Friday, March 23, 2012

Hunger Games Katniss-Inspired Hair Clip

In honor of today, I just couldn't resist making and sharing this Hunger Games inspired treat!

So, yes I did want to go to the midnight showing last night, but the fact that I'm usually in my 2nd dream by 10pm, led me to attending the movie tonight.  Date night, in fact, which makes it that much better!

Because I caught the Katniss fever and want to blend in with the other tweens who will be attending the movie tonight, I wanted to make something to wear.  
Something that doesn't scream "CRAZY FAN. OH EM GEE PEEEETA", but more like "I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Hunger Games Series". so intellectual.

So, here is a quick, easy tutorial on how to make a Katniss-inspired Hair Clip.

Side Note: for those of you who haven't read The Hunger Games (don't know why you haven't yet) Katniss is fierce with the bow and arrow!  Which was my inspiration!

 I used my go-to material: shrinky dinks!
  So, I just drew and cut out 3 of the same size arrow-like shapes.  You can see the size of them compared to the marker.
For more details on how to use shrinky dinks - refer to my previous project here.

 Then, I used a gold marker and colored in each shape.  You could also use paint or spray paint after its shrunk.

 After following the directions that came with my shrink film, you can see how much thicker and smaller they get.  Just needed to touch up the newly-thickened sides with the gold marker.

Now, begins the assembling.
I used krazy glue to glue each piece close together on the flat side of the bobby pin. 

 Let it sit for a few minutes and now I am ready for the games!

Happy Hunger Games.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

just feelin' good

So, I am back - yes I have returned.... at least for one more rant before the crafts start in a few weeks!

I have been spending my time working on lesson plans, collecting research materials, writing, and basically being the little art education graduate student that I should be.
After waves of stress and feeling overwhelmed, I have hit that moment of calm. 
I just feel so happy and content.

The last time I remember feeling this way was during the summer of 2008 when I spent a day on the beach with my best friend Erica
We were best friends by the sea, with a waterproof camera.

The ocean was the perfect temperature and felt so good breaking through the surface in our mermaid dives.  Feeling the salt spray after the wave has moved on is probably one of the best experiences in the world.
Even though it was a few years ago, I can still remember how everything about that day felt

Now I am so clear in what I am doing, and I am feeling everything, everyday.  

When's the last time you felt everything?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Subtle Wall Art

Wow, I have seriously neglected this blog.  My apologies!
The only excuse I have is 3 words: The Hunger Games.
If you haven't read this yet, you need to right now.  I can't even explain what it's about because it is so out there, but it is so good!
Why do I always fall in love with teen series???
..... But even my sy-fy loving boyfriend read it and loved it - we even had to fight over who got to read the 3rd book because we both zipped right through the 1st and 2nd one.

Anyway, I am sad to report it's about that time for me to return to my focus to school.
Not too many classes this fall, however, I find I can only direct my maximum focus to one thing at a time, and I am directing that to becoming an art teacher.

I am hoping to keep posting a few projects every once in a while, but I know in another week or so, I will be super busy until winter break -- just in time for CHRISTMAS CRAFTS!!!

I did have one final project that I completed before the summer's end and I want to share!

I saw this subtle artwork done by using wood letters on a canvas, but instead of buying letters, I used what I already had -- puffy paint!

First you need the size canvas you want.
I just painted over an old portrait I did that was so bad I couldn't even bring myself to show on here.
Then, paint the entire surface the color of your choice.

While that is drying, print out whatever you want in the size and font of your choice.
Then lay a piece of wax paper over it and secure its place with a piece of tape.
(I was so excited to finally use this quote!)

Next you use puffy paint to trace over the words.
This took some practice, so you may want to try a few times.
It helped me to outline first, then fill in the letters.
The puffier, the better!
This will need at least 24 hours to dry!

While waiting for the words to dry, use a ruler/T-square to make evenly spaced lines on your canvas so you now where to place your letters.
(Sienna has been my constant moral support all summer!)

After 24 hours of drying, peel off the letters from the wax paper.  I used a paint scraper and xacto knife which worked really well.

Then, once you have your words placed where you want them, use a craft glue to glue them to the canvas.
Make sure it is glued flat with no spots sticking up, and let it dry completely.

Paint over it again to cover up the lines and puffy paint, and you are done!!

This works perfectly in our bathroom, and even after a few weeks of staring at this quote, I still love it!

Well, for now, all I can say is I hope everyones autumn months are filled with orange leaves, pumpkin flavored baked goods, cider, scarves, boots ..... the list goes on!

Friday, September 16, 2011

DIY Cork Board

I have been rather busy this past week making a mess out of my newly claimed crafting room.
I've been getting ready for my classes that start next week, and that is when everything in my life needs to be organized.
Yes, I am anal, but I'm okay with it.
Anyway, now that I am done, I wanted to share how easy it is to make your own cork board!
And it still looks pretty - not just some cork up on a wall.

 Here is a tutorial for a do-it-yourself cork board:

To start, get an old frame (or new, if you'd rather spend more money, but who would do that!).
I got an this frame at a thrift store for $3.99.  
It had an old painting in it that I just removed and I kept the backing it came with.

 Then use some sandpaper just to sand down the top layer of the frame if it's painted or stained.

Then just pick your color, and paint!
I used an acrylic paint which required 3 coats.

Once dried, apply the cork into the frame, and put the backing on.
I bought a roll of cork at a craft store for only $3.99 and it fit perfectly in this 18"x24" frame.

For now, it is hanging here empty because this weekend my wonderful boyfriend is building me a new table to replace my itty bitty desk !!

How I know I'm growing up: I asked for a new table for my birthday.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lemon-Thyme Roasted Chicken

Here is a delicious recipe that is so simple, a recipe isn't even needed, but I have to share!
We've been making this chicken about once a week since we first found out how easy and good it is.

Lemon-Thyme Roasted Chicken and Potatoes One-Dish Dinner:
This recipe easily serves 2. 

Split chicken breasts
Baby red potatoes
Butter, melted
Fresh thyme
Thinly sliced lemon slices

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

1.  Place chicken breasts in the center of a casserole dish.
2.  Cut the potatoes into quarters and place around chicken in the dish.
3.  Melt about 2 1/2 tablespoons of butter (or margarine) and drizzle over chicken and potatoes.
4.  Stir potatoes in butter to evenly coat.
5.  Sprinkle thyme over everything (amount up to you).
6.  Lay lemon slices over chicken and potatoes.

Place casserole dish in oven.  Let cook for about 1 hour, depending on your oven..  Keep an eye on it!

Take out of oven, and let cool about 5 minutes.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Book Page Roses

As autumn is slowly arriving, I am becoming more and more excited!  
My favorite season is a tie between summer and fall.  Summer has it's obvious perks, but with fall, I always feel like it marks the beginning of a new year and there's so many good things that come with it.
I've been going to school for the past twenty-something years now, and September is what starts the new year.  With one crisp afternoon, I can find myself flooded with memories of past school days, birthdays (Sept. 19!), and football seasons!  And it only gets worse when I find myself walking down a school supply aisle in a store - I have to do my best to resist buying a fresh pack of markers or pens.

This season is also what I have the most decorations for - so it is time to start autumn-izing the apartment!
It was appropriate timing to work on a project that I've been eyeing up.  
I need to replace my paper flower hydrangeas with a fall flower.  It only seems appropriate to make a flower out of an old book to mark the beginning of a new school year.

So here is a tutorial on how to make Book Page Roses:
(note: quite tedious! Set aside some time, put on some music, sit back, and craft!)

Twigs, book pages, and hot glue is basically what makes up these roses.  I fought my dog for some twigs from the ground outside, but you could also use floral wire.  I also got this book for $1 at a local book shop.  You'll also need a pencil and scissors for this project.

You'll start by cutting out 5 small to big sizes of petals.  Here is a general template of the sizes I used.  It is better to try to draw them freehand because the shapes will end up more organic and unique. 
(For each rose, you'll need 4-6 of each petal size.)

Then, I used a q-tip to roll up both sides of the top of the petal.

 Then flip that over, so the rolled up side is face down, and use the q-tip to mold a petal shape.  This is when the book pages really help - it's a thicker paper, so it really holds the shape.

You should have 4-6 petals of each size formed into a 3-d shape.

 Then you will need to cut out this shape (also on the template) so it can be rolled up.

 That shape will need to be rolled up on the tip of the stick, and hot glued tightly enough so it doesn't come off.

Use a hot glue gun to coat the bottom of your smallest petal. 

Then place it at the top of the stick, and hold it to ensure it stays.  
(Note: Hot glue is called that for a reason - it's hot!! Be careful.  I burn myself every time I work with it.)

Then you keep doing the same thing with the same size petal by placing them around in a circle, and overlap each petal a little bit.

Then, move on to the next size petal, and do the same thing right under the previous one - keep doing that all the way through each size.  The petals should overlap a little bit, and remember that flowers aren't usually perfect.  
Symmetry only exists in theory - just go with it!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Infinity Scarf

Here I am, back in Ohio!
I had a great time being back home in Jersey -- I was able to hang out with my family and long lost friends .... so fun!  

So many days were spent seaside which made me the happiest girl.
It was truly a great end to the summer.

I feel like I arrived back to Ohio just in time for fall ... unfortunately the weather is chilly and cloudy, buuuut the leaves are beginning to change colors!

When I was home, I cleaned out my room and came across a lot of clothes that haven't been worn in years so now I am left with so many materials to craft with :)

I found an old Sublime tee shirt (couldn't bring myself to throw it out) and wanted to make an infinity scarf.  I also had access to my mom's sewing machine, so I took advantage of that!  
These scarves are really easy to make out of tee shirts or any other fabric you may have.
I love the green color of it, and it will be perfect for fall.

Here's a simple infinity scarf tutorial:
Just lay out the shirt flat, and cut two equal strips.  
I used a ruler to measure up and drew light lines with pencil to keep them straight.
Cut through the entire shirt (front and back) so you have 2 loops.

Cut the two loops at one end so you have 2 long strips of fabric.  

Then sew the strips together to create 1 large loop.

You can wrap it around once, twice, three times - gotta love the infinity scarf! 

I've been getting so excited for fall crafts and food, but then I realized school starts soon so expect a flood of posts - I have so many things I want to do while I still have free time!!