Saturday, August 27, 2011

Painting a Straight Line

I know I haven't updated for a while – I have not fallen off the grid, I have fallen back into New Jersey!

This past Monday, Sienna (my doggy) and I took a road trip back home for a few weeks. And after a 8-hour car ride it felt good to be home! 

Within 24 hours, I was already back in the car finding my way down the shore and have been enjoying time away from my computer!

It has seems natural disasters have become the norm here. We got an east coast earthquake last week, and now we are bracing for Hurricane Irene - which has already ruined my Phillies game my friends and I were supposed to go to tomorrow! :(

But don't fret, I have a great tip to share!

So for some reason, the day before I left for Jersey, I felt the need to repaint our dining room.  A few months ago, I painted a dark blue with a purple accent wall.  It was a complete lapse of judgement, and needed to be fixed!  
Those accent walls are difficult to paint because it is so hard to get a straight line where the two colors meet.

Before I began, I looked for any tip on how to make that line straight without any color bleeding under the tape and found the most useful tip - I need to share it! 
 It is kind of confusing, but I will do my best to explain step by step:

1. Tape off the walls surrounding the accent wall. I used frog tape which works very well. I am painting over the purple wall, so I taped the dark blue walls on both sides, and the ceiling, and trim under it.

2. Then, you need to carry over the existing colors of what you just taped on. So, I painted over the tape with the 2 blue walls, and white on the ceiling and trim. 
 The picture might make more sense. 
 (The first color applied is what will bleed under the tape, and it's okay because it will match what is already there.)

 3. You need to let it dry completely! Then proceed with your intended new color. I applied 2 coats of our new gray-blue and let each layer dry before going over it again.

 4. Let it dry all the way before peeling off the tape, and it should leave a straight line!   

 So here is our newly painted dining room!
Honestly, I was very skeptical of this process, but it actually worked!!! 
I was more happy than I should be!

I picked these colors because I was inspired by Carrie Bradshaw's new apartment in the Sex and the City Movie.  I looove the blue with white trim!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Missing the Sea

I am at my breaking point.....

I need the sea!!

Last year was my first summer out of New Jersey, and this being my second summer away, it is becoming torturous.  
Up until then, I was gathering friends and family and heading to the beach every chance I would get.  
It is during these warm months that make me feel like I am truly stuck in Ohio.

There are no words that describe why I love the sea so much - it's just where I feel happiest.

Maybe its the fact that you can go to the beach, sit for the whole day and do nothing, but soak up the sunshine and ride the waves.  It's as simple as it gets.  You can just be.

Next week I will be going home to Jersey for a few weeks and I cannot wait!!
I'll be near the sea with the sun on me and salt in my hair.  The anticipation is killing me.

In the mean time I'll share my favorite things I have come across through my daily internet searching:
 One day I will own a home at the seashore that is full of wood floors and salty air.
 I don't know why, but I really want this ring - if it wasn't $200! yikes.
I plan to make this quote into a decoration for somewhere in my life!

I am waiting to pick this fine read up from the library!  Judge if you must, but I can't wait!

.... please!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Printing With Lace

So I should be working on a paper I need to write, buuuuut I got distracted and ended up making a few handmade cards instead....

Last week when I bought clips needed for my feather earring, I found them in the clearance section with some lace ribbon, and knew I'd come back to it!
Here is a simple way to add some decoration to paper:

Just start with some sort of printing material with will be copied.  
I used lace ribbon, but you could use anything your imagination lets you come up with.  
( I smell a lesson plan in the making!)

 Next, use any paint you have on hand, such as acrylic, or tempura, etc and coat the entire piece of lace evenly and thorough. 

Take whatever piece of paper you will be printing on and align the lace where you want it to be.
I just used some aged construction paper, nothing fancy!

Then, place a clean piece of paper over and rub evenly with fingers.  Make sure the lace isn't moving around, so you get a clean print.

(Tip/technique picked up from Brazil: use a spoon to press on the material.  It is a perfect tool for this.)

 Here is my first print, I really liked the simplicity of it just on the top, but I loved this process and kept on going.

 Over the weekend, David and I ended up in an antique shop in Delaware, OH - which is a beautiful area I've never been to before!  We were in the historic downtown area that had so many cute shops and little cafes....
....I picked up some vintage crocheted material for another project, but I decided to make another card using this!

It's amazing the things I end up doing when I need to be doing schoolwork.  Hopefully I'll have better luck tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Feather Earring

In Brazil, we were with the most wonderful people everyday and in every city.  They were so nice, and all so very stylish!
One of our translators, when we first met her, was rockin' one long feather earring
Just one - and it was awesome!

We went to a bunch of different craft markets and I saw them everywhere!
I had to resist buying one because I knew I could figure out how to make one.

The earrings in Brazil did have much more beautiful feathers!  
I don't think Ohio has any exotic birds, so I just used leftover feathers from my hair extensions ... still love the color!

Here's one way to make your own feather earring:

You will need to buy these little rings.  
You can find them at any store that sells jewelry supplies.  I got a pack at Jo-ann Fabrics with 3 different sizes for under $3.

 Use the rings to make 2 chains just by interlocking them with each other.  
1 short chain and 1 long chain.  
You can use pliers to separate and then press back together.  

 To attach the feathers, you will need these tools called a jewelry crimp.  (Also got at Jo-ann Fabrics.)

Crimp each feather into one of these.
Use pliers to close down the sides first, then the top.

 I attached a smaller feather to the smaller chain, because it will hang a little bit above the longer one.

 Finally, attach the featherless end of the chains to a fishhook earring by using your trusty pliers and now you have a little bit of a Brazilian flair!

Loving it already!!!!
I like how they kind of flow with my hair and add a little pop of color.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Back to The States

Well, here I am, back from Brazil!
I got back Sunday evening, and spent all yesterday catching up on my forgotten Ohio life.

It was an amazing experience, and definitely unlike anything I have ever done before.
We visited many museums, art spaces, schools, food places. 
(the list goes on...)

The people we met were all as warm as the environment they are apart of.
Relationships were present instantly, and it was heartbreaking to say goodbye as we carry on with our lives separated by a large ocean.

There is too much to say about the past two weeks.
I have many ideas from what I've seen, and plan to adapt them to my American lifestyle!
As time goes on, and more projects come out, more will be revealed about Brazil.

 But for now (as I am still wrapping my head around the whirlwind of the trip), here some pictures to do some explaining:

 There was graffiti EVERYWHERE! The whole country was one big canvas covered in so many images, words, and colors.

 The buildings, alone, created a breathtaking color palette.

 We got to spend many moments by the sea.

 Visited Brazilian artist, Jose Francisco Borges' printmaking studio.  
His prints were full of life and expression.  
....I stocked up!

Spent time in a school's art room which was also covered in images and color. 
(as an art room should be!)