Saturday, August 25

DIY melted crayon art

Happy Weekend, Blogland!

I just finished doing my latest art project, and I am so happy with how it turned out, so I wanted to share it with you all :) FINALLY --- a pinterest project I didn't just completely fail!!! I made this for my mom, who is a 1st grade teacher, to hang in her classroom.

Interested in making your own?

Here are the steps!
1. What you need to have on hand: 
  • a 64-crayon box of crayons (crayola brand melts best!) or more
  • a canvas (16 inches x 20 inches is what I used)
  • mod podge (I used gloss finish) --- find at Michael's
  • paintbrush
  • blowdryer
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • stick on letters if you want to have a word at the bottom
2. Decide which order you want your colors to go in, I stuck with the classic rainbow formation because I love rainbows! Line up the crayons at the top of your canvas. I didn't use browns or some other weird greens that I thought might look gross when melted. 

3. Put some hot glue along the top few inches of your canvas, enough to glue on a few crayons at a time. Glue down the crayons with the tips pointing down, it looks extra nice if you line them all up to have the same part of the crayon wrapper showing too. 

4. Once all your crayons are on, plug in your blowdryer and aim it directly at the crayons. WARNING --- some serious crayon wax splashing happens during this craft, so be sure you have enough space and something down on your floor to prevent a big mess. Luckily, I have a drop cloth in my craft space, it turned out looking like this:

5. Once the crayons get melty, you can tilt the canvas to encourage some of the colors to blend together, or you can just keep it straight and watch the wax drip to the bottom! Be sure to leave a little room at the bottom of the canvas if you want to put a word in. 

6. Once you have done all the melting you want to do, let the canvas cool down for a little bit. While it is cooling, you can add whatever word you want to at the bottom of the canvas.

7. Now it's time for Mod Podge! Use a paintbrush, and apply a generous even coat onto the entire project (crayon and the word and all the white space in between). Mod Podge is an excellent finish on this project because if you don't use it, the crayon drips will easily chip off of the canvas. The Mod Podge seals in everything and provides it with a beautiful glossy finish, it makes the melted crayon look really wet and drippy --- which I loved! Don't worry, the Mod Podge paints on white, but dries clear :)

8. Let it dry and paint another layer of Mod Podge if you'd like, then VOILA! Beautiful homemade art!

Have you tried this craft before? Any tips on how to make it even better? It's super easy and a lot of fun! Let me know if you try it out! Good luck :)


Sunday, August 19

DIY mixed media paintings

Hello, friends!

Finally, a non book review post ;)   Although, I am working on 50 Shades of Grey and Francesca's Kitchen, so hopefully I will have a few reviews for you soon!

I have enjoyed my summer to the fullest! I have laughed with family, played with babies, filled up on amazing food, caught up on films, become one with nature, worked out my body, had dates with my husband, snuggled with my puppies, found peace at church...

I finally feel whole again

Last year (my first year of grad school) was detrimental to my well-being. While I gained immense knowledge, and am eager to pursue my career as  Physician Assistant, year 1 was no easy task. I spiraled into dark places of despair, sadness, and faithlessness. It wasn't pretty. I am hoping and praying with all of my being that I am able to face this school year more prepared than last year. I have fought to find myself, to remind myself of the critical nature of maintaining a balance between the work we love and the life we live. I never again want to be in that frame of mind. 

One of the important things I did for my sanity and happiness this summer was paint. I love art, have never claimed to be spectacular at it, but it makes me smile to create something unique and beautiful. 

I decided to try my hand at mixed media art this summer, starting with this piece I created for my best friend's nursery. She is having her sweet Baby Girl on September 1st, and the Little One needed a special creation for her bedroom. Here is what I made:

This painting is made from: acrylic paint, glitter in some of the flowers and on the tree (just sprinkle on the wet paint and it sticks!), gem stones outlining the cloud (self-adhesive), an oil paint heart for texture, feathers for owl and bird wings (glued on with rubber cement), printed ribbon to make the green bird (cut in the shape of a bird and glued on with rubber cement), and flower stickers for the 2 small pink flowers (self-adhesive). I am very happy with how this turned out, and I can't wait for Baby Girl to come into this world!

My second piece of art this summer was created for my little sister's new dorm! This was made so that her good dreams can be harnessed and become inspirational to her consciousness upon waking, and that her bad dreams can be trapped and removed from her mind. Here is her Dreamcatcher:

 This piece was made with acrylics, glue/glitter for the central portion of the dreamcatcher (draw the design with regular Elmer's glue, glitter, and let it dry!), and feathers (glued on with rubber cement so it dries clear). It was super fun, reminds me a lot of my sister, and I hope it brightens up her dorm room :)

What inspires you?
What brings you peace?
What makes YOU smile?

Thanks for stopping by --- Cheers :)

Monday, August 13

wicked bossypants

Hi, Strangers!!!
I know, it's been a month since the last time I have posted...and I also realize that the last time I was a book review. And probably the post before that, too. Haha. 

Nonetheless, I am very happy to report to you that I have completed two more books, which brings my 2012 total to 10! [For those of you who don't know, I have a personal goal of reading 12 books this year]

Here are my book reviews :)

Book #9 : Bossypants by Tina Fey
Let me just say that I LOVE TINA FEY. Now that that's out there, I can tell you that, while her book was a lot of fun, it wasn't what I would call a good book. I admire her breaking the comedian mold and brazenly being a comedienne who doesn't give a shit about whether or not people like what she does or says. She has made a name for herself, has one of the most famous impersonations ever (Sarah Palin, dontchaknow), and is the boss of her own TV show (30 Rock, in case you don't pay attention to TV ever). Her book is like an exaggerated Tina Fey history, or her favorite snippets and defining moments throughout life. 

My husband and I actually decided to read this book together, meaning that I read the entire book out loud to us! I read it before bed, in the car, wherever we were with a little time to kill. We both had dozens of LOL moments, because she just uses the most fabulous phrases to describe the numerous awkward situations she has been the star of in her lifetime. 

My only regret is that I am about 15 years too young to understand a lot of the pop culture references she uses throughout the book. We spent a lot of time googling the names of kind of famous people from the 80s. 

Overall, I grade this book a B. No real plotline, just chapters of Tina Fey rambling about this or that. It's funny, and I love Tina Fey (though not 30 Rock). Have you read this book? What did you think?

Book #10 : Wicked by Gregory Maguire
Wicked is not exactly a new book. It was first published in 1996. I first read it in 2006 I think. And I LOVED it when I read it. It wasn't until I saw the play Wicked (which is based on this book) in April, and I didn't recognize the ending, that I realized I never finished the book! Sure enough, when I picked up my copy of Wicked in May, I realized my bookmark was wedged in the pages, about halfway through the book! So, I recently picked it up where I left off in '06.

Wicked is basically the Wizard of Oz from the perspective of the Wicked Witch of the West. And I am a HUGE FAN of books based on different perspectives (Room, The Art of Racing in the Rain!!!) The story of Elphaba (the Wicked Witch) begins before her birth, as you learn about the history of Munchkinland, Oz, and her parents. She is born green, and, because of this, is feared by all. You can certainly gain some empathy for a little 2-year-old who is hated and feared because of how she was born. The story follows Elphaba as she goes to college and rooms with Glinda (yes, the Good Witch) --- my favorite part! There are political goings on in Oz, propaganda led by the Wizard, and assassin missions throughout the city. Then comes Dorothy Gale. Dorothy doesn't actually arrive into the plot until page 330, but the history of Elphaba all leads up to this encounter with Dorothy over those damned ruby slippers

Wicked is so unique, and is a passionate tale of a girl who grew up in response to how those around her treated her. A victim of circumstance who got a bad rap. I recommend anything by Gregory Maguire, as he does a great job of creating a back-story about individuals typically portrayed as villains (Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister).

What's on your nightstand? What's on your Nook? I think I have time for one or two more books this summer! One is going to be Fifty Shades of Gray (just because I'm so damned curious!) and the second isn't decided yet...

Until next time! CHEERS and READ ON :)