Making Goals, Taking Names: 2015, 2016 & Beyond | The Cheerful Times

Making Goals, Taking Names: 2015, 2016 & beyond!

Is it too late to wish you a happy 2016? Nah.

I’ve seen far too many blog posts commemorating the new year, but there was no way I couldn’t partake when thinking about how much crazy growth The Cheerful Times underwent in 2015!

I’m over the moon and humbled by your dedicated readership and generous feedback, and that so many of you have shared my posts with your friends, family, and followers. It makes me warm and fuzzy inside!

Although I’ve been seriously slackin’ on the blog (I published a grand total of 8 posts in 2015… #womp), I was so amazed to see that The Cheerful Times had a huge influx of visitors over the past year. You guys are the best!

Here’s a round-up of some 2015 metrics & accomplishments!

  • Blog traffic increased over 300%
  • Subscribers increased by 40%
  • Viewers came from 99 countries! (with US, Canada, and UK taking the lead)
  • Posts were featured on several cool sites, like Diply and All Created
  • The Cheerful Times took over Pinterest! I was shocked to see that my blog posts were pinned thousands of times. DIY Doggie Dress Shirt Collar alone has over 3,000 pins and repins. It even comes up as a top result when searching Pinterest for dog crafts or dog gifts — very cool!
DIY upcycled dog dress shirt collar craft: Super easy, no-sew, and the perfect gift! | The Cheerful Times
“DIY Doggie Dress Shirt Collar” was the big kahuna of 2015

I’m so thankful for everyone who made these accomplishments possible, and I hope that I won’t let you down in 2016!

The Big Ole One-Six

As is usual with the start of a new year, everyone seems to be either making resolutions or complaining about how everyone is making resolutions.

Goodness gracious. Don’t you know how many things there are in this world that are more deserving of your hatred and social media ranting than people trying to better themselves? Imagine how much you can accomplish if you put that energy into something else. It’s a little ridiculous.

I’m not a resolution hater. The start of a new year can be a good check point to evaluate where you are and what you’re doing in life, and compare it to where you want to be and what you’d rather be doing. And then you can map out efforts to correct course (AKA resolutions).

But I’d much rather refer to resolutions as goals. Goals are friendlier, like helpful guides… rather than stressful, out-of-reach standards with fear and failure seeping through every crack like impenetrable smog. The term “goals” makes my anxiety senses tingle a little less. 😉

Like many others, I envisaged my ideal 2016 and developed some on- and off-blog goals.

Sharing them with others is the first step toward making ’em happen!

Blogging Goals for 2016

1. Redesign. That’s right, I’m overhauling the look of Continue reading “Making Goals, Taking Names: 2015, 2016 & beyond!”

DIY Dog Collar Upcycled Dress Shirt - No Sew | The Cheerful Times

DIY Doggie Dress Shirt Collar

Last month my sister Rochelle adopted a new dog to live with her in her new Brooklyn studio apartment. His name is Henry and he’s a terrier mix!

Hi, Henry! Isn't he cute?
Hi, Henry! Isn’t he cute?

I had already given Rochelle an apartment-warming gift, and I obviously had to give Henry a dog-warming gift. I knew I wanted to craft him something, but there was one problem: my sister is basically the most crafty person in the world. Anything I made him, she would be able to make for him ten times better and faster.

For this reason I knew I had to keep it simple and effective.

In my internet travels I stumbled across this adorable and incredibly easy craft: “Easiest Upcycled Dog Collar Ever!” from the Sew Doggy Style blog. It was the perfect gift! My sister loves throwing parties and Henry would be such a dapper doggie host in a little collared dress shirt accessory. Plus, Rochelle is the shop owner/seamstress behind Etsy’s Brooklyn Bowtied, so he would look like such a cute little fancy man wearing a collar/bow tie combo.

DIY upcycled collared dress shirt dog collar craft | The Cheerful Times

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Collared dress shirt(s)
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • That’s literally it

I decided I wanted to make three different collars for Henry, so I rallied my beloved crafty companion Athena and went to the thrift store. Rochelle told me that Henry’s neck size is 13 inches. Because Athena’s dog is also teeny, we took a trip to the little boys’ section. Some little boy dress shirts are labeled S/M/L instead of by neck measurements, so I brought my measuring tape to double check sizes just in case.

Here are the shirts we picked out!

Athena is a wonderful model.
Athena is a wonderful model.
So exciting!
So exciting!

You have to make sure of two things when picking out shirts for this project: Continue reading “DIY Doggie Dress Shirt Collar”

DIY photo frame wall collage | The Cheerful Times

Craftsicles: Photo Frame Collage

How to create a photo frame collage for your wall

My name is Kelsey and I have a problem: I’m a photo frame collecting fiend. I can’t help it! There’s something about finding the perfect frame — no matter how simple in design — that gives me such a feeling of satisfaction. I scour thrift stores, antique shops, and garage sales in the name of my addiction, hoping to add to both the quantity and quality of my collection.

When people roll their eyes at me as I snatch up my latest find, I always give the excuse that one day I’ll move into my very own apartment with more white walls than I (and my frames) will know what to do with. I needed to stock up!

Well cheerful friends, that’s exactly what happened.

before the photo frame collage
Don’t put my big doggie butt on this little chair unless there’s food waiting for me on the table, Mama.

Even though we’ve been here 4 months, empty walls make it look like move-in day was yesterday. Luckily, I had three boxes of picture frames in the closet waiting for me to turn them into the giant photo frame collage that I always dreamed of making.

And here’s how I did it. Continue reading “Craftsicles: Photo Frame Collage”

Craftsicles: Monstrous Madras Shirt Refashion

While I’m horrified that it’s been since September (being a senior in college is hard work!), I’m so pleased that I finally found the time to do a new refashion! You all really liked my big, blue, and buttoned dress refashion from Labor Day weekend, so I hope you’ll like my monstrous madras shirt refashion equally as much. If I do say so myself, it’s a good one!

buttoned-shirt-refashion-crop-top
#TotesAdorbz. Fun fact: After ample research, I discovered that this print is not technically plaid nor gingham, but instead it’s called “madras.” You and I both learned something today!

I found this size “B8” beauty at Value Village for $4, which pains me because it was one of the cheapest articles of clothing I could find. My last refashion I got for mere cents in South Carolina while on vacation! Curse you, financially-inflated tri-state area. Anyway, as you can see, this little number needed some major work done.

buttoned-shirt-refashion-crop-top
Help.

My initial thought was that I would do another buttoned dress refashion. However, once I got home, I realized that the length was not what I thought it was. If I transformed it into a dress and wore it out and about, one wrong move and things would get a little… cheeky (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). Also, the loud madras pattern would most likely overwhelm the dress.

Suddenly, I thought of something even better and more fashion-forward: a CROP TOP! Continue reading “Craftsicles: Monstrous Madras Shirt Refashion”

Craftsicles: Big, Blue, and Buttoned Dress Refashion

Hello, everyone! I’m really excited to showcase my first major clothes refashioning here on The Cheerful Times blog. I’ve been working on it all Labor Day weekend, mostly because I have very limited sewing knowledge, supplies, and no sewing machine. At least hand-sewing everything gave me something to occupy my time with! Anyway, let’s get started–not just with the refashion, but with my extremely convoluted sewing journey.

The past few months I’ve really wanted to get in touch with my crafty side again.  I absolutely love thrift shopping, and following The Refashionista‘s blog inspired me to refine my sewing skills and turn things from crap to cute (sorry for stealing your line, Jenny Grumbles).

I picked up this little number from The Hospice Community Thrift Shop, a secondhand store that benefits hospice care, while I was on vacation this summer in Hilton Head, SC. I paid a whole 50 cents for it!

button-dress-refashion-before
Don’t you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?
button-dress-refashion-before
I needed to end this dress’s misery… pronto. Help!

Continue reading “Craftsicles: Big, Blue, and Buttoned Dress Refashion”