Painting: Playing Around

Have you ever had one of those weeks, when you just feel overall cruddy and grouchy? Last week was a doozy for me. I was emotionally and mentally exhausted, and I don’t love admitting that I had a few spontaneous emotional outbursts. It was a long week.

When Friday rolled around, I was ready for a break. I pulled out a big sheet of paper, all of the paintbrushes that I don’t use on a regular basis, and a few colors of paint. And then I just let loose.

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I had no pattern, nothing to follow, no rules. I just made random brush strokes, played with color and patterns. I even let paint drip down over it. It felt so good! And I know it’s nothing special, but I hung it over my bed when I was done, because it made me feel so good. I love it. Every time that I look at it, it reminds me that sometimes it’s okay to take a break from the hectic schedules. Sometimes it’s okay to just play around and have fun for an hour or two.

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I’m really trying to give myself more time to get my creative energy out. Painting is something that gives me so much joy, and I’m trying to let myself do it more.

Have a great week, everyone! Can you believe April is rolling in? Summer will be here before we know it.

xo.

Life Update: Welcoming March

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Happy March, everyone! I am certainly glad to see February make it’s exit; it’s been a really hectic and overwhelming month at school, and the weather here in Pittsburgh has just been bitterly cold for so long that I’m not sure how much longer I can stand it! We had a couple of weeks in a row where the temperature didn’t make it above zero. I am truly thankful to my family and friends for listening to me complain and grouch about the weather.

I’m hoping for some warmer weather heading our way soon (please, let there be sun!) as March unfolds. My mood has also perked up a bit because I’m headed to Florida for spring break this year, and I can’t wait to get there. I’ve been looking forwards to this trip all winter long, and just knowing that I’ll soon be laying on a beach makes me feel a little less sad on the inside.

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I made this birthday card for one of my good friends — can’t wait to mail it next month!

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I’ve been trying to improve my lettering and handwriting skills, so I’ve been practicing every chance I get (aka during lengthy lectures and while watching 30 Rock — multitasking works, right?).

Anyway, lets hope that March brings us some sunshine and warmer temps. Have a great week!

xo.

A Day at the Museum

After a long day of midterms this week, a couple of my girlfriends and I decided to head over to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History to enjoy a little study break.

The museum was beautiful, and so big that we couldn’t possible see it all in one afternoon. It made for a great outing!

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My friend snapped this shot while I admired some work by Sebastian Errazuriz. The exhibit was called “Look Again” and I thought the work was really interesting. I’m going to have to do some research on the artist!

 

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This bird chandelier by Sebastian Errazuriz was my favorite thing in the museum. I just love it!

 

We also stumbled upon a cool exhibit called “Maggie’s Centers: Blueprint for Cancer Care,” which explained about the amazing houses designed for holistic cancer care. I thought the idea was amazing, but maybe it’s just me (my future profession kind of buys into holistic health, and I believe in it, too!). You can read more about Maggie’s Centers here.

It was a fun afternoon, and I loved checking out another cool place in Pittsburgh. I’ve lived here almost 5 months now, and I still haven’t seen a lot of this city.

DIY Pretty Poster

Have you seen those pretty Kate Spade posters with the inspirational phrases and quotes on them? I love those posters, they’re happy and colorful, and I think they have the potential to add a nice touch to a room. But being a broke grad student, I can’t afford to buy “frivolous” items that much right now. So I decided to make my own version, and I love how it turned out!

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What do you think? Here’s how you can make your own pretty poster!

DIY Quote Poster

You’ll need:

  • Thick art paper or cardstock (I used paper made for acrylic paints)
  • Colored paper for the letters (I used pretty wrapping paper that my grandma had wrapped some gifts in. Reuse all of that good stuff, am I right?)
  • Mod Podge (I made my own using Elmer’s glue and water! It’s extremely easy and inexpensive, I’d recommend trying it!)
  • Paintbrush to spread the mod podge (use a cheaper one that you don’t mind using glue on)
  • Paint (optional)

Let’s get started:

1. Make a plan for your picture. Choose a quote, decide if you want a shape, plan how big your letters will be and the layout of your quote.

2. Cut out letters with your colored paper. I lightly marked the letters with a pencil, and then cut them out.

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3. Paint your paper (if you want to!). I wanted a light pink color for the background, and I love how it turned out! But you could easily leave your paper white, if you wanted to!

4. Arrange your letters on the paper. Take your time, You want to make sure that everything is exactly how you want it! I left my letters on the paper while I pasted them on, so I knew exactly where they needed to go.

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5. Use your paintbrush and mod podge to glue the letters to the paper. I made my own mod podge, with 1 part glue and 1 part water, and spread the mod podge on the back of my letters before sticking them to the paper. They stick pretty fast, so be careful with where you put them down! After all of the letters were glued down, I went back and painted over them with a thin layer of mod podge–don’t worry, it’ll dry clear!

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6. Let dry for at least a few hours, I let mine sit overnight just to be safe since I live in a humid city. Once dry, you can hang it up!

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I love how this turned out. This is a pretty easy and quick project that would make for a fun craft night with friends.

DIY: Five Minute Bookmark

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It feels a little bit silly writing a post about this project–I had a little scrap of paper left over¬†¬† from one of my recent paintings, and I don’t like to waste things, so I made a little bookmark!

Even though it was an easy project, and took less than 10 minutes for me to do, I wanted to share it with all of you. I think that it would make a really fun gift for any book-lover, and you could really put a lot into making bookmarks. You could definitely get more creative than I did! It might be fun to use some pretty scrapbook papers to doll it up a little bit…

DIY: 5 Minute Bookmark

Supplies:

  • Cardstock or a heavier-weighted paper
  • Paper, markers, stickers, glitter, or any other craft supplies that you might want to use!

Steps:

1. Decide on the size of your bookmark. I made a very skinny and long bookmark, mostly because I used a leftover scrap, but I actually really love the look of it–something about it is very dainty!

2. Decorate your paper. I used Sharpie markers to create a simple hearts pattern, and I like the way it turned out. I think it would be fun to make a more intricate bookmark next time, with a more creative pattern.

3. Start reading (so that you can show off your new DIY bookmark, of course)! I checked out 4 new books from the library this week, because I can’t control myself in the library, and I’ll let you know what I think of them. What have you been reading lately?

Picks from Pinterest: Dog Days of Summer

I can’t believe that we reached August this week! While the summer is slowing down for most people, I feel like my summer is just starting. I just finished my summer semester a week ago and I’m enjoying having a little more free time (and earning a little money at a part-time job! Grad school is expensive, you guys…). Here are some of my recent Picks from Pinterest:

1. Summer Squash Bread – I can’t wait to try this recipe. I’m still drowning in squash (the squash plant in my garden is exploding!) and I’m having trouble finding friends to take some of it off my hands.

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2. This gorgeous pineapple bikini.

3. I love this beautiful pendent light.

4. I’m still obsessed with a good pattern pant. I will never be over it.

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5. This print is both wise and beautiful.

I hope the first couple days of August have been wonderful for you! Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

XO.

 

 

DIY: Mixed Media Art

Over the past year, I’ve found one of my true loves in life: painting. My brother took a painting class in high school, which encouraged my mom to start playing around with it. Last Christmas she recruited me to paint old CD’s for an outdoor art project, and I soon became obsessed with it. I’ve improved a lot with each painting, and I find that painting relaxes me in the best, creative kind of way. Gotta love that.
Here’s an easy DIY multimedia art project for even the faint-of-heart. I promise, if you have an hour and a paintbrush, you can create something amazing.

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You’ll need:
1. Acrylic paint–choose any color(s) that you like. It’s best to keep the background a little simple if you want to use patterned papers to keep the piece cool, not crazy.
2. A paintbrush
3. Patterned paper–I used old origami paper that my grandma had given us when my brother and I went through an origami phase in elementary school. You could use cardstock, fabric, or other paper.
4. Mod podge–you can find it at any craft store, or make it at home.
5. Cookie cutters or other traceable objects (optional)
6. Painting paper or a canvas to paint on.

Let’s get started:
1. Pick an object that you want to be the subject of your art. I picked a camel, which I had a cookie cutter for, but you could do any object: flowers, animals, birds. Trace the object on the back side of your patterned paper, and cut out the shape.

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2. Get out your paints! I used pink, yellow, and white paints to make my colors. I then used a ruler to mark a straight line. I painted the ground pink, and the sky yellow, because I wanted my camels to really pop! Let the paint dry before attaching your shapes.

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3. Use mod podge to fasten your patterned shapes on the canvas. Make sure you get them positioned right! Allow them to dry, and then display.

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Nice work! I hope you enjoy this DIY art project. Play with it, and have fun!