Organize Your Noms

Posted on April 18, 2012 and tagged DIY, Favourites with comments

So it's been about 2 months since my husband and I have decided to go vegan. I won't get into the 'why' right now, but I will say that it's been going great. I feel very focused, I have more energy and I feel refuled after meals instead of sluggish. I needed to completely change the way I cook though, and that means discarding basically every recipe in my repitoire.

I have found the Internet (obs) to be a great resource for new recipes. My favourite sites, just to name a few, are:

Here's the tie-in you've been waiting for: I designed some printable recipe cards to keep all my new recipes organized. And you can have them too! Click here to download the free printable PDF. Just print, cut along the crop marks, and start writing. The size of the cards are 5" x 3".

You guys know how I love Sharpies right? Well I grabbed my Sharpie and went a little nuts on this box. Also, I guess I forgot how big recipe cards are and bought a GIANT BOX. I don't know what I was thinking.

But it actually turned out to be a good idea. I used some cardboard to section off the back of the box and now I have a place for a notebook, pen, my Sharpie, and magazine clippings.

I think I had a little too much fun decorating this box, but it was a steal for $1 at the Dollar Store.

I used an Ultra Fine Point Sharpie and drew diagonal lines down the sides. Then, I made a variation of a cross hatch pattern on the lid using short diagonal lines in alternating directions. Lastly, I finised off the lid by drawing triangles around the edges using a Fine Point Sharpie. Don't worry about getting super straight lines, I like the hand-drawn look.

Hope you enjoy the recipe cards! If you like printables, click here for a free thank you card I designed in February. Do you have any ideas for my next free printable?

DIY Wall Art: Dreamy Letters

Posted on April 2, 2012 and tagged DIY, Favourites with comments

Wall art featuring a special quote or song lyrics is a great DIY project. The words can be very personal like a line from your wedding song or just for fun like what I've done here.

In this DIY project, I'll show you how to make these dreamy watercolor letters to spell out anything you like.

Here are the supplies you'll need:

  • large canvas board like this
  • watercolor paints
  • large flat watercolor paint brush
  • watercolor paper
  • alphabet stencil
  • scissors
  • glue
  • water and paper towels

Think about the length of the quote when buying the canvas board and stencil. Otherwise, you might end up with not enough room on the board.

First, decide on a color scheme. It's best to go with 2 or 3 colors at the most that will blend into each other well. I went with some pretty sunset colors: orange, red and purple. Load the bursh up with your first color using lots of water, but not so much that it's dripping wet, and begin painting across the paper.

Add a second color starting on top of the first one to blend it in. Don't aim to cover the whole page with solid paint. It looks nice when there's a little bit of white space and places with less paint. Just have fun blending the colors into sunset-y goodness!

Now just wait for it to dry and flip it over to stencil your quote. Since you're using the backside of the paper, that means you need to make the letters backwards too! This may seem obvious to most of you, but my first attempt at this project left me with a bunch of backwards letters. Duh! As you can see, I had to paint 2 sheets of watercolor paper to fit all my letters.

Next, cut out the letters. You might need to use a utility knife for some parts. Arrange the letters on the canvas board to get the layout right before you start gluing. Once you're happy with how it looks, glue it down to the board. Be careful not to get any glue on your fingers because the paint will smudge.

I think this is a great way to fill a large space for little money and when you choose the quote, it will always mean something special to you.

DIY: Mini Watercolor Paintings

Posted on March 27, 2012 and tagged DIY, Favourites with comments

Have you ever wanted to paint something for your own house, but got intimidated by the canvas? Do you look at that big expanse of white and wonder how you'll fill that thing? Well, if you're a wannabe artist like me, all you need to do is scale down to get great results. Mini paintings are quick and easy to tackle and they let you practice your skills with a certain medium.

Watercolors are one of my favorite mediums to work with because they're so easy to use, they're affordable and you can get some great effects.

I guess this isn't really a step-by-step DIY, I just want to encourage you to experiment with the paints. I'll show you what I did to get you started! Here are the supplies you'll need.

Supples:

  • watercolor paints (just a cheap palette will do)
  • big fat watercolor paint brush
  • watercolor paper cut into small rectangles
  • lots of paper towels
  • water

Here, I used a wet-in-wet techinique, which means exactly what you think it means. Another color is dropped into an already wet surface. I started with some watered down red, and before it dried I dropped some purple right into the centre.

Next I took a pretty strong blue, with just a bit of water added, and basically slapped the brush onto the paper to get the splatter effect. Yep, slapping the paper with your brush... that's a pro tip for sure. Is this a real technique? Probably not. Do I care? No.

Got a little slap-happy with this one too, but I really started to like the splattery look I was getting.

Here, I added a little purple paint that I added a good amount of water to. Then, I used my fingers to flick paint at the paper. The more water you add, the easier it will be to flick the paint around. More pro tips... are you writing this down??

I used the same wet-on-wet technique with this one, but with different colors.

The point of this project is just to have fun and play around with the paint. Since they're just mini paintings, if you make something terrible just toss it and move on! And believe me, they won't all be keepers. I made about 10 mini paintings and only ended up keeping 4 of them.

Display your tiny works of art using mini clothes pins like me, or frame them all and hang them together. I hope this project took some of the intimidation out of making your own art. It can be really satisfying to hang your own art in your home. Tell me, are there any DIY art projects in your home that you're particularly proud of?

DIY: Crazy for Crosshatch

Posted on March 21, 2012 and tagged DIY, Favourites with comments

Once you start with this crosshatch pattern, you won't be able to stop!

All it takes is a few minutes and a couple dollars worth of supplies. You probably have most of this stuff hanging around already.

Here are the supplies you'll need:

  • something to decorate (card, notebook, etc.)
  • cardstock, scissors, pencil OR a pre-made stencil
  • painters tape
  • ultra-fine point Sharpie

Start by drawing a simple shape on to the cardstock and cutting it out. Or, if you're using a pre-made stencil, just tape that bad boy on to whatever you're decorating.

Make sure you really secure your stencil with painter's tape and start drawing your lines. I'm a jittery person, so I think it looks good when the lines are little wavey. Gives it a hand-drawn look. Also, I can't draw a straight line without the aid of a ruler.

Once you're done filling in the lines in one direction, start on the other way! Btw, if you don't already own an ultra-fine point Sharpie, go get one now! You'll find so many uses for it.

Try not to be too heavy with your Sharpie around the edges of the stencil or you'll get little dots along the edge.

Now peel off the stencil and take a look at the pretty crosshatch pattern you just made.

Repeat the previous steps on everything you own. Just kidding! Well sorta...

I liked how this turned out so much, I immediately reached for a mini Moleskine notebook and stenciled an 'F' for my last name. Sharpies come in roughly ten million colors now, so pick up a couple shades and get going. Stenciling someone's named in multi-colored crosshatches on a card would be a really cool addition to a gift.

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