DIY cross stitch

Never in my life have I cross stitched. I saw some fun cross stitch patterns on Pinterest and thought, “Hey, I could do that!”. It is not as easy as I thought it would be, at first anyway. After a few trial and errors, I decided to do a larger, exaggerated cross stitch. Since I was not following a pattern and just making it up as I went along, it was easier to keep track of the bigger X’s. This is a very simple design and thought it turned out well for my first time around! This was fun, quick DIY project that can add a little homemade charm to your home. Go ahead and give it a try!

DIY cross stitch arrows

cross stitch arrows of LOVE

This YouTube video is a great resource for the basics of cross stitch:

♥ miss marlene

DIY painted feathers

One of my friends and I recently had a craft day; she wanted to paint feathers. I was already working on a DIY burlap placemat project that had a feather theme, so I figured I could incorporate these painted feathers along with them.

The only paint colors I used for the feathers were black, white, gold, blue and neon red; I kept them simple and graphic. The flowers were purchased at my local Aldi for $3.99! I added gold pipe cleaners for texture and to pull in more gold.

painted feathers

painted feathers, gold pipe cleaners, flowers

painted feathers and gold pipe cleaners

painted feathers in flower arrangement

tablescape with feather decor

This adorable tablescape for two would work just as well in a larger setting: wedding, holiday gathering, or dinner party. You could add warm fall tones and some pumpkins/gourds for fabulous Thanksgiving table decor!

<3 miss marlene

DIY burlap placemats

DIY- burlap placemat

I enjoy using burlap because it is cheap and easy to work with. This is a quick project that will add a little fun to a tablescape. So, let’s get started on our DIY burlap placemats!

1) I measured out my placemats to be 18” wide by 14” tall. Instead of cutting where you measure, select the hemp thread that marks your measurement and pull it out.

2) This leaves you with an easily visible cut line.

3) Cut away!

4) I pulled 3 hemp strings off the edges to create a fringe boarder and put a stitch in the placemat to prevent unraveling.

5) Iron the placemat to remove any wrinkles.

6) I placed my feather stencil on the left side of the placemat. Make sure you secure your stencil with tape and sponge on your color.

7) Carefully peel off the stencil. I added a little gold glitter for a little shimmer!

Plate with feather burlap placemat

See more of this tablescape here.

<3 miss marlene

shopping vintage

A friend told me about this fun little vintage store here in town (Springfield, IL) Vintage Pop that I should go check out. A few Saturdays ago, I did just that. It was a super cute storefront filled with vintage goodies, and right next to it were two antique shops! The reSource-gallery is right next door to Vintage Pop and has a really eclectic vibe. You can tell the owner has a eye for unique pieces. Some of the items remind me of the  home decor found at TJ Maxx, Hobby Lobby, and Pottery Barn; you know the “replicas”; but he has gone out, found the real deal, and brought into his shop. You can definitely find one-of-a-kind pieces for your home there.

Vintage POP!

Resource-gallery

Antiques

I did find a funky dress at Vintage Pop for only $20! It was a long dress, but not quite long enough for me; it looked like I was  wading in water. The print was so intense and full of color that I thought it would be cuter short anyway. I chopped of the bottom, put a hem in it, and voilà!

vintage dress-beforevintage dress-after

 

Vintage FUN! <3 miss marlene

P.S. Check out the Party Party App from the fabulous ladies of A Beautiful Mess

 

 

cheap tricks under $10

Here are a few little “Cheap Tricks” will change your beauty routine and possibly even save your life. Okay, so maybe dry shampoo didn’t “save” my life, but it sure cut back on a lot of time I spend washing and drying my hair.

cheap tricks under $10

 

1)      Batiste: Hint of Color Dry Shampoo (Ulta- $8.99): I used to be one of those girls who washed her hair EVERYDAY. I had to. There was no other choice; my hair would form a greasy film in just a short 24 hours. I wanted to break the cycle because washing my hair everyday was a task. First, you have to train your hair, just like any other part of your body. I started washing my hair every other day, and using dry shampoo between each wash. The first day my hair was down, the second, up & teased; this was my new cycle. Adding a day to my cycle when I felt brave, or lazy enough, finally brought me to where I am now: washing my hair every 4-5 days. It’s actually really liberating to not be bogged down by a daily wash and blow dry, and it’s healthier for my hair. I really enjoy the Hint of Color line from Batiste; it blends better than a lot of other dry shampoos that can look flat and too powdery. I use a mix of the Vibrant & Red and Dark & Deep Brown, depending on how fresh my color is.

2)      Vaseline (Walgreens- $2.89): Vaseline is a world wonder. It has so many functions and is super cheap! Not only do I use it for its typical pharmacy functions, but I also use it to remove eye makeup. After a shower or bath, simply remove the raccoon eyes with a little Vaseline and tissue. Boom!

3)      Revlon Eyelash Curler (Ulta- $4.99): I’m not necessarily advocating for this particular eyelash curler (it just happens to be the one in my Beauty Bag right now), but the idea in general. Use them! No one likes stick straight lashes, it’s just not cute. A little trick to really get the most out of your curler: use your hair dryer. I blast a shot of hot air on my tool for a few seconds and then curl. Lashes = poppin! (Tip: I test the temperature of the curler on my lips before I curl. Don’t burn your eyelids ladies.)

4)      e.l.f. Essential Eyeliner Brush (Target- $1.00): I may be in the minority here, but I prefer a flat eyeliner brush over an angled one. It’s just more user friendly and this brush in only $1! With this brush I can take any eye shadow and manipulate it into liner. Here’s how: get the brush wet, push it into your favorite shadow on either side, tap off the extra shadow and line away.

DIY necklace

This week while strolling through the clearance aisle at Hobby Lobby, I spotted an awesome, lime green chain necklace. I liked it enough to just wear it without any embellishments…until I stumbled upon emerald colored jewels. Not every DIY project has to be extensive, sometimes it’s just a little “assembly required”. It just took a little time and a few jump rings to create this fun, funky, one-of-a-kind necklace at a great price!

NecklaceDIY

FREE printable: idea book

Hey guys! I’m going to hook you all up with my first FREE printable! This is a fun little tool that will help you piece together a perfect look for your next event or big day!

FREE printable- idea book

If you don’t have an idea of what you are looking for when shopping, the endless options will overwhelm you. This is where your “Idea Book” will be your guide. Fill it with color swatches, material samples, patterned paper, a piece of your invitation, or whatever you choose! Your “Idea Book” will serve as an inspiration cheat sheet. Keep it in your purse and when you are out and about and see something that might work you have something to reference, because you never know where or when you will find perfect party decor. This will help keep your purchases cohesive with your theme and colors. That being said, don’t obsess over your colors matching perfectly, too matchy-matchy can translate into boring and flat. I say as long as they are in the family or complement each other, go for it!

Party Planner Idea Book- baby shower

(Click HERE to see how this Party Planner Idea Book translated into an adorable fairytale themed baby shower!)

I hope you enjoy this FREE printable! Post your comments here or shoot me an email at missmarleneblogspot@gmail.com

<3 miss marlene

FREE- Party Planner Idea Book (PDF)

FREE- Party Planner Idea Book copy

FREE- The Big Day Idea Book (PDF)

FREE- The Big Day Idea Book copy

oh, baby!

My oldest sister is having her first baby and to no surprise I was put in charge of the baby shower; a task I welcomed with excitement. After some discussion she decided on a “fairy tale” themed shower. The next day she was sending me Pins left and right for inspiration and ideas. She was beyond excited and I knew I had my work cut out for me. I am going to take you through my process of planning a shower, and hopefully some of these tips will help you plan your next event.

 1) Get inspired. Having inspiration and a clear(ish) vision will help the process along immensely. We all know Pinterest is the best place to start! Look, look, and pin, pin, pin…BUT be realistic! You probably won’t be able to execute exactly what you see, so pick out a few elements that you really like and will make the most impact: bright colors, patterns, focal points: cake/food tables, gift tables, etc. Concentrate your efforts there first.

2) Plan ahead! I always try and get my invitations out a month before the event. Some people might think that is too far out, but people’s schedules fill up fast these days. Speaking of invitations, don’t just throw something together and print it on copy paper. Take time to create something special. Invitations really set the tone for the event. You want people to be excited enough by the invitation that they will RSVP yes!

3) Shop! This is the fun part! Remember that clear(ish) vision I mentioned above? That is going to help you make those executive decisions about what to buy. If you don’t have an idea of what you are looking for the endless options will overwhelm you. Try my FREE printable “Party Planner Idea Book”!

4) Upgrade your store bought items with a little DIY. I’m not going to lie; it’s not going to save you time, but it may save you money and be that connecting thread that pulls the whole look together!

5) The details matter; they always matter! Be mindful of what you put on the tables, I even go so far to make sure the table snacks complement the color scheme!

 6) Set-up day! Try not to stress; it’s easier said than done I know, and don’t forget your “Oh Shit Kit”!

7) Enjoy your hard work; no one will appreciate it more than you!

babyshowerBANNER

babyshowerBALLOONS

babyshowerFLOWERS

babyshowerTAG

I took plain glass flower vases and transformed them into centerpiece with a little paint and love. I spray painted them three main shower colors: pale pink, light bluish teal, and green. Once they were dry I mixed a little water with gold paint and dripped it down the sides (see my DIY bookend project). Now they are unique flower vases complete with a little, fun tag!

babyshowerPINKVASE

babyshowerBLUEVASE

babyshowerGREENVASE

babyshowerSETUP

babyshowerTABLES

babyshowerFOODTABLE

babyshowerSTRAWS

missmarlene

<3 miss marlene

 

oh shit kit

I am hosting my sister’s baby shower tomorrow and I’m packing up all the décor and my “Oh Shit Kit”. Whenever you are putting on an event, shower, or party, pack an “Oh Shit Kit”! I cannot emphasize how important this is! You never know what you will run into, so be prepared!

ohshitkit

1) Tape! A few different kinds of tape are best: clear tape, double stick, masking, packing, duct tape; bring it all.

2) Ribbon! I always pack the extra ribbon I didn’t use and curly ribbon. I also bring fishing wire.

3) Scissors! And more than one pair. People always steal mine.

4) Binder Clips and Paper Clips. This one might seem strange, but I find them helpful if the venue has the tile ceilings for hanging décor with some help from fishing wire.

5) Glue Gun! For those quick fixes.

6) Sharpies! Must have sharpies!

fashion $teals

I am all about finding the deals and steals when it comes to shopping. Don’t get me wrong, when I am in the market for a nice staple that will be a part of my wardrobe for a good length of time, I’ll spend the extra money. However, most of the time I am shopping for new, fun, trendy pieces to mix and match with what I have.

These are my top 4 guaranteed deal stops:

1) TJ Maxx

2) Burlington Coat Factory

3) JC Penny

4) Citi Trends

These are places I can for sure find a good sale, clearance rack, or just great prices to begin with. Below is my latest shopping trip from Citi Trends. I got two adorable summer tops, two pairs of sunglasses, two sunglass cases, sandals, and cross earrings all for under $50!

CitiTrends

CitiTrends2