Sunday, September 25, 2016

Simple DIY Wall Hanging

It's that "start getting cozy" time of year, where nesting brings out the snuggly blankets and spice-scented candles, and we start readying home for the colder months.  I don't know about you, but I've been loving this resurgence of the 1970's era macramé and woven wall art.  It's literally everywhere, and I can't get enough!
Those of you who follow Attic Lace on Instagram know that I recently completed a large wall hanging for our new den space.  I had such a blast making it that I thought I'd share my technique with you.

DIY Wall Hanging

You will need:

-Medium stick, or wooden dowel
-Yarn of your choice, at least one full skein (I used remnants of skeins I had lying around)
-Sharp scissors

Step 1. Estimate the desired length of your wall hanging, then add a few inches extra (not a fine science, just eyeball it).
Step 2. Pull the yarn into approx. ten loops of your desired length (see photo below) keep your cut ends down, and your looped ends at the top.
Step 3. Pinching the top, where your loops or "middles" are, go around the stick and then pull the ends of the yarn through center (refer to photos). You should now have a neat looped knot and your yarn will be secured to the stick. Repeat this step, along the length of the stick, switching colors along the way if desired.
Step 4. Once your length is complete, go back in and braid some sections to give it a little texture and dimension. Tie your braids with scrap yarn at the bottom.
Step 5. Using a straight edge (I used a large cutting board that had a nice flat edge) and a sharp pair of scissors, trim the bottom of your work.  You may want to trim straight across, or at an angle like I did.  Tip:  Using your fingers, brush all strands downwards so that everything is straight and lies flat before trimming
Hint: If you trim off the tied end of your braid, simply grab another scrap and retie the end so the braid doesn't unravel!
Step 6. Attach an extra piece of yarn along the top for hanging and your done!

How simple is that!  This project cost me nothing and even if you have to buy a bundle of yarn to make your own, the whole thing should still be under 10$.  It took maybe to an hour to complete and I am so thrilled with how it looks hanging in our home.  Right on trend!


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Monday, September 12, 2016

End-of-Summer Foraged Wreath

It's September! The days are slowly getting cooler, the nights a little crisper...We're all so excited for fall's arrival and it'll be here very soon. Apples, pumpkins, campfires and woolly blankets here we come!  Only fair then, to say a proper goodbye to sweet summer. 

These days the goldenrod burns bright yellow in fields and along the roads. The Queen Anne's Lace has curled into bobbing brown seed-heads and things are starting to turn from green to reds and oranges...slowly, slowly.  A walk outdoors brings armfuls of bittersweet vine, goldenrod and little dried seed pods, all of which make the perfect fixings for an "End-of-Summer" wreath.
Begin by twisting bare branches or grapevines together to form a large ring (shown above), or purchase a bare grapevine wreath at your local craft store.
First, add greenery (leafy vines, bittersweet strands etc.) and secure any loose sections with floral wire. Then, add bunches of florals: the goldenrod and/or other colorful dried blooms.  Weave in the finer sprigs, like seed pods, grasses and other wispy bits. Lastly, add your pops of color, any red or orange findings, like the small sprigs of dark red thornies I found for mine. Use cut pieces of wire to secure any loose pieces to the vine frame (skeleton).
Take a walk, see what you find... There are beautiful things everywhere, even when they've begun to fade and lose their summer glory. They show a new beauty now, an end-of-summer beauty, you just have to look!

Happy foraging.
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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

DIY Beeswax Bowl Covers

It has been SO hot here in New York these past few weeks.  During the warmer months, cold salads, fresh cut fruits, etc. are a must. The only problem is that I find myself turning to plastic wrap to cover bowls for the fridge (...boooo for plastic).  After falling in love with a beeswax sandwich wrap I was given at Christmas last year, I decided it was time to whip up some of these beeswax bowl covers I'd been seeing everywhere as an alternative to plastic wrap.

I couldn't believe how easy it actually was to make a set of these, the hardest part was choosing between all of the beautiful fabrics at the store.
You will need:

-Favorite bowls for tracing
-Cotton Fabric (tightest weave possible. Looser weaves, like linens, will not take the wax well.)
-All natural beeswax  - block to be grated, or pellets ( approx. 0.5oz per cover)
-Parchment paper
-Baking sheet & Oven
-Pinking shears

-Preheat oven to 185 Degrees-

Step 1: Gather your favorite bowls (the bowls you'll primarily want to use the covers on). I chose a small, medium, and large bowl from my kitchen. Next, iron your fabric to release wrinkles and creases. 

Step 2: Lay your fabric on a flat surface, good side down, and place your first bowl (face down) on top. You'll want the finished cover to be 1.5 - 2" larger than the bowl so that you can "wrap" it. Measure (or eyeball) about 2 inches out from the lip and trace. Now cut out your circle.

Step 3: Place your fabric circle onto a parchment lined baking sheet, pretty side up, and sprinkle with grated beeswax (or pellets if you chose them). 
***Here is where I found it most important to watch what I was doing.  You do not need a lot of wax.  I had the best results when I sprinkled it sparingly all over the fabric... sparingly but super EVENLY.  The key was definitely even spacing, making sure that the sprinkles were spaced all around circle - up to, but not off, of the edges (see photo below).  By the first one I started see what the perfect amount would be. You want the wax, upon curing, to be thin and sturdy.

Step 4:  Slide the tray into the oven and bake for about five minutes, or until the wax has liquefied. Once it has, immediately remove to a cool counter and allow to set.

Tip: If you notice that you missed a spot, simply add a tiny piece of wax and return to the oven.  Some people like to spread the melted wax with a paintbrush, I did not find the need to do this once I had the right amount of wax down pat, but you may want to try it.

Step 5: Remove from the parchment paper and trim the edge with the pinking shears and you're done!

Your cover will mold down around the edge of the bowl by the warmth of your hands.
Your bowl covers should last about 1 year with proper care. To wash, use mild soap (like castile, or diluted dish soap) and cool water.  Do not expose to heat or flame, do not run under hot water or the wax will begin to melt. Because they are heat intolerant, it is a good idea to keep them away from raw meats. 

The cloths can also be used for treats outside of a bowl, like wrapping a hunk of cheese or a sandwich!

"How will I store these when I'm not using them!?"

How to store your wraps:  Roll in a piece of clean dry parchment paper and store the rolls in a drawer ( maybe where you used to keep the plastic wrap! Wink, wink). Or, if you have the space, lay them out flat in a kitchen drawer.

I hope that if you make these, you'll feel as successful and happy as I did.  This was one of those projects that was extremely pleasing, and I've already been using my covers like crazy here.  Enjoy!


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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Kiwi Melon Slush

Warmer weather is here!  Monday will bring the Strawberry Moon and the first day of Summer, which means it's time for cool summer treats...
Weekends at our house are spent down on the lake, and after a day of swimming and sand there is nothing better than a cold, icy drink.  This fresh, all-natural "Kiwi Melon Slush" is made in two minutes and can be sipped slowly as an afternoon treat.

Kiwi Melon Slush 
Makes 2 servings, double recipe for 4.

1/2 fresh cantaloupe
1 - 2 ripe kiwi
1 lemon
1 Tbs raw honey
2 cups ice
(Optional: Sprig of fresh mint for garnish)

Remove seeds from half of a cantaloupe and scoop out the fruit into a food processor or blender, careful to get the residual juices into blender as well. Add kiwi fruit, juice from lemon, honey and ice.  Blend until smooth.  Pour into tumblers and serve immediately, adding fresh mint sprig of desired.

Cool, refreshing, and healthy! It doesn't get much better than that!


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Wednesday, June 15, 2016


Summer's here and being back outside in the garden is seriously the best thing ever. I am happiest out there in the yard; digging, snipping, planting, and pruning. It's even better when I have something yummy to bring back indoors with me at supper time.  Right now we're enjoying loads of fresh Green and Red Leaf lettuce, baby kale, and collard greens.  The herbs, in their metal wash tub, couldn't be happier and I've been finding ways to sneak basil into everything because it's my number one favorite scent and flavor of summer...

Little tip I learned from my Aunt Barb, planting marigolds along the perimeter of the beds helps to keep slugs etc. away!  Adds a wonderful pop of color too, don't you think?

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Monday, May 23, 2016

Happy Belly Smoothie

Entering my early thirties has been wonderful but, while I don't feel much older at heart, I'm starting to notice some physical changes, mainly with my belly.  It's taking a little more mindfulness lately to maintain healthy digestion (no more guzzling down three slices of pizza and a milkshake on a Friday night, what the heck!) Aside from being mindful of what I'm eating on regular days (because pizza on the weekend is still necessary), I've found that adding a certain amount of healthy probiotics to my daily diet makes an enormous difference in how I feel. 

One of my favorite ways to keep my belly happy is to consume live active cultures, found in most healthy yogurts and certainly in kefir.  If you've never tried Kefir, I would highly recommend it.  It has a very "tangy" flavor similar to plain Greek yogurt- but a little more tart.  It's also drinkable, which makes it perfect for smoothies!

If the taste of plain kefir is too intense for you, adding berries and other fruits to the blender totally helps.  Here's a really simple, yummy way to make a probiotic smoothie:

Happy Belly Smoothie
Blueberry, banana, with kefir

1 1/2 Cups plain, unsweetened kefir
1/2 Cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 Whole banana

Add kefir, berries, and chopped banana to a blender. Blend until smooth and enjoy!

The great thing about this smoothie is you can sub in different berries and fruits to keep it exciting.  Strawberries, mango, or peaches are awesome substitutes for the blueberries...mix and match!  Have fun with the flavors!



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A Slow Spring

It's been a slow spring...slow in a relaxed way, taking every day as it comes and enjoying small moments of awakening outside. Bonfires with friends, trips to the chilly beach in anticipation of summer days, and lots of garden prep and planting at home.


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