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Always Crafty Workshop: Moss Monogram Wreath Tutorial

Welcome to Craft Week guys! The Always Crafty Workshop this past weekend was such an amazing success that I decided to share tutorials for all of the crafts we did. So each day this week, I’ll post the how-to’s and end the week with a sweet giveaway. Sound good? Things to keep in mind 1) I didn’t pretend to hide the fact that I bite my nails to death, please ignore them if you possibly can and 2) My hot piece of a husband took all these pictures during weekend toddler naptimes when he could have been laying on the couch watching golf. Crafts come first in this house. Thanks, John. So first, let’s take a sneaky Pete look at the workshop via my pal Bethany’s Instagram

It was straight up gorg if I do say so myself. I’ll be sharing more soon!
Sp first up is the moss monogram wreath. This is a Pottery Barn knock-off that looks super fancy but is ridiculously easy.  Get your supplies: Rolled Moss ($16.99 for 48″ at Jo-Ann Fabric) 12″ Paper Mache Letter ($4.49 at Jo-Ann), Scissors and Hot Glue.

Lay your letter face down on the back of the moss and begin by gluing moss to the side of the letter.

The glue will seep through the moss, so press lightly and repeatedly. Hot glue never really hurts me but maybe I’ve burnt my fingertips off by now, so who knows? You can use a popsicle stick to press the moss against the glue if you’re a wuss.

Continue to the other side of the letter and glue. Then work your way around the top and bottom, cutting and trimming as you go.

When you get to weird angles or curves, you have to get crafty. Figure out which cut would cover the most edge and go with it.

If you mess up, it doesn’t matter. Moss is very forgiving.

Use your trimmed off scraps to cut pieces to fit into your blank spots.

Go around your letter and trim off all excess moss. I obviously didn’t cover the back of the letter. That’s what you call a waste of moss.

Make sure you go back and glue any loose pieces.

Here are more pics of this M in action. It’s mostly cutting, gluing, trimming.

Make sure you flip your letter over in case there are any loose flaps. Loose flaps are no good.

ta-da! You’re done!

String a ribbon up on this baby and get it on your front door asap!

Homemade Valentine’s Decor

Couple weeks ago, my friend Adrienne came over for some good old fashioned crafting.She brought a shit-ton of yarn and a tiny sewing machine. Newsflash: I can operate a tiny sewing machine. I was pretty proud of myself. We actually got a lot done and my house is now properly loved on.

I think it was on Michelle from Decor and the Dog’s post about Valentine’s Day decor that I commented about never caring about VD before. But like all the holidays, as soon as Gabe popped out, it was a holiday free for all around here. Gabe will grow up in a festive house dammit! Pink and red shit everywhere!


Gabe’s got the yarn ball poofs down pat.

 

Glittered hearts on burlap inspired by this pin


Um, heart artwork blatantly printed out from this pin


My first attempt at yarn poofs turned out a-ok with me

Pipe cleaner letters inspired by this pin

I’m sort of obsessed with decorating with tons of stuff on my dining room table.


Aren’t the arrows adorbs? They were inspired by these.


And the chalkboard, while blank right now, is sporting this pretty new garland made with all sorts of scraps of ribbon I had. Oh, and it was inspired by this one


So we are all clear now right? By inspired I obviously mean “blatantly copied”. Ha. I’m pretty proud of all my crafts this year. What’s next? St.

What’s next? St. Paddy? Yeah, you know it. We’ll be throwing up green in no time.

Livin’ the Dream: Michael from Inspired by Charm

Welcome to the second installment of Livin’ the Dream! Yesterday I schooled you on my event planning biz.  Now, I’m pretty sure you all know this guy. And if you don’t, what rock have you been living under? This is my friend Michael, who blogs at Inspired by Charm.

He is one of the most talented people I’ve ever come across. For real. He cooks, he creates, he takes beautiful pictures. And he’s also the reigning king of Pinterest with um, over 350,000 followers (at last count). Isn’t that crazy? Oh and he also owns his own bed and breakfast in central Pennsylvania called Old Charm. How fun is that? Plus inside of the inn is a little gift shop that he runs. It’s like 10-year old me died and went to heaven. I wanted to be a gift shop owner for the longest time. Of course, instead of all sorts of pretty American-made things like Michael sells, I wanted to sell troll dolls and scrunchies. But that’s neither here nor there. Let’s chat with Michael about running his own bed and breakfast…

S: Tell us a little about your business…

M:  I own a five-room bed and breakfast in St. Marys, PA, a small town located in the center of the state. Inside my little inn is a small gift shop open year round. I also make custom gift baskets called ‘A Basket of St. Marys’. The signature basket features goods made in the area.

S: How did you know you were ready to go out on your own? Was it always your plan or did you have a light bulb go off in your head?

M: I had always dreamed of owning a bed and breakfast, but thought it would be something that would happen much later in life. After college, I worked at a hotel in Philadelphia. After three years with the company, I just wasn’t happy anymore. I was successful within the company, but I just dreaded going to work every day. I made a decision to quit with no plans for the future. I just knew I needed out. After quitting, I started the job hunt. During this time I found out that the only bed and breakfast in my hometown was for sale. So I went home to St. Mary’s, toured the home and knew instantly this is what I was supposed to do. I spent six months developing a business plan. With very, very little money in my pocket, I applied for a home loan and other small business loans. Somehow everything worked out and I bought my own business and my first home.

S: Do/Did you have a mentor or someone in the biz to give you guidance? How did you learn the ropes?

M: Other than the support of friends and family, I was pretty much on my own. Thankfully the internet provided a lot of guidance and support. I also spent a couple weeks with the previous owner learning how she did things. Over the years I’ve realized that I learn best by doing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve screwed up, made mistakes and ran out of money.  I somehow bounced back from these things and I’m all the better for it.

Every year I learn more and things seem to get a little bit easier. And I’m so thankful to have my family near me. My dad is one of the handiest people I know and my mom listens to my gripes every day. She’s also an amazing cook!

S: What has been your most effective form of promotion? How about something that didn’t produce the results you thought it would?

M: Being in a small town, the best form of promotion for me has been word of mouth. I asked the original owner of the bed and breakfast this same question when I was interested in buying. She told me the same thing. I found it hard to believe, but she was right. I tried the newspaper, radio, etc. and none of them, for me, was as powerful as word of mouth. I think it’s really important to figure out your target clientele. This will help you determine the best method to promote your product or service. It’s going to be different for everyone.

S: What has been your biggest challenge so far in running your own business?

M: Can I have two? Stress and time commitment are my biggest challenges at the moment. Being the sole employee of essentially three businesses leaves me very little downtime.The phone always rings. Emails always come. Someone will always need something. With guests sharing my home I always have to be ‘on.’ Some days it’s a piece of cake. I’m a people person. I could carry on a conversation with anyone. But we all have our days when we want to just sit on the couch and watch tv in our pajamas. These days are the hardest. don’t get two days of a week. Sometimes I don’t get two days off a month.There are no sick days or vacations days. I’m not going to lie; it sucks. But…I never have to ‘go to work’ and I don’t have a boss, so that’s kind of awesome.

Also, when you are your own business you carry all the stress of that business is a success. Everything is on your shoulders. When things are going well, it’s the best feeling in the world, but when things aren’t, well, it feels like you can’t breathe.

Thank you so much, Michael, for your completely honest take on running your own business. I told him that being an innkeeper sounds sort of like being a mom, with the whole no sick day thing. Sure, you know the job isn’t all fun and games but you have no idea until you’re wearing your innkeeper/mom/boss hat, ya know?

Do you have any other questions for Michael? Like, did you ever dream of running a troll doll empire of your own? 

TINY MIME

Fun fact: Homemade costumes are in my blood. It will take a hell of a lot for me to not piece together a costume for my kids.That’s not to say that I don’t love a cute store-bought costume. I might have considered a certain airplane get-up from Target as a backup.

Fun fact: Last year I wanted to dress Gabe up as a “French Man”, you know, curly mustache, baguette, the whole shebang. But I picked Mr. Peanut instead.  This year, I couldn’t get the French Man outfit out of my head…which obviously led to this, a mime.

Fun fact: I assumed the makeup process would be the most annoying part of getting this costume to work. Turns out, the kid hated the beret. Can’t imagine why. What man about town doesn’t appreciate a good beret?

Fun fact: Catching pale as a ghost Gabe out of the corner of my eye really freaked me out.

Fun fact: This kid is awesome

Fun fact: I did not dress my baby up as a bumblebee or a prisoner.

Fun fact: Gabe’s 1st official Trick-or-Treating went pretty darn good.

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