Archive for July, 2009

Together Again

Birdcage Girls or Christine, Rachel & Cheyenne

Birdcage Girl Trio by Emily Martin of The Black Apple

I am off for a quick trip to California, hurray! I’m going to relish every moment I have simply being together again with my dear, dear friends & will probably annoy everyone near me on the plane by humming this to myself the entire flight:

I hope you all enjoy your weekend and get to spend it with the people you love!



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Like the majority of kids born to baby-boomers parents brought up on The Mickey Mouse Club, I was raised with a love of all things Disney and Dumbo was one of my favorite movies. Living in Southern California, I grew up going to Disneyland where the Dumbo ride is still in my top 5 all-time favorite attractions. So it is no surprise to me that I am constantly drawn to elephant items; whether it be fabric, a bottle opener or art and vinyl figures by Amanda Visell:


A few of my current favorite elephant finds:


1. Notecards | 2. Lavender Blue Print | 3. Cashmere Plush | 4. Orange Bank

5. Jointed Paper Animal | 6. Red Buttons | 7. Framed Retro Dumbo Print

Some people like owls. Others adore hedgehogs. Apparently, I am drawn to large mammals: whales, bears…and elephants. I’m not sure why, but I find it fascinating how the smallest things from our childhood remain with us through our adult lives. What childhood fancy has never left you, dear reader?


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Dear readers, we are a scant few days away from the world-wide premiere of Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince! Sadly, life has been a bit out of sorts for this nerdy girl as of late, so I’m afraid the rest of my grand tutorial ideas will have to wait until part one of Deathly Hallows is released. But thankfully, I am not the only one who likes to share my craftiness with the internets; so for our final installment of Harry Potter crafts, here is a quick round-up of fun tutorials.

On a somewhat random note, if you are looking to kill sometime waiting for July 15th to finally arrive, you should watch this amazing Harry Potter musical parody: A Very Potter Musical. It’s absurd and hilarious and the songs are really catchy. I’ll been singing “Goin’ Back to Hogwarts” & “Danger, Granger” for the rest of my life. If you love HP, musicals and always pictured Dumbledore as a great wizard who could also appreciate the talent of Zac Efron, you will love this.

Enjoy and happy crafting!


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From the moment he is first introduced in the series until the final line in Deathly Hallows, there were debates among readers on the loyalties of one character in particular: Severus Snape. Was Snape good? Was he evil? Was he a double agent? A triple agent? Why did Dumbledore trust him? Could we trust him? Who’s side was he really on? Now that THE END has come, all has been revealed (if you haven’t read the books, don’t worry, I won’t spoil it for you) and to be honest, I miss that debate. However, I know there are those of you out there who only watch the films and although that may frustrate me at times, in a way this makes me happy because the Great Snape Debate can still go on (well, until 2011, at least).


Harry Potter Crafts Week Two:

Shrinky Dinks

If you have never played around with shrinky dinks before, get ready to have a lot of fun because they are quite addictive once you start making them. You can buy shrinky dink sheets at craft stores and they even sell printable sheets now, but for those of us who love to recycle trash into crafts, you can actually use #6 plastic, which is usually found in restaurants & delis as to-go or takeaway containers.

I decided to make pins/badges to sport at the Half-Blood Prince midnight release. I made a few different designs available in a PDF file to get you started, including several Snape designs so you can proclaim which side of the debate you are on, but you can make any shape or design you like (just make your design at least 2 1/2 times bigger than the desired finished size). I found several HP inspired fonts here if you choose to make your own.

Harry Potter Shrinky Dinks

Supplies: Aside from #6 plastic, you will need scissors, permanent markers, color pencils/crayons and super fine sandpaper, foil and a oven pre-heated to 350ºF. Depending on what you want to make with these, you might also need a hole punch, glue and pin backs.

Step 1: Print out your design & trace it onto the plastic with a permanent marker.

Step 2: To color your shrinky dink, flip it over to the wrong side rough it up using super fine sand paper—or if you are me and don’t have sandpaper lying around the house, use the fine side of a foot scrubber. It’s basically the same thing. What we are doing is roughing up the plastic so that the color pencils & crayons have something to adhere to. Don’t color it too dark because it will darken once we shrink it. You can also just use permanent markers, but I have more color pencils than markers. So there.

Step 3: Cut out your desired shape. If you wanted to turn these into jewelery, now is the time to punch the holes.

Step 4: I got the best results by placing the sanded side down on a small tray I made out of foil and placing that directly on the oven rack. It shrank faster and turned out more uniform. The oven should be pre-heated to 350º and will take about 1-2 minutes to shrink. You can read a few different tutorials on shrinking #6 plastic here and here.

Step 5: Ta-da! String it on a necklace or glue a pin back on it and you are finished!

If you have any questions about this tutorial, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or email me. And if you make the “My Sweetheart” necklace Lavender Brown gave Ron, please, please send me a picture (all my plastic containers were too small to try it out)!

Happy crafting!


All art is by Heather Campbell of Accio Brain. She is awesome and hilarious (This needs to be a Christmas card). Please go check out her work.

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via GabrielleKai on Etsy

Yesterday was the first day in about two weeks the temperature didn’t reach 100º or higher. “But Christine,” you may say, “you live in Texas! Aren’t you use to this? Isn’t this normal?” No, it is not normal to have record breaking temperatures of 107º in June. That sort of nonsense is usually reserved for the end of July and the month of August. Summer arrived in Austin long before June 21st and it is here to stay for what will feel like an infinite amount of time.

Which brings me to Infinite Summer.

Remember way back on June 13th when I said (and I quote):

…it hardly seems the time of year to be reading heavy tomes…

I am eating those words right now. Shortly after writing that post, I read (via John Green’s twitter account—hurray for Nerdfighters!) about Infinite Summer, an online read-a-long and discussion site for “Infinite Jest” and was intrigued. I’ve read a few of David Foster Wallaces’ essays and I knew of “Infinite Jest”, but I didn’t know if I could obtain a copy in time to join or if I really wanted to commit to reading such a book this summer. The idea stuck with me, however, and mentions of Infinite Summer continued to pop up in my daily internet reading, but it wasn’t until I read the guide introductions and saw someone refer to House of Leaves (one of the most amazing books I’ve read) as Infinite Jest junior that I resolved to join the group. So yesterday I picked up my own copy (the last one available in Austin, I do believe) at the fabulous Bookpeople:

Infinite Summer, Infinite Jest

Let me tell you, I knew it was massive but I wasn’t quite expecting this. If nothing else, it would make an excellent paperweight or doorstop!

Infinite Summer, Infinite Jest

So here is to making blanket statements, carrying around a four pound book until October and the indescribable feeling this book nerd gets knowing that there are thousands of people all over the world reading the same book at the same moment in time. Care to join?

Infinitely yours,


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