Monday, September 30, 2013

I have lost my notebook.

This is going to be a very "me being real" post, not very helpful (as in no tutorial) and not funny.  So if you're looking for a tutorial or a book review please see the very few posts to the right. 

Losing a notebook should not be the end of the world. And I understand (somewhere in my mind) that it's really really truly not. Right now, though, it feels like it. I am very much a list person. It's how I keep myself focused (even just a little bit) and how I figure difficult things out. This notebook had all of my lists. Not to mention, I realized after a few days of it being missing that it also has my pregnancy insurance information in it. I have searched everywhere I can think of in my house, at work, and in my car. These are all places where I take it on a regular basis just so I can function. It's not in any of them. I've called Hobby Lobby and Walmart as a last ditch effort wondering if they had found it. If they did, I'm sure they threw it away. 
The longer I go without it, the more upset I get. It is an almost crippling feeling to have it missing. I did buy a very cheap replacement for it, but that was when I thought I simply wasn't looking hard enough. I'm trying to use the new one. Really really trying. But thus far it is not being the sanity I need and what the other one was.
With this pregnancy, I got "pregnancy brain." (I think that's the technical term.) I joke about how it makes me feel stupid, but I legitimately feel stupid. I can't remember anything for more than a few minutes, much less a full day. I go into a store without a list and forget at least 3/4 of what I needed. So I wrote everything I needed down as I realized I needed it so I wouldn't have to struggle with even making a list. 
I struggle with anxiety. I worry about what's going to happen in 4 months when I have a child. I need to find a daycare and we will need to move when this lease is up. I need to find a doctor for her, and I need to get both of us on some kind of insurance. This is the stuff I can remember right now. None of this is terribly urgent yet. So I write it down. I keep a list of "Figure Out Today," "Figure Out Tomorrow," "Figure Out This Week," "Figure Out This Month," etc. Then I gradually edit the lists as I figure things out. I had lists of apartments to call/not call/already called. 
There were basic to do lists. I have so many projects I'd like to tackle, and I also get very distracted when I try to clean. So I write down what I'd like to accomplish in a day and in a week and how I think I can make it happen. 
Without this notebook, I'm so very unorganized and therefore unproductive. Before I lost it, I finished a craft, but never got around to writing up the tutorial. I will at some point. It's probably half way done. Right now, though, I'm just so very drained from searching and then crying that I couldn't find it. I need to end this on a positive note, and I was/am so proud of myself so here's the picture for now.

I actually sewed something!!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Toilet Paper Tree Headboard - DIY

I had been wanting to make one of the toilet paper roll art things for a while now, but I couldn’t make up my mind about what I wanted to make. I was going to make stars (with a black background and silver pieces) or maybe flowers (with a white background and pink pieces), or maybe a vine (similar to what I actually came up with). My attention lately, though, has been drawn to trees so it seemed natural to make a depiction of this. I also wasn't sure what I wanted to do with the piece when I finished it, but then I was reading in a book of crafts about making headboards. So, now we have a headboard with a tree made of toilet paper rolls above our bed. And I just have to say it looks pretty fantastic. So here’s how to do it!

Total Cost:
Time: Around 3 hours if you're being picky, probably 1 1/2 - 2 if you're not.
Money: $10 because you shouldn't be paying for that big piece of cardboard (you can take any box you want from the stockers at Walmart in the middle of the night, or so they told me) or the toilet paper rolls separately. You have to use it anyway. I'm only counting cost for paint and a Sharpie marker, assuming you don't already have either of these things.

Materials needed: 
3 Paper towel rolls and 1 toilet paper roll (or 6-8 toilet paper rolls)
Piece of Cardboard (I used the side of a really tall box.)
Spray Paint (Green, and Brown)

Materials, other than the piece of cardboard.

Piece of cardboard.
First thing you'll do is get your paper towel rolls and flatten them out, then mark it every 1/2 inch with a marker. You can see in the pictures that I did this the other way around and well, it was much more difficult that way. 
Definitely flatten first.

This is way harder to mark on. And you'll need it flat to cut anyway. 
Then you want to cut on the marked lines.
I did this with 3 rolls so I ended up with probably 30-40 pieces at the end. Again, you could use all toilet paper rolls, you'll just need more of them.
These are just the ones from one roll because they were kind of everywhere.
Go ahead and take these outside. It's time to paint them!
I did this outside my front door so my neighbor's dogs were having a fit. She annoyed me so this was the ideal situation. Also, there was less wind out front instead of out back. 

This made a mess on my hands. Make sure you turn them every way to get all of them the same color all over, inside and out. I used spray paint and had to hold onto them to make sure they didn't fly away. I made sure one side was dry before turning to do another. 
Now go back inside and get your remaining toilet paper roll (I hope you still have one left!). Cut it down the side. And then cut the sides of this to make a shape like a tree trunk, like shown. I don't know how else to describe it.

I forgot to take a picture of the first step so I had to go back to do it again and didn't have the same color roll. Oops. 
Now you want to flatten this out, preferably with the biggest book you have. 
If you study English, you'll have lots of giant books laying around and finally they can serve a useful purpose. 

Now take your big piece of cardboard outside to paint it. 
Lovely, and complete with a glare. (I didn't even have to paint that part on.)
Go back inside and get that tree trunk toilet paper roll you made so you can paint it too.
Fortunately, this is a different shade of brown from the background because it was a different color cardboard to start with. 
Now organize the pieces on the background in the shape you want. Go ahead and lay out all of the pieces so you can move them around and make sure they're just right. Leave them in place and glue on one at a time with the glue gun. Then wipe off all the excess glue that is probably all over the place, if your projects go anything like mine. 

This is my final tree that now hangs out over our bed! Well, it would if I hadn't packed it up when we moved and then never decided to decorate once we got here. 

This post has been in the works for months now. I finally finished it tonight. The night before I go back to work from my mini vacation. Pretty proud of myself.