Tag Archives: friends
A while back I mentioned that I really liked this DIY photo canvas project over on A Beautiful Mess.
Shortly after this, my obsession with the idea hit its tipping point, and I convinced one of my college roommates to come over and try it out! What ensued was an afternoon of catching up, eating, and crafting goodness.
We followed the directions, which were not terribly difficult, but also not terribly specific at certain points….I think it came out pretty good though!! I loved the suspense of wondering whether or not our photos would actually transfer onto the canvases. Due to the long drying times, this is a good weekend project or a squeeze-it-in-while-housekeeping kind of a project. I also think this technique makes great personalized gifts!
STEP ONE Select and print your photos
I picked up these great 4″ square canvases at Michaels for a good price, so we went ahead and both did a trio of canvases. I went with a series of photos that I have taken in downtown San Francisco on Instagram, and my crafting companion used some photos from a Hawaii trip that she recently went on. (Which reminds me…I wanna go to Hawaii sooooo much right now!)
I used Photoshop to resize the images, mirror the images, and add the photo border on my images so that they would have a consistent look.
Then we ventured down to the copy shop to make color copies. You have to do this (or you have to own a laser printer, which most homes do not) because the ink from a regular ink jet printer will just run all over the place. Not exactly what you want to happen.
After the print shop, we stopped for a bite to eat. This part is purely optional and will make your project take longer…ha ha.
Then you gotta cut your images out…
STEP TWO Stick your photos on and wait
This part is pretty self explanatory. Using a paint brush, paint a THICK layer of gel acrylic onto your canvas. I wasn’t sure how thick was “thick” and while I made sure the whole canvas was covered, I probably didn’t make mine thick enough. When I paint (my nails) or use glues I try to use a very thin layer, and layer on a second layer if needed — it makes a stronger, more even bond or color — but in this case you wanna go for the gold and slather the gel on. My friend used a bunch more acrylic, which made for a better end result. (It also took WAY longer to dry.)
After that, we carefully placed our images on the canvas. We made sure to pat it down really good a few times to avoid any air bubbles.
At this point, we briefly pondered if we were supposed to then cover this in another layer of acrylic gel.
Don’t do that.
Then you will seal in the paper and just have a sheet of paper glued to a canvas.
Ok glad we clarified that.
Now go do something for a few hours. Maybe bake some NUTELLA TOFFEE BROWNIES. Don’t let the camera into the kitchen though, because someone might document you eating up all the brownie batter and THEN tell you a story about how she got salmonella poisoning.
If you aren’t feeling the chocolate and nutella idea, you could go mop the floors, go on a run while they dry, then come home and shower and blow dry your hair…and still have some time leftover. There is always youtube to keep you entertained if you get bored. Or just leave the house and go frolic in the park/go to brunch/go grocery shopping/whatever.
Basically you want to wait at least 3 hours.
We didn’t want to wait that long. We’re impatient. We ended up using a blow dryer after 90 minutes. We probably didn’t get the best results ever. We didn’t care though.
STEP THREE wet and reveal!
Okay. Now that your canvas is dry (you did wait till it was dry, right???) take a spray bottle full of water and wet the paper nice and good. Then use the tip of your finger (I don’t recommend using your finger nails) to rub all of the white paper off.
Keep doing this. Be gentle. Rewet the paper as necessary.
Don’t be like me, who thought that ALL of the paper had to come off, and scrape off everything when going over white areas. A layer of paper WILL remain!
Also, don’t get upset when parts of the image do get rubbed off. Just tell yourself imperfections are cool. This is the basic principle of all DIY and handmade crafts.
STEP FOUR gloss and admire
After you finish revealing your image, let your canvas dry again, and go over the whole thing with one final layer of acrylic gel to seal everything in! This last layer of gel will help make your colors more vibrant as well.
Once it’s dry you are good to go!
We had so much fun doing this and I’ve already started another one for a gift for someone! Thanks again to A Beautiful Mess for posting the tutorial…I’m not sure what people did to find their crafting ideas before the internet!
I’ve decided to start sharing some things I’m interested in…fashion and eating (haha!). I haven’t always been a fashionista but I have to wear a uniform to work so I only have two days a week where I can wear what I want. I pretty much only wear what I like instead of blah basics like I used to. Of course, what I like changes every day. The eating part is pretty self explanatory. The Bay Area is full of amazing restaurants!
WHAT I WORE
I’ve come to the conclusion that I need a tripod for my Sony point and shoot camera so that I can do the occasional fashion post. I actually decided that I wanted to take some photos of myself (not a mood that strikes often) and was kind of disappointed with the results. But I’m gonna share it anyways!
[Striped cardigan: Target. Floral print dress: Gifted from sister. Skinny jeans (not pictured): AE. Shoes (not pictured): Anne Klein.] I could use some accessories, no? I was having a pretty rad hair day with my bun and all, but you can’t really tell.
I went to lunch with a friend and decided to mix it up…prints WITH stripes. In San Francisco, anything goes on a Sunday. Or any other day, for that matter. I thought the yellow reflected my good spirits and the dress gave me lots of room to get down to business and grub. Teehee.
WHAT I ATE
We ended up at Blue (in the Castro) because we wanted some macaroni and cheese, and we didn’t want to go very far for it. I don’t have much to say about food, I don’t think my palate is all that refined but both dishes were definitely a winner for the both of us. The calamari was an appetizer…way too much for just two people if we planning to eat our own entrees as well. And the mac n cheese was smaller than I remember it, but DELICIOUS. Small portions are good since I am not supposed to be eating cheese in the first place!
On Saturday I went to a Warriors vs Kings game at Oracle Arena with some of my friends. It was a pretty heated game in that we were pretty evenly divided between Warriors fans and Kings fans. And the game was pretty close at the end there. Warriors won, so the home crowd was pretty excited!
But overall the game was kind of a snoozer. It’s not because I don’t like basketball. It’s probably my favorite professional sport. I’m just not interested in watching teams work to score a basket against a shoddy defense, only to turn around and give another one away to the other team. What’s the point in that?!
However, this isn’t to say that the entire experience was boring! First off, there was beer involved. It gave me an opportunity to stop drinking wine for a while, ha ha! Then there was a guy who won $10,o00 for making a shot from half court between quarters. This was SUPER exciting and I think everyone cheered harder for that than the actual game. And a guy proposed to his girlfriend on the jumbotron, so that was pretty sweet.
But I think the highlight of the game was the halftime show:
No, wait…this is a clip from 30 Rock. My bad. (In case you didn’t know, Liz Lemon is my hero and I am obsessed with 30 Rock. I’m into a lot of TV shows but nothing beats a good Liz moment.)
Oh hey, I found the halftime photo that I took:
I nearly died on the spot because I was laughing so hard. A whole bunch of jazzercise instructors did like a 20 minute routine during halftime. Just imagine all those middle-aged women – this even was probably the highlight of their month! This is quite possibly EVEN BETTER than 30 Rock because I saw it in REAL LIFE. And then I got to shout “I’m lizzing!”
Of course, none of the silly boys I went with had any idea why I was possibly dying/spazzing like I usually do. They were just wondering when the Warriors Girls were gonna do their number.
The Warriors game was totally worth the money!
I’ve had a lot going on in my life lately…but my friends are always there for me in the most amazing ways.
Like my college roommate, who sent me this card, even though it was HER birthday this week and I’m supposed to be showering her with love, and not the other way around.
This is why I love paper goods! I had already chatted with her and emailed her like five times this week. But it wasn’t until I got this in the mail that I remembered:
I’m loved by some of the most amazing people
This too shall pass
There is so much to celebrate in my life.
So with that, I am going to tell you about some of the people that have helped propel me and my little blog and (eventually) my little shop along:
Misono is a very talented web and graphic designer who has been running the cutest blog, Blooming By The Bay, with her husband Dan. I met Dan and Misono through an organization that I am involved in called Nakayoshi. They are one of the only married couples I know, and they make marriage seem totally great. They also have the cutest little girl and I get to read about her on their blog all the time!
Misono has recently quit her job and is going to go freelance in something spectacular sometime soon. She has been supportive of my Etsy dreams since the beginning and was so quick to offer me some advice when it came to my website branding. I was at a point where I really needed some eyes other than my own on things, but I didn’t want to expose myself to people telling me what they “think” I should be doing with my time and effort.
She also offered up any help I might need with WordPress, but luckily I have more than one web guru in my life. I know she does this kind of thing for a living and I would have felt uncomfortable asking for free work. (She needs to keep her daughter in cute clothes!!)
Adrian is a photographer but he also dabbles in web design. He runs a photo blog called Bonafide Photography. He talked me into using the WordPress platform (well actually he told me “it’s better” and I did my own research to find out why), and then took my drawings and lists and brought them to life. He put up with all my “why doesn’t it work the way I think it should” complaints and let me do everything I wanted to do — namely, make all my own graphics.
I’ve picked up so much knowledge about the WordPress platform and maybe someday I’ll actually make my own themes and CSS codes. I seriously had no clue what CSS was or that it even interacted with HTML until I started this blog. In the mean time it is great to know that I have people I can reach out and ask questions to.
Adrian also shot a series of photographs intended for my web presence and branding. I have only used a few photos and should probably just share the rest of them soon. He sent a set of prints to my mom and she’s been going around showing everyone. I got to play stylist while he shot everything (this involved a lot of “gimmee! I wanna see the preview!) and I think we made a pretty good team!
Brian is one of my best friends from college. He is very artistic and works as a web graphics designer in SoCal. Over the years we have developed a great friendship as well as a supportive relationship as it relates to creative endeavors. We have bounced ideas off of each other, motivated each other, and watched countless youtube videos to waste time. (Sometimes you just gotta let those strokes of genius come to you rather than seek them out. And what better way to keep your mind open to that lightning bolt than by watching dumb videos?) (Our favorite video subjects are: Maury Povich, Paula Deen, Maru, Adventure Time, and most viral videos out there.)
Since graduating I’ve come to find that creative juices don’t always flow between two people. Not everyone will balance your blind spots and support your strengths. And not everyone is up at 3am to make you think it’s a great time to start a project because you spent two hours earlier watching Adventure Time online. I really miss hanging out and working side by side with him.
Brian’s family also has a cat. Her name is Kitty, and she has her own blog. Kitty is fat. Maybe even obese. But Brian loves that kitty like no other. Unless facetime-ing with your cat is considered normal.
The last person I am gonna talk about today is my mother. She’s pretty much the best ever and has managed to let me grow up into an independent being while maintaining a codependent relationship with her. I realized this the other day when I went to the doctor’s office. My doc has got to be beyond annoyed with my mom. “Well I had (insert medical malady here) and my mom said it’s probably (insert probable medical term here).” Then I remember that my mom isn’t a doctor and that I went to the real doctor to get her highly educated opinion. Way to undermine the doctor, Katie.
Anyways. Like I was saying. She let me leave home for college when I was 17, leave college for Europe when I was 20, and stay in San Francisco when I was 22 and didn’t have the means to support myself. She taught me that there is more to life than dishes and laundry (sometimes this causes her shame because I’m not very tidy) and she has always believed in what I would become, far before I ever did.
When I decided to start a business, I was really nervous about telling people. I didn’t know how they would react — and I have definitely gotten my fair share of “are you kidding? you have no clue how to run a business!” reactions — and for a few minutes I wanted to wait to tell my mom until after I had started it so I could just say “look at what I did!”.
Except, that didn’t work out because I talk to my mom wayyyyy too often. So then I was like, “okay, how do I explain to my mom about how Etsy works?” but when it came time to tell her, she already knew what Etsy was. You’ve gotta love it. The woman couldn’t figure out how to call me from her iPhone, but she is an Etsy fan. And as you can already guess, she was totally on board with the whole idea. She even came up with more reasons why I should do it. (I think she has secretly been daydreaming about her own handmade business for a while.)
So umm yeah my mom is my best friend. Kinda dorky, but I couldn’t care less!
I have so many other wonderful supporters in my life, and I will try to tell you more about them later. I’m also constantly surprised and amazed when I find out who has popped on over to my blog — from other bloggers that I’ve admired to old friends I don’t see anymore to complete strangers — and I want to thank each of you for deciding that your time and interest is worthy of my little slice of the web!