Thursday, January 14, 2010

craft night: upcycled paper bows

I'm always excited to find good uses for old magazines and miscellaneous scrap papers. I was overjoyed when I found a tutorial for making your very own scrap paper bows. I found it here at How About Orange. I'm sure she does a better job at demonstrating this craft, but I'll take a stab at it, too.

A word from the wise. This project takes a couple of goes at it until you get it just right. Don't get discouraged! It gets a lot easier and a ton more fun as you get a few under your belt.

What you'll need:
8.5 in x 10 in scrap of paper
Hot glue gun (as always)

1. Cut 9 strips of paper 3/4 inches thick.
Make 3 of them 9 inches long.
The next 3 should be 8 inches long.
The next 2 should be 7 inches long.
The very last one should be 3.5 inches long.
2. Take one end and wrap the outside so that it touches roughly the middle of the inside and creates a pointy little loop, like so.
3. Do the same with the other side and staple it in the center. I found that the pointier you made the loop, the better the end result. Yes, this is a piece from a different bow. I need to spend less time chatting with my girlfriends, and more time taking pictures.
4. Do the same to all the strips, with the exception of the shortest one. Make that one a little circle, secured by a dab of glue.
5. Layer those loops, one on top of each other, securing each layer down with a dot of hot glue.
6. keep on layering until all loops are used. Glue the circle-loop down in the very center. Just like that, you're done!
Tip: Now, maybe you're the observant type, and you've noticed that there aren't all 9 pieces used in this specific bow. Okay, you caught me! You might have trouble fitting all those loops in, just like I did here. This is the part where I realized my loops weren't pointy enough. But never fear! Just use as many of them as you can fit, and don't worry about it. This one looks perfectly fine with only seven loops.

Here's a couple of finished bows. These utilize all 9 pieces, as we finally got the hang of this bow-making business. The one on the left uses double-sided scrap paper. Mrs. Maria J. so cleverly alternated patterns on each side to create the two-toned effect. The one on the right is a magazine page. I love the subtle punch of yellow on the inside of the bow.
Happy crafting!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

yup, it's january alright

Nothing makes a better work-day distraction than accumulating snowfall. The speculation over whether they'll send us home early, or the anxiety over the hazardous ride home are enough to send employees to every 15 minutes to check the Doppler Radar.

unbearable cold and dangerous car rides aside, it sure does make for a pretty landscape. I took this outside the window from my office building. It's just a tiny moment of serenity during a hectic day at work.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

craft night: button maker brooches

One of my favorite gifts this Christmas was a button maker. It makes pretty awesome, basic little buttons. However, Leave it to me to come up with ways to fancy up the conventional. I thought it would be fun to add crafty things like clothing buttons, fabric and ribbons and make our very own button brooches.

Here's a rough step by step...

1. Cut the graphic you want to put on your button. You can use fabric, too. The brooch in the photo above uses it, and it looks pretty snazzy. Being the Lithuanian/German/Irish/Who-Knows-What-Else Girl that I am, I chose this map of Europe.
2. Run it through your button maker. Now I apologize if you're like 99% of the population and you don't own one of these awesome but over-priced machines. I'll bet you can wrap it around an existing button, glue it on the back, and it will look just fine.
3. grab some felt and cut out the shape you would like to back your button.
4. Cut a slit the length of your button's pin and slip the pin through like so. Also, see that little doily in the left hand corner? I did the same with that one.
5. Hot glue that stuff down.
6. Add some buttons or felt flowers—anything really to your liking—and hot glue those to your button front. Then pin that baby on!
Here's a sampling of the final products!
P.S. I'm new to this tutorial writing thing, and this project was pretty open-ended, so if you have any questions, please ask! I hope you take a stab at this super-fun project. My friends and I had a blast with this one.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Sunday, January 03, 2010

the party stops here.

I make my triumphant return to the office tomorrow morning after an eleven day break. While I'm not thrilled about waking up at 6:15 tomorrow morning, I am feeling completely refreshed and ready to get to business designing some notebooks!

Howdy, 2010!

Friday, January 01, 2010

happy new year 2010!

Well, I feel like death warmed over. I did a little too much celebrating last night, so I'll make this brief. I hope you all had a safe and happy New Year's Eve, and will have a prosperous and joyous year to follow.

I don't make New Year's resolutions, but I am making it my goal to update this blog more often. I have some big plans for it, and I can't wait to continue sharing little bits of my life with you all.

Love you guys!
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