I Love Swaps

Don’t you love to swap gifts with friends? What could be better than receiving a surprise picked out especially for you in person or by snail mail?

With Swap Bot you can swap just about anything you can imagine! If it exists, there’s probably a swap for it. The most popular swaps include artist trading cards (ATCs) and postcards but there is no limit to what you may find!

Crafts Around the Web: Surprise Balls

This is probably one of my favorite little gift ideas — how cute! Learn how to make them at not martha, poppytalk and seesaw. Don’t feel like making them? You can buy some adorable ones at TOPS Malibu.

With all of this cuteness I’ve joined a surprise ball swap and am going to get my supplies tomorrow to make my own. I have a lot of crepe paper left over from Colette’s birthday so I just need some extra surprises! Want to join in the swap with me?

I’ll make a post about how to make surprise balls following the swap.. I don’t want to give away the surprises inside in case my swap partner finds my blog!

Update: I was so inspired by these surprise balls that I made some Miseducated Surprise Balls for the shop.

Hints for Creating Realistic Fictional Characters

Fictional characters are mysterious beings. They have no real life but to us, they can be very real. People talk about them as if they were real and the things they did actually happened. To make a character that will live in the imaginations of other people, they first need to mean a lot to you as their creator. It’s true that a great character is what keeps a story going (and keeps you reading) so if you want to tell a memorable story, you will need to think up a great character. How do you do that?

Combine things you love to make a character you care about. If you’re interested in the Victorian era, maybe your hero/heroine is from this age in history? Be prepared to do some research to make your character believable. If you’re into science fiction or fantasy, you will have more creative freedom, but you will need to do some “world building”, and create your own setting around your character.

Name your character. The name of your character is more important than you might initially think. It gives your reader the very first impression of their age, personality and where, or when, they are from. A character that goes by a nickname like “Chip” or “Bruiser” already gives you a pretty clear idea of what they’re like.

Give them physical characteristics. Not only looks like eye color or height, but individual mannerisms, how they move and how they talk. Look at real life examples that you’ve noticed in other people. Maybe they overuse certain words or phrases or maybe they walk with a shuffle?

What are their strengths? Memorable characters have a lot of inner strength, a saving grace or a talent or two. Make your characters determined in the face of opposition, sad but still strong when they feel unloved. Give them a sense of humor or a need to help others.

What are their shadows? To understand shadows, it helps to look at yourself and the not-so-lovely things about your personality. Don’t make your character a carbon copy of yourself or someone else, but it helps to build ideas from real life. What are your character’s shortcomings and include some quirks. Its important to make your characters saving grace/s outweigh their shadow… unless you’re coming up with a villain. Still they need some part of their personality, a very small one, to be sympathetic.

Give your character loved ones and foes. Most of the time, your story wouldn’t be much without at least a few other characters. Give them a best friend, a mentor, an ex that dragged them through the mud, someone that stands in the way of their goals, or a love interest. These other characters should have a great influence on your main character.

How will they evolve? No character should stay the same throughout the course of a story. Your hero or heroine needs to have learned something and changed for the better, even after you put them through hell.

Acid Wash Your Own Clothes

This started as a bit of an accident you see.. my husband unknowingly bought me a bleach cleaner recently. I’ve since accidentally bleached my new shirt and the carpet both while obsessively trying to clean our apartment. I got ready to trash the shirt and immediately wondered if there was some way I could salvage it…

All you need is a t-shirt (some other color besides white) and all-purpose spray-on bleach (or if you’re planning ahead use clorox in a spray-bottle).

First lay your t-shirt face up in the bath tub and give it a quick spray (with the bleach) all over; make sure to get some larger drops as well.

Turn the t-shirt over and spray the back in the same fashion.

If you’re dipping it to give it a fade.. pour the bleach into a bucket, dip and hang on the shower curtain to dry.

It will take an hour or so to dry and fully change color but you should see it begin to change immediately.

Viola!
Now feel free to leave it this way or dye it but make sure you do wash it before wearing it!
Try this on other shirts, jeans and jean shorts for an 80s flashback look.


The damage.


Thanks to The Ragged Priest.

Delicious Starbucks Drink Recipe

First of all let me start of by introducing myself. My name is Angee Maree, a 27 year old girl who resides in Ohio. I’ve been doing Interactive Media Design for over 10 years and not only is it my job, but a passion of mine. I’m also a photographer, guitarist, singer/songwriter, avid gamer and mother. I started talking to Amber about Miseducated on AiM and how much I loved the site, and we instantly clicked. She is such an amazing person and I’m thankful she let me be a part of Miseducated! I intend on posting a lot of DiY things, whether it be craft items or photoshop tutorials. I also love to make wallpapers, backgrounds, avatars, gradients, brushes etc! So you can probably expect a lot of online resources from me! Okay let’s get onto the actual post!

Do you like Captain Crunch Cereal? (Some say this delicious drink from starbucks also tastes like strawberry shortcake!) Well if you do, why not try it in a delicious drink from Starbucks?! Just ask for this the next time you stop in Starbucks, it is defiantly my favorite thing to order from there!

Starbucks Recipe

For ordering.
Strawberry frappuccino + 1 pump toffee nut

Tip: Do NOT get more than one pump in a tall… you will regret it! Also, make sure its mixed well and let me know if you try it!

DIY Ripped & Burned Tights Tutorial

Ripped tights are pretty popular right now and it’s no wonder — they instantly add a punky, ragged feature to your look and they’re easy as pie to make! Grab a pair of tights, old or new, and follow along to achieve that ripped look.

Create Large Holes

First I used a lighter to create holes that wouldn’t run, the fire actually burns the nylon and creates a seal. For holes and rips that wont run use a lighter or stick of incense. Softly touch the fabric and the hole will become bigger. Be careful if you’re wearing your tights while you’re burning them, nylon can drip onto your skin and permanently scar!

Create Runs

To create runs in the stockings you’ll need a pair of sharp scissors. Carefully make small vertical snips and drag the scissors up against the cut to make a run. To seal runs so that they stop use a lighter or a tiny dab of clear nail polish.

Create a Kawaii Pancake with Polymer Clay

I had the recent treat to meet fellow Etsy crafter, Emi. She creates cute clay charms for her shop, Cat Bear Express, and luckily wanted to teach us to make a cute pancake!

I invited her to share her tutorial here and asked her to tell us a little about her shop and creations:

I created Cat Bear Express to spread cuteness around the world with my charms. Every piece is made by me with lots of love and care put into every detail, and I aim to bring a smile to everyone who receives a charm. I’m a gamer girl so a lot of my pieces are inspired by video games, and also anything cute, bright and girly! ~ Emi

Instructions

1. Roll out 2 pieces of light tan colored clay into flat circles
2. Roll out 2 smaller circles of a light brown clay and place one on each of the larger circles
3. Smooth down the edges of the inner circle by pressing down and pulling toward the outer sides
4. Add your toppings! For raspberries roll out 7 tiny red circles and arrange them in the shape pictured.
5. Bake according to the directions on the clay package and allow to cool. Paint on the face and attach to earrings or anything else you want.
6. Glaze or leave it for a matte look, and you’re finished!

Gallery

Here are some other adorable creations Emi has made and is selling on Etsy:

Upcycle Your Soda Pop Can: Ashtrays & Catch-Alls

Smoking is a bad habit. It causes cancer and, if smoking indoors, can make you and your entire home smell like an ashtray. However if you’re still a smoker and have an occasional cocktail cigarette/cigar then why not decorate your dirty habit with this kitschy ashtray? Actually these don’t have to be used as ashtrays at all they can be catch-alls and candy dishes if you like!

Instructions


Gather scissors and rinse out a new soda pop can (old ones can be sticky!).


Cut the top of your can off — it doesn’t have to be perfect, these ends will be folded under.


Cut the can into thin strips and fold them flat like a daisy.


Turn the can upside down and wrap one strip left and around the one next to it (see photo).
Continue this all the way around the can.


Viola!

Add More Whimsy Into Your Life

If you’re reading this blog you’ve probably already found lots of ways to include more whimsy into your lifestyle but here are a whole lot more. Most importantly you should enjoy every single day because every day is special. Find ways to make your days special and you have a key for more happiness.

1. Sprinkle your cocoa froth with stars sprinkles.
2. Hide sweet fortunes (found in cookies) in boxes, cabinets and drawers to be found throughout the day.
3. Adorn your walls in whimsical prints from Etsy and local art gatherings.
4. Use cherry icing as chap-stick.
5. Burn a fruity candle and a dessert candle at the same time but different areas of your living room. Feel free to include fizzypop fragrance oil in one room and vanilla in the other. Walk through your home and enjoy the candy aroumas, imagine you’re in a candy store or soda pop shop!
6. Purchase frames, paint them your favorite colors with acrylic and hang them on your walls filled with art and favorite posters and clippings.
7. Dip your finger into a container of cool whip and then stick it into your mouth. Yum!
8. Purchase some sand and a sunlamp.. place the sand in a container large enough for your feet and heat it with the lamp overhead. Feel the warm sand with your hands and stick your toes in it as well!
9. Don’t toss the sand! Add a bit of water and build a sand castle.
10. Tea party! Bake cupcakes, make small sandwiches cut-out with cookie cutters and brew your favorite tea. It doesn’t matter if no one else is able to come, enjoy your tea party! Have daily tea parties.
11. Take a bubble bath with candles and tea. Read in the bath. Relax.
12. Listen to Rockabye Baby Lullaby renditions of your favorite songs while you relax for a nap.
13. Sketch out ideas and images that cheer you up. Add color with pencils or paint. Start going with it and see where you end up.
14. Top your pancakes with ice-cream syrup topping and sprinkles for a cute and sweet dessert.
15. Turn your toast into fairy bread (see below).


Fairy Bread Recipe

  • Toast bread.
  • Spread lightly and evenly with butter.
  • Top heavily with sprinkles.
  • Cut into 4 triangles. (or use cookie cutters if you’re REALLY feeling whimsical!)