Tag Archives: weekend project
This weekend I did something I’ve never done before…I dyed my own hair! I have had my hair dyed by professionals off and on since I was about 16, but I’ve always been too broke/lazy to do anything that requires a lot of touch up and upkeeping. I don’t even blow dry my hair 99% of the time, so actually touching up my hair every 6 weeks isn’t really a feasible idea for my life.
Back in June I visited my sister, who happens to be finishing up cosmetology school in Santa Barbara. We had a lot of fun and she made me wear all these fun outfits I would never wear in San Francisco (see photo!) where it is perpetually foggy.
On my last day there, she also gave my hair a makeover into the “ombre” look. Initially I loved the dip-dye effect of it all, but I thought that I would never be able to pull it off. But then my sister told me that because you don’t really have any roots, it is super easy to keep! So I begged her to dye my hair. I will NEVER do it again (there was a lot of pain involved in achieving the look) but the good news is that touching the color up is a million times less painful. Yays!
I decided it was time to change things up a little bit because my ends were getting a little off-color and too blonde/brassy. Just kind of icky. Oh and the ends were kinda/really dry. I mean the color was fine back in June, but sun exposure and shampoos and water will all start to change the color of things and I just wasn’t feeling the direction the color was going. (Luckily I do not work in a conservative environment, or I would not have been able to pull off this hair in the first place!) I told my sister and she mailed me some supplies. She suggested that I add an all-0ver demi-permanament red to my hair to make everything shiny and smooth and even out the brassy tones in my hair.
Except, she didn’t mail me an INSTRUCTIONS probably because she sent me professional stuff and usually they already know what to do and how to use everything. Oops. So after a few hundred text messages between me and my sister, and a promise to my mother that I would go see a professional to fix things if I screw it up, I finally decided to stop walking around pretending my hair looked the way it used to, and just own up and dye my hair.
Of course I was warned about a bajillion times that dye stains EVERYTHING and my bathroom is WHITE so I had to make some preparations….I took out anything that I cared about and filled up a washbasin with soap and water to clean up any spills and then I covered up anything I didn’t want to stain.
Then I had to mix the dye up (I made WAY too much!) and start applying it to my body. I mean hair. Although a lot of it did end up on my face/neck/arms in the process! I pretty much just had to paint it onto damp hair, let it sit for a while, and shampoo it out. Way easier than the intial ombre process (let’s just say that my scalp does not take kindly to my hair being “teased” with a rat tail comb) although about halfway through I began to wonder if it wouldn’t just be better to (once again) pay someone else to do all of this – what can I say, I love DIY, but when they require me to cover up my entire (shared) bathroom I begin to think that it would be nice to treat myself to a salon!
In the end, it turned out pretty good and I am happy with the result. I am also happy that I saved $65-$100, which is what a salon visit would have cost me (and another $50 if I had decided to get a cut as well!). I am not advocating that we all stop patronizing salons (after all, they are trained professionals, and sometimes you really need that) but since we don’t have any doctors (I am still paying for a visit I had in April) or carpenters (can you imagine the custom furniture I could design and build!) or accountants (my small business needs one) in the family, you gotta take advantage of the perks that you do have!
On top of that, I now know that I can actually dye my hair like tons of women do all the time. I am pretty challenged with makeup and hair and all sorts of other things and I tend to live in this little bubble where I think I look a certain way (fabulous all the time) but really I look a different way (tired and pale). Hair and makeup are more of my sister’s thing, but she lives 350 miles away…now I don’t have to wait six months to update my appearance. Yay for empowerment! Next step: learn how to use a curling iron.
I cannot believe that it is already MAY!!! Insane.
- I had some good food with a friend who wears rad t-shirts.
- I also had some good brews with more good friends at the Nikkei Student Union 10th anniversary event in Berkeley.
- I slept through the day for almost half of this month…when you add it up, I worked 6 overnighters and spent an additional 7 days recovering.
- Luckily I didn’t forget what the sunrise looks like.
- I spent a considerable amount of time waiting for trains to pull up to the platform. (It was also Earth Day in April – which reminded me that transit is annoying but I am also living up to one of my idealistic goals that I set in college – to support public transit whenever possible.)
- I also spent some time above ground – running along the embarcadero – which offered some great views.
- I tried to work out some more. Key word: tried.
- I went shoe shopping and had a difficult time deciding between these two shoes. (First world problems.)
- I started shopping for Mother’s Day (right around the corner!)
- I also took in some new sights in the Financial District.
- I also took up being a part-time vegan! (Food from Juicy Lucy’s.)
- Some vegan days were more desperate than others. (Almonds, dried apricots, and Rockstar are all vegan!)
All in all, I really can’t believe the month is already over. It went by faster than I realized, probably because I spent over a week sleeping during the day! April brought a good round of great weather AND my vitamin D treatment seems to be working now, so I experienced a lot less chronic fatigue this month (YAY!).
I found out that my older cousin (on my dad’s side) and my younger cousin (on my mom’s side) share an April birthday – I cannot believe that the younger cousin turned 18. His mama is my mom’s youngest sister, so she was the “cool young aunt” when I was growing up…this officially makes me feel old!
I also cleared a business-y hurdle (business registration) and plan to tackle a few more in the coming month. I spent some time discussing how ridiculous it all is with a friend who owns his own business in San Francisco.
In terms of my blog, Paper Gatti sponsored its first blog (dianapantz!) and through that Paper Gatti had its first giveaway (it’s open through tomorrow!! go enter it now! I’m giving away stuff before my shop is even open!). I also saw traffic go WAY up in response to my DIY canvas tutorial – exciting! I also completed another DIY project – a tshirt scarf – and completed a couple more afterwards as gifts.
May promises some fun times at a Giant’s game, and I have some fun times with friends lined up. Cinco de Mayo is coming up, as well as Bay To Breakers – both events bring some extra fun to the city. And don’t forget…mother’s day is in May as well!
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!
Happy Friday friends! Today I thought I’d show you how I made over a $1 boring whiteboard (purchased some time ago at Ichiban Kan) into a cute message station in my craft space! I didn’t do anything terribly complicated with it, but I am a firm believer in a good coat of paint and what it can do to transform things. This is something that you can easily squeeze into your weekend. I had this whiteboard lying around for about a year before I actually started using it a while ago for my monthly and weekly “to do” list. It worked fine but was a little bit on the plain side…and you couldn’t hang it on the wall! As you can see, making this little board more cute and useful has been on my list for a while.
For this you’ll need:
- sponge brush
- painter’s tape
- acrylic paint (was on sale for 33 cents at Michael’s last week!)
- newspaper to cover your work area
- plastic lid (not pictured) (optional)
- string/twine to hang whiteboard (not pictured) (only if you want to hang it)
- nail or thumbtack (not pictured) (only if you want to hang it)
- Stapler (not pictured) (only if you want to hang it)
First, wipe off the board and cover the edges of the board section with painter’s tape. You don’t want it to cover the wood — it is just there to catch any stray drips of paint.
Although I try to be neat, I tend to be on the messy side of the spectrum when it comes to constructing or crafting things, so I usually take a few extra minutes to prep my work areas with newspaper and tape off any areas I definitely don’t want painted.
Next, pour your paint (I used a mint green color…of course!) onto a plastic lid or something of the same sort. You could pour it directly onto your newspaper (or an extra sheet of newsprint) but being the aforementioned messy person that I am…I wanted something that I could move. (I am so good at setting things on the “paint area” part of a newspaper. Things like: my project, my elbow, my camera…you get the idea.)
Once you have your paint poured out, take that sponge brush (oh how I love sponge brushes!) and get it nice and paint-y. The rest is pretty much self-explanitory…start painting the frame!
Because the wood frame was kind of old, it was really dry and ready to soak up paint. 1-2 strokes will give you a vintage-y look…
A couple more gets a nice even, opaque coat!
I also decided to paint the front of some clothespins I recently bought…
I think they are so cute! Not as cute as mini clothespins, but I digress.
Next comes the hardest part…let your paint dry. Go wash dishes and disinfect your whole sink while an episode of Hart of Dixie plays. (I just love the old-school southern belle and modern fashionista style of Lemon and Zoey!) Then answer all those e-mails you’ve been meaning to respond to.
Or for something more fun, you could paint your nails in a matching color…since you have to wait for the polish to dry before you can handle things, you’ll definitely leave enough time for the wood to dry! Anyways…you get the idea. I don’t have to tell you how to pass an hour of your time, you probably already have a whole bunch of things you could do lined up.
If you don’t want to hang this baby up, you’re pretty much done. I thought about finding some fabric tape to separate my board into a “month” and “week” section, but ultimately decided that I liked having a big, open slate.
Alternatively, you could now paint some cute little flowers or birds on the frame. Or some geometric triangles would be cool. Chevrons are another one of my faves. But since this is going into my craft space, I wanted something clean. I’ll be filling up the rest of the space with prints and patterns, and my task list needs to be clean and focal.
Okay, so now we need to hang this thing up….tape down your string (I used the handle from an old Nike bag I had lying around) to the corner and adjust the other side until you have the desired height. Tape that side down…and staple over it. THis might take more than one staple, but it won’t show through on the front so don’t worry.
Next, take your thumbtack/nail/whatever, insert it into your wall, and there you have it! A hanging whiteboard that is a colored your favorite color. Not bad for a $1 whiteboard + $0.33 paint investment!
Now, I have to decide what I want to paint next! I have my eye on a wooden step stool that I have in the kitchen…and I also have some yellow paint…but that will have to wait for another weekend. I am working tomorrow and on Sunday my dad is stopping by San Francisco with my uncle to
see me buy crab for Sunday dinner. Hope you have a great weekend!