When life gives you a destroyed colour block cover-up, make a beautiful braided eternity scarf

I know this is kind of bad, but I’ve always taken washing instructions with a grain of salt.

You say hand wash? I say stuff it into one of those mesh bra bags and go crazy. You say wash with like colours? I say wash with towels and sweatpants.

You say do not iron? I say iron anyways.

And that’s where I got screwed over.

See that? It says “low iron as needed.” Instead, I plunged this piece of clothing into the inferno of hell.
I did this.

Goodbye beautiful Urban Outfitters colour-blocked cover-up. So much sadness. This was one of my favourite go-to summer cover-ups, and I’ve worn it everywhere from workplace functions to inside the Vatican. Yes, the Vatican modesty police approved.

But hey, when life gives you a piece of clothing with a tear in it, make a cool eternity scarf that you saw on Pinterest! A motto to live by.

The other night I searched the term “DIY eternity scarf” on the site, and, after mindlessly trolling page after page of photos, I saw this one. Please note that I am drawn to braids like a moth to a flame.

I clicked the link and was heartbroken to see that I needed viscose – a special type of fabric that was certainly too much of an effort for me to go out and buy. Sigh sigh sigh. In my viscose-induced depression, I decided to read the tag on my destroyed shrug.

Eighty-six per cent viscose. Score! That was enough for me.

I did the “I have viscose dance” around my bedroom.

And so, on the Sunday of the May long weekend, I cut up my favourite colour block sweater and turned it into my favourite new braided scarf. Completion partially delayed by the need to purchase a strip of lace, something that was resolved by a Saturday trip to Fabricland.

#winning

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Creative cookie gifting (and the end of my undergrad degree)

Yeah, this happened. Because I am a domestically-inclined five-year-old in disguise. Last week I finished my undergraduate degree in journalism at Carleton University. Yikes, I know. The combination of me hitting 22 and graduating all within the same two-month span has been enough to send me spiralling into a tiny quarter life crisis, filled with existential self-reflection moments that normally involve me lying in bed and staring at the ceiling. Ee. But away from all, I have many people to thank for my undergrad success, and these cookies pay tribute to just a few of them: my professors and one former boss. Before you start rolling your eyes (too late?) and calling me an apple polisher, though, please know that I think nice, helpful people deserve to be appreciated. These cards and cookies are my thanks, and nothing more. Journalism is a great little department, and these cookie receivers have always had their doors open to my questions, concerns, and rants. So to those professors, thank you – the passive voice is still something I’d be writing in (hah, get it?) if it wasn’t for them. Oh yeah, this was also an excuse to use up some baking supplies before I left, score! PS: buying a set of half-a-dozen brown paper bags from your friendly corner convenience store is a great way to package all baked goods. These ones were inspired by my friend Martha.

Futon = cookie organization tool

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DIY rainbow bead necklace

It’s crafty project time!

One of my favourite bloggers lately has been Alexandra. I met Alexandra in Copenhagen when my friend Gord and I stayed at her apartment as part of our European adventure. Reading Alexandra’s blog, She is Red, is a guilty pleasure of mine, and I love drooling over her beautiful outfits, stunning accessories and gorgeous photo shoots (I seriously want to visit Oregon thanks to her pictures).

Anyways, in one of Alexandra’s most recent blog posts, she writes about this beautiful black bead necklace that she made using homemade clay beads. I thought the finished piece looked so super that I wanted to make something similar myself.

My inspiration - Alexandra's DIY necklace (Photo via She is Red)

Since I’m not really one to do anything sans colour, I decided my version would be inspired by the seven colours of the rainbow. Mr. Roy G. Biv himself (did your mom ever teach you that trick to remember the colour order? red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Now you know). Since I didn’t have the time or money to buy seven different colours of clay (though I do love the medium), I did the next best thing – took a trip to The Sassy Bead Co! I love this place. Mini mason jars filled with every bead imaginable line the walls. Clay beads, glass beads, big beads, little beads… all lie in small velvet boxes on a centre table. Two middle aged women sit by the front window making small talk and tiny beaded flowers.

I spent half an hour looking for the perfect beads. These choices can’t be taken lightly, you know.

My initial choices sit atop miles and miles of boxed beads

I finally settled on my favourite ones, and popped over to the counter where the friendly salesperson helped me string the beads onto a thin wire and attach it to a delicate gold chain (ok, she did this last part). I love the end result. Love, love, love it. It screams Hilary and I will wear it everywhere.

PS: It was such a beautiful day in Ottawa. Inspiration is pouring in.

Duplicating Danish design: The colour palette clock

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: I adore all things colourful, crafty and creative.

This project combined all three while ALSO tossing in my love of all things European-design. Bonus!

Ever since returning from Europe, I’ve been dying to recreate some of the neat, interior designs I saw. The city that inspired me the most was Copenhagen, and the place was packed with interesting, unaffordable boutiques, design museums and specialty stores.

Even I became more colourful in Copenhagen! (for the record, this ice cream was delicious)

One of the coolest things I saw was from Illum, a trendy department store found at the heart of Strøget, the city’s pedestrian shopping street. Everything in Illum was stunning and inspiring, from the woven rugs to the chic kid’s furniture. It was like IKEA on drugs.

I wanted it all. But since Denmark is already severely overpriced and I am but a mere, nearly-broke student, I decided that putting my own homemade spin on the store’s products were as good as it was going to get.

Here was my inspiration:

As soon as I got back from EU in September, I started trolling Saturday morning yard sales and Value Village aisles in search of a cheap, decrepit clock. Success came on the morning of the Old Ottawa South porch sale.

Two dollars for this baby.

Ah yes, keeping the price low was key, and this project cost all of $3 to complete. I used a plastic container of black paint I had purchased last summer at IKEA and carefully cut out coloured rounds (using a glue stick as a stencil) from my very extensive collection of paper.

The end result was, I think, even nicer and more sleek than the original. I’m proud.

Make sure you force your roommate to hold the clock and make funny faces at the camera

Hi, my name is Hilary, and I’m a colour addict (an end-of-summer arts and crafts project)

Subtitle: I will blog about whatever I like, please and thank you.

As far as decorating my bedroom goes, I’m pretty big on colour. Want to know how big? Here’s a picture of my room at my parent’s house, painted circa grade 10.

This was also the time when I took embarrassing, myspace shots like this in said bedroom. You know you did it too. See that green blazer? That’s my high school band jacket. See the purple scarf? I wore that yesterday. Coolest kid in school, clearly.

DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME EVER.

The one perk to moving halfway through high school? I got to paint my room two different colours. My brother picked black and red. Logically, I did what any colour-crazed teenage girl who had been living in a baby blue bedroom for the last seven years would do, and selected pink and yellow to go along with my already-lime green laden future room. Bless the girl who lived there first for picking such an atrociously bright colour.

So back to my first statement: I like my room full of colour and creativity. With such, you can only imagine my excitement when I discovered this frame at a design boutique in Vienna. I knew that the second I got home I would recreate it.

My inspiration

And it was so easy. This was all I needed.

This craft project was also simplified by the fact that I had in my possession a decently sized saw. It was in the toolbox my dad bought for me in second-year. This being said, shouldn’t every 20-something girl own at least one saw? Craft projects must be taken into consideration.

Now, since pencil crayons and their resulting shavings come out looking quite artistic, ensure that you take several pictures of both during and after the crafting process.

Then base the front of your future business cards around one of the photos you take. This is very important.

Before you know it, voila! You will have a ridiculously childish, Viennese inspired frame to help brighten up the already ceizure-inducing colour of your room. Admire for hours.

In total, this frame took about 2 hours to make, almost all of which was spent lounging out on the porch in the end-of-summer sun. I’ll post the extremely-simple instructions down below, in case you every have a desire to make a frame which will most definitely make you look like a Kindergarten teacher or teen mom. Ugh. Who am I.

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