Over Christmas, Brian and I went to Cusco and Machu Picchu, Peru. There, is where I found these pencils made out of branches and crayons. I did't know what I was going to use them for, but I just had to have them!!! Maybe I was going to give them to a kid I know, or they were just gonna sit on my craft table and stare at me...

And that's what they did! SO, I decided to paint them and see what happens.

I had seen some "painted sticks" ,on etsy.com, which were exactly what they sound like: painted sticks! The shop was selling them for about $120...?? yeah, right! (find those here). I could make coffee table art-to-go-in-a-bowl-and-just-sit-there for free!!! Well almost for free, because I did buy the pencils for 5 soles, which is about $2...I already had the paint.

Now, if you have some sticks/branches laying around your yard, or craft room...(I'm not judging) and want to create your own nature inspired art, this is what you'll need: branches from your yard, paint brushes, acrylic paint, painters tape, a jar/cup of water and imagination!

Before you get started have your branches cut/broken down to the size you want and give them a good scrub, maybe even sand them down. I used a Clorox wipe on mine, because I'm a clean freak. Also, you want all the dust and dirt to come off so your paint sticks to them better.

Next, take your painters tape and tape up stripes any size and shape you want. I made mine horizontal, also some were thin and some were thick. You can also skip the tape and go freehand, get even more creative.

Paint your stripes in different colors, or all the same (= and LET THEM DRY. Acrylic paint is water based and dries pretty fast. I had bought these metallic colors awhile back from a craft store and this was the perfect project to use them on!

Once dried, carefully peel the tape off and enjoy. You can put them in a bowl on your coffee table, or console table. Maybe you can tie them with some thread and use them on your mantel, or as bookends...the possibilities are endless! I was thinking this would make a cool handmade gift for a crafty friend (=

Honestly the best part of this project was peeling the tape off!!! It might even be better than popping bubble wrap...

Happy Crafting and Happy Monday Friends!!!



It's the girl's turn! This project actually came before the groomsmen.wanted, but it took a long time to find. I wanted to find an original and somewhat formal way if asking my friends to be in my bridal party. What I ended up doing is sending out "Will you be my Bridesmaid?" cards with some basic info about the wedding, our wedding website and my phone number as a way of rsvp-ing. I got the idea at oncewed.com and put my own spin on it. You can also put the bridesmaid dress info on the card, but I did not know which dress I was going to use, when I was making these.

The idea is simple. It uses some chain-paper people, paper dresses and some wigs:) Simply decide how many girls you want to ask and make sure you cut out that many people shapes. Then pick out the color and shape for the dresses and cut those out. Next, your girls will need some hair, so draw up some cute wigs that match your friends hair color (kinda) and start tracing and cutting.

Now I do have to warn you, IT IS A CRAZY AMOUNT OF CUTTING AND TRACING. It took me three full days to design the card in PS, draw and trace all the people, cut them all out and glue them together...

Now! After all this, if you are still up for it, this is what you'll need. Craft paper for the bodies, colored paper for the hair and dresses, glue stick/ or hot glue, a ruler, a pencil, a pair of scissors, envelopes and all your patience:)

You will also need white paper for the card itself, I used 80lb paper. You don't need to do it in Photoshop, it can also be done in Word.

 The first thing you want to do is make sure your chain will fit in your envelopes of choice. I ended up using A7 size envelopes in "slate", so I made my chain about 6"X 3.5" (the card is a tiny bit bigger)

Make marks with your pencil on the top and bottom of your paper every 3.5", for however many people you need (I have 5) and fold accordion style. Since I was able to get two sets out of each sheet of paper, I cut that in half with my rotary cutter.

This is what you should end up with. Now just repeat this so you have one for every bridesmaid.

 It is time to draw your chain people. You really only have to do it once and then use that as a template for the other ones.

Start cutting. Make sure you don't cut the hands and legs off, or your chain wont stay together. There really is a sense of accomplishment (at least for me) when you get all the chains done (=

Ok, they may not be perfect, but you are going to put clothes and hair on them!

Now dress your ladies and give them some fun hair styles. I went with pink dresses, but am now actually having gray dresses for the wedding. Who cares, pink is for girls (= Some of my friends are blonds and some brunettes, so I did yellow and black, 50's looking hair. I didn't draw faces on them, because I like the abstract feel of it. I did however write their names on each one, so each girls knows who the rest of the bridesmaids are.

Ta-Da!! Here they are, sweetheart necklines and all!

* As you may have noticed I've spelled the same name ( my sister's Boryana) two different ways, that's because I'm a spaz. She laughed about it.
I like this idea of making a band to hold the card and chain together, when you stick it in the envelope. Simply measure twice the length of the card + some extra so you can glue the two ends together. If you make your band black, like I did, just use a jelly roll pen, or a charcoal pencil to write the name of the person it is for.

This is it! The finished product!!! I arranged the chains in such a way that the person I'm sending it to, will end up in the front of the chain. I did that so the first name they see, is their own.

I'm leaving you with my cutie of a pencil sharpener! Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and if you have any question about it, please ask!!!

Happy Thursday Friends!!!