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DIY: Embellished Stone Weights

April 16, 2015

Having your desk set up near a big window is amazing. Lots of natural light and fresh air, a view of the trees swaying outside along the street as people stroll through the nabe… Papers blowing around as a result of a random breeze, however, is not one of my favorite things.

I’ve done a similar DIY before, but those were for pattern paper and these are smaller, for to-do lists and loose sheets on my desk. Okay, you got me! I just can’t stop decorating rocks. Anyway, here’s how to create some cute weights for your desk.

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 Start with some clean, lovely rocks, which you can find anywhere in the great outdoors. I favor beach rocks, but I found these in Brooklyn. I was walking home from having drinks with friends, and couldn’t resist.

Yes, I probably looked a little weird fishing for rocks in the street at 1AM… but it’s all for the sake of a cute DIY project, so, justified.

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 Gather up some decor (sequins, cabachons, flat back gems) and tacky glue.

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 Apply the tacky glue to the back of your embellishments carefully.

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 Press them down on the surface of the rock and hold for a few seconds to make sure everything stays in place.

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 When applying sequins, I use tweezers or needle nose pliers to place them precisely and avoid getting glue everywhere.

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 I also used some vintage bindis that I found in a shop in the East Village. Their glue was beginning to wear off and they probably wouldn’t have been great on skin, but with a little tacky glue, they work just fine on rocks.

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 Continue embellishing to your heart’s content. Once finished, display them on your window sill, or anywhere, until you need them for paper-stabilizing.

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 These make great gifts. Wrap up a set and give them to a co-worker or even to your mama for mother’s day.

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Want to see more DIY? Check out my page on Cut Out + Keep.

Many more projects on the way this spring!

#FreedomAdventure

April 15, 2015

There’s a reason I have time to write this blog post today (and schedule one for tomorrow). It’s because I’ve set my Gmail inbox to offline while I take care of all the existing to-do’s, without new ones piling up on top like a Tetris game gone horribly wrong. This is day 9 of Nisha Moodley‘s #FreedomAdventure challenge.

She’s been sending out a new challenge each day aimed at finding the beautiful balance between “ambition and ease”. How sweet does that sound? Her subscribers have been instagram-ing daily photos of themselves interpreting the various challenges. Some of mine are below.

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I unexpectedly found that these exercises, when you really do them, open your eyes to some of the ways we contribute to our own frustration.

For instance, I typically go to sleep feeling like I haven’t done enough during the day, drained of inspiration. And how could that be, when I spent all day “working”? Sound familiar? It’s all about “work smarter, not harder”… but in this case it’s work with clarity, not with wild abandon.

Once you’ve found clarity around what you want to experience in life, you won’t fall into the trap of being fruitlessly busy. You’ll be less tempted to put out fires in your inbox all day rather than doing game-changing work (and you’ll even see the value in throwing the occasional impromptu luau… or whatever). Once you find your “north star”, you can careen toward it.

Amazing, right? So obvious, but amazing.

There are 14 days total, and I’ve decided to make this post to encourage you babes to jump on the bandwagon, even though we’re a little more than half way finished. There are great videos, fun prompts, and a hashtag feed of inspiring snapshots to benefit from. You can check out my progress on Instagram, too.

Here’s to clarity, pretty photos, and doing amazing work.

P.S. I also want to say thank you to Nisha Moodley for consistently being one of the most inspiring women in my internet life! The mere act of visiting her website is like strolling into a soothing sanctuary of glittery-purple bliss.

Fresh boho-chic at home: Bomisch

March 29, 2015

The best part of spring cleaning is the fun part that follows it: decorating! Replacing old decor with fresh new accents with new energy for the changing season is a fail-proof way to get your creative gears going again, if you found yourself in a winter rut in the darker months. I know I did!

So when an email landed in my inbox showcasing an amazing handmade tie-dye tablecloth, I fell for it instantly… and naturally, clicked through to see what other gems I could find. Bomisch is an online shop with a simple, chic, modern approach to home decor and living. The e-market exists alongside a curated journal full of ideas for adding touches of personality and beauty to your home. Check out the aforementioned tablecloth and some of my other favorite items.

Below, vintage handmade boho tie-dye tablecloth

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Below, paper coaster set, retro botanicals

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Below, leather beaded triple wrap in turquoise and coral

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Below, boho recycled sari pillowcases in cotton

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Below, dandelion pinks organic cloths
* These are technically burp cloths for babies, but they’re so gorgeous, they could be used any way!

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I can almost feel the air changing as I daydream about decorating for spring.

Shop these and other beautiful items at Bomisch.

Featured: Links à la Mode

March 28, 2015

Happy to report that my latest DIY, the jeweled spring hat, was featured in the Independent Fashion Bloggers’ latest Links à la Mode post.  Check out some of the other great posts that were featured, below.

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Image via Free People.

Thanks, IFB!

Ways to welcome spring…

March 25, 2015

Pretend it’s summer and wear toe rings. Decorate your desk with bright springy office supplies. Treat yourself to a Paloma cocktail after work. DIY a pretty pastel accessory. Fill the wine bottles you emptied all winter with fresh flowers. Get an at-home hair color refresh (if your friend has a stylist license, hee hee). Update your Etsy shop. Burn some delicious incense. Explore new neighborhoods. Learn a new language. Buy some bright, colorful shoes to frolic in…

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How do YOU celebrate spring?

Follow me on Instagram: @heymishka

Mishka and the blustery day…

March 24, 2015

Brooklyn weekends are getting all the more lovely thanks to sun staying up in the sky longer… but it’s still chilly outside. Lately I’ve been draping myself in a ridiculously cozy scarf and big cushy knit cardigan when I want to soak in some sun in the evening (and resist suiting up in my winter coat… can’t wait to put that thing away).

One of my favorite scarves all winter long was this pink and black plaid printed wrap by Free Endearment. Dubbed the Nori scarf (click if you want one!), it’s nice and big at 85″ x 29″, so there are endless ways to wear it. It’s also acrylic, so you can toss it in the wash or spot treat it worry-free.

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I don’t benefit from any click-through or purchases, but I highly recommend this cozy accessory for the end of winter and early spring—and I bet you’ll get some use out of it during nighttime campfires at the beach this summer, too.

Hopefully soon I’ll be talking about tank tops… come on, spring! 

P.S. Once again, thanks to Cat for these photos!

DIY: A Jeweled Spring Hat

March 23, 2015

Transition style can be such a difficult code to crack, especially as winter turns into spring. Finding clothes and accessories that keep you warm but emit a fresh spring vibe through color and texture, and layering it all so you can lighten up your look at the day gets warmer, can be a tricky process.

I love shopping winter sale racks for things I can modify to fit that description, like sweaters to cut the shoulders out of, or jeans to slash at the knees and wear leggings under. One of my favorite recent buys is a mint green winter hat from H&M, which I attempted to infuse some new life into via flat back gems.

The result is a new hat that I’m totally in love with, and the whole process only took me about 45 minutes.

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What you’ll need:

 A knit beanie-style hat (or any hat you like)

 Sew-on flat back gems (be sure they have the small holes for sewing—glue works on stiff woven fabrics, but for knits you’ll want to sew to prevent the embellishments from popping off).

 Basic sewing supplies like a needle and scissors.

 Thread that accents or matches your hat (I chose an electric neon yellow, because I love the combination of that color with mint and off-white),

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Hint: I bought a variety of flat back gems in bulk on Etsy. Do a little searching and you can find some there, too. If you’re in NYC, check out M&J for an epic jewel selection.

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Step 1: Lay the hat out on a flat surface, and lay out the gems in a motif that you like. Snap a picture of your ideas with your phone, so you can reference it as you’re working.

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Step 2: Once you’ve settled on a layout, start from the bottom center and add your first gem by tacking it on from the back, threading through the sewing holes and back into the fabric.

Hint: With knit you’ll have the slightest bit of wiggle room to correct a crooked gem by guiding it with a correcting stitch and pulling the thread taught, but be careful as this may cause a pull in the fabric.

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Step 3: Work your way up the center of your design. This will provide you with a guide for staying symmetrical as you add the other gems. It may also save thread.

Hint: Make small double stitches as you go to prevent the whole design from falling off if you happen to snag and rip the thread at some point.

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Your thread should look something like this as you stitch your gems up the center. For extra security, you can sew each individually and knot them off… but I definitely don’t have the patience for that. ;}

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Step 4: Once the center is done, work your way out on each side, double checking the design as you go, to ensure everything is aligned.

Attn perfectionists: It might make you more confident to mark off your pattern with a white chalk pencil before you begin sewing the gems that are further away from the center (or you can just eyeball it—clearly I’m not a perfectionist!).

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In the end, you’ve got yourself a lovely spring hat that looks almost good enough to eat. Yep, I said it. It reminds me of candy. Mmm.

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Step 5: Resist eating your delicious new hat, and take it for a spin!

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Big smiles from sunny Brooklyn! I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial. If you make something similar, I want to see it! Leave a comment to your blog or instagram post below.

P.S. Many thanks to my friend Cat for snapping the photos of me!

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