Couldn’t find my ideal 2018 calendar – so I made my own.
This year, I really wanted to find a calendar that would celebrate my love of Broadway. But the closest thing I could find was Playbill’s calendar. Which, while an admirable compilation, didn’t fully reflect my favorite shows.
So, I decided to make my own.
I found some printable calendar pages online and started to write down a list of my top 12 shows. Turns out, I couldn’t narrow the list to just 12. So some months ended up representing more than one show. Why not, right? It is my calendar after all.
The materials consisted of scrapbook pages, markers, printed images, and construction paper. Nothing too extravagant but enough for my purposes.
It took quite a few hours of printing, cutting, and taping, but I finally completed my project. Yes, I realize I’m a few days into 2018 at this point. But what’s 10 days?
I’m going to be posting each month on social media which Broadway shows are represented. So, keep an eye out.
But, while I’m here, I’ll give you a look at January’s combination: “Hairspray” and “9 to 5.”
Getting crafty for Christmas
Times of gift giving can induce waves of stress and anxiety when the numbers in your bank account are on the lower side.
When Christmas started to loom once again, I knew I would have to get creative with my presents if I wanted to participate in the season of giving. I figured out pretty easily what to do for my mom and one of my close friends, but all the ideas I had for my brother and sister-in-law felt childish.
This led me to Hobby Lobby in search of simple yet affordable projects, and that’s when I found the store’s selection of wooden boxes.
I had a ton of paint at home (which paint itself really isn’t costly, depending on the brand and quality you want to get), so I grabbed a couple of the boxes and brainstormed some potential designs.
My brother is also a writer in addition to being an artist, so I made the longer, slimmer box for him with the notion of him using it as a pencil/pen box. He has adapted our last name, Turner, to be his professional name, so I wanted to display that on the cover. He’s also really big into Superman, so I felt his box should also reflect that part of him. I drew the iconic ‘S’ on the inside cover and tied in colors from Superman’s costume when painting the inside.
Here is the end result (apologies for the blurry second photo).
I applied the same thought process with the box for my sister-in-law, Sarah. I admittedly was lost on what to do with the outside, so I played with a couple color combinations on a piece of paper until I arrived at a combination that I felt would work well.
I knew she likes Pokémon, so I based the inside colors and design on that factoid. I chose Pikachu because I remembered he is one of the monsters she likes (who doesn’t, right?). This cute little guy was a bit tricky to sketch for someone who lacks more than rudimentary drawing skills, but I think I captured him fairly well.
Next came my mom.
I wanted to give my mom an ornament she could display in the house or take to work. I had some leftover canvas and yarn from one of my previous latch hook projects (see below entry); those excess materials concreted the vision I had.
At first, I tried to fit my mom’s name on the piece of canvas I picked out, but it was a couple letters too long. Since I figured she would more than likely keep the gift at home anyways, I tried the word, “Home,” and voila! It fit.
When hooking the yarn onto the canvas, I put the word on backwards, because I wanted the back of the canvas to be displayed. That way the word would be more legible. I did wind up having to sew on a piece of canvas to one end, because the design I ended up wanting to create needed a bit more space.
Once I finished, I had to figure out how the work could be displayed. The obvious choice was to set it in a picture frame.
Turns out, that wasn’t so simple. The yarn added bulk to the back, so a standard, flat picture frame wouldn’t work.
During my Hobby Lobby trip, I checked out the aisles of picture frames just to see if there existed a product that I hadn’t yet considered. Then I found the shadow boxes. As an added bonus, the boxes were on sale that day. It was like a sign from the craft gods.
So, I had my shadox box which provided the ample room I needed. However, the yarn ends showed up when I pressed the piece down onto the frame’s removable back. I spotted some packing tape in my room and pressed strips of it across the back. They did the trick. The tape also made it simpler to glue a sheet to the back so the final product would have a colored background.
While this project was more involved than the boxes, it was worth it, because it now hangs in my mom’s kitchen. Seeing it placed there felt like the adult equivalent of having your picture from school hung on the refrigerator – a moment of validation and pride.
Showing off my Wonder Woman pride
As granny-like as it sounds, I have latch hooked since I was in 6th grade. Every rug I have produced, I have used a color coded sheet to guide me.
Last month, I finished my biggest project to date:
After tugging the final piece of yard through the canvas and cutting out the butterfly shape, I looked at my several leftover pieces of canvas and piles of leftover yarn and started wondering if I could create my own design.
I’m now currently on my third piece with that excess material (minus buying some red yarn), but I’m particularly proud of my second piece- the Wonder Woman symbol:
Any fan of this dynamic superhero could prattle off his or her own reasons for adoring the character. I’m no exception.
This design definitely was a trial and error effort. I first started with printing out the basic shape and then tracing it onto the canvas.
I next counted the squares I had to work with. That helped me figure out how much room I would have for a background and for each section of the design.
I did the general outline first, followed by the top layer. Then I worked on the inside black lines before filling out the rest of the gold.
The height of the canvas limited how precise I could have been with the design, and I had to tweak the inner black lines to help my piece better match the logo.
The first image shows how it would look if I wanted to display it as a traditional latch hook piece, but I’m greatly partial to the flipped side (last image) because it shows more detail. Not sure yet what I’m going to do with this project but am happy to have created it.
My new bag from an old shirt and a pair of pants
I took one of my favorite shirts and made it into a new bag. I’m really pleased with how it turned out and how durable it is. To read more, check out the post I wrote more about this project.
Holiday Time Baking
I’m a vegetarian but used to eat meat. Sometimes, I admittedly miss certain foods such as meatloaf. However, meat doesn’t appeal to me anymore. So I took this recipe and substituted the ground beef with this soy based product. I also used mixed veggies instead of the zucchini and carrots.
Pumpkin Cheesecake and Zucchini Casserole
This Thanksgiving, I undertook the responsibility of preparing a couple dishes. I wanted to do a dessert and side dish.
Cheesecake is an incredible dessert. So light yet flavorful. What’s not to like? With it being fall, I opted for a pumpkin cheesecake. Even though I love a good slice of cheesecake as much as the next person, I wanted to find a good recipe that would be delicious yet healthy. I landed on this option. It was easy to make and tasted fantastic.
The side dish was a zucchini based casserole that was infused with cheese and tomatoes. It was hard for me not to eat all of it. Here’s how you can make your own: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/87563/tomato-zucchini-casserole/.