DIY Felt Ball Garland (and another feature!)

Here is a DIY that has been in the works for a's one of those projects that you have set aside to work on whenever you're watching crap tv or something you don't care too much about. That way you don't get bored, but you also don't stab your fingers too many times in the process (I did plenty of that...). Credit for this idea goes fully to my wonderful, smart, sweet, beautiful house mate Sydney - while she was visiting home her Aunt taught her how to needle felt and she came back with the idea to make garlands for our rooms! She also made the cutest little porcupine. Anyway, we put together a little movie for how to do this since it's kind of hard to show in pictures.

Here's what you need:
-Felting wool
-A felting needle
-A foam block (or a magazine...something so you don't poke holes in your table)
-A needle

Here's what ya do:
1) Pull out enough wool to make your ball (you can always add on more if it ends up being too small).
2) Roll the wool up into a tight ball.
3) Get your foam block and needle and begin poking away at your ball, making sure to correct its shape as you go if need be (watch out for your fingers!). Tighten up the ball as you go and add in pieces of felt to fill in the holes. It'll take a little while to get the hang of it, but you can do it! I have faith in you!
4) Keep poking until your ball is relatively firm and holds it's shape.
5) Once you have all of your balls (and have patched up all your battle wounds), begin stringing them together with your needle and thread.
6) Lastly, space the balls out. Be careful not to get everything all tangled...I did that. Oops.

Hang up your garland and enjoy your pretty new decoration!
PS I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who has been reading Paper Umbrella - this new site has been up for less than a month and today I passed 2,000 views...that's nothing compared to some bloggers, but I'm really excited to see my little space on the internet growing. It's also been great getting more feedback from readers and meeting other bloggers - I love hearing from you! Thanks for letting me share my life and projects with you! :)

PPS I hope you enjoyed the soundtrack to our little video. It was that or Camera Obscura and Syd and I were just feeling the hip hop tonight ;)

PPPS I am featured today over on Lauren's blog Tastes Like Love! You should definitely go check out her blog.

Happy Friday!

Bedside Table Makeover & A Feature!

Hello! I've been crazy busy over the last week, so not much time for blog projects :( Last night I was up til 3 working on a business plan for a venture competition the company I co-founded is in (look at the cool site we developed!), and then I had to wake up and run to a couple of meetings for the organization I write grants for...I'm squeezing this post in before I go finish up that business plan. I can't wait to take it (a little) easier tomorrow and finish off a couple projects I'm super excited about. I have 2 DIYs I'm working on and a winter cocktail recipe for a guest post. In the meantime I thought I'd share a little furniture makeover I did. Nothing special...I just changed a bedside table I found at an antique store from a weird chalky green to white with a sea foam green accent.

In other news, I wanted to share that Jessica of Life Laid Bear did a little feature about me on her blog today.  So sweet of her! You should definitely go take a look at her adorable blog (she just made the yummiest looking mini pumpkin pies).

Anyway, hope you all had a great hump day!
All I did was sand the whole thing down and spray it with a few layers of spray paint. For those curious, the drawer color is Krylon Catalina Mist :)

A Mix for Fall

I'm a day late, but here is a little mix I put together to celebrate the beginning of Fall. I'm having mixed feelings about Summer being over...I'm a warm weather person through and through, but there is something special about the first few weeks of a new season. Yesterday I pulled out a scarf and a sweater, went to my favorite tea house, curled up in a comfy chair, and drank a pumpkin spice chai while I listened to the rain falling. It was pretty great. This time of year I am always drawn to quiet, melancholy music (think Bon Iver) but I managed to throw in a few upbeat (ish) songs as well so you don't get too sad ;) I had to resist the urge to make this playlist almost entirely The National - we saw them the other night and it was basically a near-religious experience. Seriously, it was that good. More about that later though :) In the mean time, grab your cuddle buddy and a hot cup of tea and enjoy this mix!

Painted Wooden Spoons DIY

This is probably one of the easiest DIYs I've ever done - it's barely even a's more of a "here's something that's cool that you could probably figure out on your own." But I'll tell you how to do it anyway, just in case you're DIY-challenged ;)

You will need wooden spoons or spatulas, a paint brush, non toxic paints, painters tape, and some big cups. If you want to make 100% sure that the paint stays you could coat the handles of the spoons with a layer of clear (non-toxic) spray paint. I'm cheap and hate waiting for the people to come unlock the spray paint cabinet at Michael's so I didn't :)

So here's what you need to do: Wrap a piece of tape carefully around the handle of your spoon (make sure to press it down hard), paint the spoon (I did two coats), stick it in a cup to try, peel the tape off, and you're done! Go cook something yummy with your cute new spoons!

For something a little different you could add a white stripe to your colors, or maybe even some polka dots or other designs.  You could also give a wooden bowl or other kitchen utensil a paint dipped look to match! Go crazy!

Tay's Sidecar Recipe

Hi Friends! I have another cocktail recipe for you!...Surprised? I promise I do things other than make/drink cocktails...Really! Today Taylor is here to share his version of a sidecar - I'm not much of a whiskey fan, so I think that the fact that I can stand to take more than a sip or two of this drink says a lot! Here are Taylor's directions:
"You will need:
Lime Juice
Triple Sec
Angostura Bitters
Maple Syrup
Tonic Water

Pour half an ounce of lime juice into a mason jar. Sprinkle in a pinch of sugar, close the lid and shake until it dissolves (or just use pre-made sweetened lime juice). Next, add 3/4 oz of Triple Sec, 1 oz of bourbon, 3 dashes of Angostura Bitters, and 1/4 oz of pure maple syrup (preferably not Aunt Jemima's, though that may be my New England Snobbery talking). Close the lid on the mason jar and shake until the drink begins to foam. Pour over ice and dilute with tonic water."

That's it! Hope you all can enjoy this drink before Summer leaves us for good. Before you know it will be time for hot cocoa and hot cider. I've been doing DIYs like crazy over here (along with endless job applications...ugh) and I'm so excited to share them all with you as soon as they're done! I have a project for you tomorrow that will take you about five minutes to make :)

Eurotrip: Barcelona, Spain

Our first stop in Spain was Barcelona. I had visited the South of Spain before, but hadn't made it up to Barcelona yet. We had gotten mixed reviews about Barcelona, but we absolutely loved it! We stayed in a funky little apartment in the Barrio Gotico -- I would highly recommend trying to stay in this area.
On our first day, we walked to Barceloneta beach and explored along the water. On the walk along the water to the beach we passed lots of booths with food and drinks, a wine tasting festival, and an art installation. It seems like (especially in the Summer) there are a number of events going on there, so if you travel to Barca you should look into that. Even though Barceloneta can be pretty crowded and is not all that removed from the city, we really enjoyed it. It's a fun place to lay out, enjoy the sun and do some people watching. After the beach we walked around the Barrio Gotico, found some tapas, and did some more night time exploring.
On our second day we did the Gaudí tour of Barcelona. We started with la Sagrada Familia, which is insanely beautiful. Taylor and I both want to go back to see it when it is done being built! Then, we went to Parc Guell which is a big, whimsical park that was also designed by Gaudí. We walked around and enjoyed the music of buskers scattered throughout the park and a beautiful view. After dinner we went to see a Flamenco show. Flamenco is not typically found in Northern Spain, so most of the performances found in Barcelona are pretty touristy, but I really wanted Taylor to see some Flamenco (his face lit up like a child on Christmas morning when the music started!). I asked a friend who had studied in Barcelona for a recommendation, and he told us about a place that puts on a couple of short shows a night. The show was great! On our last day we went to the Picasso Museum, which was amazing.
TO DO AND SEE: Take a walk to the beach, do a little people watching and sun bathing. Walk around the Barrio Gotico and take a look in the Cathedral. Rest your feet in Parque Ciutadella. Definitely check out all of the Gaudí sights -- Casa Batllo is one my friend recommended that we didn't get to. If you're into museums check out the Picasso Museum - there was a bit of a wait but it was so worth it. For a bit of Flamenco go to Los Tarantos. Take a quick stroll down Las Ramblas, but there's no need to spend much time there (also, don't take any valuables and watch your pockets--it's crowded and Barcelona is known for having lots of pick pockets).

TO EAT AND DRINK: Unfortunately we forgot to take down the names of all of the places we ate, so instead I'm going to give some recommendations from my friend who studied abroad in Barcelona (some we went to, others we didn't have time to check out). There are good tapas places everywhere, but my friend recommends Nou Candanchu.  Just stay away from restaurants along La Rambla and you should be all set. For coffee/desert check out Pudding. For clubbing go to Apolo (apparently this is where locals go, and Monday night is the best). There are cool bars and hole-in-the-wall restaurants in the Gracia quarter. Oh, and we can't forget churros y chocolate.  Taylor and I went to a little place right across from our apartment called Churrería Granja Ruz. Mmmmm.

Who else has been to Barcelona? What did you think? I would love to go back to Spain and explore more. Check back in the next couple of weeks for the short video we made about our time in Spain!

Braided Headband Hair Tutorial

The other day I decided to try a hairstyle I've seen variations of around the internets - I've never been successful before but this time it was super easy and turned out so well I decided I'd share with you all! Here's how it's done: take a chunk of hair from behind your ear and pull it up through your hair, leaving some pieces in front of it. Braid the piece of hair while holding it up (so you don't get a weird bump when you pull it up over your head). Fasten the braid with a clear hairband and pull it over your head like a hairband and pin it (hide the pin under hair as much as possible). Don't worry if the braid doesn't reach all the way behind your ear - we'll cover the end up! Now, take some of the pieces you left in front of the braid/headband and pin them back, covering up both ends of the braid. To hide the bobby pins, lift up the hair right above where you are going to pin the hair, pin it, and then put the hair back down over the bobby pin so you can't see it. That's it! Sorry for the lack of pictures...hopefully it all makes sense!
You could also do another braid starting from the other side so it's more noticeable, or do multiple braids and twist them together...endless possibilities! Today I did two thicker braids, teased my hair a bit at the back to give it volume and then twisted it into a bun. Kind of like a less intense version of milkmaid braids.
Also, speaking of hair stuff - Emorie over at Oh Whimsical Me has a great post about using baking soda and vinegar to wash your hair that got me interested in trying out a shampoo free haircare routine...we'll see if I ever decide to take the plunge. Has anyone else tried doing "no-poo"? What do you think?

Life Lately (And Also Not So Lately)

Yesterday I finally uploaded all of my photos from this Summer off my camera and went through them...So many good memories! I keep meaning to throw together a "life lately" post, but clearly that hasn't happened yet...So I decided to share my favorite pictures/memories from this Summer all in one post.
At the beginning of the Summer we had a birthday bbq for my friend Caroline (far left). We grilled, drank beergaritas, surprised Caroline with birthday cake shots (whipped cream, sprinkles and all), and took lots of goofy pictures.  The one above is one of my favorites with three of my favorite girls :)
(If you've never had beergaritas here's how you do it: combine frozen limeade, tequila, and ice in a blender. When it's slushy consistency add cheap beer and mix. Serve on a hot day.)
One of my favorite memories this Summer was going to see the Lion King in the park. We brought a feast of rotisserie chicken, bread, cheese, chocolate pie, and grape juice. We were the only people there in our 20s but it was fun watching all the crazy kids run around and singing along to a movie we all grew up loving.
These two are my people. I love them so.
A couple weeks ago, we had a big goodbye bbq for my friend Sam, who moved back home to California. We set up the backyard with lots of lights, made a bbq feast and celebrated one of my favorite people. It was bittersweet - one of the best nights of the Summer, but so sad to say goodbye.

Not pictured: trips to Sauvie Island, wandering around street fairs, exploring the city, my birthday, Sydney's birthday, lazy days working in cafes, family dinners...this was such a great Summer...I miss it already!

What were your favorite Summer memories?

Ginger Pear Margarita

Here is drink number three! Just in time for you to make it before Summer is over! This drink is nothing crazy...we just decided to go ahead and make a margarita with the ginger/pear infused tequila we made. Here are the measurements we used: 1.5 shots ginger/pear tequila, half shot of triple sec, and the juice of 1.5 limes. Rim your glass with salt and enjoy!
I hope your September is starting off well! I'm not quite ready to accept that Summer is winding to an end...the last couple of days we have had typical rainy Portland weather, which was a bit of a shock after an unusually dry Summer. This week is supposed to be sunny again so we're hoping to squeeze in one last trip to the beach (and maybe a few margaritas and g+ts ;)! What're your plans?


See//Blue Jasmine. Woody Allen's story of a selfish, sad, unpleasant, yet intriguing woman who you almost feel sorry for. Cate Blanchett is brilliant as usual.

Hear//On a slow grey day, put on some earphones and play Volcano Choir at full volume. This is one of Justin Vernon's (of Bon Iver) side projects -- it's like Bon Iver, with a little twist.

Taste//Lately I've been making this salad at least once a week: combine one bag of edamame, a regular sized package of dried cranberries, a container of crumbled feta (roughly a cup of each), a handful of chopped up basil, a few tablespoons of olive oil and a little salt and pepper. You won't be able to stop eating it, I promise.

Read//I know it can be dangerous to get too political online, but last week I came across this interesting article called "9 Questions About Syria You Were Too Embarrassed to Ask." Some helpful information on an important (and complicated) situation. Read if you like :)

What I Wore

I've always liked the idea of doing outfit posts, but never really felt comfortable doing it...I don't feel like I have much authority to talk about fashion, and I am pretty uncomfortable in front of a camera. But, I do love clothes. I like being able to express myself in a way that everyone can see, and change the way I am perceived on the outside (plus, clothes are pretty). So, I thought I'd give this whole "what I wore" thing a try, and challenge myself to get creative with what I have (on a very tight, post-college budget).
Here is my first short but sweet outfit post --just a few pictures we took while I was doing photos to use for my profile/about me pages. This is just a casual outfit I wear pretty frequently (often minus the heels).  Outfit details: shirt//H&M, pants//urban outfitters, belt//target, necklace//tilde (local boutique), shoes//swedish hasbeens.
Happy hump day! 

Strawberries + Spice

Here is the second drink we made using our infused alcohols! For this one we mixed the jalapeño rosemary tequila with strawberries to make a sweet and spicy drink. You could also use the jalapeño vodka in this if you want something with slightly simpler tastes (or even a plain or fruit infused tequila if you're not down for spicy).
Start by taking 5-7 medium sized strawberries and heating them in the microwave until they are soft. Muddle the strawberries until they are a puree. If you don't want your drink to have chunks, put the strawberries to make a sauce (similar to the one I used here). Mix the strawberries with 1.5 shots of the infused tequila, a couple shots of club soda, 1.5 shots simple syrup, and the juice of half a lime. If need be, do a little tweaking at the end-- depending on the strength of your infused alcohol, you may need to use slightly different measurements...if the rosemary flavor is on the stronger side, try adding more simple syrup and lime. I love the hint of spice in this drink. Do you like spicy drinks? One of my all time favorite drinks is a mango habañero martini--that's next on the list to experiment with!

Welcome to My New Blog!

Hello friends! Welcome to my new and improved blog. I decided it was time for a bit of a change--the content on here will be the same as Kaleidoscope Eyes...just a new name and look! I'm excited to start fresh and begin posting more frequently. Now, I also have a real about me page and am accepting sponsors (right now I am just doing free ad swaps, so if you have a blog/product/website/store you would like to promote, let me know!)...fancy, eh? :) I hope you like the new site!

If you would like, please help me out by sharing my blog with your friends!
You can also follow my blog on Bloglovin', Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Thanks for reading :)