Jun 24, 2014

Personalizing a tote bag!

My Oma (grandma) gave me this funky tote bag for Christmas last year. Even though it looked cool as it was, I decided it could use a little personalization!

Here's what I came up with:

     The first thing I did was to sew on some patches that I've been saving. I got the Nederland patch on our trip to the Netherlands a few years ago. I bought it at the Keukenhof gift-shop. The second patch is from my ballet studio; my teacher gave them to each of the students one year for Christmas. 

     Another idea was to glue a bottle-cap onto the button. The cap fit exactly over the existing button which was perfect!

      The bottle-cap I used was one my oldest brother gave me. He had a bottle-cap collection when he was little, and he got this one in Indonesia - one of the places my family lived before I was born. 

     Also, I took off the original loop that hooked over the button and replaced it with this friendship bracelet my bestie made for me ages ago.

     Another thing I did was to add this chain and to clip all sorts of mementos onto it. There's a random coin that my brother gave me when I was little (I think it's from Estonia?); my half of a friendship necklace; dog tags from Joy, a dog I had when I was little; a clipping of ribbon from my last pair of Pointe shoes that I wore as Sleeping Beauty; and a chunk of rock covered in layers of spray paint. 

     When my brother went off to college years ago, there was a boulder on campus that people were allowed to spray paint. It was called The Rock. Original, I know. :) The Rock would be repainted quite frequently - decorated for events and who-knows-what. One time when my brother came home for a visit, he brought me this piece that had fallen off of it and showed almost an inch of spray paint layers! Probably the coolest piece of junk I've ever had. ;)

     I also added some pins to the strap of the bag. The alligator pin is from a set of two vintage scatter pins that belonged to my great grandma. I have both, but only attached one to the bag; I like to wear the other one sometimes. They're so quirky! 
     The other pin is one we got at my other brother's first craft show. (He's a wood turner and sells wooden bowls, pens, jewelry, etc.) Plus, I thought "Creative Kid" was a pretty appropriate title for myself. ;) 

     And finally, one of my favorite changes that I made to this bag was the Shakespeare quote I embroidered on the strap.

"And though she be but little, she is fierce." 

This is one of my favorite quotes; I like to think it describes me. ;)

     I love that my tote is full of stories now. Some history of the lives that led up to mine, stories of people I care about, places I've been, things I've done, memories made. It kinda makes it feel like I'm carrying around a piece of art, or a library, or a mini-museum.

     Do you think you'd ever want to personalize a bag like this?

Jun 12, 2014

Spicing up friendship bracelets!

Welp, it's that time of year again. Summer and friendship bracelets just go together. Don't question it. It's just the way it is. 

So here are a few ideas to add some pizzazz to the traditional friendship bracelet! 

1. Fishtail braid it out, yo! Fishtail braids are quick and easy and make really cool looking bracelets. Especially if you go a bit mental and choose every color ever...



2. Finish bracelets with ribbon clamps and a piece of chain instead of the normal knots! This gives it a really clean and modern look. I got this package at Hobby Lobby for about 3 or 4 dollars. 

These clamps are really easy to use.  I cut my bracelet about an inch and a half shorter than I normally would (to leave room for the chain) and dabbed a bit of glue on the end to keep it from unbraiding.
Unbraiding? ... Unbraiding.
Totally a word. 

Then I put the clamp over the end, made sure all the threads were tucked in, and squeezed it shut with a pliers. Look at me, all using tools and stuff. 

Then I attached some chain and a clasp, and wa-la! Cool, right? 

3. Use yarn instead of embroidery floss! This gives a nice chunky look. Making a thick cuff out of yarn is infinitely faster than trying to do it with millions of tiny threads. (Infinitely? Millions? I never exaggerate.)

4. Combine friendship bracelet patterns, or try splitting off into different sections ... or both! I started out working all the way across and then divided the yarn as if I was working on two different bracelets, switching patterns at the same time. 

Tip: Use a toothpick to make sure all the threads are inside the clamps before closing them, and to apply any extra glue that is necessary. 

Le finished bracelets:

Pretty snazzy, huh? :) 

What's your favorite go-to summer project? 

Jun 10, 2014

Drawing my first comic strip! :: The Introvert's Legal Loophole

When I was faced with a question about my quietness this week, my sister came up with this genius answer for me to use. I laughed SO hard. I knew I had to record it somehow, so I decided to try my hand at comic strip drawing! 
Well done, sis. Just ... well done. 

Jun 8, 2014

Drawings :: they just are

Life is so complicated that my brain has short-circuited.

After months of being overwhelmed with school and work and ballet rehearsals, I finally graduated. Which means maybe I'll get back into the blogging zone? Hopefully? 

It's strange, this growing up business. This age of change. Watching everyone and everything around me change, and not understanding anything one bit at all. 
One chapter closed off. Beyond reach. One chapter ... not yet opened. Beyond reach. 
A floating existence. Restlessness. 

Pacing happens. 

Long walks - no destination. Just trying to figure out life. No words in my brain, yet thinking constantly. A feeling of prayers unsaid simmering inside while I power-walk my frustrations out until the blisters come,
and then further. 

And it's like I'm processing a million things at once until I can't think anymore.

And that's just it. It's a process. I know it will come. 
But, dang son, I'm driving myself bananas! (And my family - sorry, Mom. :) 

I finally just needed a space where I could tune out all the bigness - all the life changes that are coming, have come. The things that overwhelm me and catch me off-guard until I can't breathe right. I needed something small that I could wrap my head around. I needed little bits of uncomplicated curiosity and ... ease. And a place to JUST STOP OVERTHINKING EVERYTHING ALREADY. Geez. 

So I started a new series in my sketchbook. 
Yes. All that just to say I drew some pictures. :) 

Quick rough sketches of real-life things that caught my interest. Easy color. A few simple words. Poetic, funny, normal. Whatever.
I refuse to overthink them.
They just are.


Words I texted to a friend.
Sitting in the backyard watching the birds. 

From my senior ballet recital. 
Picking dandelions with a friend. 
Self explanatory. :)

Overall - 
Life is beautiful.
And very very weird.