Friday, September 28, 2012

The Smell of Fall is in the Air

Happy Friday! I absolutely love fall. It is such a pretty time of year and the weather is just perfect. So I wanted to share some of my favorite fall things. Enjoy!

Love, love, love, love these boots. I love boots in general, and fall is a great time to bust them out.

Cinnamon wrapped candles

Awesome fall prints

If interested, you can actually download one of these prints here.

Pumpkin Spice Frappe

I love pumpkin a little too much, I think. I for sure plan to try this frappe, and will let you all know how it goes when I do. If you want to try it yourself, check out the recipe.

Next week will be much more exciting of a post, so look forward to that. Today I was thwarted from doing what I wanted by my own clumsiness. Anyway, promise an awesome post for next Friday, so remember to check in then!


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

chairs gone wild

This past Sunday I celebrated my quarter century birthday. Very bittersweet. It's difficult emerging from the shadows of my early 20s into the very public and very scrutinized age where it's time to do something with my life. So I did some day drinking.

I decided to have a birthday brunch, but I needed a bit more seating. So with the help of my fellow blogger Amanda, I found a couple metal folding chairs at a local Salvation Army.

Like the chairs above-left (original source)

Then we picked up some spray paint at a craft store...NOT a hardware store. (I have looked over the years at hardware stores, but they never have good colors...:)

I covered the wood on the chairs with pieces of plastic grocery bags and painter's tape. I first did a base coat of a flat white spray paint, but it looked terrible. Since they do not sell spray paint in Chicago, I had to cover the chairs with what I had on hand (above). I recommend the gloss for covering metal. Looks much better with a slight sheen.

It's hard to get a photo without a cat tail around here.

As you can tell, I got a bit lazy with the paint job on the bottom of the chairs. I just

Mimosas seen here
The brunch was a great success and so much fun. Everyone brought a dish (or bottle) to pass and it was amazing. I think I may have a birthday brunch in the future.... 25 has not been so bad so far ;)


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Friday, September 21, 2012

Knot Your Average Bracelet

Well, dear readers, this week I had grand plans of a entirely different project to show you, but was faced with unforeseen  complications and could not do it in the time allotted. Therefore I moved on to plan B, and will save plan A for next week. ANYWAY, this week I figured I would explain how to make a bracelet out of an old t-shirt, super fun, super cute, you'll want to try it. Trust me.

What you'll need:
1. An old t-shirt
2. Scissors
3. Fabric glue

First you will need an old shirt, such as your awesome tie-dyed shirt from your senior year of high school.

Turn the shirt inside out, then 1. Cut the shirt width-wise from sleeve to sleeve. 2. From the bottom portion that you just cut off, cut out a rectangular shape. 3. Cut the rectangle into one to three strips (note: I originally was going to do three strips, but it turned out chunkier than I wanted, so I ditched one strip and stuck with two. You can use as many strips as you'd like, the more you use the chunkier it will be) 4. Pull each strip so that it rolls and becomes rope like...careful not to pull too hard though as the fabric will rip!

Next you will make your Josephine knot. It is fairly easy to do, but extremely hard to explain, so I encourage you to go here to watch a video of how to make the knot (she explains the knot in particular about 6 minutes in). This is where I learned, and she explains it much better than I could. 

Yay! You did it, and it looks something like this! Right? Right.

You're almost done! Just one last step! Figure out how big you need the bracelet to be to fit your wrist (this may involve cutting the middle loop to make it smaller) Cut out a small square from your remaining fabric. Lay the square flat and apply your fabric glue around the edges, but be sure to not go too crazy with it as it will soak through and be visible even after it dries.  Let it sit for a second, then lay the ends of the bracelet on the swatch and wrap the swatch around the ends.

Voila! You're done! Pictured here is the one I made today, as well as a previous one I made. I think I will pull the knot a little tighter on the new one and redo the closure to make the whole thing a little less bulky, but all around a successful endeavor. So go make your own and share your creations with us! We'd love to see what you come up with! 


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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dr. Crane

Using this great video tutorial, I was able to make an origami crane the first time I tried. No experience, except for a brief encounter as an adolescent which I owe to my 7th grade social studies teacher's strange affinity for the Japanese culture. She insisted we refer to her as sensei...

You can buy origami paper at your local craft store. The rice paper was soft and flexible, but actually ended up keeping its' form a lot better than the regular paper. I also used a bone folder (around $6.00) which helps to prevent stress on the hands.

I recommend small, carnie-esque hands and nimble fingers.

Here, I wove a small cotton piping through a needle with a very large eye. 

Loop the piping through once more to secure the bird's location on the "wire"...


I would actually recommend lacing the piping through the front, rather than the side of the crane's back for a better look. I really loved doing this craft. It takes less than a few minutes once you get the "hang" of it. Oh, the fun of puns.. I want to try a more minimalist color palette next :o)

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Double Exposure, Double the Fun

Recently my fellow blogger Amanda, and I went to an amazing festival where she had brought along a disposable camera to document the event. This reminded me of how awesome disposable camera's are and how much I miss taking pictures with film in general. As cool as it is to be able to see your picture as soon as you take it, there is an element of adventure and a lot more thought that has to go into a picture when taking it with film because you just never know for sure how it is going to look until you develop it. And I miss that with digital cameras.

Therefore a plan was devised! I shall buy a couple of disposable cameras and go on a photo adventure, and with any luck force some double exposures out of this event as well (cause who doesn't love an awesome double exposure).  After sifting through 60 or pics here are a few of my favs that I thought I would share with our wonderful blog readers.

These were all taken at a Metropark near me and I fully intend to go back and take more once the leaves start to change. Definitely had fun with the disposable and I am thinking of trying to dig up an old film camera to continue to play around with film. So yes, look forward to more in the future!


UPDATE: Since there was a question about it, in order to get the double exposure, it was a combination of literally beating the disposable and Photoshop. To get a double exposure with a disposable camera:

  • Take a picture
  • Charge your flash
  • Then literally smack the thing in the palm of your hand, the flash will fire and you will get a double exposure
  • Then wind it

This is tricky and only worked for me a handful of times (the last picture being one of those times). Getting a double exposure with a normal film camera is a lot easier and simply involves not advancing the film. The rest were done in Photoshop.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Estate-Saling Away

Old people have the coolest stuff. Do you feel too rude about asking them to leave shit to you when they "go"? That's why I love estate sales; you get to rummage through all their old smelly stuff and not give a damn. Here a few tricks of the trade:

1. Arrive EARLY
Get there even before it starts, like 10-30 minutes before, depending on how bad you want particular items. 

2. Sign In
Most estate sales will have a list where you can sign your name when you first arrive. You enter on a first-come, first-served basis. Frequently, they will only let 5-10 people in at a time, which sucks if you're late. Cuz they're getting all the good stuff!!!!!!!!

See something you like or are just semi-interested? Pick it up (if you can) and carry it with you. People are ruthless at these things. You can decide to buy it later. 

4. Negotiate  
If an item has no price, ask yourself what the most you will spend on it would be. Then, take the item to the estate sale host and ask what the price is. This will give you a starting point for negotiating with the host. 

Estate sales typically run for a few days. I recommend going the first day if you want the best stuff. Traditionally, estate sales are half-off on the last day. I have noticed recently at sales though that they are not reducing so low. THE BEST TOOL is Subscribe to get info about sales going on near you sent directly to your email. You can see pics of everything before you get there!

Here are a couple things I've bought recently:

1. Two chairs for $15/each (reupholstered after purchase) + Peace flag for $10 
2. Glass jars for $1/each + white ceramic hand for $3
3. Two vintage Champagne glasses + Sound of Music record for $3
4. Orange metal folding chair for $20 (which was a little too much, but I love it a lot)
5. Tins for $3
6. Mid-century lamps for $30/each

go and have a great day or something ;)

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Friday, September 7, 2012


Hey Guys!

Welcome to this brand spanking new blog, Michigan Made!

This is a space where the 3 of us (and maybe some guests here or there) are going to unleash our creativity on the world.  We'll be featuring all things hand made.  From crafts to makeup to home decor to recipes to design and beyond!  We'll try to provide helpful tips and tricks that we've picked up and how to's for things we work on with an extra dose of personality on the side.

The three of us have been friends for years and are hoping that it will shine through and make you feel like one of the gang.  So feel free to comment often, subscribe to our feed on Bloglovin and become our new BFFs.

Next week is our official launch so expect to see some fun posts from the three of us.  And be sure to check back often!

Michigan Made Girls
(Amanda, Jessica, & Kelly)

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