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Friday, December 31, 2010

My Top 10 Projects of 2010

#10 Nautical Necklace
I loved this project because it was entirely my idea.

#9 Bridesmaid Belts
I made these for my brother's wedding and got to wear one!

#8 Lace Socks
I have had so much fun wearing these.

#7 Fireworks Bracelet
It was so fun to see a couple of others make similar bracelets using my tutorial

#6 Flower Tank
I love how this turned out!

#5 Anthro Inspired Rose Blouse
I am so glad to be using this shirt again!

#4 Ruffles Shirt
This was my first refashion- I was so proud!

#3 Photo Letters
I LOVE this! Enough said!

#2 Fourth of July Headband
The most beautiful headband I have ever made!

#1 Anthro Inspired Rose Shirt
This was a lot of work- but well worth it!

BONUS: Retro Button Necklace
Although this project did not make my top 10 favorites, it was the most featured, viewed, and replicated project from Yellow Blackbird in 2010.

On another note- I had about 77 sales this year in my Etsy shop! My goal was 50 so I totally exceeded that!

Thanks so much for your support. It's been a great year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Photo Letters

For a Christmas present I made this photo collage that spells out the family's last name. It was so much fun to make! I became much more observant as I drove around looking at objects trying to find letters hidden in every day things. I drove past some of these things everyday for 2 weeks before I finally saw the letter.
My friend who is an artist/photographer gave me a few tips:
1. It looks much cooler when you actually tell what the object is (which you can for all of mine except the 'S').
2. Increase the contrast on the photos in Photoshop or other photo editing software. This makes the letter stand out more.
I have seen similar postcards with photo letter on them for sale at craft stores but it was much more fun (and meaningful) to take the photos myself.
Be sure to choose a name with which you will be able to find a frame with the right amount of spaces. OR use small individual frames. They would also be a lot of fun in wallet size. First names would be fun for kids or teens. You could also do initials or first name monograms.
Another option would be to use sepia colored photos. It just depends on the decor. This family decorates with black, white, and red so the black and white was the best option.

Sideways mailbox

Light post

Tree knot

Basketball hoop

RR crossing sign

A swirly peice of metal on a fall decoration I have.

Now I just need to make myself one! Luckily there are only 6 letters in my last name!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What I Wore

These are a few of the outfits I have worn over the past two weeks. I didn't post last week. So I really didn't wear the same sweater that close together. : )

Ah, my favorite sweater that appears at least once, sometimes twice every week. This time I paired with a plaid button up I got for $4 at American Eagle. I belted it with this tan belt. I love the combo of the neutral colors with the gray boots.

One day last week I got to have a "free dress day" at work so I could wear jeans. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to wear some sequins in the day time. I got asked over and over if I had a party that night. Nope, just felt like dressing up!

The sweater again- this time with a fun layering tee from Old Navy.

I have had this black dress forever but mixed it up with the belted salmon colored sweater. I wore this outfit with the new tights my husband picked out for me for Christmas.
I have finally figured out how to curl my hair. It only took 25 years!!

What do you think about the stripes on stripes? If you look closely I have a blue and gray tee under the cardigan. I am wearing my new F21 boots!
I also got some incredible Madden Girl boots for Christmas that I can't wait to show you!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Refashion #10 Lace Knee Socks Tutorial

Have you seen this new trend of wearing knee socks with boots? I think it is kind of fun, especially the lace socks. However, I have seen them for $24 in the boutiques. Yikes! That is expensive for a pair of socks and I am really trying to cut back on spending and shopping! What's a girl to do?
I have had these socks in my drawer for awhile now. We bought them for my husband for his conquistador Halloween costume. As soon as the party was over he said, "Ew! Girl socks!" and they have been in my sock drawer ever since. I have finally found a use for them!
For this project I bought 3/4 yard of lace trim at Walmart for $.73 (the socks are from Walmart too- they were around $2.00). I was just a fraction of an inch short on lace. I would recommend that you buy 1 yard.

Start by putting the socks and CAREFULLY pinning the lace on the sock. I started in the back so that the "seam" wouldn't show as well.

CAREFULLY take off the socks when you have finished.

If you don't use a sufficient number of pins- it will look like this. You can stretch out the sock and pin it down better if this happens.

It should look more like this.

Using a matching thread, stitch all the way around the sock. Back stitch at the beginning and end.

BE SURE to pull the sock really tight as you are sewing. Otherwise the lace won't look right when you are wearing the sock.

Clip the extra threads and make sure that everything looks good. If you don't have a machine you could probably do this by hand- just make sure the sock is stretched out during the stitching!

Ta da! Wear your new socks proudly! These cost around $3.00- saving you $21.00.

You could make socks in a variety of colors with varied sized lace. Other trims could be fun too!

These are the new boots I got for Christmas- "Zaney" by Madden Girl. Oh how I love them!
The dress is from Target.

Be sure to let me know if you make any socks! I would love to see them and feature you!

About Yellow Blackbird

I didn't discover/realize that I could be creative until my early twenties, which was a real detriment to my teenage years. I started this blog to explore and celebrate my creativity and help others discover their own.

Click on the buttons on the left sidebar to explore the site:

Takes you back to this post.

Why create?
"Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty. "
-Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Click on this button to read more.

All of the tutorials I have done- including the refashion projects.

Click here if all you want to see are the refashion projects.

Posts I have done on fashion and style. I LOVE clothes! This part of the blog is to help me use what I have by remixing my clothes, finding inspiration for new outfits without going shopping (Shop Your Closet), and shopping smart.

All of my "What I Wear Wednesday" posts.

I just upgraded to a DSLR camera. I love taking pictures and learning how to use my camera. Follow my journey by clicking here.

Our House
Decorating and organizing a house takes creativity too!

Quick & Simple
A list of projects and ideas that are just simple and quick.

My Faith
I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon). Click here to learn more about my beliefs. Click on "my faith" in the section of labels on the right sidebar to read posts I wrote relating to faith.

Become a fan of Yellow Blackbird on Facebook. See updates on the new products in my Etsy shop and the projects and inspiration I find from other Bloggers.

Contact me at {aubreelarsen} at {}.

Why Create?

In 2008 I heard this talk from President Uchtdorf. It really touched me. Why should I create? Because I am a daughter of God and I can be like Him. "Creating and being compassionate are two activities that we as His spirit children can and should emulate."

These words are so encouraging and inspiring. Creating isn't about always succeeding. It is about learning, growing, trying, and making something beautiful. That can be crafts, outfits, photography, organization, food, painting, drawing, sports, leadership, web design, graphic arts, raising a family, planning a wedding, gardening or a million other things.

"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.

"Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty.

"Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty.

"You may think you don’t have talents, but that is a false assumption, for we all have talents and gifts, every one of us. The bounds of creativity extend far beyond the limits of a canvas or a sheet of paper and do not require a brush, a pen, or the keys of a piano. Creation means bringing into existence something that did not exist before—colorful gardens, harmonious homes, family memories, flowing laughter.

What you create doesn’t have to be perfect. So what if the eggs are greasy or the toast is burned? Don’t let fear of failure discourage you. Don’t let the voice of critics paralyze you—whether that voice comes from the outside or the inside."

Click here to read the full text of this article.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Under Construction

I am making some changes to my blog layout- it might be a mess for a little while. In the meantime I hope you are having a great holiday season. Check back soon for more tutorials and some refashion projects!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What I Wore

This is what I wore to church. This is a new shirt that I just got from Downeast Basics. You will probably see this for the next 2 weeks. I plan to wear it to work this week and on Christmas Eve. I sure love the pretty flowers!

This is another outfit inspired by a random person in a store. I saw a girl wearing a ruffly, mustard colored top over a long sleeved white shirt. I had to try it out when I got home! I usually wear this shirt at a normal length (see my profile pic in the left sidebar) but it stretches pretty long so I decided to lengthen it so it was like a tunic and... surprise! add a belt! The butterfly necklace was made by me and I threw on my shabby gray boots too. Loved it!

I have had this sparkly Old Navy tank for years, and decided to mix it in again. I wore my new lacy jacket and a pencil skirt I have also had for forever. I am wearing one of my shooting star necklaces (available in my shop) which adds a fun bit of pizazz!

I love this shirt because the polka dots are black-brown and they look either color depending on what I wear it with. For this Saturday look I added a brown long sleeve tee, brown scarf, and brown boots. Super comfy and warm.

This red top is another that I have had for years and was able to remix back in to my wardrobe with the purchase of the lacy black jacket. That jacket was only like $7. What a deal!

This outfit was inspired when I cleaned out my closet and remembered I had the blue long sleeved tee. Ugh, I really need new gray boots. Maybe next year...
It's a record! I only wore 1 outfit (at least that I got a picture of) with a belt!

Have a great day!

"Seeing Christmas Through New Eyes" (my gingerbread house)

"There are certain words that ring like bells in my soul and remind me of the beauty and meaning of Christmas—words such as “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus”1 and, of course, “Joy to the World!” “Away in a Manger,” and “Silent Night.”

"There are other words, more cautionary, that are worthy of our consideration as well—words such as:
Every Who
Down in Who-ville
Liked Christmas a lot . . .
But the Grinch,
Who lived just north of Who-ville,
Did NOT!2

"The Grinch, that memorable character from a classic children’s story by Dr. Seuss, had a heart that “was two sizes too small,” and he hated everything about Christmas. Through the course of the story, however, he undergoes a dramatic transformation when he learns that there is more to Christmas than decorations and gifts.

"Perhaps the Grinch’s story is so memorable because, if we are honest, we may be able to relate to him. Who among us has not felt concern over the commercialization and even greed of the Christmas season? Who hasn’t felt overwhelmed by the packed calendars, the stress of finding gifts, the pressure of planning meals and events? In fact, psychologists tell us that during this season of cheer and goodwill, many feel sorrow and depression.

"If we look for what is wrong with the Christmas season, we can surely find it. Like the Grinch, we can grumble and complain, becoming cold and cynical about what we see around us. Nevertheless, if we look for the good, we can see this time of year with new eyes—perhaps even with the eyes of a child.

"The Grinch saw the good in Christmas when he learned to look past its worldly trappings. If we do the same, we can, with the Grinch, proclaim: “Maybe Christmas . . . doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas . . . perhaps . . . means a little bit more!”

"Our heart may not grow three sizes as the Grinch’s did, but our heart will change. Our eyes will open to the miracles all around us—at Christmastime and throughout the year.

I pray that during this season and always, we will see the purity of the story of the Savior’s birth and feel sincere gratitude for His life, teachings, and saving sacrifice for us. May this gratitude cause us to renew our determination to follow Him. May it also lead us to draw closer to our family, our church, and our fellowmen. And may we look steadfastly forward to that blessed day when the resurrected Christ will walk the earth again as our Lord, our King, and our blessed Savior."

Click here to see/watch/listen to the full text of this talk by Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Star Necklace Tutorial with Free Printable (100th post!)

This is my 100th post!
This year I wanted to make a small Christmas gift to show my appreciation for a few friends. I wanted it to be meaningful and purposeful without going over the top. I came up with this simple star necklace to represent the star the wise men followed to find the baby Jesus. Keep reading to find out how you can give this gift too.
Star charms (I used the package from Blue Moon that has 6 or 7 stars on it, but only one star is still in the packaging in the picture.)
Jump rings
Small pearl, clear, or silver beads
Jewelry pliers (not pictured) Cut chain the desired length. I cut mine to about 20 inches.

Using jewelry pliers, pry the jump ring open, attach the star charm, and attach to the chain.

Put the pearl or other beads on a headpin. Use round-nose pliers to bend the wire and make a loop.

Trim the loop, attach it to the chain or jump ring, and close the loop.

It should look like this so far...

Finish attaching the beads- as many as desired. I don't have a picture of this step, but use jewelry pliers to pry apart another jump ring. Put the clasp on the ring, add it to the chain, and close the jump ring. Put a jump ring on the other end of the chain so the clasp has something to hook to.

Make more necklaces if you wish to give this to multiple friends. The Blue Moon package comes with a variety of stars to make each necklace unique. Many of the women I will be giving these to have pretty conservative styles so I didn't want to make the necklaces too flashy.
Plus, it takes away from the message and spirit of the star, just like too much commercialism can do to Christmas.

I created a card that would fit inside a jewelry bag and was able to print 6 on a page (see below to get your own copy.)

I cut them apart, and made a slit with a craft knife right under the scripture reference for the star charm to poke through. I then taped the rest of the chain to the back of the card so it wouldn't fall out of place.

I put the necklace in a plastic jewelry bag and now have a cute, meaningful, handmade, Christmas gift.

I am really excited about this gift. I wanted to make something for these ladies, but I also wanted to celebrate the real reason for the season- the birth of the Savior. I feel this is an appropriate way to bring the two together.

Here is the tag if you want to use it. The way it should work is that you should click on the image to make it full sized. Then right click (or control + click for Mac users) to save or download the image for your own use. It is a .png file.

If downloading the picture doesn't work, just email me (aubreelarsen [at] and I will send you a copy.
Thanks for reading. I hope you are having a very Merry Christmas!


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