DIY Mixed Material Mobiles

Mobiles are one of my very favorite projects to work on. They can be wonderful, whimsical ways to showcase a collection, a favorite material, or they can represent ideas all on their own. Unfortunately, none of my mobiles survived our big move a couple of months ago. There’s nothing more frustrating than watching your creations fall apart! I was able to save some of the materials, though, so I thought I’d start a new mobile today and bring you along with me!

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Thanks to the Listers Gotta List prompts this month which inspired this post!

First, what the heck is a “mixed material” mobile? That’s another term I’ve made up simply to describe what the mobile will require. Beads, gems, paper, wire – all these things have different weights, and depending upon their placement, can tip your mobile. I’ll be sharing some tips and tricks, as well as some drool worthy mobiles for inspiration at the end, so keep reading!

Continue reading “DIY Mixed Material Mobiles”

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10 Lovely Things #4

Today’s “10 Lovely Things” is another way to help us find key pieces to our manifesto. Think of things last week, and over the weekend, that made you extra happy. Maybe it’s your favorite TV show, or hanging out with friends. Whatever it is, add it to your own lovely things list!
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01. I love the sound rain makes when it hits the ground…Even if that ground happens to be a sci-fi scene. I recently saw a statistic that listening to rain sounds lower stress levels, so maybe I need more of this in my everyday routine!

02. I believe in celebrating who I am. These lovely Affirmation bracelets are perfect! They came across my Pinterest feed this morning and I can’t help but think, “this looks like a program idea!” Check out Alma Stoller for the whole project!

Credit to Alma Stoller

03. I believe we are all learners, and we are all teachers. I have a couple of kids at the library who are *obsessed* with origami. This trigonal bipyramid might be the perfect way to have them interact with my new display today!

04. I believe creativity flows in my blood. This DIY applique project has “me” written all over it. Turning a photograph into an applique pattern? Hello?! I’ve already got five photos ready! Check out the tutorial over at Little Button Diaries.

05. I believe in learning to let go of perfection. At first, it doesn’t seem like a lovely thing, but I have all my library programs planned out ’til December! I’m learning to let go of my expectations and opening up a lot to the kids. It’s sooo freeing and super super difficult for the perfectionist in me !

06. I now believe in taking a step back, and asking for help. And speaking of work (which I said I wasn’t going to  write about, oh! but look now what I’m including!), I took a break yesterday at the reference desk. Through some awesome magic powers by one of our admin staff, we had Nesquik milk and cookies! It was simply so good to have a giggly, silly time together.

07. I believe sharing your gift has immeasurable power. Okay, I can’t believe I’m actually pursuing this (and the 2 billion other things on my plate), but I’m starting to outline products for, you guessed it, The Chronic Creative store! There’s still a fair bit I need to figure out, but I’ll keep you posted!

08. I believe in not taking myself too seriously. Here’s to the two or three weeks of having a great, hand lettered banner…only to realize it’s misspelled. I’m going to chalk that one up to brain fog. The old me would have beat herself up over that, but new me isn’t going to dwell on small details. Oh well! C’est la vie!

09. I believe in the power of the night sky; it is a humbling site to experience. Follow The Huffington Post‘s Good News page. This lovely quote from Stephen Hawking was shared on their Facebook page. I always need reminding that for every awful person in the world, there are at least a few good people out there helping one another and caring for the other creatures we share this planet with.

“One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.” —Stephen Hawking

10. I believe in the awesome power of being genuine. For an example during the manifesto writing, I asked people on Facebook how they would describe me. Nothing makes me happier than to see “kids” I bonded with at the high school commenting with answers like “Freaking Radically Awesome,” and “Strong, intelligent, kind, and oh so patient.” I cannot tell you how validating that is, and how restorative it makes me feel. Bring it on, Tuesday, ’cause I can handle whatever you throw at me!

“You are a caring wonderful soul you are persistent and determined which reflects and shows through the passion I see you have in working with kids. In one word you are awesome!”

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Pretty, Peppy DIY La Croix Garland

There’s two things I know for certain:

  • La Croix water is sooooo addictive
  • Garland makes everything better (well, almost)

Make today a celebration of what makes you happy! I recycled an empty La Croix box into bright, spunky deco for the walls of my ever evolving craft room. If you think color isn’t a powerful motivator, think again!

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How I Made My Garland

First, you’ll need a pattern to trace. I chose a simple flag pattern, and proceed to sketch it out on paper. When I was happy with that, I cut out my sketch from paper. I then set it aside and deconstructed my box. Once broken down, I traced as many of my flag patterns as I could fit. I then cut them out and hole punched each flag. Stringing them together is easy; I secured the string to each flag with cello tape as I went along.

And that’s it! It’s a fast project that brightens up my sewing room. Heck, I’ve got three more boxes of La Croix, so Husband may come home one day to dozens of garland pieces!

And while we’re on the subject, remember to drink plenty of water!


Let’s hit the ground running this week!

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Moodboard Manifesto

If you’ve been crying, wipe your tears.

If you’ve been pent up with rage, go for a couple laps (or twelve, no one’s counting).

If you’re air conditioner is leaking into your tiny apartment living room because it, too, really is tired of this summer heat, just let it go…or help it along. By taking out the bolts and watching it fall two stories…in your imagination. True story. I hate this machine.

To say it’s been a tough week is a huge understatement. As the wife of a law enforcement officer, I speak with absolute tenderness in saying I grieve for the families of the fallen officers, and with the two shooting victims. Life is never easy, and it rarely conforms itself into the happy picture we concoct in our dreams.

But, that doesn’t mean we can’t try to make the world a little bit better than it was five minutes ago. Prepare yourselves, because this week is going to be all about knowing yourself and celebrating who you are (and also some very bright DIY projects). By understanding ourselves, I think we gain more appreciation for the amazing and awe-inspiring uniqueness in others.

Later in the week we’ll be talking personal manifestos, which I’m choosing to define as statements of self. “What I love about being me is…” or “If I could only accomplish one thing in life, it would be…” I’m working on the questions, so if you have suggestions, I’d love to hear from you! Today, though, I’m continuing my moodboard tradition – moodboard manifestos!

Think of this as a brainstorm session. Sometimes, we cannot see the good in ourselves, so try asking friends and family what they think of you, or how they would describe you. Think of your goals, your dreams, or something you’re truly passionate about. Start with the things or people you know without a doubt will end up in your manifesto.  Continue reading “Moodboard Manifesto”

DIY Embroidery Hoop Mobile

You’re probably already convinced that I somehow have access to a magical supply of embroidery hoops. That, or I’m a hoarder. If so, I’m a hoarder who loves change…that I have control of. For instance, I love rearranging my craft room  furniture, creating new planner inserts, and repurposing things. Like this embroidery hoop. It was already hanging up, but I grew tired of how it was displayed.

While I was tearing it apart, I had the idea to solve two issues at once. First, I now had an empty hoop with nothing to put in it. Second, one of my favorite altered books fell apart, and I needed a way to keep the illustrations/collages/etc. Bam! My embroidery hoop is now a sketchbook mobile!

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There’s something very calming about watching a mobile sway back and forth. I’ve made several, but unfortunately, none of them survived our move back in May. This option is not only super easy to make, but it’s also awfully practical. It’s art that displays art!

To make your own, you’ll need:

  • sketch pages/illustrations/etc.
  • single hole punch
  • scissors
  • thread
  • embroidery hoop (both inside and outside rings)

To start, punch a hole at the top of every page or thing you want on the mobile. Feed thread through that hole. I cut thread at different lengths to avoid placing pages too close together. Once you have your thread placed, think about placement for your pages. I mapped out my pages around the hoop like shown in the photo below.

When you’re happy with the arrangement go ahead and start tying your pages to the hoop. For each page, bring up both ends of the thread and tie them around the inside hoop. Before you attach the inside and outside hoops, you’ll need to tie two pieces of thread to the outside hoop (see photo below). I looped wire around the center of the threads; I hung the mobile from that loop. After I tied all the pages, I slipped the outer hoop over the inside hoop and tightened it to ensure all the pages were secure.

It’s such an unconventional “sketchbook,” but I love having my favorite pieces right there. They serve a much better purpose hanging from a mobile than they do stuffed inside a book that’s buried under ten other notebooks.

Craving more mobile ideas? Check out my new Pinterest board!


What’s your favorite way to display your art? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments!

Take it easy, it’s Saturday finally!

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