a reflection of myself

As most of you know, I began my final year of college on Monday. It’s been a week full of new classes, new professors, and new inspiration. Classes began this year as they always do, with a short introduction, and then an explanation of our first project. For many of my classes, these project “descriptions” are often vague and give almost no information about the path of the assignment. As a designer, this vagueness is crucial (as painful as it is sometimes); otherwise you would want to plan your every move and already have your final project solution before you’ve even begun planning the first steps. The reason I’m saying all of is to help understand this next part a little easier. This week, I was told to choose 30 images that inspire, reflect, and interest me. That was it. There were no other instructions. I do not know what these images will be used with or for. I took these instructions to mean that these 30 images would be a representation of who I am. A bit frustrating at first, but as I began to sift through images and choose which ones I felt defined me, I learned something about myself. I’m not even sure what that thing I learned is, but somehow I feel more comfortable and in touch with who I am, not only as a designer, but as a person. Maybe being forced to define who you are in 30 images puts you in a certain state of vulnerability that allows your eyes to do the thinking, rather than your mind. Defining who you are in words is difficult enough as it is, but defining yourself with no words is the real test. This collection of images may not be a perfect representation of who I am, but I think the act of searching for a definition of self strictly through sight and imagery creates a certain awareness and understanding of yourself that words simply cannot.

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I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!
Caroline : )

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minecraft themed birthday card

Just wanted to write a short post today to let everyone know what I’ve been up to lately! I’m in the process of moving back to my apartment in Chicago for my last year of college(!), which starts Monday! Once I get back to school, I have few ideas that I can’t wait to share with you. On another note, my little cousin’s birthday is coming up in a week and I wanted to make him an awesome card. So I did some ‘research’ and found out that he has been loving Minecraft lately. I thought “perfect!” I can make him a Minecraft themed card. I kept it pretty simple and just added some ‘minecrafty’ essence to a normal birthday card. : )

photo (4) copy

Have a wonderful day! (And if you’re also starting school soon, good luck & have a great first of the year!)
Caroline : )

paint-dipped wooden utensils

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I’ve been in a painting mood for a few weeks now. Last week I painted wine glasses. This week I decided to spice up some of my wooden utensils! I’ve been seeing a lot of paint-dipped things lately; utensils, bowls, glasses, etc, so I decided to give it a shot.

Grab some utensils.

Grab some utensils!

Tape around the area you want to paint to make sure you get a crisp line.

Tape around the area you want to paint to make sure you get a crisp line.

Pick your colors and paint away!

Pick your colors and paint away!

It took me about two coats of paint to completely cover the wood.

It took me about two coats of paint to completely cover the wood.

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The last thing you need to do is seal it all in. You can use any type of varnish or shellac.

The last thing you need to do is seal it all in. You can use any type of varnish or shellac.

The most exciting part of it all is peeling the tape. : )

The most exciting part of it all is peeling the tape. : )

And we're finished!

And we’re finished!

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So add a pop of color to your kitchen and paint your utensils! It only takes about 20 minutes and the result is adorable!

Caroline : )

Also, check me out on facebook!

hand-painted floral wine glasses

I found some wine glasses on sale this past week and decided I’d add some hand-painted flair. I’ve seen floral painted glasses before and wanted to give it a shot!

I found 4 balloon wine glasses on sale for a dollar piece.

I found 4 balloon wine glasses on sale for a dollar piece. They even had these little bubbles infused within the glass.

I thought they'd be the perfect canvas for hand-painted flowers. : )

I thought they’d be the perfect canvas for hand-painted flowers. : )

The first thing you want to do is create the basic shape of the flower petals. Luckily the acrylic paint I was using was easy to wipe off with a wet tissue if I made a mistake.

The first thing you want to do is create the basic shape of the flower petals. Luckily the acrylic paint I was using was easy to wipe off with a wet tissue if I made a mistake.

To make the petals more opaque, I needed to add another coat of paint.

To make the petals more opaque, I needed to add another coat of paint.

Next, I added a lighter color pink to the tips of the petals for some dimension.

Next, I added a lighter color pink to the tips of the petals for some dimension.

Now pick a nice green for the stem.

Now pick a nice green for the stem.

Now paint some leaves!

Next, paint some leaves!

Let the paint dry for a few hours.

Let the paint dry for a few hours.

Acryclic scratches off glass very easily, so you'll want to paint a clear varnish over it to keep it from chipping. I used Delta Ceramcoat Satin Varnish.

Acrylic scratches off glass very easily, so you’ll want to paint a clear varnish over it to keep it from chipping. I used Delta Ceramcoat Satin Varnish.

And now you're finished!

And now you’re finished!

I’m pretty happy with how they turned out! Next time, I might try painting different types of flowers, maybe daisies or lilies. I hope this has inspired you to add some personality to any wine glasses you have lying around.

Caroline : )

p.s. you can follow me on facebook for more updates!

engagement photo package

Last week, Matthew & I took a trip to Stoughton, WI to visit our friends Matt & Ashley and to take their 50’s style engagement photos. This was our first time shooting engagement photos, so we were a little nervous, but Matt & Ashley made it incredibly easy for us. After their shoot, they even took us out to Madison for a night on the town! While Matthew did most of the shooting and editing, I was able to not only put in my two cents in regards to posing and props and such, but I was also in charge of figuring out how we were going to present our photos to them. I decided to go all in with the packaging, finding inspiration through our photos. Along with the CD of files, we printed some 8x10s, 5x7s, and wallets for them. I wanted to keep it simple, but also add some 50’s flare. Here’s what I eventually came up with:

I am thrilled with the result! There’s something about having a tangible package that makes receiving photos even more exciting. Matthew & I are also planning to shoot their wedding the fall, so I already have loads of ideas for our next packaged set—I can’t wait!

Caroline : )

Terra Cotta Jewelry Pot

As I was shopping through Michaels the other day, I stumbled across these mini terra cotta pots and thought they would be the perfect size for a jewelry holder. I usually just lay my everyday jewelry on my dresser at night and have been looking for a small dish to keep them in for a while now so the timing couldn’t have been more perfect for this.

Here are the pots I found in Michaels.

Here are the pots I found at Michaels.

I'm a sucker for anything mini, plus these were only .60 cents a piece!

I’m a sucker for anything mini, plus these were only .60 cents a piece!

After debating whether to paint or cover my pot in fabric, I remembered that just a few days earlier I had to trim about 3 inches off a pair of pjs because they were too long. :P I was so in love with this pattern that I didn't have the heart to throw away the scraps; now I'm so glad I kept them!

After debating whether to paint or cover my pot in fabric, I remembered that just a few days earlier I had to trim about 3 inches off a pair of pjs because they were too long. I was so in love with this pattern that I didn’t have the heart to throw away the scraps.

You only need enough fabric to wrap around the pot once and then have maybe half an inch to an inch excess on either end of the pot.

You only need enough fabric to wrap around the pot once and then have maybe half an inch to an inch excess on either end of the pot.

Take your mod podge ( I used matte) and coat a section of the pot.

Take your mod podge ( I used matte) and coat a section of the pot.

Place your fabric on the mod podge and make sure there aren't any bubbles. Continue this around the entire pot.

Place your fabric on the mod podged part of the pot and make sure there aren’t any bubbles. Continue this around the entire pot.

For the bottom, cut off any excess and fold all of the edges towards the center and put mod podge over the corners to help them stay secure.

For the bottom, cut off any excess and fold all of the edges towards the center and put mod podge over the corners to help them stay secure.

If you planned to use your pot as a mini planter, you could be done now. However, I wanted to use mine as a jewelry holder and wanted the inside to be filled with fabric.

If you planned to use your pot as a mini planter, you could be done now. However, I wanted to use mine as a jewelry holder and wanted the inside to be filled with fabric.

Cut a square out of your fabric and put a slit on each corner and edge.

Cut a square out of your fabric and put a slit on each corner and edge.

Put mod podge inside the pot and then carefully push your fabric square to the bottom. Because we slit each corner and edge, they should neatly lay over one another.

Put mod podge inside the pot and then carefully push your fabric square to the bottom. Because we slit each corner and edge, they should neatly lay over one another.

The last thing you need to do is secure all of the fabric by placing a thin coat of mod podge on the entire pot & let it dry for a few hours.

The last thing you need to do is secure all of the fabric by placing a thin coat of mod podge on the entire pot & let it dry for a few hours.

: )

: )

For a 20 minute craft, I think this turned out wonderfully, and it’s just as functional as it is adorable! I’m thrilled to finally have a place for my jewelry. Hopefully this gave you some ideas for using any scrap fabric you may have lying around, or inspire you to keep your scraps instead of tossing them in the trash—just look what could become of them!

Caroline : )

Palette Coasters

Since wooden palettes are all the rage right now, I decided to take it up a notch and make mini palettes to use for coasters. They’re pretty simple to make, hope you enjoy!

The first thing you need is something to make the coasters out of. I tried popsicle sticks first and just wasn't liking how they were coming along, so I found some balsa wood at Hobby Lobby that looked a lot more like real wood.

The first thing you need is something to make the coasters out of. I tried popsicle sticks first and just wasn’t liking how they were coming along, so I found some balsa wood at Hobby Lobby that looked a lot more like real palette wood would look.

I got 2 pieces of the square wood, and 4 of the rectangle. They came in 3-foot long sections.

I got two pieces of the square wood, and four of the rectangle, which came in 3-foot long sections. This only allowed for me to make two with a bit left over.

Now decide how big you want your coasters to be. I chose 3.5 inches, which seemed to be perfect.

Now decide how big you want your coasters to be. I chose 3.5 inches.

Cut 3.5 inch sections out of all of the wood.

Cut 3.5 inch sections out of all of the wood.

Palette, while they aren't clean, are the dirtiest looking either. Balsa wood soaks up stain very fast and comes out extremely dark. I decided to go with a lighter stain: coffee.

Palettes, while they aren’t clean, aren’t the dirtiest looking either. Balsa wood soaks up stain very fast and comes out extremely dark. I decided to go with a lighter stain: coffee. It doesn’t take much, I dipped each piece in the coffee  and left it for 15 seconds.

Worked like a charm! I left mine on a paper sack to dry overnight, but if you put them in the oven on a low temperature, you could continue in an hour or so.

Worked like a charm! I left mine on a paper bag to dry overnight, but if you put them in the oven on a low temperature, you could continue in an hour or so.

When I thought I would use popsicle sticks, I was using a glue gun. It was very messy and left the sticks crooked. I decided to use super glue this next time around.

When I thought I would use popsicle sticks, I was using a glue gun. It was very messy and left the sticks crooked. I decided to use super glue this next time around.

Take one of the square pieces and two of the rectangles and attach them on the ends like so.

Take one of the square pieces and two of the rectangles and attach them on the ends.

I used 6 pieces on each side. You'll need to space them evenly first, then begin to glue it all down.

I used six pieces on each side. Space them evenly first, then begin to glue.

Once you get all 6 glued, glue 2 more squared pieces, 1 on each end.

Once you get all six glued, glue two more squared pieces, one on each end.

Next, glue 6 more rectangle pieces on the opposite side.

Next, glue six more rectangle pieces on the opposite side.

Now let the glue set for a few minutes.

Now let the glue sit for a few minutes.

Balsa wood is very absorbent, which doesn't mix well with the purpose of a coaster, so you'll want to seal it with polyurethane.

Balsa wood is very absorbent, which doesn’t mix well with the purpose of a coaster, so you’ll want to seal it with polyurethane.

Once you spray it, sand each side just a little bit and spray again. Repeat once or twice; until you feel like the wood is sealed and wont absorb water.

Once you spray it, sand each side just a little bit and spray again. Repeat once or twice; until you feel like the wood is sealed and won’t absorb water.

Let it dry and you're all set! : )

Let it dry and you’re all set! : )

I must admit, I felt kind of defeated when the popsicle sticks didn’t turn out. After that mess, I gave it a rest and hadn’t thought about these coasters for a couple days. I had to run to Hobby Lobby for something unrelated and as I was browsing I stumbled across this balsa wood. It was perfect. It was a sign that I had to continue and I’m glad I did. So next time I’m feeling defeated, I know now to just take a breather and new inspiration will come when I least expect it. I absolutely love how these came out. Now I just need to make a few more to make it a set. : )

Stay inspired,
Caroline : )

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send a heart attack box!

For my boyfriend’s birthday today, instead of a card to go along with his present, I decided to spring for a ‘heart attack box.’  Took a little more time, but it was totally worth it. Basically, I cut out a million hearts of different colors, wrote something nice on each of them, and put them all into a box. In case you want to tackle this project, I’ll show you how I did it.

First thing you need is a box. I found this nifty box at Hobby Lobby for $2.99.

First thing you need is a box. I found this nifty box at Hobby Lobby.

I wanted to customize the box, so I taped off some lines and painted it white.

I wanted to customize the box, so I taped off some lines and painted it white.

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Now you need to draw some hearts for a template. I drew 5 different sized hearts.

Now you need to draw some template hearts. I drew 5 different sized hearts.

Now cut those hearts out!

Now cut those hearts out!

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Now for the fun part: trace & cut as many hearts and your heart desires. ; )

Time for the fun part: trace & cut as many hearts and your heart desires. ; )

I cut about 30 of each size.

I cut about 30 of each size.

Then you can begin writing on your hearts! You can write important dates, lyrics from your favorite songs, or simply things you love about the person you'll be giving the box to.

Begin writing your messages! You can write important dates, lyrics from your favorite songs, or simply things you love about the person you’ll be giving the box to.

I've started working on my calligraphy recently and this project gave me a lot of practice. I still need more, but I think I've made some great progress.

I’ve been trying to work on my calligraphy recently and this project gave me a lot of practice. I still need more practice, but I think I’ve made some great progress.

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I got bored with just the stripes, so I added some navy hearts to the side, and a green bow on the top. If you want to see how I made the bow, you can check out my latest blog post:

I added some navy hearts to the side, and a green bow to the top. If you would like to see how I made the bow, click here!

: )

: )

So next time, instead of a card, send a heart attack! You could even send it through the mail if you put the hearts in a cardboard box and tape it shut.

Good Luck!
Caroline : )

don’t forget to check out my facebook for more updates!

the perfect paper bow

For the past week or so, I’ve been working on a present for a friend and needed a little something extra to finish off the wrapping. I decided a paper bow would be the perfect finishing touch. I love making everything out of paper: bows, flowers, etc. I’m hoping to take on the challenge of crepe paper roses in the near future, so keep an eye out for that. Anyway, here’s how I made my paper bow.

All you need is a sheet of cardstock, scissors, and a glue gun.

All you need is a sheet of cardstock, scissors, and a glue gun.

There are plenty of templates online, but I just freehand skecthed my pieces out. You'll need these 3 shapes. I found that folding the paper in half to cut both sides at once gives you a more accurate cut.

There are plenty of templates online, but I just skecthed my pieces out. You’ll need these 3 shapes. I found that folding the paper in half to cut both sides at once gives you a more accurate, symmetrical cut.

Now fold the ends of the middle piece towards the center and glue them down.

Now fold the ends of the middle piece towards the center and glue them down.

Next, you'll glue the part you just folded onto the bottom of the bow.

Next, you’ll glue the part you just folded onto the bottom of the bow.

Now wrap the small piece of paper around the center and secure it with glue in the back.

Now wrap the small piece of paper around the center and glue it in the back.

And now you're finished!

And now you’re finished! : )

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Super simple & super cute. Sometimes, the simplest things are the best solutions.
Caroline : )

need a quick homemade gift?

Just a short post today! I had a wonderful crafting night with one of my friends last night (post coming soon with details). But before I post all the goodies from last night, I wanted to share a great idea for a quick, fun, homemade gift that we made. One of our other friends is leaving for college in the fall and we wanted to make something cute that she could hang up in her dorm. We found a large cardboard letter at Hobby Lobby and decided to mod podge some scrapbook paper onto it. After we chose our color scheme and mod podged our paper as we saw fit, we sprayed some gold glitter over the entire letter. It seemed to be missing a little something still, so we took some twine I had buried in my craft drawer and outlined the letter & each piece of scrapbook paper with it.

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After we finished the front, we turned the letter over and wrote a little note for her. Only took us about half an hour at most. Turned out great and she loved it! Hope this inspired you to get out there and start making something!

Caroline : )

p.s. follow me on facebook for more updates! : )