Browsed by
Category: Arts & Crafts

Create Your Own Scavenger Hunt Clues

Create Your Own Scavenger Hunt Clues

As I mentioned in my Weekend Surprise post about the surprise trip to a hobbit hole, I took my husband on a scavenger hunt to find our destination.

I created a set of around 30 scavenger hunt clues and printed them out on parchment paper. I then crisped the edges to make them seems more like a “treasure hunt.” Here’s one of the finished papers with a riddle straight from the book The Hobbit. I had to add a few riddles from the book… just to make sure he picked up on the weekend’s theme!

Scavenger Hunt Clues

This craft is awesome for a lot of different things: clues for scavenger hunts, treasure maps, and notes in a bottle are some of the many ideas you could use it for.

Supplies:

  • parchment paper
  • printer or pens
  • candle
  • lighter or matches
  • sink and water (just in case – be safe!)

How to Make Your Own Scavenger Hunt Clues

  1. Create your clues ahead of time or sketch out your treasure map.
  2. Print it or handwrite it on parchment paper.
  3. Cut the parchment paper to the size you want it to be. I created 4 clues on a single 8.5”x11” piece of parchment.
  4. Set up your “crisping zone.” MAKE SURE that this area is next to your kitchen or bathroom sink, that the water works, and is away from other flammable items like towels, paper napkins, hair aerosol sprays, etc. I set my candle up right next to the sink and lit it. I double checked that the water worked and the sink was clear. If a paper catches on fire too much, then you can drop it into the sink and turn on the water.Scavenger Hunt Clues
  5. Now for the crisping: hold the paper above the candle flame as seen in the picture below. Slowly lower it toward the flame. You’ll start to see how close you have to get in order for your paper to start browning. If you get just a smidge closer than that, the paper will start to crisp and crinkle. At this point it will likely LIGHT ON FIRE. Take it out of the flame area and blow the paper out. The reason you go slow is so that only a tiny bit of paper catches on fire at a time, so you can put the fire out before it takes over all of the paper.
  6. Continue rotating the paper to crisp the edges as much as you’d like.
  7. Once you’re done crisping, lightly run your finger over the edge of the paper and help the charred spots to fall off into the sink. This will leave the nice, uneven edge that you want, but get rid of some of the charred mess that will fall off the paper over time.
  8. Repeat for each of the pieces you’d like to crisp.

(Important: If you are under 18, please ask for the help of an adult before undertaking this project!)

Here are how some of the clues turned out! What do you think?Scavenger Hunt Clues

Thoughts About Our Kitchen

Thoughts About Our Kitchen

I’m in love with our new kitchen. It is seriously so, so incredible. You’ll probably find me spending hours in this area!New Kitchen

We love to entertain. And, for me, the heart of entertaining is in the kitchen with the food. Our new kitchen is wide open to the living and dining areas, which makes me so happy! I don’t want to be shut in the kitchen while all the guests are elsewhere. This way I can still talk with people while finishing up the cooking or cleaning.

We have a subway tile back splash, white cabinets, an actual pantry (currently sans the shelves – another project for the summer), a big farm sink with the most awesome faucet ever, and some fascinating light fixtures that add a lot of character to the room. 

Coffee and Tea Area

Besides moving in, the first project I worked on in the new house was our coffee and tea area. My husband and I have guests over all the time. One of those things that we provide to our guests every time they come over is tea or coffee. This was our set-up at the old place:

As you can tell from the photo, our coffee and tea area was all over the place at our old house. We had our teas and selection of tea infusers hanging on the wall. To the left of the stove was our espresso maker and to the right of the stove was our hot water heater (along with our toaster, spices, and fruits/vegetables). To say the least… our kitchen was very crowded.

Instead of this mess, I created an actual tea and coffee area! The tea now lives in its own drawer. The counter top above that drawer has a nice silver tray that was gifted to us from a family member. I still need to find two clear jars that can hold our ground coffee and our Persian tea, as those are our go-to beverages. The tray will hold the two glass jars in addition to all our fun tea infusers.

The DIY part of this project was the creation of the coffee sign! I bought a used frame from Goodwill for 99 cents plus tax and bought chalkboard paint on Amazon. I have a ton of chalkboard paint left, and I’m sure I’ll make use of it sometime. Any ideas for what else I should do with the paint?Coffee sign

I  painted three coats of the chalkboard paint directly onto the glass. After the last coat dried, I put it back into the frame and drew the phrase and picture on with chalk. I’ll have to see how it holds up. I may splurge on a white paint pen if the chalk keeps getting messed up.

Here is the finished product! We decided to also keep the soda stream and blender in the same area (just to the right, outside the photo below), so as to keep all the drink making supplies together.DIY Coffee Sign

I’m very happy with the way it turned out. What do you think?

[jetpack_subscription_form subscribe_text=”Like this post? Please subscribe to receive new posts via email!”]

5 Days of Crafting: Crocheted Swaddle

5 Days of Crafting: Crocheted Swaddle

Merry Christmas! I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season with your friends and family. 🙂

I just completed a crocheted swaddle for some very dear friends of mine. We found the free pattern here.  Crocheted Swaddle | Reflections of Happiness

Isn’t the stitch beautiful? It’s called the diagonal box stitch and you actually start from the corner rather than working in rows. The pattern is a little confusing, so a wonderful walkthrough on the stitch can be found here.Crocheted Swaddle | Reflections of Happiness

The swaddle didn’t take all that long to make; this stitch comes together very quickly. Other baby blankets I’ve made have taken months and this one only took about a week to complete.Crocheted Swaddle | Reflections of Happiness

These instructions also came with this pattern to print out and give with the crocheted swaddle. Crocheted Swaddle | Reflections of Happiness

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed my 5 Days of Crafting posts! Next week I’ll continue with my recap from our Around the World Trip. Next stop: Iceland!

5 Days of Crafting: Star Wars Snowflakes

5 Days of Crafting: Star Wars Snowflakes

Christmas Eve! If you haven’t finished your holiday decorations yet, here are some Star Wars snowflakes that you can cut out and hang up around your house. The designs come from Anthony Herrara, who puts them up on his website each year. Click here to see all the patterns for 2015 here, though he has patterns from the past few years that you can find as well. Some of the patterns require some tiny little cuts, so I’d recommend a pair of scissors and an exacto knife. All you have to do is print out the pattern, fold it and cut!

This is a Wampa:Star Wars Snowflakes | Reflections of Happiness

This one is titled “It’s No Cave”:Star Wars Snowflakes | Reflections of Happiness

This is Captain Rex: Star Wars Snowflakes | Reflections of Happiness

Happy holidays!

5 Days of Crafting: Watercolor Transfer

5 Days of Crafting: Watercolor Transfer

Welcome to day 2 of 5 Days of Crafting! Today’s post will be about a technique called watercolor transfer. For this project, all you need is: a digital photo, printer, pencil, tape, watercolor paper, watercolor paint, and a very thin paintbrush.

The photo’s subject should have an equal amount of light and shadow on and around the subject. In the the photo I chose, you can clearly see a shadow separating our faces from the background and there are some nice small shadows marking out our cheeks, eyes, etc. (By the way: if you like this photograph, check out the photographer at Foto Lumiere. She’s very talented and did both our engagement and wedding photos!) Watercolor Transfer Base Image

After choosing your photograph, go to PicMonkey and upload the photo to the site. Select the “Effects” option on the lefthand sidebar. Under effects, choose “Posterize.” There are three sliders within the “Posterize” option: Number of Colors, Detail, and Fade. Number of colors should be at 2, detail at 80% and fade at 0. Your photo will look similar to the one below. (There may still be a background, but just ignore that. It was easier with this photograph since the background was white.) Watercolor Transfer | Reflections of HappinessDownload the newly edited photo from PicMonkey and put it into Microsoft Word. You can resize it there to whatever size you’d like. Then print.

When the photo is printed, flip it over and scribble all over the back with your pencil (and I mean ALL OVER, like a toddler with a bunch of crayons). It needs to be really scribbled, or else the transfer won’t be as effective. Then flip your picture back over and line it up with how you’d like the image to be on the watercolor paper. Tape the paper and watercolor paper down to the table so they don’t shift as you work. See the picture above for an example of how I taped it.

With your pencil, firmly trace your image – all the dark portions of your selected subject. In this case, I covered all the black parts of the image with pencil, which helped to transfer  the scribble on the back over to the watercolor paper. Here’s an example of how it looks once I traced the image:Watercolor Transfer with PencilUnfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of how the watercolor paper looked with the pencil transfer before painting… but trust me: there are definite lines showing you where to paint if you scribbled enough on the back of your image. Once you have the markings of where to paint, all you have to do is take your selected watercolor paint and begin to carefully paint within the lines. If you stay in the lines, your watercolor transfer should turn out looking like your photograph above!
Watercolor Transfer | Reflections of Happiness

What do you think of my watercolor transfer?

5 Days of Crafting: Crocheted Minion

5 Days of Crafting: Crocheted Minion

Welcome to my 5 Days of Crafting mini-series! I recently accepted a new job and officially start in January; and I have a nice break over the holidays to relax. I’m spending my time doing a workout called Insanity, organizing the house, building a craft table with my dad, and spending much of my time crafting!

I figured I’d share some of the projects I’ve been working on – I’ll share one project a day until Christmas! Today’s 5 Days of Crafting post is about a crocheted minion.

I found a free pattern on Ravelry. If you’d like to try this pattern yourself, click here.

My first attempt at the minion body ended up with the minon about half the length it needed to be, so I have an extra yellow stuffed oval in my craft room now. I might try to turn that into a pineapple next week! Anyways, the minion pattern is kind of like a Mr. Potato Head since you can switch out many of the pieces.

This is the body and arms. Technically the arts are supposed to be attached by velcro, but I sewed them onto the body.Crocheted Minons | Reflections of HappinessHere’s how the minion looks with its blue overalls!Crocheted Minons | Reflections of HappinessMr. Minion waves hello! His arms have pipe cleaners in them, which makes them rather bendy. They won’t stay up on their own though… thus why his hand is leaning against the lampshade.Crocheted Minons | Reflections of HappinessHere he is with only one eye. I made two headbands that can be switched out. I only made the one mouth, but many mouths could be made and attached by velcro.Crocheted Minons | Reflections of HappinessIsn’t the little crocheted minion just so cute?Crocheted Minons | Reflections of Happiness

Baby Dragon Hats

Baby Dragon Hats

Earlier this year, I made some crocheted baby dragons. Well, I recently made another and did a better job at making the eyes this time! In addition, I also made a newborn dragon hat that my sister found a pattern for. The pattern for the hat is located here.Crocheted Baby Dragon While the dragon usually takes about 25-30 hours to make, the dragon hat was much easier… I completed it within 3 hours! It also makes a super cute addition to go with the dragon stuffed animal for a baby shower gift. Baby Dragon HatHere is the baby dragon and the hat together. Quite a pair. What do you think?Baby Dragon Hat and Baby Dragon Animal

Decorating the Craft Room

Decorating the Craft Room

Ever since my husband painted the craft room, I’ve really wanted to create some artwork to display on the walls. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I mostly do crochet and handmade cards… so I decided to branch out and try my hand at DIY Wall Art!

I picked up a few pieces of canvas and a wall art decal from the craft store and I threw myself into a new type of crafting.Chevron Geometric Paintings | Reflection of HappinessI started by painting the canvas the exact same color as the wall. After letting it dry, I taped it up in a geometric, chevron pattern and used the wall samples that we didn’t choose for the wall as the colors in the pattern – I didn’t want the paint to go to waste. Here’s what it looked like once I hung it on the wall above the wall art that says “Life is about creating yourself.”Acrylic Painting and Wall Decal | Reflections of Happiness A few days later, I decided I wanted to use one of the larger canvas pieces and create an inspirational piece. I used acrylic paint to make a rainbow of color, fading and changing from one color to the next. I then found a clip art tree I liked and tried to free-hand it in black paint on top of the rainbow. The quote is from a Baha’i prayer and says “enable me to grow.”Inspiration Acrylic Painting | Reflections of Happiness I also framed my paint by numbers painting, which I spent  months working on. It definitely deserves a place on this wall!
Finished Paint by Numbers | Reflections of HappinessI then painted another large canvas, but chose to do it entirely with yellow – a very happy color!
Acrylic Painting | Reflections of HappinessI ended up just putting big grey and navy dots on it and deciding that it looked good. Very simple and fun. Though it somewhat reminds me of a close-up of a giraffe.Acrylic Painting | Reflections of Happiness

Lastly, I strung some twine on the wall with clothespins so I could hang some of my smaller artwork like my handmade cards and doodle art.

What do you think? What kind of art would you love to hang in your home?

So… It’s Been Awhile

So… It’s Been Awhile

It’s been a month and a half without a post. Sorry, everyone! I’ve been caught up with work and life; but now things have calmed down again and I’m happy to get back into the blog and update you on the projects that my husband and I have been working on.

We’re putting in a patio and landscaping our yard!
Yard Project

Earlier this year, my husband approached me about the idea of landscaping the yard and putting a patio in so we can use it rather than just walk through it… think barbecues and dinner parties outside; board game nights with heat from a fire pit; working on a craft on a nice bench on a sunny, weekend afternoon!

We’ve been working with a landscape architect to create the plans, but my husband took on some of the starting work to save money. We want a natural gas fire pit on the patio, so we had to get a gas line put in… which needs to be 18 inches below ground. Hubby dug all the trenches (with help from a friend or two) and then we hired someone to install the gas line. I’ll post an update once the yard is complete!

Look at my awesome surprise!
Flowers that open and close with changing temperature

My sister showed my husband a Kickstarter that her friend was doing. Instead of telling me about it, my husband backed the project as a surprise for me. I love surprises – no matter whether the surprise is an experience, a gift, or a hidden note. These metal flowers that open and close with temperature changes, even though hubby backed it before the yard project started, are a perfect addition to our yard once it’s finished!

More crocheted stuffed animals!
A Zoo for You

One of our friends is expecting a baby within in the next month. Awhile back, she saw the baby dragon post and let me know how cute she thought it was. I knew that I had to make her some kind of stuffed animal when it came time for her baby shower! So, when I was given a crochet manual called “A Zoo for You,” I knew I’d have to make a few of the mini zoo animals. I think they came out super cute!

I discovered that I am a yarn hoarder.All That Yarn

Speaking of crochet projects… I went through and organized my yarn recently. And, boy, do I have a lot of yarn! I think I need to go on a yarn-buying freeze until I use some of it… I cannot fit any more yarn into this ottoman! You can see two blankets that I started over a year ago, but never finished. I suppose I should finish those; what else should I do with the yarn I have?

I doodled little notes!

Note Card DoodlePost It Note Doodle

I love doodling. It relaxes me so much! So, sometimes I take a five minute break at my desk and doodle something that inspires me. Here are two of my recent doodles. Many of my doodles are inspired from Pinterest so I can work on new lettering techniques.

I finished a paint-by-numbers. 🙂

 Paint by Numbers in Progress Paint by Numbers Complete

It took me well over six months to complete this painting.  I only spent an hour every few days working on the painting. There were some moments that it felt like I’d never finish… but I finally did! It’ll be awhile (if ever) before I undertake another paint-by-numbers, but this one is hanging proudly in my craft room.

It was a wonderful summer!
Summer in the Pacific Northwest

We had a busy summer, but it was a wonderful one! Now, we’re creeping up on my favorite time of year, and I’m excited to get into more fall/winter activities like holidays and family gatherings, scarves, reading a book by the fire, and sipping on hot chocolate. What gets you excited about fall?

Creating a Craft Room in a Small Space

Creating a Craft Room in a Small Space

Ah, the joys of summertime! It’s so beautiful out that you want to take advantage of the beauty of nature and you fill your schedules to the max, making it hard to check off projects on your to-do list.

We’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t gotten as much done this summer around the house as I’d have liked. This month I’ve visited my sister in San Diego, had 12-14 people over for the first of many Star Wars nights in preparation for the new movie coming out in December, had five get togethers with friends to play games or have dinner (or both!), and went to my aunt’s beach cabin in Gig Harbor to visit with all the cousins… all on top of my normal weekly evening events like soccer and Ruhi. Luckily, we have no plans this coming weekend, and I hope to take advantage of it!

We have two large projects that we’re working on this summer:

  1. Creating a craft room in a small space (our second bedroom/study)
  2. Landscaping our tiny yard

Our yard has not been utilized efficiently and we’re going to create a space that we can actually use. Currently, we’ve had our large magnolia trimmed and my husband is working on fixing up the fence. After that, we’ll have a patio put in, BBQ area and planting boxes! I’ll post about the project in the next few months as we make more progress.

Today, I’m excited to share some updates about the craft room project! When I moved in over a year ago, this room had a large armchair and an over-sized office chair taking up a large piece of this tiny space (about 10′ x 9′). I quickly took these to Goodwill and used folding tables to create some space for crafting.

After a few months, this is what the space looked like:(null)

Plastic boxes, cardboard shelves, piles of old computer equipment… not really a conducive space to get creative and inspired!(null)Just look at all this stuff! Too many items and not enough space to store them. Our house only has two closets (one in this room and one in the bedroom) – no coat closet, no pantry, so storage space is limited. One of my big goals with redo-ing this space was to introduce more storage. I also wanted to get away from the plastic boxes that I’ve been using since college. (null)In addition, the beige-ish color on the wall darkened the room at certain times of day and I didn’t like the color that much. I decided that if this was going to be my “She Shed,” I needed it to have walls in a color that inspired me. A She Shed is term I just learned similar to a “Man Cave,” though since it’s in the house and not a shed, perhaps “She Den” is a better term.

My husband was on board with me turning this room into something better, so we went to Home Depot, picked out some colors and got to work! (By we, I mean that WE picked colors and tried them on the wall and then HE did the painting! Ha! Thank you, wonderful husband!)Husband painting the wallYou can see him working away here. The beige looks SO much darker than the color we went with. You can also see all the crazy colors we tried on the walls before making our choice to go simple. We went with a light, almost white, color that has hints of green. We also decided to add a line of darker color at the top of the wall by the ceiling, and chose a light green/teal color. new paint!It looks so much brighter than it did before! I really like the line at the top that adds a bit of color. Since this is a craft room, I like the idea of having a plainer base so that I can put a variety of art on the wall without making it look too crazy.New Bookshelf AreaHere’s what I’ve done so far. I put the bookshelf back where it was and reorganized the books and bought a second set of shelves to hold my crafting supplies. The artwork above the shelf will move at some point, but we have nowhere to put it currently, so we put it back up to keep it out of the way.

The rest of the room is still a mess – we have to go through boxes of old electronics and donate what we don’t need/store the rest in the garage. In October, I’ll be building a crafting desk with my dad that has even more shelf storage. I’ll post another update once I’ve gotten this room completely finished!