Life Update (AKA Back to School)

Hi friends! I wanted to give you all a quick life update, because I have this overwhelming feeling that I probably won’t be able to post as much as I’d like to on this blog for a little while. Don’t fret–I still have big plans to continue this space with creative spells and little inspirations–but a little thing called “college” requires my full attention for a little while. I started back to school after my winter break this week, and with a full credit load, a job, and all of the studying that my science-y major requires, I’m not going to be able to post all the time here.

Exciting things are coming my way: I’m graduating from college in May, and in the next couple of months I will know where I’m going for graduate school (so I can start to make plans for my living arrangements for the fall, yikes!). I can’t wait to graduate, and I can’t wait to put some more time into this blog.

I’m writing this post to let everyone know that Imperfect Chevron isn’t going away, but it might be taking a quick hiatus to keep working on my studies. I promise, I will keep sharing some inspiration and hopefully some crafty moments with all of you. Thanks for reading, check back soon. (:

XO Kelly

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Successful Sewing: Top Tools

A couple of summers ago, I decided I wanted to learn how to sew. My grandma is exceptionally gifted with sewing (she sews her own slip covers, people!!) and I never had the chance to learn in school. Because I love sewing and making things, it seemed like a fabulous hobby to pick up. I’m so happy I decided to learn–sewing is sort of an obsession now!
If you want to start sewing, you absolutely should! Just remember, it takes a little patience. You won’t be perfect right away. Start on some beginner projects and build your skills from there. You’ll love it, I promise.
Anyway, here are some of my favorite sewing tools that I rely on for all of my sewing projects.

Kelly’s Top Sewing Tools

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1. Fabric scissors. Because measuring and cutting are the most time-consuming and (in my opinion) the most important, you need a good pair of fabric-onlyscissors to cut your fabric. I use Fiskars scissors, and I labeled them with sharpie to make sure nobody accidentally uses them on anything else and ruins them. They are a little expensive, so make sure you only use them for fabric so they last.

2. Transparent sewing ruler. My grandma gave this to me for my birthday, and I’ve loved it so much! I believe that measuring should be done very carefully–it’s really the most time-consuming part of sewing–and having a transparent ruler is so helpful. Not only can you measure the exact amount of fabric you need, but you can trace along a straight edge to make cutting a breeze. It’s a huge time saver, and you won’t have the post-cutting panic after realizing you cut crooked or measured wrong. We’ve all been there.

3. Iron and ironing board. Before measuring and cutting, I always iron my fabric. It helps you measure more accurately, and makes sewing much easier. I also use it to make folds or seams in the fabric for certain projects, so I’m able to pin the fabric correctly. Always take the time to iron.

These tools are definitely some of my favorite things for sewing, and I know that they’ll help you, too! Happy sewing!

DIY Felt Garland

I am absolutely in love with garland and buntings. I guess it’s just one of those things, but every time I see a bunting my crafting heart is bursting. One day this fall I was in my favorite thrift shop and one of the vendors had a beautiful circle felt garland in her booth. I gushed over it, and couldn’t stop thinking about it! So recently, I decided to create my own felt garland. But instead of just doing felt circles, I wanted to use felt animal shapes! And it turned out amazing! I ended up crafting 3 different garlands. Here’s how I did it.

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DIY Felt Animal Garland

What You’ll Need:
1. Felt. I bought a package of assorted colors in the 8×11 size, but you can buy felt by the yard, too!
2. Cookie cutters. I used a circle shape, as well as animals–I used a bear, a hippo, a rhino, a kangaroo, a cat and dog, and an elephant. If you’re really artsy, you don’t been need cookie cutters: just draw your own shape! I wanted all of my animals to be the same, so I opted for cookie cutters.
3. A sewing machine. To string all of your shapes together, of course!

Let’s Get Started:
1. Pick a pattern of colors and shapes that you want to use. For my cats and dogs garland, I used 5 colors. My shape order was: circle, dog, circle, cat, circle, etc.

2. Trace and cut out your felt shapes, one by one. I used pen, because I couldn’t see the shape well enough with pencil. I used fabric scissors to cut out the shapes one by one.

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As you trace and cut each shape, start stacking them in order. When you start sewing, it’ll be very helpful to have your garland organized the way you want it!

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Cut out enough shapes to make the garland long enough to hang. My cats and dogs garland has 30 cut outs and is about 4-5 feet long.

3. Sew! I didn’t pin my garland together because it gets out of control pretty fast. So basically, I fed one piece through the machine, lined up the next shape, and then sewed it on. I would recommend backstitching each new piece, to keep your garland from ripping.
And, there you go! Your garland should look something like this:

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So pretty, right? You can hang these on the wall, on your mantle, or anywhere else! Here’s where I hung my garlands:

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I hope these felt garlands make it onto your crafting list; they’re easy to do and so beautiful to look at. They can really spruce up a room! Happy sewing!

Love These Links

This week has been very cold and windy here, and I’m getting a little bit stir crazy. I was supposed to go skiing today, but the 40 mph winds (with gusts up to 70 mph) were kind of a turn-off. Hopefully your week hasn’t been so disappointing, but if it has, here are some links that are bound to cheer you up:

1. Voodoo Doughnut. I’m obsessed with this doughnut shop from Oregon. They just opened a shop in Denver, and I’m going to have to get down there soon to check them out! They have tons of unique donuts, and look at this cute Voodoo-Doll Doughnut:

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2. These beautiful DIY Kate Spade coasters from Classically Coco. They’re definitely next on my DIY list.

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3. In this Huffington Post article, Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew shared some gorgeous photos from the set of Star Wars.

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4. The Office was one of my favorite television shows (always will be, of course), so this Buzzfeed list of The 25 Best Michael Scott Quotes made me a happy, nostalgic girl. I miss that show!

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5. If you don’t know Pusheen, you probably definitely should. Especially if you love cats. And own cats. You’ll relate.

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6. Somehow, I hadn’t seen this amazing Jimmy Fallon skit spinoff of Downton Abbey until just this week. “Downton Sixbey” is good for a few laughs–plus, it’s a series of several episodes. Check it out!

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Happy weekend!

DIY: Mixed Media Art

Over the past year, I’ve found one of my true loves in life: painting. My brother took a painting class in high school, which encouraged my mom to start playing around with it. Last Christmas she recruited me to paint old CD’s for an outdoor art project, and I soon became obsessed with it. I’ve improved a lot with each painting, and I find that painting relaxes me in the best, creative kind of way. Gotta love that.
Here’s an easy DIY multimedia art project for even the faint-of-heart. I promise, if you have an hour and a paintbrush, you can create something amazing.

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You’ll need:
1. Acrylic paint–choose any color(s) that you like. It’s best to keep the background a little simple if you want to use patterned papers to keep the piece cool, not crazy.
2. A paintbrush
3. Patterned paper–I used old origami paper that my grandma had given us when my brother and I went through an origami phase in elementary school. You could use cardstock, fabric, or other paper.
4. Mod podge–you can find it at any craft store, or make it at home.
5. Cookie cutters or other traceable objects (optional)
6. Painting paper or a canvas to paint on.

Let’s get started:
1. Pick an object that you want to be the subject of your art. I picked a camel, which I had a cookie cutter for, but you could do any object: flowers, animals, birds. Trace the object on the back side of your patterned paper, and cut out the shape.

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2. Get out your paints! I used pink, yellow, and white paints to make my colors. I then used a ruler to mark a straight line. I painted the ground pink, and the sky yellow, because I wanted my camels to really pop! Let the paint dry before attaching your shapes.

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3. Use mod podge to fasten your patterned shapes on the canvas. Make sure you get them positioned right! Allow them to dry, and then display.

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Nice work! I hope you enjoy this DIY art project. Play with it, and have fun!

Book Talk: The Book Thief

Don’t worry: no spoilers in this post!! Read on, book-lovers.

I love a good read. When I was a kid, my mom would take us to the library in the summer and I would pick 4 or 5 books because I couldn’t stop finding things I wanted to read. And once we made it home, I’d curl up in an armchair and read for hours; I was the girl who could finish a book in one sitting because I’d get addicted to the story. As a busy college student with a job, I haven’t had much time to read the past four years, which makes me so sad. But this winter break I’ve been (very slowly) making my way through The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

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Okay, okay. I admit that I’m a bit late on The Book Thief bandwagon. The movie (which I haven’t seen, and am not sure that I want to see it) based on the book came out this fall, and I’ve seen loads of book lists on Pinterest that include The Book Thief as a must-read. But I would highly recommend this amazing novel.
I’m pretty picky with books–I don’t enjoy a book unless it’s well-written, and The Book Thief is just that. The unique narrator pushes this novel past falling flat as “just another Holocaust story” and the story is woven together neatly. It sucks you in and won’t let go. Even hours after finishing the book, I’m still thinking about the story and characters, with whom I became strongly attached to.
I hope you head to your local library to pick up The Book Thief, and I hope you find it as enjoyable as I have! Happy reading!
Xo, Kelly