More Christmas Presents

Here are the coaster sets I didn’t get a chance to share last week! Irish symbols for my aunt and a music tree for my grandmother:

For last week’s Buddha coasters, I just cropped some existing photos, but with the sets pictured here I took time to edit the images before printing. So I’m quite proud of how they turned out.

The original clip art for the Irish symbols came from graphicbuzz.com  (searched “Irish symbols”) and the music tree came from freeimages.com (searched “music tree”). For the music tree I used a slightly edited version that I found on google images–I couldn’t find who edited it but they added the lighter music notes in the background and gave it some nice depth. My edits were done using MS Publisher, Pixlr, and Paint.

You can view these coasters on my DIY page, which now has things on it! Yay!

 

Christmas Presents!

In a shocking twist that surprises no one, it turns out the beginning of December is a terrible time to add responsibilities to my life. The day after I swore I would post on here once a week, I realized I was incredibly behind on Christmas planning. So I did what any normal, healthy person would do: calmly assessed what I needed to finish and paced myself panicked, stressed the heck out, worked obsessively on presents every spare minute and late into the night until I made myself sick. Whelp.

My New Years’ Resolution is to not do that to myself again. But I probably will because stressing way too much over small things is kinda how I roll. 😉

On the bright side, the presents turned out AWESOME!!! And now that Christmas is over and everyone has their gifts, I can share some pictures with you fine people. ^_^

coasters - buddha

DIY Coasters

So as you can see, this year I made coasters for family and friends using these excellent instructions from Cardstore. Tile coasters are my new favorite craft–easy, cheap, and so much fun! Each set took a few hours to make, but, Christmas stress aside, I seriously had a blast making them. Anyone in the market for coasters? Because I might just start making more for the fun of it.

The coasters above were for one of my besties and are probably my favorite set. All of these pictures come from the fantastic site pexels.com and are available for use for free (even for commercial use, which is pretty cool!).

For the most part, I followed the instructions linked above, but I switched up a few things for myself. (If you didn’t feel like reading the linked instructions, I’ll summarize: basically you print out a picture, put it on a 4-inch ceramic tile, and slap a lot of Mod Podge on it.) Before I printed out the pictures I measured them out to 3.5 x 3.5 inches, so they would have that nice white frame when attached to 4-inch tiles. I also bought glossy Mod Podge from Michael’s to give my coasters an extra shine.

On the bottom of the coasters, rather than putting 3 coats of Mod Podge and little felt squares, I glued a big sheet of felt to the bottom. Then I trimmed around the edges using fabric scissors so that the felt square perfectly covered the bottom of the tile. The felt bottoms on these coasters are red, which you can see along some sides if you look closely.

The instructions warned that tiles are prone to sticking together when stacked, but I had no trouble with the Mod Podge tops sticking to the felt bottoms, so I’m patting myself on the back for that innovation.

And there you have it–December’s project! My favorite set of home-made coasters! These coasters and two more sets will go into my DIY page (which still exists!) along with pictures of last year’s Christmas presents and another colorful hanging plastic thingie.

But I’ve been typing for a long time, so I’ll save those things for next week’s entry.

A Return

I’m back on this blog, hopefully posting more regularly again. The album is almost done. I just got the cover sketches back from Jess Starwood, the artist who designed my beautiful logo, and the album cover looks like it will be just as gorgeous. Look for it around Christmas!

This has been … a rough year. I make no secret of the fact that I struggle with anxiety/depression, and 2016 in particular has been a struggle. Sometimes I hit rough patches that inspire creativity, and sometimes I hit rough patches where I just want to curl up in a ball and turn off everything in my brain. This year has been more of the latter.

I hope that particular period of my life is over, but we’ll see. Life, as always, goes by a day at a time. In the meantime, I’m proud to be finally pushing my album through to completion. I’m really in love with how fantastic it sounds (note: I may be just a little biased). So look for more updates on “Indigo Shades” in the coming weeks!

Happy Holidays, friends! It’s nice to be back.

January’s Project Evaluation and the EP

Piano Close-UpIt’s January, which means its time to evaluate my recording project!

The plan has shifted slightly, as plans do when life happens. I was hoping to churn out one song per month, but it turns out that songs — like cats — don’t come when they’re called. However, they do come eventually. Right now I have five complete songs, so that’s where I’ll start.

Instead of a 10-song album, then, I’m going to record a 5-song EP (which is like an album but with fewer songs on it). The titles of these 5 songs are:

“Threnody”
“Icarus”
“Snowfall (December Moon)”
“Fractals”
“Moonflower Lullaby”

I know 5 songs sounds less impressive than 10, but I’m actually really excited for what this means! Instead of focusing on churning out a new song each month, now I can spend the rest of the year learning the recording process and giving each individual song the attention it needs.  It’s going to be a big learning experience for me, which will (hopefully) end with an enjoyable EP for you!

A good plan for a new year. 🙂

Image taken from http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=99925&picture=piano-keys-closeup&large=1