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 !

keep reading for the tutorial & swatches !

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diy : knitted rosebud cord keeper

i’m always looking for a way to use up the scraps from my knitting projects, especially when i have a particularly nice yarn that i can’t bear to throw away the tiniest bit of. there are tons of projects like this on the internet but i wanted something that used a small amount of yarn & was useful. enter floral cord keepers !

these are very simple to make (even simpler if you decide to crochet the flower rather than knit it) & are perfect for gifts or to use as an organization tool. i’m using mine to keep my headphones from creating an untangle-able knot inside my purse.

keep reading to see the tutorial !

what you need :

– pipe cleaner
– dk or worsted weight scrap yarn in two colors (green & your choice for petals !)
– yarn needle
– size 6 US dpns

1. bend the pipe cleaner in half and twist until you reach the raw edges of wire, bend those like in the photo, and finish twisting.

2. co 5 sts with the green yarn & begin working an icord (knit all stitches, slip work to the other end of the needles without turning the work, knit & repeat) for 3 rows. place pipe cleaner behind work & trap it when you move yarn to other side, as pictured. continue until you reach the end of the pipe cleaner.

3. for leaves : kfb of every stitch, 5 sts on each dpn
  – starting on the right side of one leaf, knit one row
  – purl one row
  – ssk, k1, k2tog
  – purl
  – slip one, k2tog, psso
  – break yarn and pass through final stitch. repeat leaf on other side

4. petals :

center petal (1) : – co 5 stitches with your petal color, leaving a tail
                           – purl
                           – knit
                           – purl
                           – kfb, knit to last stitch, kfb
                           – work in stockinette for 11 rows
                           – ssk, k3, k2tog
                           – purl
                           – co 3 sts
                           – co remaining 2 sts and break yarn & pass through last stitch, leaving a tail

outer petals (3) : – co 2 sts, leaving a tail
                           – knit
                           – pfb, purl to last stitch, pfb
                           – kfb, knit to last stitch, kfb. repeat these two rows until you have 12 stitches
                           – kfb, knit to last stitch, kfb
                           – purl
                           – ssk, knit to last 2 sts, k2tog
                           – purl. . . repeat above two rows until you have 6 sts, end on rs row
                           – p3tog, p3
                           – k3tog, k1
                           – bo remaining sts, leaving a tail

5. roll up center petal & use ends to tack it into place

6. wrap petals around center & use ends to tack into place, then sew rosebud in between the leaves


diy : homemade bath bombs & free printable !

i recently tried out homemade bath bombs thanks to the inspiration from a beautiful mess — the perfect mother’s day gift! i made a few adjustments . . recycled packaging and measuring instead of weighing ingredients & i thought i’d share !



what you need :

1 3/4 cup baking soda
2 cups cornstarch
1 cup citric acid
1 cup epson salts (i used lavender)
3-4 drops food coloring (optional, we also used edible glitter for a few)
5 drops essential oils (i used vanilla)
1 tsp water
1 1/4 tsp coconut oil (heat it up a little in the microwave first)
plastic easter eggs
clean spritzer bottle
empty half dozen egg cartons
gold spray paint
2×4 labels

first we spray painted the cartons gold — fancy !

whisk together the dry ingredients . .

& combine the wet ingredients & slowly add them to the mixture. we ended up with a rather dry formula so we started using a little spray bottle to wet it more. it should still feel more or less dry to the touch but be able to stick together if you smush it in your hands

then we formed the bath bombs! we filled up each half of the egg so that it was over flowing & squeezed the halves together. then we removed one half to let it dry out a little before removing the other side . . .

we ended up with about 16 eggs! (we also added edible glitter to a couple of them !) then we left them to dry out completely overnight & worked on the packaging in the meantime . . .

a little faux-calligraphy & watercolor labels for the boxes . .

& that’s it !!

they work wonderfully & make a great craft for kids! if making the label isn’t your thing i’m offering these ones to download for free here & here !


thanks to my sister-assistant for helping with this post !

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 :

knitting needle organization & free pdf download


i’ve taken on the rather large task of organizing all of my knitting needles. i’ve mostly stopped using straights in favor of circulars & they are very difficult to organize. i’m using a 4″ binder and binder sleeves.

i made this chart in illustrator to keep track of all the sizes i have to minimize buying doubles . . .

& organized each binder sleeve by needle length & type. easy to store & travel with !

if you’d like to use this template to keep track of your needles as well you can download it here : knitting needle organization

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 : best brim

2086 by --erin kate
2086, a photo by –erin kate on Flickr.

I love this double-warm, polished edge brim . . .

1. You don’t need anything special for this brim, just yarn & suitable sized 16″ circular needle. (Here I’m using caron simply soft & size 7 US neelde)

2. Cast on however much you normally use for hats. (For example, I casted on 80)

3. Begin knitting ribbing…(I’m using 2×2 ribbing, but you could easily use 1×1, 2×3, ets.)

4. …Until your brim is twice as long as you want it to be. (For example if you want your brim to be 1.5″ tall knit for 3″.)

5. Here’s the tricky part; fold up your ribbing so that the wrong sides are touching. (Make sure you match up the ribs!)

6. Insert your right hand needle into the first stitch on the left hand needle. (Don’t pull through.) Then insert the right hand needle into the folded up part of the brim.

7. Yarn over & pull through as normal. Then repeat for the stitch on the needle.

8. See how pretty the edge is.

9. Continue all the way around.

I love to use this brim for all sorts of hats, I’m sure it would look great on sweaters (etc.) too.

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.

k2tog bind off tutorial

2011 by --erin kate
2011, a photo by –erin kate on Flickr.

1. This is a great BO, it’s stretchy & looks a lot like the long tail cast on. It’s also really fast! (please excuse my chipped nailpolish!)

2. So you start out by just inserting your right needle just like you’re going to knit two stitches together.

3. Wrap around…

4. ….

5. And pull through.

6. Here’s the twist: put this stitch back on the left hand needle. Then insert your right hand needle to knit together that stitch with the one before it.

7. Nice right! Just repeat these steps until the end of your piece.

8. And this is how it looks, enjoy!