A New Dawn Approaches…

Posted on

A new dawn, a new year, a way to cleanse ourselves of the guilt of our past mistakes by promising a brighter future. New Year’s Eve is like a public catharsis for shaking off the bad things that happened to us through the previous year, and what better way by making it a celebration filled with glitz and glam and sparkly things. One of the things I think we forget around this time of year, is how special you can make a party like that without breaking the bank.

Something that I love that you don’t see much outside of big galas is confetti. Big square confetti, small sparkly confetti, star confetti… I don’t care what shape it is, bring it on!  Though it may be a bit of a pain in the butt to clean up the next day, they are something that can make the midnight strike fun and exciting and just a little different from the norm. I’ve got two ideas for you that are super easy and super impressive. I’ve taken a tutorial here, from a Joyful Riot, which shows how to make breath powered confetti blowers. There’s even a download link so you can print the patterned horn cutouts on your computer. Otherwise, you’ll need paper (printer paper quality or better) with something to decorate them with. You’ll also need scissors, tape, tissue paper, a glue stick and whatever you’d like to make your confetti with.

First, I would cut your confetti. You can buy pre made confetti if you’d like from your local party or dollar stores. Or you can make confetti by cutting up some key ingredients. I’d say the best things to use are things that are light and easy to blow and easy to clean up.  Think cut up squares of tissue paper (use gold and silver and black for a beautiful effect and cut them no more than half an inch square), or a silver or gold hanging garland that can be cut into bits that will fly really easily. if you’re feeling ambitious and maybe aren’t doing the cleaning yourself, you can use a hole puncher to make your own, but… those things get EVERYWHERE!

Secondly, you’ll need to make your cones. You can print the template which is provided or you can make your own from a shape that looks vaguely similar to this to the right.  I wouldn’t really worry too much about getting the shape perfect. Just remember that changes to it will alter how it looks, but a lot of that can be altered by pulling your paper cone a little tighter or cutting it down.  What’s really nice is that this website has provided printable papers. I mean, not just the shape template, but patterned paper templates so that you don’t need to decorate them yourself if you don’t want to. You can. Don’t let this stop you, but you can download the paper packs here and spend ink rather than time.

When your paper is ready…

… you will need to cut out your cones and roll them. Tape them together so that the hole at the narrow end is wide enough to blow through. If it isn’t, don’t worry yourself too much. You can always cut the end off to make a bigger hole when you’re ready. These are really no-stress to make.  When your cones are sealed and won’t come apart, fill them with confetti. Don’t pack it in too hard or you may not have the breath to blow it all back out.

When you’ve filled your horns with beautiful, messy, floating confetti (I do really suggest cutting up tissue paper to use as that will float beautifully and will be really easy to blow), you will need to cut a small square of tissue – just enough to cover the open edge.  Use your gluestick to lightly apply some adhesive to the edges of the paper. you want this to hold the confetti in, but not actually be that sticky, so that the end will just pop off really easily when someone blows into it. After they’re dry… voila! You’re done and ready to party!

I like these because they’re so easy to do. There’s a second tutorial here for a hand operated confetti cannon done with a balloon as the fuel, but I’m not sure how well it would work and how easy it would be to put together, but it’s there for your perusal.

I hope that you have a great celebration and ring in the new year with joy and friends. I know I will be.

Happy New Year!

~ Megan


Drink your Fandom

Posted on

In this post Christmas, pre- New Years period I find myself adrift. With the leftovers of Hurricane Frank hitting Ireland, all I want to do is curl up with a cup of tea and do nothing.

What I didn’t know until recently, is that I can not only be drinking tea, but drinking my favorite fandoms as well. I love it when “normal” things get teamed up with fandoms, and am a prodigious tea-drinker. So I’m quite surprised at having taken this long to find out about Adagio Tea’s Fandom lines.

I adore the idea of tea designed for a favorite character. Your choice of drink can say a lot about you, and to find one designed to evoke the smells and tastes that a character would embody seems genius to me.

Of course, I was naturally drawn to the Agent Carter collection, but they’ve got something for just about every fandom going.

Not convinced? Get yourself a sampler focused around your favorite show.

Happy drinking, all!

~ eliste


DIY Light up Murals

Posted on

Since I started my art training as a traditional 2D artist but now work in 3D, I love seeing projects that try to transform 2D pieces into something more interactive/stimulating. So when I found this DIY I knew I would have to share it. 🙂

The author is a lovely woman from the UK and she does and excellent job of walking you through the steps to recreate the dandelion design seen above, but don’t let that limit your design! She uses a strand of Christmas lights (something you’ll likely find cheap right now) to achieve to light up design so you’re not limited by the source when it comes to how you want the design to look. I say go crazy and use it on a snowy landscape scene or maybe a fantasy inspired setting. The only limit is your imagination. 🙂

~Nicole


Teach Yourself Origami

Posted on

The start of the New Year is just days away. Have any resolutions you plan on starting/amending/renewing? If one of them is to learn a new skill, I’m hear to give you a bit of a leg up today. 🙂

While browsing around online during my holiday down time (as you do), I came across this little gem of a website that offers step by step guide videos for making all sorts of origami creations!

I remember making these kinds of boxes in elementary school to hold my snacks in during class. 🙂

Everything is organized by category instead of skill level, but a quick read of the design info will let you know the challenge/skill level recommend to make it. The site is run by a lovely lady called Judith and she updates her site fairly frequently, as well as providing contact info should you have any questions about the designs or maybe a request!

~Nicole


Sparkling Icicles

Posted on

We’ve been having some surprisingly warm weather lately where I live and so one of my favorite parts of the season have not even had a change to form. There is just something magical about sunlight hitting beautiful icicles hanging off the eaves of a house or from the branches of trees. I’ve been a little disappointed that my sparkling fairy forest hasn’t manifested yet so I went searching for an alternative. Enter Third Wind Studio with shiny hand blown glass icicles to save the day! The simple lines and lovely artistry help to create that image I crave.

Clear, classic, and so pretty.

Clear, classic, and so pretty.

For a bit more of a holiday spin, they also offer different colors swirled into the glass.

RedIcicles GreenIcicles

If you aren’t quite as enthusiastic about these seasonal decorations as I am, then how about a little bit of beautiful geekery? If you would like something to bring “light to dark places”, Third Wind also makes replicas of Galadriel’s phial of starlight for that Tolkien enthusiast in your life.

 

May contain the light of the elves' most beloved star.

May contain the light of the elves’ most beloved star.

Third Wind definitely seems to have the sparkling part pegged down. You can check out their other work on Etsy and Facebook.

Here’s to hoping I will still get my real icicles sometime this winter.

Stay crafty!

~Laura



A Magical Christmas Eve.

Posted on

Hello Thursday readers,

Twas the night before Chrsitmas, and all through the house,

Not a creature was stirring. Not even a mouse.

Except for the children who can’t wait for Santa to arrive. Do you remember that excitement of going to bed knowing that the house would be full of surprises the next morning? I do. This feeling of mystery and magic fades as we age, and doesn’t seem to come around all that often anymore. I think this is as good a reason as any to do a few things to make Christmas extra magical for those little ones running around the house.

I will choose a selection of small DIY things that can make Christmas morning even more special for the children in your life. Making something magical for someone else can help bring back the feeling of awe and amazement that we had when we were young.  This isn’t so much of a crafting DIY, but it is a collection of little ideas to help make the magic of the year memorable – which is especially important when you’re having a year like we are here where we haven’t yet had any snow.

Image courtesy of Stacysrandomthoughts.com

There’s a number of different websites that give you ideas. I’m going to take my favourites from all of them to show you, but I’ll also post the links to them so you can peruse the rest of them for yourself.  The first is really simple and particularly good if you don’t have a chimney (but will also work from the chimney for effect). There’s 2 ways you can do this, either using positive or negative space. First, as recommended by this Huffington Post article, you can take some big clunking boots, and place them on the floor and then sprinkle around them with something white – like talcum powder, flour, icing sugar, and if you’re feeling really ambitious about cleaning the next day…. dare I say it…. glitter.  Just pick whatever you think will be the easiest for you to clean up. It will look like Santa thumped the snow off his boots in the morning. You can use little circles of cut out paper if you’d like to make some reindeer tracks too.  You can also do this in the reverse of cutting out a paper stencil and sprinkling within the stencil. The effect is a little different – more of snow being stuck to the bottom of the boot and then sticking to the floor, but just as easy and effective.

You can cut out your own or you can use Uncle Google to find a nice stencil for you to sprinkle over. My parent’s never did this but they did something that was close. When there was snow, they used to leave footprints leading up to the house from the outside, to show that Santa had come, and I used to love it.

Another really neat little activity is to have your kids plant and grow a candy cane. Again, this is

Photo courtesy of growingajeweledrose.com

really simple and you can do it overnight before going to bed, or if you’re feeling really ambitious, you can do it over a couple days and have the candy cane emerge slowly. Basically, you’ll need a pot with some earth (or a deep bowl filled with sugar) and a “seed” – either a white or red tic tac or a red and white swirled Christmas mint. All you need to do with your kids is plant the mint, and sprinkle with some “magic” dust (aka glitter, or if you’re using sugar, why don’t you use red sprinkles instead?), and in the morning, you can replace it with a full grown candy cane or two. That depends on how many they planted of course. It’s really a neat little activity that doesn’t take a lot of money or effort to create something magical. You can find another handful of ideas on this list for making the holidays magical.

These last two ideas come from this list from the Mirror.  One easy idea that you can do with what you have in your pantry is reindeer dust. Of course this is magic dust that will attract reindeer wherever you put it so it is a must have for those homes that want to be visited first.  All you need is oats and glitter. You could even use a drop of food colouring on the oats to make them red (or half a batch red and half a batch green). You and your little ones can sprinkle this around the garden or put it in a bowl outside the house for the reindeer to snack on.

This is so simple and can make so much fun for the young ones!

The last idea that really tickled my fancy was this:

Not every home has a chimney, and not everyone lives in a house. So this is a really nice little touch to keep the magic alive and to avoid the awkward questions of how Santa gets in the house…. is to have a special key. You can find these as ornaments or you could even visit an antique shop and buy an old key – you can use red and green nail polish to decorate it however you would like. If this isn’t really an option, you can actually make it into a project to make and decorate one out of cookie or cardboard, and then sprinkle it with magic dust of course!

 

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed these really easy ways to keep the holidays a little less about gifts and a little more about the experience and the magic that create those wonderful memories. For all those who celebrate, I wish you a Merry Christmas, and to those who don’t, I wish you a joyous holiday with those that you love.

 

~Megan

 


The Smell of Christmas

Posted on

Every household has its own holiday traditions, but one that seems relatively universal in the Christian world is putting out cookies for Santa. In our house, it got taken one step further.

cookies-for-santa-584370_1280

Rather than just homebaked cookies, my house has always had to provide Santa with a plethora of selection. To that end, we made cookies.

It would begin in early December, with some of the higher-yield recipes. Every few days more would be added. Favorite after favorite, until nearly a dozen different kinds of cookies would be in our house. Far more than we could ever eat, if I’m honest.

Came home the other day and I could smell the cookies that I had cooked the night before still lingering in the air. Freshly baked cookies as you enter the house- that’s the real smell of Christmas to me. Smell is such a powerful memory aid, but we so often forget about it. It is what has finally made me feel like the holidays are here.

What’s the real smell of the holidays for you? The crispness of snow? The woodsy tree of the pine? Whatever it is, here’s wishing everyone all the best.

~ eliste


Christmas Ingenuity

Posted on

Yup, it’s gonna be here before we know it. If you are hosting anything and want to add a little last minute flair or just need some tips on how to get that icing just right. I got you covered today. 😉

While they are slowly becoming a dying breed in this K-cup loving world, you can still pick up a pack of coffee filters cheap from just about any dollar store for some easy snowy tree decorations.

Don’t have the money for expensive containers for people to take that truck load of cookies you made home? Make up a few of these so they have no excuses on keeping their car crumb free.

Yeah, you bought that box of candy canes cause it was cheap of what you always have done, but if you’re anything like me they just get tossed out after the season is over. They’re still not being eaten once they become a place card holder, but at least they look great! XD

Need a last minute decoration? If you have them, put those tomato cages to work in the winter by wrapping them in a strand of lights. ta da! Instant tree.

 


Fabric Patterns Repeat

Posted on

I’ve been seeing this float around my crafting circles for a bit now and I wanted share this great and simple instructional video for how to turn your design into a repeating pattern.

Make a Repeat Pattern in 60 Seconds with Julia Rothman

I love that this artist explained it in a simple way that also doesn’t treat their audience as if they were too stupid to understand. Making your own repeating patterns is an incredibly useful skill for those who do illustrations, as well as those of us who like to get their own fabric patterns printed on places like spoonflower. May this aid all your awesome future leggings and skirts. 😉

~Nicole