SCRATCH MMB: April 2016

Long Story Short: I am terrible at nail art and I am too impatient to do fancy gel manicures on myself.  So…I cheat.  I bake on a thin layer of clear gel (top and bottom coat) and then I apply nail wraps over them.  This process lasts significantly longer then if I were to apply the wrap over my natural nails and it’s cheaper/faster/more foolproof then the whole gel process that I go through.  I apply a regular top coat over the wrap and I’m done!  It mostly lasts about 2 weeks, even after being a little rough on my digits.

This all leads to….*drumroll*….the Scratch Monthly Mani Box!  YAY $10 a month and you get your pick of nail wraps, a bottle of fun polish, and a nail extra.  I’ve tried Scratch wraps before (I ordered straight from the shop) and I rather liked them–of the sticker-type wraps that I tried, these applied the easiest and the most evenly.  They were kind of thin but it made it EXTREMELY easy to file off the excess from the nail tips.  The other thing is that the sizes are rather big for my nails but the thinness makes it easy to pinch the excess off from the sides/bottom–I use an orange-wood stick to gently scrape it off and it works great.

BUT ANYWAY:

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Of April’s offerings, I picked ‘Thunder.’  I typically like designs with more transparency but this one is pretty interesting!  It kind of reminds me of a comic-book background or something.  Because 10 fingers with the same pattern can be a bit too much, I think I’ll layer a few nails with this and a few with perhaps a dark grey?  Or if I’m feeling particularly brave, I’ll do a bright yellow accent nail.  (Probably not).

What do you guys think of the design this month?  It’s not my favorite but I like it because it’ll force myself to try something…out of my comfort box.  I’m not really loving the shockingly pink shade of the nail polish but it’ll get some use with my toes (and perhaps a different pattern wrap?).  If anything–I kind of wish the nail polish that they sent coordinated with the wrap that you picked, or if they sent you more nail-care items like top/base coats or strengtheners.  I feel like that makes the most sense…unless with this shade, they were going for a big contrast?  (Probably not, again).  I do like that brush though–it’s pretty fine and I’d probably use it as an accent striper?  (Probably not, my right hand would look terrible.)

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DIY Printed Clock

This DIY by PS I Made this (which is one of the coolest DIY Tumblrs) is genius in its simplicity. Seriously! It’d also make super cool (plus easy heehee) housewarming gifts.

 

Calling all analog girls living in a digital world: put a little boom in your tick tick with this wall clock makeover! We gave a plain old timepiece a graphic upgrade with some rooster print wallpaper from Voutsa; it adds major face value and instantly wakes up any wall.

To create:  Disassemble the clock by removing the cover, clock face and hands. Use a pencil to trace the clock face onto the back of the printed wallpaper, then cut out the circle with scissors. Adhere the printed clock face to the base with double sided tape. Reassemble the rest of the clock, insert batteries and hang where desired.

Isn’t that neat?  Just brainstorming, here:

  • Walmart sells lots of plain, black framed plastic clocks for cheap.  Target has some cheaper black clocks but they also have a small collection of affordable, neat colored ones, too!   I have a green clock from Target, I know they make white, teal, red, black, and…silver?  You’ll have to check your local store or online.
  • I’m thinking that it’ll be easier to switch out that wallpaper with regular scrapbooking cardstock.  Or fabric.  I think cardstock would be easiest.
  • Cool way to dress up your new clock: put accents where the numbers are supposed to be!  I’m thinking flat-backed crystals, some metallic scrapbooking elements…Ooh, this will be fun!

This project is definitely up there in my DIY queue.  Fast, easy, and cheap!  Those are my favorite criteria, haha.  If you do end up making this clock, I’d love to see it!  :3

Wishlist: The Lettered Bride DIY Calligraphy Kit

I did my own ‘calligraphy’ for my wedding.  It involved a specialized fountain pen and lots and lots of inky fingers!  In the end, I thought it came out pretty good—I got calls asking about my handwriting (sorry for the bragging!  I felt so proud. :3) but it was a LOT of hard work (but also lots of fun)!  Part of the difficulty came from not knowing where to start.  I started with the wrong pens and then I had the wrong ink—I was pretty discouraged and I almost gave up!  I’m glad I stuck with it.

To make it easier for an already busy bride who’s got a LOT on her plate, Ashley Lurcott, a pro wedding calligrapher, has curated this beauty.

Voila!  The Lettered Bride.

 

The Lettered Bride DIY Calligraphy Kit is much more than just a pen, ink, and an alphabet to copy — from laying out your envelopes, to crafting your own unique lettering style, to prepping and cleaning your pens, it’s your complete guide to addressing beautiful wedding invitations!

The Lettered Bride comes with high-quality, bride-tested tools and materials to make learning a modern calligraphic style easy and fun. Add a personal touch to your invitations and other wedding paper goods (favors, name cards, etc.) without spending a ton of time and money trying to find the right materials!

EACH KIT COMES WITH:
– Easy care, no-rust pen holder
– Two different nibs to create a variety of writing styles
– High quality ink tested on commonly used wedding envelopes (please specify black, white, or gold)
– Step-by-step instruction booklet with alphabet variations, pen care instructions, envelope layout ideas, and custom-ruled practice sheets
– Lovingly packaged by hand – perfect for engagement gifts!

WHY THE LETTERED BRIDE?
– Designed by a bride who spent way more time and money than she wanted to trying to find the right tools to address her wedding invitations!
– Specify your ink color – perfect for those using darker envelopes who may want gold or white ink.
– All three available inks have been thoroughly tested against many other inks and are beautiful, opaque, durable, quick to dry, and just the right consistency.
– The Lettered Bride emphasizes modern calligraphy scripts – most in-store kits don’t provide pointed-pen nibs and instead teach old-fashioned, gothic calligraphy styles.
– The instruction booklet includes prepping and care of your pens and nibs, envelope layout ideas, troubleshooting, and multiple variations of letterforms so you can create your own unique alphabet that works with your natural handwriting.
– Works for lefties and righties!

 

What do you guys think?  I absolutely love this kit!  Personally, I would go for the gold ink.  Heck, I’m tempted to buy this as a birthday present for myself.  Now I can handwrite envelopes for my sister’s future wedding?  I hope?  :]

PS Ashley also sells GORGEOUS custom calligraphy rubber stamps.  You’d have the most amazing RSVP card ever.

March 2014 For The Makers Box: Hello Trouble – Review

For the Makers is officially my favorite DIY box.  The projects are so fun!  And I really appreciate that they don’t take lots of planning and advance notice.  Whenever I decide that it’s time for a DIY project, I plop myself down, open the For the Makers instructions online, and I’m done within the next 30 minutes (or less).

Here’s what I made in March’s For the Makers Box: the Hello Trouble Collection.

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My favorite piece is the ‘Locals Only’ bangle bracelet–especially the crystals/faux gems!   This was good practice to make Christmas gifts—I can buy the brass bangles and crystal/gems online and the raw silk from my local fabric store.   It was really easy to make and the yellow silk makes this bangle really bright and fun.  I’m usually the type to shy away from bright, eye catching accessories but I can’t deny that this piece is perfect for Spring!

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I liked the Lemon Drop necklace also—it compliments my new bracelet very nicely.  Instead of just stringing the large beads on, I made sure to space them out a little more with these really pretty glass beads that were also included.  The only thing is that it smells really metallic-y (I heard some jewelry cleaner will fix this) and it was a bit tight to loop around my head twice!  I should have made it longer but it looks fine once I got it on.  I also wore it as a single strand (it goes all the way down to my belly button) and I’m on the fence with wearing it like that.  I prefer the double strand.

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The Paradise keychain/fob is cute but the colors were VERY bright.  I guess that’s a good thing—you can’t miss your keys now, right?  We’ll probably be using this for our spare set of keys.

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The only thing I didn’t make as of yet was the applique T-Shirt!  I’m looking for a good quality T-Shirt to embellish.  I’m excited!  I really like the pattern that’s on it, and it seems like a really quick DIY once I have all of the materials.

So what do you think?  I’m really looking forward to April’s Box!  I looked at the past For the Makers boxes and I’ve liked the majority of the collections that they release every month.  If you’re interested in quick ‘n easy yet very fun DIY projects, here’s a link to sign up for your own For the Makers subscription!  Please share what you make!
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Preview! March 2014 Darby Smart to DIY for Box: Wood Burned Bamboo Cutting Boards

One reason that I’m rather fond of Darby Smart is that (it seems like) most of their boxes revolve around jazzing up your home (vs. mostly jazzing up your style).  These bamboo cutting boards are definitely going to be jazzing up my kitchen!

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This month’s Darby Smart to DIY for Box features a wood burning kit intended for 2 gorgeous bamboo cutting boards.

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Isn’t the wood grain on these lovely?  They are kind of small, though, so I’m imaging that these are less functional for everyday use and more for presentation.  Like presenting super awesome spread of cheese during ladies BYO Wine night.   Thankfully, there was a small piece of wood to practice with so I don’t mess up the bamboo on my first try.
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This box also came with a stencil card.  Mine are a variety of lovely vine patterns (which match my wedding theme, oh DS!  You guys are too thoughtful) but I’ve seen some other really cool ones in other people’s boxes.  Feathers, stripes, super cool geometric patterns.

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What’s interesting is that I got a tube of green pearl paint.  For what?  It’s not on the instructions card.  I think I might have gotten an unintended bonus (unless they meant for me to color the vines in?  I doubt this is food safe so I’ll be saving it for a future DIY project later down the road.

What do you guys think?  I love this box because it’s so versatile!  The wood burning pen opens the doors for future wood burning projects—I’m thinking gifts.  Am I getting a little too ahead of myself?  Christmas is so far away…(but a girl’s gotta start somewhere, right?)  I know TJ Maxx usually has all sorts of pretty bamboo items on sale—I think I’m going to collect the nice pieces and then customize them.  Hurray!  Thank you Darby Smart!