Bamboo orb pendant lights - on/off

Apologies for my long absence. A month ago I landed a full-time job (gotta pay the bills) along with a 3-hour round-trip commute. Ugh. It’s left little time for crafting. Not to worry, I’m still going to keep blogging, but it might be on an infrequent basis until I adjust to my new schedule. For now, it feels good to be back! I’ve missed you. I have three more camp crafts to show you, and I’m excited to share this year’s Christmas crafts, plus much more, so don’t give up on me yet.

Inspired by the Cassiopeia chandelier.

Anyway, these bamboo orb pendant lights were inspired by the Cassiopeia chandelier from Ironware International that I saw on the cover of the April 2011 issue of House Beautiful. And I noticed today in the latest Restoration Hardware catalog a similar one called Foucault’s Iron Orb Chandelier. While both of these are gorgeous lamps, their price tag is out of my reach.

So, I made my own version using bamboo strips instead of wrought iron and a single CFL bulb instead of five candelabras. You might be surprised where I got the bamboo (click the read more link below to find out). And you’ll have plenty of bamboo strips left over to make those paper lanterns that I blogged about last spring. I know I still owe you a tutorial. Coming soon!

Two more things: I found that fabulous shabby-chic trunk on the side of the road with a “free” sign taped to it! And, yes, I will be watermarking my photos from now on. The plethora of plagiarizers on the web drove me to it. Not happy about it, but there it is.

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »

Monica's birdhouse

I learned my lesson last year at girls camp. I spent the entire week teaching step-by-step instructions for most of the crafts, which left me exhausted and sick of my own voice. So this year I chose a few crafts that didn’t require constant instruction from me. Birdhouses was one easy solution. And I even had time to paint my own birdhouse (above) at camp.

Row of birdhouses

The essentials for this project were paint, creativity, and unfinished wooden birdhouses. Then I let the girls loose. And boy did they let loose. I’ve never seen so many bright-colored, creative, and unique birdhouses.

More photos after the jump! Read more »

Orange fabric flower headbands

Fabric flower headbands

As some of you may recall, I saved last year’s yo-yo crafts for this year’s girls camp. The girls with patience and determination loved making yo yos. For others, hand sewing was a bit arduous. So, I came up with an easier alternative: fabric flower headbands. It was a hit. (I just added pictures of some of the fabulous yo-yo headbands the girls made. Check them out here.)

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »

Houzz.com product ideabooks

Houzz

Houzz.com recently asked me to create monthly ideabooks of products that I love. Houzz is one of my favorite inspirational websites, and I relish window shopping, so I gladly agreed. My first ideabook is Cache & Carry: Portable and classy storage containers. I think you’ll find that my ideabooks will be more practical and affordable than most. That’s just how I roll. That doesn’t mean I won’t include favorite splurges here and there.

You can find a slideshow of my newest ideabooks in the sidebar to the right. Happy browsing! UPDATE 08/29/11:  I will be posting new ideabooks on Houzz every other month instead of monthly because of other demands on my time. Read more »

Stitched leather bracelets

As a kid, I was jealous of my brothers who got to do leather crafts at Boy Scout camp, while we at girls camp never did. So I was determined to teach these girls a leather project this year. We ended up doing two leather projects. This stitched leather bracelet is the first. We just used multicolored thread, but you can go crazy with your designs by adding ribbon, beads, buttons, etc.

(I know. I still owe you lots of tutorials from my craft room and dining room makeovers. Oh, and the paper lantern tutorial too. I’ll get to them soon, I swear. Girls camp crafts come first because they seem more timely. And fun.)

Stitched leather bracelet closeup

This bracelet was inspired by a souvenir my friend Kristi brought home from Mexico. Essentially, it’s a strip of soft, thin leather that’s folded, glued, punched, and sewn. The girls loved it. You should have heard the racket when all 12 hammers were going to town on those punches! They came up with some super creative designs. I wish I was able to take pictures of all of them.

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »

Leather coffee sleeve from Ooh Leela!Leather coffee sleeve from Ooh Leela!

I’m happy to present our new Guest Nester: my friend Isabela! Her husband and I met at Sportivo Coffee Bar. (I don’t drink coffee, but my friend owns the place, so I visit often.) Isabela invented these leather coffee sleeves, which she sells at Sportivo. I adored them so much that I asked her to do a tutorial for Crafty Nest. I was ecstatic when she agreed!

You can buy these sleeves and other darling creations at Isabela’s Etsy shop. Isabela writes: “Hello Crafty Nest friends! My name is Isabela from Ooh Leela! I have been an avid reader for quite some time, and I have always admired Monica and her creativity. I am so excited to be here today. Thank you so much for this opportunity, Monica!

One of Isabela's cup coziesOne of Isabela's appliquéd coffee sleeves

A couple of Isabela’s handmade fabric cup cozies. Available through Isabela’s Etsy shop.

“I’m here to share a fun project with you: a leather coffee sleeve. It’s an earth-friendly alternative to the usual disposable cardboard sleeve. The leather stays cool and soft to the touch while keeping your beverage hot/cold. Every time I use mine in public, I get lots of compliments. This is a super easy and fast project—perfect for all skill levels.”

Isabela has offered to give away a leather coffee sleeve to one lucky Crafty Nest reader! Leave a comment to tell Isabela how much you love her coffee sleeves to be eligible to win. The deadline is in one week—Monday, July 4, 2011. Thanks, Isabela!

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »

Dining room makeover - the table

Dining room makeover

American Express asked me to make over a social space using merchandise available through Membership Rewards points. I chose to make over my dining room. Deciding what to buy with 150,000 Membership Rewards points and dozens of fabulous merchants to choose from was a challenge. But I persevered!

Ok, so what are Membership Rewards? You earn points through everyday AmEx card purchases like gas, groceries, and phone bills and redeem them for things you need or want — it’s a world of possibilities, and the choice is yours.

AmEx has a Facebook page, where Cardmembers can share stories about what they bought with their Membership Rewards points. While you’re there, enter the Million Points a Day Giveaway (through the end of June)!

Now that I’m back from girls camp and all my dishes have arrived, my dining room is ready for the reveal. Because this is a social space makeover, I chose what I most needed for entertaining: tableware, table linens, and somewhere to store it all.

With my AmEx Membership Rewards points I bought: Oneida “Shaker” flatware, white Fiesta dishes, rattan placemats, yellow napkins, whitewashed wooden stands, drawer pulls, and Martha Stewart taupe curtains.

More photos after the jump! Read more »

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