Feb 4, 2014

Timey-Wimey Book Binding Project and Art Journal Idea!

What do time travel, art journals, brown paper, book binding, Dr. Who, embroidery, polaroids, Star Trek and sealing wax have in common? 

My Timey-Wimey Journal project! 

No idea what that means?
Guess I'll have to enlighten you.

Sometime last year I got a positively brilliant idea. I was inspired by Dr. Who and decided to make a journal somewhat like River Song's. (For you non-Whovians out there: the Doctor and River are both time travelers, and River keeps a journal so when they run into each other they will know where they're at in each other's stories and River won't give spoilers about the Doctor's future, etc. The show is also where I got the phrase "Timey-Wimey" ... it's from a famous Dr. Who quote.)

So basically, thinking about time travel journals eventually led me to this idea. I decided it would be AWESOME to write to my future self, leave some blank pages, and then seal the book for ten years. The idea is that when I open the book, I will fill in the blank pages with responses to what my past self wrote. Like an interactive time capsule, y'know? A journal between my now-self and my then-self.

But I couldn't use just any common journal for this brilliance, so I decided to bind my own! This is much different from my last book binding escapade because I used a real tutorial this time instead of just making up random goop as I went along. ;)

I used this awesome super-easy-to-follow tutorial up until about the 6:20 mark in the video, after which I guess I did end up doing my own thing, now that I come to think of it. Apparently I can't get away from making up random goop after all. :-/

Anyways, I wanted my book to be TARDIS blue like River's, so I went to a thrift store and found a old bright blue book to tear apart. I cut off the front and back covers and part of the binding. I used a few strips from the original spine and covered two small sections of my binding for reinforcement. I didn't want to cover the whole edge though because I was impressed with my binding skillz and wanted to show it off. ;) After that, I simply glued the covers to the first and last page of my book, on top of the spine reinforcements. Just gluing them on worked really well, actually, because I had used super thick paper!

I like the texture of the cover. The squares remind me of the doors on the TARDIS!

Then on to filling the inside with time traveling goodness. Writing to my future self really sparked my imagination for some reason! (As you can see from the polaroid, this was before I got my pixie cut ... I've been working on this book for a long time, I guess. Oh, and this is the camera I used.)

Click to enlarge

After the intro page, the first thing I did in my journal was to put myself into context for my future self. I wrote down how old I was, where I was living, what I was doing, what my family was doing, etc. 

Then I wrote a bit about where I was at, just in ... life. Where my thoughts and emotions were, that sort of thing. The chameleon is in reference to how I was at a point in life where I was exploring different personalities and always morphing and blending into situations to try out different versions of self during the process of growing up. More about that towards the end of this post if you're interested.

The next one is one of my favorite pages, and it made me reaaallly fall in love with my choice of using brown paper. The thing I love most about drawing on brown paper is that you can really use white instead of just negative space. White becomes an actual color that really pops and adds such dimension! If you've never tried brown paper, I highly suggest it.

(For this doodle I taped a square with washi tape, filled in the space around it, and then pulled off the tape; I thought the clean edges made a cool look. It's especially prominent in the top left corner!) 

And of course I had to include one of my favorite Dr. Who quotes! (Written in silver sharpie.) 

We all change ... when you think about it. We're all different people all through our lives. And that's okay, that's good. You've got to keep moving, so long as you remember all the people that you used to be. I will not forget one line of this. Not one day. I swear. I will always remember when the Doctor was me.

This quote made me realize that remembering who I have been and being okay with changing and becoming someone new is kind of the whole point of this journal, and I think that's really cool. <3

I had fun throwing in some craziness too. Like predicting the futures of my family members and friends, and then leaving a page for my future self to fill in if I was right or not. :)

I am just so fascinated by the idea of life and how we can look back all we want, but we can never look forward. All the mysteries our lives hold for us that we won't know until we've lived them. It's so strange, and so intriguing. 

I found some lyrics that I fell in love with. Personally, I don't really enjoy this style of music, but the words are beautiful so I had to include them. 

From where I'm standing
Lord it's so hard for me to see
Where this is going
And where You're leading me
I wish I knew how
All my fears and all my questions
Are gonna play out

In a world I can't control 

From where You're standing
Lord, You see a grand design
That You imagined
When You breathed me into life
And all the chaos
Comes together in Your hands
Like a masterpiece
Of Your picture perfect plan
When I'm lost in the mystery
To You my future is a memory
Cause You're already there
You're already there
Standing at the end of my life
Waiting on the other side
And You're already there
You're already there

One day I'll stand before You
And look back on the life I've lived
I can't wait to enjoy the view
And see how all the pieces fit

One day I'll stand before You
And look back on the life I've lived
Cause You're already there
You're already there
When I'm lost in the mystery
To You my future is a memory
Cause You're already there
You're already there

(Pieces of Already There, by Casting Crowns) 

Aaaaannnd then I decided to embroider some life advice for my future self onto one of the pages:


And on the very last page, I included some more time-travely nerdiness - from Star Trek this time.
In case you are not a Trekkie, Spock always makes the Vulcan solute with his hand and says, "Live long and prosper" instead of goodbye. At one point in the film, he talks to his future self (Spock Prime). When it's time for goodbye, Spock Prime makes the solute and says:

"Since my customary farewell would appear oddly self-serving, I shall simply say ... good luck." 

And yes, I thought putting that at the end of my time-travel journal was devastatingly hilarious. Don't judge.

And for the final touch, I decided to seal the book with actual real honest-to-goodness sealing wax. Because my sister just happened to have some on hand ... I have a cool family. 

In between all the artsy pages I also did a lot of plain ole writing, asking my future self a ton of questions about if I was happy with my choices about college, what kind of job I should/would get, if I'd found my purpose/what in heck I should do with my life, what happens to my siblings and all their questions, what happens to all my friends/who will stick around in my life, etc. etc. The answers should be pretty interesting. 
I'm secretly hoping that my future self will be cool enough to reply in ten years, add more new stuff, seal it for another ten years, and etc. etc. 
We shall see. :) 

And now, I will leave you with a few more ideas for things to include in a time travel journal: 
  • A bucket list or a page on where you want to be in ten years. (How much will you actually accomplish in that amount of time?)
  • A letter reminding yourself what kind of person you hope to become. (How will you match up to your past self's hopes?)
  • A prediction about your life in ten years, done by a close friend or family member. (How well do they know you?)
  • Your favorite books/movies/music. (Has your taste changed?)
  • Photos! (You could totally recreate the pose/location/outfit in ten years ... it'd be hilarious and awesome.)
  • Ask your future self to introduce you to someone you will love very much, but haven't even met yet at this point in your life. (A new friend? A new relative?)

The possibilities for awesomeness are endless!

So what do you think of a time traveling journal? Does writing to your future and past self sound intriguing? 

Jan 27, 2014

Thrifted Dress --> Infinity Scarves

Sunday afternoon and it was blizzarding out. What to do, what to do. 
After pacing around for an hour or so I finally sat down with a project I've been meaning to do for a long time. It's the sitting-down-to-start part of projects that always gets me. Once I'm working it's fun, I just have to get through a lot of resistance first. :P 
Creativity probs. 

Anyway, this is a dress that I thrifted agggessssss ago. I originally wanted to restyle it into a skirt that fit properly, but quickly decided that was too much work. (I'm kinda really super lazy. Don't tell.) 

Sooooo ... I decided for an easier use of this cute fabric. Infinity scarves!

First I cut off the band on top.

Then I separated the lining from the outside with a seam ripper.

And here they are, two pre-looped infinity scarves!
Super easy.

I could have just left it there, but the raggedy edges were kinda bothering me. (Laziness and perfectionism is an unfortunate combination, let me tell you.)
And besides, I had already gone through all the work to set up my sewing machine. Couldn't let that go to waste. ;)

I just did a super easy hemmety-hem-hem. Didn't even bother putting in pins. Cuz I'm such a good seamstress. (Read: Too much work. Am I sensing a theme here?)

After the hemming, I went back over it and snipped the raw edges as close to the seam as I could. Gotta make it look neat, wot. 

And ta-da! A cute candy-striped infinity scarf. 

Worn doubled: 

Even the lining made a cute summer-weight white scarf! 
[Aannnd this is where I started having too much fun with weird lighting, focus, framing, and photo combinations. Oops.]

And project bonus! The drawstring makes a cute headband. :)

Overall, this was a super simple and fun afternoon project. Plus, using a thrift-store item is one of the cheapest ways to get cute fabric!
Have you ever remade a thrifted item?

Jan 15, 2014

Snow Dragon!

After -50 degrees windchill last week, 40 degrees felt positively balmy. I mean, seriously. That's 90 degrees warmer within a week. Crazy Minnesota. -_-

To celebrate the warmth, we went to a park with a bunch of friends. It turned into a t-shirt & mittens, snowball fight, and snow-dragon-building kinda Sunday afternoon. A bunch of pals making something together just for the heck of it. Seriously can't get much better than that, guys.

*Photos from various iPods & phones among the group. Some days simply do not require fancy cameras or fancy words to make them appear lovely. They just are. :)

Evening shadows at 3:30.

We left cold and wet and rosy happy, congratulating ourselves on the completion of one dang epic dragon. If we do say so ourselves. 

Have you ever built anything crazy out of snow (or sand, for that matter)? 

Nov 25, 2013

Dear Person: of helicopters, pixie cuts, and ironic sweaters

Spent the afternoon reviving my Dear Person project instead of writing that paper which is due tonight.
Is it bad that I feel like I got my priorities straight?

Drawing again felt SO good. These three letters are from things I saw on our recent trip to Minneapolis! 

That last one is definitely my fave. :) Which is yours?

P.S. Check out more Dear Person letters here

Nov 13, 2013

Little things

Life’s to-do list is a marathon long and an abyss deep this day. The weight of all I must do holds me down so I cannot do it. And then my friend texts me about how the wind is so delighted about the fact that it can just rush somewhere - anywhere, and the prairies are shivering and giggling, and we are mostly shivering, but the sun is happy and that makes the day glorious. And suddenly the abyss loses its hold on me. The sun dances through the window, warming my empty face with light. The fridge hums peacefully. There is fresh coffee. Mom and Dad came home from Florida yesterday, and sand that hitchhiked from that distant roaring deep living ocean decorates our dining room table with grit.

These little things will save me today.

My God is a God who has been saving his kiddos from abysses since the dawn of time. Using light or sound or coffee or grit: doesn't matter. He will save us whatever it takes.

      It is days like today when writing half a page of simple words and posting it without pictures is enough. It is days like today when picking up that extra fork and putting it into the dishwasher instead of letting it lay apathetically dirty on the counter is a victory. 

     It is days like today when little is big and little is enough and little will triumph. 

Oct 25, 2013

Adventuring where you are

So here's the thing.
My posts are gonna be sporadic. Because school. Because SO much school. 
However. I still adore blogging and don't plan on stopping anytime soon. So hang in there peeps! :)

A few weeks ago (this shows how busy I am ... haven't had time to blog it until now!) my sister hijacked me away from school and took me on a bike ride. Halfway through she gets this mischievous grin and says, "I have an idea." 
I love it when she does that. :D

Before I knew it, we had ended up at moxie java for coffee. Unstyled hair, tired school eyes and brain, and very ready for a vacation. 
An urban sister's date. 
The best. :)

We sipped our coffee and took pictures of everything and admired architecture and people-watched ... and you know? It felt like a real live vacation. I don't know about you, but we never just go out for coffee in our own town. I don't know why; we have a beautiful downtown area that feels almost as exciting as visiting a new city. 
Taking the time to sit in the sun and breathe in the urban atmosphere ... it was needed.

Street art! 

This is my blissful face:

And this is my that-face-looked-dumb-I-crack-me-up face. ;)

Taking time to notice reflections and details:

It's emptyyyyyy. :(

And then we biked slowly home, leaves skittering across the road on that Indian-summer day.

On a side note, we passed this abandoned factory.
I've been wanting to go into it for like, years now.
Maybe one day ...
(Ok, probably not. But in my dreams? Definitely.)

I highly suggest taking time to be a tourist in your own town sometime. Just doing something that you normally save for vacations only (going out for coffee, sitting on a restaurant patio, taking pictures of everything) really makes those short minutes/hours seem like a true restful adventure.

I don't know why we all forget to enjoy where we are ...