Have to make this! Jewelry with unique hardware store hardware (click through for more)This post isn't as much of a DIY as it is a reminder to stop and look at ordinary objects in front of you every once in a while for hidden potential. I was recently in the plumbing area at the hardware store (over near the copper pipes) when I saw the usual bins of nuts and bolts. But wait a minute—there were some really cool looking bits of tubing and other items I thought would make some interesting beads when put together. After digging through the bins for a good 15 minutes, I thought the compression nutshose barb splicers, and compression sleeves would be my favorite items to use for a necklace (although you could definitely use them on a bracelet as well!). There are different sizes of each type, which lets you have variation of scale for your finished piece as well.

Have to make this! Jewelry with unique hardware store hardware (click through for more  Have to make this! Jewelry with unique hardware store hardware (click through for more   I used a leather cord for my chain and finished the ends with cord crimps and a lobster claw closure. If you're wondering if this necklace is heavy, it's actually not any heavier than other statement necklaces I have. I think because all the pieces are hollow (and the compression sleeves are super lightweight), it's not nearly as heavy as it looks. Overall, you can really play around with the pieces to create a modern looking design at a fraction of what it would cost you in a retail boutique. So remember, don't forget to keep your eyes open wherever you are. You never know what you'll find! xo. Laura

Credits// Author: Laura Gummerman. Photography: Laura Gummerman and Janae Hardy. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions

Baked jalapeno poppers 3 waysThere's something about jalapeño poppers that just feel like summer to me. Maybe it's because you can easily transfer them to the grill if you're not interested in turning your oven on. I don't know.

There are about five hundred and seventy-three ways to make jalapeño poppers (maybe more), including turning the whole thing into a dip. So I thought I'd share a handful of my favorite ways.

Baked jalapeno poppers 3 ways First of all, these are all baked. So you don't have to get your frying pot out, which is the last thing I'm in the mood to do if it's summer (except for maybe funnel cake—my nemesis). As you might already know, I eat mostly vegetarian. And lately I've been avoiding dairy during the week (just changing up my routine for the better for a few months). If you have any restrictions like me, you'll be happy to know that we've got options for all of them. 

We've got dairy.
We've got non-dairy.
We've got meat.
We've got vegetarian.
We've even got a vegan option that's really good!

The only thing I don't have is a non-spicy version. You ready to make some jalapeño poppers???

How to make the best jalapeno poppersFor all of these variations, we're going to start the same: prepping our peppers. Your goal is to cut them in half, and then remove all the seeds and any large veins that the seeds were attached to. You get to practice your knife skills here. Really be diligent about getting those seeds and veins out because these can become too spicy to enjoy quickly, especially if your peppers are on the large size.

One option is a traditional (creamy) filling. Here's my favorite (makes enough to fill 8-10 large jalapeño peppers that have been cut in half):

8 oz softened cream cheese
2 oz shredded pepper jack (or cheddar) cheese
1 tablespoon mayo
a little salt + pepper

Stir together and fill the empty pepper halves. Top with crushed potato chips. 

How to make the best jalapeno poppers  I think my favorite variation is to skip the creamy filling and simply fill the jalapeño halves with a small slice of fresh pineapple. You can wrap this in either bacon or facon. Jalapeño and pineapple are my favorite pizza tops (go sweet heat!), so it's no wonder I love this combo for jalapeño poppers.

How to make the best jalapeno poppers If you're feeling lazy, you can also just choose to fill the jalapeño halves with string cheese (or any stick cheese you like), then wrap in bacon or facon. Too easy!

Now we bake these at 400°F. The bacon or potato chip versions can bake for 20-25 minutes. The facon version cooks a little faster, so you want to keep an eye on it and only cook for 10-12 minutes so you don't burn the facon. 

Baked jalapeno poppers 3 ways  Make these for your next get together. Just be sure to make plenty because they are addictive. Enjoy! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

How to hand color photographs via www.ABeautifulMess.comPhotography has come a long way since I can remember. In the 90s when I was in high school, I bought a disposable film camera nearly every week. I carried them with me everywhere and amassed a pretty impressive collection of random high school memories. My favorite disposable cameras were the black and white ones, which I liked to paint with a set of Dr. Ph. Martin's paint that my mom let me borrow from her art room.

Today I'm working with Canon USA and taking a time machine back to my high school days to show you my favorite painting technique. It's so fun! So pick out a variety of your favorite black and white images, print them out and paint with me! 

How to hand color photographs via www.ABeautifulMess.com As always I used my Canon PIXMA iP8720 printer to print my photos on luster paper. The quality is amazing! No matter what size photos I am printing, I use 13x19 paper and arrange the photos in Photoshop on a 13x19 page. Here I am printing four photos, all 5x7 inches. 

How to hand color photographs via www.ABeautifulMess.com  Supplies needed: Printed black and white photos, watercolor paints (I love these Dr. Ph. Martin's brand, which you can find at most art shops), paint brushes and water. 

How to hand color photographs via www.ABeautifulMess.com   Tip 1: Start with light coats of paint, water it down a bit before applying. You can always add more color, but you can't go back if you apply too much. 

How to hand color photographs via www.ABeautifulMess.com    Tip 2: Photos with more contrast and darker areas look more realistic when painted. Photos with large blocks of white space (or very light tones) will show more brush marks and look less realistic. 

How to hand color photographs via www.ABeautifulMess.com     Tip 3: Print extras so you can practice! This is probably the most important tip. Not only is it good to practice your technique, but it's also fun to try coloring different areas of the photo or experimenting with different colors before you commit.

You can see here that I tried something kinda weird on the bike photo. It didn't end up being my favorite, but it was fun to try. And the sky on the house photo was just too much space to fill evenly, so on the final print I decided to leave the sky and focus the color just on the buildings. 

How to hand color photographs via www.ABeautifulMess.com      The thing I enjoyed most about this project was the experimenting. Laura and I printed a bunch of extra prints and tried different colors and applications. I could do this all day. The "playing" part is by far my favorite! 

How to hand color photographs via www.ABeautifulMess.com        I'm super in love with the result. It's kind of a pop art effect. A little bit of an Andy Warhol vibe due to the punchy colors. Fun! 

How to hand color photographs via www.ABeautifulMess.com          How to hand color photographs via www.ABeautifulMess.com           How to hand color photographs via www.ABeautifulMess.com           I framed my photos minimally with white mats and simple, inexpensive frames. I think they make a pretty rad grid as a set of four. 

What do you think? Do you want to try this technique? Please do. I promise you'll have fun. We'd love to see your photos on Instagram using #mybeautifulmess XX! Elsie 

Credits//Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Project Assistant: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions. 


At Home with Hannah RussellWe are excited to welcome Hannah Russell to the blog to share her lovely home with us today!

Kitchen shelves"We moved into this house in Peckham, South London about a year ago after completely renovating the whole place. It had been a student house before and everything was quite tired, so we knocked down some walls to open up the whole living space and painted everything in a beautiful, neutral pale blue grey. The foundations of the house are the neutral walls and flooring, and this allows the beautiful colours of all the vintage furniture and accessories to really pop and stand out.

Brass pineappleDining area shelves"The open plan living area is just such a beautiful space to be in and it really works. I'm so happy with the grey industrial-style kitchen and love collecting gold antique items to decorate the shelves behind the sink. I'm like a magpie, absolutely obsessed with anything shiny and gold.

PotteryDining roomGold milk carton"I spent a lot of time at antique fairs and early morning markets to furnish the house. My Mum and I have always been interested in the markets, and I love buying things with character. I've tried to furnish the house in different layers, the foundations are all quite neutral and newly installed, but I've slowly accumulated and added vintage and antique pieces to give the space a personality. These different styles and textures work together and create the happy, light-filled space that we live in! I believe that antiques and vintage items don't have to be dark and fusty. They can be incorporated into a modern home and these contrasts are what gives some interest.

Decor detailsAntique candelabraHannah Russell"My favourite piece has to be the bronze metal rose candelabra in the dining area. It's an old French piece and just looks beautiful from every angle, like a piece of art in itself. When we have people over for dinner, I buy some very thin white candles and light it all up as the table centre-piece. 

BedroomGarden herbsCourtyardGarden table and mirrors"But it's the courtyard that is the real triumph of the house. It was a dark, dirty area before and felt as if nothing would ever fit in there. We decked the whole space and created a different level. Then painted everything white. It makes everything feel so much bigger, and I love the way the vintage mirrors on the fence reflect back and give you a feeling of depth. The wall of herbs is a little depleted at the moment after the winter, but we're working on building it back up again—it's such a luxury to be able to pop out for a handful of basil or coriander."

Thanks so much for sharing your space with us, Hannah! To see more of Hannah, you can visit her blog and follow her on Instagram. xo


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