3/30/2015

Everyday Creativity- Card Making

Part Two in the Everyday Creativity Series- Card Making 

Before, we talked about journaling, but now I have another exciting way to use creativity on a regular basis: card making. I know, I know, the Hallmark cards are sweet and easy, but a homemade card not only looks adorable, it can end up giving more than the gift itself, for a homemade card tells the receiver that they care. When you make someone a card, you have to pick out the paper and write out the message just for them, and that is worth a lot! Plus, making cards uses creativity and is simpler (and cheaper) than you think. So here's a step by step process (with pictures by your truly) on how I make cards so that you can expand your creativity every time a birthday, holiday, graduation, or anything else rolls around (which basically equals every other day): 

Step One: Gather your supplies. You do not have to make cards the same way I do, in fact, I encourage you to do it your own way. But for the way I make a basic card, I use the following: 

*Scrapbook paper (I like to buy the pads of scrapbook paper like the one shown. This give me lots of options for a great price. Try and use a coupon at a craft store to buy these. Michaels and Hobby Lobby often offer 40% off coupons that you can use.) 
*Cardstock in various colors. (Again, I like to buy the packs of paper in several different colors.) 
*Rubber cement. I recommend rubber cement over traditional glue because it doesn't clump or show through the paper. 
*Glue. But you will need some regular glue, like Elmers or Tacky Glue. 
*Scissors. 
*Fancy scissors. I didn't use these during this tutorial, but I love fancy scissors like these. They add a sophisticated touch without much work. 
*A pencil. 
*Markers, pens, or sharpies. I used a calligraphy marker like one of these. Calligraphy markers are so lovely and easy to use without having to actually know calligraphy. 
*Embellishments like ribbon, buttons, stickers, lettering, stamps, twine, and push pins. Basically, whatever you like!  


Step One- Pick out your scrapbook paper and corresponding cardstock. The scrapbook paper will act as your cover and the cardstock will act as the base for the card. Choose colors that coordinate, and be wary of choosing dark colors for your cardstock, as the writing inside the card won't show up as well.

Step Two- Make the base. Today, I made a smaller card, so I took my cardstock and loosely folded it as shown. Then I cut along the fold. This smaller piece of cardstock I then folded in half to form the card. But because these scissors are lame and can't cut, I went back and trimmed the ragged edges of my card and found some new scissors.


Step Three- Cut the scrapbook paper. To do this, I trace the outline of the folded card onto the back of my scrapbook paper. This way I get the exact size of the front of my card. I then cut it out with scissors. (But because the only scissors I found to replace the lame ones were tiny, I decided to brave the dulled scissors again. Mistake.)

Step Four- Pause and eat some fruit. Because it tastes good and is also good for you. Plus, the orange/blue/pink combo looks really nice. Everybody needs pretty snacks, because making pretty cards is such hard work! (Not really. Unless you have lame scissors.)


Step Five- Glue the scrapbook paper on the card base. I use rubber cement here because it won't show through the paper. And because I craft on a regular basis, my mother bought the giant tub of rubber cement that doesn't come with its own brush, so I had to dig for an old paint brush. Anyway, smear some rubber cement on there, but don't put too much or it will show through the paper. Then place the cut scrapbook paper on the card and make sure to center it.


Step Six- Choose another solid paper (or two) to act as a backdrop for your cover message. However much I love the scrapbook paper, writing doesn't show up very well on it, so I usually glue a small piece of cardstock to write a short note on the front. You don't have to put a note, but I think that it gives the card a sweet look.

I chose this lovely blue and yellow to go with a colorful theme. Cut out a piece of the paper large enough to write the words, but not too big so that it takes up most of the card. Here is where I sometimes like to get out my fancy scissors and cut away!


Step Seven- Glue your message backdrop on the card and write the message. Use your creativity here, and place the note wherever you like! And write something unique, if you want, as well (or just put "happy birthday" like I did).


Step Eight- Now we bring out the embellishments! This is my favorite step, because you can do almost anything here! I like to go around my house and hunt for something that I can stick on a card, fake flowers, lace, old buttons, foil, anything. Using these interesting materials gives my card a unique flair to it! I gathered up a few different embellishments to choose from pictured below.


And I decided upon these adorable buttons! I have a thing for buttons. Big buttons, little buttons, vintage buttons.

When I glue on a larger object, I like to ditch the rubber cement and use regular glue. But for ribbon and thin objects, stick with the rubber cement.


And ta-da! I just made my own card! Well, almost. Now, for the final step... 

Step Nine- Write on the inside. This can be the hardest step for some people, but don't let it intimidate you! Just remind the person receiving the card why you care about them. Write a joke. Tell a story. Quote someone. Make it short or long, but say it with truth and personality. 


The options for card making don't end here, and as you start to discover new techniques, it gets really fun! Below are some other examples of cards I've made for family and friends, each one different and special. As you can tell, the way that I showed you today is one of so many ways to make cards. Experiment and find how you like to express your creativity through making cards for all events! 


I hope you enjoyed my tutorial on card making! God created us with the ability to create, so let's explore this ability, knowing that it comes from Him!

Do you make your own cards? What have you found useful? Do you want to start card making? Comment below any thoughts or questions on card making! And stay tuned for the third installment of this series: a party lifestyle: it's not what you think!

Princess Hannah

3/28/2015

My Experience of Joy

So, this post interrupts my little series, but I didn't forget about it! The next instalment, card making, only takes more time to craft than I had this week. But I had to share with you something on my heart as I journey towards a grace-filled life.

What's something you connect with grace? For me, I connect beauty, rest, and joy with grace. But sometimes I let the world define these things for me instead of letting God show me the truth, like He did this week.

For I discovered joy in a new way.

Everyone always says that joy and happiness don't equal the same thing, and I always agree with them. But I don't always understand them, because joy and happiness seemed to always intersect in my life. What could they mean by saying that joy comes from something other that happiness? Obviously the good Sunday School answer is Jesus, but saying that is very different from living it out. Very different.

What does joy look like in everyday, driving-home-from-ballet life?

It means believing in Jesus and letting those truths seep into your heart and overflow into your smiles. It means knowing that this life isn't about you, but it's all about the One who loves you. He loves you!

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. 
Habakkuk 3:17-18 (NIV)
This lovely artwork comes from a beautiful site and woman. Please check her out here!

You see, on my way home Wednesday night, I talked to God. I just stated who I believed God was and how I would respond to that belief. The Piano Guys built momentum in the background, and the lights changed from red to green, green to red, but I kept resting in God's character. And then guess what? Joy filled my heart! I couldn't help but smile! I couldn't help but laugh! God is enough! He is here, and He loves me! He is Savior and Lord! Oh, what joy!

I found joy, but not when I tried really hard to feel joyful or when I concentrated on all the things that I like. No, I found joy when I forgot about me for a moment and fixed my eyes on Jesus, believing Him and responding to Him.

So say these truths. Let them sink into your soul. Yell them out if you can, but whatever you do, believe them, and then you too can find joy in Jesus!

I believe that Jesus is God, therefore I will worship Him.

I believe that Jesus is Lord, therefore I will serve Him.

I believe that Jesus is Savior, therefore I will rest in Him.

I believe that Jesus is Sovereign, therefore I will trust in Him,

I believe that Jesus is Grace, therefore I will live in Him.

I believe that Jesus is Enough, therefore I will be in Him.

I believe that Jesus is Missional, therefore I will follow Him.

I believe that Jesus is True, therefore I will stand on Him.

I believe that Jesus is Real, therefore I will proclaim Him.

I believe that Jesus is Provider, therefore I will depend on Him.

I believe that Jesus is Joy, therefore I will rejoice in Him.

I believe that Jesus is Perfect, therefore I will be perfectly His.

I believe that Jesus is Here, therefore I will talk to Him.

I believe that Jesus is Love, therefore I will love Him.

So choose joy today, but know, that really, choosing joy means choosing Jesus.

What brings you joy? What other truths of Jesus make you smile? Please comment below your thoughts of joy!

Princess Hannah

3/23/2015

Everyday Creativity- Journaling

God created me to create. If I don't do something creative in a few days, then I feel ready to yell out in frustration over the rhythmic nothingness of life! But how does creativity fit into a busy schedule of God, school, ballet, family, and church? Well, I want to share with you three ways that I found to bring creativity into a regular part of my life, even the busiest of days.

Part One- Journaling

Part Two- Card Making

Part Three- Party Living

Are you ready? For I feel so excited to assist you on your journey to more creativity!

Journaling.


To me, journaling is just writing. Every person will journal differently, and that's what makes it beautiful! I always journal at the end of the day, and I just briefly write what I did that day and write my feeling, ideas, prayers, and joys. As the days go by, the pages fill up, and it makes a smile spread across my face to see me write about the frustrating days and wonderful days, the exciting days, and the completely normal days.

But whenever I talk about journaling, people usually respond one of two ways (or both of two ways):

One, they don't think that they have time.

And two, they don't think they have anything to write about.

I think not. My life testifies that both of these excuses don't have to keep anyone from journaling. Because the truth says that you have more time than you think and more words than you imagine, and once you start writing them down, you may find that you can't stop.

Let's talk about the first response first. No one has time to journal every day, right? Wrong. But what can prove difficult is developing a habit of journaling. Because we probably won't even remember to journal, and when we do, we always remember in the middle of going to the store or doing schoolwork or something else busy and important. But I have a solution for you, and it comes in two tips:

One: pick a certain time that you can journal during every day. For me, I like to journal in the evenings so that I reflect on my day. This really relaxes me and somehow finalizes the day, and now, I can't go to bed without writing out my thoughts, just like I must brush my teeth and put on pjs (okay, so maybe I sleep in whatever I have on at the end of the day, but you get the point). But you may prefer to journal in the morning or afternoon. Whatever works for you. But pick a time, because that will make it easier to remember your new habit.

Two: Try using a planner first. I started using a planner like this one or this one, and I found that the daily sections motivated me to write every day. Plus, you only can write a few lines every day, so this provides a low-intimidation way to start journaling. When you feel ready to put on your big girl pants, upgrade to a lined journal (like these: here and here and here), but the planner starts you off nice and easy.


Next, you might think that you have nothing interesting to write. But I seriously doubt that. Serious doubt going on right here. Because once you have a pen and paper, nothing can go wrong. Your entries can be the boringest entries in the world, but they will still hold value, because you wrote them. And the more you write, the easier journaling will become.

I admit it, my journal entries can get pretty boring. I just write about my regular days in regular ways, but I still write it. I write a picture of my day, thoughts, prayers, and dreams. Sometimes they are uninteresting, but that's okay. Because one day I will look back on these journals and know what teenager me thought and acted like, on normal days and big days. Both kinds of days are important, so both kinds of journal entries are important.

Following are some ideas to jump-start your journaling:

*Write about your day. Just what you did. Did you like it? Did it bore you? Did you see an Elvis impersonator? Did the sellers at the mall creep you out? Did the birds sing to wake you up? Did the wind play with you skirt? You get the idea.

*Write a prayer to God. These are some of my favorite journal moments, and what starts as a simple recount of my day ends up being a prayer more times than not.

*Write things that you are thankful for. I like to do this during November, because, you know, November is all-things-thankful month, but this draws out focus to the blessings every day.

*Make lists. What's your favorite movie, book, and song? Little things, big things, everything!

*Draw. All you artsy people out there, draw it out!

*Write about here and now. What do you dream? What do you see? What do you fear? What do you smell? Write the details and the concepts and everything in between.

These are only a few journaling tips, and I wouldn't consider myself an expert at all, but I hope that I've inspired you to think about journaling if you haven't already. If you already journal, then I hope I've inspired you to keep going. I've definitely inspired myself to use my creativity more when journaling! Stay tuned for part two: making cards! And comment below what you've discovered about journaling!

Princess Hannah

3/21/2015

Finding Beauty

Beauty is everywhere. But we often miss it.

Today I went running outside in the fairly nice weather (cool enough for me to think about taking a walk yet hot enough for me to look like a tomato afterwards). On the way, I noticed the trees and listened to the birds (when Capital Kings didn't blast me forward). And I thought: God created this beauty.

The buds bursting forth.



The flowers shining through.

The birds gracing my ears.

God made all of that!

It's so easy to see God's fingerprint in spring, and I got the joy of being with Him even as I exercised. But oftentimes I ended up thinking only thirty more seconds, or think of how this will help your stamina. A few, straggling, beautiful thoughts shone through, though. Thank you, Father, for spring. Thank you for the ability to run. And those thoughts make me smile!

But I found out today that I can find God's beauty in the things that the world considers ugly, that are ugly.

Such as cleaning the toilet.

Or the numerous installations of barf that your sister's cat left you over the week.

I don't know about you, but I don't think "beautiful" when I think of scrubbing my carpet of vomit. Not at all. But guess what? Even cleaning regurgitated cat food can give God glory, even scrubbing the toilet can have beauty.

I may have lost you there, but hear me out.

There is beauty in responsibility.

There is beauty in obeying your parents.

There is beauty in the ability and time to do these things.

There is beauty in doing something ugly while praising God.

There is beauty, there is beauty in both the small things, the ugly things, and the beautiful things.

Let's be on a mission to find beauty in this world. Comment below something beautiful you experienced today!

Princess Hannah

3/19/2015

Let's Try This Out

So, I got this blog a while back, but I didn't know if I would have time to write in it. But I have so many things to say, that I'm just going to make time! Here is goes.

The first real post.

Right now.


happy animated GIF

This is exciting!

So, as this blog has no recurring trends and such, I will start one:

Five Fantabulous Favorites: 

And yes, to my surprize, fantabulous is an actual word. Defined by the unscholarly (but hilarious) Urban Dictionary, comes this definition:

Fantabulous
Sort of like "fabulous" but much more fabulous than the word "fabulous" can convey. Like supercalifragilisticexpialidocius but shorter and easier to spell. 
There you have it. Fantabulous. And here I will give you not only one fantabulous thing, but five! 
1. Cinderella. 
If I can go as far as to say, I believe that this dress could also provide a picture definition of fantabulous. Yes, I do go as far as to say that. 
Growing up, Cinderella took the place of favorite Disney Princess in my heart, although I think I fell more in love with the dress and ball and less with the prince. Needlesstosay, when I heard about the remake, I squealed (probably literally, ask my sisters). And the movie did not disappoint, but went above expectations!
The story didn't change much from the animated feature but elaborated upon the themes and characters. Prince Charming has a name, the stepmother a past, and the fairy godmother a delightful sense of humor (Helena Bonham Carter always adds extra flair). The scenery and costumes blew me away with their elegance and colors. And the simple message to Take Courage and Be Kind gave value to the movie. Go. See it. Be happy with me about it. 
I've ranted too long for my promise to keep the posts short, but this movie made me so happy! I could not stop smiling, and I look forward to seeing it a second time tomorrow (and that is a compliment, because I don't re-watch movies for a while usually). 
2. Ulta. 
My mall just received an Ulta, and it may be my new favorite store. So. Much. Make up. 
I kinda (really) wanted to buy it all. 
But I ended up only buying what I came in to buy, my favorite being something you can find at any Ulta (or a similar product elsewhere). It is the glamorous......... sponge. Yes, my favorite purchase was a sponge, but hear me out. This sponge (see the link below) transformed the way my foundation looked. I looked airbrushed using the same make up I previously used with brushes. The sponge applied the makeup in a very natural way, and I found it very easy to use. Watch the video in the link to see how to use this wonder! 
We couldn't not make a pie for pi day (especially 3.14.15 pi day), so my sister made this gooey, chocolatey, flaky pie that I insist (unless you gave up pie for lent) that you try! Click the link if you dare! 
4. The sun. 
I like the rain, but only if I don't have to go outside in it (unless I feel like it) and the sun starts shining in two days. Then I want the blue sky back. And I endured almost a week of rain and clouds. Or at least, that's what I felt like. But the sun shines today, and I can feel spring coming once again! 

5. For Your Splendor
This song is my heartbeat this last month, ever since I heard it. Just sing the truths Christy Nockels sings. Sing them to your heart, to your Savior. For these truths arch over all of the other fantabulous things. 
"With my roots deep in you, 
I grow the branch that bears the fruit,
And though I'm small, I'll still be standing in the storm.
'Cause I am planted by the river, 
By your streams of living water,
And I'll grow up strong and beautiful,  
All for your splendor Lord." 
Because the truth is, movies, makeup, pies, and even the sun will fade away, but they tell us something while they're here: they tell us of Jesus' truth. For we were created to yearn for beauty and joy, and when we find it in the small things of this world, it makes us smile and say fantabulous, and that's how God made it to be. But guess what? These wonderful (but short-lived) things only give us a taste of the real deal, the true beauty: heaven. 
So, I challenge you to enjoy these five fantabulous things I wrote about here, but to remember that, really, they only point to the most fantabulous place ever, one which will surpass all other fantabulousness: Jesus' home for us. 
God's grace be with you, 
Princess Hannah