Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Doodle Card

Wow, it's been a while since I did a card tutorial here, hasn't it?  (We're not counting that guest post I did, since it wasn't for my own blog.)  I whipped up one of these cards Sunday before last when I needed to make a birthday card for someone in a short amount of time, and I didn't want to go to the trouble of thinking up a fancy card.
I like this card because it is so easy, and can take five minutes to complete, depending on how detailed you get!

Three blank cards (this is the paper I use)
Three card panels the same size as the cards
Black sharpie pen

Doodle on card panel.  Glue to card.*

*The reason I say to do this on a separate piece of paper instead of right onto the card is simply that the sharpie bleeds through the paper.  If you have thicker paper (the weight of mine is 110), you certainly don't need a separate card panel to doodle on.

Sometimes a blank surface can be daunting, but just go ahead and make a mark!  The point is to doodle.
Since it can be intimidating to start on a blank surface, I'm all prepared with tips and ideas to get you started!  If you can't think of what to doodle, here are some ideas.

I like to draw circles inside circles, but you could also just draw empty circles.  You could try going from small to big, or completely random!
I also like to draw stripes inside my circles' circles..
I did dots in a swirly design, which I think looks nice.  You could also do lines with dots, or just random dots.  I think it looks good to have them in some sort of pattern.
For the original card (pictured up yonder^), I loosely drew rows of squares of varying sizes, like in the picture below.  I like to do a biggish area full of squares.
This is something I did on only one of the cards, and don't like the look of as much as squares.  It is still nice though, and maybe your style involves more triangular things, and that is okay!
Lines!  Possibly the easiest pattern to do, and so pretty if you do it right!  HA.  What does "right" even mean?  Maggie knows not.  You can also criss-cross them and make a checkered pattern or plaid.

This is of course optional.  Not every card needs words, but if you need/want words, go for it!  Since these cards are a little wonky, I recommend writing it in wonky handwriting!
And there are some ideas for you to implement on your own cards!  There are so many more possibilities than what I listed.  Go where your mind takes you!  Or, as I put it in the first picture, let out the creative kid inside you!  I'm all about being a kid.
I gave you ideas for what to doodle, and now I'll give you tips as to how to doodle too.

Balance your lights and darks.
If your pattern at one end of the card is light, try to maintain that light throughout.  If you start out dark, keep it dark. In the first card (pictured below), I had more darks on the bottom half of the card, so I added in stripes to a row of squares at the top to even it out a little bit.
Repeat patterns.
For instance, take my squares.  I had squares in the top of the design and then again down at the bottom in the first card, and throughout on the last.  For the second card, I drew triangles on the bottom and top, as well as down the left and right edges.
Try not to get too busy.
It's my humble opinion that I got a little too busy on the second card.  You may think differently on what's busy and what's pleasing to the eye.  Of the three, I think the first is my favorite because I like the swirly-ness, and the last is almost too open for me.
Play around.
This is about doodling, right?  Play with patterns.  Trace your hand (now that's a good idea!)  Draw circles or lines over and over again, if that's all you can think of. Just don't overthink it.
Lately I've started calling people Honey Bun, in addition to Honey, Hun, Darlin', and the like.  So that's the explanation for the "What's up, Honey-bun?" card.  :)
I love that these can be all occasion cards, and could totally be for a girl or a boy, depending on the patterns you employ!
There SO many possibilities with this card.  It'd be fun to play around with a bunch and see how many different designs you can come up with.
Will you give it a try?  What is your favorite pattern to doodle?  Do you even like doodling?  I think it's great fun.

Monday, April 11, 2016

I Have a New Desk Cup! (And This is How I Made it)

Many years ago, I was all into masking tape.  Meaning, I made things with it.  I made all sorts of things.  Wallets, animal sculptures, a hand (that was pretty neat), and I even made a desk cup for myself once!  It's been sitting now on my desk for all these years, filled with pencils, scissors, and other long things that go in a desk cup.

It is made of masking tape, so over time, it's gradually slumped over, or rather, backwards, so that it can't even stand up on it's own anymore.  It's been leaning against a picture I have on my desk, half covering my friend's face.  (Sorry Rachel!)
When my mom got rid of her big 4-cup measuring glass recently because the measuring indicators on the side were nearly all rubbed off, I rescued the big ol' thing out of the trash, sure that I could make something of it.  I had the idea to make it my new desk cup soon after I took it, but I didn't just want to dispense of the old cup and use the new one without decorating it in some way!  (And let's be honest; I wanted to blog about how I would decorate it.  ;))  So this is how I did it!
You've probably noticed by now that the title of this post is half false, as I did not actually make my new desk cup, I simply...reupholstered it, so to speak?  And what did I "reupholster" it with?  That, my friend, calls for STORY TIIIME!

Once upon a time, when I was about ten probably, I got two new pairs of PJ pants, of the same silky, lovable fabric.  One was brown with different colored stars, and other was off-white with different colored hearts.  You wanna see what they look like?

I loved one pair (the brown) more than the other, but I loved them both.  I told myself (and I think my oldest sister too) that I would wear those pants until I could no longer wear those pants!

One day, when I was probably 13, I was wearing the hearty pants.  Well, I forgot to pull up the pants before I squatted, and the next thing I heard was r-i-i-i-p.  I knew where they had ripped: right in the rump.  But!  I could still wear them!  Oh yes, I could.  I continued to wear those pants until a sibling or someone said I should stop, and I finally laid those pants down to my bottom drawer, where I keep fabric and other art supplies.  (Hey, I showed you a picture of my bottom drawer in this post!)

The next summer, I had a friend stay with me for about a week (the same friend, in fact, who's picture was half covered by the masking tape cup!), and I told her the story of how the pants broke, and she thought it was very funny.  Because it was very funny.

But me thinks I should get on with this tutorial, perhaps?  Ooh, and this might be a good time to mention that this was not my idea, so don't go spreadin' this around like I'm a genius for thinking this up.  'Cause it ain't the truf!  (I mean, you can definitely go spread it around, but don't give me full credit.)  I saw it on Pinterest, and I'm sure it's been done by more people than I know of.

(In a booming voice)...GET YOUR SUPPLIES READY!  Ahem.

Old fabric (that you'd better not mind cutting)
A clear glass vessel to adhere your fabric to
Liquid glue
Spoon (or finger)
Newspaper (to work on)
Almonds (to snack on while you work)
I already discussed where I got my fabric from.  Now you just have to get your own.  My fabric is silky, but I don't think the material really matters.
Cut your fabric into strips of about an inch wide, and however long they need to be to extend from the bottom of your vessel to the top edge.  Mine were inches?  That's after cutting them like two or three inches shorter because I realized they were way too long.
Now mix together your glue and water, which you will be coating the fabric strips in.  At first I just unscrewed the top on the glue bottle and tried to squeeze it out, but, even though it made cool patterns in the water, it was not fast enough for me, so I just took off the whole top, and poured it in.  Mix it all up with a spoon (or your finger).
Dip a strip in the glue mixture and submerge until completely covered, and then pull out and sort of wipe off the glue with your fingers.
Then, making sure that the "right side" of the fabric is facing outwards, sort of lay the strip in the glass, with the top of the strip aligned with the top of the glass.  If you have a glass that is not completely straight all the way around (like this one), you'll have to trim the strips around that area accordingly.  Make sure to overlay the strips slightly.
Mind the fact that there may be bubbles, which you will want to remove before the glue dries.  It may take a few tries to get all the bubbles out, but it's worth it.  Especially if you're prone to act OCD about things...
When you're finished laying in all the strips you need, all you have to do is wait for the glue to dry!  I actually was able to pour out some of the glue that had collected in the bottom, and that sped up the drying time, or, lessened what it would have been otherwise.
Now, take a little break to snack on your almonds.  THEY'RE HEALTHY!  (I had been snacking on them this whole time, actually.  Ha, treachery!)  (Yes, there are also pretzels mixed in there with the almonds.  Ha, more treachery.)
Okay, your break's over!  BACK TO WORK!  I didn't realize until I finished the inside that I also wanted to do the handle.  My former self needed a reality check.  Because that handle needed doing!  So cut a strip that's short enough to go on the underside of the handle, and that won't curve at the top.  Dip it in the glue just like before, and then slap it on!  Nope, JK.  Don't slap it on.  It won't work very well.
The glue will drip probably, so...don't go showing off your work until it's all dry and dripless.  Isn't this heart at the bottom of the handle cute-puhtoot?
Here it is in action!

I must stress again that this idea does not come from my creative little brain, but, I have not seen any tutorial as detailed as mine (not like I looked for one...!), so I've got that at least.  Maybe you don't even care for all the details, but you got a story too!  Woot woot for bonus material!

P.S.  In case you were wondering...I still wear the brown pants.  Not sayin' they fit though.

P.P.S.  I haven't yet taken the time to figure out how to add the pin it button to my peektors, but I pin all my posts, so if you want them, go ahead and follow me on Pinterest!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Read My Guest Post!

Hey!  You know what I am super excited about today?  (Other than the fact that I'm publishing a post for the first time in over a month...)  See that card up there? ^  Well, I wrote a guest post for my friend Jennie over at Little Girl Designs, where I made that card!  And it's getting published TODAY!  Since I care about all of y'all so much, I really don't want y'all to miss out.

Here's an excerpt from my gust post, just to wet your appetite.

"I didn't purposely plan to do a card involving watercolors just because I know Jennie loves them as much as I do, but you know, I think it's fitting!  The first time I "ran into" Jennie, I knew I loved her style, and it has become more and more evident as we get to know each other that we have so much in common!  From our love of letter writing, to our love of watercolors - two things I'm combining today.  I don't know about y'all, but that gets me really excited!  (Not to mention the fact that Jennie is having me guest post on her blog.  How cool is that?)"

Curious to see more?  (I hope you are!)  Click here to read the full post!

P.S.  For the month of April (which is letter-writing month - how fun!), Jennie is doing a snail mail challenge.  I'm taking part in it, because letter writing for me is irresistible, especially when I get to use cute stationary that Jennie made!  (Doesn't mean I don't get behind on my letter writing.  Like, for instance, now.)  I think YOU should take part in the challenge also, and together, we'll send lots and lots of love out into the world!  (I know, it sounds cheesy.  But seriously, who doesn't love snail mail?)  In case you would like to take part, here's the link to sign up!  It's for the month of April, but you can join in any time.