Posted in Ta-Da! Tuesdays

Ta-Da! Tuesday: Make a Wish

While I’ve done quite a few crafts in the last several months, my lack of posting them on my blog, and more specifically lack of posting what’s on my original craft-to-do-list , makes it look as if I’ve not done much at all.  So I guess it’s time to get caught up.   This June was an amazing little girl’s 4th birthday party.  Quite frankly, I love this girl (she’s my friend’s daughter) because she has so many endearing qualities:  she loves to read, she’s creative, she’s sassy, she’s intelligent, she’s caring, and she’s brave.  She’s not afraid to just burst out into a song and dance routine.  One day, when I have a kid, I can only hope she’ll be like her.   She’s like most girly-girls her age, loving sparkles and puffy tutu-skirted dresses, pretending to be a princess and throw tea parties.  She also loves making wishes.   There is one particular memory I have of her:  picking up a dandelion with the utmost care, as if it were fragile china.  She blows on it gently, saying that those wishes were very valuable!   I kept this memory in mind as her birthday approached, and decided to make her a necklace of wishes and glitter and purple (her–and my–favorite color).  To go with it, I made a birthday card with a dandelion on it; the stem being the real stem of the special dandelion I picked for her necklace: 101_6493 101_6495 Being someone who isn’t much of an artist, I’m proud of how this turned out.  I looked up a tutorial online (which unfortunately I can’t find now, otherwise I’d link to it) and did many drafts beforehand.   Then came the necklace!  I looked up tutorials online, but nothing quite fit exactly what I wanted to do, so I did a hybrid of sorts.  Here’s what I did, in pictures:

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Step #1: Find a nice, magical-looking dandelion. One that you think can grant lots of wishes. Pick it and put it immediately into a Ziploc bag to prevent any wishes from blowing away. Put seeds into a container with lid.
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Step #2: Gather all your supplies. I have a washer, nail polish, Sharpie, glass bottle charm, loose crystals/rhinestones, ribbon necklace chain, and chopsticks or pen.
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Step #3: Paint the washer whatever color you wish with nail polish or acrylic paints.
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Step #4: Very carefully, put one wish into the glass bottle. If you like the way that looks, keep it like that.
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Step #5: If you want extra bling, add glitter, confetti, or like I did, loose crystals.
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Step #6: Add more wishes, if preferred. When you get your desired look, roll cork in super glue and put on top to secure the seal.
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Step #7: Admire your work and take copious pictures to document your awesome craftiness.
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Step #8: When one side of the washer is dry, write what you want on the other side (or paint that side as well and let dry). Thread through or attach to ribbon chain, along with your glass bottle of wishes.
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Finished product, far away.
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Finished product, close up on charms.

Step #9:  Give away as gift, or gift it to yourself!  🙂   I loved the way it looked so much, and have enough materials leftover, that I may make one for myself!  The beautiful thing about this necklace is that it spans ages.  It’s just as fun for a thirty-two-year-old as a four-year-old. What was the result, you ask?  She loved it.  After she opened all her presents, the first thing she asked was to put on her necklace so she could make some birthday wishes.  And also, it matched her pretty purple birthday princess outfit so well.  And then she proceeded to go play in the mud.   Have I told you yet how much I want my daughter to be like this little lady???  🙂

To Never Being Too Old to Wish on a Dandelion!

Violet

 

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Posted in Scholastic Saturdays

Scholastic Saturday: Getting Rid of the Facade

So, disclosure of the day:  sometimes I pretend to know words and phrases that I don’t really know.  Isn’t that something you learn in school?  When you’re learning to read, and you come across a word you don’t know the definition of, before you look it up in the dictionary, you use the context of the sentence and see if you can figure out the definition yourself (yes, I realize those were a whole lot of commas in one sentence.  Sorry).

There are certain words and phrases that I’ve seen so often that I don’t know the definition of, but I feel confident in knowing what it means that I never look it up.  Also, FULL disclosure:  sometimes I’m just too lazy to look it up in the dictionary.

But today that changes.  At least for one word and one phrase.  Baby steps and all that.

The first comes from my recent obsession with interior decorating.  This summer and fall, I checked out like a million (okay, maybe about 40 in reality) decorating books.  In almost every one, I saw this word:

*CHINOISERIE*

The ironic thing is, though they were design books, there weren’t a lot of pictures.  Apparently the term “chinoiserie” is so huge in the design world that it’s just assumed that you know what it is, like “chair” or “table”.  One doesn’t need to see a picture of those things; they already know what it is.  So it was sort of a point of pride for me to pretend to know what it meant.  And what I thought it meant, according to what I read, was something along the lines of:

Chinoiserie: (n).  A fake wallpaper backdrop used to simulate a real inanimate object.

Do you know why I thought that?  Because the only picture I saw associated with the term chinoiserie was a real library on three sides, then a fake wall of books (it was a graphic that looked extremely real).  So, I ask, what would you assume chinoiserie meant?

Eventually, though, I had to go and check my bases to see if I was right, and this is what I found:

chi·noi·se·rie 

/SHēnˌwäz(ə)ˈrē/

Noun
1. The imitation or evocation of Chinese motifs and techniques in Western art, furniture, and architecture, esp. in the 18th century.
2. Objects or decorations in this style.Okay, guys.  Come on.  Now what in the world do BOOKS have to do with that definition?  I feel like I’ve been tricked.  The problem is, I’d already returned said book to the library.  So I couldn’t further inspect it.  The only thing I can think of is that those books in the library were artsy Chinese books.  Who knows?  Anyways, since I felt I was cheated a real picture of chinoiserie, I looked it up on Google images, and found these.

There’s even a whole blog about it, which I actually think is fabulous!  It’s called Chinoiserie Chic.  I have to admit it’s fun to browse all the chinoiserie.  My favorite one that I found (I’m biased because it’s purple) is this one:
Purple Chinoiserie
But for sure, the monkey ones are a really really close second for their cuteness and quirkiness:
Monkey Chinoiserie 1Monkey Chinoiserie 2

You’re welcome.  🙂

Then there’s the phrase that I learned that comes around every football season:

12TH MAN

I have to say first and foremost that I’m NOT a sports fan.  If I were to choose one that was my least favorite, though, it would probably be football.  I know, I’m totally un-American.  My favorite would probably be basketball or extreme sports.  But out of all the sports at my disposal, I’d have to say football is the hardest to understand.  Like baseball, I only care or get swept up in it when I’m at the game live.  If it’s just on TV, I don’t care.  I’d much rather watch sitcoms or talk shows or reality TV.  Anyhow, I hear talk of the 12th Man a lot, and especially this year when it comes to the Seattle Seahawks.  For the longest time I just assumed that it was some dude on the sidelines, or the guy that wore the #12 jersey.  Silly me, though.  Apparently you can only have a maximum of 11 players on the field at a time, and that the Seahawks retired the #12 jersey awhile ago (as per Wikipedia).

The 12th man, for the slim margin of people like me who don’t know, refers to a team’s fans.  In this case, the term is specifically reserved for Seahawks fans and Texas A&M fans.  According to Wikipedia, this phrase was supposed to belong exclusively to Texas A&M, even though several other sports teams used to use it.  But the Seahawks, and the Seahawks only, settled a suit out of court with Texas A&M to be able to use it and they pay them to use it.  The other sports teams who previously used it couldn’t afford to pay it, I guess.  Or?  Other theory?  They, like me, think it’s absolutely ridiculous to have to pay someone to use a phrase.  Anyhow, it’s 12th man time.  Excuse me while I knit and/or read a book while others watch the game.  🙂

And that, folks, is my self-education of the day.  Have a great Saturday!

To Not Having to Pretend Anymore (and being legit!) (and crazy monkeys!),
Violet