Thursday, June 25, 2015

Mosaic!

This is probably the recent project I'm most proud of because it took a very long time and was something brand new.  I made a mosaic on top of a wooden box!

First of course, I painted the inside and outside, quite a few coats each.

Then came the fun part: deciding on a design.  I was originally going to go the easy route and just do alternating colors with the mixed bag of tiles I had, or maybe just kind of put them on in a random order.  But then my boyfriend suggested making a Greek inspired pattern (we took an ancient Greece/Rome archeology class together once and talked a lot about mosaics) so I decided to run with that.

I found some inspiration, mapped out the squares I had room for, then went to work!  It took a few tries until I had what I was looking for.

 Then I picked the colors and made sure I had enough tiles.  I was glad I did this step because I found out I didn't have the right amounts of certain colors and this would not have been good to realize partway through the super gluing process!


Then I glued them all down, and finally filled in the grout.  It took a few days to get it all done, I did about a third at at time, then had to add a final layer on top, and then do the edges.  The grout was a little dusty when it dried, so I sealed the whole thing with mod podge so it wouldn't flake anywhere.

Now it's sitting on my bookshelf with absolutely nothing inside.  Maybe I'll eventually put something in it, but the pretty top makes it just a nice decoration.  I enjoyed stepping out of my comfort zone for this, I think it would be good for me to tackle slightly scarier projects again (scary because I'm afraid of messing up).

I still have lots of little tiles left ... anyone need anything mosaic'ed? 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Paper Crafting

Today's project post: recent crafts I made out of paper! And today I'm not procrastinating cleaning, I already wiped down my fridge shelves, reorganized my food cabinets, and vacuumed the futon cushion!

This first one I'm very proud of for some reason.  I think it just ended up looking a lot more professional than I expected once it was put behind glass in a frame and hung up.

This is now hanging above my table in my "entry way" (really just part of the living room but next to the door). I'd had another teapot and teacup artwork there, but it was kind of slapped together to fill this empty frame I had hung up.

For this project, I printed out a teapot at the desired size (shoutout to that librarian who gave me the print job for free for no reason!).  Then I cut strips out of some scrapbook paper scraps, figured out a layout of the different colors and patterns, and glued it all down! I tend to have mostly straight blue shades on my walls so it's nice to break it up with the different prints and some pops of yellow.

Second up:
My lovely idea notebook.  Because you can't "pin" an idea that just pops into your head! I realized since I'm not in school anymore, I don't just really have things to write on laying around.  I have some paper for grocery lists, but this keeps everything compacted in one place to flip through until I find the next project I want to start. It's also helpful for mapping things out, as you'll see in my upcoming post!

This is made up of washi tape and scrapbook paper.  The green basket pattern part on the left is actually stripped washi tape woven together.  It took me quite a while but I'm very pleased with the way it turned out. I glued all the paper parts on, then sealed it all with mod podge to make it a little more durable.


Monday, June 22, 2015

Wooden Photo Display

Get ready ... it's time for a bunch of posts on my most recent projects.

First up: a photo display!

My idea behind this was to cover one up the cover of my fuse box.  The cover was painted the same color as the wall and didn't stick out much but I had nothing else to work on and decided to challenge myself to come up with something that I could easily bring to a future apartment and hang up anywhere.

So as I like to do, I wandered the aisles of Benjamin Franklin Crafts in Springfield going up and down and probably scaring the staff until I thought this up.

The wood was one giant prefab piece which was nice.  Eventually it would be fun to make things myself with wood again (I took both lathe and regular woodworking classes in high school) but it's not something I can do in my apartment.  I got the little clips in one of the scrapbooking sections, and obviously the metal paint in the paint section.

It took a couple coats to get the look I wanted, but I actually enjoy doing little tasks like this.  The longer it takes to finish up a project the better! I know I probably could've found little colored clips like this somewhere, but this way I got the exact color I was looking for.

Then I mapped out a plan for where I wanted the clips to go, measured, marked, and put in some little nails I got at the hardware store.  Hung the clips on the nails, stuck some photos in and voila!




The above shows the back and how the piece of wood was put together.

And finally, for everyone who is wondering exactly where it's hanging aka my mom, this kind of shows it.  My bed is right under that bit of large photograph on the right, and the window/curtain is to the left of the photo display.

For even more reference: see my apartment tour video at about the 3:30 mark.

The only thing I think that could've made this better if I'd wanted to paint the wood instead of leaving it natural would've been to use some kind of magnetic paint, and then added magnets to the clips.  Then I'd be able to switch the layout of the photos instead of keeping it static like I have right now.

Stay tuned for more ... I'll be good at updating this week because updating equals procrastinating cleaning! That will be my next big project before my exciting visitor arrives!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy One Year!

I don't think I ever recognized any of my one years on here ... one year in Oregon ... one year at KEZI ... but really what I find to be the most important one I will talk about finally ... one year with Neville!


This date actually happened last Saturday, June 13. Why is this the most important one year anniversary you may ask? Well, I honestly don't know how I would've dealt with some stuff this year with my little kitty.  Living 3,000 miles away from all your friends and family is very hard, and even more so with a backwards schedule like mine.  So it's be amazing to have a little fuzzy person to come home to every day. He's always there excited at the door (either happy to see me or just happy he's about to get some food... I of course prefer to think it's the former). If I get sad he's there to cuddle with, if I get lonely I have someone I can interact with.  He's definitely the best thing Oregon's had to offer so far.

To celebrate his "birthday" I got him that adorable bowtie collar above.  Of course, since he didn't understand how handsome he looked, he scratched at it constantly and basically ruined it within three days.  It's currently sitting in a drawer with tons of strings coming off, and a hole in the bow.  It was nice while it lasted, and I'm glad I was able to get at least one cute picture of him in it.

And yes, it took a lot of effort to edit this post down to just four pictures of my little fur baby.

And speaking of cats ...

 I got this great mug yesterday with the last of a gift card! Neville sniffed at it, and seemed to approve. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Exploring Springfield

A few weeks ago I had a post planned in my head, but never ended up following through with it.  It was after I did my first run along the Willamette in Springfield.  I found what I thought was a new trail, but it amazingly ended up connecting with my favorite trails (Pre's trails) over at Alton Baker Park.  I've gone back quite a few times since then; it's nice to attack familiar trails from a different angle, and just the other day I decided to go off on some of the cement paths attached to it.

Anyway, all this to say that I've been trying to explore Springfield more.  I tend to just look for things in Eugene because, well, it has more things to do there.  But now I have these trails to explore (technically they are in Eugene but they are more Springfield based and a quicker drive) a new pizza place to try (so far I've just had calzones and garlic knots and they were awesome).

I also decided to check out this unique park called Doris Ranch.  It has trails, hazelnut orchards, and a living history museum.

Sadly, as I learned last weekend, the living history museum doesn't seem to be open to the public.  I'm thinking maybe just for field trips? The parks and rec website didn't mention any hours for the public to see it in action, but it was still cool to see the little replica cabins from the outside.  Like the game the Oregon Trail come to life!

I also went down a skinny little dirt trail, stumbling upon some cool views and one of the hazelnut orchards.

I was kind of wondering if the little path I was on was in fact a real trail, but this bridge showed me that it definitely was, thankfully.
 Unsure exactly what this little formation is... a butte? Must consult Google Maps.

Well apparently that little guy has no name, and didn't really show up on the maps.  It was hard to tell. Guess I'll have to try and drive around and see what he is because I bet the view is cool from the top.  Anyway, on to the rest of my excursion there:
Hazelnuts! Also called filberts out here for reasons I think I learned once but can't remember and am too lazy to look up.
The orchard was cool, now when I open a jar of nutella I can imagine where it's rooted (get it... tree jokes). The trees were unique, kind of a bunch of little ones growing out of one stump.  Planted far apart, but the branches all touched overhead making a green canopy.  I wished I had brought my book and a blanket so I could've just relaxed in the shade, but I'll just have to do that another time!