Friday, January 31, 2014

DIY: Fabric Embroidery Wall Art

     About a year ago, I started buying embroidery hoops at thrift stores whenever I'd stumble upon them. At first, it was with the intention of  bettering my cross stitching skills. Then, it switched to having a focal fabric wall. I have more than enough hoops for both projects now, but have done neither. Womp, womp, womp. So, when I got snowed in on a day that I was supposed to visit some of my old friends from Cleveland, I decided to drown my sorrows in a few projects for Rags and Roses. I still didn't have enough fabric for my original wall art idea, but I did have scrap fabric, old pictures, and cardstock. The picture above was my finished product, and I'm pretty happy with it. This easy project is a great way to use leftover supplies and display photos in another way besides a frame.
I made a few variations of these. The first was using fabric, images cut from a Smash journal, and hot glue. This would work just as well with images from magazines or your own photos. Just insert the fabric into the hoop, tighten the outer ring, and pull the fabric tightly so there are no wrinkles. Arrange and glue your chosen images, and then cut the access fabric from the edges.
The next one was done with a photo I took/doodled on, and some thread. I just stitched it onto the fabric, and secured it with a few knots on the back.
The next two were done with scrapbook paper. I will admit, it's harder to secure the thick paper into the hoop than the fabric. But, once you have it in, it's a much sturdier surface that you could easily glue or write on. I used leftover fake flowers and another photo of mine, both put on with hot glue.
I love how versatile these are. You can easily customize them for any room, or even as a gift; how cute would these be filled with photos of a loved one for Valentines Day!? I plan on making many more of these for a statement wall. 
I hope these provide you with tons of wall art inspo.
With love,

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Liebster Award

This weekend, I was notified that I have been nominated for The Liebster Award! I was nominated by Natasha from Natoodle. The Liebster Awards focus on smaller sites in the blogging community. This is a huge honor for me, seeming as though Rags and Roses isn't even a year old yet! Here are the rules for the Liebster nominees:
1. Link back to the person who nominated you.
2. Answer the 11 questions given by the nominee before you.
3. Pick your own 11 nominees of smaller or beginning blogs, who then answer your questions.
4. You cannot nominate the person who nominated you.
5. Lastly, tell your nominees you have nominated them.  

 Below are the questions I received for my nomination:

1. Who has been the biggest influence to you in your life? That's a tough one, because so many people have made an impact on my life. Kate Nash, Sylvia Plath, Sofia Coppola, Kurt Vonnegut, Charles Bukowski, Kathleen Hanna, Lou Reed, Jenny Lewis, Wes Anderson, Ben Gibbard, etc. Several books, bands, movie, and television characters have influenced me, as well. But, my mother and sister surpass all. As a single mom, she taught me how to be independent and think for myself. And, my sister has been an amazing example of perseverance and the rewards that come with hard work. I don't know what I'd do without them.
2. What is your favourite type of sweet/candy? Ice cream, preferably from Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream. The coffee, biscuits and jam, and sweet potato with toasted marshmallow flavors are my three favorites.  
3. If you could have any job in the world what would it be? For me, it would be having a ton of different experiences throughout my lifetime. I want to be a photographer, a journalist, a store-front owner, a magazine editor, a clothing designer, a band member, a blogger; everything. I'm far too indecisive for a career. 
4. Who is your celebrity crush? Ryan Gosling, Joaquin Phoenix, Steve Buscemi, Andy Samberg, and Sam Rockwell. And, Evan Peters. Oh, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Woopsies.
5. What is your favourite product this week? Hmmm, probably Quorn brand meat substitutes. As a vegetarian, they provide protein and add variety to my diet. The "chicken" is the best, and can be used in so many recipes.
6. Do you have any pets? If not, what pet would you like? Sadly, I do not. But, I would love a Tabby cat or a Siberian Husky.
7. What is your favourite colour/make of nail polish? I love Essie, Flower Beauty, and Wet n' Wild brands. And, Urban Outfitters makes a great scented top coat that I love. I tend to stick to darker colors (like burgundy and teal) with metallic or lighter accents (like gold or nude).
8. What is/was your favourite subject to study at school/college/university? English has always been my favorite subject; I love to write and read. I really enjoyed Communications and Woman Studies while I was in college, though.
9. Who is your favourite beauty YouTuber? I don't really have one. I tend to go to Pinterest for any beauty how-to's. I do love Lauren Conrad's Beauty Department blog. But, Youtube for me is strictly for humor, music, and cats.
10.What is your favourite clothing store? Where to start!? I love TJ Maxx, Forever 21, H&M, thrift/vintage shops, Urban Outfitters, and many more. I enjoy cheap clothes from anywhere, really.
11. What is your top beauty tip? I guess just to present yourself however you want and be confident, whether it's with risky fashion or subtle styles. I think it's important to find your own preferences despite mass marketing and advertising plots that make women feel bad about themselves. You are most beautiful when you are happy, and the most happy when you chose things for yourself!

Alright, that does it for me! My nominations for The Liebster Award are:

My questions to you ladies are:
1. What/who inspired you to become a blogger?
2. Who are some of your idols/icons?
3. What are your favorite things to post about?
4. What are your five favorite songs at the moment?
5. What is the last movie you went to see in theaters?
6. If you could only eat one thing forever, what would it be?
7. How have your blogging styles/post subjects changed since you first began?
8. What is the last thing that made you laugh really hard?
9. If your life were a television show, which show would it be?
10. Name at least one thing you can make? (food, crafts, etc.)
11. What are some of your future blogging/life goals?

I look forward to seeing everyone's answers. Thanks again for the nomination, Natasha. I am still so surprised and flattered!
With love,

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Recipe: Nutella Hot Chocolate

Sometimes, your mind creates something out of this world. Be it a song, or a novel, or a technological advancement. Whatever it may be, you instantly know it's great and that it's never been thought of before*. That it will change the course of history, and bring wonder for years to come. For me, it was this Nutella hot chocolate recipe. I was sitting on the computer, drooling over a bunch of dessert recipes, when I simply couldn't take a lack of sweets any longer. I tore my cupboards apart looking for something, anything, to satisfy my sweet tooth. The only thing remotely appealing was a jar of  Nutella: my greatest friend and worst enemy; that stuff  is addicting and so NOT good for you. At all. But, it does taste like heaven, so whatever. Anyways, this idea popped in my head to make hot cocoa with this chocolaty, ultra-fattening sugar spread. (*Which I later found out via Pinterest that I did not in fact invent this concept. Turns out a lot of innovators beat me to the glory long ago.) This is my take on the treat. So, here we go:
In a saucepan, bring 1 and 1/2 cups of milk to a light boil. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of Nutella and a few dashes of cinnamon until smooth. That's all, doods. Simple, but equally delectable. I think next time I might try this with a few tablespoons of espresso, caramel syrup, or cocoa power, to really intensify the flavor. But, don't get me wrong, this was freaking delicious.
Top with a mountain of marshmallows or whipped cream, sprinkle with more cinnamon or cocoa powder, and enjoy. Without guilt, please. This stuff is too good to worry about how bad it is for your New Years' resolution. So, think about that tomorrow, and slip into a chocolate-hazelnut spread induced euphoria.
With love,

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Outfit: A Few Of My Favorite Things

I think everyone has a go-to outfit. One that fits most everyday occasions and just feels like home. You're looking at mine, folks. This look is complete with all of my closet staples: high-waisted jeans, favorite band tee, cat flats, and chunky knits. Yes, please. What are some of your favorite closet items?
Until next time,

Outfit Details:
Sweater/Scarf-Forever 21 (thrifted)
Front Bottoms Tee- Bought a a show (find it here)
Jeans- Urban Outfitters
Flats- X-mas gift
Bag- TJ Maxx

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Winter Beauty Must-Haves

I always enjoy trying out new beauty products. In fact, I can waste at least an hour or two at a time looking through the beauty aisles at drugstores and online. I hope that last sentence makes you feel way better about your life, and the way you spend your time. Clearly, I'm easily amused. Anywhoozer, I'm here today to share some recently acquired products that are sure to become my favorites.
Formula 10.0.6 Shine-Free moisturizer: I've shared my love for this product before, but I really can't get enough. I really suggest anyone who thinks their skin is too oily for facial lotion try this product. Covergirl Cheekers in Rock n' Rose: It's a deep color perfect for the colder months. E.L.F HD Lifting Concealer:  This concealer has great natural coverage and won't break the bank; it sells for $3-$5!
My lips are forever chapped during Winter, so this Baby Lips lip balm with SPF has been a godsend. They even come in tinted varieties. I've been layering it underneath my Flower Beauty Shine-On Lip Gloss in Hibis-Kiss. It has color and lasting power like a lipstick, and shine like a gloss.
My favorite color-combo at the moment are these two; Flower Beauty's Venus Fly Trap and L'oreal's Charmed, I'm Sure.
And, a couple of miscellaneous products: Love and Toast Shea Butter body lotion, Not Your Mother's Dry Shampoo, and Twirl by Kate Spade. This lotion is magic, you guys. It has kept away my usual flaky skin all Winter, and has a good scent, Not to mention is all natural and vegan. Dry shampoo should be on everyone's beauty list. It adds volume, refreshes hair between washes, and keeps your color longer. And, this perfume speaks for itself. Because it's smells WONDERFUL.
That does it for me, doods. I hope this gives you some inspo for the next time you find yourself looking for new products to try. 
Until next time, 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Beach Waves Hair Tutorial

I have seriously boring hair. It's not quite straight and it's not curly. Even after I wash and blow dry it, it just kind of hangs there; wavy and lifeless. It's taken a lot of time for me to perfect a quick routine for my waves; one that doesn't fry my hair or require a lot of product. But, I think I finally have it down. Here's the scoop.
Here it is, y'all. My hair in it's natural state. Like that little flip at the ends? Yeah, me either. Anyways, to start this routine, just blow dry and brush your hair.
Use a 1/2 to 1 inch barrel curling iron to add some definition to waves and tuck your ends under. Always curl AWAY from your face. I personally think it looks better, and you'll avoid burns. Brush out your curls with your fingers as you go. Sometimes I even use an actual brush once I'm finished. It really amps up the waves.
Next, use some styling creme. It can be a small amount of mousse or gel. I prefer this tousle creme by L'oreal because it's not too greasy or stiff. It's also free of harsh chemicals and vegan! It's roughly $6-$8 at the drugstore, and lasts forever. Use a dime to quarter-sized amount depending on the thickness of your hair, and rub around your hands before applying.
Then, just distribute the styling creme into your hair, scrunching it at the ends. Take your fingers back through your hair before using finishing spray to seal in the waves.
And, there you have it! Waves with volume and movement. The best  thing about using the styling product on dry hair is that your look will last much longer, even after playing with it all day; which I am super guilty of doing. I hope this fixes any problems with pesky waves. I know it's certainly changed the styling game for me.
Until next time,

Thursday, January 16, 2014

DIY: Silhouette Patches

I mentioned earlier last week that I would be sharing the how-to for these Ohio patches, and today's the day! This is a super simple way to create silhouette patches, in any shape that you can find on the internet. Here's what you'll need:
Scissors, fabric, pins, and some kind of "shape" to trace. I Googled Ohio illustration and cat silhouette for my patches, and printed them out. Just make sure to be respectful about copyrights and ownership of the images you decide to use. Both of the ones I used were free downloads, so you won't have any problem finding images to use. I promise!
Cut out your shape, and pin it down to the fabric that you'll be using. Carefully cut around the paper to create the shape with the fabric. This will get a bit tricky, but just don't worry about making it perfect. The shape will be (mostly) recognizable.
And, now that you have your very own patches, do whatever you want with them! I sewed the Ohio-shaped patch onto a pillow I made from an old dress. (Which you can see here.) And, I sewed the cat one onto leftover fabric, then pinned it to a jean jacket with a few safety pins. As you can see, these are so, so easy. And, the possibilities are pretty much endless.
Happy crafting, doods.
Until next time,

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