Category Archives for: General

How to make a Chalkboard Clipboard

P1020155 (640x640)I’m crazy about clipboards. I use them ALL the time for everything! I hang art from them and put calendars on them. Every project gets a clipboard. While I don’t mind the brown chipboard that they come in, I have been wanting to dress some up, so today I present to you, my clipboard chalkboard to-do list!

*Some of the following are affiliate links.  Thanks for supporting this blog!

I bought a 24 -pack of clipboards on Amazon (you remember I use these for everything right?) but I saw them at Dollar Tree the other day, Cricut Chalkboard vinyl & a chalkboard pen from Joann’s and put this together!

First I measured my clipboard and drew it in Silhouette Studio. I like to do this step so I can have an idea of how my project will turn out + to gauge how much material I will need to cut out. I do this step for most projects, actually.

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I downloaded a rectangle scallop shape from the Silhouette Design Store here. I right-clicked and ungrouped the planner project shapes and dragged the scalloped rectangle shape over to the clipboard and clip I had drawn.

I hadn’t worked with this material before, so I went with the default vinyl cut settings in the software with my blade on 2. That didn’t seem to cut all the way through, so I left it in the machine and re-cut it and changed my blade to 3.

The chalkboard vinyl material was 12″ wide, so I *could* have left it on the roll and cut it without the mat, but you lose cutting area on the left and right border if you cut it without a mat as shown. The red line is the cut border. It’s hard to see in the cutting with a mat picture. If I hadn’t cut it with a mat, I would have risked the left and right edges of the scallops not getting cut. So a mat was used with my Silhouette Cameo Electronic Cutting Machine.

cutting without a mat

cutting with a mat

I tried to apply it directly to the clipboard skipping the Transfer paper step. I got a million bubbles and wrinkles in the few inches I tried, so I stuck it back on the backing paper and got out the transfer paper and covered the vinyl completely with the transfer paper and smoothed it out with my squeegee. P1020143 (640x640)

I peeled off one edge of the vinyl from the backing, and applied it from the bottom of the clipboard and squeegeed it to the clipboard until where it met the clip. P1020146 (640x427)

I used my exacto knife to cut the vinyl to fit around the clip at the top

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and smoothed out the rest of the vinyl at the top of the clipboard with my squeegee.

Viola! My Chalkboard Clipboard is complete! I’m planning on using this for home to do list items. I love the texture of this vinyl – I bought a roll of a different brand (I can’t remember which one) last January and never ended up using it because it was flimsy & just felt like regular vinyl, so I’m happy this one worked out! P1020153 (640x640)

What I Used:

I made this project for January’s Silhouette Challenge which theme is organizing. The bonus challenge this month was to use vinyl.

Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?

My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!

Organizing With Icons Butterfly Labels Customizing Your Erin Condren Life Planner Weekly Layout Organizing Your Craft Supplies with Labels Weekly Menu Box Peg Board Entry Way Order In Kid Land A Fun Way to Label Binders Sugar and Spice Looking Oh So Nice Turning a Plain Cabinet into Something Beautiful DIY Cash Budget Envelopes Flour and Sugar Pantry Container Labels Personalized Hair Bow Organizer Organize your Refrigerator DIY Vinyl Decorated Coupon Organizer 2015 Blog Planner Designed For Dragonfly & Lily Pads Laminated Labels with Your Silhouette The Secrets of How We Built Our DIY Play Kitchen Creative Way to Dry Winter Mittens Organizing Canvas Toy Bins with Labels Kids Closet Storage {with Rubbermaid Drawer Dresser and Vinyl Labels} Cute Gold Binder Labels {2015 Organization} Easy Vinyl Storage Organization and TWO Free Cut Files Personalized Ring Holders Upcycle for Organization Organizing Makeup with Style: A Monogrammed Makeup Case Vinyl Tupperware Labels How to Make a Chalkboard Clipboard Christmas Card Memory Book Simple DIY Holiday Storage Labels DIY Vinyl Frame Calendar with {FREE CUT FILE} Ribbons & Tapes Upcycled Organizing Box Print and Cut Pantry Labels

1. Please Excuse My Craftermath… // 2. Simply Kelly Designs // 3. Daily Dwelling // 4. Ginger Snap Crafts // 5. Our Southern Home // 6. Sowdering About // 7. The Moberg Family // 8. Decor Adventures // 9. Pineapples and Pinecones // 10. Patina Paradise // 11. The Thinking Closet // 12. It Happens in a Blink // 13. Adventures in All Things Food // 14. From Wine to Whine // 15. Practically Functional // 16. Dragonfly & Lily Pads // 17. unOriginal Mom // 18. One Dog Woof // 19. Creative Ramblings // 20. My Favorite Finds // 21. Create it. Go! // 22. A Prudent Life // 23. Where The Smiles Have Been // 24. Barb’s Life // 25. Everyday Paper // 26. Pitter and Glink // 27. Peanut Life Adventures // 28. Feto Soap Blog // 29. Our Rosey Life // 30. Two Purple Couches // 31. My Paper Craze // 32. TitiCrafty // 33. Lil Mrs Tori

Make 2015 your best year yet in life or business

At the start of each year, I set my business and personal goals. One way I’ve been organizing my goals is by using Leonie Dawson’s Create Your Shining Year workbook + calendar. She has great tips about breaking down your goals into small, achievable chunks and reviewing them monthly to help keep on track. I started using her workbook last year with real results! One of my goals last year was do every Flagship Maker Faire in the US. I made it to all of them except for Detroit! (Bay Area, New York, Kansas City) and exhibited at the most mini Maker Faires that I ever have (Houston, Tyler, Austin, New Braunfels) for a total of seven Maker Faires! I was able to share the joy of making soap and nail polish with thousands! (which is in line with my mission statement:  Enable anyone to create their own handmade beauty products!) I’m in the process now of creating a small accountability group so we can all encourage each other to grow and check-in on our goals monthly. You can get your very own copy of her book for under $10 here.

The 2015 Create Your Shining Year workbook & calendar is an incredibly popular & useful tool to help you plan out & make happen your most incredible year in life or business (or both!). Over the last six years, thousands of women have used this workbook with the most amazing results. It’s the best planning tool available to help you make your year your most exceptional yet!

Used by entrepreneurs, artists, mamas, creatives, coaches, teachers and women of all ages, the Create Your Shining Year in Life and Biz workbooks are filled with dozens of pages of powerful worksheets & a printable calendar to help you create your amazing new year.

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***This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small percentage from your purchase.***

My New Year’s Eve Dress almost didn’t make it!

10881687_278283192295815_2992649085776845229_nThe Mr & I had decided to go to a Roaring 20’s New Year’s Eve Party, and when I got Express.com’s newsletter showing off their party dresses, I saw one with fringe ALL over it (perfect, right?), so I overnighted it to my old address! Oh no! I didn’t have the contact for the couple that moved into my new place, but wait!  My friends at Latika Soap had met the couple that moved into my old condo at their Thanksgiving/Friendsgiving meal, so they were able to pass me their number.

I had talked to one half of the couple (Amy) before! She had called me in December to feature feto soap for Local holiday shopping picks for Community Impact Newspaper. Small world, huh? Within an hour, I had my dress! *phew*

I wore my long black satin gloves with it, a boa + flower in my hair. I tried cobbling together a headpiece/headband, but I have way TOO MUCH HAIR for those things!

We danced a little and drank a little, and were in bed before 1am! Here’s the only picture we took of the night! For dancing a boa and elbow-length gloves were a bit much, so those came off as soon as I got in the door.

I hope your new year’s eve was great. If not, hey, it’s the next day now. (and it was just one day, after all.)

 

My To Make List for 2015

Paper succulent in a geometric planter. Both designs are from the Silhouette Design Store.

Paper succulent in a geometric planter. Both designs are from the Silhouette Design Store.

I’m trying to spend more time on personal projects, with a goal of making *something* every day/do something you love every day. I made a few things with my Silhouette Cameo machine this week, but this was one of my favorites:  a paper succulent in a geometric planter.

These are a few of my crafty wishes and dreams for 2015. I love using my Silhouette Cameo machine to help get my projects done, and I’d like to get more familiar with my sewing machine.

cut

This would make a great tee or throw! I was thinking gold on black, grey or navy.

This would make a great tee or throw! I was thinking gold on black, grey or navy.

  • double-sided adhesive for valentine’s themed wall art – I have the background paper ready, but waiting on the double-sided adhesive Update: 12/30 the materials came in. I’ll post my valentine’s decor mantle soon.
  • use frosted vinyl to create an etched look on glass – I have some giant knitting needles that need a home, and I’d use an image of a ball of yarn. Also thinking about making one of these for a friend that crochets. Update: 12/30 the materials came in and I vinyled the two vases. I’m going to do a side-by-side post about etching vs using frosted vinyl.
  • more decorative throws for our couch either with Heat Transfer Vinyl or Fabric Stenciling Update: I made one on 12/28 and will include it in my Valentine’s Decor post
  • make a stamp (either with the Silhouette or a carving tool) to make my own patterned fabric for throws. I like pillows, can you tell?
  • make a clear glass block with lights in it Update: Lights acquired!
  • painted/stenciled wood sign
  • cut fabric with my machine for cards and wall hangings – I haven’t cut out fabric yet with my machine, so it’s something I’d like to tackle
  • heat transfers for tees. So many ideas and HTV purchased, but need t-shirt blanks.
  • chalkboards – a large piece, maybe cover some clipboards with it

sew

  • fabric wall hangings that I’ll probably use HTV or stencil and put dowels at both ends.
  • curtains for the french doors sunroom with the fabric I brought back from India
  • gusseted makeup bag(s) with some awesome black and gold oilcloth I picked up from the Stitch Lab
  • bolster pillows with wood grain fabric I bought last year at Stitch Lab
  • zippered throws

grow

  • wheatgrass
  • succulents

Holiday shows year end wrap-up

The end of November and December was a whirlwind of shows you guys! It started with my first show of the holiday season, the Winter Holiday Art Market in Houston, then I immediately came home and loaded my booth up for the Blue Genie Art Bazaar that opened on Black Friday, and I was at Renegade Craft Fair for Small Business Saturday the next day! I had a one weekend reprieve from doing shows, and then I was back at it at the Cherrywood Art Fair!

Blue Genie ran through December 24th, open from 10am – 10pm, so I was there in the mornings and most evenings to restock and straighten up my booth. It was my home away from home this December. I moved this summer from our place on 360/2222 to NACA, so now I’m only 10 minutes from the Marchesa Hall and Theater, where the Blue Genie Art Bazaar is held.

Speaking of moving, I barely got my shelving installed in my work space when holiday show prep was upon us! I had two great apprentices Ashley and Tiffany, who came in at least once a week  (but usually more) to help me package and occasionally make some of my goodies. They helped me at shows and gave me feedback when I wanted to change things up with my products. They also helped me keep sane during the holiday rush. I’m so appreciative of ALL of the hours they put in. Without them I wouldn’t have been able to keep up!

Thank you EVERYONE who came out and bought handmade. You make this all worthwhile!

The Austin Mini Maker Faire is this weekend!

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Holy Crapola folks! Can you believe it’s been a year since the last Austin Mini Maker Faire? It’s not feeling so mini anymore! We are back at the Travis County Expo Center (back where Austin Maker Faire set up in 2007) . It will be chock full of Art, Crafts, Robotics & more! We’ll even have a 3D printing village!

I’ll have my Make Your Own Soap Booth there of course, where you can create a custom bar of soap on the spot! Continue Reading

Help this new Art Studio in E. Austin

Vanessa has an Equity Endeavor going on to raise funds for her new art studio expenses. She started out as a traveling art business as the only teacher (I can relate… I’m a traveling educator as well!) and believes that anyone can create art (I want to enable anyone to create bath & body products.) so I think her dream of having a brick and mortar where people can go to learn the skills of creating art is worthy of your support. Please give what you can give.

Here’s a short video about her mission:

She invited me to take part at her open house/grand opening this week by bringing a hands-on project. I brought my make your own nail polish setup and invited my friends to join in on the fun.

We both were in the workstudy program at Bikram Yogagroove when it was still open. Her new art studio is next door to Bikram Yoga East Austin. It was nice to see a lot of familiar faces from the Bikram community in support of her studio opening. There were awesome raffle prizes, like a gift card to Kome Sushi, Business Coaching, 2K in website design, a month of Bikram classes & more! I won a painting class at Art & Soul, and my friend Joyce from Huckleberry won the website design raffle prize!

Style Speaks event wrap-up

I had so much fun helping these fashionistas mix up their custom nail lacquers with Juliette on Sunday afternoon! I met Juliette at Renegade Craft Fair the previous weekend, and she was one of the first people I helped make creme polish with! She made all the cremes in this gallery, and is wearing them in the pale aqua and green swatches! She has a fine art background, so I was happy to have her help mixing custom colors on Sunday! She’s also talented at nail art (see the vintage flowers on her “party nail”?) and you can see more of her designs on instagram. She’s @jetpack31.

Sum Photo Booth was there with his green screen to put everyone on the cover of the mag! Neat, huh? I didn’t get much of a chance to leave the nail polish mixing, but Lindsey from Influential Magazine has a nice write-up about the event. (and she took lots of pictures of my booth, thanks!)

Make polish at Art & Soul Open House on Wednesday


 

I was invited to bring a a hands-on project to the Art & Soul Open House this coming Wednesday night. I’m bringing my custom nail polish workshop! Just let us know you are coming so we can bring enough supplies! RSVP here.

Wednesday, March 26, 6:00-9:00 pm  3801 Berkman Drive, Austin, TX 78723

Join us for a Celebration! Now that we’re settled into our new space, it’s time to throw a party!

THANK YOU for all you’ve done to help our dreams at Art & Soul come true!

We will be holding a party on Wednesday, March 26 from 6-9pm as a celebration of all we’ve accomplished so far. This party is to celebrate YOU, our loyal friends and patrons, and also serves as an open house to encourage new friends to learn about our programs.

Come enjoy painting, nail polish making, wine, socializing with friends, and meeting new people in the local art community. Family and friends are welcome too!

Maker Meetup at Thinkery21

On Thursday we set up the Austin Mini Maker Faire booth at SXSW Create and then headed to the Thinkery21 event, where we hosted a Maker Meetup with Dale Dougherty!
He asked a creator of a robot drummer (Pony Trap) to give a little demonstration at the event:

Pony Trap and its creator will be at the upcoming Austin Mini Maker Faire.

I got Dale to shake my number randomizer for raffling off TechShop passes! He was a great sport, and for the third shake he wished for a woman to win, and guess what?! Melissa M. won a one month membership + SBU Class at TechShop! Dale wants more women in maker spaces like TechShop and it was great to be able to speak to him in person about developing maker spaces that are welcoming to women.

Nails Y’all was there teaching people how to do nail art! I ran into Andrea – my 2012 soapmaking apprentice because she wanted to learn what Maker Faire was all about. It’s an amazing event with everything from robotics, 3-D printers to crafts.

You can still apply to bring your project or share your awesome skill or participate in some unique Maker-ly tinkerliscious way in Austin Mini Maker Faire on May 3! Get your application in before April 12th… it’s gonna feel so good.

My Favorite Keyboard Shortcuts for WordPress

wordpress kitchen sinkI’ve been blogging more lately here on the WordPress platform, and noticed I had to keep scrolling up to click the Add Media or Insert Link buttons, and didn’t know about the availability of keyboard shortcuts for these two features –which was kind of a pain because I link or insert lots of pictures into my posts. So today I present to you:

My favorite/most used Keyboard Shortcuts for WordPress: 
Bold: CTRL+b (works in most apps, like Word) 
Link:
 Alt+SHIFT+a
Insert IMG URL: ALT+SHIFT+m

and here are a few more Keyboard Shortcuts for WordPress: 

Blockquote: Alt+SHIFT+q
Bold: Alt+SHIFT+b
Code: Alt+SHIFT+c
Insert date/time: Alt+SHIFT+s
Insert IMG URL: ALT-SHIFT-m
Italics: Alt+SHIFT+i
Line Break: SHIFT+Enter
Link: Alt+SHIFT+a
List Item (li): Alt+SHIFT+l
Ordered List (ol): Alt+SHIFT+o
Publish the Post: Alt+SHIFT+p
Read More: Alt+SHIFT+t
Redo: CTRL+y
Strikethrough: Alt+SHIFT+d
Undo: CTRL+z
Unordered List (ul): Alt+SHIFT+u

I’m so lucky!

March’s Silhouette Challenge is paper. I decided to decorate my workroom with a banner and horseshoe I downloaded from the Silhouette store:

lucky (2)

I used Recollections brand 65 lb cardstock (the 8.5 x 11″pack of greens) I picked up from Michael’s for all of the green paper I cut out and a greenish-gold/tan color sheet from a DCWV Neutrals 12×12″ Cardstock Stack for the letters and the horseshoe.

I already had the green autumn doily on my corkboard. It was one of the first things I cut out when I got my silhouette.

P1000914 (2)…..and of course I cut out cards to tuck into my online orders, like for my bath bomb of the month club.

I experimented with lowering the blade setting down to 2, but in some spots of the paper I was left with small uncut spots that I hit real quick with my exacto knife. I punched/poked out the tiny cut parts with a small screwdriver and then adhered them on to a pink backing to give the cutout more strength and contrast. I also experimented with placement. I like the top right ones the best. I also learned that Elmers glue is too wet (I got some puckering and wrinkling) when working with this paper, so I switched to using a CraftBond glue stick instead.

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Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?

My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!

The Great Lamp Rescue Barnyard Animal Paper Garland & Party Details Sweet and Simple Easter Bunny Card Owl Theme Baby Shower Ombre Paint Chip Earrings & Free Cut File Spring is Blooming Drop It (Like It's Hot) Hexagon Tray Spruce Up Your RECIPE BOOK Gift Card Giving Free Cut Files Custom outlines for stamps Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Juice Boxes Wine Themed Bridal Shower Learn How To Make A Sewn Paper Garland! Moroccan Thank You Card 3D Flower Spring Wreath For the Love of Paper: Cutting Embellishments Create Your Own St. Patrick's Day Cupcake Wrappers and Toppers Swimming Word Art St. Patrick's Day Lime White Chocolate Chips Cupcakes + Freebie You're invited to a dog party! I'm so Lucky! Spring Wreath with SIlhouette Cut Flowers Tiny Princesses Paper Dolls Colorful Quote with your Silhouette Get Well Bouquet with Persimmon Roses Greeting Card Holder Baby Shower Invitations How-To Create a Custom Pillowbox on Your Silhouette Machine + Free Cut File! Quality Time Jar Matchbox Cover with {FREE CUT FILE} DIY Baby Girl Shower Invitation Candy Alphabet Travel Game Paper Garland Pretty Paper Roses DIY Geometric Heart Journal Hand Made Decorations for a Pirate Party Wedding Shower Gift Heart Map Decoupaged Letters (A scanner + A Silhouette = Spectacular results!) Easter Pop-up Box Card with Sweet Sorbet Designer Paper from Stampin' Up! Better World Greeting Cards Star Wars Silhouette Canvas Monogrammed Gifts Make Printable Gift Wrap with your Silhouette Software Free Printable: Blank Banner with free Silhouette Cut File

1. McCall Manor // 2. The Turquoise Home // 3. Creative Savings // 4. Sandpaper and Glue // 5. The Thinking Closet // 6. Sowdering About in Seattle // 7. Persia Lou // 8. From Wine to Whine // 9. Dream a Little Bigger // 10. Please Excuse My Craftermath… // 11. Play. Party. Pin. // 12. Everyday Paper // 13. Practically Functional // 14. A Tossed Salad Life // 15. My Favorite Finds // 16. The House on Hillbrook // 17. Adventures in All Things Food // 18. A Glimpse Into Barb’s Life // 19. TitiCrafty // 20. The Experimental Home // 21. feto soap blog // 22. Creative Ramblings // 23. The Stamp Doc // 24. Ginger Snap Crafts // 25. Simply Kelly Designs // 26. Whats Next Ma // 27. unOriginal Mom // 28. Bringing Creativity 2 Life // 29. Cutesy Crafts // 30. My Paper Craze // 31. Create & Babble // 32. Grey Luster Girl // 33. The Sensory Emporium // 34. Lil’ Mrs. Tori // 35. Black and White Obsession // 36. Mama Sonshine // 37. Weekend Craft // 38. Creative Carnival // 39. Peace, Love and Joyce // 40. Tried & True // 41. The Frill of Life // 42. Dragonfly & Lily Pads // 43. Get Silvered // 44. Minted Strawberry

TaffyPrint + Embroid Me North Austin

I needed to customize favor bags for a wedding, and thought I could use some printable iron-on heat transfers to make that happen. My home iron did not get or stay at 380 degrees F,  so it adhered the printed vinyl to the bags and did not release the paper backing like so:

2014-02-25 15.04.17

I contacted the vendor that sold me the heat transfer vinyl and he said I needed a heat press if my iron was not hot enough. I called Stephanie at TaffyPrint first, who referred me to Mike at Embroid Me North Austin. They let me come in for an hour and use their heat press. I was able to press 8 bags at a time, and had very few imprints that didn’t work out! *phew* Thank you Mike and Michael (who showed me how to work the heat press) for helping me in my time of need!

I’m planning on dropping off a few aprons to get them embroidered, like the ones I  embroidered at Tech Shop:

lisa chouinard

They can customize just about anything:  Continue Reading

My first Birchbox

Everything in the box!

Everything in the box!

My friend David Brown suggested that I subscribe to Birchbox, a beauty product sampler box.  I love trying beauty products, so subscribing to a sample box is perfect!  This is what was in my first box:

I was surprised that there were no ingredients listed anywhere on the packaging or the printed insert, so I went to the FAQ and it said to look up each product to figure out what it has in it. I’d say this subscription is not for anyone who has allergies or who wants natural products, because you can’t just open it up and start trying things! I was actually at their FAQ to figure out how to report damage – the hair oil had leaked all over everything in the box during shipment. I emailed them and they are sending me a replacement.

These were the samples in my box. The prices listed are for the full-sized version of the products.

Beauty Protector Protect & Oil | Full-size, $21.95
WHAT Exclusive launch! This just-for-you hair oil defends against UV rays, heat, and breakage.
HOW   Work 1-3 drops into damp hair, or to the ends of dry hair. Perfect for all hair types.
My review: It works similarly and has the same texture of the Frizz-Ease hair serum I already use. I used it in place of Frizz Ease today. It contains the same first two ingredients that is in the John Freida Frizz Ease I use (Cyclomethicone and Dimethicone), plus Argan oil. It smells like super sweet cotton candy, but I think I’ll keep using Frizz Ease. Cyclomethicone is liquidy- like water, while Dimethicone has a consistency of honey or a thick syrup.

Harvey Prince Hello | Full-size, $55
WHAT Best-selling spritz that mingles cheerful citrus with floral notes. Well, hello there!
HOW   Apply to pulse points and let this upbeat scent do the talking.
My review: It reminds me of every perfume sample in a magazine. I could smell the citrus and floral notes, but maybe it’s not for me. I  sprayed it on my wrists in the afternoon, and by evening I can barely smell it on my skin.

OPl Sheer Tints in Don’t Violet Me Down | Full-size, $9
WHAT This tinted top coat gives nails a wash of high-shine, translucent color.
HOW   Wear alone for a subtle tint, or over your go-to polish for a chic shade-shifting effect.
My review: I haven’t tried it yet. It’s a tint, so I might try pairing it over silver to see what happens. Hopefully something good.

Skin&Co Roma TRUFFLE THERAPY™ SERUM Boosting Anti-Aging Serum | Full-size, $75
WHAT Antioxidant-rich truffle extract helps smooth wrinkles and restore dull, parched skin.
HOW   Once a day, apply a dime-sized amount to clean, dry skin, massaging until fully absorbed.
My review: Smells nice – like fresh cut grass, but I probably need to use it for a few more days to give a better review. It has the same texture as MAC’s Oil Control Lotion that I didn’t use today under my base. I was noticeably oilier only using the serum, so I might just apply it to my neck or on my face at night.

LIFESTYLE EXTRA
Harney & Sons Fine Teas Paris Rich and White Grapefruit Wrapped Sachets | Full-size, $9.60
WHAT Rich and flavorful tea blends from the family-owned craft brand.
HOW Steep 3-5 minutes in near-boiling water.
My review: I haven’t tried these yet, but Harney & Sons makes one of my favorite teas: Cinnamon Spice, so I’m sure these will be great.

Do you subscribe to Birchbox? Do you want to? Here’s my referral link (I think I earn points or something when you sign up.) It’s $10 a month ($10 for 4 – 5 samples that includes shipping)

I signed up for the ipsy bag this weekend too (also $10 for 4 – 5 samples) to compare boxes and because you know, I *need* more makeup.

*These reviews are my own and I haven’t been compensated for them.

Draw Something Every Day

 

discovery doodles

I attended a talk during SXSW Interactive last year where the illustrator reminded us how we need to practice drawing every day, because it enables us to communicate our ideas visually. In the same spirit, I think anyone can learn how to draw/make. Here’s a free book that will teach you how to draw, including some pictures and guides from the easy and cool things to draw collection I found online. She even goes over color theory!

A review of the book resonated with me, because I love to empower my students to make their own products:

“She takes even the most non-artistic reader and empowers them to think brilliantly using visual language.” -Sunni Brown

She’s sharing her book with the world at no cost until March 5th: ” Discovery Doodles: The Complete Series” today at: http://doodleinstitute.com/#section3.

Nails Y’all Advanced Nail Art Class

Nails Y'all Advanced Class Examples

Nails Y’all Advanced Nail ArtClass Examples

Last Sunday, I went to @nailsyall‘s Advanced Nail Art Class. I signed up for it by mistake! I meant to sign up for the Beginning Class, but as it turned out, I was the only beginner to sign up, so Meghann invited me to the Advanced class. She caught me up to speed by reviewing how to do an ombre, tiger stripes and leopard spots. I chose a tan and deep blue for my first ombre.

Starting my first ombre

Starting my first ombre

We had the option of practicing on our nails or on a nail wheel. Most of the people I know who do nail art use a plastic yogurt container top as their palette, but Meghann uses small pieces of foil. She had us tear off little pieces of a makeup sponge to use for our ombre. My favorite designs were the ikat (southwest diamond weave pattern that’s made it’s way back into current fashions) and the lady eye. The most difficult design for me was the tribal nail design (stripes, dots and triangles!) and the leopard (think in terms of three when you outline!). My wheel is the one that’s front and center: 2014-02-16 18.11.13I painted over the leopard with my favorite citron green color. She also taught us how to make a shattered glass look and how to make turquoise with plastic wrap. She may have covered more, but the tribal nail took me FOREVER, so I may have been still working on that one! Meghan said that it sometimes takes up to three hours for her to finish a tribal nails pattern on a client! Wowzers! Since I didn’t get to attend the beginning class, she gave me a copy of the zine she illustrated for the first class (she’s also a talented cartoonist) along with other goodies + tips on how to use them. I promptly lost my black striper brush as soon as I got home, so I ordered a whole set of 25. You might be thinking “You ordered nail polish? But you make nail polish!” Yes! I ordered nail polish! Striper polishes are those nail polish bottles that have a super thin brush like an eyeliner brush. I did some research online and couldn’t find any at a reasonable price. It actually cost less for me to buy a set of 25 stripers ($20 shipped) than to buy 25 empty striper brush bottles! I may not have looked hard or long enough, and didn’t go to any local stores, so I might be able to find some there! And you know after I find some, I will totally be making my own striper nail polishes!

Another thing you might be thinking is “Why did you go to a nail art class?” so I’ll answer it just in case: I am a formulator, designer & teacher. I make & teach others how to make their own nail polish (any color I desire whether it be a creme, shimmer or glitter bomb) but that doesn’t make me an nail technician (like the talented Meghann) or expert on nail art. (not yet anyway! I have a lot of practicing to do!) Nail art is something that takes practice, like any other skill, amirite?

Meghan’s next nail art demonstration is at The Thinkery, March 6th, 7-9pm.

and I’ll be teaching my next walk-up nail polish making workshops at SXSW Create on Friday, Saturday & Sunday March 7-9, 11am- 6pm at the Austin Mini Maker Faire booth. It’s at the Long Center 701 W. RiversideCreate-for-Web

and at SXSW Renegade Craft Fair March 13, 14 + 15th Noon – 8pm at the Palmer Events Center. RCF spring 2014

Both of these events are FREE and open to the public. 
SXSW Guest Pass is required to attend this and many other free SXSW events. Get yours on site at Renegade or in advance at multiple Austin locations. More information here.

Happy New Year!

best year yetI’ve really appreciated the time off I’ve taken after the holiday &  have been doing lots of personal crafting after having a nice rest. This is a free printable from C.R.A.F.T. made by Vanessa at the Tried & True blog. I’ve “known” Vanessa for probably 10 years now from an online business forum (The Switchboards) and we reconnected on instagram recently.

I wanted to see if my Silhouette Cameo could mimic chalkboard art with the sketch pen feature because I have some ideas for how I want to decorate for Valentine’s, so I traced the printable with a copper metallic pen on black cardstock. I’m happy with how it turned out. I might sketch some smaller versions for my smash book(s). Marshall’s had them on sale for $5.99 yesterday (I’ve seen them for $12 at Target), so I picked up one for myself + one for my biz. I’m collecting bits of paper to put in them and might do a year in review starting from December 2013 and going backwards.

These are just some of the things I’ve been cutting out of with my machine – mostly paper and vinyl that I had on hand.

corkboardsilhouette crafting2014-01-02 10.08.252014-01-02 10.06.50

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