance, but I’m saving that for the bedroom/bathroom reveal post!

Happy thrifting adventures, and have a beautiful weekend!

Beauty Find Friday: Learn It. Make It!

“I don’t know how.”
“I don’t have time.”
“I’m just not creative.”

When I show people projects I’ve made, like the curtains, slipcover, sweater pillow, and quilt in my living room right now, they often make one or more of the statements above. If you’ve ever said something similar, this is for you: Stop making excuses and learn how to sew already!

We live in a technological age where anything we could possibly want to know is a google search or youtube video away! I watched a dozen youtube videos on how to thread a sewing machine when I first got mine. But it can be even easier than searching online.

Enter Craftsy: the online craft school.

Since Craftsy gives you 24/7 access that never expires, your “no time” excuse is now invalid. You can learn at your own pace, anytime, anywhere. Plus, they’re very affordable: many are even free!

What have you always wanted to make? Knit sweaters? Sew nursery decor? Cake decorating? Quilting? DIY Wedding? There’s probably a Craftsy class for it.

Right now, I’m working my way through watching the free QuiltCon LecturesPerfect Pizza At HomeBag Making Basics, Reversible Tote and Zipper Pouch, and Sewing Machine 911. I’m also enrolled in Tailoring Ready to Wear, which will be an extremely useful class for me since so many ready to wear items just don’t fit me right. It will be a step up from my DIY bridesmaids dress alteration!

On my wishlist: Sewing With KnitsShoot it: Online Product PhotographyCreative Container GardeningFabric Patterning with Wax Resist Class.

I’ve already stepped up my pizza making and been so inspired by Amy Butler’s lecture at QuiltCon. There’s so much more I want to learn! Thankfully, Craftsy has sales almost all the time. If you sign up for their emails, you’ll probably never have to pay full price for a class.

I could go on, but I think the amazingness of Craftsy is clear. Browse the classes and watch a few trailers. And stop making excuses!

Speaking of sales, this week is the big spring sale! Different classes will be on sale every day, April 5th through 8th, with the mother-load of classes going on sale tomorrow!

Craftsy

Creativity is like a muscle, it has to be exercised. Maybe the first projects you complete won’t be as good as someone else’s. Who cares! Start somewhere, and give yourself permission for it not to be perfect the first time.

What craft or skill have you always wanted to learn? What excuses have held you back? Tell me about it in the comments!

Beauty Find Friday: A Sale, A Sneak Peek, and A Winner

One of the hardest things about being a grown up is not getting a Spring Break. I realized this week that I totally took Spring Break for granted. I mean, it always came at just the right time, when Christmas break was a distant memory, the weather warmed up enough to make studying impossible, and your brains were turned to mush anyway from seven to eight months of school. Plus, there was the opportunity to escape to every midwest girl’s fantasy: THE BEACH.

Instead of laying on the sand, I’ve been hard at work this week. I’m almost ready to launch a new spring collection of stationery in Scribbles Shoppe. This collection is hand painted by yours truly, then I scan each painting, design the cards, print and assemble them into lovely little packages in my apartment. Here’s a little sneak peek:

If you follow me on Pinterest, you might have noticed that I’ve been very inspired by flowers lately. These paintings are based on actual wedding bouquets I’ve seen on Pinterest. So, sending these cards is almost as good as sending flowers! My goal with this collection is to celebrate life’s lovely moments, and to make something that will be cherished.

To celebrate the coming launch, I’m having a sale on everything in my shop! Take $5 off any designs currently in my shop with the code: 50FFSALE

P.S. If you really don’t have any use for wedding invites, I’m happy to alter the design to fit your special occasion. Just hit the “contact” button on the sidebar of the listing and fill me in on your request, or add a note to seller when checking out, and we’ll make it happen!

In other news, thank you for entering the Noonday Collection Giveaway! The winner of the $50 to Noonday Collection is: Victoria Andrews! Congrats! I’ve already emailed you, so be sure to respond in 24 hrs to claim your prize!

Beauty Find Friday: My First Quilt!

Yesterday I finished my first quilt!!!

It’s a lap quilt, and quite small, but it’s been at least five years in the making. Seriously. I started it sometime in high school. I hate unfinished projects, and this one has been hanging over my head since then. And now it’s finally done! It’s perfect for cozying up on the couch while drinking my morning coffee.

I faced several obstacles while finishing this quilt. First, I didn’t have the directions. They are in some book that my mom has, and after five years, I didn’t really remember how it was supposed to go. I did remember that the quilt top was supposed to be tied, but then my quilting extraordinaire friend, Alyssa, convinced me to quilt it. I do like the way quilting looks much better than tying.

She also helped me create the quilt sandwich using spray on adhesive. SO much better than holding it together with pins! The quilting itself wasn’t too hard: just straight lines. But the binding. Oh the binding! I sewed it onto the back, only to realize that I didn’t have enough to go around the entire quilt! I went to Hobby Lobby to try to match it, but of course, sage green isn’t a popular color now, five years later. I thought I’d buy binding in a different color, and then do half in sage green and half in rose. No rose binding either. Then, I decided to buy fabric and cut my own binding. I couldn’t even find matching fabric! So I bought the closest match I could find, which is definitely more spring green than sage.

Cheers!

Thank goodness for youtube. I watched bias binding tutorials a million times, and I still had to redo sewing the strips together. By the time I got to the quilt, I just wanted to be finished. Hence, no close ups of the binding!

So many mistakes in so little space! Oh well. I finished my first quilt! It’s no longer hanging over my head, it’s folded up on the couch. It feels good!

I probably never would have finished this if it wasn’t for Alyssa’s encouragement and help. So if you’re struggling with a project, maybe all you need to finally get check it off your list is some help from a friend. Accountability, inspiration, or just companionship while you’re working on it can do wonders for your motivation!

Have you ever had projects hanging over your head? What did it take for you to finish them?

Beauty Find Friday: The Bright Side

After a rainy week, the sun is back out today and it’s beautiful outside! Inspired by the change in the weather, for today’s Beauty Find Friday I’m looking on the bright side. 
A lot of good things have happened this week. 
I received two long awaited packages in the mail. Yay!
I got some new fabric and lace!
What am I going to use black lace for? I’ve got a DIY in mind that I’m super excited to try. 
I got a plant that I won’t be able to kill!
That’s right, it’s fake. $2.50 at Hobby Lobby. 
Also from Hobby Lobby, I got some art supplies!

I’m also very close to finishing a sewing project I started in high school. Better late than never! 
While working on said sewing project, I found these in my sewing basket!

A long time ago, I was really into making jewelry. I’m pretty sure I made a necklace to go along with these, but I don’t know what happened to it. I love pearls and florals, so I’m totally going to wear these. 
Tomorrow is Brian’s 25th birthday! I made reservations at a nice restaurant, and I don’t think he has any clue what his birthday present is. I’m pretty sure he’ll be pleasantly surprised!
If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’ve been doing a daily style challenge this month, #stylemefeb. It’s been fun, and nice to have inspiration when picking out what to wear every day!
And lastly, I have such kind and supportive blog readers. Seriously. You’re amazing. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. It means more than you’ll ever know. 
You can’t have a rainbow, without a little rain. 

Beauty Find Friday: Valentine Gift Inspiration

Valentine's Day Decor

Hand-Embroidered Accent Pillow Cover Custom Tattoo Heart Pillow… / Colorful botanical art-flowers-pink -cottage decor-modern-“Spring No. / Custom Wedding Gift or First Anniversary Paper Gift 3D Framed wedding… / Paper Flowers Red Rose / Mr. Mrs. Gift Set / Valentine’s Day MADE TO ORDER Needle Felted Sweetheart Owl Pink Heart / Valentine’s Day MADE TO ORDER Needle Felted Sweetheart Owl Pink Heart

I know it’s only February 1st, but Valentine’s Day will soon be upon us. To help with your gifting or your decorating, I’ve put together a collage of some of my favorite Valentine’s Day gifts.

The links to each item are below the picture, but I wanted to highlight a few.

  • The Mr. and Mrs. set from DaySpring.com is one of my favorites to give as a wedding gift. We enjoy ours!
  • The embroidered pillow is from Plumed on Etsy, which sells a lost of other embroidered pillow designs, including customizable ones featuring an outline of the United States, with hearts marking special locations of significance. 
  • Good Natured makes all sorts of adorable felted creatures, including the Valentine owl above. 

And if you’d like a free print, visit my Freebie page for a Valentine’s Day print and Valentines. For many, more lovely ideas, check out 20 Fair Trade + Handmade Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas from Mercy Ink.  It’s a great time to share the love by giving your business to small businesses and shops that are making a difference!

Beauty Find Friday: Art from Society6

It’s Friday! I’m going to a concert tonight with my best friend and it’s going to be AMAZING, and early tomorrow morning (like, 3am early) Brian and I are driving to California for a quick visit to help my sister-in-law move! Woot! This weekend is going to fly by.

For this week’s beauty find, I couldn’t wait to share this website I found while searching for my ideal iphone case: Society6. 

“The artwork on Society6 is created by hundreds of thousands of artists from around the world.
When you buy a product from Society6, we produce it using only the highest quality materials, and ship it to you on behalf of the artist.”

Society6 features artwork, illustration, typography, photography, and mixed media. When you find a work of art you love, you have the option of purchasing it as a print or a canvas in various sizes, but you could also get it on a tee shirt, sweat shirt, iphone case, stationary cards, pillow, or tote bag!

It’s such a neat way to support artists, and it’s an inexpensive way to procure unique art for your home, and embellish your wardrobe. Here’s a few of my favorite pieces.

All of those are available as prints or canvases, and most are also available on clothing, pillows, iphone cases, or more.
My favorite artists include Amy Hamilton, Pocket Fuel, Kelli Murray, and Teagan White. After you spend some time browsing, I’d love to know who your favorites are! Feel free to come back and share a link in the comments!

Beauty Find Friday: New Phone

I know this is an odd topic for Beauty Find Friday, but this happened last night:

Look, it’s my reflection!
I got an iPhone!
I can hardly believe it’s really mine. Here’s my old phone, next to it’s replacement.
I didn’t think I’d ever get an iPhone, because for my 21st birthday Brian got me an iPod touch. But then this happened: 
After I synced it with all my iPod apps, photos, music, etc., I may or may not have momentarily lost the call button. You know, the thing that actually makes this a phone. Minor detail. No worries, I found it. 
So now that I have an iPhone, I need a case for it. Last night I spent some time browsing cases, and I’m having a hard time deciding. Here’s a few of my favorites. 
Aztec Case $19.99
Native Case

There’s more along those design lines in Cases by Csera’s Etsy shop, all for $19.99.

I like the geometric/woodgrain look, but I also like the classic chic Kate Spade cases. These are all $35-$40.

Source: katespade.com via Emily on Pinterest
Source: katespade.com via Emily on Pinterest
Source: katespade.com via Emily on Pinterest

Source: katespade.com via Emily on Pinterest

There’s also this one:

Source: vonmaur.com via Emily on Pinterest

Or this one:

Just kidding!!!

Maybe you can help me pick one. Which case is your favorite? If you have a smartphone, where did you get your case?

Beauty Find Friday: Kiss Slavery Goodbye

For this week’s Beauty Find Friday, I have a beautiful cause to share with you! 

Remember Radiant Cosmetics from October’s Fashion for Freedom series? Since January 1st is the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation proclamation, yet there are more slaves in the world today than there were 150 years ago, this January has been declared National Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Radiant is conducting a campaign to kiss slavery goodbye. Beyond the 20% of each purchase that they already donate to help survivors, they are also giving one lipstick for each purchased to a survivor of human trafficking!

I’m wearing my Radiant lipstick today actually. It’s a lovely shade of pink that’s not too bright, but definitely shows up.

Here’s how you can help kiss slavery goodbye:

1. Purchase a Lipstick.

2. Post a Picture – Print out and hold our #KissSlaveryGoodbye sign, wear your favorite Radiant Lipstick and take a picture.

3. Blog about it – If you’re a blogger, we’d love for you to spread the word. Feel free to use any and all information/graphics from our Website and be sure and include us in tags and send us the link so we can promote your blog as well. If you have questions feel free to email: info@radiantcosmetics.org.

4. Share our campaign via Social Media – Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook. Help us spread the word!

5. Change your Facebook and Twitter Cover – You can find these on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

I’ll be watching Instagram for your pics! Have a beautiful Friday!