I Heart Bookmarks!

origami heart

I love bookmarks, and I love crafts, so combining the two sounded like the perfect way to kill an afternoon! I found a post on Pinterest (I seem to be getting more and more ideas from Pinterest lately) and decided to shamelessly steal borrow the idea. I’m just going to link you to the original tutorial, because I’m terrible at origami.

Check out this awesome blog, and make your own heart book mark!

I did change a couple of things. Traditionally, origami uses no tape and no scissors. However, I really really really want these to stay together, so i put a couple pieces of tape on the back to hold the folds in place. I also trimmed one of my hearts a little, as you can see in the picture above. I cut the 2 triangles from the sides and the little square from the top, so that I’d just have the heart and not the background. On that one, I added a couple extra pieces of tape to make it a little sturdier. I really like both ways, but I think the trimmed bookmark will be better for my planner so that I can still see the dates.

These bookmarks are super easy and practically free to make! You can make two decently-sized bookmarks with a single sheet of paper. Are you going to try out your paper folding skills? Do you have another origami project I should try? What book are you reading right now?

super corny, but I had to do it!

Super corny, but I had to do it!

A Very Belated Mother’s Day

IMG_1463I actually gave my mother her gift on Mother’s Day, I just haven’t posted about it until now. Oops. Anyway…

I got into crayon art a couple years ago because of Pinterest, but I haven’t played with it in a while. I did not manage to post about the last few crayon projects I did,  but I assure you, they were cool. But they were kind of generic, or at least as generic as you can get when you’re essentially painting with crayons. (I used blues, greys, and purples to make a rain storm and put a quote about rain on at least 3 canvases.)

Then I found this Pinterest post. This person made a gorgeous canvas by melting the crayons in a way most people hadn’t thought of yet. So I took on the copy-cat project, not knowing what all this would entail. This project took me over six hours because I kept making stupid mistakes. Hopefully, you can learn from my mistakes and knock this out in about an hour.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • a canvas (mine was pretty big, but you could use basically any size)
  • about 15 crayons (take off the paper)
  • sticker paper or masking tape
  • scissors
  • an exacto knife (optional)
  • lighter, spoon, and candle
  • iron and wax paper
  • microwaveable bowl you don’t mind messing up

(the last 3 items are kind of an either/or situation, but I’ll get to that in a minute.)

Step One: Pick a Quote I modified the quote slightly. The original says “my smiles begin with you” in very flowy writing that’s a little hard to read. I changed it to “my smiles began with you” (past tense), since it was a gift for my mother. I also made an effort to make my handwriting legible.

Step Two: Make Stickers! Who doesn’t love stickers? There are two ways to do this. If you have sticker paper (I couldn’t find any), you can simply trace your letters onto there and cut them out. Or you can cover your canvas in masking tape and trace your letters that way. This way is a little more tedious, but definitely cheap. I traced in pen to give myself some wiggle room for mistakes, then went over it in Sharpie. I might help to double up your masking tape to make it a little thicker and easier to work with.

Here's my work-in-progress.

Here’s my work-in-progress. You can see where I messed up on the m, b, and a.

Step Three: Place Said Stickers Make sure your letters are exactly where you want them because there’s no going back once you start the crayon. I put my ‘stickers’ onto a piece of saran wrap (I guess you could also use wax paper, or basically anything see-through) so that I could see where I needed to position each letter as I went.

Step Four: Crayons This is where things get interesting: there are at least 3 different ways to do this. I’ll tell you everything I tried and why it didn’t work/what worked best for me.

Option One: The Spoon Trick This is the method used in the original post. You light a candle, grab a spoon, and put chunks of crayon in it. This will ruin your spoon. I found that the wax didn’t melt evenly and that this method took too long. Every time I got a little bit of melted wax, I’d pour it on the canvas and have to wait for the spoon to heat up again. It was tedious, and I could only heat a little bit at a time. It made me want to scream.

Option Two: The Microwave This method should have worked the best and given me the most freedom with mixing colors, but I apparently bought the least melt-able crayons in the universe. After 2 minutes in the microwave, the crayons weren’t even a little bit melted. I was disappointed, and I was sneaking around the house like a ninja so my mother wouldn’t get a surprise sneak peek of her gift.

Option Three: The Winner! Finally, I gave up. At around midnight, I cursed Crayola, canvas makers, whoever invented heat, and just about everyone and everything in the world. So I went to bed. In the morning, I grabbed the wax paper and an old iron and gave it a last-ditch effort. I cut the crayons up into the tiniest chunks possible, laid the wax paper on top, and took an iron to the mother f——. The iron gave me a surprising amount of control over where the wax went, and worked more quickly than I had dared to hope. However, some crayon went through the wax paper and got on the iron. I’m still questioning physics about how this happened, but I’m not complaining, since it was an old, unused iron, and my project was finally (almost) done! It should come off with some hot water, but I haven’t gotten around to that yet.

Step Five: We’re still doing this? After all of that, I still wasn’t done with my canvas. And neither are you; you have to take the letter stickers off. You can try using your fingernails, but depending on how thick your crayon cover is, this could do some damage to your nails. I’m still pulling crayon shavings out of my nails. I recommend grabbing the exacto knife and going at it. Just be careful not to rip a hole in your canvas!

Step Six: Filling in the Not-So Blanks Once I finally got my stickers off the canvas, I found that a lot of wax had seeped beneath the adhesive. It looked pretty cool, but I wanted people to be able to read the quote from fairly far away, so I filled in the letters with white paint, leaving me exhausted but with an awesome canvas.

And that’s all, folks! It took way longer than it should have, but my mother loved her gift, and I love seeing it at the top of the stairs. Has anybody else had a total Pinterest fail? Did you manage to recover it? How was Mother’s Day, and do you have any ideas for Father’s Day?

Arm Knitting!

My mom’s birthday is in about a week and a half, so I decided to make her present this year. (Something that, admittedly, has not gone over too well in the past. But it’s the thought that counts, right? Right? RIGHT???) I wanted to make her something she’d actually like and maybe even use/wear occasionally. So I thought scarf!

Yeah, I know, that’s a weird thought, but she said she wanted one, and I am not one to disappoint.

I found this awesome thing called arm knitting, where, like, you knit using your arms, and I thought I’d share it with you.

Here’s the link to the YouTube video I used:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=070qaUxEyp4

However, I made some modifications. First of all, I only had one skein of super bulky (size 6) yarn, but luckily it was 106 yards long. So, I unraveled the entire thing, matched the ends up (essentially folding it in half), rewound it into a ball, and started my knitting that way. The scarf took twenty minutes, cost about $3, and used up exactly one skein of yarn. It was awesome.

Then, we had some snow here (shutting down the entire state, since we’re woefully unprepared for winter weather), and my mom was complaining about her scarf, so I just had to give her her birthday present two weeks early! It was surprisingly warm, and she loves it! One of her coworkers wants one, now, so I’m making a trip to Walmart for some more yarn. 🙂

Pepto Abysmal

About a year and a half ago, I painted my bedroom pink. Like, really pink. So pink it’s scary. I am honestly terrified by the color of my walls at this point. Here’s a picture:

It really is scary.

It really is scary.

What on earth made me think this was a good idea? Anyway, the problem isn’t really the nightmares about being back inside my mother’s womb; it’s that I can’t seem to feel “all grown up” in a room the color of Barbie’s playhouse. So, I’m redecorating. After multiple trips to Home Depot, I have finally gotten enough paint samples to give myself a good idea of what exactly I want in my room…I think.

All four paint options.

All four paint options.

At this point there’s no going back (I have to cover up the squares I painted on). So, here are my options: yellow (like, pale yellow, not yellow yellow), red (it’s a really bright red), Silverberry (aka light purple), or Blueberry Pie (aka dark purple). I’m putting up a poll, if I can manage to make it work, and I’d like some input from unbiased, third-party observers with no real interest in the matter (Can you name the movie?) to help me with my decision. What do you think will look good?

P.S.- The only thing I’m a little upset about is that I’ll be losing this delightful piece of artwork:

This is just a small portion of stripes that take up an entire wall (with windows) and took me about four days to paint.

This is just a small portion of stripes that take up an entire wall (with windows) and took me about four days to paint.

P.P.S- Sorry if the colors don’t show up very well; iPods don’t exactly take the best quality pictures!