5 Minute DIY: PomPoms on a Stick

Honestly, I feel a little bit like I’m insulting your intelligence by calling this a DIY. This is gluing pompoms on a stick that I found this morning in the backyard. I can’t even lay claim to the idea of gluing pompoms on a stick; I saw it on Pinterest. That being said, I encourage you to follow suit. it takes 5 minutes and is pretty cute, no?

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Plus, take 5 minutes in the morning to make something, and all day long you’ll have that artistic and accomplished “I glued pompoms on a stick when I could have been trolling Facebook” glow.

To glue your own pompoms on a stick you’ll need (brace yourself): pompoms, a stick, a glue gun, and 5 minutes.

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Three sticks are shown in the photo above (for the ultra ambitious crafter only).

Heat up your glue gun, and then start gluing pompoms to a stick:

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Rotate the stick as you go to get the pompoms stuck to all sides. Or not.

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Keep gluing until it looks like a trip to Michael’s vomited all over nature.

Put the stick in a vase or hang on the wall with a couple of pieces of string and thumbtacks.

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Ours will hang somewhere over the changing table on our frame wall (which is not up yet, obviously) to add a little shape and texture.

I can’t wait to post the full nursery tour once it’s all done! Getting close… In the meantime, have any ideas about what else I can hot-glue pompoms on?

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The Best Thing That Happened Today

Today was great. I spent Christmas Eve day home alone in a full body sweatsuit mostly laying around in bed playing Sim City and eating ice cream out of the carton (judgement-free zone, ok?). Tonight we met up with friends and went to an awesome party where the adults hung out upstairs and ate lamb chops and crab dip and the teenagers played beer pong and listened to that one Gotye song from last year in the basement.

All of that aside, the hands-down best part of my day was when I got to feed this adorable baby girl a bottle and then watch her pass out formula-drunk in my arms:

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This friend, the owner of this baby, actually wrote a book about mom things. In the introduction, she talks about not being one of those women who people ever handed a baby to until she got pregnant. That’s me! This is literally the first time I’ve held and fed a baby. I’m 32. Babies are scarier than a human centipede made out of organic chemistry exams. Or maybe not? Because this was just so easy and pleasant and lovely and oh my god, all the hormones.

I can do this, right??

How to Eat Alone: 5 Minute Ramen

The scene is usually this: I come home from work exhausted. Kyle is working late. I stare into the refrigerator for 5 minutes looking perplexed and deeply sad, starving but immobile, desperate to plop down on the couch and see how many leather vests Dave Navarro will wear on tonight’s episode of Ink Master. I reach into the freezer, pull out a frozen pizza, toss it in the oven, and call tomato sauce a vegetable.

Sometimes this is all I can do, and you know what? That’s totally fine. We all earn the right to cash out and splatter our midweek sweatsuits with pizza crumbs, to fall asleep on the couch at 8:30 using the dog as a pillow (anyone?).

There are other days when my idea of self-care looks a little different. Today is Christmas Eve, and I’m home alone while my husband is at work. It’s dark, rainy, and gloomy outside. Frozen pizza won’t do! Today I needed something bright, fresh, crunchy: the opposite of a holiday casserole.

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Meet my new best friend: this giant bowl of ramen, filled with fresh rice noodles, broccoli, bok choy, and sliced tofu, topped with crunchy raw cabbage and a tangle of basil leaves, and doused in soy and sriracha.

I had some (Trader Joe’s) miso ginger broth in the cupboard, which I heated on the stove. Once whatever broth you use is hot, add in the noodles of your choice. After 30 seconds, toss in whatever vegetables you have laying around your crisper drawer. Throw in some sliced tofu or leftover meat. Garnish with something crunchy (cabbage or sprouts) and definitely a fresh herb (some sad basil leftover from Monday’s lasagna). Season with soy and hot sauce to taste. Serve with an ice cold ginger beer. Eat in the den next to your not-yet-wrapped Christmas presents, a sleeping dog, and an episode of Sandra Lee’s Money Saving Meals. (The last part is optional).

When you’ve finished your soup, grab a long-neglected carton of Chubby Hubby, scrape off the freezer burn, and finish it. Remember how many green vegetables you just ate. You totally deserve this.

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The Lazy Woman’s Guide to Basic Macramé

In case last night’s basket weaving tutorial wasn’t throwback enough for you, how about some macramé?

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While bubblegum pink capes are not exactly my style, this crazy alien wall hanging and man (man?) are amazing.

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I decided to start small (so I could mess up with little commitment) and use what I already had laying around (yarn, instead of the recommended heavier-weight rope). I think it turned out alright!

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Of course, I declassed my piece with black pompoms at the end, because every woven yarn-thing on a stick deserves a little gothic kitsch.

Here’s how to make your own (very basic) macramé wall hanging:

Get your materials together. You’ll need something to hang your creation on, like a stick, magic wand, glitter baton, bathroom plunger, or prosthetic arm. Ideally you will have rope, but I used a thick yarn and that worked just fine. Cut the string into however many pieces you want to start with (I used 10) of equal lengths (4-5 feet works). You may also want stuff to dangle off the ends of the strings when you’re done, like pompoms, feathers, crystals, beads, fake fingernails, googley eyes, or ham cubes. If so, you will also need a hot glue gun.

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Start by folding each length of string in half, and then looping it around your stick, and pulling the ends through, like this:

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With all ten strings attached, it’ll look something like this:

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Don’t pull anything too tight, your macramé is not a field hockey ponytail.

Next you’ll start a series of top knots. (Spoiler alert: macramé is a bunch of knots on a stick- neither fancy nor difficult). To make the knots, collect four pieces of string that hang adjacent to each other. With the first string, go over the second and third strings and over the fourth. With the fourth string, go under the third and second strings and then loop through/over the first.

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Tie a series of these using the string in groups of four until you’ve gone all the way across the top row. Then you can leave a little space, and start in on the next row, beginning with the third string:

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Do a few in a row, and then repeat:

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I hate to tell you, but this is basically it. Of course, you can get fancy with some back issues of Boys Life magazine and learn all kinds of crazy knots and make whatever wacky pattern your little heart desires. Or you can just stick to one or two knots (like I did) and call the whole thing done in an hour.

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I did close off the whole thing with a row of figure 8 knots, which are also very easy to make. (I’ll let you google that one, which is what I did).

I wasn’t quite satisfied with the overall weirdness of my macramé, so I hot-glued some black pompoms onto the (uneven) end of each string. To achieve this special look, part the pompom fibers as much as possible, wedge in a spot of hot glue, jam the yarn end in, and then fluff.

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This is such an easy project for a little bit of homemade art, and very customizable. I’d love to see some gold dinosaurs glued onto the string ends, or neon dip-dye, or larger scale pieces with heavy rope hung over a doorway.

Also, everything about this:

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