We’ll just be over here, Crafting and DIYing

Two blissful ladies spending their night crafting heartfelt homemade presents for their dear friend.

Nicky has been the craft queen as long as we have known each other. She was the one in AP Art in high school, naturally gifted with creative/artistic projects and able to pick new things up with ease. Badiana was the one hoping art didn’t mess up her streak of being on the honor roll. She even held onto the one art project she got an A+ on for YEARS, simply as a reminder that there truly is creativity in her. (Her struggle was real!)

Although Nicky is definitely the awesome crafter of this duo, Badiana uses that as inspiration to channel her inner creative abilities from time to time – with her pale counterpart nearby, of course. The charm of being besties is using each other’s strengths to inspire the other to try new things, be creative, and have fun, mistakes and all. Am I right?

Why Crafting, DIY Projects, and Pinterest Ideas are Parts of our Decide Bliss Friendship Repertoire

Creating things with your own two hands keeps you connected to the processes of life. It is much clearer how difficult something is to actually make and how much effort is truly involved when you try doing it yourself. Although consumerism has its conveniences, many are out of touch on what goes into making and creating beautiful pieces. More often than not, we forego handmade items for the cheaper manufactured versions either because we have no idea what it really takes to make them or because we are unwilling to put that much effort into it.

We aren’t saying we never buy anything and that we make everything – that would be a bit crazy in this day and age! We just agree that some things within the realm of our creative talents are worth slowing down for to learn the process and make ourselves.

Birthday Boy

The inspiration behind our recent homemade masterpieces is the third leg of our trio, Nick, and his January birthday. Our love for him and his friendship has no bounds. Just like he shares with us – beers, laughs, a male perspective, memories… we can go on for days – we wanted to literally share a part of our personalities and selves with homemade gifts from our hearts. They serve as a thank you and a congratulations on the purchase of his adorable new home. We appreciate all the joy he brings to us in the past, the present, and the future.

Nicky Takes on Arm Knitting

I had never even made an attempt at knitting before taking on this project to make one of those gloriously cozy, chunky-knit blankets. I’ve seen endless photos of these items online and strewn through magazines, and it was calling to me. The deciding moment was when Nick casually mentioned in our group chat that he had also been eyeing them and wanted one, followed by an adorable picture of a little girl with a similarly-fashioned bunny rabbit (he wants one of those someday if he’s graced with a little girl – mental note taken).

Yarn for the blanket and rope for the lamp - let's do this!  Arm knitting a cozy blanket.  Making progress in the blanket...  The progress of the blanket keeping my lap nice and toasty warm.

I followed this tutorial via YouTube and it was a success! Don’t get me wrong, I had to restart a handful of times from messing up or making it too loose or losing my place… Oh, and I had completed it once but let my obsessive tendencies get the best of me, causing me to unravel the entire thing and start over… However, I’m pleased with the final outcome. It’s even long enough for him and wifey to snuggle underneath it together!

A blissfully cozy, hand-knit blanket.  Handmade gift of a chunky knit blanket for one of my best friends.

Chunky-knit blanket: complete! If you find similar yarn on sale and are up for the challenge, definitely try it out. It’s a relatively easy project. It only takes a couple of hours from start to finish, and the recipient is sure to love it!

Happy birthday, Nick!

Badiana’s Table Lamp Revamp

These lamps came from one of my clients insisting I take the ones they were going to donate. Nick has recently purchased a house with his wife, Amy, so in our chat, I asked if he was interested in free lamps. His exact response was, “sure, I like light.” My clients and I got a kick out of that. I then dropped them off at my parents home, which is very near to Nick’s new house, for easy pick-up; he never got them. MEN!

Knowing my parents have a history of trashing things they don’t know the origins of, I chatted with Pale and said I have ideas for this lamp – I am going to up-cycle and gift them to Nick for his birthday. That same week she had decided she was going to make Nick’s gift as well, so in giddy girl fashion we declared a CRAFT NIGHT. My inspiration for these lamps came from this Pinterest post.

A picture of a white porcelain lamp with butterflies on it. Lamp shade is crinkle cut triangular style. Blissful Badi hard at work on her masterpiece!   A porcelain lamp the thirds complete of being revamped. Wrapped the porcelain base in manila rope from Home Depot  Both porcelain lamps wrapped in manila rope and complete.

Lamp base all wrapped in manila rope and with new lamp shade. The lamp is lit up  Both lamps completely finished with their newly wrapped base and modern drum lamp shades in front of a fire place

Learning Curve

This craft project was pretty easy. All I used was a small hot glue gun and manila rope to tightly wrap the base. Gluing every two rows to secure the rope. For the lamp shades, I went online and ordered the ones that I felt would look best in their home. You can find them in your local home goods store too.

For a novice like me, it took a few trips to Home Depot (because I didn’t measure anything before starting..). I completely guessed on the new lamp shade sizes thinking they were more or less universal. I didn’t even know there were different ways to attach the lamps: some need finials, some do not, some attach to the light bulb, etc. Needless to say I learned a lot about lamps. How naive consumerism has made me. Besides, the final products exceeded my expectations. The lamps look gorgeous in their home and I love how much I learned up-cycling them.

Give it a Go!

DIY and Crafting isn’t for everyone, but if you’ve always had an itch to try it out, DO IT. YouTube is full of fun tutorials that can walk you right through basically anything you could want to make. And honestly, you’re probably more creative than you think! Not to mention there is always a nearby creative guru to help you get your project back on track if you stray too far from the end goal.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! Some have made infamous art and everyday appliances that we use today. Mistakes make things unique, and almost any can be “fixed” if need be. The goal is to simultaneously create peace within while giving a piece of yourself to the lucky recipient (even if that’s you).

Put in the work, appreciate the process, and creatively Decide Bliss.

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Multiple Authors at Decide Bliss
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