Month: April 2014

Leather bow bracelet DIY

Leather bow bracelet www.nestinthewest.comLet’s get crafty! There’s a photo of this bow bracelet all over Pinterest and I’ve been wanting to make one for ages. The lack of instructions was holding me back but it was pretty quick and easy to figure out plus I learned a new ‘skill’. I love how this gives a big hit of color but is practically weightless on. Gather some supplies and make some too!

You need:

  • scraps of leather, suede or pleather
  • rotary cutter or scissors
  • hot glue gun and glue
  • small hole punch (optional)
  • snap kit OR button, thread and leather needle

Leather bow bracelet www.nestinthewest.comMay I offer a couple of suggestions for finding leather? Michael’s sells scrap bags that are literally that. You never know exactly what you’ll get but you can see most of it through the bag. Most towns will have a leather shop, ask them for small pieces or scraps. They’re often really good quality and reasonably priced. Check your local thrift shops for leather skirts, jackets or pants. Those 80’s fashions can be cut and upcycled!

Okay, let’s make a bracelet.

  1. Use a rotary cutter or sharp scissors to cut a piece of leather to 2″ wide by about 10″ long. Also cut a scrap about 1/2″ wide and 2″ long.
  2. Pinch the centre of the leather strip using a bit of an accordian fold. On the back side, put a dot of glue in the middle of the pinch. Attach the short side of your little scrap and hold a moment until set. Wrap the rest of that scrap around the front of the pinch and add a second dot of glue to the back side, probably on top of the strip and glue again. Trim any excess leather and glue bits. This is your ‘bow’ done!
  3. Wrap the leather around your wrist with a good inch or so of overlap. Trim the length if you need to. Now we need to figure out how to attach the leather ends to form a bracelet. You guys, I tried hammering on snaps for the first time and am blown away at how easy it is – I totally recommend it. If you go that route, use a small hole punch or the little tool that comes in the snap kit to punch a hole at one end of your leather. Find the centre and go in a good 1/2″ from the end. Do the same on each end. Follow the very clear instructions on the back of the snap kit to hammer the snap and closure into place.
  4. Another option for a closure if you’re shy of the snaps is a button. I prefer the ones with a loop on the back over ones with holes. They give the leather a better place to sit when buttoned. Just sew a button on one end and cut a small slit on the other. The slit should be just big enough for the button to squeeze through. An exacto knife works well for cutting leather.

Leather bow bracelet www.nestinthewest.comLeather bow bracelet www.nestinthewest.comSofter leather works best for these because they let you get the best pinch/fold – plus they’re super comfortable to wear. If you make one, please remember to remove it for showering and swimming. Now I’m off to find more projects that require snaps…so fun!

Attachments – a book review

I get the best book suggestions, and often actual books from my co-workers. Not-so-coincidentally this latest read was emailed from one of them and is about office friendships and romance. Rainbow Rowell’s ‘Attachments’ is the sweetest chick-lit book I’ve read in ages.
Book review www.nestinthewest.comSet in 1999 at the office of the Courier newspaper, it centres around 3 main characters: Beth and Jennifer are best friends and co-workers who email each other often and shamelessly. They are honest and hilarious – these girls would totally be your friends and make your workplace better. They ‘chat’ about everything from work to boyfriends, husbands, babies and family drama even though they know the company is against personal emailing. Enter Lincoln, the IT guy hired to track and read employee emails, then warn and report those breaching the strict workplace email rules. He knows he should report these two gals but can’t bring himself to. He gets their jokes and likes their spirit. You can guess where this is going, right? He follows their emails, albeit guiltily, until he realizes he has feelings for one of the writers. And it may be reciprocated…except that they’ve never met.
Book review“Do you believe in love at first sight?”
“Do you believe in love before that?”
This is definitely an easy, light read yet cleverly done. References to pop culture, the dreaded Y2K, a stereotypical foreign task force and D&D all added humour and created layers of likeablility to the characters. If it were a movie, it’d be a Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks deal. So, take it for what it is and enjoy!
Book review www.nestinthewest.comCan we talk about e-readers? I have one, I love it. Here’s my 2 cents worth. E-readers are awesome for travel because you can carry so many books easily. I normally need reading glasses but love that I can just bump the font size up on my Kobo and do without. That being said…nothing will ever take the place of holding a book and turning the pages for me. Plus, I have a really great collection of bookmarks! What’s your opinion?

Lucky charms squares

Lucky charms squares at www.nestinthewest.comUm yeah, this happened over the weekend! My niece came to hang out on Saturday and after the crafting, thrifting and frappacinos we did some “baking”. The girl loves her Lucky Charms cereal and whipping up treats so this was an obvious choice…Lucky Charms squares. Hold onto your fillings ‘cos here comes the recipe:

Lucky Charms squares

  • 3 tbsp butter or margarine
  • 2 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 5 cups Lucky Charms cereal

Lucky charms squares at www.nestinthewest.comPlace the butter and marshmallows in a large bowl and microwave to melt. Ours took about a minute and we stopped every 20 seconds to check and give it a stir. Add the cereal and stir until well combined and all the cereal is coated. Press into a greased 9 X 9″ baking pan and let cool. Cut into bars and enjoy! Makes 16 squares.
Lucky charms squares at www.nestinthewest.comIn our defense, we only had one each just to sample our creation. The rest got packed up, along with the leftover cereal and sent home with the girl. These are such a fun Spring treat plus quick and easy enough for really young bakers! A bit too sweet for me but I bet the little ones would love them, especially if they made them themselves!