Month: February 2012

Visual Journal Page 36: Mini Cooper Desk

          One day I was browsing the internet looking for a picture of a Mini Cooper I could add to my visual journal… I had no idea I was about to stumble on an amazing creation…

          As soon as I spotted this among the many google image thumbnails I had to click on it. I couldn’t believe my eyes… a Mini Cooper desk! I knew I had to print it and make a page about it because it was so amazing. If this were my desk I would look forward to sitting down to it, I would never want to leave it, I would probably turn into a workaholic… or I would be so distracted by the amazingness that is the Mini Cooper desk that I wouldn’t get anything done.

          I made this page using an image printed from the internet, notebook paper, and sharpie. I wanted to put something behind the desk to help it pop, and I thought notebook paper was a great way to accomplish this while tying in an office feel. This was one of the first pages where I really considered the font of the words. I wanted it to fill the page, be bold, and tie into the desk colors. I wrote the letters out with pencil first to make sure they were large enough, filled them in with black sharpie, then added a shadow using red sharpie. I’m still not positive this is grammatically correct… If this was? were? my desk… It still bothers me to this day, make sure you always check spelling and grammar!

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Visual Journal Page 35: Empty Bowls

          Getting involved in the community is a wonderful way to teach people how to be humble, thankful, and give back to others. I participated in community service a good bit in high school, and it really impacted me, especially at a time when I was so impressionable. Because I had such a good experience I wanted to make sure community service was somehow incorporated into my teaching.

          Before I started my current job I heard about a project called Empty Bowls. For the project students hand make ceramic bowls and donate them to a dinner. The students then organized a soup dinner, where people pay money to attend, eat food, look at artwork, and take home a handmade bowl. Typically the proceeds are donated to a food pantry or soup kitchen, and the dinner helps raise awareness about hunger issues on a world wide and community level. The handmade bowl is meant to serve as decoration and a reminder of all the people who are chronically hungry.

          When I heard about this project I knew I wanted to get involved in it, and luckily the art teacher I started working with had already hosted one. I was excited my first year to be involved in such a wonderful event, and we ended up donating $800.00 to the local food pantry. Not only did it get our students involved in their community, but it showed them how fortunate they are to have what they have. For those who are less fortunate, we were able to give to an organization that may have helped their family in a time of need. We finished up our 4th annual Empty Bowls dinner December 2011, and I look forward to hosting the 5th one next Fall.

          To create this visual journal page I wanted to make sure that I incorporated things we actually used in the dinner. I overlapped and glued down the Empty Bowls tickets for the background. I then glued down ticket stubs used for the prize drawing to help the Empty Bowls logo pop. To create the logo I sketched it out in pencil, then filled it in with sharpie. Looking back to improve the page I would create the circle shape of the logo with the ticket stubs, then fill it with sharpie. Just having the stubs behind the words and bowl shape makes it look somewhat in complete. If you haven’t started your own visual journal yet you should try to start one! The hardest part is getting started, the ideas will flow after some practice!

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Visual Journal Page 34: Surprise Lunches

Looking at this visual journal page you may think to yourself… that’s an odd hod podge of food for lunch. There is Easy Mac, Nilla Wafers, Ritz crackers with peanut butter, Mandarin oranges, and a pink lemonade instant mix packet. It may be an odd combination, but it really was the best lunch I’ve ever had.

It was the best lunch because I woke up one morning, and as usual, scrambled to get my coffee made, bagel in the toaster, and find anything quick I could grab for lunch. When I opened the refrigerator that morning I saw a brown paper bag sitting on the shelf. I peeked inside and found a note that said something along the lines of: “I made your lunch, I hope you enjoy. Sorry it isn’t much, there weren’t many options. Have a great day, I love you -Nick”.

It was a thoughtful gesture, a way to brighten my day, and make my morning a little easier. It was the best lunch ever because it reminded me how much Nick cares about me. It’s not always the grand gestures that show people you love them, it’s the little day to day reminders. And I am very lucky to have a husband who loves to make me happy.

I wanted to recreate the lunch Nick made me so I Googled images of the items he packed for me. I ended up using a real paper bag, I had to cut it in half so it wasn’t too thick. I glued the food pictures first, then the cut in half paper bag. I wrote a note on a scrap of notebook paper to reference the note he left for me. I then used paint markers to make blue and white scribbles in the background to create more interest. Tip: use a credit card, gift card, etc. to push the paper into the crease of the page. It will help create a much cleaner look!

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Crafty Project: Decorative Tissue Paper Puffs

A good friend of mine recently showed me how to make these decorative tissue paper puffs. They are a quick, easy, cheap way to decorate for a party, shower, or kids bedroom! We made them for a bridal shower, and I loved them so much I made them for a baby shower. It cost about $7.00 in supplies to make 20 of them!

To get started you need to pick up a few packs of tissue paper. I bought mine at Hobby Lobby for 99 cents each. For the baby shower I bought off white, brown, green, and blue. You will also need scissors, string, and if you want to make a bouquet, wire. I bought a pack of green wire from the flower arrangement section of Hobby Lobby.

For a large puff take 6-7 sheets of tissue paper and stack them on top of each other. For a small puff cut 3-6 inches off the edge of the stack of sheets, and stack 4-5 sheets of tissue paper. If you want multicolored or striped puffs alternate different colors when you stack the tissue paper. Once your tissue paper is neatly stack, started folding it back and forth, like a fan, folding approximately 1 1/2-2 inch sections.

After you fold the entire stack of tissue paper together, tie a string around the middle. If you plan on hanging your puff, allow extra length of string to hang it. To create the petal look round both ends of the folded tissue paper by cutting it with scissors.

After you tie the string around the tissue paper and round the edges, it’s time to separate the layers of tissue paper. Carefully pull each layer of tissue paper apart and spread them out until is creates a round puff. Tissue paper rips easily so be gentle!

Using the extra length of string hang the puffs to decorate! You can tie them around tree branches, tape them to tables, or use poster putty (think back to the gray sticky stuff they use to hang posters up in elementary schools.) to tack it to the ceiling.

Another great way to use the puffs is to wrap wire around the center of the folded tissue paper, rather than string, and create a bouquet. It create a very interesting and crafty centerpiece!


Visual Journal Page 33: Notes

          The best messages are simple… and written on napkins… and found on refrigerators. I love finding secret notes… or even not so secret notes. Every now and then Nick will slip a note into my lunch box, or leave one on my night stand. It’s a nice way to brighten your day, a reminder that someone cares about you.

          My parents have part ownership of a house in Hilton Head, and we often go up for vacations during the year. One week we went up, we came after my Aunt Lydia left. As I was unpacking the car and putting away groceries I found this note stuck to the fridge. It made me smile, and think about her, and as a good visual journaler I came prepared with my supplies and decided to create a page about it.

          I am very close to my Aunt and Uncle, they might as well be my second parents. I see them often, talk with them often, grew up with them around, and I don’t know what I would do without them. When the inspiration came for this page I knew it would be a great way to create something that would remind me of them and show how much I care about them.

          To create this visual journal page I used the note written on the napkin, magazine cut outs, notebook paper, sharpies, and rubber cement. I cut the notebook paper up to create a refrigerator shape, and used the sharpie to outline it and add shadows to help define the shape. I glued the magazine cut outs of magnets to push the point across even further, and I glued the napkin on top. I used sharpie to draw the scribbles in the background and add the words. The page just so happened to have a refrigerator on it, and I wanted to make sure it wasn’t covered up since it related so well!

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