diy beauty : natural luminizer




i’ve been on a diy beauty products kick lately, particularly natural ones. i read about how the rms living luminizer is an amazing natural product that is used on all sorts of celebrities for a sheer “lit from within” glow. looking at the ingredients, they were so simple & natural that i thought i could make it myself without paying almost $40 for such a small container. it turned out beautifully & i took notes on what worked !
(p.s. if you’re not the diy type or are short on time, i’m selling these in my etsy shop !

keep reading for the tutorial & swatches !

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how to : leather cord roll


i’ve been so inspired by the cordito cord roll from this is ground & thought it could be something that i could easily diy to fit my own needs! i added a (removable!) zippered pouch to the bottom for smaller items that would slip away (stylus, memory card, backup charger, etc.) & used a hook that could be hung up while traveling. i had a few leather scraps in my stash but faux leather would work just as well — even just a thick fabric with interfacing would be nice !

keep reading if you’re interested in making this yourself! i’m no expert seamstress but i find that unfinished leather with a little messy stitching can be really beautiful.


what you need :
– 1/2 yard leather or 1/4 in two different colors
– 1 yard fold over colored elastic, 5/8″
“fashion buckle” (or you could use snaps or buttons if you’re not interested in hanging yours)
– 2 buttons
– zipper (can start at any size but needs to be trimmed to 8″)
– scissors, sewing machine, pencil, cutting mat, the basics !

(note : you could easily do this by hand if you omitted the zipper !)


step 1 |
cut out . . .
  an 8×15″ piece for the roll
  two 8×5.5″ pieces for the zip pouch
 & two 3×1.5″ pieces for the zipper finish


step 2 |

take the zipper finish pieces and fold them over the zipper as shown


step 3 |

stitch down using a small straight stitch, making sure to leave the zipper out. it helps to use a leather needle to do this but i didn’t have a problem


step 4 |

place the zipper piece under a pouch piece & stitch together


step 5 |

do the same on the other side & you should have something like this ! (don’t take notice of my pulled out mistake stitches!)


step 6 |

fold pouch pieces right side together & stitch up the sides & bottom, trim the excess, unzip the zipper to pull pouch right side out


step 7 |

a leather pouch that would be adorable on its own !


step 8 |

cut out :
 2 pieces of 2″ long elastic
 2 pieces of 10″ long elastic


step 9 |

fold one piece of the shorter elastic, sandwich one of the “fashion buckles” inside, & sew down in the center using a tight zig zag stitch


step 10 |

roll up the main piece in thirds & make a mark directly underneath the top hook


step 11 |

sandwich & sew down in the same manner


step 12 |

next, sew down the long elastic 1.5″ from the side of the roll using a tight zig zag stitch. repeat on the other side. then tack down every 1.5 or so inches until you reach the end. I varied my “pockets” from 1-2″ to fit different types of cords.


step 13 |

decide where you want to place the zip pouch & make a pencil mark where the elastic overlaps — this will be where you sew the buttons !


step 14 |

cut two slits in the back of the pouch to allow for the buttons to be pushed through.
(you could also just stitch the bag to the roll if you’re not fussy about it being removable)

& that’s it! organize your cords !

roll it up & fasten the hooks & you’re ready to travel !!

how to : ink & watercolor illustration


a simple tutorial on how i make my illustrations !

i use watercolor paper, micron pens (waterproof is important), a mechanical pencil, and an eraser.
you can start with a reference picture & make a sketch from it or just a concept. i decided to go with bunny love in honor of valentines. i use a mechanical pencil for the beginning sketch for light & erasable lines.


after you have the sketch down, use the smallest pen possible (my smallest is the .01) to retrace your sketch.


erase the pencil marks . . .


& use larger pens to vary line thickness. a nice way to do this is to keep the outside edges darker & thicker while letting the details remain light.



next up, color ! i use this watercolor palette. starting from the shadows and blending out to leave the highlights the color of the paper. there are many tutorials online for learning how to shade but you can also rely on your reference photo or keep the colors flat.

add your final details (i.e. hearts, eyelashes, blades of grass !) & if you feel so inclined, use a white pen to highlight & really make the drawing pop !

if drawing & painting isn’t really your thing but you’d like to give someone some bunny love too, feel free to print & gift this one :

diy : en plein air watercolor kit

image by --erin kate
image, a photo by –erin kate on Flickr.

I’m currently studying in Barcelona & I’ve really gotten into travel drawing/painting using this little “kit” . . .


I started with this $1 eyeshadow palette

– sanded off the label

– scraped out the eyeshadow

– painted the lid white to make a clean surface to mix colors on

-spray painted the outside (gold is best !)

– squeezed in my favorite watercolors (these are Koi brand)

& that’s it! Some things I’ve done with it . .



[p.s. I’m still updating my travel blog if you’re interested !]

how to: simple infinity scarf

577 by --erin kate
577, a photo by –erin kate on Flickr.

i’ve been making different versions of this super-simple infinity scarf knit in worsted weight yarn held double, great for holiday gifts. below is the pattern if you’re interested !

what you need
– two skeins of worsted weight yarn held together or a bulky yarn (I used caron simply soft here)
– size 13 24″ circular needles
– stitch marker.

– co 120 stitches, join in round being careful not to twist. place stitch marker at beginning of round.

1. * k1, p2 repeat from * to end of round
2. knit to end of round.

Repeat rounds 1 & 2 until piece measures 8″ from the beginning. Bind off using the k2tog bind off or loosely using a needle a size or two larger.

That’s it !

how to : gossamer infinity scarf

1359 by --erin kate
1359, a photo by –erin kate on Flickr.

A quick & easy how to for these gorgeous, sparkly infinity scarves.

What you need:
~Size 13 U.S. 29″ circular needles
~Glittery, laceweight yarn (I used “Mohair Glitter”

1. CO anywhere from 100 to 150 stitches, join in the round. (Depending on what you like, you can leave some twists to create a mobius-like effect, or get all the twists out for a more traditional scarf.)
2. Work in Garter stitch (knit one round, purl one round) for two inches to prevent curling.
3. Work in stockinette stich (knit every round) until your scarf is two inches away from the width you want. (I do 6 to 8 inches)
3. Work Work in Garter stitch again for two inches to prevent curling on this side.
4. BO loosely! I like to use the K2tog bind off (because it’s fast!) or the Sewn Bind off (because it’s stretchy & pretty).

That’s all!


Wrap them in pretty tissue paper tied with a ribbon & they make great holiday gifts.