I have a confession to make... I didn't read Harry Potter when I was a kid (enter shocked faces)! I know, I know, how could I not have?! To be honest, I remember my parents buying the first book for me and coming home with it. I remember one of them saying "Here, everyone's talking about this, kids supposedly are obsessed with it". Well, maybe that comment was what threw me off because I, for as long as I can remember, hate doing what everyone else does. I do remember trying to read it, however, but never made it past the first chapter. So, once I became a librarian, I decided that this shame was unacceptable, I MUST read HP and ASAP! Well, I don't know what changed, but I read them all within a a couple of weeks and was in love with them. So yes, I am an HP fan, but it just took me 20 years!
With my job at the library I am constantly receiving strange and unusual things from customers and fellow staff members in the hopes that I will save the item from the dumpster. To be honest, I kind of love it! It's like... a "thing" now and I love the challenge. One of our patrons who I have grown to know quite well over the last couple of years, is a gentleman named Ralph. I first met him when he came into the library saying he worked at a warehouse that was closing and asked if we librarians would want anything for crafts or programs. Well on to his warehouse I went and ever since then he stops by and gives me more fun things to use, I love it.
One item he gave me was 2 hugeeee boxes of long skinny green boxes. I had no idea what I'd use them for but as always I said, "Yep, I'll take 'em". So there I was staring at 200 of these narrow boxes and the only thing I could think of... wand box. These boxes were perfect, I mean perrrrrfect for a wand so that's what they became! Below are the steps I took to make a simple wand with easily found materials, hopefully you can find a similar box to use too or just make the wand itself!
1. Layer 2 sheets of copy paper and begin rolling from one corner into a cone shape (it might take a few tries to get the right look/size).
4. This will leave a hole at the end, fill this in with crumpled up paper so the wand becomes sturdier, and fill the end with hot glue to secure.
5. Paint your wand whatever color you would like. It may take a couple of coats to cover completely.
7. Use hot glue to create the character of your wand. While holding the wand, slowly rotate it as you create your lines and shapes with the glue and be careful with your fingers!
8. Place some of your beads into the hot glue for a “jeweled” effect. One at the end looks very authentic!
9. Paint over the hot glue with your base color and then again with the metallic paint.
11. Lastly, I wanted to make the box look more "legit". I found both velvet and adhesive mirror pieces to use. I measured and cut the pieces to fit the interior of each side and glued them in each spot. And ta-da! Just look at that beautiful wand! I think it'd be really cool to make a velvet pillow for the inside of the box for the wand to rest on as well!
Are you looking for something cute and fun for these summer days ahead? Really this craft can be done for any season or holiday, let's be honest, but I think they are particularly cute for summer! It is a very simple and relatively quick craft that just about anyone can do. If you have littles wanting to help, just make sure you supervise cutting and that you handle the hot glue of course!
Supplies for flowers:
Supplies for upcycled vase:
6. It will look pretty uneven, so just trim around the yarn all over again 😊 Do this step with each of your pom pom flowers.
7. Next, using hot glue, glue each of your “flowers” on top of the wooden sticks. I had 6 sticks but cut 3 of them down to smaller sizes so that they would be at different heights! You're all done with your pom pom flowers at this point!
I GOT MARRIEDDDDDD!!!!! I'm a little excited, can you tell?!
Wedding planning in general can be stressful but add COVID to the mix and it's just down right exhausting! We went back and forth for so long about what the heck we were even doing and basically started outlining two different wedding possibilities for our day. We ended up still having it at our venue and just had to limit our list down.
Despite all the stress over every little detail, dresses, decor, the weather, and covid, it turned out to be the most perfect and beautiful day! I still can't believe just how perfect everything was and felt. To have those closest to us there to celebrate with us and enjoy a happy evening during all the craziness in the world was so incredibly heartwarming!
With any big life event, we received plenty of cards! Not just any cards, wedding cards of course. They were just so beautiful, sparkly, meaningful, etc. and I just could not throw them away. I saw the idea people have been making where they punch shapes out of them and put them in a frame but I thought, what if I get tired of having it on my wall, or want to move it around? Then I'm stuck with a big frame to put somewhere else! And I mean that in the best way possible obviously!
So instead, I thought, how could I make these into a book or album of some sort and tried looking up ideas on that. Some people take this very seriously and sew sections together just like you would a real handcrafted book but that was a little too much for me! When I began my "dictionary art" I had one singular dictionary and my goal was to use up every bit of that dictionary. After using all the pages and feeling so accomplished I then decided to hoard the cover and backing of the dictionary like a crazy person. Well, well well! Did those come in handy or what?! This became my front and back of our new wedding card book! I did not take step-by-step photos but I'll attempt to explain my process!
*Optional: I first decorated both the cover and the backs to spruce up the book. I used scrapbook paper, copies of our wedding invite, and stickers.
1. I found my smallest card and lined them up centered with the cover of the book so that I could mark off roughly where 2 holes would go into the cover, card, and back of the book.
2. I used an electric drill to drill through both the cover and back.
3. Next, I marked every card with matching holes to the cover and hole punched all of them.
4. Optional. I also cut every card in half with an E-xacto knife so that they would flip more easily.
5. I used 2 large binder rings (3in to fit the amount of cards we had), and fed the rings through each card!
Note: This was the amount of cards from about 60 people, so if you have a larger event you might want to/need to make multiple books!
And that was it! Now we have a gorgeous keepsake!
I'm still here I promise, just haven't posted in a while... yet again. Getting back into the swing of things at work has been difficult. The days are long and strange with our new Coronavirus world. By now we are all so used it though, I feel like it will be weird to see everyone's faces again whenever that happens.
I was lucky enough to participate in a local flea this summer at Heritage Farms in Peninsula, Ohio. It's my most favorite show of the year and was the only one that didn't get cancelled. I am thankful for their dedication to the arts and offering a safe show during this time. I think being able to do this show kept me sane for the summer because now I feel like I am in such a funk!
Thankfully, I have been getting many art requests from old friends and new! These range from logo designs, dictionary art, and this new found art... "Line Art Buildings" (not really sure if this is the actual name but that's what I'm call it!). This all started with a friend wanting to order an anniversary gift for her husband. She was specifically looking for an interpreted drawing of their first apartment together. She showed me some examples and asked if I thought I could do it. I decided to give it a try and the results were adorable!
She sent me some photos to go off of for reference and I also utilized Street View in Google Maps!
Next, I darkened up the building with some thicker lines. I knew I would be scanning this in for printing so I wanted to make sure the lines were nice and clear. I wanted some print copies because she requested some color highlights and we weren't positive where to put them so I had a few copies to work with. We also added the address in a fun modern font!
The completed result is gorgeous! I love it!
It's safe to say I have officially failed at blogging! But let's be real, Corona happened, is that a valid excuse? I think it is. Being a librarian, we were shut down during the Ohio quarantine back in March. When it first happened I said "We won't be closed longer than a few days". Then the days turned into weeks, "No way we'll be closed a month" and the month went by, then another, and another. I was baffled! I started off quarantine strong with lots of projects and goals in mind. I completed major ones fast, almost too fast for the amount of time I unknowingly had on my hands. I thought I'd share some of the projects I have done during this very weird time to get me back on the blogging ball.
My first order of business with oodles of time off, was to get home projects done! You know, the things you keep thinking about needing to do but don't do them, yea those. With owning a home there is always something to get done and I could've gotten more done but I definitely fizzled out my house-reno flame at some point! I finallyyyy fixed our 1980's basement bar and loved how it turned out. We're not big drinkers but wanted to get this done as a selling point for whenever that happens. We also had a company rip out our old deck and put in a patio! What a mess that project was, but so happy it's done and we love hanging out in our backyard now! After the patio was done we also added taller fencing around the patio to get our privacy back. I also did random other projects like painting the stairwell and hallway but that's boring stuff.
Being a librarian and being away from our community, we were asked to start filming ourselves doing book recommendations, kindergarten help, maker activities etc. I jumped on the maker train and started creating a variety of hands-on activities mostly for kids but can also be done by any age. Here are some of what I created (in order from left to right - fairy hut, "less mess" finger painting, paper mountainscape, and a scrap fabric octopus!). You can find some of the instructional videos at https://www.youtube.com/user/cuyahogalibrary.
Another category that took up some of my time was wedding planning. That's right, I'm a #coronabride! We're getting married still on our original date in October, but what that looks like right now I really have no idea. We are still waiting to hear of any changes and as we all know, that happens daily. So, I kept myself busy with wedding projects. The very first weekend I was off I finalized my hand-drawn wedding invites and printed them all so they were ready to go (hopefully I still get to use them!). I created my own bouquet and love it more than anything. It's made from book pages, my papaw's old flannels, and includes fake antlers and even my great-grandmother's old broach. I also put together my bridesmaid's bouquets, and the mother/grandmother corsages (Amazon has a great arm band for this!). I have more to do but taking a break for the time being!
Lastly, I continued with my art projects, I'm always doing something! I tried getting ahead with my dictionary pages but didn't do as many as I'd hope. I created a hand-drawn card set for a couple of friends and loved packaging them up even more. I also worked on a couple of commissioned pieces for father's day and sketched a cemetery angel just because.
It looks like I stayed busy during quarantine but I feel like I should've and could've done more. Although I am back to work, things are quiet and calm during this unusual time. Now that I am back settled into my new-old routine I'll be getting back to doing more projects and sharing my processes with you!
Stay happy, healthy, and safe!
This is a quick project that you can give as a gift with pictures already in it or left empty for the person to fill. They're super cute and itty bitty! Something fun and different to brighten up any day.
1. The first step for this itty bitty project is gathering all your supplies because there's a lot of potential components. I like to gather everything up that way I have all the supplies necessary near me and ready to go. This is where I picked my color scheme for my scrapbook (I used scraps from my scrap bag) and came up with yellow, grey, and navy. Pretty! I also gathered a pile of random stickers and other embellishments (I had no idea what I would use!).
2. I then traced the coasters onto the backs of the scrapbook paper I would use for the main sheets so I could cut them out to size.
3. I decided the order of the pages that I wanted and laid them out on the coasters. Next, I glued the sheets onto the coasters using the Mod Podge and a paint brush. I did half at a time instead of trying to glue the whole sheet at once, that way I could be more aware of bubbles showing up.
6. Start to plan out your pages by laying out the pieces and parts that you want to include before you officially glue anything down!
7. Mod Podge dries pretty quick so this part of the project will go fast. You can use a hot glue gun for heavier/awkward objects to secure them to the boards.
8. Looks super cute, right?! Well, this is where I realized... oh crap... how do I hold it together?! I looked up some ideas and liked the nonrestrictive binder ring option. But, this meant there needed to be holes for the ring to pass through. I decided to use a drill as this was the only option we had to my knowledge that could accomplish this. I think if I had some sort of press that would have been the way to go! I drilled through and it slightly tore up my paper! Ugg not cool!
I am going to be doing this for an upcoming work program so decided to create holes in all 125 coasters... yay!... that way they are done ahead of time instead of afterwards. Still, I do not think this is the best option... it seems to tear through the chipboard (these are really flimsy chipboard!) and I encourage you to find a better way if possible :) It still turned out cute overall!
-Old t-shirt (the bigger the better unless you have itty bitties doing this project!)
-Good pair of scissors
(that's it, crazy!)
1. Lay your t-shirt on the floor or a flat surface (actually make sure it's laid out evenly unlike me!)
2. Cut off the sleeves of your shirt in a half U-shape (you're creating the handles of the bag with this step). You can draw this out if you prefer but I just went ahead and cut away!
3. Next, cut the neckline into a complete U-shape (you are creating the bag opening here).
4. Next, cut "fringe" strips at the bottom of the shirt (exactly like you were making a fleece tie blanket!). You are cutting through both the front and back layers here. Note: I should have cut off the hem strip on the bottom of the shirt because I, personally, do not like that extra chunk of fabric. I ended up having to cut this off each piece afterwards!
5. Tie the front and back fringes together in a knot and continue all the way across the bottom of the shirt.
6. And just like that, you have a new tote bag! ...But let me show you the cool thing about this bag...
If you're into the hippie vibe and dig those fringes, you can totally rock it that way! BUT, if fringe just ain't your thing then go ahead and flip the whole bag inside out! Those fringes will be hidden on the inside and no one will know! Check it...
Note: you can even add some embellishments like these cute bows made out of scrap fabric!
1. Decide what type (size/shape) beads you would like to create. This will determine how to cut your paper. You can find many templates online for various paper beads. I went with very simple designs.
3. Cut out your strips of paper and get ready to roll! Literally.
4. Wrap the end of your paper around the skewer. With the tail of the paper sticking out, put a light line of glue on the paper facing up towards you and begin to roll the skewer forward into the glue, wrapping the paper around at the same time, smoothing the glue with your finger as you roll. Keep rolling until you have used all of your strand that you want to use (add more glue when necessary).
5. My second set of beads I made were more cylindrical by cutting parallel strips of paper and using the same rolling technique with the skewer.
7. I used these to make bracelets with for a future program. I used elastic beading string so I wouldn't have to deal with any clasps or rings. I strung the beads onto the string, tied it off, and used the same sealer to coat the knot so that it (hopefully) stays together.
The first bracelet I made, I failed at. Although it had colors I liked, it was just too much for my taste. I also made it way too small. It should have had another handful of beads on it. You can see the gap in the photo.
Here's some images of my final bracelet that I actually like.
1. Wash and dry your tea towel. (At first I thought "nahhh, I don't need to do that but boy am I glad I did! It was soooo linty! My dryer vent was pure white fluff!)
2. Put something underneath where you will be work so that the paint doesn't go through the towel onto something important! I used newspaper for this. (You can also iron your towel first to make it flatter but.. who wants to do that?!)
3. Slice up your apple into quarters. You can do a slice for every color you want to use but I was lazy and reused the same slice each time, I kind of liked the red-green haze of colors. Paint your slice with the desired color fabric paint and plop it down wherever you want to stamp, make sure you apply pressure if you want a heavier print. If you want it more distressed, press it on lightly.
4. Keep printing as much as you'd like. Then add little "seeds" in the center of each slice with the black paint. I also painted a stem and a leaf on some of them but not all.
5. The fabric paint I used said to allow the paint to dry for 24 hours and then heat set it with an iron. To do this, cover the prints with a scrap piece of fabric and place a heated iron with no steam on the design. Make sure to go across the whole thing. That's it!
I think this is a fun craft for pretty much any age! And would also be fun to make as gifts too!
1. I couldn't decide what I wanted to use to cover the coffee can and make it look like a Frosty hat! I finally made the decision on adhesive jewelry box liner. This is a very thin material but also very soft and very sticky! Measure out how much you need to cover the can and the top of the hat (covering the top is optional, you could leave the top open so you can put items inside! such as candy or a poinsettia!)
2. Slowly cover the coffee can with the material you are using. I did this slowly with the adhesive felt because it left air bubbles if it wasn't completely flush. Then cover the top if you chose to do so.
3. Adhere your coffee can to the record. I chose the side with the lid to glue to the record as I felt it was closer to the surface of the record vs. using the bottom of the can that has an indentation. Make sure you use enough glue here so that it really sticks (you don't want it falling off later!). You may choose to use a super glue here or something stronger.
4. I used white acrylic paint to make snow "bursts" around the hat and rim. I did this by lightly dabbing an area in layers with a paint brush. I then used a toothbrush to "flick" paint on the hat, creating a snowy appearance. I went over each of these areas with some glue and sprinkled glitter on top!
5. I added a thick ribbon around the bottom of the hat, adhering it with hot glue. This is where the embellishing comes in! Someone gave me a whole tree's worth of pine branches that I cut with wire cutters. I made sure to use a lot of glue here so that they would stick to create a nice foundation for whatever else I would add!
6. Continue gluing other embellishments until you are satisfied! Just check out all the possible options you might have - sleigh bells, felt snowflakes, holographs, flowers, acorns, jewels, the list can go on and on!
7. Once you are done gluing everything, you have created a beautiful winter decoration!
Rebecca Myers (Dickinson)
Hey there, I'm Becca, or Rebecca, but not Becky, never Becky, unless you're my family from down south! I'm a simply modern librarian by day and an artist by night. My pursuit is for a simple, happy, healthy, and more fulfilling life! I hope I inspire you to get crafty!