suitcase chronicles

i love to take weekend trip; some of my best friends are scattered all around new england. i go to visit, see the sights, and see my friends. i try to only bring as much as i can fit in my small suitcase which is actually closer to the size of a large briefcase.  i enjoyed packing; knowing i have to pick with care, curating the contents to tailor the place and length of the trip.

on a trip to portsmouth, nh. garlic, nirvana, raybans.

off to brattleboro, vermont. moleskin, mittens and moccasins.

on a trip to peacham, vermont. wirecutters, pesto, and a baby egg.

spray paint everything gold

...is my response to the end of the term crazyness. phew.

satin finish gold. it's cute, chic, and classy without being as over the top as spray painting everything classic ultra shiny gold. it's got a textured to the surface, rather than a super smooth finsih.

this color is carmel latte by krylon.

some ideas of what to paint (and the things i sprayed):
entire key chain set
lawn flamingos
mason jar
piggy bank

go to town, have fun! just make sure to use in a well ventilated area.


sewn photo collage

hello friends! i love taking pictures, so the other day i decided to go through some of my favorite ones of my friends and have them printed. i thought it would be fun to print them as squares instead of the traditional 4x6. i had grand schemes of making an elaborate photo mural of some sort, the only problem was that double stick tape wasn't working and i didn't have any putty. it was a thursday night and i already had fleece pants on, so you can sort of gauge where i was at in my day.

being the resourceful (lazy) young person that i am, i hatched a new idea:

photoquilt! yes. since i didn't want to drive the half mile to staples i would SEW the pictures together. sometimes being tired has it's advantages, let's begin!

what you'll need:
-photographs, postcards, or anything on somewhat sturdy paper 
-computer paper or newspaper
-tape (double stick is nice, but not necessary)
-sewing machine

step one: plan out the collage

this is the fun part. play around with different placements, move them around! it took me awhile, but that's mostly because i had so many pictures to choose from (i also have a thing with colors).

step two:  lay your design out on paper

depending on how big your design is going to be you may have to tape a few pieces of paper together like i did. you could also tape your design onto newspaper for a bigger work surface. newspaper is also easier to work with when removing the paper after everything is sewn.

(sorry the color is a little off on these pictures, it was night time and i couldn't get the lighting right)

step three: tape!

after you have the layout how you like it, go through to each picture and apply double stick tape (or a loop of regular tape) to the back and secure them in place.

step four: sew the tops and bottoms of the pictures

this part may seem a little scary, but you'll get the hang out it. basically all you want to do is sew a straight line on the top of each row and the bottom of each row. don't pick up the machine's foot when you reach the end of a picture, just keep sewing (this is what will string them together). start each row with about 5 inches of string and leave about 5 inches on the end.

step five: sew the sides of the pictures

sew the tops and bottoms for each row. when you have sew all the row's tops and bottoms, turn your paper 90 degrees and start sewing the side, just how you sewed the tops and bottoms.

step six: remove the paper

now that your all sewn up, all you have to do is pop out the paper. do this carefully so you don't rip the thread. the best technique i found was to poke a hole in the paper with scissors and then pull the paper away.

boom! photoquilt.


ron swanson stencil!

this is a follow up to a recent post i made about my love for the show parks and recreation and my goal to combine the forces of crafting, television, and halloween into one project. i made a ron swanson jack-o-lantern. and although halloween as already come and gone (i was a little late with my posting) this stencil can still be used for any assortment of projects: t-shirts, graffiti, non-halloween pumpkins, and more.

get creative, put on an episode of parx, and find good use for this:
mr. swanson

happy belated halloween! here is how my pumpkin turned out.

applying ron to the pumpkin

i used computer paper to print out ron, but you can use any number of heavier papers or materials depending on your project idea. if you were to use this stencil for any type of transfer projects i would recommend printing it out and then tracing it onto clear acetate or cardboard.

what would ron swanson do?


ron swanson, more to come

i am one hundred percent addicted to nbc's parks and recreation. i have watch every single episode at least ten times, and i always laugh. i am really lucky that all of my friends like parx as well, that way i can constantly quote it without being creepy.

the other day during a typical 7 episode mini-marathon in my living room, i decided that for the halloween season i would pay tribute to my favorite show by carving a pumpkin with my favorite character on it: ron swanson.

ron and his love of meat:

unfortunately (or fortunately, for the sake of being creative) their weren't really any ron swanson stencils out there. so i had to make one.

here is a styalized version of the stencil:

i had an awesome time making the stencil and carving the pumpkin (i also baked the pumpkin seeds after, what a treat). i'll post the pumpkin in the stencil once i take the pictures off my camera. i was just too excited not to share this right away.


leather suitcase makeover

so in the last few months i've been on a thrift store mission. everytime i would go into a salvo or goodwill i would search the bag aisle for some vintage or leather suitcases. but whenever i would find something remotely cute i would open it up and there would be an ever present musty smell. i took a couple chances on a few suitcases and tried to get rid of the "old" smell. no matter what i tried it never worked.

but the other day my luck changed. i went to ReStore for my second time and again found a treasure. a cute leather suitcase (that coincidentally matches my purse exactly)!

the suitcase (and shimmy)

it's the perfect size for a couple day trip, and has a soft body so it's more flexible. i got it for only 3 dollars and... hooray it doesn't smell! but i wasn't to thrilled with the inside.

somewhat tattered, uninspiring

So me and shimmy set to work to re-line the inside. the fabric i used was from a pillow case that had skateboards on it, that a friend had given me.

shimmy helping. sort of.

after figuring out how to sew the lining in the right shape i got the hang out of it and finished it completely in a couple hours. i highly suggest explosions in the sky pandora, as good, relaxing crafting music.

taking a cat nap after the hard work

thumbs and the finished work

i realize this would have been a good project to make a tutorial for, but i didn't realize until i was already half way done.

new mission: weekend roadtrip.


like most crafters out there, one of my most favorite things is finding treasures at the thrift store. there is nothing better than shifting a couple unthrilling items to the side and suddenly finding a gem.

the other day i discovered an awesome store in burlington called ReStore. it's basically like the homegoods section of a goodwill on steroids.

i found a treasure:

since i'm a college student with pretty much no money, i like to limit my thrift store purchases to single digit dollars. i made the exception this time and spent 10 dollars on this 70's sony radio. i was entirely giddy when i found out that it lights up and it also gets fantastic reception.

i promptly gave it a makeover:

 i slapped on my 802 sticker and called it a day.