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The Jewelry You Need to Beat that Summer Heat

Kendle Starcher

It’s here! A good old-fashioned, 99% humidity, North Carolina Summer! All of March the weather was so crazy, I was fairly convinced it was actually going to be winter forever, but nope. Summer is here and it’s gonna be a doozy until October. Just the way I like it. 

 

So now, I know when you’re standing in front of your closet trying to find something made out of actual gauze and that will float about 3 inches away from every part of your body, the last thing you want is to layer a chunky necklace around your neck like a paperweight. I got you, babe. Enter, statement earrings. Pull that mermaid hair to the top of your head and let those lobes do the heavy lifting. Only, actually, these earrings don’t weigh anything! Win-Win! Take that Summer heat!

 

All of these earrings are made out of lightweight Acrylic Resin with nickel-free posts. They are also all listed in the shop! Click the images to shop them below! 

 

 Marbled Resin Door Knocker Style Earrings

Marbled Resin Door Knocker Style Earrings

 Turquoise Geo Statement Earrings

Turquoise Geo Statement Earrings

 Black Wood and Blue Resin Statement Earrings

Black Wood and Blue Resin Statement Earrings

 Tortoise Hoop Drop Earrings - my personal FAVE!!

Tortoise Hoop Drop Earrings - my personal FAVE!!

 White Tortoise Summer Statement Acrylic Earrings

White Tortoise Summer Statement Acrylic Earrings

 Larger Resin Door Knocker Style Earrings

Larger Resin Door Knocker Style Earrings

 Tortoise Shell or Parlescent Hoops

Tortoise Shell or Parlescent Hoops

Well, I’m off to start picking out today’s outfit.... I’mma need at least an hour for this. *wink*

All my love, 

Kendle.

Here’s looking at you, 29.

Kendle Starcher

    In my head this started as a list of 29 things I’d learned in my 29 years and I was going to drop some serious knowledge on you guys. But then I realized 29 things is a really long list and what kind of knowledge do I even have? I’m still too young to really know anything, heck I’m not even sure what health insurance I have or what the password is to my 401k account. I don’t have kids and the topic of daycare among my friends continues to blow my mind. But I realize how old I am when I get around people younger than me, I’m not on the dating scene, in fact I skipped the online dating thing altogether. I own my own home, I do meal planning and suddenly spend more time worrying if I have enough in my savings account than what I’m going to wear tomorrow (which believe me, has always been my #1 concern). I’m caught somewhere in this adult-ish middle. So what the heck kind of knowledge can I even drop?

So instead, here’s a short list of guidelines for when I'm needing a reminder. 

5.) Pick a lane, and stay in it.

Lin-Manuel Miranda from “Hamilton” was being interviewed on 60 Minutes one time and they asked him what he thought his secret to success was. See he had gone to Juilliard and had been surrounded by all these kids who could sing and dance and write music and were insanely talented and he knew he was not the most talented there. So why was he the one with the hit broadway musical and not one of them? His answer was simple, “I knew what I wanted out of life and I just started running in that direction.”

 

4.) If you can't say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.  

Not gonna lie, I’m bad at this. My parents and I have gone toe to toe on this little tidbit of vital info. There’s a little sliver of me that loves to be the queen of mean. It’s not good though. It’s cost me a lot of respect and relationships and honestly, my initial mean opinion of people has turned out to be wrong more times than not. 

 

3.) Stop worrying about how “busy” you are.  

So stop by and visit a friend you haven’t seen in a while on your way home one day. Dinner might be a few minutes late that night but who cares. Swing through your grandparents’ house more. You know you can catch that TV show online tomorrow and no one is going to love it more than your grandpa anyway. Call your mom. Run errands with your dad. Ask your brother about his new job. You’re really only as busy as you make yourself out to be and let’s be real, unless you’re saving babies or curing cancer, you can probably spare a few minutes. 

 

2.) Be Kind.  

See #4. But don’t just bite your tongue, change your mind. Say nice things to people and yourself and mean them. Be conscious of your surroundings and what’s going on in other people’s lives. It’s not all about you.  

 

1.) Be brave enough to go it alone, but smart enough to keep your friends in tow. 

This is the biggest one. 

You are fierce and strong all by yourself. But you are unstoppable when there's a handful of people who love you standing behind you and pushing you to keep going. Those girlfriends you've had since elementary school? They've already seen you at your worst, and they still love you anyways. They're rare gems and more valuable than diamonds. That friend that listens to all your half-baked business ideas and doesn't tell you you're crazy? You need her. You'd be lost without her. One day soon the two of you are going to change the world. The girls that sit on the other side of the cubicle and send you encouraging IM's and funny gifs before that big meeting you've been stressing about? The world would be sad and lonely without them. Whatever you do, wherever you go, just make sure you take your friends with you.

Ok, so 5 is better than 29. Sorry not sorry it's still a little long winded and for the heavy use of gifs.

Here's to 29! And to staying 29 forever because I don't handle change well and there's no way I'll be turning 30 in 364 days. 

All my love, 

xoxo

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For some reason I kept getting a glare that made me look like an angel, I don't hate it.

DIY Bleached Denim

Kendle Starcher

Yea, yea. I'm aware that we are currently in a nationwide "chill" and it's only 26 degrees today in North Carolina, but so what. I'm a Summer, through and through, and this project just couldn't wait.  

 

I saved up a few vacation days and gave myself a terrific Christmas Break and spent every second of them doing whatever I wanted. This is what happens when you don't have kids and you're also a hermit. I had gotten these two really cute pins from the Girl Tibe Pop Up I was in a few weeks ago and wasn't really sure what I was going to do with them yet. If you don't follow the Girl Tribe, do it. Anyways, a Pinterest idea piqued my attention right before break and inspiration struck. I was going to bleach some denim. There's been this denim jacket in my closet for a while now that hasn't been worn because, well, it's boring. And there are still quite a few pairs of old work jeans upstairs leftover from Luke's previous company that haven't been worn in years. I already had some bleach, let's do this. 

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 Here we have the boring jacket in it's natural habitat, the floor.

Here we have the boring jacket in it's natural habitat, the floor.

 I thought I would use the cheese grater to add destruction, but regular scissors worked just fine.

I thought I would use the cheese grater to add destruction, but regular scissors worked just fine.

First, I pulled out two pairs of denim from the bag that kinda fit me and cut them into shorts. (Perk of your husband being the same size as you? Endless supply of "play jeans".) Then I grabbed the jacket and headed to the upstairs tub. On Pinterest I had found three different techniques I wanted to try, fully dyeing, dip dye, and splatter. One article mentioning the full dye technique said to mix 1 part bleach with 4 parts water, another said 1 part bleach to 8 parts water. I wanted to be able to better control how light the fabric got so I started out with the 1/8. I filled my bathtub with 16 cups water and 2 cups bleach. This was just deep enough to submerge the jacket. Then I poured a little bleach in a glass measuring cup, laid a plastic trash bag on the bathroom floor, grabbed a brush and pair of newly cut shorts and got to splattering.  This took a few tries to figure out. At first I was being too polite about it and only scooping up a little bleach. Not working fast enough for me. So then I got a little reckless and basically started slinging it, much better. The most fun part was getting to watch the drips change colors almost instantly. I dripped bleach all over the front then flipped them over and did the back. 

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Note- I rarely used bleach before this. I really underestimated how strong those fumes are. I think I might have been really high during this experiment because a lot of it is a blur. On the plus side, my bath tub is super clean now.  

V important note - when an article recommends wearing gloves, do it. My hands were so dry for days because of all the bleach and my ignorance. 

 You can see that the shorts are starting to change!

You can see that the shorts are starting to change!

 Back view right before going in the washer.

Back view right before going in the washer.

At this point, it's almost midnight so I let the shorts process and dry and left the jacket in the tub because so far nothing had happened and went to bed. The next morning, my shorts were starting to look awesome but the jacket still showed no signs of change even after 12+ hours of soaking. I decided to add a little more water and a lot more bleach to get this party going. The mixture was probably closer to 1/4. I went back to the shorts and splashed more bleach until I was happy with it. The trick with soaking something in bleach is to make sure it's fully submerged. The jacket wasn't in some places and it got a little streaky. I flipped it over for another hour or so to try and even it out, but since I was getting close to almost a full day of bleach fumes, I decided to just go with it and pull it out of the dye. 

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I figured I wouldn't waste my bleach mixture so I took the other pair of shorts, hung them sideways on a hanger and dipped them into the mixture until only one side was submerged. I let them sit over the next night and in the morning, they were perfect! Into the wash they went.  

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I washed the jacket and the shorts in cold water with an extra rinse because, I'm telling y'all, strong fumes. Actually I think I ran them through another rinse cycle after that. Seriously, the strongest fumes.  

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Once everything had had been rinsed really good, I got to decorating. I used fabric scissors and a needle to rip up the jacket and then ironed on the patches I'd bought from Walmart a couple days before. I might've gone a little patch crazy because I added some to the shorts too. In trying the shots on, I realized they were a little uneven and too long so I shaped them up too. Not too short, I am almost 29 and my butt is started to resemble a pancake so I still need some mystery.  

I washed and dried everything thing one more time just to get out those last fumes and see how good my patches would hold. A few didn't make it and their edges curled up so I just sewed those down and voilà! New clothes! Here's a few pictures of the final products. I appreciate your applause. :)

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I hope you got a few days off from work, and if you did, what did you do with them? 

The Christmas Rush

Kendle Starcher

Earlier this year, (think August) I was talking with my best friend from college about finding time to come visit. She had just had her second baby and I needed to establish my role as Favorite-Aunt-of-All-Time ASAP. Looking at the calendar, and between craft shows and pre-planned family trips and her husband’s work schedule, we finally decided I would come to town the first weekend in December. 

(I want it noted that there used to be a time when the two of us would pack a sandwich and some sunscreen and spend whole days on the beach with less than a minute of planning. But as always, time gets away from us again.)

As the months continued on, I was getting busier and busier and the tiniest sliver of me kept saying, “that’s gonna be a really bad time to not be home making jewelry.” After all, it is the first true Christmas season for my little business and next weekend will be my biggest and last show, what if I don’t have enough made? I even entertained the thought of canceling for just a minute.

But then I realized, the next time I see her babies, they might not be babies anymore. They might not come running to greet me at the door and just lay in my lap and snuggle. And it wasn’t entirely just about 2 of the cutest kids on the planet, I missed my friends. I miss catching up on their lives and the people we’re growing up to be. You can only stay so in touch through text message and with her being a mom of two and me trying to start a business, we really aren’t even good at attempting. So on Friday, I made the journey east. My house is in complete disarray, and maybe I truly don’t have enough jewelry made for next week’s craft show, but what I can be sure of, is that my soul is happy. I got to spend 36 hours with people I love and It. Was. Worth. It.

So maybe you’re like me and you needed just a little reminder, Christmas isn’t about rushing around, hosting the perfect party and buying up pretty things. (Maybe that’s odd coming from a girl who’s trying to make a living selling really pretty jewelry, but whatever.) It’s about looking around at what you have and being so so grateful for every bit of it. It’s about love and grace and joy and snuggles. All the snuggles.  

All my love, 

Kendle

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One of the good ones.

Kendle Starcher

Growing up, all the boys I dated were the same type. Tall, athletic, brunette, jerks. Okay, maybe they weren't all jerks, we were just young and didn't know any better. When I met Luke, I was just about to graduate and go off to college and I was in no mood to settle for the boy back home. So my first year off at school we talked here and there but I was not interested in anything serious. After all, I had this big life I was gonna conquer far away from Alexis, NC and, he still kinda had a girlfriend.

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Fast forward 10 years and here I sit, on my dream couch, in my dream house, with my dream yard, married to my dream husband. Of 5 years. Today, in fact. And guess where I am? About three minutes from where I grew up, in Alexis. I've managed to live just about my whole life in the same 3 mile radius. Now that I'm back, I can't imagine being anywhere else.

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I'm getting off topic. This post is actually about Luke, not me and my inability to keep my angry 18 year old promises. The thing about Luke is, I honestly never saw him coming. He was nothing like my old boyfriends. He called every day right when he said he would. He drove 600 miles a weekend to spend 36 hours with me. He wove himself so tight into the fabric of my life that I can't remember where he ends and I begin most of the time. He has devoted himself to us and our life and is the hardest working person I've ever met. He was and still is the best decision I  ever could have made for myself. I don't know who I would be if it wasn't for him. 

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Long story short, we don't always know what's best for us and I'm really thankful for that. Left to my own devices who knows where I would have wound up and what I would've dated. God put exactly who I needed in my life exactly when I needed him. Amen, Hallelujah for that.

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So here's to you babe, for always being the steady in my hurricane and for loving me the way you do. 5 down, 80 to go. Then maybe you can hunt down Sandra Bullock. :)

Happy Anniversary!

All my love, forever.

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Land of the Free

Kendle Starcher

The other week there was a news story of 8 bodies found in the back of an 18-wheeler that was parked behind a Walmart in Texas. A Walmart employee called 911 when someone from the truck asked for some water. Medics took 31 people to the hospital suffering from heat stroke and exhaustion. After reviewing the security cameras, police realized there must have been over 100 people sandwiched into the back of this truck. They watched as car after car came by and carried off more and more people. A ninth victim died from injuries in the hospital. Two of the victims were 15 years old. 

 Luke and I were glued to this story as we ate dinner. Can you imagine wanting a better life for yourself and your family so bad that you're willing to climb into the back of an un-airconditioned 18-wheeler in the dead of summer and literally risking your life for the chance to come into America? As we sat in the comfort of our house, watching this new story, my heart just broke for those people. All they want is a chance for a better life, better opportunities, things most of us are lucky enough to have at our fingertips. 

 

The reporters kept referring to the victims as "undocumented immigrants illegally coming into America" and really making the story about that, when really the story is this. A group of awful people took the most basic human needs and used that as bait to take advantage of another, less fortunate group of people. These people were taken from their home and put into life risking situations probably not by their own choice. The ones that were sent to the hospital were the lucky ones, they got away. The ones that were picked up by the trail of cars are the ones that now need us the most. They're probably being forced to sell their bodies, or work in awful conditions just to keep surviving. We must do something. Yes, the truck driver has been arrested and will hopefully pay a price for the crimes he committed, but that's not the whole solution. There will always be bad people who do wrong and prey on innocents, but the key is to start empowering people to not fall victim to the traps and recognize when this is happening either to themselves or others and to do something about it. 

 

On October 14th 2017, in cities all across the globe there are going to be long lines of single file people marching in unison in the Walk For Freedom. My best friend is getting together a team to participate in the walk happening in Charlotte. Our goal is to raise $1,000 for the organization hosting the event , A21. They are an inspiring group that rescues, rehabilitates, and trains victims of human trafficking. They teach people the signs to look for to not become a victim but also provide legal support and aid to those that need it. Please go to www..a21.org to find out more about their cause or to find a walk near you. If you are in Charlotte, we would love for you to join our team! Our team name is CoordinateFreedom and everyone is welcome! This little blog couldn't begin to articulate all the good they're doing, it truly is incredible. 

 

10% of every single purchase from my shop always goes to the cause but just for the walk, Stacey and I have come up with these awesome goodies. Everything is $20 and a portion of every purchase will go straight to our goal of $1,000. Contact me or Stacey Spicer to purchase!

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Freedom Fighter Tee, available in sizes Small thru  XL

 Long Stamped "FREE" Pendant Necklace

Long Stamped "FREE" Pendant Necklace

 Dainty Chevron "FREE" Stamped Necklace

Dainty Chevron "FREE" Stamped Necklace

Thank you so much for your support!

Get in my closet, already!

Kendle Starcher

*An alternate title for this could be, "What's currently in my shopping cart..."

All January and February we were treated to some pretty fantastic 70 degree days and just when I thought it was finally time to put away the sweaters, March hit. In like a Lion. Or maybe a Snow Leopard. Either way, all we have to do is make it through a few more days of this freakishly cold weather and we can finally kick off delicious spring!

In preparation for this, I've picked out a few of my "must-haves" for spring this year. While none of them are actually in my closet yet, they will be. Come along, shall we?

First, you need something with Embroidery and/or Ruffles!

This spring I'm obsessed with all things girly. These special details make everything just feel prettier! Even if "girly" isn't your style, there are so many more delicate and simpler designs out there that you could try without feeling too stuffy!

 This is from my new favorite store! If you haven't ordered from shein.com yet, you are missing out! Just be sure to read customer comments and pay attention to everything's size guide and you'll be fine! This cute little number is $25! Shut the front door! There is also a long sleeve shirt version of this if a dress isn't really your style, it's $19!

This is from my new favorite store! If you haven't ordered from shein.com yet, you are missing out! Just be sure to read customer comments and pay attention to everything's size guide and you'll be fine! This cute little number is $25! Shut the front door! There is also a long sleeve shirt version of this if a dress isn't really your style, it's $19!

 The detail on that sleeve is love at first sight. It also comes in black and is only $19!

The detail on that sleeve is love at first sight. It also comes in black and is only $19!

 This is the perfect easy-breezy-one-piece-grab-and-go look for spring. Pair it with a cute pair of sandals (or sneaks!) and own that office cubicle. Also, it's only $23! *cough cough free people cough*

This is the perfect easy-breezy-one-piece-grab-and-go look for spring. Pair it with a cute pair of sandals (or sneaks!) and own that office cubicle. Also, it's only $23! *cough cough free people cough*

 Pair this top with a pair of destructed jeans or go Hollywood glam and wear all white! For $17, the possibilities are endless!

Pair this top with a pair of destructed jeans or go Hollywood glam and wear all white! For $17, the possibilities are endless!

 Or, pair the white top above with these adorable embroidered shorts! From Target, and only $35!

Or, pair the white top above with these adorable embroidered shorts! From Target, and only $35!

 These jeans are the perfect compromise between trying a new thing and going head to toe in mixed prints. The pocket detail is just enough to make them special, yet not so special you feel like you can only wear it a few times. Plus, they're $21, so go ahead you risk taker, you. 

These jeans are the perfect compromise between trying a new thing and going head to toe in mixed prints. The pocket detail is just enough to make them special, yet not so special you feel like you can only wear it a few times. Plus, they're $21, so go ahead you risk taker, you. 

 This adorable little top is seriously only $10. Pair it with blue or white denim in the spring and then shorts in the summer!

This adorable little top is seriously only $10. Pair it with blue or white denim in the spring and then shorts in the summer!

 For the girl that wants to try a ruffle without feeling like a pirate, this beauty is for you! Greenery is the color of the year and for $14, give it a try!

For the girl that wants to try a ruffle without feeling like a pirate, this beauty is for you! Greenery is the color of the year and for $14, give it a try!

Ok gal pals, onto Gingham. This isn't your grandmother's gingham either. Trust me, you need it.

 OMG. Off the shoulder and everything! And, it's under $30!

OMG. Off the shoulder and everything! And, it's under $30!

 First off, how fierce does she look? If this top can make me look that good, sign me up. Here, take my $19. 

First off, how fierce does she look? If this top can make me look that good, sign me up. Here, take my $19. 

And finally, Overalls. I absolutely can not wait to get myself a pair. Long? Short? Both? Yes.

 Throw these on over a fun screen tee, a dress shirt, or your swim suit and make the most of the day! For $28, what's stopping you?

Throw these on over a fun screen tee, a dress shirt, or your swim suit and make the most of the day! For $28, what's stopping you?

 I really like the baggier wide leg on this pair, but Target has plenty of other good options right now! All under $40!

I really like the baggier wide leg on this pair, but Target has plenty of other good options right now! All under $40!

 But really, how cute is she? And these are $22

But really, how cute is she? And these are $22

 Destructed or clean, but clearly we need a pair. Or two. And at $15, I just might have both.

Destructed or clean, but clearly we need a pair. Or two. And at $15, I just might have both.

What are some new pieces you're dying to refresh your closet with this spring? Let me know, below!

As always, all my love.

When in doubt, wear it.

Kendle Starcher

A little backstory.

I know, shocker. But whatever, this is my blog and I can write whatever I want. Anyways, a few months ago I was working my booth at the "Small Business Saturday" event in Charlotte the day after Black Friday. Beside me was this adorable boutique, Five13 Studio, and she had two racks full gorgeous sequined jumpsuits and tops and dresses and this skirt, all at incredible prices. I made the promise I always do, Don't go shopping until you've made back your booth fee. When you're surrounded by amazing makers and shop owners, you have to have some kind of rule for yourself or you'll go crazy shopping. All day long this skirt stared at me until finally, and $20 later, it was mine. Best. Purchase. Ever. I toted it home and hung it in my closet just waiting for the perfect opportunity to pull it out. 

Every morning for two months that skirt stared at me. Waiting. I just never found the perfect moment. The weather was going to be too cold, the event too casual, me too chicken. Until the morning of Wednesday Feb 1. I was sitting in bed checking the weather and saw that it was going to be 70 degrees. This is it. Paired with my "Cabernet All Day" tee that my sweet friend gave me for Christmas and a Chambray button up tied at the waist (because I do still work in an office, it's chilly in there) and my black strappy sandals, I was ready. Luke was having to go in late that day so he was actually home for once while I was getting ready. It's been years now since he's questioned my outfits so he just looked me over, kissed me and told me to have a good day without any other comments. 

These are a few things I noticed that day.

1. I glided. 

For real. There's just something about wearing a full floor length ballgown skirt and heels that makes it impossible not to. Suddenly I wasn't just tromping through the Atrium on my way back to my desk after snagging a few forks from the cafeteria. No, I was a super star in Milan. True Life.

2. There was a surprising amount of negativity. 

None. Really. I was honestly expecting to get a few comments or looks. In an office where casual is King and jeans and sneakers are winning the day, my skirt and heels did not really blend in. Sure there was a few sassy comments from my friends, "Where are you going in that get up?" "Who wears a ball gown to work?", but they were always followed with an approving smile or a "That takes balls". If anything, I had more people I did not know, (read: had never even noticed in the building before) stop me to tell me how beautiful my skirt was. It's such a validating feeling.

3. My heels never started to hurt.

I'm seriously not lying. Or maybe I am just a little. Although, you go put on an incredible outfit that demands just a little bit of height and dare yourself to not wear the heels. You can't do it. Girl struggle at it's finest. 

4. I wish I had 10 more.

With the skirt being such a statement that it is, it's not something you can wear that often. Don't want to shine to wear off. However, I want to. This skirt has been inspiring all sorts of new DIY projects in my head. I feel like I need a tulle one, a white one, one with a fun dramatic slit, maybe one in a bolder kind of pattern. 

Moral of the story is, in a world where everyday feels like a struggle to belong and fit in and survive, it was nice to just be myself. We spend all of our time facing serious issues, like our new president and potential job layoffs and paying mortgages and having to rebuild the transmission in your car and thinking far enough ahead in advance to buy groceries then turn the groceries into something edible every night. It was nice to just feel comfortable and confident in my own skin. A skirt's not gonna change the world, but it changed the way I felt about myself and my outlook for the day and that was enough for me. Whatever it is that makes you feel the same way, you should do it, wear it, visit it, savor it often. You deserve it. 

If you do happen to be like me, and the best way to turn your day around is with a great outfit, I've linked my items below. 

 You should note, I got home while the sun was still out -which is rare!- and was feeling myself so here ya go. Cheers to self timers! hahaha

You should note, I got home while the sun was still out -which is rare!- and was feeling myself so here ya go. Cheers to self timers! hahaha

Here's to Happiness, loves!

May it find us, but may we also find it.

Giant Paper Mache Cactus

Kendle Starcher

Just what you've always been looking for.

I'll admit, it's odd. It's also one of the DIY's in my home that I am the most proud of, besides my jewelry. And our coffee table and entertainment center. But really, Luke built me those things so I cannot claim that as one of my DIYs. Ok, Ok. Moving on.

Back in 2015 right after we had just signed the paperwork to start building on our house, my mom and I were in HomeGoods. Clearly just torturing myself because I just gave all my money away to build a house and now I had no money left to decorate it so why else would we have been there? On our way out, I saw this beautiful, giant, 6-ft-tall metal cactus hanging out by the lamps. It was love at first sight. I had to have it. Too bad it was also $200. My mom was like, "What in the world are you going to do with a giant cactus?" Obviously, I needed it for my new living room. So I snapped a few pictures of it and filed it away in the "One day, I'll come back for this" folder. On the way home, mom and I started brainstorming. Really, a cactus shape is not that complicated. It wouldn't need to be sturdy, it's not going to hang or support anything. Paper Mache! My mom is a paper mache whiz. At home, we started gathering up supplies. Chicken wire, 2 liter Sundrop bottles, smaller water bottles, poster board, masking tape, newspapers, glue. All the usual suspects. It was Christmas time and I was approaching my sacred "christmas break" where I always save myself a few vacation days to take a week off of work for the holidays. I could not wait to get started on this project. 

 Also, I was really bad at photographing the whole process. This was it once we got the arms attached. 

Also, I was really bad at photographing the whole process. This was it once we got the arms attached. 

It was decided that the base would be a Sundrop bottle full of water. Then we took a piece of chicken wire and made a tube that would fit over the bottle and stand up straight. Next up was a piece of poster board wrapped in a tube and attached to the top of the chicken wire to make the cactus as tall as I wanted it. We topped off the poster board tube with the round bottom of another Sundrop bottle. (clearly we have a Sundrop problem, but that's not what you're here for today) Now that my middle was done, it was time to add the arms. 

 This is the "arm" mentioned above. It's 2 2-liter bottles taped together end to end to create a sort of "elbow" and then a peanut butter jar on the end to give it some length.

This is the "arm" mentioned above. It's 2 2-liter bottles taped together end to end to create a sort of "elbow" and then a peanut butter jar on the end to give it some length.

The arms were made out of more 2 liter bottles attached together with tape and glue and then attached to the body with more tape and glue. Seriously, next time you're paper mache-ing anything, save yourself some trips and just buy all the masking tape the store has. It won't go to waste.

 Beginnings of a water bottle wrapped in tape. These were attached to the body up near the top as little baby arms. 

Beginnings of a water bottle wrapped in tape. These were attached to the body up near the top as little baby arms. 

Once we got the arms on how we wanted, it was several, several layers of newspaper. Tear it in strips so it's easier to handle, dip it in the watered down glue mixture and press it on. The goal here is to try and make a relatively smooth surface. You're really just trying to smooth out any tape sections. 

After the newspaper dried, we took heavy twine we got from the craft store and glued on a few long pieces running from end to end. This is essentially the prickles or raised edges cactuses have. 

After that all dried, we went back over it with strips of tissue paper. Same as with the newspaper, but again it was just to smooth out the surface and give a little more depth to the "prickles".

 This was after the last tissue paper layer. See how the surface and around the "prickles" have more depth? Also, you can't see any of our seams in the elbows or where the arm branches off the body. 

This was after the last tissue paper layer. See how the surface and around the "prickles" have more depth? Also, you can't see any of our seams in the elbows or where the arm branches off the body. 

Now, we paint!

First it was a layer of black spray paint, then we just tested out different shades of green until we got the look we were going for. That's the beautiful thing about paint. You can't mess it up, just keep adding more paint until you get where you wanna be. Or, spray it all black again and start over. NBD.

 Also - Go Clemson!

Also - Go Clemson!

There she is! My pride and joy! I just love seeing it when I walk into my house every day. 

What's a DIY you've tried and wound up loving?

Happy Crafting, babes!

 PS - Isn't she so fun decorated for Christmas?!

PS - Isn't she so fun decorated for Christmas?!

The most exciting phrase in the Southern language.

Kendle Starcher

Snow Day!

Yes. Even as an adult, there is just nothing that can derail my productivity faster than hearing that a snow storm is coming. The prospect of waking up to a winter wonderland with a full day of snow related activities ahead of me is just the best! So really, today was a bust at work because I was busy mentally taking inventory of wine bottles and frozen pizzas and plastic sleds. Of course, depending on which news channel you're watching, we could get anywhere from 16 inches of powdery fluff or an inch of ice-y slush. As I'm sitting here, it's looking a little more like ice-y slush. 

Either way, I've got plenty of wine, frozen pizza, and sleds if it does turn into the fluffy stuff, and tomorrow is Saturday. 

Here's to hoping we get to build snowmen!

 This was the view from our porch on our Snow Day in 2016. I do love evergreens in the snow!

This was the view from our porch on our Snow Day in 2016. I do love evergreens in the snow!