Leather Statement Necklace // Fringe

Friday, November 21, 2014

Excited to bring you this fun tutorial on how to make this cool Fringe Necklace!  It is the 2nd necklace in my 4 leather necklace series! Lets get to it, shall we?!


Step 1: Cut two squared of leather in different colors

Step 2: Use this template to trace the shapes you need for the necklaces

Step 3: Cut out the shapes

Step 4: Put glue on the short triangle end

Step 5:  Fold flap over chain and let dry

Step 6: Take your scissors and cut the long triangle side to make your fringe

Step 7: Cut all the way across

Step 8: Put glue on small triangle in the other color leather

Step 9: Place triangle on the Fringe piece of leather

Step 10: Take the jump ring and open it, put the ends of your chain in it and close up

Step 11: Rotate the chain so that the closure jump ring is out of the way in the leather pocket of your Fringe necklace

All Done! She is a beaut!

How to Style The Fringe Necklace:

Jeans- Madewell // Shirt- J.Crew // Jacket- Banana Republic // Hat- Volcom // Shoes- Thirft

Two necklaces down...two to go! If you missed the tutorial on how to make the Tassel Necklace, check it out here! Next necklace is the leather Chevron...stay tuned!

Ecumenical Friendships

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


I am Catholic. I love my faith. I love my Jesus. I was brought up by incredible parents who taught me not only the foundations and fundamentals of my faith, but lead the way in teaching me how to personally love Jesus and know Him. They are incredible examples to me of what serving Christ really means.

A HUGE part of my faith journey though was really accepting my faith for myself, which was around high school age. I went to a non-denominational Christian high school. It was empowering, rich and sometimes very challenging being the lone Catholic on campus. I kept that fun fact a secret for like 2 years....I was not very brave back then.  Once I "came out of the closet" as a Catholic on campus I was pleasantly surprised that my friends didn't demand my head on a spike, but rather lovingly bombarded me with questions about my faith. They wanted to know more, they wanted to understand, they wanted to appreciate- meet me where I was at and love me. I was blown away. These people were not out to get me, were not out to have me repent of my "wicked ways", or have sneaky ideas of how to get me to convert. They just accepted me, all of me. We built a bridge.

We need to start building A TON of bridges. How much more can we accomplish for the heavenly kingdom if all those who love and serve Jesus Christ made a united front and really got dirty and did work for HIM....together.  Myself and a few other amazing women (who rock my world!) are trying to do our part in this work of building bridges. We have been brought together by Christ, our beliefs in how we practice our faith varies, but that is what makes it beautiful. Ecumenical Friendships is fertile ground for love to grow.

First up this week ironically is myself, so I will turn it over from here to Kristen from When at Home to intro this series.


Growing up in the charismatic church, we learned a little bit about the Catholic faith and how our denomination and church came to be. Whether intentionally or not, what was taught to us about the Catholic church was quite simplistic. We were taught this generalized view of the church and of what the Catholic people were like and to be honest, I pitied them. These poor Catholics were so caught up in their religion and their practices that they would never be able to experience the freedom that comes from a real relationship with Christ. I'm embarrassed to even acknowledge that I'd prayed for some of my Catholic acquaintances to be freed from the bondage of religion so they could truly know Christ. Sigh. There have been a few relationships over the years that have shown me the folly of my protestant ways, but none more gracefully and lovingly than my friendship with these ladies I'm about to introduce you to. Over the next few weeks, every Wednesday will be dedicated to breaking down the walls that have been built between the Catholic and Protestant church. Each person will answer the same few questions and we'll all get to know each other's faith a little deeper. Read through to the bottom of the post to find out how you can participate in this movement!

First up is my beautiful friend, Cassie Kent. She blogs over at Kent Heartstrings and she's pretty much the bees knees. She's a party animal and has more energy than anyone I have ever met in my entire life. She's crazy and I love her. Craziness featured below :

  Kristen & Cassie || Ecumenical Friendships

How did you come to your faith?

I learned my faith first from my parents. They brought me up in the Church, I received faith formation and all the catholic sacraments. But I would say I made my faith my own in high school. I went to a Protestant school and was asked a lot of questions about my Catholic faith and I realized I did not really know all the answers, so for the first time I actually searched for truth, discovered my faith for myself and really loved it! It became mine and I wanted to live it out even more.

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced with your faith?

I would say the biggest challenge I have faced with my faith is not becoming complacent, mediocre or lukewarm in my faith. It's very easy to become comfortable, especially in the Catholic faith where the tradition and routine of the mass can tend to lend itself to being redundant (even though it shouldn't!), so people settle into their routines and do not stretch themselves in their faith. I do not want to be complacent I want to strive to love God better, serve Him more fervently and always be discerning in seeking His will for me in my life.

What does Ecumenical Friendships mean to you?

Ecumenical Friendships, to me, means building bridges instead of burning them. Celebrating the commonalities and embracing the differences that exists in our faiths. It is a very powerful thing to stand side by side with your brother or sister in faith and fight the battle ultimately we are all on. We are all on God's team, the enemy is satan- not each other. We can make a greater stance again the evil one if we unite together against him, instead of focus on the idiosyncrasies they lie between us.

 Did you have any incorrect perceptions about what the Protestant church was like? What were they and who helped you see things differently?

 I think the greatest incorrect perception I had of the Protestant faith is that it is shallow. Protestants are only practicing their faith because it makes them feel good, they only go to church because the music sounds good, or they only go to church because the pastor was once a famous person now turned pastor or its a "trendy thing". The good friends I made in high school who were truly living out their faith and seeking Jesus, brought me to realize this perception is not true. They had a real deep understanding of Christ and had many powerful experiences of Jesus impacting their life. So many people have flipped this perception on its head. Billy Graham, um hello?!! Kristen and Christie too my bloggy buddies, wow what strong women of faith, seriously they are so very inspiring!

 Why do you think cross-denominational friendships are important?

 I think they important because it keep us honest. They can challenge us and our faith, keeping us on our toes and always reflective of the truth in our lives. They give me a real reason to ponder the truth in my faith, and gives me the opportunity to dive into it deeper, or if something is unsettling really bring it to light, ask questions and seek answers until I am satisfied. Again, I do not want to be complacent, I want o be stretched and challenged in my faith and I believe great well formed and good intentioned cross denominational friendships can do that!

If you could break down one stereo type about your church, what would it be?

Wow. What one to choose, I feel like the Catholic Church seems to be so greatly misunderstood. I will choose our devotion to Mary. No she is not more important that Jesus, no we do not worship her. We love her. We adore her, because she deserves it and well, If we are truly looking to Jesus as an example to live as a Christian, he LOVED, respected and adored his mother, so we should only follow suit. Also, she was human, like fully, and so she is a great example of how to live our life completely devoted and given to Christ. The "yes" she gave to God to bring Christ to the world was epic! Jesus would not exits unless Mary let God work through her. So as a Catholic, she is kinda a big deal, but again...she is not God.

If you could share one thing that you've learned about Protestants with other Catholics what would you say? I would share with other Catholics that we have a great amount to learn from Protestant faiths on how to make our faith personal. How to really grow in a relationship with Jesus and make him real in our lives, because after all he was made a man that we might know him and in turn love him. I feel we have a lot to grow in ways to that bring us closer to the person of Christ. I love and respect the intimate relationships many Protestants have with our Lord and I believe it's an essential part of really making our faith mean something and growing in it. I want to know him, I want to love him more, I want to learn.


Cassie is a stay at home mom, that never seems to really be at home. She is married to her college sweetheart and they have two kiddos in San Diego, California. She loves getting crafty and being real and writes over at Kent Heartstrings.

Do you want to be a part of the Ecumenical Friendships movement? Here are a few ways to participate in the movement :

Share your photos and stories of friendship and faith on instagram using the hashtag #ecumenicalfriendships. We'll pick a few stories to feature every month.

Email your answers to these 7 questions to kristen.lavalley@gmail.com with a short bio and a headshot and I'll feature you in an upcoming Ecumenical Friendships blog post

Build Bridges. Start the movement. #ecumenicalfriendships

Anthropologie // Girls Night // Birthday Week

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Marking today as the beginning of a whole week of birthday celebrations! Whoop whoop, big day is the 25th!!  Every birthday month (November) I stalk my postman. Waiting hard and heavy for my 15% off coupon to my favorite store- Anthropologie. This year I was happily surprised to be invited to celebrate my birthday at a little bash in the store.  I was able to invite three friends and there were drinks, treats and of course all of us got to enjoy 15% off our purchase! It was super simple and just super cute. I go into to Anthro just for inspiration all the time (the window displays?! come one! they are gorg!), so to actually purposefully take my time and soak it all in, was a really special treat. Not to mention it was a much needed girls night!  In light of keeping things simple and, I resisted on any big spending, as hard as it was, and bought a few $3 drawer pulls for a future project and napkin holder! It was a perfect night to break in the the birthday festivities, because FYI...I was taught you get a whole week, not just a day ;)

So blessed to be surrounded by good friends that love me, laugh with me and get a little silly with me!  What does your favorite girls night look like?

Modern Day Martyr

Monday, November 17, 2014

Something has been tugging at my heart for awhile now and it has to do with a conversation I had with a really good friend of mine, who was a seminarian (now priest!).  Our conversation was about the condition of the christian church in America and the importance of martyrs.  This is the fruit of my pondering...

A martyr is someone who is killed because of their religious beliefs.  A martyr is inspiring, sets a high example and encourages others to follow. If you take a look back in the christian church's history, it's a roller coaster ride of spiritual desolation and consolation. Something that always brought the faith back to its peak after a time period of hardship and persecution is the witness of one or many martyrs. To be ready, willing and strong enough to die for ones faith- that is powerful and overwhelmingly inspiring. 

I have read and studied the lives of the saints and many martyrs and I try to put myself in their shoes. I do not know if I could do it, but I just tell myself that I hopefully would have the courage and strength in that moment to choose Christ when it finally, really mattered

 I can't imagine what its like, I have never seen it for myself, I have heard of persecution still existing in parts of world, and even more recently with the happenings in the middle east. In America the christian church as a whole has in a way fallen flat, there is no peak, there is no huge low, it just is and therefore, to me, its dead. We need martrys. We need the witness of people giving up their lives for their faith in order to be inspired, moved, and touched to fervently follow Christ without looking back. There are no life or death scenarios we face here in America (thank goodness!). People are  not being put to death because of their beliefs in Christ. So, then, what does a modern day martyr look like? How can I be martyr for Christ?


Here in the United States our problems lay in the depths of our abundance. Our riches. Our wealth. Our need to stay new, fresh, competitive. Relevant. This, this is where and how our faith is being persecuted. Didn't Jesus ask the rich young man, "give all you have and come follow me" and it was too hard and the rich man walked away....we don't even know it, but we are walking more away from Christ then towards Him.... Christ is asking us, America, the same question- to be martyrs to our culture, to be labeled "simple" or "not popular" for the sake of the Gospel. Living a life of Poverty is becoming a living martyr for Christ. It is inspiring, sets a high example and encourages others to follow. 

We need a revival in our country, there are so many moral truths that are being attacked by our government, there are so many people pointlessly killing other people, there are so many people living depressed and then choosing to not live at all anymore, there are so many people that just do not care about anything. America has become complacent. "Do not offend Jimmy by saying that" or "that prayer offends Jane" or "if you stand up for your beliefs you are ignorant"...can you blame people? We live in fear of other peoples thoughts and words...we do not live in freedom.
The battlefield for our faith isn't challenging people to show their belief in Christ by dying for him, but rather challenging people to take a stance for their faith by living for Christ. We need to start living, and living for Him.  

We can truly live for Christ by embracing and living out Poverty in our lives.....

Do we really need to buy that or do we just want it? Poverty.

Do we voice our opinions very willingly and curtly, doing more harm than good? Poverty.

Are we buying "things" in our life because its is necessary or does it just make us comfortable? Poverty.
Do we hold on to stuff in our homes,garages, closets because that stuff makes our lives feel full and meaningful? Poverty.

Do we ignore the children when we are home with them, to do just one more thing we need to do on the computer?  Poverty.  

All these ways of exercising poverty above are pulled out directly from my life and experience, so I am in no way coming from a place that has this all figured out. I really love nice things. I love living 
large. I do not like holding back. I love being comfortable. 


I need to die to self...BIG time! I need to die to the world. I need to die to the culture and cling more to Christ. I want to be in this world, but now of this world. Mike and I so badly want to serve Christ with our whole heart, but the busy, the stuff muddles, confuses and skews our trajectory towards Him. 

We want to live simply. We want to clear out the waste, filth and clutter that consumes us. We want to have only what we need to live a life that reflects our love for Christ and gives us a continual heavenly perspective.
We want to be modern day martyrs.

We choose less, in order to have more.

What about you?
Sharing with: Oak and Oats, Bloggers Digest

Leather Statement Necklace // Tassel

Friday, November 14, 2014

Hello Lovelies! Pretty gosh darn pumped to bring you the first of four lather statement necklace tutorials! Today we are tackling the leather tassel necklace. I pretty much wear these leather necklaces everyday. totally true! Ok, lets get to it.


Step 1: Use this template to cut out a perfect sized leather square

Step 2: Make a straight cut about 1/8 of an inch wide and set it to the side

Step 3: On the back of the leather, use a pen to highlight where the tassel will stop, this one is about 1/2-3/4 of an inch

Step 4: Cut your tassels, all the way across. These tassels are approximately 1/8 of an inch

Step 5: Take your glue and spread it across the top, DO NOT use a lot. Then take your first cut piece that you set to the side, fold it in half  and place it on the left of the tassel.

Step 6: Start rolling your tassel. Slowly, dabbing excess glue as you go.

Step 7: Pinch the end, dab excess glue off. Hold until dry (if its fast dry glue) or you can use anything to keep it in place until dry (between two books, chip clip etc.) 

Step 8: Let dry completely 

Step 9: (optional) use a paint pen to add color 

Step 10: Take a jump ring, using pliers to open it, string your tassel and also string the two ends of your chain all together. Close jump ring with pliers. 

All done. Shiny and Perfect.

Here again is the free pdf template for you!

How to style the Tassel:

Boots- Calvin Klein // Shorts- Gap // Shirt- Thirft

Happy Crafting!

Here are all the leather necklaces tutorials I will be covering...next one will be the Fringe!

sharing with: Link Party Palooza Oak and Oats Motivational Monday
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