WWC featureHappy weekend, friends! We were honored to be included in the latest issue of Where Women Create Business. Emma shares her business journey from changing dreams to blogging to opening a bar, and everything in between. 

WWC feature WWC feature  She also shares some advice for growing your platform. So if you see this on the stands, go check it out. Thanks for letting us share, and here's to a relaxing weekend! xo. Emma + Elsie

Simple DIY footed planterIf your homemaking mantra, like mine, is "Never enough houseplants," then you might also be ever on the lookout for fun, new planters to hold your green babies. Am I talking about you? Yeah? Well then, this might be the perfect DIY project for you!

Generally I have good luck finding nice pots or vases at thrift stores and flea markets, and I'll occasionally splurge on something I really like from favorite shops like West Elm, but lately I've been exploring easy DIY options to create unique planters I just haven't been able to find in stores. You may have seen my recent lucite plant stand project, which was so easy and nice looking that I just had to translate the idea over to a planter too! And here she is. Lookin' mighty fine, if I do say so myself.

Simple DIY footed planterSimple DIY footed planterSupplies:
-wooden bowl (I got mine here, but these can easily be found at thrift stores.)
-3 wooden ring display cones* (I got a set of 6 from here)
-epoxy cement
-masking tape
-disposable surface (such as a paper plate or piece of cardboard) + disposable stir stick

*I lightly sanded and restained the cones I received in order to better match the bowl. I always have a variety of wood stains on hand, so buying stain for this project wasn't an issue for me. If I didn't have stain options at the ready, I would've been happy enough to leave them as they came.

Simple DIY footed planterStep One: Situate the wooden cones equidistant on the edge of the bowl's bottom. Mark their placement with masking tape. This will make it easy for you to perfectly place the cones during the next step when time is an issue.

Simple DIY footed planterStep Two: Squeeze out an even amount of the two epoxy ingredients from the tube onto a disposable surface. Quickly mix them together with a disposable stir stick, then goop some epoxy onto the flat edge of the cones/feet. Spread the epoxy lightly and evenly, then press the feet into place on the bottom of the bowl. The epoxy will set up very quickly, so you don't have much time to fuss here. Hence the taping from the previous step.

Make sure to immediately remove the masking tape, lest any of the epoxy set up over top of it!

Simple DIY footed planter

Drainage Considerations

If your wood bowl is not already sealed, I definitely recommend lightly sanding and spraying down the bowl with polyurethane to make it waterproof. You may choose to drill drainage holes into the bottom of this planter, in which case I would recommend sealing the wood inside the holes with polyurethane as well. If you don't, you risk rotting the wood as it becomes soaked with water.

Simple DIY footed planterI cut down the sides of a fancy plastic self-watering pot to fit inside this planter so the water could drain into the saucer inside of the wooden bowl. I bought two plastic pots to try out, and one ended up being the perfect size! Using this interior planter is great for the succulents I'm using and certainly is a lot easier than dealing with drainage holes in the wooden bowl itself. If you are planting something like pothos that doesn't need soaking and ample drainage, I wouldn't worry about drainage holes. Just don't overwater it.

Simple DIY footed planterThis footed planter is a nice size for a table centerpiece, and the contents can be changed up depending on the season. And hey, if you feel really crafty, why not paint it a fun color? I have a feeling a little paint job may be in this guy's future, but for now, the wood finish provides the perfect cozy touch for the fall and winter seasons. -Mandi

Credits //Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions.

Tips for surviving a major hair changeThey say, “A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life,” but I don’t really buy into all that. A woman who cuts her hair probably got bored! I get "hair bored" all the time. With my most recent chop, it was a mix of boredom and necessity—all of my bleaching and dyeing earlier this year left my hair pretty damaged and begging for a major cut. I lost a lot of length, but it didn’t faze me much since I’ve been through this before as well as a few other random stages of pink hair, pixie cuts, and what-have-you. I haven't always been this chill about my hair; I once spent a sleepless night before a hair cut wondering if I was making the right decision or if I’d regret it instantly. And I'll still have a freak-out moment if I trim my fringe too short and end up with Bettie Page bangs! But hair cuts happen and sometimes major hair changes happen by choice or necessity, so here are a few tips if you’re getting ready to go under the scissors (or dye!) and are feeling nervous about the process.

Tips for surviving a major hair change-Wear something cute. This might seem like a bit of odd advice, but I think it’s helpful to go to your favorite hair salon wearing something cute when you’re going to come out with a very different look. (The blue floral dress I’m wearing is not by chance; it’s one of my favorite dresses that I always feel good in!) Cutting off a lot of hair can be a bit shocking, but if you’re wearing your favorite dress when you see your new look for the first time, it can soften the blow and help show you just how good that new cut can look once the shock wears off! Speaking of shock…

-Give it a week. Don’t write off a new hair cut or color for at least one week. I’ve had friends who try something new—like a fringe or shorter hair—but decide within 24 hours they can’t stand it and start pinning their hair back straight away until it’s back to their old style. To me this doesn’t make any sense. They never gave themselves a chance to adjust to the new look. It might take you a few days to get over the “wow that’s different” feeling to actually “see” what you look like. So give yourself time. Don’t pin or hide your new look for at least a week, look at in the mirror often and get used to it before you decide whether it’s right or wrong.

-Know what you want. Of course while it takes time to adjust to a new haircut, you should also have a very fixed idea of what you want if you’re going for a major change. Create a Pinterest board with the new style you want to try and try seeing the style from different angles (front, side, back, etc.) to get a very firm idea of what you’re going for. If you’re dyeing, do you know what shade you want—even if you decide to go blue, it could be dark, pastel, more aqua or ombre! Know what you want and bring loads of pictures and examples to your hair dresser to help you communicate the new style clearly.

-Be willing to go in stages. I had a hair stylist in the past who said she wouldn’t cut someone’s long hair into a short pixie cut in one sitting, but insisted they cut off the hair in two or three appointments. She had too many women crying in her chair over a drastic cut to do it again! I also went from long hair to a bob before committing to the pixie. It definitely helped me adjust to short hair to go for an in-between cut for about a month before my final chop. With dyeing, it can take a few visits as well, especially if you want to go for a bright, unnatural color. So don’t get discouraged if you book an appointment and find out not everything can be done in one day. This is also important to remember in reverse—once you commit to certain styles, it will take awhile to get back to what your hair was before, so know what you are getting into.

-Remember it's all temporary. If you take the plunge with a style and it ends up not being what you want, try not to worry too much because it's all temporary. I'm not a big risk-taker in life. A lot of decisions you can make in life can have permanent or at least lasting consequences (as a kid I was terrified of things ending up on my "permanent record" and was really worried as a senior when I got a detention that it would blemish this record), but hair? Hair isn't permanent. Bad cuts will grow out, as will dye which will also fade (usually quicker than you want it to). In a few months or a year, no one would even know you had blue hair or a shaved side cut.

Tips for surviving a major hair change2A big hair change isn't for everyone; I envy those who know their style or themselves well enough that they don't have to mess around. I think it'd be cool to have a signature style à la Anna Wintour, but for those of us who wonder "what if I had purple tips" then maybe these tips will help you make that plunge. Hair changes don’t have to be daunting, I mean they shouldn’t be daunting—it should be about having fun or trying something you’ve always wanted to try (like dyeing my hair an unnatural color as an adult because I never got permission to do it when I was a kid). After all, it’s just hair. These tricks always work for me if I start to second guess a hair decision, but I’d love to hear what works for you! Cheers, Rebecca.

Credits//Author and Photography: Rebecca Stice. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess Presets for Lightroom

Too Cute! Pizza Plush DIY! (click through for tutorial)                 One of my favorite skill sets I have from living the “homeschooled-and-my-mom-is-an-art-teacher” life growing up is that my mom taught me to sew simple projects. I would make stockings for Christmas and hem pants. Then in my teen years, I started my own fashion label called FlipSide and sewed my own, uh, unique creations. Thankfully I am no longer sewing velvet panels into the sides of my pants, but I can still make a few fun projects with the sewing knowledge I’ve retained.

Since we’ve been adding some really cute touches to Elsie’s kid’s room lately (like these cactus plush and succulent garden plush DIYs), I thought it would be fun to create a pizza plush to add to the room as well! As sewing projects go, it’s pretty simple, but it looks totally legit once put together. Especially since we got to work with our friends at EverSewn sewing machines for this project. Not only are their machines cute, but they're super easy to use! And as a bonus, they're giving away one of their machines and a Starter Kit to one lucky reader! You can learn more about the giveaway below. Let’s get started!

Too Cute! Pizza Plush DIY! (click through for tutorial)Supplies:
-EverSewn Sparrow25 sewing machine
-tan duck cloth (1/2 yard should be plenty)
-white felt (1/4 yard)
-pink felt (small sheet would be enough)
-gold vinyl or leather
-plush stuffing
-tan thread
-fabric glue
-straight pins
-fabric scissors

Too Cute! Pizza Plush DIY! (click through for tutorial)    I’ve used the Sparrow25 for a few projects now, and I’ve been so happy with its performance. For one thing, I love that it has the easy top loading bobbin thread (so much easier than the old style I grew up with) and a self-threading arm as well. It also has an extra high presser foot option so you can easily get bulky material under the presser foot. I also love when machines let you move the needle position right or left for optimal placement based on your project needs, and this machine also lets you adjust the speed slower or faster, which can be SO helpful in different situations. The EverSewn sewing machines can be found via this link or on their website with their find a local retailer tool. I also got the EverSewn Starter Kit that has lots of helpful little items (like my favorite tool lately, a pair of thread snips) to help with all my sewing needs.

Too Cute! Pizza Plush DIY! (click through for tutorial) First you’ll fold over your tan fabric and cut a large pizza triangle shape (make sure you leave about ½” around the edges for seam allowance). I made mine 16” wide at the top and 17” long down the middle. Round the edges of your triangle as you cut the shape with fabric scissors. Measure the circumference of your triangle and cut a 2” wide strip of tan fabric a few inches longer than the circumference (this will be the sides of your pizza).

Too Cute! Pizza Plush DIY! (click through for tutorial)  Too Cute! Pizza Plush DIY! (click through for tutorial)
Use the gold leather and white and pink felt to cut out shapes for the cheese, a crust, and heart shaped pepperonis for your pizza. Use the fabric glue to attach the cutouts onto the front triangle of your pizza plush, and then sew around each item with a corresponding thread color to secure. Doing projects like this is one reason I love the speed control on the Sparrow25. It can be tough to sew around the edge of small shapes (like the hearts) if your machine only goes full blast, and it’s a lot easier to get a clean, even thread line if you can go slow. You can see that since the leather is a bit thick, I didn’t have it go all the way to the edge of my fabric (like I did with the felt) so I could sew around the seam allowance without all that bulkiness in the way.

Too Cute! Pizza Plush DIY! (click through for tutorial)       Once all your shapes are secure, pin the long side strip of your pizza all the way around the top panel of your plush. You can either sew your side strip into a closed loop once you have it pinned and know the exact length the loop should be, or you can fabric glue it closed to save a step.

Too Cute! Pizza Plush DIY! (click through for tutorial)        Sew all the way around the triangle with a ½” seam allowance.

Too Cute! Pizza Plush DIY! (click through for tutorial)          Repeat the process of pinning the sides to the bottom triangle of the pizza but remember to keep a 2-3” opening when you sew the bottom piece so that you can turn your pizza right side out when finished.

Too Cute! Pizza Plush DIY! (click through for tutorial)          .      After you’ve sewn all the way around, pull your pizza right side out through the opening you left, and stuff your pillow to the density you like (you can also iron all the seams flat first to make the edges a bit more crisp). Once your pizza has taken shape, use a blind stitch to close up the opening, and your pizza is complete!

Too Cute! Pizza Plush DIY! (click through for tutorial)                   Too Cute! Pizza Plush DIY! (click through for tutorial)                   AGHHH! Adorable! As a pizza lover, this makes my heart so happy, and I love the little details of the gold crust and heart-shaped pepperonis. You can make this as big or as little as you like based on your room or kid size. How cool would a giant one of these be just for lounging? Sign me up.

To enter for a chance to win your own EverSewn Sparrow25 sewing machine and Starter Kit, all you have to do is fill out the form below! The giveaway is open until 9/29/16, and the winner will be contacted directly. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I just got hungry for some ‘za… xo. Laura

Sparrow25 Sewing Machine Giveaway

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman


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