Saturday, February 20, 2016

Wispy Blue Nails

I created this wispy nail art that has a sort of cloudy/ombre effect and I really like how they came out. I used a makeup sponge which I ripped in half in order to stamp on thin layers of the blue nail polish until I built up layers that created the sort of gradient effect on the tip of each nail. Ripping the sponge in half helps expose an more uneven texture of the sponge that allowed the pattern to come out more random and messy looking (making this an easy design to do with your non-dominant hand).
I used a light nude/pinkish shade (this is actually meant to be a French tip manicure base, so it was very sheer and light) as the base for all of my nails.
For the blue, I chose a very opaque periwinkle blue shade (Hello Kitty in Blueberry, from Sephora which I don't believe is sold there anymore). I painted small amounts on the sponge for every nail, dabbing any excess polish off onto a piece of paper in order to adjust the sheerness of each layer being added on. 
I finished off the nails with a matte topcoat from Wet n' Wild. This matte topcoat dries quickly and looks great, however the matte effect doesn't last more than a couple of days as oils from the skin, food, and other things starts to make the nails look shiny again.
Not shiny at all, contrary to the wildshine name. Also only $1!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Exposed Lace Zipper Bags

After finding these cute zippers at a Daiso store for only $1.50, I searched the internet for a good way to use them, and found a great cosmetic bag tutorial on Plush Addict that has free pattern pieces. The tutorial shows two ways to make zip bags with an exposed zipper and I found it easy to follow. I made 3 bags using the triangle shaped bag tutorial and added some extra pieces of fabric to make each bag a little unique. 
I found that fat quarters are a good size to make these bags, in addition to some added fabric scraps.
 For one bag, I cut strips of a different fabric and ironed the seam allowances in to make them easier to sew onto the right side of the fabric.
For the grey and blue bag, I shortened the gray fabric by a bit and cut a small blue piece to match the missing piece of fabric + seam allowance, and then sewed them together to make one outer fabric piece.
I used the same technique for the bag with the purple bottom as well.
 I found the tutorial very easy to follow and these bags took little time to make!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Apple Rose Tarts

After giving the Mini Apple Rose Pies recipe from the blog From My Impossibly Tiny Kitchen for the first time and finding much success, I retried the recipe again for Thanksgiving, and here are the results! I got a lot of compliments on them and thought they were the perfect dessert for the occasion.
The first time I made these I used green apples since they were on hand, but despite how good they taste, they don't look great appearance-wise once the apple skin browns, so I went with red apples (Fuji I believe) for the second attempt. I also modified the filling recipe by adding a generous sprinkle of cinnamon to melted butter mixture which I think gives more of an apple pie filling flavor. 
Attempt #1: I used thicker slicer here since they were cut by hand
Green --> brown
I believe I used more than two apples for the amount of dough that I had, and I also found it easier to roll the apple pieces in my hand instead of laying a row flat on the table. Since the slices were much thinner than they were the first time I made these, it definitely took me much longer to roll all of them up. 
Using Fuji apples instead
Out of the oven.
10/10 would make again

Monday, December 21, 2015

Paint Chip Wall Art and Calendar

I made these simple and colorful decorations for my room using a whole bunch of paint chips and a few cheap pictures frames, as inspired by various pictures scattered around Pinterest (such as these linked here, here, here, and here).
The in-progress mess
The materials I used were a large handful of paint chips (free, from Home Depot), double sided tape, some picture frames (found at the dollar store and Goodwill), scissors, and a rubber stamp and marker for the calendar. The 3 frames I bought in total cost about $5 and everything else I already owned or got for free!
For the calendar I cut out 35 squares (an additional row of 7 would probably make for a better calendar, but my frame isn't large enough-for reference it's about 12" by 15"). I used part of a rubber stamp and a black marker to stamp circles on to a corner of each square for the date. I used double sided tape to position all of the squares onto the cardboard backing that came with the frame, and used a dry erase marker to write the days and notes for a reusable monthly calendar.
The completed product! Since I didn't have enough room for another row, some months I will have to squish a couple of days in the same square (although for my purposes, this is fine by me).
I purchased the other two frames at the dollar store, and made each of them by first creating a template for the desired shape, and adjusting its size so that would fit well into the 8.5" x 11" frame. Then I simply cut as many pieces out as needed plus a few extra and then arranged them onto a piece of paper to play around with the design and color arrangement. I used double sided tape again and a ruler to keep the rows straight.
I use these two smaller frames to write notes and reminders to myself occasionally as well since writing on them with a whiteboard maker works equally as well as with the calendar. They were really fun and easy to make!

Monday, August 10, 2015

My DIY Painted Jewelry Dish

I made this simple jewelry dish out of a wooden tray (dish? plate? other?) I found at Goodwill for only $2. The other materials I used included white acrylic paint, gold acrylic paint, a paintbrush, a gold metallic paint marker, and two bottles of clear nail polish.

The design I ended up going with is inspired by these similar ring dishes found here made by Homey Oh My! (who shares a really great tutorial for making a ring dishes with clay). I kind of wish I read the full post beforehand since I only saw a picture on Pinterest before making my jewely dish, so I would recommend checking it out!

To make it, I first sanded down the surface of the dish since it already had a smooth finish that made it hard to paint on. It seems to be from some Japanese brand, but I can't figure out what it's actually supposed to be used for. I then painted on 4 layers of the white paint, allowing it to dry for a sufficient amount of time between coats to get an even, opaque color.
 After waiting for the paint to dry overnight, I used a metallic gold paint marker to add gold detailing. I found using some painter's tape really helped around the rim since the edges were rounded over. I ended up buying a bottle of gold paint once the paint marker ran out which fortunately matched in color very well and was much easier to paint over larger areas. I think for a smaller dish a paint marker would be great for detail work, but my dish was just too large to make designs easily with one. I used painters tape to mark off the triangle and V shapes (inspired by one of the dishes in this blog post) and use a few coats of the gold paint across the bottom of the dish.
After it was completely dried I used a couple bottles of cheap $1 clear nail polish (Wet n Wild brand) to give a super shiny finish. For the bottom of the dish I ended up pouring the bottles straight into the dish and it leveled itself out really nicely. I let it dry for overnight and now it's home to my previously homeless jewelry.