Hobby Adventures: DIY/Customs✨

Before you begin… It may be best NOT to view this in reader. Head on over to my actual site.💖

Happy Friday! I hope you’re all ready for this weeks hobby adventure, it’s going to be my favorite one sharing which is why I’ve saved it for last. The series will only have one week left after this one. I’m excited! Not about it ending of course but because I’m going to have a lot of fun with these last two☺️

I’ve always been interested in DIY projects, even before I knew the term DIY existed. I’d find myself trying to come up with ways to make basic bedroom decor and school supplies really pretty, girly, and more unique to my own personality. In school I would try to color my pencils with a permanent marker or put decorative tape around them, I’d decorate my notebooks with markers and stickers or glue doodles on the cover. I remember going camping for a school trip and one of the activities we could participate in was decorating your own little purse, I was so excited to sit down and create mine and show it off. I wish I had pictures but this was back in 5th grade. I barely have any pictures before my high school years, unfortunately.In 2016 I decided to share some of my DIY projects to Facebook just to show my friends and family what I had been up to and how excited I was to personalize my own items. I was proud of what I could do and what I was putting my time and energy into. I started doing this as a hobby and creative outlet for myself since I love to make everything pretty lol.

Friends and family liked and commented how they always knew I was “talented” or they always knew I was creative mentioning my poetry as well. Some told me I should try to open a boutique, and it wasn’t long before other people in my hometown started commenting asking how much would I charge to customize something for them or their children (usually for birthdays, baby showers, Christmas)

I was shocked when money got involved because that’s not what I initially intended when I shared on Facebook. I didn’t even think my crafts were good enough that people would consider paying me, it was really just something I enjoyed doing and wanted to share.

I believe my first customer was a family member, my little cousin’s mother wanted some letters done for the kids’ bedroom.

Another family member wanted custom shoes and then clothing, then I started getting customers I didn’t know, people in different states. Things were moving very quickly, I had no idea what I was really doing or how to do it like a business, I didn’t know much about shipping to other states, I didn’t know what to expect if a customer wasn’t happy when they received their item, it was a lot of work, a lot to take in and do basically on my own.

I had help financially with some supplies, transportation to customers and post office thanks to my boyfriend at the time but other than that it was all me. Communicating to each new customer while having social anxiety was not easy but I had to do it, coming up with pricing, creating a portfolio, spending hours on a custom product hoping you don’t mess up and have to start over because that’s more money to spend, making sure it meets their expectations, these are just a few things. It would take an entirely new post to talk about the things to consider, things I didn’t know starting a small side hustle or business and the mistakes I made. But this post is just about the fun adventurous part.

Here is some of the work I did for customers:

LETTERS

Here you can see I wasn’t the best at doing boy items, I had to mainly add stickers lol and I was so nervous about those “spider webs” but it still turned out cool. This was one I did for a family member so I wasn’t as nervous as I could have been.

CLOTHING
This was one of the first clothing items I customized. It was just a practice run, it wasn’t made specifically for anyone.
I made this one for myself. “WAYS” stands for Why Aren’t You Smiling. It’s a song by Jhene Aiko and is one of the songs I listen to whenever I’m feeling the most down.Excuse my hair in the picture lol I had just washed it. This was back in those relaxed hair days, but after I did my first mini chop.I did baby customs, majority of my customers wanted onesies. I’ve done many and I’d love to show more but the clothing is something I’m really working on to improve for the future so i’ll wait until then.

SHOES

OTHERI actually made a post on these DIY bookmarks and candle jars. I’ll have to update it because some of the pictures were deleted.I was so in love with these phone cases I did! Since I love cases so much I should make one for my phone!I also made a post on this baby shower pin for my cousin who had twins… which I also need to update… Well, it looks like I know some things I can work on soon.

My cousin even let me do her graduation dress! Or was it prom? Either way, It was such a wonderful feeling knowing both her and her mother trusted me to do that. They trusted me with GLUE on her dress for a special moment. I was beyond nervous, I was worried, my hands were shaking. I guess you could say I barely trusted myself with this project. I didn’t ask her for permission to post her picture actually wearing it, so I’ll just show the dress.

I have so many other pictures but I didn’t want to include so many in one post.

                                                                       THE FALL
I was improving, I was gaining more and more customers, everything was growing but then I let a terrible incident in my life shut me completely down. I sent out my last orders and never went back. This incident changed me and was followed by a series of other unfortunate events. It had nothing to do with the start of my growing business but everything to do with life. I could have bounced back from it after a while but I found my love for blogging so I started my journey here instead. I had family members pay me to do a few things for them over time since they could get in touch with me but that was it. I really haven’t been on Facebook, it became draining after a while honestly.

People ask me will I get back into it, people quickly answer for me and say never but the truth is I don’t know. It’s one of those things I’d like to do once I get other things more important to me going. I also feel like if you do any type of comeback, especially after years, it has to be way better than before. You can’t come back with no improvements. That’s just my opinion.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Which DIY custom item is your favorite? Which do you think I should recreate? Are you into DIY projects?

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One Celebrities Thoughts on Bloggers: Do Bloggers Create Stories To Destroy?!

As a blogger, we have a platform and we should use it to uplift and inspire others. That’s usually the goal for most of us, right? Many of you know Jhené Aiko is one of my greatest inspirations. One of the reasons is because she is so raw with her emotions and very down to earth. She inspired this post.


Photographer: @directedbyeyes on Instagram

March 16th was Jhené Aiko’s birthday, so last Friday I went on her Instagram to see if she had posted anything to her story or any new pictures. While I was scrolling through her pictures I came across a very long caption that caught my attention. Never mind the picture, the caption is most important here.

I’m not a celebrity or a huge public figure, and popular blogs don’t post articles about me but I can see where she is coming from. As a blogger, reading this made me feel a certain way because this can make bloggers as a whole be seen in a negative light. To know that someone that inspires me feels this way about bloggers even though she was specifically discussing gossip bloggers was almost uncomfortable. But it also made me want to “level up” and be MORE inspiring. To do more as an influencer and benefit humankind.

Celebrities are human too they just have a huge following and more money than most of us. Followers and money can’t solve all your problems, especially not the internal ones. It can be depressing and hard having to constantly read rumors about yourself whether false or true. I know if I read something that wasn’t true about myself and made me look a certain way in the public eye I’d be upset. Even if it was true, maybe I don’t want the world to know until I share my own story, you know?

Public figures sign up to be in the public eye, yes. This is what comes with it but as a blogger that is something I would never want associated with my name- gossip and rumors. Through her message you can see that she clearly feels strongly about this.

“Do these people know that the “celebrities” they harass daily are actually living, breathing people with families and children? Maybe these people feel their purpose is to entertain at the expense of others?”

A lot of the times people talk down on celebrities when they speak out like it’s a publicity stunt, everything isn’t a publicity stunt. Everything isn’t a cry for attention. They have feelings, insecurities and opinions just like we do. I personally like when they speak out because we can really see this.

I have read, been interested in and even believed some celebrity gossip articles but lately that’s not the type of content I want to feed my soul. I find that type of content usually makes me feel negative and often brings negative energy. Not just gossip blogs but even on YouTube, I’ve stopped watching many YouTube channels I use to enjoy, especially couple channels which have just been about drama lately.

I can’t tell you how to run your blog, your channel or whatever platform you have but regardless of the type of influencer you are, you should be influencing in a positive way, spreading love and light. This world already has enough negativity and darkness.

What do you think about Jhené Aiko’s caption? Or “rant” if you’d like to call it that. Do you feel you do enough as a blogger to inspire/influence others in a positive way? Answer the poll on my Twitter:

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Are you just blogging more for yourself? Do you read celebrity gossip blogs or indulge in the YouTube drama?

A Day of Happiness? International Day of Happiness😊

img_2609This image was taken by me a few months ago. It made me feel good and it made me happy because I was doing something I enjoy, cloud watching, right before I watched the sunset of course. I was out in nature which is full of happiness. If you look closely enough you can even see a heart in the clouds.💙

While every day should be a day to celebrate happiness, March 20th for many is the official International Day of Happiness, founded by Jayme Illien and adopted by the United Nations who announced the official day in July of 2012. The celebration was celebrated for the first time in 2013 as a way to recognize the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world, and a reminder that it does not have to come from materialistic things. Happiness can come in the form of friendship, family, health, spirituality, and greater self-awareness.

There is a difference between material happiness, which implies having all the basic (or extravagant) comforts necessary to live life, and spiritual happiness, which implies something else altogether.

The quote above comes from chapter 41 of a book titled The Teenager’s Guide To The Real World by Marshall Brain. I’ve never read this book before but I am quite interested now after reading a bit about it on bygpub. Have you read or heard of it? If not I encourage you to check this chapter out at least, it’s just one page. Chapter 41: Material Things Will Not Bring You Happiness. The book has 46 chapters but you can read 20 chapters online free! I’m not a teenager anymore and it would obviously probably benefit teenagers more but I think adults could probably pick up a thing or two as well. The website looks to be a bit outdated but still able to read, the book was originally published in 1997. The chapter even goes deeper by discussing the meaning of life. There were a few things I disagreed with, and I almost stopped reading at some point but I’m glad I continued to the end.

No matter where you are in life and what your situation may be. If you allow materialistic things to be the source of your happiness, you give power for it to be taken away. If you have happiness within yourself no one, and no situation will be able to take it away from you.

So today I have a challenge. How many of you can come up with a list of 20 things that make you happy? That’s right- 20! BUT the list can not include anything materialistic (money, shopping, having a nice car/big house and so on). If you accept this challenge repost this or create your own post with your list. Here is mine:

20 Things That Make Me Happy:

  1. Knowing I’ve helped or inspired someone
  2. Prayer
  3. Giving compliments
  4. Seeing people uplift/encourage each other instead of putting each other down or trying to compete
  5. Reaching goals
  6. Music
  7. Deep conversation
  8. The power of a good book
  9. Writing/Blogging/Being creative in general
  10. A night sky full of stars or a beautiful sunset/nature
  11. Alone time when I need it
  12. Being with true friends/family
  13. Seeing a mother with her baby (I am happy to see father’s with their baby as well, but there’s more of an emotional impact with a mother since I’ve grown up without mine)
  14. Animals (kittens especially make me happy)
  15. Feeling full of energy/good vibes
  16. Learning new things
  17. Visiting new places
  18. Waking up every morning because one day I won’t be able to
  19. Love, in general
  20. Knowing that I am becoming more comfortable and confident in myself and growing into this beautiful person inside and out

I did it! Can you? If you don’t think you can come up with 20 things that make you happy, how about a list of 20 happy/positive quotes? Comment below or make your own post.

Don’t worry, be happy!
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Hobby Adventures: Graphic Design✨

Welcome back to another Hobby Adventures! There are only a few more weeks before this series ends. Last time I talked about instruments & writing and for this week I’ll be talking about my experience with basic graphic design and editing.

Graphic design is a very broad term because there are so many different types. You have graphic designers that create logos, websites (which many of us do as bloggers) business cards, those that create clothing designs, illustrations, product packaging, even marketing materials.

Something I’ve recently been working on is creating my own phone and desktop wallpapers even to share with you all! You may have seen a few I made on SheLivesLove. Of course, I’m just starting out so I have a lot to practice and learn but for my first few I think they turned out great!
HeadInTheCloudsDownload
InspiredGalaxyWallpaper
The inspired galaxy wallpaper is one of my favorite. The background started as a picture of some clouds, during a sunset much like the head in the clouds wallpaper. Editing and filters do work a lot of magic! Here is another cloudy/sunset picture I took and edited…
wallpaperbg7.jpgI haven’t worked as much on cellphone wallpapers but it is something I am focusing on more now. I’ll be sharing some soon on SheLivesLove so be on the lookout!
Here is a look at a quick simple one I made for myself today:


A few years ago I even dabbled in making those cartoons out of pictures, not with a filter. You know the ones people actually edit themselves? I know some are more professional but I was just beginning. These don’t look that great at all, it was something I quickly gave up lol but I had fun the first few tries. I used my own picture and one of my friends:

 

Besides wallpapers and weird looking cartoons, for a while, I played a game called IMVU. (similar to sims if you play that) It’s an avatar-based social platform where you can do all sorts of things chatting with people around the world within a virtual universe, one of them is becoming a “creator” which intrigued me for obvious reasons.

As a creator, you create clothes, shoes, hair, even rooms and so much more for other players to buy with their credits, which is the currency on IMVU. With each sale, you received a portion of the credits or “dev points” towards creating a new product. If you became pro you could possibly earn real money but I never reached pro level so I don’t know much about that. Pro level is level 5-7 unless they’ve changed things. I made it to level 3 before I quit. A lot of factors came into play when calculating tier points for creator levels which included the sales you made, how many products you made total and recent, product ratings and more. Which meant if you stopped creating for a while, you could go down a level.

Some items you could find already in the shop from other creators that you can derive from, meaning use their product to create a new one. Changing the color is usually what most people did when starting out but then you learned more and could create your own patterns, textures, shapes, whatever your heart desired!

You also had to create your own icon images for the products, and ads if you wanted that as well. I used gimp mainly and a few other editing software programs over time. For the first ad below, I derived the hair and tops from other products just adding my own colors, textures, and text. The top says, “Big Hair Don’t Care” lol. In the second add, I created the hairs the same way but the outfit and boots I designed and shaped all on my own. I was extremely proud of myself because I had been working so hard to learn how to do this, this outfit wasn’t the first try, only the first pictured. I got tired of just adding text or patterns to other products. The rest of the photos are of other outfits and ads I created.

 

 

 

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I no longer play or create on IMVU, sometimes I consider getting back into it as another creative outlet I enjoyed but the experience isn’t the same as when I was younger or even a few years ago. I think it’s much more enjoyable as a teen or if you’re really into fashion design which I am not. I’m like, a little into it. I created 195 products in the IMVU shop, you can see how my icons and editing improved over time from my very first product (on page 8) to my very last. Check out the whole shop here! I cringed at some of them, but I am at a different place in life than I was back then, okay? Lol! Carry on…

To the end of this post…I hope you enjoyed it and I’ll see you next week for another hobby adventure!
Do you play sims? Have you ever played on IMVU? Do you do any type of graphic design? Let me know in the comments.
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Stream Of Consciousness 💭|Looking Back: My First Entry

Stream of consciousness writing is a style of journaling where you write whatever comes to mind without stopping to think about anything. There are no rules to this style of journaling, you don’t have to worry about grammar, punctuation, or structure. You aren’t telling a story, it doesn’t have to make sense.

This January I started stream of consciousness journaling as a way to release the clutter in my mind, help with writers block, and to help understand my thoughts and feelings more. I am literally allowing my consciousness to flow onto paper. But instead of reading it right away I wait a few weeks or longer, that way I’m not criticizing myself, trying to fix errors or erase things which defeats the purpose. Instead of uploading a new entry today I’ve decided to take a look back at my first entry with you all. As I’m typing this I have not read it yet, I will be copying and pasting it below and reading it afterwards. I’ll be back with my thoughts…

1/22/18

I had a short break from life. Now I don’t want to go back. I don’t want to go back. I don’t want to go back. My mind is made up I won’t be there for long. That’s the way it’s always been. Been. Here. Gone. There. Everywhere or anywhere. Everyone wants to be happy. Sometimes it makes us selfish, sometimes we’re too selfless and give too much of it away just to keep everyone else happy. And then we break down. I hide the way I truly feel because it seems so selfish.Selfish selfish selfishness. Selfishly. But every once in a while you have to put yourself first. There are only a few hours left in the day before I go back to misery? I guess it’s up to me how that all plays out. Maybe I’ll have my favorite company, even though I’ve had company all this time. Just wasn’t the company I really wanted. I’m realizing the things I want out of life and the people I want out of my life. Energy I don’t want to be around, not letting anyone control how my day is going to be. If I don’t want to do it, I don’t want to do it and I don’t have to. Unless it’s like a life or death situation or something. If I don’t want to be there, I don’t want to be there and I don’t have to be. Unless I have nowhere else to go. It sucks when you feel like you’re running out of options but deep down you know you’re not, you’re just so exhausted and over all the unfortunates you become lazy and discouraged. I must be feeling discouraged I’ve been saying that word a lot lately I’ve noticed. I’ll be finding more positive words to say. 111, 1111, 222, 22, 333, 33, 444, 44, 555, 55, 10:25. I see these numbers so much.

My thoughts…

Wow! To me this was an interesting read and I didn’t even feel like I was reading an entry from my own journal. I felt like I was reading a post I could relate to word for word. I’ve also realized I am still working on some of the things mentioned, but also there has been small improvements. In the beginning I wrote I had a short break from life. Now I don’t want to go back. I don’t want to go back. I don’t want to go back. My mind is made up I won’t be there for long. That’s the way it’s always been. Been. Here. Gone. There. Everywhere or anywhere. Everyone wants to be happy.

This was about not wanting to be at places that make me feel uncomfortable or unhappy. I was away from it for a while but there was a moment I had to return. I had my mind made (at the time) that I was going to move away soon but now I am undecided about that again. I am always moving everywhere, anywhere to find happiness. But happiness isn’t a place, it can’t be located in GPS, you can’t “move to” happiness. You have to find it within yourself and that takes time and effort. I’ve been going to counseling lately and one of the things my counselor suggested was creating a compromised balance. Basically, if you know you have to do something or be somewhere you don’t want to be, be sure to also make the time for the things and places you do enjoy. Maybe you have to work Monday-Friday, and you have children. You could possibly set time during the weekend to go out to the park, museum or whatever you like. Make time for meditating even if it’s for a few minutes a day, treat yourself. It’s a huge start.

Another issue I’ve been having is saying no. I’ve always been that person that wanted to be nice as much as possible, and hated creating conflict or problems for other people which was often a result of telling them no. But while I was helping them, I wasn’t helping myself by feeling obligated to do things I knew I didn’t want to.

Sometimes, you have to do these things though. For example if it involves your living situation. Yes you can always say no and live uncomfortably or kicked out (that may not even be the case) but that’s unfortunate right? So instead of saying yes each time, you can say I’ll do it on these days but it’s unfair for me to do it this often while I have other things I need/wish to do also. Or if you’re asked to do something, feel free to tell them you’ll get back with them later. This gives you time to think about whether you really want to or not and how you can go about it without feeling pressured to answer right away. You aren’t obligated to and they should respect you by asking in a timely manner. It’s okay to say yes to yourself every once in a while, when you’re constantly saying yes to others.

I then wrote I’m realizing the things I want out of life and the people I want out of my life. Energy I don’t want to be around, not letting anyone control how my day is going to be… However, sometimes I am still letting these things control my day. I will be seeing how the next few counseling sessions go. Even when you feel like you are running out of options or places to go don’t give up. Always remember you may be closer than you think. If you give up, you won’t get anywhere at all.

Weekend Pickups (Early Birthday Haul)🌸

We are at the end of the weekend which I must say went by rather quickly. I hope you’ve all enjoyed yours, mine was full of ups and downs but I’m going to focus on what I enjoyed which was my shopping trip. I picked up some really cute items that I’ve been excited to share.

I went shopping to find something specific for my birthday which is this coming Thursday, and a new pair of boots since I ruined my other pair walking around a muddy park. I left with nothing specific for my birthday and a few pair of boots that I won’t be wearing on a regular basis. That seems to be what usually happens when we go shopping, come out with everything but what we went for. Or we come out with what we went for plus more.

Although I didn’t find an outfit I’m sure I’ll be able to piece something together. If the weather is nice enough I should be fine with what I got but it’s not looking too promising as of now. Here is a look at what I picked up this weekend:

Another cheap phone case. I’ve been getting so many cute cheap cases because I love changing them so often.

I got this really cute Steve Madden backpack from Tjmaxx. If you don’t know by now (I’ve mentioned it a few times on the blog) TJMaxx was my first ever job. It was also one of my favorite jobs before the store I worked at closed down. I hadn’t really shopped there much since then because the other one we have in my city is a bit further out. Going there this weekend brought back so many memories, the set up hasn’t really changed much and it’s been years. I walked passed the fitting rooms and instantly remembered my first few weeks working. Working at TJMaxx I fell in love with Betsey Johnson and Steve Madden bags and they were usually a bit more expensive so when I saw this backpack for $30 I had to grab it.🌸

My last few pickups are from Rue21, I shop there often. Any of my pickups you’ll probably see something from there.

Boots
I want to get these in Black also but I have to find my size.

Dress/Rompers

I really wish I could have gotten a better picture of this shirt dress but I’ll try to take one whenever I decide to wear it. They had a few other colors but this one stood out to me most.

I got 2 of these maxi rompers (below) because I instantly fell in love when I saw them. I often see clothing like this and shy away from them thinking it won’t look right on my body. Basically, any tops or dresses with a low cut because I don’t have much cleavage. I’m like oh I don’t have anything to hold this top up, I’m just going to look like a little girl or a little boy in a dress. But for some reason, this time I thought to go ahead and try it on it might actually look really good…img_2021

Now obviously this isn’t the greatest picture just trying it on (ignore my pink socks and everything else about fitting room pictures lol) but when I tell you I fell in love, omg. I think I gained a little more confidence in that fitting room. Never again will I not try on something because I’m afraid it won’t “look right on me.”

If the weather is nice, I’d like to wear this on my birthday with the 3rd pair of boots above. But if not I’ll definitely wear it as soon as I get the chance on a beautiful spring day!

And here is the 2nd one in navy blue and stripes

That’s all I picked up so far. Did you do any shopping this weekend? Did you recently have a birthday or one coming up? What did you/ will you wear? Have you ever felt insecure about trying anything on out of fear it won’t look right?

February Favorites 2018❤️

Sharing monthly favorites isn’t something I normally do on my blog, I also can’t say that I’ll do it each month from here on out but I did have some favorites of February that I want to share. Most of these will be pictures but I’ve included a few posts and videos I loved also.

SnapChat with Zoey💖

One of my favorite pages I read from the sun and her flowers during the month.

Trueee! I instantly fell in love with this Love Like 90’s R&B Hoodie Crop from Rue 21☺️ I caught it while there was a sale.

I also picked up this cheap Blind Love Glitter phone case from Rue 21, I felt it was perfect for the month! I obviously had to be careful with this case because it’s not made for protection, I dropped it a couple of times but only the case was affected (barely) the case is now on sale for $1!

As my hair grows I’ve been able to try more hairstyles. This has been one of my favorite hairstyles so far, puff and bangs. I’ll be sharing a better look at this style in one of my natural hair posts that will be coming soon.

A few days ago I went to one of the parks in my city. Last week we had several floodings in the area and this park was one of them. There are 2 levels at the park and both were pretty much underwater. I heard a boy mention he had been there just the day before on the swings and now those aren’t able to be used. There was also a few ducks swimming around. I took several pictures but this one is one of my favorites. Flooding is never great but it was still a sight to see.

Walking in the muddy park with my good boots on. They aren’t my good boots anymore and this little adventure was not planned. I still enjoyed all of it.

In February I had severe hiccups lol that is where this Google search came from and #5 actually worked! Which is why I’m including it in my favorites. In school, I always tried holding my breath, drinking water quickly and even being scared but neither of those worked. So I tried pulling my tongue which seemed weird and wasn’t as simple as I imagined but the hiccups were gone! Have any of you ever tried this?

A new milestone reached on my 2nd blog! 2/17/18

I recently came across mama_et_mia on Instagram and fell in love with a picture she shared of her daughter jumping on a mattress that she edited very nicely. If you view her BTS story she shows you her editing process. Really cool, check her out!

My favorite blog posts (on GPJ & SLL)

Describing Each Zodiac Sign (my opinion/experience)

How To Make A Blog Header + Tips (Beginners)

Videos I Loved This Month:

The question asked, “What do you do when you feel butterflies in your stomach?” 3-year-old Amalah answers, “I just say, where’s the diamond?” 😂😂😂 The video is super adorable and you all should definitely watch it! Check out the whole channel while you’re there!

Those are my February favorites, what did you enjoy this February?❤️