Category Archives: Create

It’s been a while…

I can sit here and make up a lot of excuses, all true, on why I’ve stayed away from here so long. But I won’t bother you with the details.

I am making a comeback, slowly but surely.

For now, I will leave you with a fun idea that I found on the internet, as many great ideas are found, naturally. I recently got back from a trip to South Korea, visiting family I haven’t seen in ages. To commemorate the trip, I made a t-shirt that summarized the entire 1 weeks, all in just a few sentences:

“I should have learned more Korean before I left, visiting family I haven’t seen in nearly 20 years. This trip included vacationing on a honeymoon island – not with my extended family, not my lover. I made kids cry, and my sister wanted to noraebang so bad that our cousins stayed up until 1am on a school night karaoking with us. *Gangnam Style forever* We also found out that our family members are cat people: They hate rain and love naps. Family is the best.”

I plan on making a new commemorative t-shirt for every trip and vacation I go on from here on out.

What do you do to remember your trips?

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DIY welcome home prayer flags

DIY Welcome home prayer flagsDIY Welcome Home Prayer FlagsOn the day I signed papers for my home, I naturally threw a “Bring Your Own Chair” housewarming party. I figured it would take a long time to get my place to where I would want it for a housewarming (and boy, was I right!). So instead of waiting for that day to (never) come, I wanted to ring in my new home with all of my close friends and family on the day I closed. It was the best idea ever. No furniture, no decorations, no expectations. Just friends celebrating.

To commemorate the evening and all of the support and love that came with it, I asked everyone to paint a flag on the blank canvas of prayer flag bunting I had brought. It was my first purchase for my house, and I am kind of the sentimental type (and am embracing it with wide open arms).

Well, it took many more months before I actually put it up. But I must say, I can’t stop smiling when I am spending time in the backyard or looking through my kitchen window over at the flags.

I am pretty sure that this blank canvas of prayer flags is generally used at weddings for guests to sign. But you can use it to celebrate any event in your life that you want to remember with the love and kindness from people in your life. Or you can just decorate one for the heck of it.

Prayer flags have a deep spiritual significance. Here’s my quick story about why I decided prayer flags were the way to go as my first purchase and captured memory for my home: In my apartment, where I lived for about 5 years, a mystery neighbor slipped some mini prayer flags underneath my door. I have always had them up in my apartment, but I still, to this day, have no idea who they came from. I think we can all do with a little more peace, kindness, and happy surprises in our lives.

If you are interested in bringing some DIY prayer flags into your home, all you need is a blank canvas of prayer flag bunting (I purchased mine through the Etsy shop, BooBahBlue), and some fabric ink. I used fabric paint, but any sort of fabric ink should work. Oh, and let me know how it turns out!

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Paint your own pet

Huey Diptychimg274img272I’m not sure if it’s the same where you live, but in Portland, all sorts of painting and wine classes have cropped up all over town. Most of the classes look like this: Classes show you how to paint a specific painting, and an instructor shows you step-by-step on how to create your masterpiece. Some companies have a fixed location, while others float around to different bars and restaurants around town. Oh, and all of them offer wine. Or beer. Or other drinks. Sounds appealing, no?

Well, my friends and I decided to do a different take on the painting class, and there was one offered on painting your own pet! You send in a photo of your pet, they have a caricature artist who draws your pet on canvas, and then you show up to class to paint over the drawing. It’s sort of like paint by numbers. Super fun.

Huey sort of looks like a cartoon version of himself in my painting. It sorts of reminds me of Scooby Doo. But I love it and am proud of it. Also, it’s kind of hard to screw up a cross-eyed tongue out photo of your dog. He already looks silly, so anything I do would just add to that silliness. 🙂

I love that dog.

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DIY Thanksgiving Sweater

Cold Turkey Thanksgiving sweaterSo, prepping food for the Thanksgiving feast is probably a priority when it comes to getting ready for Thanksgiving. But it’s also important to wear comfy clothes so you can “grow” into them for the day. This is totally acceptable by my standards, especially if you are going to run 4 miles in your local “Turkey Trot”-type run before you feast. Or not. Just enjoy your day and those around you.

For me, I got REALLY excited when I saw this sweater. Yeah, it’s pretty cheesy, and it makes me laugh beyond belief. I mean, how funny would it be for a pescatarian (a vegetarian that eats seafood) to wear this on Thanksgiving? Anything that makes me laugh is good in my book. However, the price tag is more than I would like for something you can only wear seasonally, and it’s not available in the U.S.

My solution? Make my own!

So before I start prepping some food for the feast tomorrow, I set out to make my “Cold Turkey” sweater. Here’s what you need to make your own, maybe with a less cheesy design if you prefer. 🙂

MATERIALS: ——————————————————————

  • Fun sweater (try your local vintage store for some neat sweater choices)
  • Iron-on letters, or t-shirt transfer paper
  • Parchment paper
  • Iron

STEP 1: What do you want to say? ———————————–

The first step is to decide what you want to say to the world with your sweater. I decided on “cold turkey,” but what would you like to wear? After you decide on this oh-so-important step, cut out your letters and place them where you would like them to go on your sweater. I designed my own letters using t-shirt transfer paper, and cut out each individual letter. That way, I had control over the color and design in each of the letters, making my sweater even more kitschy and fun.

STEP 2: Iron me, baby! —————————————————-

Depending on the type of iron-on transfer you have, follow the directions on how to adhere your letters to your sweater. For my sweater, I covered my design with parchment paper, and then ironed over it in a circular motion for about 30 seconds.

STEP 3: Wear me. ————————————————————

There’s nothing left to do but wear your sweater and enjoy your Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sweater via Target
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DIY glitter pumpkins!

Glitter pumpkins decorating my porchDisco ball pumpkinGlitter pumpkin craftglitter pumpkinglitter pumpkinGlitter pumpkin


Okay, so I love fall and getting lost in the corn maze, but I am not so gifted at carving pumpkins. Not only am I terrified of sharp objects, but I can’t for the life of me carve out anything coherent.

So here I am, wanting to do something with the nearly 100 pounds of pumpkins I just brought home from the pumpkin patch (no joke). I am cooking up most of them, but I also wanted to decorate my home for fall. While I am (still) working on organizing and unpacking my home, it would be a shame not to have some seasonal fun.

So what’s the next best thing to carving pumpkins? Um, glittering pumpkins. Super easy, and no sharp objects required.

Note: After I did this project, I read an article about how decorating pumpkins with glitter or toxic paint makes your pumpkins ineligible to be composted. 😦 Sad. If you would like to compost your pumpkin after it has its run, try using non-toxic paint instead!

MATERIALS: ——————————————————————

  • Glitter (of course!)
  • Mod podge
  • Brush (I chose foam, but you can choose finer brushes if you would like to be more detailed with your glitter patterns)
  • Newspaper

STEP 1: Prep your pumpkin and craft area: ———————–

Wipe down your pumpkins to ensure a clean surface area to glitterize. Please note that I did not do this with mine, since I really love imperfections and seeing that my pumpkins came straight from a farm, dirt and all.

Lay down some newspaper to catch all of that loose glitter. Nobody wants to clean up glitter all over the table and floor. But trust me, it will probably get everywhere anyway. But with newspaper, you will save on a lot of cleaning time.

STEP 2: Glitter your pumpkin! —————————————–

Start painting your glitter designs on the pumpkin with mod podge. Once you have painted your pattern, start dumping glitter all over your pumpkin. I tried sprinkling, but it doesn’t work quite as well as a good dumping of sparkly goodness.

…that’s pretty much it.

I think the clean-up took a lot more effort than the creating. But I’m all for glitter parties. I think Ke$ha may be on to something…

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DIY: Bring your friends on vacation

Mini-friend in HawaiiMini Friend on a Chicken in HawaiiMini Friend on a Chicken in HawaiiMini friend picking pineapples in Hawaii

What if your BFF can’t join you on your vacation? Well, bring along a mini version of your best friend! That way, s/he can come along on all of your adventures and reminisce when you get back.

I did exactly this when I went on vacation to Hawaii. I wish I could say that was recently, but it was a few years ago. But still. While I was able to go to Hawaii with a couple of great friends, a couple of our other friends were thinking about going…but just couldn’t make it work. So, naturally, I ended up bringing their mini-versions with me anyway.

So how do I create my own mini-versions of my friends?

MATERIALS: ——————————————————————

  • Action figures (I went with some Star Trek action figures that were on sale!)
  • Photo of your bestie. Note: Your BFF’s face must be slightly larger than the action figure’s. I went with photos that were a whole lot larger (and with funny poses), just for a fun, quirky emphasis.
  • Tape
  • Glue (I used a hot glue gun, but any strong bonding glue will do)
  • Optional: Puffy paint

STEP 1: Replace your action figure’s face: ————————–

While this might sound brutal, you are replacing the action figure’s face with your favorite person! Yay! To do this, cut your friend’s face out of the photograph. Use your strong bonding glue to adhere it to your action figure’s face. I found that it is actually easier to mount the photograph when the action figure’s head is on backwards. It’s a little awkward because you now have a 2-faced best friend. But I found it a bit challenging to glue over the raised facial features of my Star Trek action figure. To reinforce your bestie’s face, wrap a piece of tape around the back of your best friend’s face and the head of the action figure. There! Now if the glue starts to fail, the tape will keep your best friend together. Yes, this did happen to mine, and using both really helped!

STEP 2 (optional): Dress them up: ————————————–

Mini friends playing cards at the airportAs you can see, I gave my friends a bathing suit. What else would you wear on a vacation to Hawaii? One thing to note – these action figures had removable vests, but painted-on leggings and sleeves. That still didn’t stop me, but you may want to consider outfit decisions before choosing your action figure. I obviously didn’t.

To make their vacation outfits, I busted out my puffy paint and went to town painting my friends some snazzy suits to lay out on the beach. Yes, they might still be wearing leggings and sleeves…but these friends have some six-packs that I am pretty jealous of. Thank you, Star Trek action figures.

STEP 3: Take pictures and share!—————————————

Mini BFF on vacationNow you are ready for some vacation time with your best friends! Make sure to photograph them wherever you go, and create some fun poses and scenes. When you get back from your vacation, you can share the lovely time they had on vacation with you. Your best friends are always there for you, make sure that they don’t miss out on fun times!

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Photo project: I see double!

Film doubles - pattern with cute monster

Film doubles - crane with bike

Film doubles - flowers with patterned fenceProjects of any kind are always more fun with friends. The same also goes for photo projects. For this one, I shot a whole roll of film. After I finished up my roll, I gave it to my friend to shoot photographs on the same roll…meaning she was going to take photos over the photos I just took.

In the analogue photography world, this is called “doubles” or “multiple exposures.” You usually shoot both layers yourself (and immediately) so you have some control on what the end result is going to look like, but I went all in for a surprise!

The results from this project are some of my favorite photographs, mostly because they are so much fun to shoot, and I love the surprise that comes from developing your film and figuring out what we created!

Have you tried your hand at doubles or multiple exposures? Share your results!

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Dining room inspiration board

Dining Room Inspiration BoardWhile I am was waiting to hear back from the bank on whether or not I get to call this (dream) house my home (yes, it’s officially in the works!!!), I started an inspiration board for what I want each room to look like. Okay, so it may be was a little preemptive, but dreaming and holding on to hope isn’t always a bad thing. Besides, the process of creating is too fun to pass up.

Even if the bank decides against my offer (ugh!) only thing standing in my way is a negative inspection of the house (psssh), at least I’m having fun waiting!

So I started with one of the easiest rooms first – the dining room. It’s just a little nook in the house and it’s one of my favorite spaces. It’s surrounded by windows, overlooking a (potential) garden space sectioned off from the rest of the yard. Perfect. I plan on making this my office nook when I am working from home. Who wouldn’t want to work in a space surrounded by windows and plants?

What are your thoughts on how to make this space more homey?

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Love in analogue

Kiss from Shrista on Vimeo.

Kiss. ❤ Trying to do more with my film “video” camera, the Lomokino. It shoots 35mm film, sort of like a Super 8. This video is a bit dark (I knew this would be the case, but there wasn’t much I could do with the timing and sunset), and I left all of the dust marks and such in. It gives it a vintage feel, right? Um…sure.

I can’t wait to do some more with my camera! I treated myself to it as a Birthday gift last year. I don’t really treat myself often, so I need to keep experimenting with it! Have any ideas for short films?

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DIY Framed Cameras

DIY Framed CamerasYou have more cameras than Beyoncé has dance moves. Okay, so maybe you don’t have that many cameras yet. But you still need a place to show them off. Beyoncé wouldn’t hide her dance moves from the world, would she? If she did, then she wouldn’t be Beyoncé. So why would you hide your cameras? Take a tip from the diva and display them for the world to notice. So how do you do it? Continue reading

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