Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

If you're single, or what is now simply known as "tradition" for me, then "treat yo'self." Sure, the whole, "Valentine's Day encompasses all types of love" jazz  is wonderful, but it's usually what couples tell single people. Drink in my side eye couples....drink it in.

Valentine's Day, not unlike my birthday, is a time to participate in the practice of self love through the act of retail therapy. There's a shoe sale somewhere with my name on it, and I intend to find it. That's how St. Valentine and baby cupid would want it.

So here's to heart shaped boxes with mystery chocolates and lone bites, shiny Mylar balloon bunches, men resembling deer in headlights in card aisles, a few awkward, public proposals somewhere, and those women at work who act embarrassed when they get gifts from their significant others. I see you. And ain't nobody got time for that.

And if you get one of those $100 - $200 gigantic teddy bears I keep seeing advertised on television and you're far past the age of 12, then I'm sorry. I understand if you're thinking the cash itself would have been a better gift. More side eye to the giver just for you. Good luck on whatever excuse you can come up with to explain how a six foot bear just disappeared from your house. Allergic to animals? So crazy it just might work.

Whatever your situation - single, coupled or complicated  - have a lovely Valentine's Day!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Craft It: Vinyl Record Remix

Making anything with a flat surface into a chalkboard is still a thing right? 

I'm voting yay because this is a quick and easy way to upcycle this classic music media into something interesting and useful. You can dust off some records from a cherished collection or pick up a few from a thrift store like I did. I found some for 50 cents each. I found a stack of Aretha Franklin records at one thrift store, but the thought of crafting them into something that would render them useless in regards to their original purpose just didn't seem right. I couldn't do that to the Queen. Even though a set of Aretha Franklin chalkboard records would have been fantastic.

In addition to the records, the supply list to make these is short: a brush, some chalkboard paint, and Glamour Glaze. I also used magnets because I keep them on a metal surface, but they can be mounted, hung, or placed anywhere with almost anything. 

Glamour Glaze is a clear, resin like glaze similar to Diamond Glaze, Paper Glaze, or Mod Podge Dimensional Magic. It dries to a clear, non-tacky raised finish. I bought this glaze a few years ago on Etsy and it's a pretty good product. 

I chose records with interesting and colorful typography and designs on the labels, and I wanted to keep the labels in tact. The labels were already slightly faded and distressed, and I assumed that chalk dust being rubbed over them (whether unintentionally or not) would only cause them more wear over time. So I covered the labels with the Glamour Glaze to protect them, and it also made the colors pop. 

These could be placed in various areas to keep lists handy. They would also make great decor for a music themed decorating scheme. Or serve as inexpensive party favors or apart of table marker centerpieces. Who doesn't love to take a centerpiece home as a souvenir from a soiree, especially if they are particularly pretty or interesting?  *raises hand*

My favorite idea was to use these for song lyrics! 

Record + interesting/fun/catchy/inspiring lyrics = awesomeness.  You can free hand the lettering or use this easy and genius method. I would have preferred the latter, but I've been dealing with an uncooperative printer. I thought that it would have been great if the lyrics on the record matched the actual record, but I'm filing that idea away for another day.

Loving this passage from Steve Winwood's Higher Love, and I'll eventually add lyrics to all the chalkboard records I made. I keep my set of chalkboard records displayed in a group as is. However, they could easily be framed for a more polished presentation, and especially if I wanted to keep the lettering in tact without fear of myself or someone else accidentally brushing off the words.

A simple project, but so many ways to customize, display, and use a piece of the past for present purposes.

What song lyrics or passages would you put on a record to display?  

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year & Welcome 2014!

It's here! It's here! 

The first gift of the new year is the 365 days itself. I hope everyone had a safe NYE's celebration. I am currently still on and off again watching Syfy's Twilight Zone Marathon. Maybe I'll write a resolution or two later and try to find someone who has made Rotel dip. The Twilight Zone and Rotel dip are pretty much the hallmarks of my New Year's festivities.

I had Chinese food for dinner yesterday and actually received a great fortune from my fortune cookie, as opposed to the ones I usually receive that sound like they were written at the end the of the day :"You know that sock you lost? You might find it.  Might not.  *shrug*.

A lovely sentiment to hopefully kick off a great and prosperous new year. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you and yours! Be blessed, be safe, and enjoy your holiday!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Craft It: Mini Wooden Cameras + Project Idea Gallery

Instagram, filters, selfies, GPOY, OOTD, and all the other current photography associated buzz words and hash tags you can think of, insert here. The excitement around photography can be pretty intense, especially now with the ease of taking smartphone photos and the abundance of photography apps, everyone is a little bit of a "budding" or "amateur" photographer in one way or another.   

If you're a photography lover, or know someone who is, then hopefully you'll love this mini camera charm craft. It's a simple constructed charm in celebration of a popular hobby that can be   crafted, designed, and personalized in a myriad of ways. Make some for yourself or give them as gifts. Have an idea of how you would use them not listed below? Leave your idea in the comments section; I'd love to know!

All of the supplies to make the cameras came from Hobby Lobby. Wood rectangles are used for the camera body. Dowel caps or furniture  plugs serve as lenses. Furniture buttons, both big and small, are the shutter buttons. Construct as shown above and you can make a bunch of these pretty quickly.

I realize that my shutter button is on the opposite side of where it should be (not wrong, just opposite - it's called artistic license), but aesthetically, I liked the shutter button on the right. Since it's not taking real pictures, I don't think it's going to hurt anything, nor does it take away from the charm being recognized as a camera.

But overall, pretty simple right? As well as inexpensive to make. If you're ready to create something with your charms, keep reading - ideas below!

1. Cardmaking, scrapbooking, and other paper crafts embellishment

If you want to add some depth and dimension to your paper crafts, these camera charms would make a nice addition to any project. For this particular project I simply painted the entire charm a bright red. I created this card with papers, a blank card, and stickers that I already owned. I would put this card in a clear plastic sleeve so that camera wouldn't distort a regular envelope. Plus the colors are so vibrant, it deserves to be on display! Can I say how much I love this color palette as well - yellow, red, white, and blues? It's a very cheery and uplifting mix of hues. I glued my charm to the card, but if you stick it to the card with a glue dot or a double sided adhesive dot, it can be removed and reused by the recipient if they so choose. 

This design, or one similar, would also work on the front of a blank journal,or in a scrapbook layout. If going with the journal idea, include some matching pencils. You can also create a scrapbooking ephemera pack for yourself or friends with a few camera charms, some bottlecaps, candles, stickers, and other bits and pieces. 

 2. Photo and decorative paper holder

This is probably the most obvious use for these camera charms. If you're looking for a new way to display your photos, create photo holders by gluing them onto one inch wood circles and gluing a mini clothespin or paper clip to the back. A paperclip will work best if your photos are larger and heavier.

I used a pink, mint, and yellow color palette to create these photo holders, and added similarly colored scrapbook paper pictures with cute designs to display.  

3. Gift tags and monogrammed embellishments

Print your own gift tags are all over blogs and the Internet, and I have to admit, even when I shop for gift tags in store, I'm pretty picky. If you're a gift tag enthusiast or connoisseur of sorts, add a camera charm as a little something extra special for the recipient. The above tags are Christmas themed holiday paper cut in the shape of packaging tags. I drilled a small hole in the upper left corner of the charm with a hand drill and added a loop of red and white bakers twine, topped with a burlap bow. 

You can further personalize the charm as I did with an initial embossed on the back. The charm can be reused as an ornament or made into jewelry. Either way, this tag will be saved from the fate of being tossed out with the trash in a crumpled heap of colorful paper. It's the gift tag gift that keeps on giving!

4. Chalkboard table number holders

If you're having a small soiree and want to keep your guests in order, just follow the same construction as the photo holders by adding a wood circle base and a mini clothespin to the camera charm. For the table holder, however, I used chalkboard paint. If you want to write a message on the charm, it can be easily changed for different occasions. It's a small space, but you could personalize the charm with any message, such as the holiday or event, or a person's name. The table number was created with a scrapbook paper tag and a puffy sticker number. 

5. Commemorative keepsakes and ornaments

Since photographing our lives is such a big thing, you can make commemorative keepsakes and ornaments from your Instagram and phone gallery photos. Just resize and print the pictures, and then mod podge them onto the back of the camera charm. 

You can commemorate first dates, trips, and other special occasions throughout the year.  Add messages about the event with a paint pen or the year in which the event occurred with stickers. At the end of the year you can use them as ornaments and holiday decorations. Just drill a hole in the top with a hand drill and add a loop of twine or yarn and you'll be ready to go once December rolls around. However, you can also display these year round on a shelf or in a curio cabinet, and watch your collection grow as you make memories throughout the year. 

6. Jewelry and accessories

You can turn pretty much anything into jewelry. All you need is the right findings, a little E6000 glue, and some type of embellishment. These camera charms make a perfect focal point. I made each of these in two different colors, and added a ball chain to make a necklace,  pin backs to make brooches, and adjustable ring bases for rings. The perfect gift for jewelry and photography lovers that you can personalize in any color.


These camera charm bookmarks would make the perfect companion to photography book gifts. If you're a bibliophile just looking to add to your stash of bookmarks, these are simple to create. Just mod podge scrap book paper onto large wooden sticks and then glue the camera charm to the top of the sticks. I used papers that included colors that coordinated with the color of the camera charm. Make a set, or use as party favors. My frosted letter vase DIY would be a great way to display these bookmarks if used as party favors. 

8. Realistic styles and designs: 

If you want to create more detailed mini cameras, you can add embellishments and colors to them that mimic actual cameras. Just search different camera images online for inspiration. I  added a few touches with paint and stick on gems to give this set of cameras a more realistic feel. My favorite parts are the real leather straps. Some of the straps I folded and glued onto the shutter button to give the straps movement. You can turn these into necklaces by stringing a chain through the strap's loop. These would also make great magnets. As with the other designs above, these are just as versatile to use and customize in any way you can imagine. 

Are you a camera or photography lover?

 If so, what would you create with these charms? 

 If you have another idea not listed here, please share!

Monday, December 23, 2013

DIY Decor: Rustic Luxe Pinwheel Tealight Candlesticks


One of my favorite comedians, Jim Gaffigan, has a joke about giving candles as gifts, and the punchlines include, "you know I have electricity right?" and "if my place smells, just let me know." Even though I think it's hilarious, as a candle lover, I would be geeked to receive a whole gang of candles for any holiday.

I love candle scents to sweeten the air, but I also love the subtle and relaxing glow of a candlelit room. So even though I'm a a fan of real candles, I also enjoy inexpensive battery operated tealights to provide a little ambiance to dark rooms. Here's a very simple, but lovely "rustic luxe" tealight holder that's perfect for holidays, gift giving, or everyday use for yourself.

I emphasize that these tealights are for battery powered tealights, as one of the main components of this project are birch wood rounds.  I found these at Michaels in a pack of four. All of the packages seemed to include two larger and two smaller rounds, and I used the larger rounds for this DIY. The slightly ornate glass candle stick holders are for tapered candles that I found at Dollar Tree. They keep these in stock in abundance. The tealights I also found at Dollar Tree in packs of two.

I knew I wanted to do a pinwheel design in a particular color scheme, which included black, white, gold, silver, and red: very classic holiday colors. In addition, I wanted some of the areas to be shimmery and festive, and adding glitter in the design was perfect.

In the area where you would normally stick a tapered candle, I filled with black glitter. I thought that this would be a simple accent to further personalize the piece. Any color glitter in the color scheme could be added to give this piece more appeal. I even thought about layering different colors of glitter for a more eye catching detail.

Creating a pinwheel design is pretty simple.  Make a dot in the center of the wood circle, and with two pieces of  painters tape, create a triangle shaped area from the center dot. Paint within the triangle area, wait for it to dry, and continue to make and paint triangle shaped areas all around the wood. You really have to wait until each area is dry because you'll be taping over some of the painted areas as you go, and you don't want to smudge or peel off any of the paint or glitter. You can do touch ups as needed, but for the most part, I waited until each area was dry.

For the glittered areas, I wanted the best coverage possible. I actually painted the glitter areas with mod podge and then sprinkled glitter over it. You could also use glitter glue or a glitter infused paint. But I think using loose glitter gave the best results.

Once I finished painting the wood and it was dry, I put E6000 glue around the top rim of the candlestick and centered the wood round on top.  In no time it was dry and ready to use.

An incredibly simple mix of natural and elegant elements that can be personalized in any color you please to create a warm atmosphere in a room, even if you do have electricity.