Radical Self Love Journal: Halfway Point

DSC_0177Hi friends! I hope you’re having good weeks- I know I am! I wanted to share with you the first half of the journal I’ve been working on based on Gala Darling’s Radical Self Love Bible School prompts.
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Radical Self Love and I have a complicated relationship, but working in this journal and focusing on things I love and having a chance to do some guided introspection has been really fun and worthwhile. DSC_0203
Do we not love these bubble letter stickers?! I got them at Michael’s, and I now can’t find them anywhere online but I love them and I bet you can find them at your local Michaels/ craft storeDSC_0200
This is a quote from an Annie Dillard essay, Living Like Weasels, that I cannot stop thinking about. The dancer on the left is from Frankie, the dancer on the right is from an ABC Carpet & Home ad. The garden behind them is from an Australian interior design magazine. The bodega up the block sells the best magazines and they’re all from Australia or New Zealand. I don’t understand why, but I’ll take it.
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This page wound up being one of my favorites. I think I just like writing on pretty backgrounds. I went back and put glitter on the sneakers with Martha Stewart Glitter Glue, which, let me tell you, is the absolute best.   DSC_0182I don’t love this page but I feel really strongly about sharing our “crafting fails,” so here’s something I feel uncomfortable sharing with you! I just don’t think it’s that pretty, but the process of making it helped me learn more about my process.

Have a great rest of the week, sunshines!
xo,

Whitney

Monday DIY: Braided Sparkle Headband

Happy Monday, Everyone! How was your weekend? I spent mine running around like a mad woman starting with  tea at a townhouse on the Upper East Side (for class!), stopping in at the Frick to see Girl With A Pearl Earring, going to M&J Trimmings and grabbing dinner with the roommates JUST on Friday afternoon/evening. Saturday I saw Catching Fire, got brunch at my favorite spot in the east village, had coffee with friends from high school and had a holiday photo shoot with my incredibly talented friend, and Sunday I went to the renegade craft fair in Brooklyn! Luckily I had some time Saturday night to make a sparkly headband, which is something I’ve been wanting to make for weeks.

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What You’ll Need
– Some elastic. I bought a yard because M&J has a minimum, but you really only need about 6 inches, maybe less.
– Rhinestone chain (Optional). You guys know my affinity for sparkle, so I had to add this. This headband would be just as cute without it. Make sure you get enough to go all the way around your head, that way you can cut it down later.
– Embroidery Thread, assorted colors. I used some of my pearl cotton that I have for my embroidery projects. I think it’s the best for this because the strands don’t split, but if you have just some regular embroidery thread it’ll work just fine.

What I did:

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Pick your thread colors. I chose pinks, purples and grays. I chose 7, but you can obviously do whatever. I cut 5 strands of each color. Since this is a braid, I recommend a number of colors that splits evenly into 3s when multiplied by 5 (ex: 6 x 5 = 30, 30/3 = 10 –> good choice while 7 x 5 = 35, 35/3 = ??? –> bad choice). If that doesn’t make any sense, choose a number of colors you want and f*ck the math.

DSC_0261 Like I said, cut five strands of each color. If you want your braid to be thicker, cut more. Lay out all the strands and your rhinestone chain like above, in three groups. This helps the braiding process. I mixed my colors around so there were various colors in each pile. If you want a more braid-y braid look, put colors in similar groups.

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Braid! If you want to add the sparkle, just group it in with one of your groups of thread and act like it’s just another strand of embroidery thread. Work your threads in between the stones if you want them to really shine or just let the threads cover them in some places and not in others if you want a less sparkly look. The hand in the picture isn’t mine, it’s my boyfriend’s. He patiently held the braid while I did this, but if you don’t have the world’s most patient s/o, you can clip your braid to something or use masking tape.

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When you’ve finished braiding, tie the ends by wrapping them around a bunch of times with about a foot of embroidery thread. Make sure you leave a tail out so you can tie it off.

The amount of elastic you need will depend on how much of your head your braid wraps around. I would hold your headband up to your head and then complete the band with your elastic and then remove about an inch and a half of that amount. I am no scientist. If you can think of a better way to do that, use your judgement. My methods for attaching the elastic were bad, at best. The next time I make one of these, I’ll just hand sew my elastic onto the part of the braid I wrapped with thread, which is what I recommend to you, dear reader.
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And done! Super simple. The whole thing probably took me about an hour and a half.

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PS: If you’re looking for a good book about crafting, you should check out Homeward Bound: Why Women are Embracing the New Domesticity. It’s a neat read, but definitely not without it’s problems. One of my hopes for this blog is that I’ll be able to explore some of my deeper thoughts and feelings about crafting/femininity/feminism, but for right now my semester is taking up too much brain space.

Have a good week everyone & Happy Thanksgiving!

How To: Glitter Phone Case

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I was inspired to do a glitter phone case by J Crew, who had one a few seasons ago that I completely lusted after but never bought because I hate myself/was going through a weird time in my life when I didn’t like what J Crew like stood for, y’know. Anyways, I’m past that now and I’m kind of glad I couldn’t find a glittery case when I emerged from the dark ages because I decided to make one and then when I was out buying glitter, I got to text my boyfriend the phrase “hide yo kids, hide yo wives, cause I’m glittering EVERYTHING up in here.” Dreams do come true, kids.

DSC_0041I bought 24 different colors of glitter instead of just the silver I needed. So? Get out of my face. You can never have too much glitter. I was so excited. I still am excited. Expect lots and lots and lots of glitter in the coming forever. I love glitter. Glitter glitter glitter. I digress.

What You’ll Need: 
Mod Podge. I got matte, but you’re allowed to use whatever you want.
Glitter. Martha Stewart glitter is the. best. glitter. out there. Hands down. Don’t even try other glitter. Don’t even look at it. Don’t even think about it (a caveat to this is that it’s not food safe- if anyone has a good food-safe glitter, please let me know in the comments).
– A phone case. I got mine at a dollar store here in the city, but you could get one anywhere you see fit. Mine is one of those gel-like ones. I also got a white/clear color so it wouldn’t be a total pain to paint over. The glitter won’t completely cover the case, so get a plain color if you don’t want it to show through. Of course as I type this, I’m thinking of all the cute patterns you put glitter on.
– Paintbrush/stir stick.
– Container. I used a plastic cup, but my favorite thing to use for this kind of thing is sushi takeout containers.

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Okay– here’s what I did: Pour about a tablespoon of mod podge in your cup/bowl/takeout container and add about 2 teaspoons of glitter. Keep in mind that the mod podge dries clear, so the color of the mix isn’t the color that’ll actually end up on your case.

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Here’s the case with one wet coat of glitter/mod podge mix.

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See how the glitter spreads out? Add more to the mod podge!DSC_0065

After a while (like 5 coats) I gave up trying to paint the glitter on and just sprinkled it on the case. I did it in a line and the spread it out with a paintbrush that had some of the mod podge on it. Do this in coats too, or else you’ll get glitter clumps on the back of your case. I did this a bunch of times until I could hold up the case to light and couldn’t really see through in most places. Do it on the sides too, but use a smaller brush. For reference, I ended up using about a quarter of the little .37 oz bottle (I googled that, btw, I didn’t just know how big the bottles are). Prop up on something so none of the painted parts touch anything- with the prop where the phone would go, if that makes sense. I used a mint tin.

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Here it is all done! See? I’m very casually talking on the phone while my boyfriend takes pictures of me. 100% casual and  certified un-staged.*

*A little staged.

Inspire Tuesday

Now that we’ve taken Monday to get your lives in order- let’s all get making, shall we? This week I’m working on my ongoing embroidery projects & a research project for school. Earlier today, I watched this video on Rookie and wanted to share it with all you guys as well. I know I struggle with starting projects and staring at blank paper/fabric/word documents with utter terror. It’s always nice to know that other people are right there with me.

What are you making this week? Share in the comments!

How to: DIY Jewel Flask

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My wonderful roommate turned 21 on Friday! When I popped into Urban Outfitters  a few weeks ago, I couldn’t find a gift worthy of her sparkling spirit. I had decided on “spa in a box,” (an old standby gift of mine that consists of a beloved movie, some form of Lush product, and fuzzy socks/eye mask/those manicure glove things) and was walking out of the store when I spotted this lovely creation. Like a moth to a glittery flame, I was drawn to it. $18?! I could make this for cheaper!  And before I got home I had ordered all the bits I’d need on amazon for $35. Ah well. Since I’m fairly new at this game, I didn’t just have gems and glue on hand. I think of them as an investment in my crafty future.

Here’s what you’ll need: 
♥ A flask. I got this one because the amazon reviews were good and the lid is attached. Seems important. Be sure you wash yours before you drink out of it.
♥ Gems. I got these because they’re cheap and there were lots of them. In retrospect, I wish they were a little smaller so I could’ve gotten them closer together and covered more of the flask.
♥ Glue. I got E6000 because that’s what my mom told me to get and she’s always right.

Here’s how I did it: 

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Use a q-tip to apply glue to the backs of the gems.

Processed with VSCOcamMy strategy was to push down on the tube of glue till a little poked out and then kind of wipe it with the q-tip. You only need a little

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See how little glue you need? Just smush it around the back of the gem. If you had a smaller gem, this might be a little harder but not impossible. Mine ranged from 1″ to 1/2″ in case you were curious.

Processed with VSCOcamPush your gem down for about 3 seconds to attach it. Mine has a curve to it, so the ones on the edge stick up a little. Since I’m giving this to my roommate, I’m not too worried about the gems catching on something and falling off. If one does, I can just glue it back on for her. If you were making this for your bff across the country, don’t put gems so close to the edge. Or just include some extra gems.

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Go crazy with your gems! Mine ended up ALL over my desk while I picked the favorites that I wanted to use.

Processed with VSCOcamI worked from the right hand down on the front side and from the middle out on the back. I think the front looks better, but I wanted to try different strategies so I could tell you which works better.

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Voila! Happy glittery drinking!