Quick Post: Fall Festival Fashion Trends

Happy Tuesday~! I woke up today thinking it was Wednesday, but luckily I gained that day of the week back. While I was at Austin City Limits Music Festival this weekend, I was on the lookout for hot fall-transition trends! … Continue reading

Music Review: She & Him – Volume 3

I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! I was in Austin this weekend for the Austin City Limits Music Festival which was perfect timing for this post. For those of you who don’t know, She & Him is folk/Indie duo … Continue reading

DIY Beautified and Renewed Cat Scratching Post

Think you need to go out and buy a whole new scratching post once your kitties have ripped it to shreds? Think again! Growing up, my mom always re-wrapped our scratching posts with sisal rope, which can be purchased at your local hardware store! It’s an easier job than you think, and much better than paying tons of money for a new cardboard tube and ugly carpet-covered plywood base.  I decided to also give the post a makeover while I was re-wrapping it, since it would already be disassembled.

Here are the materials you need:

»Staple gun and staples
»Sisal rope (I bought 100 ft of ¼ inch natural twisted sisal for $6.48 at Lowe’s.  Depending on the size of your post, you may need more or less.  I have plenty left over but I believe it’s less than half.)

Additional Materials:

»Fabric square large enough to cover the base of the scratching post (approximately 21” x 21”)
»Fabric for the top cap of the post (approximately 6” x 6”)

Materials Cost: $6.48 (will be more if you don’t own a staple gun or don’t have any fabric on hand)

1. Disassemble your scratching post.  This will vary from post to post, but for my basic post (I think it came from Petsmart), I simply had to unscrew the bolt on the bottom to remove the base and pop off the plastic cap on the top.

Disassembled and ready to go!

Disassembled and ready to go!

2. Remove the old rope from the tube or base. The rope on most scratching posts is held on by staples which can be easily removed with pliers.  I recommend wedging the pliers under botht the staple and rope to help loosen the staple and then removing it from the front.  There is generally a row of staples along the top and bottom, with a few in between.  If the rope is glued down, it may take a little more legwork to get it off.

Post with the end of the rope removed to start unwrapping.

Post with the end of the rope removed to start unwrapping.

3. Wrap the post with new sisal rope.  Mimic the original staple pattern or staple as you feel necessary.  I did miss the edge a few times at the top and bottom, but you can simply pull the staples back out with pliers.  It’s important to pull somewhat tight and also push down the rope as you move up the post to ensure the layers are compact.  I recommend wearing gloves since sisal is rough on your hands. Be sure to staple down each end to prevent fraying.  I even left the tape on the end of the rope to help prevent this from happening.

4. If all you want to do is re-wrap the post, then viola! You’re finished! Let your kitties enjoy their fresh post.  If they seem put off by the smell, try spraying some catnip spray or enticing them to use the post with a toy.

Now, on to the fun part!

1. Cut a piece of fabric for the base of the scratching post with a fabric of your choice.  I happened to have a ¼ of a yard of botanical pattern which I was looking at as curtain material and decided to use that since it matched the room.  You simple have to have a square big enough to wrap around the bottom edges of the base.  Mine was approximately 21” x 21”.  Most scratching posts are covered in ugly carpet.  I went ahead and left the carpet underneath to help cushion the base.  Ensure that you cut a hole where the bolt of the post or other fastener passes through the base.  I went ahead and made a large hole to help the post sit down in the carpet, but it’s up to you.

Fabric square cut and ready to be attached.

Fabric square cut and ready to be attached.

2. Lucky for you, you already have your trusty staple gun handy!  Attach the fabric to the bottom of the base as you would if you were recovering a chair cushion.  Start on one side, pull taught, then staple the opposite side.  Fold in the corners for the remaining two sides as if you were wrapping a gift package.  Staple down the folded corners, ensuring the fabric is taught, and then the center of the remaining sides.  Remember this is a cat scratching post, after all, so don’t be too hard on yourself about perfecting the corners, especially if you’ve never upholstered anything before!
3. My scratching post has a plastic cap that just pops into the top of the tube.  I decided to cover it with matching fabric and used a glue gun to hold the fabric down.  The top of your scratching post may vary but feel free to contact me for suggestions.

4. Reassemble and you’re finished!

Additionally it would be very easy to build your own scratching post using a base made of wood, such as plywood, and a cardboard tube, such as a packing tube or even an old carpet tube.  The only challenge will be finding the best way to attach the base to the post.  If you purchased a packing tube, it should come with plastic caps for both ends.  Drill a hole large enough for a bolt through one plastic cap and in the wooden base.  Then thread the bolt up from the base through the plastic cap and secure with a washer and nut on the inside of the tube.  Then cover the other plastic end with fabric if desired.  You can also cover the base with a scrap of fabric, or batting and fabric of your choice.

Have a great weekend. And until next time,

|The Creative Physician|

Quick Post: Basecamp – The Project Management Tool You Need

Hey there! Happy Thursday!

I wanted to introduce you to an incredible product, which functions both as an app for your smartphone or tablet, as well as a desktop website– Basecamp. Basecamp is meant for companies, but can easily be used to organize your own personal projects. There is a 60 day free trial, which for me will at least be long enough to get me through my 31 Day Craft Challenge and beyond. The paid subscription is pretty pricey at $20 a month minimum, but a 60 day trial is pretty substantial. Basecamp allows you to create projects, and then add a variety of things under each project including to-do lists, files and documents, and discussions. You can set do dates, and assign items to certain individuals.

Basecamp Project 1

Obviously if you’re using it by yourself, the most important features are the to-do lists and documents. One of my favorite features is the fact that each project can have multiple to-do lists, allowing you to subdivide your project into small manageable tasks. If you are a regular collaborator, you can invite others to work on the project with you. You can even assign to-do items to individuals working on the project. It seems like this would be a great way to stay organized for a group school project as well!

One of my favorite features is the progress page. It’s visually appealing and encouraging, making me feel like I’ve accomplished a lot just by adding things to Basecamp.

Basecamp Progress Page

You can also view completed to-do items, though in general they are hidden once you check the box.

Basecamp Completed To-Do

Needless to say, I love to micromanage, and this is a perfect way to micromanage both at home and on the go.

Get ready for my DIY post tomorrow about how to redo your cat’s scratching post and also make it a little less unattractive. If you don’t have or like cats, I apologize in advance.

Until next time,

|The Creative Physician|

DIY Put-It-Anywhere Inspiration Wire

This quick DIY will help you stay both inspired and organized! If you’re anything like me, you’re constantly clipping beautiful pictures and ideas out of magazines, and regularly collecting fabric samples you know you don’t really need. Rather than stuffing them in a drawer, box, or even a notebook, why not put them on display? My inspiration wire has really helped to motivate me by constantly placing beautiful and energizing images, colors, textures, and ideas right in front my eyes. I was lucky enough to have an empty spot right behind my computer screens above my desk. This was ideal as all I need to do is look up to get inspired, and the inspiration wire helps fill an otherwise awkward and not really usable space!

A view of my entire inspiration wire.

A view of my entire inspiration wire.

Here are the materials you need:

» Ribbon (I chose a thin 1/8” aqua grosgrain for mine—it’s sturdy but colorful but feel free to use a wire of your choice)
» Hooks or other attachment method (I used some left over small clear command hooks like these )
» Clips such as minicloths pins, variety of neat paperclips, and in this case I used some clips and cord from an old Ikea photo rail I don’t use anymore, featured in this blog post.
» Your inspiration! (Magazine clippings, photographs, fabric scraps or samples, whatever inspires you!)

Materials Cost: $0 (At most, I think this would cost you $7-8 if you didn’t have any of the materials on hand.)

1. Measure the length of ribbon required for your inspiration wire. Be sure to add some slack so that the wire will hang in a nice curve (unless you want it taught, though with ribbon it won’t necessarily stay that way). I also left quite a bit on the ends for some cute dangling tails at each end of my wire.

2. Attach hook (or method of your choice) to the back of the surface on each side. Make sure the hook is right-side up; otherwise your ribbon will slip off with weight. If you’re doing this into a wall, I recommend using something simple like pushpins (I often use them to hang things I’m worried I’ll move later, like very light pictures/clocks, as they leave a much smaller hole than a nail)

3. Tie your ribbon onto your hooks (or attach it another way). Be sure to tie some good knots. Test the wire to ensure it can bear weight by pushing down from the top with your hand. You should be reasonable but also test it more than the weight you plan to hang on it. As you can see from the photos, mine holds quite a bit of stuff just using two command hooks and their respective command strips.

4. And viola! Add your inspiration! Get inspired! And create some beautiful things! I try to change mine at least a little bit each month, as I clip from magazines. I usually do a more drastic change for the season.

A close up of some of my inspiration.

A close up of some of my inspiration.

Another close up of inspiration.

Another close up of inspiration.

If you’re limited on space, an alternative to the inspiration wire is an inspiration board. It can be anything from cork board to a shutter, like the one below. This shutter fit perfectly in an awkward wall space between two doors and adds some interest to an otherwise strange strip of sheet rock. I found the shutter at an antique store in Austin for $5 dollars, gave it a little white wash, and added a picture hanging wire to the back. Don’t limit yourself! The shutter could just as easily be hung sideways, or be of a much large scale. Not to mention there are so many alternative uses to shutters, such as a Christmas card display found on Courtney’s blog “Diamond in the Stuff” or a mail organizer complete with key hooks like the one pictured on “Ivy in the Bay”!

An alternative to the inspiration wire, an inspiration wire. Perfect for small spaces!

An alternative to the inspiration wire, an inspiration wire. Perfect for small spaces!

Until next time!

|The Creative Physician|

Quick Post: 31 Day Craft Challenge for October

I just wanted to let you guys know that I’m participating in a 31 Day Craft Challenge for this month! 

Check out the Facebook group to see some other crafters’ goals for the month. If you’d like to participate, hurry and join because the month is already tick tick tickin’ away!

Here are some of the goals I set for myself:

Goals for October Craft Challenge

» Create Safari scrapbook
» Edit and post vacation photos from last 4 years (so behind)
» Edit and deliver Walter and Joanne’s newborn photos! ~ DONE!
» Organize beads and jewelry making supplies ~ DONE!
» Organize craft room ~ Getting close!
» Make Christmas jewelry ~ DONE!
» Finish posting all new jewelry items on Etsy ~ Almost there!
» Take picture of real-life banner to use as Etsy banner
» Make 5 more necklace display stands ~ Started but not finished yet!
» Finish clock remodel/update
» Start blogging!~ DONE!

I’ve been lucky enough to already complete two of my goals (Start blogging! and Organize beads and jewelry making supplies). I’m making headway on organizing my fabric today and I’m sure there will be a post about it in the future! I started making some Christmas jewelry as well so maybe you guys will get a sneak preview of that soon before it goes live on my Etsy shop!

Beading Rainbow

Stay tuned for my post about creating your very own inspiration wire, coming tomorrow at 9 AM!

|The Creative Physician|

Literature Review: “Brunelleschi’s Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture”

Title: Brunelleschi’s Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture
Author: Ross King

Originally Published: May 30, 2000

Genre: Non-fiction

Best Feature: Not your typical dry and narrative-lacking non-fiction.

Worst Feature: If you went to see the Duomo without reading the book first, it will give you pangs of sadness that you couldn’t truly appreciate its glory without a proper understanding.

*Image courtesy of Amazon.

*Image courtesy of Amazon.

Before we delve into it, here are a few of my own photographs of the magnificent Duomo and views from its apex.

While I haven’t had the pleasure of reading Ross King’s works of fiction, his first work of non-fiction is definitely worth the read.  Despite now being thirteen years old, Renaissance history hasn’t changed much, making this a still relevant and enjoyable work of non-fiction.  It’s true that I love fiction, but sometimes I feel the need to add a little bit of new knowledge to my life.  I always hope to do this in a painless and entertaining way, making this book the perfect read.

I wanted to read this book before traveling to Florence this summer, however, I told myself I was only going to bring one physical book and put the rest of my reading on my Kindle, and at the time there was no Kindle version to be found.  I happened to find a copy in my brother’s library about a month after returning, and immediately picked the book up.  While it can be architecturally and mathematically a little dense at times, it’s a fairly easy read and probably took me about a week to get through the 200 or so pages.  And frankly, after I was done, I found myself wanting to learn more.

The beauty of “Brunelleschi’s Dome” is that it brings to life the process of building the dome itself, and several of Brunelleschi’s other important works.  The book takes the time to describe the social and political context of building the dome, giving it greater depth and meaning than a book simply about the architecture.  But more than that, King dares to explain difficult and complex architectural concepts to the common reader.  I’m amazed at the way he does this, allowing even someone with no architectural background to grasp the complexity of designing and engineering the largest dome ever built out of brick and mortar.

My only regret is not reading this before visiting the Duomo atop Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy.  If you’ve ever had the chance to climb (huffing and puffing) the 463 steps to the top, you might have noticed between breaths the intricate designs within the brick.  In reading “Brunelleschi’s Dome”, you begin to realize the importance of these seemingly decorative designs.  What might have been more noticeable was the fact that you were in between two domes—an inner and outer shell, which allow the dome to exist.  These are only a few of the important engineering feats that allow the dome to still stand today, despite traffic, earthquakes, and all matter of natural elements.

While I won’t ruin the surprising details of this design for you, I encourage you to take this with you on the plane to Florence, or if you just need an educational escape into the world of Renaissance Italy for a while.

Introducing… Well, Me

I’m happy to finally be able to say, I did it! I took that first step, and published a blog.  Since the beginning of college, I’ve had people telling me I should start a blog, but until now I didn’t feel like the time was right.  I kept feeling like I didn’t have enough content, or that there are already so many blogs out there.  But I decided to take the leap anyway, and here I am!

My name is Sarah Young.  I’ve done arts and crafts (literally) for as long as I can remember.  My mom put in my in art camp around age 6, and I continued to draw and paint through high school.  Beginning in junior high, I added website design and using the Adobe suite to my repertoire.  By high school, I became interested in photography and began working in a portrait studio at the young age of 16, despite the fact that normally you had to be 18 to photograph clients.  Ultimately I decided I wanted to go into fashion– and what better place than Parsons.  I had my hopes high, and was lucky enough to be accepted.

While I thought Parsons, and fashion, were my dream, I soon realized that maybe my junior high Project Runway fantasy wasn’t going to become a realty.  I found myself desperate for intellectual stimulation.  Despite staying up all night working on a project for school, I would then find myself reading books and trying to cram knowledge into my exhausted brain.  Ultimately, it wasn’t fulfilling.  I decided that perhaps arts and crafts were better left as a hobby, rather than a career.

I ended up transferring to the University of Texas.  When I graduated from high school (a year early, at the age of 17), I never thought I would end up going to the statey-ist of state schools in the state.  Somehow I ended up there, and was surprised at how much I loved it, despite my reservations.  I not only reconnected with my now boyfriend of five years, but I found my path to what I hope will be a lifelong career: medicine.

After four years of undergrad and the grueling process of applying to medical school, I had arrived.  I had gotten into my dream school, Baylor College of Medicine.  I loved and hated every minute of the first six months, but unfortunately my health deteriorated with the stresses of school.  The medical problems I had ignored and put off finally caught up with me, and I was forced to take a year off.

And that’s where I am today, taking time off from medical school in order to get well.  In the mean time, I’m enjoying re-kindling my creative side and exploring what things might have been like if I had stuck it out at Parsons.  Not to mention finally getting around to those things I’ve been putting off, like starting a blog.

But now onto things this blog is actually about, rather than me.  This is the schedule I plan to stick to for now.  When I return to school it may change, but hopefully only for the better!


Monday {Literature & Pop Culture — Reviews of books, movies, TV shows, music, and other pop culture}

Wednesday {Organization & Inspiration — Somedays this might be a DIY organization project, other days it might just be about an inspirational quote.  Other days it might be a DIY organization project that is also inspirational!}

Friday {Crafts & DIY — These will be my pride-and-joy tutorials on a variety of crafts and DIY projects for the home.}

I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences with all of you!


The Creative Physician