A Little More of Everything- Paintings

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So friends, I told you this blog was about a little bit of everything, right? I’ve decided to sort of pull the curtain back on one of my passions that involves my love for crafts and everything artsy :) So, about 2 years ago I took up painting! Mind you, I did so very casually. It started with an idea for gifts to give all my friends who were also seniors in high school and soon to be graduating. I made everyone a personalized canvas painting, usually related to their school, or some favorite color, etc. So, they came out a lot better than I thought, and I couldn’t been happier! Below are some fun examples of the paintings I made as senior gifts.  Continue reading

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Homecoming Thoughts (Day 16)

So we’ve come to that time of the year again. Homecoming. For schools across the country, this means a dance, maybe a special pep rally and football game. But not for Texans. For us, homecoming means one thing; mums and garters. Okay, maybe that’s two things, but still.

Homecoming is a time for alumnus of the high school to come back and spend time with their friends and enjoy a football game! It’s encouraged that people ‘come home’ from college to reunite with old friends who are either in a different college or in high school. I think the whole idea of welcoming them back as former students is pretty neat! Most people who return back to the high school don’t have mums and garters, as it’s a tradition celebrated mostly by the current students of the high school.

Now, a quick history of the mum and garter tradition before I get too much further. Traditionally, a boy would ask a girl to accompany him to the homecoming football game and dance, and would give her a flower, presumably a mum. Girls began to pin these flowers to themselves the day of homecoming, and soon guys wore them too.

But then, one day, the mums as we know them popped into existence. Somewhere, sometime, some girl decided it would be cute to dress up her mum with a ribbon or two. Little did she know she started a revolution. So of course, not to be outdone, the next year more girls came with ribbons on their mums, some even choosing fake flowers over real ones to better accommodate the ribbons. As the years went on, these mums grew, and quickly became the center of attention on homecoming. A guy asking a girl to homecoming now not only meant a date to the game and dance, but the exchanging of mum and garter. Yes, the mum has a male counterpart that is like a smaller, shorter version of a mum worn by boys on their arms, held up by a garter, like the one below! This is a garter I made for a boy sophomore year who had asked me to homecoming. I tried to personalize it for him since he was in band and played trumpet:

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So we come to homecoming mums and garters as we know them now. Huge fake flowers with dozens upon dozens of ribbons, strings, feather boas, lights, glitter, trinkets, bells, sequins, whistles, and anything else you could put on a mum. In fact, these mums worn by girls have become so large that they are no longer worn by simply being pinned to a shirt and worn to the side. No, these mums require neckstraps in order to be held up.

Within these new mums are certain unspoken rules as well. The size of the mum usually corresponds to a person’s grade. Freshman will receive singles, meaning only one large fake mum with ribbons. Sophomores will usually have two to three, juniors three to four and so on and so forth. Mums and garters are made with ribbons of school colors to show school spirit. The exception to this is seniors, who sport mums and garters with white and silver or gold. Below is my mum from junior year, with three mums (flowers) and my friend who was a freshman with only one.

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With all the increasing extravagance and importance placed on mums, it’s hard to agree with the principle itself. No, I don’t really like the fact that there’s so much pressure on girls to get asked to homecoming. So much pressure to not be one of the few girls walking down the hallways without a mum around her neck, feeling left out and unwanted. And of course there’s pressure for guys as well, who end up having to foot the bill for these mums. This year, I decided regardless of whether or not I got asked by a date (I didn’t) I was going to make my own mum with my friends. As is tradition, because this is my senior year my mum will be all white and silver, but with a dash of purple (my favorite color!) here and there to make it uniquely mine!

All right, so I felt like all that really needed to be explained before I showed my photo of the day, the prompt for which was black and white. I spent this evening making a garter with two of my friends, so that’s this :)

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Aaand the final product:

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As you can see, there’s lots of ribbons and sparkles involved, and the whole thing is lots of fun! So, if you’re not Texan, I hope you learned a little more about this high school tradition. And if you are, happy homecoming, and may all your mums and garters shine ;) Oh hey, and a quick extra pic of all the girls in colorguard last year looking fantastic in our mums! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; gotta love Texas :)

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Butterfly Mobile

Hello friends! Today I made something I’m legitimately proud of. Mainly because it’s just super pretty and it took forever so I’m happy to be done with it.

I made a butterfly mobile! I’m planning on giving it to my 3 year-old cousin, seeing as pink butterflies don’t exactly best suit a 17 year-old room. ;)

Anyways, if you want to make your own, here’s what you’ll need: a butterfly punch, some sort of thin, clear string (I use clear nylon thread), a wire circle in whatever size (mine is approx. 6″ in diameter), ribbons for hanging, ribbon/fabric for around the circle, and glue dots.

Unortunately I didn’t exactly plan ahead in making this, so I don’t have step by step pictures. But, I feel the instructions shouldn’t be too confusing, and I do have a few pictures that should help clear things up.

First, take the ribbon you want to hang the mobile on, and cut it into four parts. (This is where having plenty of ribbon so you can get the length you want comes in!) Then, tie one fourth around the circle, so the knots form a cross. Then take the long ends of tbe ribbon and tie then together at the top. Confused yet? I know, its a bit overwhelming in writing. Pictures soon I promise! I then took small scraps of fabric and ribbon and tied them in knots all around the wire circle. So, you should have something that looks like this:

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Ignore the butterflies on my ceiling haha. :) In this picture, I’ve also threaded some of the clear thread through the knot of the large pink ribbon so I can hang it.

Now, taking your clear thread, you’re going to create two Xs across the circle. I did this by simply taking the thread and wrapping it around the wire circle a few times to make sure it’s sturdy, but it really won’t hold too much weight. Then I just triple-tied the ends together and cut off the excess. You’re essentially making spokes for the long strings of butterflies to hang on. Repeat this 5-7 more times, and you should end up looking like this:

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Kind of hard to see, but you get the idea. Creating these lines across will give us a better base to put up our butterflies next.

Now, the process of actually making the strings with the butterflies posed a challenge. But, before I get ahead of myself, go ahead and punch out as many butterflies as you need. This will depend on how big the butterflies are, how spaced out they are, etc. The butterflies I used are relatively small, and because I used two for each butterfly, I used roughly 120. These I just cut out of cardstock, mainly a cream color, and others in a light brown and salmon-pink color.

I took each of these and folded the wings on each so it looked more like they were flying. Of course, this is just my preference, I’m sure it would look just as good not folding either, or just folding one and not the other. To attach them, use a small glue dot in the center of the butterfly, put the string across it vertically, then press the center of the other butterfly on top. The glue dots I used ended up being the perfect size for the butterfly centers!

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There are a few ways in getting these on the strings to hang, and the first method I tried involved measuring out the length of the string first (with room to tie, of course) and attaching all the butterflies before tying it to a cross-string on the mobile.

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What I found actually worked was measuring out roughly 18 inches of thread, and tying it off, then attaching the butterflies once the string is already on the mobile. Continue doing this until you have one string hanging for each of your ‘spokes’ and one in the center, varying lengths as you see fit. Your final result is this:

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Now, I’m not gonna lie, this took some time. From tying each ribbon around the wire, to attaching every little butterfly, it’s definitely not something that can be done in an hour. But, after all the time and work that goes into it, you get something that really is worthwhile. After I hung the mobile, the fan in the room picked up on the butterflies and swayed them just enough to look like they were fluttering beneath the mobile. So simple, yet so beautiful. Hope you enjoy :)