“General DIY” Archive

Snap Conference Handmade Business Cards

I’m off to my very first Snap Conference this week and I can’t week. I went to five BlogHers in a row (not counting the smaller regional events) – this is my first bloggy conference in four years. After a less-than-impressed reaction to BlogHer 2010, I gave up on conferences, to be honest. That tune changed quickly once I saw all the great chatter coming out of Alt Summit. And then Quilt Con. And then Snap. So I decided to change my tune and I’m glad I did.

A big part of crafty conferences is having a crafty business card. Holding out as long as I could waiting for a good idea, I finally came up with mine Easter weekend (of course). I decided on making a stamped business card with a stamp carved by Jenny Barnett Rohrs (of Craft Test Dummies fame) and designed by Jason Gibner. The card is paired with a bit of snail mail love inside. I made two mini envelopes using Paper Source’s #1 baby envelope template paired with some favorite Paper Source wrapping paper (slate pine branch) of mine. I cut card stock down to business card-size notes to match with the envelopes, added two poppy 1.25″ round circle labels and put the whole thing together in an A6 cellophane bag.

I love how they turned out. Hopefully folks will tuck a love note into a lunch or wallet once they return home from Snap! If you see me there, ask for one!

Lish Dorset, Succulent Plant Newbie

Hello. My name is Lish and I kill plants. Not on purpose. I’m just a terrible, terrible gardener and plant owner. There. I said it.

Ok, ok, so that’s not as dramatic as it sounds. Friends and family know that my thumbs are anything but green. I have the best intentions but I’ve been known to kill the healthiest of ferns in a matter of days. I want to be a good plant owner. Honestly, I do! I’m hoping that succulents can change all that.

Two weekends ago Nick and I went to New York to see Saturday Night Live (!). We did a bit of shopping the afternoon before the show and found ourselves at the Kate Spade Saturday store on Spring Street. The store was full of beautiful green plants that made me instantly jealous. I could do this, dammit!

In a wonderful twist of fate, a gift-with-purchase that day was a small succulent from The Sill. The yellow pot was so bright and lovely. I carried it carefully from New York City back to Detroit and decided it was time to become a successful succulent owner.

Full of succulent confidence it was off to Eastern Market to pick out some plants. There are so many to choose from the Saturday market vendors! It was hard to not go too overboard.

A trip to Home Depot for some pots and soil and it was time for planting. Here’s my current lineup. I love they way they look and how they add some much-needed greenery to our home.

For folks who do have lovely green thumbs, what kind of tips do you have for me?

Oh Joy! Arrives at Target

This past Sunday was the day many crafters, design lovers and, well, excited shoppers had been waiting for – graphic designer and blogger Joy Cho’s Oh Joy! party accessory line launched at Targets nationwide. Joy first shared the news last month and our mouths have been watering ever since.

I stopped by my local Target over by the museum after work last night and it was just the dose of party-approved Vitamin D I needed. It’s hard to miss as you make your way into the store; so many pastels! So many vintage-inspired shades of aqua, pink and green!

Joy’s collection is 75% paper party goods and 25% reusable serving pieces. I love that there’s something for just about every budget. If you have just a few extra bucks to pick up something for an impromptu gathering, her paint-splashed paper plates and matching napkins are for you. The aqua cake stand with dome, a must-purchase piece, takes honors as the collection’s most expensive item at $25.

What did I purchase? Just a few pieces on my first visit, but I’m going back for more. I’m happy to give a home to the:

The collection is available for just a short time, so don’t miss it! Follow along with design ideas over on Pinterest and with #ohjoyfortarget.

#LishMail2014: February

Another month on the books. Another month of #LishMail2014 complete!

Canvas Table Runners Three Ways

A few of the Handmade Detroit gals got together last week to each make our own canvas table runner as part of Meijer’s National Craft Month project. (As you may remember I took part in the challenge on my own, too, making St. Patrick’s Day beer bottle gift tags.) You can check out our Handmade Detroit blog to see what we did and how we were inspired. As an added bonus, if you’re looking to do some crafting in honor of this month’s crafty holiday, we’ve got a Meijer deal for you! Use the mPerks digital coupon code “c4tb8d” to receive 20% off your craft purchase now through April 1.

Made+Remade’s Makers We Love

Just in time for Valentine’s Day… me! I’m so excited to be featured on DIY Network’s Made+Remade blog as a featured maker. Thanks to my super-nice husband for interviewing me!

LishMail2014 – January in Review

I just wrapped up my first month of #LishMail2014. Starting on Jan. 2 I sent a piece of mail every day. And it felt pretty good. See the detailed set over on Flickr.

Stationery Subscription Boxes: Nicely Noted and Haute Box

Have I given up on sewing and quilting, you’re asking?! Not at all! This year, in addition to many other craft goals, I’m trying to make sure I spread my craft love across all the crafting favorites of mine. Getting my #LishMail2014 challenge off the ground has been the big one so far, so I’ve got a lot of paper on the brain!

Last year I discovered and enjoyed many fun, craft-themed subscription services. From Umba Box to Olive Box, I tried several in 2013. The two that passed the year-end test were Olive Box and Paper Pumpkin, a box I thought wasn’t really my speed at first, but have really grown to appreciate month after month.

In 2014, I’ve started out the first month by trying out Nicely Noted and Haute Box, both stationery subscriptions. I’m proud to say I’m hooked on both.


Nicely Noted‘s welcome message on their website had me hooked: “Stationery snob? You’ve come to the right place.” I’m definitely a stationery snob, so it felt good to know I was at home. The plan is simple. Every month Nicely Noted sends you three curated letterpress cards along with three stamps. That’s it; easy, right? My first shipment came with cards from:

The cards were great. I’m having a hard time not framing all of them because I think the designs are that fantastic. Perhaps the recipients of the cards may turn them into art upon arrival?


Haute Box – WOW. I saw this on Etsy when searching for stationery subscription boxes and liked what I saw. I’m happy to report it’s even better in person. I received several cards, a postcard, coaster, gift tag and even a Valentine-friendly notepad all for one bargain price. The box ships quarterly. My only complaint is that I can’t receive it more often.

These are the two new, and sticking around, subscription services for 2014. What else are you loving? Any that I need to try out?

Call me LishMail!

Get it?! LishMail – Ishamel?! Eh, it seemed REALLY funny when I thought of it the other day.

I took a personal blogging break this holiday season; I’m glad I did. It’s been a busy few weeks and I needed to recharge. As the Christmas decorations have been put away and crafty thoughts are thinking about Valentine’s Day, it’s all about 2014. I have a lot of goals (NOT resolutions) for this year, and one of them is a fun one. I’m hoping to send more mail than I ever have before. Like, a letter every day. Welcome to Lish’s Great Mail Challenge of 2014.

Why more mail? If you know me, you know I love to send and receive and snail mail. As a kid I signed up for chain letters (!), pen pals and even odd catalogs just so I could have something in the mailbox with my name on it. Not much has changed as an adult, except now I’m hoping for fun mail with my name on it as opposed to bills. No matter who you are, a card in the mail is always a fun thing to receive.

In college I started sending mail to friends so they’d receive a lil’ something in their dorm mailbox. We called in Mail Magic and folks loved it. Since then Mail Magic is bigger than ever; I think this holiday season alone I bombarded family and friends with more cards than ever.

For 2014 I will send a piece of mail every day. No, bills don’t count! It must be some sort of fun piece of mail every day. I’ll also be focusing on making more and more of my own cards, too. While I have a pretty big address book, I’m hoping so spread some mail magic to those who could really use it. If you’d like some mail magic, sign up here! I promise to send you something. Do you know someone who could benefit from some mail magic? Maybe a family member in the hospital or a friend in the military serving overseas? Let me know! Sign them up.

My first piece of mail went out this afternoon (hey – yesterday was New Year’s Day. No mail collection at my house!). I made this simple birthday card with some letterpress bits from Paper Source. They’re great to have on hand.

So far, so good!

Darby Smart’s Make a State-Ment Tote

I’ve been having fun with a lot of crafty mail subscriptions and kits lately. Sometimes it’s nice to come home from a long day at work and know that there’s a quick project waiting for you to try.

The Darby Smart State-Ment tote was one of them in the past few weeks. Not as quick as other projects, it was still a lot of fun to make.

The kit came with a canvas Baggu Duck Bag (which are great, simple totes, in case you’re wondering), a stencil of the U.S. and fabric markers. I wasn’t digging the marker color I received, which was fine by me, so I pulled from my own stash of fabric markers (Stained by Sharpie) and selected a neon pink to use. Also included inside my kit were a few bottles of fabric spray paint; there’s a similar DIY tote offered from Darby Smart, so I’m thinking these mediums were just one possible idea of how the two projects could be combined.

The stencil is definitely a bit fragile and doesn’t adhere to fabric, so you need to be very careful when working with it. Unfortunately mine broke right out of the package. It’s hard to see, but Wisconsin is cracked.

I found that using duct tape to keep the stencil tight to the bag’s surface was a great technique. I started on the east coast and outlined each state before coloring it in. In hindsight two of the Sharpie markers would have been ideal for this as my one marker was on its last legs toward the end of the project. It also took a lot longer to color in as opposed to the other markers included in the kit.

To personalize the U.S., I reserved the glittery silver marker I received to color the state of Michigan and add the “YOU ARE HERE” stencil that was part of the shipment. Like it?

I heat set my finished design per Sharpie’s suggestions. I received a lot of great feedback when I carry the bag. And why wouldn’t I – there’s a glittery Michigan on there!