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Thursday, April 30, 2015

DIY Up-Cycled Windchime

They say 'In the Spring Love is carried in the breeze';

 I wanted to hear it!! 
Spring has finial sprung, and to celebrate I decided to make this super cute up-cycled Wind Chime out of little more than a Tin can, & a few Glass beads! 
It makes the perfect bright, cheerful addition to your Garden, Yard, Deck or Balcony! 

What You'll Need:

  • A tin can 
  • Scissors
  • Stretch cord
  • Mixed beads (preferably glass as they make for the best chime sound)
  • Weather-resistant rope
  • Paint 
  • Paint Brushes
  • Hammer & punch drill bit (or nail)

Step 1.  Not pictured - Begin by cutting Strips of your Stretch Cord to the desired length in which you would like your 'Chimes' to hang. I made mine with 6 (5 along the exterior and one in the center) you can choose to add less or more, depending on how loud you want it to Chime. I did the 6 of mine in varying lengths from 4" - 8" long. Be sure to include 2-4 additional inches which you will use to secure to the Wind Chime!

Step 2. String beads onto your pieces of stretch cord. Get creative with this process. 
A Tip: String  larger/ decorative bead onto the ends to create a complete, finished look!  
& again being sure to leave about 2-4" to secure it to the wind chime. 

Step 3. Once your bead lengths are finished set these aside & pull out your tin can! Using a nail or Punch drill-bit & hammer puncture holes to attach your 'chimes' in your can, just large enough to fit the stretch cord. It is important to do this prior to painting your can to avoid scratching or damaging your paint! Carefully puncture the desired number of holes evenly spaced across the top of the can, (which will become the bottom of your Windchime) as well as one in the top if you so choose. 
You will also want to Puncture a larger hole in the center of the bottom of the can - large enough to loop through your weather resistant cord, & hang your Windchime! 
Step 4. Paint your can however you'd like think anything bright and Springy, I decided to just do some simple Sun & Leaf imagery on mine!
Step 5. Once your can has dried completely, you can begin attaching your Chimes!
Do this by simply looping through the stretch cord and securing on the inside with a double knot! Trim off any access. Continue this process all the way around the can! 
Step 6. (OPTIONAL) If you had chosen to add a chime to the center of your can you will attach it by threading it through the inside of the can as you did with the previous ones; Except this time, I recommend adding a bead or two to the top before tying it off. This will not only dress it up, but will also help to reinforce!
Step 7. Lastly cut a length of Weather Resistant cord and loop it through the TOP to hang & ENJOY!

Dream Big Sparkle More   Shine Bright

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Earth Day 2015 - "Nature does not hurry; yet everything is accomplished."

The best way I could recommend anyone to spend their day today is to just take a break from the hustle and bustle of today's busy world; 
Get Outside 
& Enjoy the simple beauty of Nature! 
If it is warm enough where you are Plant a Tree or start a Garden!

This is something of a round-up post where I will simply be sharing some of my favourite pictures I've snapped so far this Spring on various nature walks, & a few inspiring quotes about nature!

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as 

sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms 

their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves." ~John Muir

 "Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. "~  Lao Tzu

" All good things are wild & free" ~ Henry David Thoreau

"You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what
kind of difference you want to make.” ~ Jane Goodall
 Flower Crown By: Upcy
Flower Crown By: Upcy
Dream Big Sparkle More Shine Bright

& Love Earth!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

DIY Yarn Wall Hanging

Wall Hanging By: Upcy
Spring is here, and after such a long cold winter there is nothing quite like getting rid of the resulting clutter of winter hibernation & giving your home a little sprucing up to really welcome the change of season! I am by no means suggesting you go out and buy new items to do this, not only does it defeat the purpose "Spring Cleaning", it's unnecessary; with a few snips of your scissors you can create a cute Wall Hanging to freshen up any room, in just 3 easy steps & less than 30 minutes!
I have been seeing these Wall Hanging's all over the place made up of just about any and every material imaginable! I love the natural look of them, I think they have such a cozy vibe! - The first one I did I featured in a previous post No Winter Lasts Forever, No Spring Skips It's Turn . 

All You Need:

- A Stick 
- Yarn, of any colour(s) - I chose turquoise, and two tones of ivory/off white to create mine.
- Scissors

How To:

The first thing you are going to want to think about is what shape you want your Wall Hanging to fall. Depending on the shape you want this may or may not come into play for the next step. For some tips/advice on different ways you can shape your Wall Hanging scroll to the bottom of this post (Steps 2 & 2.5). 
Step 1. Begin Cutting your Yarn to length
- As a reference, I cut the strips on this one between 1 & 2 feet long . 

Step 2. Attach yarn by looping around the stick . See image(s) below. 
I attached the yarn in bundles of 10-15 to achieve this full/fluffy look. 
I was also looking to create a shabby V shape with a very natural gradient effect - I achieved this look by cutting all of the pieces of yarn to different lengths. Some shorter ones that I attached towards the outer portions & tapering longer towards the center. This also made for a very relaxed care-free project to do as It wasn't necessary for me to measure each piece - I more or less eye balled it
Wall Hanging By: Upcy
Wall Hanging By: Upcy
OR attach the yarn strips individually as seen below.
Picture From: Annie Marie Loves
Step 2.5 (Optional). Trim yarn to shape.
If you wanted a more rigid / clean cut look. (straight across, diagonal, sharp V) this could be achieves by cutting all the pieces to a standard length and then cutting the shape out after all have been attached to the stick!

Step 3. Attach Yarn to Hang
Cut a piece of yarn & tie it to each end of the stick to create a loop to hang it from.  
Display with pride!
Wall Hanging By: Upcy
 Wall Hanging By:Upcy
Wall Hanging By: Upcy
Dream Big Sparkle More Shine Bright

Monday, April 13, 2015

Mason Jar Spring Salad

This is a recipe Cody & I discovered last spring & have been obsessed with ever since! 
It only takes about 30 minutes to toss together & is just Sooo delicious!
It's so fresh & light and just tasted like spring time in a jar!
Mason Jar's are a cute way to prep your Salad's in advance & is awesome as a portable, leak-proof (because there is seriously nothing worse than having a Salad explode in your purse/bag...), On The Go Lunch, or to have on hand for a quick snack! ' You will hear it again & again - having healthy meals & snacks pre-made like this makes it much easier for us to reach for them! Fast Food' doesn't have to be bad food!!

Just Shake & Enjoy! 

All You Need:

- Quinoa (of any kind)
- 1 Cucumber chopped
- 1 Sweet Pepper - chopped 
- Cherry / Grape Tomatoes 
-  Corn (roughly 1cup)
- Oil & Viniger dressing (we use one with Italian seasonings) 
Mason Jars (this can be done in any container(s) you have on hand) 

Here we Go...

  • You are going to want to begin by cooking your quinoa based on the type /preparation process specified - they are all a little different.  
  • Once you've got this on the go - begin preparing your fresh/seasonal vegetables. Corn & Grape / Cherry tomatoes are great for this type of salad  - cut larger veggies into bite sized chunks.

  • Once your quinoa is done - transfer to a bowl and place in the fridge to cool. 
  • Begin layering your salad; beginning with the quinoa then proceed to layer your veggies. I recommend layering the smaller ones closer to the bottom (it will shake/mix easier) 

  • package your salad dressing in a separate mason/Tupperware to prevent any sog'. We like to use an Italian oil & vinegar dressing in ours!  

  • When you are ready to eat - just poor in your dressing - Shake & Enjoy

Dream Big Sparkle More Shine Bright

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Spring Essentials // What's In My Purse

It has been quite a while since I did an Essentials / Whats in my Purse Blog - & I I'm kind of excited to share this one with you guys - mostly just because I am so excited that Spring is FINALLY here (I'm completely blacking out the fact that we had snow flurries today because it's been promised to warm back up by the end of the week) - YAY - which means it's time to switch things up! Am I the only one who has missed being able to get dressed without looking like I just piled on everything I own? The winter had me feeling like Joey Tribbiani every time i went to get dressed -  " Listen Is it Obvious I'm wearing 6 sweaters?" ...

Box Tote (Emily Tote) -  This list just wouldn't be complete if I hadn't mentioned this bag. I have always been someone who is constantly switching up my bags - but that all changed when I got this beauty! I try to switch in other bags & sometimes pack a smaller handbag/wrist-let inside it - but I just can't seem to separate myself from it! It has room for everything and more! 
One of my absolute favourite things about this bag is that is due to it's polyurethane coating it can be whipped clean with a damp cloth! Now let's get this list rolling - Here are the item's that you will currently find in my 'Purse'.

Arbonne CC Cream - This 10 - 1 product is my go to from day to day, It's high pigmented and
It primes, protects the skins moisture barrier, conceals discolorations, mattifies, brightens,
covers blemishes, refines pores, soothes, and helps perfect your overall complexion! It's highly pigmented yet ends up leaving your face feeling very light, & breathable which I love! 

Arbonne Sheer Glow Highlighter & Bronzer These are my go to's for quick contouring! The sheer glow highlighter is one of my all time favourite cosmetic products! Its perfect on any part of the face - eyes, cheeks lips , It highlights it all beautifully and blends so well!

Country Garden Pallet -This is my all time favourite Pallet - Quite Possibly makeup product EVER! It includes just about everything you need to achieve a full cosmetic look in one beautifully chic pallet! Inspired by a whimsical, bloom-filled English countryside garden, this Pallet includes four brilliant eye shadows and a rosy-bronze blusher & highlighter! & also includes: Rose Bud Three-In-One Lipstick - I absolutely love this lipstick, it is the perfect shade of sheer pink. I have admittedly gone through more than one to the point of having to savagely dig it out with a lipstick brush!
did a tutorial using this Pallet when it was first launched which you can find HERE.

Awaken Body Lotion - In-case you haven't noticed yet by the repeat appearance of products from this line appearing in my Essentials lists - I have a bit of an obsession! With lemon for vitality & coriander for happiness this lotion does more then just nourish your skin!

Water-Resistant Sunscreen - SPF 30 - Now that the sun is shinning be sure to get that skin protected! Sun damage doesn't just occur in the Summer!!

Lip Saver - SPF 30 - So aptly named; This product seriously saves my lips all year round. From hydrating and nourishing dry chapped winter lips, to sun, this Lip Saver does it ALL!!

Insulated Mason Jar Tumbler
 - I think drinking more water is something we could all stand to do! I know Personally drinking enough water in a day has always been a struggle for me & I find keeping a cute little bottle like this close by makes that much easier!

Energy Fizz Tabs (Citrus)

Another great way that I have been able to increase my water intake is by replacing coffee (and any other Energy/Caffeinated beverages) with more water - A refreshing combination of botanicals, B-Vitamins and chromium to help increase alertness and performance as well as help the body to metabolize fats, carbohydrates and proteins, without leaving you with the jitters (which caffeine does to so many of us)!

Pastel Nail Polish - Pastel Nails are what Spring is made for. I don't typically wear a ton of pastel clothing (I like to stick with my neutrals) - My nails are a different story you'll never catch me without a bright manicure & this is I promise you.
This one is Sally Hansen 'Complete Salon Manicure' in shade 360 Barracuda.

I absolutely love these polishes - they last a full week without chipping and come in the cutest colours - some of which I've never seen before which doesn't happen to often! 

No Dent Hair Tie(s) - Once you switch to these there is no going back!
I shared a tutorial on how to make your own a while back which you can find HERE.

Sun Glasses - I love that the Retro inspired Sunglasses trend is around. John Lennon & Harry Potter had it RIGHT! Something most people don't know is round sunglasses actually rock - they sit slightly further away from your face which prevents that annoying eyelash rub & no more pesky steamy glasses! They are practically stylish - (Practical & Stylish) - & I don't care how tacky they become, I think I'll always be wearing them! 

Statement Necklace(s) - 
are carrying over into Spring which I love because they are the perfect addition to any outfit! I love wearing mine over a t-shirt to dress it up & add a little flair! 

'You Are The Pineapple Of My Eye' Coin Purse - Pineapples (& all things Tropical) are on Trend EVERYWHERE right now, from Fashion to Home Decor! How cute is this little Pineapple of My Eye coin purse from Bath & Body Works?! 

A Cute Notebook - Always useful. I am all about lists,and jotting down my ideas. I believe this one is from Urban Outfitters, its the perfect purse size Even for someone who doesn't carry around a small suitcase.

Wowza - After writing out this list it has become quite evident why my bag is so big - I really couldn't have it any other way. Trucking around a massive bag filld with 'everything but the kitchen sink' inside it is kind of my signature!

Dream Big Sparkle More Shine Bright

Monday, April 6, 2015

Twigs & Tassels DIY Easter Decor

Like the arrival of Spring, I was a little late this year to share my DIY Easter Decor Ideas... Despite the fact that the majority of these decorations have been around since Mid February - about the time I was over Winter & ready for spring! Here is a few little snip-its of what Easter is looking like around here - Many of them I plan on keeping up as we head into Spring! 
Up-cycled Plastic Eggs; Despite being obsessed with switching up my home decor to welcome a new Holiday / Season (or in this case both) I always do my best to limit unnecessary excess waste by up-cycling old or unused items whenever possible! I love how easy & inexpensive it was to give a much needed face lift to some classically tacky plastic eggs with just a few coats of paint! 
I ended up deciding to display in this cute little 'Egg Tree'. Which was pulled together super simply by poking a few holes into the tops of the Plastic Eggs with a metal skewer, & attaching a loop of pink embroidery thread to each, & hung them on a large branch which I vased (absolutely not a word) in a recycled apple cider bottle. 
This DIY Paint Chip Bunting is actually one that I made last year. It s quite self explanatory to make!  
Simply cut out 'Egg' shapes from various Paint Chip cards - be sure to take advantage of the monochrome gradient to achieve the Ombre effect. 
If you are interested in viewing last years Easter Decor Post, it can be found HERE . 
I made a Cinderella Inspired Tassel Garland. I know, I know she is kind of everywhere right now - from fashion to cosmetics,  but she has always been my favourite Disney Princess, & the child in me kind of loves it so I have no shame admitting to jumping on board with this Trend!! 

Tassel Garlands are available for purchase / custom order in the Upcy Shop 
 @Upcygirl on Instagram ]

Tutorials for the following were posted last week to the Blog. 
I have attached direct links to both below.

Dream Big Sparkle More Shine Bright

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Easter Painting Tutorial for Kids!

Are you looking for a fun Easter themed art Project to do for the long Easter Weekend?
If so, these cute little Easter themed paintings are a great hands & feet on project for toddlers and young kids! 
I did this project with two children a girl age two & boy age five, there was a whole lot of giggling and creating going on!

What You Will Need:

Washable Paint in primary colours. 
Two or Three paint brushes.
White or coloured Paper (to use as your canvas)
An art tarp / old Garbage bag / recycled papers to lay down on the floor!
Markers (for detailing the Easter Bunny)
Pie Plates / whatever you prefer to contain & mix your paints.

Carrot Feet Painting!

We started off by mixing the primary coloured paints to make Orange (Red + Yellow) and Green (Blue + Yellow) which is a great way to begin teaching/learning about colours and the colour wheel!! 
After this step We began painting the soles of our feet Orange - Depending on the age(s) of the child/children participating may want to assist with these steps. 
I think the feet painting was everyone's favourite part of this entire activity!

Begin feet-stamping! - Okay wait maybe this was our favourite part.

Easter Bunny Hand Painting!

We made Brown Easter Bunnies - because it's made from all three primary colours & could be made by mixing up the left over Green & Orange from our Carrot Feet! 
This one was a little bit tricky - because you have to separate your fingers only in the center - "Live Long & Prosper" style! Thankfully the sweet little two year old girl came up with the idea to use band-aids to attach her fingers together as seen in the photo below - A brilliant life hack brought to us by a two year old! 
Begin painting the entire hand with the exception of the thumb. 

Make V/"Live Long & Prosper" Shape with hand & Begin hand-stamping! 

Once completely dry - Add any details you wish to complete your Easter Bunny using markers. - Again depending on the age(s) of the child/children you may want to assist with this step as well. 

I hope that you enjoyed this & if you do end up giving either of them a try, share the love with the #Upcy or tag @upcygirl on Instagram. I always love seeing the beautiful things you guys create!
Hoppy Easter! 
Dream Big Sparkle More Shine Bright

No Sew DIY Bunny Ears

I don't know if it is just a bit of left over winter funk, or the endless list of new inspiration and possibilities since the start of Spring, but I feel like I have fallen into something of a rut with my Blog posts, & will be switching things up a bit in the future as well as bringing some things back. So if there is anything you would like to see, or miss seeing please let me know - I always love & appreciate hearing your feedback!
 One of the things I hope to focus more on in the future is sharing more up-cycled art projects and inspiration! These Bunny ears which are no-sew (mostly due to the fact that I don't have a sewing machine and didn't want to spend countless hours hand stitching something I would only be wearing as a goof ) are made entirely out of up-cycled and re-purposed items I already had laying around! The head band is one I have had since the 6th grade and probably haven't worn it since, & As you can see in the Photo below, my 'pink fabric' is actually an old T-shirt. The white felt is the same as you may have seen in yesterdays Tutorial for DIY Feather Coasters - that was actually hand-me-down left overs from Hillary - Thanks again girl!
I think these are just so fun for Easter, & in my experience almost always get a laugh!

What You'll Need: 

A piece of Card Stock / Paper 
A Marker / Pen

Flexible Wire
Wire Clippers/ Pliers 
Hot Glue Gun & Glue Refills
A Plastic Headband
White Fabric / Felt 
Pink Fabric / Felt 

How To: 

Step 1. Measure your white fabric over the length of the headband, and cut it to length & about 4-5 inches in width.
Step 2. Using your hot glue gun, adhere your headband to the center of the fabric so it hangs over about evenly on both sides.
Step 3. Flip over & glue one of the flaps down around the headband & trim off any excess. Repeat this process for the other side until the entire band is covered. As shown in the series of photos above.

Step 4. Set aside your headband for the time being and pull out the sheet of card stock. Begin by folding it in half and then drawing out two Upside down U's on the (one slightly smaller than the other) which you will then cut out & use as the template for the Bunny Ears.
Step 5. Trace & Cut out 2 of the Larger U's onto the white fabric, and 2 of the Smaller U's onto the pink. Shown in the next series of photos. 

Step 6. Pair up & place your white and pink fabrics one on top of the other (as shown in the photos above and below). Then beginning at the top using your hot glue gun, proceed to carefully & as neatly as possible glue the two flaps together from top to bottom. 

Step 7. Using your left over white fabric cut to size a piece just big enough to cover the bottom of your ear (As shown in the 3rd photo in the series below). 

Step 8. Set aside your ears as well & now pull out your wire. Using your wire cutters - cut two lengths of wire long enough to create a loop for inside the ears (with a little bit of extra slack for attachment purposes) (As seen in the last two photos in the series below).
Step 9. Okay it is time to bring back both your headband and ears & begin construction! Start by twisting the ends of your Wire loops around the headband, in the approximate place you would ultimately like your Bunny Ears to go!

Step 10. Slip your ears over the Wire & using the front and back flaps of white fabric & your hot glue gun secure your ears at the base around your headband as shown in the second photo (As shown in the series of photos below). 
Bend & Shape Your Bunny Ears & You're Done!! 
I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial & are as excited as I am to be gearing up for a new Season & of course to hopefully catch a glimpse of the Easter Bunny!

 Dream Big Sparkle More Shine Bright