Saturday, January 13, 2018

DIY: How to Age Paper

Hello there.  😉
Today, I'm going to give a tutorial on how I age paper.  There are a few ways of doing this that I'll talk about, but I'll focus mainly on my method.
First off, the paper itself!
My paper of choice?  Doodle paper.   You know, that thin, off-white, tissu-ey paper you probably got when you were a kid?  That stuff.  I was surprised how well it actually worked, since it seems so fragile.  Printer paper doesn't work well- it rips and falls apart too easily.  Construction paper works all right, but, for whatever reason, it crinkled up as it dried and was unusable for it's intended purpose.  Poster board works pretty well.  It's thick which makes it harder to work with, but it takes age pretty well.
Medium of choice?  Coffee.  Alternatives include tea and dirt.  I haven't tried the dirt method, but apparently you bury the paper for a few days/weeks and then dig it up and boom!  Aged paper!  Coffee, obviously, is quicker, and so is tea.  Coffe turns out more brown, and tea is more yellow.
Alright, now.  You'll need-
Two coffe filters (if using coffee)
A cup half filled with warm water
A tub, sheet pan, sheet of aluminum foil, or something to keep the coffee/tea from going everywhere
WARNING: avoid carpeted areas while doing this project!
(ask me how I know...)

Ok, so looking through the pictures now, they're terrible.  Oh well.  I want to get this post up finally, so picture free it is!
If using coffee, put the grounds into two filters and tie off with a rubber band.  Now, put the satchet in the water.  You're basically brewing a really, really, really cruddy cup of coffee here.  Let it "steep" for a minute, then start dabbing it on your paper, which should be in your container of choice.  You don't want a ton of just brownish water.  I find that squeezing the darker "coffee" out of the filter itself stains better.  
Now, this is what I do, though it does create a rougher finish- before aging the paper, crumple it into a ball a few times and smooth it out.  You'll get a nice texture this way.  You can also do this while the paper is wet, but it's going to be more prone to tearing.
You can also replace the coffee with a tea bag, and the procedure is the same.  The result is definitely yellower though.  
Hopefully you can see the difference- the tea stained paper is on the left, and the coffee on the right.  I have to say, the coffee staining is my favorite.  I use the paper for bookmarks, maps, card, decoupage, etc, etc, etc.  Be creative with it!!
See you soon!  👐💓😏😕😾😰😞

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Steampunk/Victorian projects from 2017

Good evening!  ✧✦✵🌟
So, again today, I don't have an actual tutorial, but I have some inspiration.  Over the past year, I've gotten into the steampunk/Victorian sort of  aesthetic, and I've made some jewelry and crafts to reflect that.  I showed you my steampunk statement necklace in my last post.  So here's a few more things, and a quick rundown on how I made them.  😇

Dragon necklace
This isn't strictly "Steampunk" but it's heavier and more industrial look than I usually go for.  
This is just a dragon pendant from Hobby Lobby, two lengths of handmade chain (18 gauge wire in silver and gold), and a leather string from Joann's.  (And a clasp obviously!!)
I braided the chains and leather, attached the dragon at about the middle and called it good.  The only problem I've had with this necklace is the chains start to slide down the leather and bunch up in the middle.  
 Mechanical heart charm

This charm was inspired the Lindsey Stirling song "Shatter Me".  Specifically the line "Tired mechanical heart beats 'til the song disappears."  So, I made a heart charm out of air drying clay, and once it was dry painted it gold all over.  On the front, I glued small gears (from Hobby Lobby).  On the back, I wanted it to look like the "mechanical heart" was starting to wear out and crack.  I found that dragging a straight pin through the gold paint after it had dried would rip it and create an interesting texture.  I thinned out some black paint with water and filled in the tears in the gold.  Then, I hung it on a strip of leather and called it good.  This is now one of my favorite necklaces- and one I get quite a few comments on!
Mini Victorian jewelry boxes

Both of these were intended to be steampunk at first, but as I worked I found I liked the more romantic and vintage look, so I omitted the gears and chains and what not.  The first one was a jewelry box (the kind that the jewelry comes in).  I didn't want to cover the beautiful gold box itself, so I decorated around it.  I used gold leaf, rhinestones, lace, a lock and a key jewelry charm, and I  also made paper roses based on this tutorial.  I felt I needed a centerpiece in addition to the roses, so I wrote the quote on a piece of aged paper.  (If you didn't recognize the quote, it's from the Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring.)
The second box started as a setting powder container.  I used mod podge, book pages, and aged paper to decoupage the whole thing; over that, I added a bit of gold leaf.  Then I used buttons, jewelry charms and beads, and lace to decorate the top.  
Steampunk jewelry box
THIS is what happens when I go nuts, and this was my first real steampunk project last year.  I decoupaged an old body butter container with paper and book pages.  I also smeared black acrylic paint around the sides to give it a sooty look.  I painted the inside of the tub black, then started gluing anything and everything to the top.  Buttons, gears, scraps of wires and strings, jewelry findings, and a handmade clock face.  This is definitely one of my favorite projects from last year, and turned out surprisingly well considering it was a late-Sunday-afternoon-I'm-super-bored-what-do-I-do project!
I'm working on a tutorial for how to age paper right now, so keep an eye out for that.  
Have a great day!!!  See you around!  👻💢😉💝❤👾

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Steampunk Necklace Build

Hello, there.  😀😀
Well, it's a new year so time for new projects.  As I was digging through one of my craft drawers yesterday, I dug out a box of some odds and ends left over from other projects.  I'd had ideas for a steampunk themed statement necklace in my head for a while, so I sat down and started working.  I'm pretty sure I didn't pay for half of the stuff that went into this necklace- the only thing I remember buying are the gears and the charms.  I know most of the chains were broken chains I've gathered from friends and family.  This isn't necessarily a tutorial, more of an inspiration post.  So click through, and hopefully I can inspire you.  

I'll be back a few more steampunk inspired projects soon, and I'm working on getting some photos from the last six months at school.  So stay tuned!
See you around.  💮🌸🌹🍀🐙🐂

Sunday, December 31, 2017

So, I'm back

Hello there.  😏
So, the new year is starting, and I've decided to give this blog another try.  I wish I'd kept the crazy thing going all year, but I didn't.  Oh well.
It's been one heck of a year, in any case.  Moving, starting beauty school, ongoing family issues, guy problems (getting my heart broken by one, and dealing with unwanted feelings for another), finally getting my driver's license...  Like I half- jokingly tell my clients when they ask, I haven't really made any resolutions for 2018; I'm still working on my resolutions from 2015 and 2016.
In any case, the only goals I have for 2018 so far are start blogging again and get a job after graduating school in May.  Lame, I know, but I don't have the motivation to think of anything harder right now.  Maybe later in the year, I'll update with more goals.
Well, I've learned some lessons this year, so here's to a better year in 2018.  🎆🍸*
*I'm not 21, so no, I can't drink.  

Our Lady, Star of the Sea, Pray for us.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Beauty School Diaries: Weeks 1 and 2

Welp, I'm a cruddy blogger.  In my defense, I have been busy.  As the title implies, I've just finished week two of beauty school, and I've been busy with other things- diy's, life in general, and online classes.  But, in any case, I'm going to blog about my beauty school journey.  I've got a full year of school ahead of me, so there should be a lot to say.  Posts may be sporadic for a while, but I promise that I'm not going anywhere.
So, on to business.  I'm currently enrolled in a thirty hour a week cosmetology program.  So far, I've survived the first week, and it's going good.
Day 0.5: orientation.  One hour of signing paper work, downloading the e-textbook, and getting a uniform (or three).
Day 1: day one of twenty five in phase one of theory.  Meeting the other two students- yes, the instructor mentioned that ours is a tiny class.  We all got our mannequin heads (yes, they're freaking creepy) and started right in with roller and pin curls.
Day 2: We removed the curls and styled them into an updo.
Ain't these just purty?
Day 3: Thermal curling!  Curling irons, curling bars (it looks like a gun, but it's a curling iron), and flat iron curls.  I can't do flat iron curls to save my life.  The end.
Day 4: More updos I think?  I don't remember anymore.  I had quite a bit of free time though, so I did some stuff for fun.  😀
Lagertha inspired faux-hawk.  (ya know.  From that show Vikings)
And funny curly half up thing.
This was Memorial Day weekend, so the next day was off.  XD
Day 5: Blunt cuts I think?  Or maybe shampooing?  Something like that.
Day 6 and 7: I don't know.  Conditioning treatments?  Oh, and fingerwaves.  Those things are spawn of Satan.  Oh, and Harley Quinn pigtails.
Day 8:  PARTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY.  No.  Actually, just "do whatever the heck you want day!"
Warrior/punk/fairy/princess/thing!  Complete with glitter and pink and purple extension stuff!
Loopy-princessy-twisty updo thing.  I bought the necklace over my lunch break.  Hey!  The store was right next door, and the thing was on clearance!
Day 9: Blunt cuts and face framing with a razor.  I ended up giving my mannequin an asymetrical cut, and had to go back and even it up with the scissors.  Being a genius, I snipped myself with the scissors and holy cow those things are effing sharp.  The wound still hurts.  I also finally mastered fingerwaves, sort of.  Woohoo me!
So, there's the first two weeks.  Only fifty more to go!
See y'all later!  🛀🛀😏😏😅😅🙅🙅🍔🍔

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Nail art: Glitter gradients

Well, hello there.  ☺
So, this would have been my first youtube tutorial, but my camera takes cruddy video and I'm too broke to buy a video camera now.  After filming this process, I realized the footage was worthless and deleted it.  This has been done before anyway, so I'll just post a GOOD video, and show you some pictures of what I've done.
This is basically an excuse for not writing a real post for my non-existent audience.

So, there you go!  I usually don't do a gradient over naked nails, but that is an option if you like it!
Some of my glitter gradients....
Looking through my old photos, my glitter gradient suck.
But HERE'S a relic!  This was my first glitter gradient that I wore for Easter 2015!
My nails were so SHORT!   And what's with the thing on my middle finger????
Anyway, that's all for now!
Bye bye!  😉🙍💟💢💥💦💧💨

Saturday, May 20, 2017

DIY: Making a Bracer Pattern

Hello, yeah, it's been a while.  Not much.  How 'bout you?
Yes.  I listen to pop songs from the seventies.  Deal with it.  😎
Anyway, I have another fairly easy DIY to post today.  I can't find the original post for this, but there are a few of these floating around the internet.  I had this idea pop into my head to make armor, and then I saw a cool tutorial for shoulder pauldrons.  So, then I got this great idea to make more armor.  So, I decided on something easy- namely, bracers.  Or arm cuffs.  Whichever you choose to call them.  This is a time consuming (but easy) project with DOZENS of variations.  I'll post on some of them as I make them, but for now I just have a pair of basic lace up bracers.

Neat, huh?
For now, I'll focus on telling you how to make the pattern.
I used wax paper, but parchment paper or tissue paper would work all right too.
Start by ripping off a large sheet.  Then, take your measurements.  This basic bracer requires three measurements.  More elaborate designs may require more.  Anyway, measure around you arm where you want your bracer to start...

And again where you want it end.

You can eyeball this, or make a mark on your arm, but then measure straight up between your two points.

If you want a gap in your final bracer (see above picture) subtract an inch or so from your measurements around.
Alright, you should have made a note of your measurements, because now we need them.  Starting on the straight edge of your paper (this is an edge you haven't EVER had to cut), measure either the top or bottom length.  I did the bottom one (the longest one around).  Then, using a ruler, draw a line straight up from the middle of this edge in the length you want the bracer to be.
Determine the middle point of your shorter measurement, and draw a line straight across the line you just drew, so you have a capital T.  Connect the endpoints on either side  so you have a trapezoid.
Cut the pattern out, and that's it!  You've made a pattern!
It should look like this...
And that's that!  The next post will be on actually making the bracer.  After that, I'll probably discus variations on this basic pattern.
Until next time!  😢🙋👻👼👽💤💣💢💞