April 2012 Archives

Crafty Birthday

For Steve's 33rd birthday yesterday, I went with a very specific, one time only theme. One of his all time favorite bands is the Smashing Pumpkins, who happen to have a song called "Thirty-Three". It also happens to be one of my favorite songs of theirs, which is good because I've had it stuck in my head a lot in the last month.

The Goal:

Create custom wrapping paper (inspiration) with the lyrics from the song as well as the sheet music, and do it on the cheap.

The Supplies:
Kraft paper
Packing paper (I don't know what to call this, it came from a Sephora box)
Gift bags
Alphabet stamps
Ink pad
Gray paper (optional)
Sheet music
Rotary cutter & mat (or paper cutter)
Glue stick

The Process:

Wrapping paper:
  • I made sure I had the lyrics for the song and divided them up based on the number of gifts (it worked out to be about 2 lines per gift).
  • I precut the kraft paper to the sizes I would need for all the gifts.
  • For each piece I drew some rough guidelines to try to keep the spacing consistent.
  • I stamped each letter separately (to get them closer together). Each piece took about 30-45 minutes (I have plenty of time on my hands so this wasn't a big deal). I wanted each piece to have a handmade feel so no agonizing over making perfect lines.

Tissue paper:
Rather than stamping the plain bags I bought, I decided to stamp the tissue paper instread. I figured normal tissue paper might be too thin to stamp on, but luckily I had some paper from a Sephora box lying around that was thicker. Upcycling!


Sheet music:
I scanned a couple of the pages of the sheet music, worked some Photoshop magic on them to clean up the scans before printing them out. And then...

The Make It Work Moment:
I didn't realize you can't wrap a cd using a single sheet of paper until after I'd spent time scanning the sheet music (which was fairly time consuming). So instead, I found a tutorial on creating bows from magazine pages from How About Orange. I followed the tutorial except I used a glue stick rather than stapling all the parts.


The Results:
In the end, I spent less than $10 out of pocket on this project, thanks to using supplies I already had on hand, getting things for free (my mom very happily gave me the alphabet stamp sets cause she didn't want them), and shopping at the dollar store.


Book It!

Now I've tackled the bear that is Daniel Deronda, I have a backlog of library books to get through. Apparently it's my mission to read every book I can get my hands on that sounds remotely interesting.

Just Read:

Ready Player One- Ernest Cline
I loved this book. It hooked me pretty early on, no doubt because my love of the 80s. Although the majority of the references went over my head since my nerd cred is practically non-existant. I can definitely appreciate the encyclopedic knowledge of all things pop culture that the characters had.

American Psycho- Bret Easton Ellis
Oddly enough, I found this book tedious and boring. The graphic parts were pretty graphic, which I expected, but the in-between parts got more and more tedious to me as the book went along.

Daniel Deronda- George Eliot
I enjoyed the overall story and the depth of the characters, but this was a really tough book for me to get through. It got really long-winded at certain points. I think I would've enjoyed it even more if it were 100-200 pages shorter.

Currently Reading:

We Need To Talk About Kevin- Lionel Shriver

Up Next (probably):

The Sense of an Ending- Julian Barnes

Friday Five

Despite all the blog neglect, I swear I'm (mostly) alive.

5 songs I've been obsessed with lately:
  1. "Antenna"- The Church
  2. "We are the Dead"- David Bowie
  3. "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around- Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  4. "What's Going On"- Marvin Gaye
  5. "Stone Rollin'"- Raphael Saadiq

This list pretty accurately represents the ratio of old to new music I've been listening to recently.