I am here.

I tried my first hot yoga class today.

It was very warm and inspirational and challenging. Very challenging. So much so that it hurts to lift my arms to write this. But as I was shaking through side plank and breathing heavily through chair pose, I got angry. Really, really angry.

I am here.

I was angry that it was challenging. I was angry that I couldn’t hold myself up. I was angry that I was dripping with sweat and slipping on the mat and everything was…hard.

I am here.

I would consider myself an excitable and passionate person. While I am not the best yogi to have ever lived, I love yoga. So I’m going back to that studio. I’m going to get better and stronger and more empowered one day at a time.

Wish me luck? 🙂

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DIY inspiration boards: college goes colorful

Hooray for snow days!

As the infamous Blizzard ’14 ravages Western New York, I watch the news reports nostalgically, feeling excited about the snow and cold temperatures and waiting to see my high school closed. Sure, I’m on break right now and technically snow days don’t affect me (save for my cancelled yoga class yesterday morning), but I miss no opportunity to stay indoors, pile on the layers and indulge in some snow day arts and crafts.

The theme of the day was (still) apartment decor! A few days ago my mom and I wandered into Hobby Lobby (we had never been) to see what it was all about. And we were overwhelmed…by how fantastic it was! I could’ve spent hours wandering around the mix of crafting supplies, fabrics and home decor, but I was on a mission. Corkboards it was.

I’ve never really been a fan of corkboards. Mostly, I hated the color. But I wanted something that I could put on my wall that was colorful and functional. I was originally looking for a cute way to display some of my favorite quotes on my wall, kind of like those wall fixtures in all different colors that you can buy for $20+ dollars. I typed in inspiration boards, hoping that I would get some ideas for wood boards with quotes on them. Well as it turns out…inspiration boards are a thing! They’re just not what I thought. They’re corkboards that have been covered with fabric to make them visually appealing.

Hm. That could work.

And so I immediately started researching corkboards, reading reviews about different brands, sizes and thicknesses. I like squares so I was thinking of getting cork tiles but they’re notoriously thin, flimsy and horrible. I found 12″x12″ cork tiles that were much thicker at Hobby Lobby and decided to go with those. The weird brown color didn’t matter since I was covering them up anyways 🙂

Materials

  • Cork board
  • Colorful fabric (I used 18×21″ quarters from Jo Ann’s)
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun

The original post used a staple gun to fasten the fabric to the board. I’ve done a similar thing with another project, so I know it works. However, the tiles I bought had no frame and I was a little worried that the staples would do some damage. Hot glue gun it was!

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I cut the fabric so as to give myself at least an inch extra on each side of the board.

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I hot glued the cork board about a half inch from the edge and pressed the fabric down to make a seal. I repeated for each side, making sure to pull the fabric tight so as to stretch it across the surface of the board.

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Then, I folded and glued the corners, making sure that they wouldn’t stick out too much.

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And that was it! The package I bought came with wall hangings, so once I’m moved in at the new place I will post a picture of the final final product. But for now, I’m pretty pleased 🙂

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The wind is howling again. Hopefully you all are dry and warm! See you around 🙂

Watercolor bubble art goes college: inspirational wall quotes

Moving (verb): to go from one place of residence to another. It can also mean to advance or progress. And that’s what I’m hoping for.

Moving can be great. A new beginning, a new location, a new place to decorate. It means making new decorations and friends and getting that first-day-of-school excited hopefulness that is so important in moving forward. But it means cardboard and plastic boxes, cleaning and sadness. I’m happy to go, but I’m sad that I have to.
But alas, a new project! I’m a sucker for quotes and watercolors and this break has afforded me much needed time to browse Pinterest and play around with all my old art supplies. I’m going to need wall art for my new room. I like finding ideas of how to make my own unique prints and then combine them with my somewhat cheesy inspiration, so you can imagine how ecstatic I was when I found watercolor bubble art. Paint. Bubbles. Quotes. It speaks for itself, doesn’t it?

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What you’ll need:

  • Bubbles
  • Bubble wand
  • Watercolor paints (I used Reeves)
  • Watercolor paper
  • Dishes to hold the paint
  • Pencils, markers (optional)

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Pour bubble liquid into the dishes. Select desired paint colors and squeeze some of the paint into the dishes. Mix using the bubble wand. Blow bubbles!

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The original posts I read recommended doing the project outside. Well, it’s winter here and the garage is covered in slush. I laid down newspaper over the kitchen table and tried to keep the bubble blowing close to the paper. Honestly, the inner kid in me was thrilled when bubbles popped in my face and I got paint everywhere. Just an occupational hazard, I suppose.

I used multiple colors in all the prints I did. At first, I switched gleefully between all different colors, trying to create a smattered rainbow on the paper. However, some of the colors ran together, creating not so beautiful color combinations. I switched my method to using one color at a time and letting the paint dry before adding another layer. I was much happier with those results…

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I let the prints dry overnight. This morning, I broke out some of my favorite drawing pencils, Sharpies of every size and color and my favorite quote from Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince). I read the original version years ago in French class and promptly fell in love with the quote: On ne voit bien qu’avec le coeur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux. According to the literary masters one finds on Google, the quote is translated as “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.” But honestly, the French is so much better.

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Later today I’ll hopefully find more quotes to use in the transformation of the rest of my piece. But now I’m off to a myriad of crafting places to get some supplies for upcoming projects. I just hope I can keep the momentum going. Until next time! Adieu.

DIY Mason Jar Candle Holders

Free time, what is that?

I’ve been home from school for about a week now. As any seasoned college student would know, summer break is a time to do the things you want and (finally) catch up on that sleep you’ve been depriving yourself of all semester. For me, this means that in my waking hours I’ve been spending a lot of time on Pinterest, pinning everything from new crockpot and cocktail recipes to summer outfit ideas to motivational quotes and inspiring projects. Something that has quickly become apparent from all this pinning is that mason jars are in, whether it’s for wedding favors, summer drink glasses or easy DIY gifts. I combined this love of mason jars with some nostalgia of elementary school crafting techniques and a summer at art camp into my first project: mason jar candle holders.

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The process is simple enough. I put down newspaper so that I wouldn’t get any of the Mod Podge on the table and wouldn’t have scraps of tissue paper lying around.

Supplies:

  • Mod Podge
  • Foam brushes
  • Tissue paper, multiple colors
  • A few mason jars
  • Scissors
  • Newspaper (optional, but for good measure

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You’ll notice that the tissue paper is cut into triangles. As I was only using three jars, I cut one folded section off of each sheet of tissue paper was I was using. I then cut each long rectangle into strips of rectangles parallel to the short side of the paper and about an inch wide. I then cut those smaller rectangular strips into squares and cut those squares diagonally to make triangles.

Arranging the colors was the best part. I suppose I picked this project because I really like playing with colors and coming up with all sorts of combinations. For my first jar, I just used purples and blues to complement some of the colors in our house. For the other jars, I used a larger spectrum of colors to be more playful and summer-y. Once I picked colors for the jars, I started by coating a small section of the outside of the jar with Mod Podge. I then stuck a few strips of tissue paper in all arrangements over the coated spot and applied another fine layer of Mod Podge over the strips to flatten them and to make sure they stuck. I repeated this process all the way around the jar, making sure to apply extra Mod Podge as some corners refused to lie flat.

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I repeated the process for the other jars that I had dedicated to the project. I picked triangles because that’s what I had seen done for similar crafts, but I’m sure that circles or squares would work just as well. In the evening, I put tea lights in the jars and lit them up. They had a really pretty glow to them…hopefully I can make a few more for late nights on the patio and or pretty decorations for my apartment!