Uncharted

Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

Headache Pillow DIY March 11, 2015

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 12:04 am
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I had a sewing project on my aspiration list for awhile.  I tried to make a jacket a few years ago….Didn’t really go anywhere past the fabric cutting stage.  This year I almost took it off my list, but decided I should just tone my expectations down a bit and I would be able to complete something.  I remembered I had pinned a Headache Pillow when Pinterest was brand new to me.  It linked up to Whitey’s blog Elm Street Life, where she had a tutorial.  I found it on my beloved ‘Possible Projects’ board and decided it was definitely something I could handle.  On top of it being a simple project, it would be useful too.  I tend to get quite a few headaches and it sounds weird, but it makes me feel better to put pressure on my head.  This pillow is filled with lentils and its nice and heavy.

The only thing needed to create your own headache pillow is: fabric, thread, lentils, and lavender.  I also needed a sewing machine to get it all put together.  That is where my sister comes in.  She has a sewing machine which I knew would help me get the job done a lot quicker.  I suppose I could have sewn by hand, but I assure you I do not have nearly enough patience for that.

sewing 1

Instructions:

  1. Fold your fabric in half longways and then measure and cut so that folded in half it measures 6×18 in. (or 12×18 inches when unfolded).
  2. Next, I made sure the fabric was facing inside out and then started pinning around the edges to prepare to sew.
  3. Setup your sewing machine- I cannot help you with this. I struggled and Kate helped me and in the end I sewed straight lines around the edges of my fabric and just left a small opening.
  4. Next I added some of my lavender along with the 2 lbs of lentils.
  5. Sew the opening closed.
  6. Now you want to separate the lentils in half and sew a line down the middle of the pillow. I am particular so I made my sister get out her kitchen scale so I could make sure the lentils were evenly distributed on either side of my pillow.  You could be less crazed and just estimate.
  7. I sewed a straight line right across the middle of the pillow and then repeated step 6 over to the left and then right so in the end you are left with 1 pillow that has 4 sections.

Sewing 2

The process is super simple, but really time consuming.  I ended up making two pillows in one night, but it probably took me 2 hours plus.  I thought for sure I’d finish all 5 I had planned to make.  I think it would have gone a bit faster if I was an avid sewer.  I still need to finish my last three.  And please, if you are my friend and have headaches, be warned.  You might be getting one of these from me.  Even if you think it’s silly, please accept it and act impressed that I made it myself.  You can always use it as a paperweight or something else equally useful!

Final Product!

Final Product!

Few Tips if you plan to create one yourself:

  • I bought the loose lavender from Whole Foods- you purchase by weight and I was surprised at how reasonable it was.  That whole bag I have pictures above was something like $4.50.
  • I ended up ditching the pins because I thought they were harder to sew with.  Plus this isn’t a project that needs perfect stitching.  When I use it I will feel like death and not be inspecting the stitching.
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DIY Rustic Pumpkins October 29, 2014

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 9:25 am
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Last fall I spotted these adorable rustic pumpkins on DIY Swank and immediately pinned them to my “fall” board on Pinterest. A few months ago, Matt and I were talking about getting back into the habit of making things. We did so much for our wedding and fell in love with finding something on Pinterest and then adding our own special touches. I thought the rustic pumpkins would be the perfect project for us to get back on the DIY track!

We decided we would make three pumpkins: 1 large, 1 medium and 1 small. We followed the directions on DIY Swank with a few adaptations. We stopped by our local ACE hardware and picked up two 2X4X10 foot pieces, white spray paint and orange spray paint. Here how we “carved up” the wood.

Large Pumpkin

(1) 7″, (2) 9″, (2), 10″, (2) 11″, (1) 12″

Medium Pumpkin

(1) 7″, (2) 9″, (2), 10″, (1) 11″

Small Pumpkin

(1) 4″, (2) 5″, (1) 6″

Matt got to work cutting the wood while we were still up north. He had a gorgeous background and didn’t mind working one bit!

Rustic Pumpkin Carving

 

We brought the wood home and did the first round of sanding on the cut pieces. Then Matt spray painted the large and small one orange and the medium sized one white. On the stems we used green spray paint that I had leftover from another project for a pop of color.

After the spray paint dried (we waited a day) we sanded all of the spray painted pieces once again to achieve a more distressed/rustic look. Happy with the results, we began the assembly process.

wooden pumpkins

 

Instead of using wood glue and clamps we decided to use wood screws. Very carefully starting at the stop and working our way down, we screwed each piece to each other.

Rustic Pumpkins

I think they turned out pretty cute! Now onto the next holiday DIY project…I’m thinking snowmen but you’ll have to wait and see.

 

Light Pasta Dinner July 22, 2014

photo 1This is a light meal, perfect for a hot summer night. I had ½ a pound of shrimp in my fridge and wasn’t sure what to do with it.  Do you ever buy things without a plan for them?  I usually plan all my meals and then go get all the ingredients, but I saw the shrimp in the case and grabbed some without a recipe this time so of course I turned to Pinterest for some help.   This recipe is by Tiffany at Savor Home blog.  The recipe called for 1 pound so I cut the original recipe in half. Here is the list of what you’ll need:

 

 

Ingredients:

6oz pasta (I used shells)
½ tbs olive oil
4 cloves garlic*
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
8oz portabella mushrooms, sliced*
2 medium fresh tomatoes, sliced*
2 cups fresh spinach
½ lb fresh shrimp, clean and peeled
¼ cup marinara sauce
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
salt and black pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese
Fresh basil

 

*Items I did not half because I love them too much

 

Cook the pasta, drain and set aside.  In a separate skillet, heat the garlic and red pepper flakes in heated oil until you start smelling the garlic.  Next add the mushrooms and tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes until the mushrooms give off their water.  Turn the heat up a bit and add the raw shrimp.  Cook the shrimp until they are only slightly pink.  Once these are cooked, turn down the heat a bit and add the spinach until it is wilted.  Now add the already cooked pasta, marinara sauce, and greek yogurt and stir it all together until it is well mixed.  Scoop into bowls and add Parmesan and basil on top. Enjoy!

photo 2

 

 

 

 

4 Minute Project June 3, 2014

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 10:52 pm
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Today I have a super quick project to show you.  I took some recycled cans and turned them into adorable pencil holders.   Although it’s easy to do, I love the way it looks and am excited for these to be a fixture on my new desk.  Literally all you need are clean recycled cans and washi tape of your choosing.  Oh and I used an x acto knife too, but that was just me being a perfectionist.

photo 1

photo 2

 

Make sure the cans are clean, dry and have no sharp edges before you start taping.  I started at the seam of the can and wrapped the tape around once only.  I left a little tail and tore off the tape.  Then I used the knife to cut the tail so there were no jagged edges and it looks uniform.  I decided not to cover the whole can up because I liked the look of it.  You could use multiple colors or patterns, but I wanted something simple and stuck with black polka dots and grey and white stripes.  After I was done with the tape, I grabbed some empty toilet paper rolls and arranged them in the wider can.  This helps to keep the Sharpie markers I store in there standing nicely, plus I organized them by color which gives a nice visual effect.   So simple, and the only real expense is the washi tape.  I’ve seen it available in most craft stores, Etsy, and even places like Walgreens.  You could even use duct tape which I’ve seen in a lot of interesting colors and patterns lately.  There is really no limit to what you can create!

 

 

 

Instagram Gallery Wall May 27, 2014

gall 4

gall 1

 

Do you like my new Instagram wall?  I have been working on this project for a few weeks now and I’m so excited to finally show it to you and share a few tips in case you’d like to recreate it for your own home.  First off I must say when I first saw the original inspiration picture on Pinterest, I thought it would be simple to pull off.  Now that I completed it, I feel I underestimated the project a little bit.  A lot went into putting this gallery wall together and I would say the toughest part is measuring and making sure it’s all just right before hanging it all up on the wall.  In any case, let me start from the beginning.

 

First thing I did was take a trip to Michaels to purchase the frames.  I picked out the 8×8 black frames with white matting and a spot for a 4×4 photo by Recollections.  I waited until they were 40% off and I had a coupon for 15% extra off picture frames.  This was a great deal, but they only had 7 frames in the store.  I wanted to do 16 frames so I still had 9 more to purchase.  I’d love to say that I was able to find all 9 the next time I went in, but that wasn’t the case.  Next time I went in I found 6 and then thankfully I found 3 more the last time I went in.  I didn’t have the patience to wait for the same deal so the rest of the frames were at various costs.  I still feel like it was relatively inexpensive considering the frames normally cost $9.99.  The next thing to consider was that I rent the apartment I live in, so I really wanted to avoid putting 16 holes in the wall.  That led me to purchase Command Damage Free Hanging metal sawtooth hooks  by 3M.  These are a bit pricey, but the thought of 16 nails in a brand new wall made me feel too guilty.  I found packs of 3 at Target for $8.99 and then I bought one on its own for a total of 16 hooks.  What’s nice is they came with Velcro stickys so I could not only hang the frames, but anchor them as well.  Lastly I needed to purchase the photos for the frames.  To do this I used an app on my iPhone called PostalPix.  I’ve used it before to print small photos for scrapbooking.  The app is super easy to use and this time around I learned you can turn regular photos into 4x4s to look like Instagrams {about 4 out of my 16 are regular photos}.  The 4×4 prints cost 29 cents apiece so this was the most cost effective piece of the project.

 

Once I had all the materials, I had to decide where I was going to put my Instagram gallery wall.  I made newspaper templates by tracing a frame and cutting out squares to hang on the wall.  I wanted to get a feel for where would be the perfect spot for my photos.  You can see Stella was a big help here:

get ready

 

I also had an option in my room, but forgot to take a photo…whoops!  Anyway I decided the gallery should go above my couch so I put the photos in the frames and got to work!  Here are the steps I took:

1.  Push four frames side by side and measure them horizontally.  Decide how much space you want in between the frames and add those inches so you know the total width and height the gallery will take up.  I chose 3 inches.
2.  Measure the total width and center over the area you want to hang.  I basically drew a box on the wall in pencil to know what area I’d be working in.  Then I hung the first hook in the bottom right hand corner.
3.  I worked my way out from there making sure the next frame lined up with the last and there was 3 inches between each frame.  I took the frames off the wall after hanging each hook because the hooks need some time to set and adhere to the wall.  After awhile I used painters tape to help me standardize the measurements between each hook.tape

4.  Once all 16 hooks were hung, I waited until the next day to start hanging frames.

5.  I turned all the frames over to the back side.  Then I measured 4 inches from the bottom of each frame, made a mark, and stuck a piece of Velcro.  This way everything would be uniform

tape 4tape 2

 

6.  Then I removed the other sticker and hung the frame up being careful not to press down and stick the Velcro to the wall yet.  I grabbed a level and made sure the frame was straight and then pressed down on the whole frame so it was hanging and was stuck to the wall by two strips of Velcro.  This way the frames won’t move around even if kitties try to play with them.

tape 3

 

I trusted my measuring from the day before and after all was said and done, I had an evenly spaced 16 frame gallery wall above my couch.  As I was writing this post and realized the project added up to more than $150 dollars, I was appalled, but then I went into my living room and looked at the wall and decided it was all worth it.  What do you think, would you ever do a gallery wall at your house?

gall 1

 

Food Passport May 13, 2014

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 11:42 pm
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After I moved in September, Dave and I started checking out all the restaurants we’ve never been to before in my new town.  He mentioned it might be cool to keep a list of where we’ve gone so we could make sure to hit all the possibilities.  Not too long ago I was perusing Pinterest and found a Pin for a ‘Food Passport.’  The site it came from (thespottedfox.com) apparently doesn’t work anymore, otherwise I would link it for you.  It was exactly what Dave had been talking about but in a little book format!  I went to Michaels and found a little pocket notebook that was in their dollar bin.  {By the way if you didn’t realize that Michael’s has a dollar bin, you really should check it out sometime.  Some of stuff is cheesy, but I usually find something useful in there and it’s of course only a dollar!} passport Moving along with my story…I got the notebook and then proceeded to look on my town’s website.  Luckily they have an alphabetized list of restaurants which made my job even easier!  I drew a horizontal line right across the middle of each page and proceeded to put the name and address of each restaurant, along with a box to check off where we have been.  I also wanted a rating system, so I am going to use star stickers to mark between 1 and 5 stars.  This should be fun because we have visited quite a few of these already so we will get to do a few ratings right away!  It will also encourage us not to go to the same places over and over and try new things.

4 pages

 

Oh Snap! A Camera Strap! February 11, 2014

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 10:39 pm
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This is such a fun DIY and different than most of my projects.  I don’t usually do much work with fabric, but once I saw these lovely camera straps I just had to create them.  The day after I saw them on Pinterest and read Natlaie’s tutorial on Design Love Fest I went to the store to pick up the supplies.  I actually put them together in January but hadn’t mentioned them yet because I had to gift them first!  Two of my friends have fancy cameras and I just had to make these for them.  My favorite part about these is that you can design them to fit your style.

The materials needed are:materials

Fabric Glue
Needle & Thread
2 Swivel Hooks
1 Yard Cotton Webbing
Painters Tape
Acrylic Paints

  Notes on the materials:

*Decide the colors you want to use.  I chose a black, turquoise, and gold {which actually turned out looking like a  mustard color}
*You should decide how much cotton webbing to use based on how long you want your strap to be. A yard isn’t mandatory.

Start off by taping the strap into a design you’d like.  Remember whatever area you tape over will remain the color of the strap, the rest is where you’ll paint.  I wanted the strap to be symmetrical when it was hanging around a neck, so I folded it in half so the strap was side by side and mimicked the design.

design 2

I created one striped strap and one chevron:

design

Once all the tape is in place, start painting!  My straps were done drying after about 30 minutes, but I waited 2 hours just to be sure.  Then I removed the tape.

paintingpulling tape*
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Now you can grab your swivel hooks, thread the ends of the strap through and use the fabric glue to secure the strap to itself.
Thread a needle and sew a couple stitches just to be sure the strap will be secure {I chose a thread that would match my turquoise paint so it would blend in nicely}.  I also put clips right where the glue was and left these overnight to make sure they dried right.

swivelThat is it folks, you now have a lovely camera strap so you can keep your camera safe  and sound when you are
out clicking away…like my friends Lei and Chris here who sent me a photo of their camera strap in action!

leilei

 

 
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