5 Poets for People Who Don’t Like Poetry

Soul, WhitmanYou say you don’t like poetry but, don’t read poems. Consider this list a tasting.

I can appreciate the struggle to enjoy poetry. So many old tomes are long, with forced rhythms and rhymes. And then, current spoken word pieces can be overwhelming to decrypt.

But, I love poetry.

In fact, I prefer to sit and read a single poem from a selection of poems on a Sunday afternoon. Often, it’s aloud and a point of discussion.

Each of these poets are readable, enjoyable and overall, a pleasure to experience.

1.Edward Lear

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This is the limerick guy. He’s snotty and it’s delightful. Also, he drew creepy cartoons to go along with his poems.

Look for an illustrated volume for the complete experience.

Excerpt:

There was an Old Man in a tree,
Who was horribly bored by a Bee;
When they said, ‘Does it buzz?’
He replied, ‘Yes, it does!’
‘It’s a regular brute of a Bee!’

2. Maya Angelou

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Possibly the best known to modern readers, Angelou had a wonderful presence. Her work is quite popular, and become very pinnable, because her words are succinct.

Her thoughts are communal without becoming commonplace.

Excerpt:

I will remember silent walks in
Southern woods and long talks
In low voices
Shielding meaning from the big ears
Of overcurious adults.

3. Pablo Neruda

Read Now

Although his quotes about love have become the most popular, Neruda pontificated on a variety of topics. He has a subtle humor that most readers will appreciate.

It breaks up the earnestness of his writing.

Excerpt:

Fleas interest me so much
that I let them bite me for hours.
They are perfect, ancient, Sanskrit,
machines that admit of no appeal.

4. Sylvia Plath

Read Now

Although she is better known for her fictional near-memoir, The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath’s poetry continues to resonate.

They’re mostly confessions.

Yet, they’ve become a rallying cry for many.

Excerpt:

The nights snapped out of sight like a lizard’s eyelid :
A world of bald white days in a shadeless socket.

5. C.S. Lewis

Read Now

Before he wrote popular children’s fiction or theology musings, Lewis put together youthful, angry words. He had recently returned from the war.

And he had a lot to say about it.

Excerpt:

What call have I to dream of anything?
I am a wolf. Back to the world again,
And speech of fellow-brutes that once were men
Our throats can bark for slaughter: cannot sing.

Tell Me Your Thoughts

Reading poetry is a pleasant way to absorb new thoughts and discover fresh voices. If you liked this list then, you might enjoy reading some new works like 15 Poets You Need to Be Reading in 2018.

Check out some rhymes and tell me what you think.

 

 

 

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5 Quick Weekend Reads

Smart, Hannibal

Oh, the luxury of weekend reading! It’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it?

We get to curl up somewhere, maybe even between errands and projects, to feast our eyes upon the written word.

As someone who believes it is acceptable to cancel plans over a good book, I have put together five recommendations to renew your creative energy for the upcoming week.

1. Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully – in Ten Minutes by Stephen King

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Everyone writes these kinds of lists now as clickbait but, this one is actually worth your time. King doesn’t throw together fluffy advice to hit a SEO-induced word count. He wrote something real and helpful from his experience with writing failure, and ultimate success.

Why read it?

He writes like he is talking. So, it feels like a conversation with a brilliant friend.

Excerpt:

All of what follows has been said before. If you are interested enough in writing to be a purchaser of this magazine, you will have either heard or read all (or almost all) of it before. Thousands of writing courses are taught across the United States each year; seminars are convened; guest lecturers talk, then answer questions, then drink as many gin and tonics as their expense-fees will allow, and it all boils down to what follows.

2. I Didn’t Laugh For a Long Time by Hayley Williams

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This is one of many discussions about artists and their struggle with mental health. You should read it anyway.

Inside, Hayley Williams describes a state of struggle that she doesn’t want someone to diagnose. Most creative people can relate.

Excerpt:

We wrote and wrote and I never liked what I put to the music Taylor sent me. His stuff sounded inspired. My parts sounded, to me, like someone dead in the eyes. I didn’t know the person behind those words. Probably because I never before allowed her to come out and say how she really felt. I never cared to get to know her.

3.  The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr.

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This one is for a long weekend. Or you can translate “read” to mean “skim.” I love this book and recommend it constantly. It’s not just helpful for writers.

The book can help anyone who wishes to express themselves better.

Excerpt:

It is an old observation that the best writers sometimes disregard the rules of rhetoric. When they do so, however, the reader will usually find in the sentence some compensating merit, attained at the cost of the violation. Unless he is certain of doing as well, he will probably do best to follow the rules. After he has learned, by their guidance, to write plain English adequate for everyday uses, let him look, for the secrets of style, to the study of the masters of literature.

4. Hey, Computer Scientists! Stop Hating on the Humanities by Emma Pierson

Read Now

If it’s not obvious from the title, Pierson makes the argument that numbers aren’t enough to make a good decision. Since the Op Ed was published in 2017, we’ve seen even more examples of how the ability to code something doesn’t necessarily mean you possess good judgment.

Essentially, she points out the Frankenstein-like approach that American engineers seem to be taking to invention. Don’t ask whether you should create something. Just make it.

It’s a fair question because other fields of science, like medicine, require an exploration of ethics.

Excerpt:

I’ve watched brilliant computer scientists display such woeful ignorance of the populations they were studying that I laughed in their faces. I’ve watched military scientists present their lethal innovations with childlike enthusiasm while making no mention of whom the weapons are being used on. There are few things scarier than a scientist who can give an academic talk on how to shoot a human being but can’t reason about whether you should be shooting them at all.

5. Rescue the arts from the budget chopping block by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton

Read Now

The prolific Julie Andrews and her daughters discuss how the arts can improve learning in all fields of study.

We need it.

We just don’t want to pay for it.

They break that arguement down to show why the arts should be a priority in our culture, especially in education.

Excerpt:

There was the student who sat silently at the back of a playwriting class for the better part of the semester, ski hat pulled low over his forehead, arms folded defiantly across his chest. Who would have thought he would ultimately write an award-winning political satire that was selected for production, and go on to start a student-written and edited section of his local newspaper, before attending journalism school?

What Are You Reading?

I’d love to hear about what you’re reading right now. Is it long or short? Tell me more about it and don’t forget to talk to me on Facebook or Instagram.

 

 

 

 

 

10 Quick Reads for a Rainy Day

Autumn. It’s the time when we suddenly curl up with cups of tea and short stories. Saturdays beg for quiet comforts like imaginative musings.

Although they aren’t as commercial as novels, short stories remain my favorite form of fiction. Most can be absorbed in less than an hour.

Also, the brevity forces the writer to condense the very best thoughts into a dense tale.

My Top Reads for a Rainy Day

On any dark day, I would curl up to re-read all of the these tales.

Smart hannibal2

Each one is notorious, surprising and thought-proving. They provide something to talk about over dinner or inspire your next project.

1. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Read it here

One of the darkest stories in this list, and a notable example of early feminist literature, the story builds symbolism around the sick room of the unnamed narrator. A modern reader will feel conflicted about her situation as she is held against her will to recover from her recent pregnancy.

It’s not a thriller. And it doesn’t need to be.

There is no real twist. Just a horrifying journey of an unwell mind (or perhaps a mind that has been made unwell.)

Excerpt from The Yellow Wallpaper:

If a physician of high standing, and one’s own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression—a slight hysterical tendency—what is one to do?

My brother is also a physician, and also of high standing, and he says the same thing.

So I take phosphates or phosphites—whichever it is, and tonics, and journeys, and air, and exercise, and am absolutely forbidden to “work” until I am well again.

Personally, I disagree with their ideas.

Personally, I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me good.

But what is one to do?

 

2. The Red-Headed League by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Read it here or Listen on Spotify

If I were asked to choose a single adventure of the prolific detective Sherlock Holmes, I would select The Red-Headed League. It may not be the top literary choice, or even the most popular. But, it has everything you want in one of Doyle’s stories.

The beginning is light-hearted. The middle showcases Holmes’ deductive process. The end delivers a worthy enemy and memorable action.

Also, it holds some of the most quoted snips like “three-pipe problem” and

Excerpt from The Red-Headed League:

“How, in the name of good-fortune, did you know all that, Mr. Holmes?” he asked. “How did you know, for example, that I did manual labour. It’s as true as gospel, for I began as a ship’s carpenter.”

“Your hands, my dear sir. Your right hand is quite a size larger than your left. You have worked with it, and the muscles are more developed.”

“Well, the snuff, then, and the Freemasonry?”

“I won’t insult your intelligence by telling you how I read that, especially as, rather against the strict rules of your order, you use an arc-and-compass breastpin.”

“Ah, of course, I forgot that. But the writing?”

“What else can be indicated by that right cuff so very shiny for five inches, and the left one with the smooth patch near the elbow where you rest it upon the desk?”

“Well, but China?”

“The fish that you have tattooed immediately above your right wrist could only have been done in China. I have made a small study of tattoo marks and have even contributed to the literature of the subject. That trick of staining the fishes’ scales of a delicate pink is quite peculiar to China. When, in addition, I see a Chinese coin hanging from your watch-chain, the matter becomes even more simple.”

Mr. Jabez Wilson laughed heavily. “Well, I never!” said he. “I thought at first that you had done something clever, but I see that there was nothing in it after all.”

“I begin to think, Watson,” said Holmes, “that I make a mistake in explaining. ‘Omne ignotum pro magnifico,’ you know, and my poor little reputation, such as it is, will suffer shipwreck if I am so candid.”

3. Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Read it here

If ever there were a short story to reflect the gender tensions of modern American society, it’s Metamorphosis. Kafka himself struggled with ill-health and that challenge his masculine identity overshadows this surreal vision.

Within the first few paragraphs, you will question what you are reading and why you should continue.

Continue.

His stories mean more when you finish them and absorb the entire story like an impressionist painting at a distance.

Excerpt from Metamorphosis:

Gregor hardly slept at all, either night or day. Sometimes he would think of taking over the family’s affairs, just like before, the next time the door was opened; he had long forgotten about his boss and the chief clerk, but they would appear again in his thoughts, the salesmen and the apprentices, that stupid teaboy, two or three friends from other businesses, one of the chambermaids from a provincial hotel, a tender memory that appeared and disappeared again, a cashier from a hat shop for whom his attention had been serious but too slow, – all of them appeared to him, mixed together with strangers and others he had forgotten, but instead of helping him and his family they were all of them inaccessible, and he was glad when they disappeared. Other times he was not at all in the mood to look after his family, he was filled with simple rage about the lack of attention he was shown, and although he could think of nothing he would have wanted, he made plans of how he could get into the pantry where he could take all the things he was entitled to, even if he was not hungry.

4. Desiree’s Baby by Kate Chopin

Read it here

A reminder of how far we have not yet come, this story dwells on the concept of race. The titular character, Desiree, is an orphan who is suspected to possibly have black ancestry. It isn’t much discussed during her life.

After she marries, her dark-skinned baby causes her husband to leave her.

That conflict, and its social implications, will leave you considering the weaker arguments of white nationalism.

Excerpt from Desiree’s Baby:

It was no wonder, when she stood one day against the stone pillar in whose shadow she had lain asleep, eighteen years before, that Armand Aubigny riding by and seeing her there, had fallen in love with her. That was the way all the Aubignys fell in love, as if struck by a pistol shot. The wonder was that he had not loved her before; for he had known her since his father brought him home from Paris, a boy of eight, after his mother died there. The passion that awoke in him that day, when he saw her at the gate, swept along like an avalanche, or like a prairie fire, or like anything that drives headlong over all obstacles.

5. An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce

Read it here

You don’t need to be a Civil War wonk to enjoy this tale from Ambrose Bierce. Immediately, you can see how the narrative influences modern storytelling with a non-linear plot and twist ending.

And if you don’t read it, Kurt Vonnegut thinks you’re a twerp.

Excerpt from An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge:

The man who was engaged in being hanged was apparently about thirty-five years of age. He was a civilian, if one might judge from his habit, which was that of a planter. His features were good—a straight nose, firm mouth, broad forehead, from which his long, dark hair was combed straight back, falling behind his ears to the collar of his well fitting frock coat. He wore a moustache and pointed beard, but no whiskers; his eyes were large and dark gray, and had a kindly expression which one would hardly have expected in one whose neck was in the hemp. Evidently this was no vulgar assassin. The liberal military code makes provision for hanging many kinds of persons, and gentlemen are not excluded.

6. Fundevogel by The Brothers Grimm

Read it here

Based on an interesting plot known as a “Transformation Chase,” this fairytale details love between adopted siblings. You’ll find yourself reviewing and trying to decode the symbolism.

Reading this tale puts other Grimm stories in an interesting context.

Excerpt from Fundevogel:

Then Lina said to Fundevogel: ‘If you will never leave me, I too will never leave you.’ Fundevogel said: ‘Neither now, nor ever will I leave you.’

7. Thank You, Ma’am by Langston Hughes

Read it here

The mercy of strangers is a rarity in our society. More so, a societal responsibility to raise our youth as a village has altogether disappeared.

This story reminds me of something I’ve never really seen.

It’s a tome of morals past.

Excerpt from Thank You, Ma’am:

Sweat popped out on the boy’s face and he began to struggle. Mrs. Jones stopped, jerked him around in front of her, put a half-nelson about his neck, and continued to drag him up the street.

When she got to her door, she dragged the boy inside, down a hall, and into a large kitchenette furnished room at the rear of the house. She switched on the light and left the door open. The boy could hear other roomers laughing and talking in the large house. Some of their doors were open, too, so he knew he and the woman were not alone. The woman still had him by the neck in the middle of her room.

 

8. Everyday Use by Alice Walker

Read it here

A culture clash starts this story as the prodigal daughter returns home. If you have every stormed off from a people and place, only to return more “worldly-wise” this recollection will humble you.

The story is narrated in first person by the mother of two daughters. She lives with the younger and they are waiting for the eldest to return.

And when she does, the scene really begins.

Excerpt from Everyday Use:

You’ve no doubt seen those TV shows where the child who has “made it” is confronted, as a surprise, by her own mother and father, tottering in weakly from backstage. (A pleasant surprise, of course: What would they do if parent and child came on the show only to curse out and insult each other?) On TV mother and child embrace and smile into each other’s faces. Sometimes the mother and father weep, the child wraps them in her arms and leans across the table to tell how she would not have made it without their help. I have seen these programs.

9. The Gold-Bug by Edgar Allen Poe

Read it here

While Poe may be better known for his tales of angst, he actually coined many fun adventures and mysteries. This one is a treasure hunt.

The mystery includes cryptograms and secret writing, making them popular devices in modern literature.

Excerpt from The Gold-Bug:

Driving a peg, with great nicety, into the ground, at the precise spot where the beetle fell, my friend now produced from his pocket a tape measure. Fastening one end of this at that point of the trunk, of the tree which was nearest the peg, he unrolled it till it reached the peg, and thence farther unrolled it, in the direction already established by the two points of the tree and the peg, for the distance of fifty feet—Jupiter clearing away the brambles with the scythe. At the spot thus attained a second peg was driven, and about this, as a centre, a rude circle, about four feet in diameter, described. Taking now a spade himself, and giving one to Jupiter and one to me, Legrand begged us to set about digging as quickly as possible.

10. The Birth-Mark by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Read it here

In this story, the main character becomes obsessed with removing his wife’s birthmark. She is otherwise beautiful – nearly perfect.

The dynamic of their relationship, and the overblown role of a tiny flaw, mirror the dystopia that we currently experience through thoroughly modern, mind-bending management of social media personas

Excerpt from The Birth-Mark:

Had she been less beautiful,—if Envy’s self could have found aught else to sneer at,—he might have felt his affection heightened by the prettiness of this mimic hand, now vaguely portrayed, now lost, now stealing forth again and glimmering to and fro with every pulse of emotion that throbbed within her heart; but seeing her otherwise so perfect, he found this one defect grow more and more intolerable with every moment of their united lives. It was the fatal flaw of humanity which Nature, in one shape or another, stamps ineffaceably on all her productions, either to imply that they are temporary and finite, or that their perfection must be wrought by toil and pain. The crimson hand expressed the ineludible gripe in which mortality clutches the highest and purest of earthly mould, degrading them into kindred with the lowest, and even with the very brutes, like whom their visible frames return to dust. In this manner, selecting it as the symbol of his wife’s liability to sin, sorrow, decay, and death, Aylmer’s sombre imagination was not long in rendering the birthmark a frightful object, causing him more trouble and horror than ever Georgiana’s beauty, whether of soul or sense, had given him delight.

Share Your Favorites

I’d like to know your favorite short stories. Tell me which ones you most enjoyed reading, either from the above list or something that you found.

Join the conversation on my facebook page.

How to Use a Bulletin Board to Display Jewelry (Tutorial)

When you can see your jewelry, you’re more likely to wear it. That’s why I keep my accessories out in the open. It reminds me to enjoy them every day.

Bonus! I get to see the pretty baubles all the time.

How to Use a Bulletin Board to Display Jewelry

Using a bulletin board to display jewelry is simple. All you need is a few pins and a great looking board. In this example, I customized it with a modern twist on a 90s favorite – splatter paint!

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Time Required: 10-30 minutes

Cost: Free or Minimal

Tools:

  • Paint Brush
  • Toothbrush
  • Drop Cloth

Materials:

  • Bulletin Board
  • White Paint
  • Gold Paint
  • Pins

Instructions

Start with a bulletin board of any size you like. I had previously used this one in an office. So, it was looking a little rough.

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Step 1: Paint it White

Paint the board white. You’ll probably need several coats to get the desired effect. Having done this with both spray paint and acrylic paint in the past, I prefer acrylic. It soaks into the corkboard better.

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Step 2: Protect and Splatter

Pick an area to start splattering the frame. Guard the cork board by putting down paper.

Dip the toothbrush into your gold paint. Then, flick the bristles to create a splatter.

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Step 3: Add Dimension

Drop some larger splatters using a paint brush. Just hang it above and flick it Jackson Polluck style.

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Step 4: Pin and Enjoy

I prefer to use white sewing pins over typical office push pins. They make it easier to hang jewelry. Add your accessories and enjoy.

How do you Display Your Gems?

I’d love to see how you display your gems. Maybe you are using a bulletin board or perhaps, you hang them on a little tree. Whether you keep them out or store them away, I’d love to see how you keep them.

Dream Wedding
Pin Now, Make Later!

Please post in the comments or tag me on Instagram @verderamade.

 

How to Make Your Own Pom Pom Garland Tutorial

If you’re looking to add a little whimsy to a room, a pom pom garland can do the trick. For my version, I went a little primitive and boho with varying pom pom colors and sizes.

What I love about this tutorial?

It’s easy to make it your own.

How to Make Your Own Pom Pom Garland Tutorial

This tutorial is easy to put together, especially if you already know how to make cute pom poms. You can use up scrap yarn and turn it into something wonderful.

Time Required: 10-30 minutes

Cost: Free or Minimal

Tools:

  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Pen or Marker

Materials:

  • White String
  • Hot Glue Sticks
  • Pom Poms or Yarn
  • 3M hooks

Instructions

If you haven’t already made some, start by making your own pom poms. Then, you are ready to make this garland.

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Step 1: Measure Your Yarn

Determine how long you want to make your garland and the space between your pom poms. For this one, I made it 15 feet long with about 3 inches between pom poms. Cut to length and make marks where you want your pom poms.

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Step 2: Glue Your Poms

Glue Your Pom Poms into place with a single dot. You’ll need to separate each strand slightly. Repeat until you finish.

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My Tip: I decided to make a variety of sizes and do them from large to small going out from the center.

Step 3: Hang and Enjoy

Using a 3M hook, hang your pom pom garland on the wall.

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Show Me Your Garlands

I like light-weight wall hangings that work with 3M hooks. As a renter, you want to avoid putting too many holes in the wall. A pom pom garland is perfect!

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I’d like to see any garlands you have made. Please post in the comments or tag me on Instagram @verderamade.

Make your own
Pin Now! Make Later.

Free Download! Calm Desktop Wallpapers

“Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.”

Henry David Thoreau

If you follow my blog, you know I talk about decluttering often. I find creativity when I am centered and calm. So, I’ve put together a few device wallpapers that reflect that mindset.

Free Download! Calm Desktop Wallpapers

Just download and enjoy. Click on each image to get the file.

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Click to Download
decluttertest3
Click to Download
decluttertest1
Click to Download

Share and Follow

If you liked these wallpapers then, you’ll love what’s next. Make sure you follow me on Instagram @verderamade. You’ll be alerted when the next ones are ready.

The Easiest Way to Make a Perfect Pom Pom Tutorial

Pom Pom projects are everywhere! These little puffs form the base for so many cute crafts. I’ve wanted to test out the many methods for a while. So, I put together this little tutorial with my favorite tips.

The Easiest Way to Make a Pom Pom

There are many methods to make a pom pom but, I found this one to be the easiest to use. Also, it works best when you want to use multiple colors of yarn and layer them. It’s easy to make the board and then you can curl up with this craft anywhere.

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This may have some of the cheapest supplies ever.

Time Required: 20 Minutes

Cost: Free or Minimal

Tools:

  • Scissors
  • Pen or Pencil
  • Cup

Materials:

  • Yarn
  • Cardboard

Instructions

Putting together these pom poms is easy once you make the weaver. That takes a little time but, you get to use it over and over for each pom pom.

Step 1: Trace Your Circles

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Trace two circles on cardboard. I used a cereal box as my base. A cup can be used as a stencil when you trace.

Step 2: Cut Out Circles

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Cut the circles out of the cardboard. Then, layer them and cut into a C shape as pictured below. They must match.
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Once you’re done, you’ll have two identical C shapes of cardboard.
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Step 3: Set up and Weave

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Place one length of yarn in between your two pieces of cardboard. For this one, I left my string about 10″ in length. You need it to be long enough to stick out the sides for easy tying.
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Start wrapping the yarn around the C shape. Once you get a few wraps, it will hold itself in place. Continue wrapping until the yarn gets thicker.
The thicker the wraps, the denser your pom pom will be.
I wrapped this one until it was about 1.5″ thick.
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Step 4: Separate and Cut

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Trim around the C shape, slicing all the pieces of yarn in half. As you cut, tie the interior string into a little loop. Tighten this loop as you cut. Once you finish cutting, you can tighten the knot completely.
Double knot it. Remove the cardboard rings.
Then, you can trim any stray ends to smooth the shape.
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You can trim the interior strings to finish the piece.

Pom Pom Projects  Start Here

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All the cute projects start with a perfect pom pom. Just spend a few minutes on Pinterest and you’ll quickly see all the possibilities. You can string them together to make a garland. Or you can use them as a base for a puffy wreath. The possibilities are endless!
The
Pin it now, Make it later!

Final Tips:

  • Use up scraps from other yarn projects by wrapping them in layers. Just trim the uneven ends after you are done.
  • To make a larger pom pom, just make your ring larger. You can use a bowl or dessert plate as a template for a larger one.
  • Keep the center strings long if you want to tie the pom pom to something. This makes it easier to use on a project like a garland.
I’d love to see what you do with your perfect pom poms. Everyone can find a unique use for these little nuggets. Show me your favorite pom pom projects in the comments!

How to Hack an IVAR (IKEA Hack Tutorial)

If you need slim storage, you can turn an IKEA IVAR into a narrow cabinet with a few simple steps. All you need is the cabinet, furniture legs and some paint. At $70 a cabinet, this is an easy and cost-effective solution to your home organization.

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I put two cabinets side-by-side to make a living room landing space. My husband and I each get our own cabinet. I store art supplies and work files in mine. My husband stores electronics and work files in his.

The best IVAR IKEA hacks transform the cabinet into furniture while capitalizing on the low price of the original piece.

How to Hack an IVAR from Ikea

Hacking an IVAR easily transforms this kitchen cabinet into a unique piece of furniture. You don’t need much to get started.

Time: 1 hr 30 minutes

Cost: $70 – $300

Tools:

  • Screw Driver
  • Paint Brush
  • Hex Key from kit

Materials

  • Screws
  • IKEA IVAR Kit
  • Furniture Legs
  • Paint, Furniture Wax or Polyurethane

Instructions

The best thing about this project? The variations are limitless. All you have to do is purchase unique furniture legs and finish to make the IVAR work in your space.

Step 1: Purchase your IVAR and Assemble

Follow the instructions provided with the kit. The cabinet should be assembled as specified by Ikea.

Step 2: Add Legs

Add your selected furniture legs using the instructions from the leg kit. Most include a metal piece that must be screwed into the bottom of the IVAR cabinet. Then, you can screw the leg into the metal piece.

Step 3: Finish and Style

Paint, wax or polyurethane according to your taste. Mine are currently the raw pine with no refinishing. However there are several cool transformations that you can fine online.

Best IVAR Hacks

I’ve created a board with the best IVAR hacks. Most of these follow a similar design, adding legs to the narrow model. Repin your favorites for inspiration.

 

Show Me Your Inspo!

I’d love to see the IVAR projects that you love most. An IVAR hack is such a great project for any home. Send me links to pins or projects in the comments!

 

How to Make a Felt Star Mobile (Tutorial)

If you are only going to make one project for your baby’s room, this is it!

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Baby’s Eye View of the Mobile

When I thought about decorating my son’s nursery, my DIY spirit tempted me to take on a long list of projects. Realizing that I should focus on simplicity over quantity, I opted to commit to a single project.

What project inspired me most?

I liked the idea of my baby peacefully enjoying a unique mobile that created just for him.

I selected this project after some disappointing shopping. I didn’t see a single mobile that I liked. To begin, I wanted something with a nice look both from the side (for me) and beneath (for baby). Also, I wanted soft colors (for my clean aesthetic) but something eye-catching (for the baby). I wanted it to feel organic but, I needed it to be motorized.

The resulting project was my solution.

How to Make a Felt Star Mobile

Time Required: 45 Minutes

Cost: $30

Tools

  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Hot Glue Sticks
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Sharpie
  • Pencil

Materials

  • Mobile Hanger (model pictured)
  • Mobile Motor (model pictured)
  • White paper or thin cardboard
  • White string
  • Royal Blue Felt (2 sheets)
  • Dark Grey Felt (2 sheets)
  • Light Grey Felt (2 sheets)

Instructions

Making a felt star mobile requires a trip to the craft store and a little online shopping.

Step 1: Cut Out Stars

I traced and cut out stars on white copy paper. However, you could buy pre-cut stencils for any shape.

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Step 2: Cut Felt Stars

I cut out the stars from the selected felt colors. You’ll need 2 sides for each shape. So, I cut the following:

  • 20 small light grey stars
  • 20 medium dark grey stars
  • 10 large blue stars

Make sure you keep the fabric scraps in a pile to use as stuffing later.

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Step 3: Create the Blue Stars

These stars hang at the bottom of each strand. Using your scissors, poke a hole in the middle of 5 stars. Then, thread the white string through. Stuff each star using fabric scraps and seal it with hot glue. In the end, you should have 5 strings with a big blue star at the bottom.

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Step 4: Add the Grey Stars

Add the grey stars one at a time. They can be spaced about 2 inches apart. You can measure them evenly or vary them for an organic look.

Keep each star in place on the string with a dot of hot glue. Then, glue both sides together around the edges.

Repeat this until you’ve added all the stars for each strand.

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Step 5: Assemble the Mobile

In the end, you should have 5 strands with 5 stars on each. Hang these from your mobile kit by tying a knot on each end. You can hang them evenly or vary the heights.

I chose to vary the lengths for a more whimsical an organic look.

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I attached the mobile to the ceiling using a 3M hook. The small motor plays music and spins the motor. This light-weight mobile spins with the breeze or when the motor is on.

Let’s See Yours

In the end, I created an simple felt star mobile that my baby loves. You can see how this concept can be changed for different colors and shapes. It’s light-weight and whimsical to perfectly match the feel of the room.

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My Calm, Minimalist Nursery

I’d love to see how you decorated your child’s room. Leave a link to your favorite projects in the comments.