CBC 8: In which I put handles on a bag


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Today project is another product of lack of follow-through.

As I was going through my closet (see a future post for more on that) I found these pieces of an incomplete bag.
I don’t even really remember working on this but I had a fully lined pleated bag and almost finished handles all ready to go. I had hand-stitched one of the handles and not the other. Figures. I truly despise sewing by hand and I’m not surprised I tossed this aside rather than finish my work.20120105-194417.jpg

I found some brown thread (in my sister’s sewing basket..Shhh), stitched up the handles, top stitched the top of the bag and sewed the handles on. No hand sewing needed.




CBC 7: In which I make a dog blanket


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I have no problems with thinking of fun new projects to do but the follow-through to complete them continually eludes me.


When I was fifteen I about a large selection of fabrics.
When I was sixteen I used half of it to make a rug.
When i was eighteen I cut the rest up into little squares and made dozens of “puffs” with the intention of making a puff blanket. I was never happy with the pattern and design and so the giant bag of puffs sat in my closet.
When I was twenty my parents adopted a dog. Her name is Ginger and her most favorite thing is to lay in the most comfy, cushy place possible. I picked out the yellow, pink, and green puffs and made her a blanket.20120105-182920.jpg

When I was twenty-one, my sister bought a baby yorkie terrier and I decided it was time to finish once and for all with the puffs. A blanket for Sadie it is!

The construction was simple enough. I laid out the squares, sewed them into rows and then the rows together.20120105-182910.jpg

I had twice as many as I needed so I decided to make this blanket double sided for extra padding. Two identical pieces sown back to back.20120105-182930.jpg

When it was all said and done, I had three puffs left over. Threw them away and didn’t think twice.20120105-182937.jpg

Follow-through: check.





CBC 5: In which I paint a paper bowl


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Periodically in my life, I get the urge to paper mache (insert your preferred spelling of that here). I’m honestly not sure why – it is messy, time consuming, and the final product really isn’t that spectacular.

Sometime last spring I had one of these paper mache urges. I made one bowl entirely from crossword puzzles and I have to say, I’m pretty fond of that one. Another one is just from newspaper and needed some attention.20120105-102936.jpg

Today I pulled out my favorite metallic paints and went to work. The inside is a light silver. 20120105-103052.jpg

The outside I used all five colors, making each patch of paper a different color.20120105-103102.jpg

I decided against putting on a second coat and instead let the pattern of the newspapers show through.

At the risk of getting overly sentimental, I like the shiny colors that draws your eye but even so can’t quite cover over the past. Reminds me a little of myself. Perhaps no matter how much change we make as humans, it is impossible to erase the wounds of our past.


CBC 4: In which I make a face mask from gelatin


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stumbled on this a few days ago detailing how you can make your own pore strips from unflavored gelatin mix. Well what girl can pass up the chance to do a homemade face mask at 11pm at night? Not this one!

Since I’m home for break, this seemed like the ideal time.

I think mothers always have a supply of unflavored gelatin packets in their pantry. I have not a clue what my mom ever uses this stuff for but there is always at least two boxes.

Basically, you mix the gelatin with a little milk, zap it in the microwave for a few seconds and spread it on your face. Simple enough.

Why milk instead of water? No idea!
My family doesn’t drink milk. We drink soy or almond milk. Does soy milk achieve the same end? I considered a few moments using powered milk substitute instead, but decided against it – too much effort.

I mixed it up, microwaved it, and used a plastic spoon/my fingers to spread it on my face.

I left it on until I felt so uncomfortable I couldn’t wait any longer and began peeling it off.
Excruciatingly painful.
In hindsight, I think this was because I (1) gooped it on too think and (2) didn’t wait long enough for it to fully dry.
Nevertheless, my face was as smooth and soft as you could ever want afterward so I’ll count this as a success!

CBC 6: In which I knit a handbag

I’ve been waiting to post this – one of my favorite projects so far – because it was a Christmas gift.

I’ve been known to knit a few wool handbags before and this one I made especially for my sister. If you look close, its a lovely marbled mix of brown, cream, and grey which I just love.

For a finishing touch, I stitched a kitschy owl on the corner.

My hope was for an Anthropology/Francesca’s type bag so here’s hoping she likes it!

CBC 3: in which I paint over a collage


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I love hot air balloons. They represent to me the freedom of jumping in a basket and just drifting away from everything – no packing or plane ticket required.

They remind me of this quote:
“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” Robert Davis Stevenson

I found a canvas in my closet that I had used to experiment with sponge painting. I hated the results and so the canvas just sat. I found this project on Pintrest and it seemed the perfect opportunity to upcycle that old canvas.

I pillaged a couple old Vogue magazines and tore out pages with dark jewel tones – primarily blues, greens, and purples.

And then simply collaged them right on the canvas. I refuse to pay 3 times as much for something simply because its called “Mod Podge” so I watered down some Elmer’s glue like I have been since I was a5 years old.

I let that dry for a few hours and then went to work with my reverse-silhouette.  I traced out a hot air balloon and gently taped it down somewhat off-centered.  Some grey acryllic paint I already had was a great match for the jewel tones.  Two coats of paint everywhere around the template came out perfect.  I love that the paper collages created unevenness and texture in an otherwise uninterestingly color. (You see a lot more of the bumps and edges in person than in the picture).


CBC 1: in which I make a birthday present


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My dearest of dear friends turns 21 on Wednesday. Tonight her family pulled an epic surprise party (She was actually surprised this time!) featuring a murder mystery dinner set in Mexico during the 80s. I played the role of Desert Flower and as it turns out……I was the guilty party! Fun stuff!

Kati saw my crayon art work (see second to last post) and asked for her own.
This is what I came up with for her:

I made her silhouette in color and full body using one of her Facebook profile pictures as a guide. The rest of the process was exactly the same. Like I said, easy peasy!
The best news is that she loves it 🙂
Happy 21st birthday Kati!

Christmas Break Challenge


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It snowed in Chicago today. 🙂

Every time I get in the car to drive four hours home from school, I wish I lived closer to Anderson University.  And every time I roll down the interstate system following the signs to Chicago, I’m thankful to call this city home.




I’ll be home for 23 full days before returning to school for my 8th and final semester as an undergrad. A recent Facebook status from a friend of mine reminded me that this will be my last Christmas break…ever.

Christmas break is the wonderful time with no work and no school work.  I don’t want to waste these days.  But here enlies the problem.  After I take my dog for a walk and make the coffee, I don’t know what to do with myself. I’m terrible at sleeping all day and laying on the couch for hours. I just get bored.  I’m also terrible at any kind of sport and all video games.  The only resort then, is to get crafty.

Ergo, the Christmas Break challenge.  23 days, 23 projects. Stay tuned!

Art with Crayons


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If you haven’t heard of Pintrest, you need to get on Pintrest.  That’s all I’m going to say about that.  Just go check it out and thank me later.

A couple of weeks ago I began seeing pins of a marvelous painting involved melted crayons.  I was smitten with the concept and started brainstorming how I wanted to make the project my own.

One day after classes, I had reached that point that I think all students come to when all they can say is, “I’m over it.”  The homework assignment that is due the next day and the final that is looming dangerously close just don’t matter.  I’m over it.

When that point comes, I go to HobbyLobby.  HobbyLobby is the happy place.  I bought crayons (The 96 pack of course) and canvas and returned to my apartment.  There I immediately spread everything out on the floor and got to work, much to the amusement of my roommates.

I decided I wanted to use a dark background and paint myself as a silhouette holding an umbrella.  This project couldn’t have been simplier.

Here’s the instructions in brief.

I painted the canvas with some grey paint.  Indoor multi-purpose house paint to be exact.  It was all I had around in the color I wanted but it ended up causes an issue later.  This is optional! Leave white if you feel like eit.

58 crayons fit perfectly across the longest edge of my 16×20 canvas so I cherry-picked my favorite colors from the 96 pack and loosely arranged them by color. Hot glue individually, pointy end facing down.

A round Gladware container from my kitchen cupboard was the perfect size to keep a little space clear on the lower right hand corner.  My helpful roommate just held it in place during the next step.

Hold the hair dryer over a few crayons at a time until the wax flows out.  You’ll want to hold the canvas at an angle so that the wax forms long streams.  It will harden almost instantly.

The Gladware popped right off and I used black acrylic paint to paint in my silhouette.  The grey house paint didn’t want to accept the acrylic so it was uneven until I put on 3-4 very careful coats.  But it dried just fine so no worries!

DONE!  Easy peasy lemon squeezy art!