DIY Hand Embroidery – Owl Always Love You

Hi everyone!

I’ve been practicing my hand embroidery, and I have a fun project to show you!

IMG_7561Supplies:

  • Doodle Stitching: Embroidery & Beyond by Aimee Ray (You can find it here!)
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Embroidery floss
  • Needle
  • Fabric (I used muslin from the clearance section)
  • Pencil

IMG_7565DMC floss colors:

  • 498 – Pink
  • 727 – Yellow
  • 798 – Blue
  • 799 – Light Blue
  • 823 – Navy
  • B5200 – White

IMG_7559

This is the design idea I’ll be working off of.

You’ll notice that I chose to do mine differently in some areas!  You should experiment with yours as well and see all the fun designs that you can come up with!

IMG_7453We’re going to start the project by hooping our fabric.

IMG_7458With the blue thread, Back Stitch a wing shape.

If you’re nervous about winging it (no pun intended!), you can draw a wing shape or trace the entire design onto your fabric before you begin stitching.

IMG_7462With our light blue thread, we’re going to begin stitching the head and the ears.

IMG_7467Continue stitching around the wing to form the remainder of the body.

IMG_7470When you get close to the “tail” of the bird, make sure the owl body lines up on the top and the bottom of the wing.

IMG_7475Now we’re going to make little circles for the eyes.

Use tiny stitches to make the circles.  The smaller the stitch, the more control you have over the shape of whatever you’re trying to make!

IMG_7479My second circle turned out WAY better than my first.

That just goes to show that practice makes perfect!

IMG_7492Use the yellow thread to create three, little feathers with the Lazy Daisy stitch.

IMG_7496Add more detail to the wing with three Straight Stitches below the Lazy Daisy feathers.

IMG_7502Continue using the yellow thread to create little V’s along the chest of our bird.

The V’s are made with the Back Stitch.  Almost every stitch in this tutorial is the Back Stitch.

IMG_7504Continue to add the V’s.

Once the V’s are complete, we’re going to move on from the bird.  We will come back to him later and finish up his eyes and beak.

IMG_7505Now, we’re going to start adding teardrop, feather shapes all around our owl.

IMG_7508Each teardrop is made with the Back Stitch.

IMG_7515Be sure to mix up your thread colors and the placement of the teardrops!

IMG_7518If you don’t like what you’ve stitched, use the blunt end of your needle to remove the stitches.  Once the unwanted stitches have been removed, smooth out your fabric (this usually eliminates the needle holes) and stitch it again!

IMG_7519Experiment with the size and shape of your teardrops!

IMG_7522I tried to distribute my thread colors evenly across the piece.

IMG_7526Now that I’m done with the teardrops, I’m going to start adding other accents!

IMG_7528I decided to add some circles and French Knots!

All of my French Knots are double wrapped.

IMG_7533More French Knots!

IMG_7539Now we’re going to go back to our owl!

With the navy thread, use two Back Stitches to create a slightly curved line for the eyes.

Use the pink thread to stitch the beak.  Make the beak with a few Straight Stitches or the Satin Stitch.

IMG_7541Use your pencil to draw out your words.

Be careful about writing too darkly.  If you mess up, it can be hard to erase if the lead is too dark.

Once the words are drawn, use the Back Stitch to complete the project!

IMG_7548Here’s a close-up of my first two words.

IMG_7555Once you finish stitching the words, our project is complete!!

IMG_7849I’m really pleased with how this little guy turned out!

He’s super cute and perfect for a gift! 🙂

Happy Crafting!!!!

Bow signature pink

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Ipsy Review – January 2015

Hi guys!

It’s time for my monthly Ipsy review! IMG_7333It’s always a good day when I get one of these in the mail! IMG_7334 The January theme is “Fresh Start.”

I like the bag for January.  It’s plastic like all the others, but it’s a softer, nicer plastic.

My friend, Racheal, said that her bag smelled overwhelmingly of plastic.  I didn’t smell a thing even after giving my bag a thorough sniffing! IMG_7336I was surprised to see that this bag is a different color on the other side.

I prefer the blue side, but the two colors gives the bag an element of fun! IMG_7340Bag contents:

  • Nourish Organic – Renewing Eye Cream
  • (MALIN+GOETZ) – Mojito Lip Balm
  • Elizabeth Mott – All Over Shadow Brush
  • BelláPierre – Shimmer Powder
  • Pacifica – Natural Mineral Coconut Eye Shadow

IMG_7345Nourish Organic – Renewing Eye Cream

This eye cream was a featured product in the December bag as well as the January one.  I don’t understand why Ipsy would give out the same product two months in a row.  That just seems odd to me.  Thank goodness I didn’t receive this eye cream in my bag both months!

I have a lot of eye creams on my bathroom counter right now, so I’ll be throwing this one into the mix.

One difference I noticed between the Nourish eye cream and the other ones I have is that the Nourish one is a lot lighter and thinner of a cream.  I’m not an expert on eye cream, so I have no idea if that makes it better or worse than the others. IMG_7346(MALIN+GOETZ) – Mojito Lip Balm

I’m a huge Burt’s Bees chapstick fan, so I’m not used to the gel formula of this lip balm. That being said, the (MALIN+GOETZ) seems very nice.

The balm has a very subtle scent, which I like.  I don’t like it when my lip products have a strong smell.  I find that to be overwhelming!

I was surprised to see this balm featured in another beauty box this month!  Apparently more companies than just Ipsy thinks this product is great! IMG_7349Elizabeth Mott – All Over Shadow Brush

I love to try out different makeup brushes, so I was excited to see this product in my January Glam Room!

I received a different eyeshadow brush in my September Ipsy bag, and I prefer that one.  It’s a duet brush that features both a shadow and a crease brush.

Even though I prefer the other brush, this one is still nice! The bright pink color is very fun! IMG_7352BelláPierre – Shimmer Powder – Excite

This loose shadow powder has intense pigmentation!  That would be a great feature if the powder wasn’t shockingly white!

I have no idea when I would ever wear this shadow!  It is super white and super duper shimmery! Yikes!

Also, the packaging is different than what I was shown in my Glam Room. IMG_7359Pacifica – Natural Mineral Coconut Eye Shadow – Treasure

Unlike the BelláPierre Shimmer Powder, I like this eyeshadow.

I applied it all over my eyelid the other day, but I think next time I’ll just use it in the crease.

Ipsy offered two different shades of Pacifica eye shadow this month.  I would’ve preferred the other one, but this one is still good! IMG_7362I’m pretty happy with my January Ipsy bag!  How do you like yours?! Bow signature pink

DIY Embroidered Floral Initial

Hi everyone!

I’ve been practicing my embroidery skills, and I have a project I want to share with you today! IMG_7440 Supplies:

  • 500 Simply Charming Designs for Embroidery
  • Embroidery floss
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Needle
  • Fabric (I used Muslin from the clearance bin at Jo-Ann’s)

IMG_7432DMC floss colors:

  • 727 – yellow
  • 798 – blue
  • 842 – beige
  • 988 – green

IMG_7443I really love the floral letters featured in my book! IMG_7444Since my name is Natalie, I decided to make the “N” IMG_7407I started my project by hooping my fabric. IMG_7408I used the Lazy Daisy stitch to create the flower.

Make sure the very bottom petal and the one to the right of it create an angle like that of the top left on the letter “N” IMG_7410Use French Knots to create the center of the flower.

I wrapped the thread around the needle twice to create a larger knot.

I don’t think three knots are necessary, so next time, I’ll just use one. IMG_7411Create the first leg of the “N” by using the Back Stitch. IMG_7415Create the second and third leg of the “N” by continuing to use the Back Stitch. IMG_7419As you can see, I had a little trouble with the third leg. IMG_7421Here’s a close-up.  Sorry it’s a little blurry!

Now it’s time to add the leaves! IMG_7424Use the Lazy Daisy stitch to create the leaves.  You can stagger them more if you’d like!

For some reason, my leaves get a wee bit larger as they go down! IMG_7425Here’s another close-up!  This one is way more in focus than the last one! IMG_7427Continue using the Lazy Daisy stitch to add leaves to the last leg. IMG_7429And there you have it! A pretty, floral initial!

Happy Crafting!!

Bow signature pink

POPSUGAR Must Have Review – January 2015

Hi everyone!

I’m super excited to announce that I subscribed to another box!

I found a fantastic coupon for POPSUGAR Must Have after Christmas, and I couldn’t resist giving it a try!  I bought a three-month subscription for a little over $80! That’s ~$27 a box! What a deal!!

I’m using these three months as a trial.  Once they’re up, I’ll decide if I want to keep subscribing or not! IMG_7253The POPSUGAR boxes are quite a bit larger than my usual subscription box/bag! IMG_7256I always have fun when I open my boxes!  This one was extra fun though, because it’s new to me!! IMG_7260Each box comes with an info card that gives details on all of the products included in the box! IMG_7262Box contents:

  • Jack + Lucy – Pom Pom Hat
  • First Aid Beauty – Ultra Repair Cream
  • KeepCup – Brew 12-Ounce Reusable Coffee Cup
  • Manduka – eQua Hand Towel
  • ToGoSpa – EYES
  • Skin Jewel Tattoos – EMPIRE
  • General Mills – Nature Valley Protein Granola

IMG_7278Jack + Lucy – Pom Pom Hat – Retail $32

I’ve been wanting a hat for a while now, so I was super excited when I saw this one! I love the gray and the pom pom on top!

I don’t ever wear hats, so I’m having trouble figuring out how to wear this one.  I know that sounds dumb, but it’s true! I think I’m going to have to cuff it when I wear it! IMG_7270First Aid Beauty – Ultra Repair Cream – Retail $28

I’m always looking for a good moisturizer, so I’m very happy to receive this one!

My friend, Lindsey, gave this product rave reviews!  After using it last night, I can see why!  It’s very rich and super moisturizing!  It absorbed pretty quickly too! IMG_7284KeepCup – Brew 12-Ounce Reusable Coffee Cup – Retail $26

I don’t drink hot beverages very often, but now I want to! IMG_7289I love the pink ring around the center!  It adds a great pop of color to the cup! IMG_7266Manduka – eQua Hand Towel – Retail $16

This hand towel is meant for yoga, but I’ve been using it to dry my hair (as suggested by Lindsey!)  It works great!

I do wish the towel was a little bigger though.  I like to do the “towel turban” when I get out of the shower, but I can’t achieve it with this towel.  I’ll get over it though!

The pretty mint color makes up for the slightly smaller size! IMG_7274ToGoSpa – EYES – Ice Water – Retail $12.50

I haven’t had a chance to give these eye pads a try! They look easy enough to use, so when I finally get around to trying them I won’t have any trouble! IMG_7273Skin Jewel Tattoos – EMPIRE – Retail $18

These tattoos are so cool and all the rage!  My little, Jessica, was hunting for some all last semester!

I’m not sure how these will look on my skin tone, but I’m going to give it a try when it gets a little warmer out!  Maybe I’ll wear one to the next social?

This item was sponsored by the new drama EMPIRE.  After reading a short synopsis, I don’t think I’ll be watching EMPIRE, but I’m more than happy to have their tattoos! IMG_7292General Mills – Nature Valley Protein Granola – Peanut Butter ‘N Dark Chocolate – Retail $3.68

I LOVE Nature Valley bars, so this is an exciting product for me! I ate it like cereal this morning, but I’ll probably just eat it plain next time.

I’m really interested to see what other flavors they sell.  I haven’t noticed this on the shelves at my local Publix, but I also haven’t been looking for it. POPSUGAR JAN The total retail value for this box is $136.18!! WOW! That is an incredible value!

Do you subscribe to POPSUGAR?!  What do you think of the January box?! Bow signature pinkA special shout out to Kylie: Hi best friend!! 🙂

Julep Maven Review & Coupon – January 2015

Hi everyone!

It’s time for my monthly Julep Maven review!

IMG_7326Before I start my review, I want to show you the cute Christmas card that Julep sent me!

IMG_7328Such a sweet idea!

IMG_7309If you’d like to receive fun goodies each month, click here!!

IMG_7312Box contents:

  • Oxygen Nail Treatment – Ivory
  • Tyra – Boho Glam – Metamorphic Top Coat
  • Maryam – Classic with a Twist – Dark Merlot Shimmer
  • Luxe Lip Conditioning Treatment – Sheer Pink
  • Junior Mints
  • Coupon

IMG_7316The January theme is ” The Chrysalis Collection.”

IMG_7320Oxygen Nail Treatment – Sheer Ivory

I’ve never used any of Julep’s “treatments” before, but this one seems pretty nice.

I applied it to my fingernails several days ago, and I really like the look.  It’s very sheer and makes my natural nail look brighter.  It’s perfect for when you don’t want the hassle of a colored polish on your nails but still want your nails to look nice!

IMG_7325Tyra – Boho Glam – Metamorphic Top Coat

The Metamorphic Top Coat was a special and exciting extra in my box this month!

Maryam – Classic with a Twist – Dark Merlot Shimmer

At first, I didn’t like the look of Maryam.  In the bottle, the polish looks brown and a little weird, but after I applied it, I was much happier!!

I don’t know how to describe the color exactly (other than it being a dark Merlot shimmer), but I promise; it’s very pretty!!

IMG_7331As I mentioned before, the Metamorphic Top Coat was a special extra this month.

In December, Julep sent out an email saying that if I signed up I could receive one of two or three different metamorphic polishes in my January Box.  There was no risk in signing up, so I went ahead and did it!

The paper that came with the top coat said that it would transform my polish with a “chameleon effect.”  I tried it on an accent nail over Maryam and didn’t see much of a difference.  I will have to try it with a few other polishes before I determine what exactly it’s supposed to do.

IMG_7321Luxe Lip Conditioning Treatment – Sheer Pink

I’m not a huge fan of lip glosses, so I probably won’t get much use out of this product.

The pink color is very sheer, and I didn’t notice any tinting when applied to my lips.  This product comes in four colors, and I wonder if the magenta and fig are just as sheer?

IMG_7317As usual, a coupon was included in the box! This one is for 30% off and is good for two uses!

What did you think of your January Maven box?!  Did you receive a Metamorphic Top Coat?!

Bow signature pink

Basic Embroidery Stitches

Hi everyone!

I got bored the other night and decided that I wanted to try hand embroidery!

IMG_6986I went to my local Joann Fabrics and bought some embroidery essentials!

I looked through several of the instruction books they had and went with 500 Simply Charming Designs for Embroidery.

I chose Simply Charming because the stitching instructions included good illustrations and were easy to understand!

IMG_6989There are a lot of really pretty blue threads in the DMC Home Decor pack, so I used one of them for my stitching practice!

IMG_6992Backstitch

I tried the Backstitch first!  I’ve used this stitch before, so I didn’t have much trouble with it!

IMG_6994Outline stitch

I think I did pretty well when I tried this stitch initially, but when I tried to make a decorative “N” I had some serious issues!

I did well when I was making a straight line, but the second I tried to make a curved line things got weird! 🙁  I will try again though!

IMG_6995Straight stitch

For some reason, my straight stitch isn’t very straight, and the stitches got progressively shorter!

IMG_6998Chain stitch

I think my chain stitch looks pretty good, except my little chains aren’t as wide and open as the ones in the book.  That could be fixed with practice though!

IMG_7002French Knots stitch

As you can see, I had some serious trouble with the French Knots.

I only got one to work in my nine attempts!  That’s just sad!

IMG_7004Lazy Daisy Stitch

Once again, my loops aren’t as nice as the book’s, but that’s okay!  Practice makes perfect!

IMG_7005Blanket stitch

This one wasn’t too bad!  I do need to work on my consistency though!  My stitch length tends to fluctuate!

IMG_7007Fly stitch

I had some trouble getting both arms of the “V” the same length.  I also had trouble with the angles.  I think my first ones looks pretty good though!

IMG_7010

Feather stitch

This stitch got easier as I went along.  It took me several tries to figure out the positioning and the angles.

IMG_7011Cross stitch

Once again, I had trouble with consistency!  I think the individual X’s look good though!

All in all, I think my first foray into hand embroidery went well!  With just a little bit of practice, I’ll soon be making big, fancy things!

Bow signature pink

Ipsy Review – December 2014

Hi everyone!

My Ipsy review is a little late this time!  My bag didn’t come in the mail until after I’d already left for winter break, so I had to wait until I got back a few days ago to review it!

IMG_7028You too can receive Ipsy each month!  Sign up here!!

IMG_7030The December theme was “Thinking of You.”

Ipsy thinks I’m a talented being!  Well isn’t that flattering?! 😉 (I didn’t know WordPress had emoticons!)

I like the shape of the December makeup bag, but I’m not a fan of the black material it’s made of!  I’d prefer a bag that is a fun, bright color and a nicer fabric!

IMG_7036Bag contents:

  • Sexy Hair – 450 Blow Out Heat Defense Blow Dry Spray
  • Beauty Without Cruelty – A.H.A 3% Facial Cleanser
  • NYX Cosmetics – Butter Lip Balm
  • Tarte – Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara
  • CAILYN Cosmetics – Just Mineral Eye Polish

IMG_7039Sexy Hair – 450 Blow Out Heat Defense Blow Dry Spray

I rarely blow dry my hair, so I don’t have much use for this product.

I guess I’ll give it a try the next time I straighten my hair.  I assume it’ll work in that instance too!

IMG_7041Beauty Without Cruelty – A.H.A 3% Facial Cleanser

I’m not adventurous at all when it comes to facial cleansers, so I doubt I’ll ever use this.

It smells nice though!  Very clean!

IMG_7043NYX Cosmetics – Butter Lip Balm – Marshmallow

Ipsy offered four different color options for this lip balm.  Three of them were really pretty, and then there’s this one.  I’m really disappointed that I received the blah, nude color.

I have several friends that also subscribe to Ipsy, and they got marshmallow too.

I think the lip balm is supposed to be marshmallow scented, but it just smells like cheap, generic sweetness to me.

IMG_7044Tarte – Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara

I LOVE Tarte, so I was pretty excited when I saw that it was the featured brand for December.

In all my Black Friday shopping, I acquired a deluxe sample of this mascara.  I love the formula, so I’m happy to have another one!

IMG_7047

CAILYN Cosmetics – Just Mineral Eye Polish – #5 Orchid

I was very intrigued when I saw this product appear in my Glam Room!  I’ve never used a loose powder eye shadow before.

I used the shadow yesterday, and I really liked it!  The color is a little pinker than I thought it would be, but it’s still very pretty!

I’m a mess, so I really like the packaging of this product.  The bottle is designed so that none of the loose powder can escape.  I didn’t quite believe it, so I turned the bottle upside down just to see what would happen! Crazily enough, there was no spillage! Yay!

IMG_7049All in all, December was a good month for Ipsy!  The Tarte and CAILYN were great, but the NYX could’ve been better!

What did you think of your December Ipsy bag?!

Bow signature pink