Trying Chinese Brush Painting

Something like two years ago, I got a Chinese brush painting set. It was something else I could learn and maybe enjoy. Also, Chinese brush painting is beautiful, so I definitely wanted to try it.

Two years later, I’m finally trying it.

First things first, I gotta look into it. Luckily it came with a book, by painter Danny Han-Lin Chen.

Once reading is complete, gather your supplies:

  • Brushes (white cloud and orchid bloom)
  • Ink stick
  • Ink stone
  • Brush rest
  • Watercolor palette
  • Sketchpad that can handle watercoloring

In the book, there are paintings to try. Of course, I choose the easiest on to try first.

First attempt at a stroke was a fail, so let’s try again.

Better (not perfect, but I definitely didn’t expect it to be).

After I got more familiar with the brushes and how the ink worked, I diverged a little from the instructions. Not because I thought I was good enough to, but because some parts still confused me, so I did what I could/knew how to do.


And done.

I added some Chinese in the corner. I double, triple, quadruple checked that I got the word right, but I’m still nervous that I did wrong and accidentally wrote something real offensive. I tried to write the word ‘learn’.

Because that’s what we do here.

It’s not the most beautiful painting, but I think it’s pretty, and I’m proud. I’ll probably try it again.

Any tips are greatly appreciated.



Making a Morse Code Necklace

I’ve been seeing a trend on Pinterest of morse code necklaces and bracelets. I wanted to add my own twist to things.

Presenting my version of the morse code necklace:

Start with your basic supplies and the word you want. I have my plier tools, big beads, small beads, and long beads, pre made cord necklace, and rings.

The word I went for was ‘warrior’, which is actually pretty simple in morse code.

Cut seven plastic wires (I changed from copper wire to plastic).

Make a knot at the end of each one and place the small bead at the bottom. Make sure the bead can’t get through the knot.

Using the big beads and long beads, spell your word using each individual wire for every letter.

Put them in order on the cord necklace, and voila.

It’s nice and simple, but can hold such meaning depending on what word you use.



The Christmas Notebook

It’s the holiday season (the holiday season). So a whoop-de-doo.


As you may know, I am all about the organization. Stalking Pinterest gave me an idea to organize my Christmas with a notebook. It seemed like the best idea to have a great and productive season, considering how Halloween this year went.

And let me tell you, it is working amazingly!

All of my thoughts and plans in one place. “Why can’t you use your planner?” First of all, it’s more fun for me to create a notebook. Second, it keeps all ideas of one thing together so you’re not distracted. (“Let me write down when we get to do Christmas light scavenger hunting, while updating my weight-loss tracker”). It doesn’t work.

Keep the spirit of Christmas in one place on its own.

With that said, allow me to give you a sneak peak into the notebook itself. I won’t show you every page, but I’ll explain my process. Maybe, before the season is over, you can start your own.

I had to start with a fun cover. So, I decorated it to look like a present. That way I know exactly which notebook it is. Plus, it’s just too much fun to look at.

Always start with an index so you know what you have and on what page. I colored it to my discretion; there was barely any rhyme or reason to it.

After the index, I wanted to put a personal message just for me. What’s the goal for this season? What did I want to accomplish? What’s the theme? Whatever you think about the season, for you, put it down.

There’s a lot to do around this time of year, so I need to keep track of what I need to do AND what my family needs to do. (Not a complete list)

After that is my list of people to give Christmas cards to, with a check box next to their name so I can color it in when I send it rather than cross their name out. Next to it is my currently blank page of who sent me Christmas cards so I can send love.

The next several pages are dedicated to friends and family’s gift lists. I list out what they want, what they’d like to see in their stockings, and what they absolutely do not want for Christmas. I just write down everything; I can’t buy everything. But it’s helpful knowing in case someone else asks…

After the pages of gift lists, and a blank page to write what gifts I received (and from who for thank you card purposes), I have my little Christmas tree countdown. Every day, I color in a box. Come Christmas Day, I’ll have a pretty tree.

Following the cute little countdown, I have my December bucket list: things I want to complete in the Christmas season. (Along with Santa Claus’s phone number *wink wink*). Next to it, part of my bucket list, is to watch a bunch of Christmas movies. So I have a list of must-watch films. Yes, Die Hard and Edward Scissorhands are Christmas films, fight me.

After that is my gift-giving page(s). I had to mention this specifically because I have a method I’d like to share, if you please. I color-coded my friends and family’s names, usually with their favorite color if available. I write the gift I got them in their color so I know whose gift it is. Next to it, I put the price and/or if it’s been paid. Next to that, I put two columns, one labeled ‘have’ and one labeled ‘wrapped/sent’. I check under the column, next to the gift if I have the gift (since some stuff is being shipped to me) and if I have wrapped and/or sent it. It helps me know what I’ve done for who.

On the next page, I have two fun games. My family and I love going out and looking at house lights. Our new place is particularly great because we are across the street from the town’s most festive light show of a house. I came up with a scavenger hunt for us to do on our annual walk around town. Then I have trivia for the book we read every 24 December, The Night Before Christmas. Like I said earlier, I wanted to have fun.

The next several pages are ones I can’t show before Christmas, including a plan for Christmas Eve, craft lists and instructions for certain gifts, and other little Christmas spoilers.

But that’s my Christmas notebook: something to keep me organized during the most hectic and commercialized time of year.

I plan to have fun.

Hugs and Candy Canes


Making a Public Waterfall

img_6359That almost sounded bad.

The reason I call it that is because it will be on public display and for public use.

A while back I made a potted plant (find it here) as a lollipop holder for my teacher friend. This time, since the potted plant has died due to the amount of student hands grabbing at it, I am making a lollipop holder that looks like a waterfall!

From earth to water.

Next time the lollipop holder will be on fire.

Also, just letting you know, almost everything I got to make this came from the dollar store. Look at me, saving us money!

So, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Three (clear, maybe?) bowls of different sizes
  • Foam blocks and balls
  • White rocks
  • White sand
  • Seashells
  • Hot glue and gun
  • Knife *dear Heavens, please be safe!!*
  • Paint (super optional)

1. Put some rocks at the bottom of the biggest bowl. This is to add extra weight so that the finished product doesn’t tip over and ruin all your hard work.

2. Glue some foam edges and place into large bowl. This keeps the foam in place for lollipop placement and for the structure of the whole thing.

3. Put rocks around the foam for extra weight and stability.

4. Glue the medium bowl on one side of the large bowl. Make sure you glue the hell out of every corner that touches each other. Once it’s all glued, make sure it’s not going anywhere.

5. In the medium bowl, fill it up with some of the foam balls, so that it’s got some stability for other things to be put on top, but it’s not heavy enough to tip the whole kit and kaboodle over.

6. Cut a piece of the foam block to size, and using the foam balls as leverage, glue a new platform on top of the medium bowl.

7. Glue the small bowl on top of the medium bowl’s platform.

8. Glue a foam ball at the bottom, and, after cutting another ball in half, glue the bottom of the half ball on top of the regular ball.

9. Make a hot glue pool on the half ball. And using the instructions for the personal waterfall (found here), make a nice long waterfall to one of the bottom foam blocks.

9 1/2. Make sure the bottom of the waterfall has a pool, too.

10. Time for decorative pieces! Pour some sand on the bottom foam block (if you want to try to keep it in place, paint some liquid glue on the bottom).

11. Hot glue some seashells around the sand and/or in the water.

12. I wasn’t a big fan of seeing the balls (zing) so I decided to paint all of the glass white.

13. For funsies (and because it’s for younger students) I painted some (kind of lame) cartoon fish on it.

And voila, you have a new lollipop holder.

Until one on fire needs to be made.

Hope you enjoy your time crafting, and if you make one of these yourself,send it to me. I would love to see it!



Making a Personal Waterfall

waterfall 8 It was midnight. I was waiting for my laundry to finish so that I can have clean sheets to sleep on. So I decided to use my time wisely, and sleepily make something I actually think turned out pretty cool: a personal waterfall.

I call it a personal waterfall because it’s in a tin, in the fashion of being able to carry it around anywhere you go.

Anywho, after starting I realized that I could actually make a DIY post about it for everyone to make their own personal waterfall.

All objects involved I had on deck (meaning it was in my craft trunk), but you can get everything except the hot glue gun at the dollar store, so you should be able to do this super cheaply.

So here’s what you’ll need:

  • a hot glue gun
  • and hot glue, of course
  • a tin
  • tiny garden rocks
  • tape

And that’s it! So let’s do this.

1. Make a spiral (circle) of hot glue on the bottom center of the tin.

2. Surround the spiral with some rocks. We’re making a pool for the waterfall to fall into.

3. Hot glue the lid of the tin so it won’t open or close or move in general. We need it stable for the rocks and, eventually, the waterfall.

4. Make a small tower of rocks on the lid, leaving room to put the flow of the waterfall.

5. Use a strip of tape as the base of the waterfall. Put the edges on the lid where the waterfall will start (on top of your rock tower) and in the middle of the spiral pool.

6. Hot glue the tape. Using the tape as your guide, hot glue strips and streaks from the rock tower to the pool.

7. Cover the bottom of the tin with rocks.

8. Put more rocks on the lid for a rock wall.

waterfall 7

9. Clean up the excess hot glue.

And voila, you have a personal waterfall to put wherever you want.

You can embellish it some more with tiny flowers, dirt, maybe even animals if you can find/make any tiny enough.

Enjoy, and let me know if you do anything like this. I’d love to see!



Making a Jewelry Hanger

32150820_10211994124823538_4916375417926975488_n Guys, I have quite a few necklaces. And I would always either hang them on a thumbtack stuck into the wall or I would lay them in a box only to have the tangle gnomes ruin some good chains when I needed a necklace.

Well, I decided to do something about this. By that I mean, make a crafty thing in which I can better organize my jewelry in a prettier way than a thumbtack.

And, again, I did it as cheap as possible. Everything was either from the dollar store or stuff I have already owned. I figured, maybe some others would want to do something like this. Yay, DIYs!

So, here’s what you’ll need:

  • A picture frame (but you’ll only be needing the glass)
  • Four little decorative bottles
  • Pretty duct tape
  • Random beads (optional tbh)
  • Super glue
  • Scissors
  • A small chain, about 3 inches long

1. Dismantle the picture frame to get the glass

2. Edge the piece of glass with duct tape to give it a frame effect. In all honesty, if you like the frame you had at the start, you can probably use it (though the stand flap thing might get in the way of the wall). I just personally preferred to have the see-through glass as opposed to another type of background, and I like the galaxy duct tape.

3. Anyway, cut the tape down to size.

  • Tip: Dollar Tree does have duct tape

4. Take the little bottles, and fill them with beads (or leave them aesthetically empty).

5. Super glue the caps so they don’t pop off anytime soon.

6. Super glue the bottles on the glass intermittently.

7. Super glue the chain on the top of the glass so it has something to hang from the wall.

8. Reinforce with duct tape and extra glue because I’m paranoid.

9. Hang on wall and put jewelry on.

10. Bask in your accomplishment.

It’s nice and simple with the focus still being on my own jewelry. Also, because it’s glass, you are able to write with dry erase marker. So, I decided to label each ‘bottle’. Enjoy, and let me know if you do anything like this. I’d love to see!



Making A Potted Garden

garden 2 I love being crafty, especially lately when it seems that so many spring and summer things have come up in stores.

I decided to put that craftiness to use by making a potted garden, like a land of fairies or gnomes. But if you notice the basic layout of the garden, there’s a lot of space for more flowers and more garden. I definitely could have done more, however, this was created for my teacher friend I often talk about as a lollipop holder for her well-behaved students.

That’s right. It was a garden of sweets.

But how to do the do? How to make the make? Beautiful, I am here for you. And even better news, I got all my stuff from the dollar store. So you can make your own garden of sweets without breaking the bank.

So here’s what you’ll need:

  • three flower pots of different sizes
  • foam for foundation inside pots (I prefer the balls for the small & medium pot)
  • fake moss
  • small rocks
  • fake flowers
  • a gnome outhouse (or another type of fairy establishment)
  • lovebirds (optional)
  • butterflies (optional)
  • hot glue gun with hot glue
  • regular liquid glue (I used Elmer’s clear glue)
  • a medium paintbrush
  • wire cutters

1. Put foam into the pots. The largest one should be overflowing foam. The medium one should have the foam stop right at the mouth. The small one should have a little bit of foam, not yet reaching the mouth. Hot glue the foam into place.

2. Hot glue the medium pot on top of the large pot. The hot glue the small pot on top of the medium pot. That way you get the three-tiered garden.

3. With the regular liquid glue and brush, paint on the foam. That’s right, paint glue. As you glue the foam, stick on the moss until you cover all of the foam on all three pots.

3 1/2. I decided to spray the moss with hairspray to that the moss would stay in place.

4. Once the moss sets, hot glue the outhouse onto an empty part of the ‘field’.

5. Hot glue small rocks around the sides and especially the back of the outhouse. Not only does it help support the outhouse if necessary, but it also helps it look more lived-in, like someone or somegnome piled the rocks there. Honestly, I’m not sure why garden houses have rocks, but it looked too natural to leave out. So I got rocks.

6. Using wire cutters, cut the tops of the flowers from the majority of the stem. Leave just a wee bit of stem to stab into the foam under the moss so it looks like the flowers are growing out of the ground.

7. If you decide to have lovebirds, hot glue them on the top tier side by side.

8. If you decide to have butterflies, hot glue them on the lip or sides of the largest pot, or even the medium pot if you’re particularly brave.

And voila. You got yourself a lovely little garden scene. From here you can stab the moss with any sort of lollies that you want, or you can stab some more flowers for a proper garden.

On top of that, I used leftovers (and some of my clay) to make a nice little monster home. A medium pot, a small pot, foam, moss, and flowers. And a wee monster peaking from under the flowers.

Anyway, like I said, I love being crafty so hopefully I’ll have some more of these posts out and about. Enjoy them, and let me know if you do any of them. I’d love to see!




Bullet Journaling

I’ve been utilizing a bullet journal for about a year and a half now (since August 2016). I always love changing it up, and have been recently. But also I want to use my site and show off what I’m doing. Isn’t that the point? So how about monthly bujo spreads? Starting with March:

march bujo 1

Cover page, where I have video plans and whatever else I want.

march bujo 2_LI

Monthly spread: includes goals, mood tracker, bill tracker, birthdays, and start/end weight.

march bujo 3_LI

Weekly spread: this is what it generally looked like, including meal plans

march bujo 4

I usually have a page of comics or random pictures that make me laugh/shows how I feel.

march bujo 5_LI

I’m in therapy because homegirl’s got a lot of problems, and I try to keep track of stuff.

march bujo 6_LI

Of course, it is a journal. And a place to draw stuff, sometime uplifting.

march bujo 7_LI

Making to-do, to-pack lists for the now-past trip to California

march bujo 8_LI

Then, during my time in the big CA, Bujo Ben turned into a travel journal. P.S. California by Blink-182 is nice and sweet, and the perfect theme for me in this state.

march bujo 9_LI

Finally, I end the month with thoughts about the month. I list big things, good and bad, and make an observation about them.

Now, this is definitely not the complete month of March from Bujo Ben. Perhaps 5-10% of the pages from the month. These pages are just a snipit, a look into some of the main pages of the month and examples for basic formatting.

Anyway. Bullet journaling. It’s awesome. March was cool…

Enjoy the way you organize your life, guys. Don’t let anyone shame you about the way you function.