Friday, November 30, 2012

DIY Guitar Picks

Here's a great little stocking stuffer for the guitar player in your life!

Here's what you need to make your own guitar picks:

-pretty papers, images, magazine cut-outs, etc.
-sharp pencil
-scissors or sharp blade
-laminating folders
-laminator or iron
-guitar pick to use as a template *See step 1 if you don't have access to guitar picks

1) If your guitar player is kind enough to leave their guitar picks out and handy for all, grab one on the sly to use as a template.  If your guitar player doesn't live with you, here's an easy way you can make your guitar pick template.

  - go to
  - once you've determined the size of your monitor the website will create a true to size image for you
  - print this out, cut it out, trace onto some heavy cardstock or lightweight cardboard and use as a template.

   or, you can just try using the image above~

2) Now, every guitar player is different, but I like my guitar picks to be pretty sturdy so I put an extra layer of lightweight cardstock in between my papers.  Some guitar players like really soft picks.  In that case you don't need to add the extra layer of cardstock.  You decide, maybe make a mixture~

If you're adding the cardstock layer, use your template to draw several and cut them out.

3)Now, trace your guitar pick shape onto some beautiful scrapbooking paper, an image from a magazine, a photo, or anything else you'd like to use that's fairly flat.  Cut out one image for the front and another for the back.

4) Add a little adhesive and make a sandwich with your papers and cardstock before it goes through the laminator.  This just keeps everything in place, you don't need to cover the entire piece. (pretty images facing out)

5) Arrange your picks inside a laminating pouch, making sure to leave enough room between them to seal in the edges.

6) The first time I did this I tried a little trick I saw on Pinterest and just used my iron at home to melt the laminating folder (in between it's cardboard covering sheet).

This was the result:

At first I thought it was a great big fat craft fail, but they turned out just fine.

I did a second batch in the laminator at work:

There aren't as many crinkles surrounding the picks but I still had to take my iron to the edges to make sure they were all sealed in.  If I make more, I'll stick with the home iron method.

7) Once you're laminated all of your pretty little picks cut them out.  Try to go as close as you can to the edge without breaking the seal.

And that's it!  Now you, or your guitar player, are ready to make some beautiful music!

I started out making this project just for fun, but when I went to look for my store bought picks I couldn't find them, so in the end these are a necessity.  They're so much better looking than what I had anyway~

Any other guitar playin' crafters out there???  Leave a comment below!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tell a Tale: Memoirs of Cleopatra

“Things do not happen, we must make them happen”
Margaret George, The Memoirs Of Cleopatra

Summary (
Told in the first person — from the young queen’s earliest memories of her father’s tenuous rule to her own reign over one of the most glittering kingdoms in the world–this is a mesmerizing saga of ambition and power.

But it is also a tale of passion that begins when the twenty-one-year-old Cleopatra, desperate to return from exile, seeks out the one man who can help her, the Roman general Julius Caesar — and does not end until, having survived the assassination of Caesar and the defeat of the second man she loves, Marc Antony, she plots her own death rather than allow herself to be paraded in triumph through the streets of Rome.

Margaret George is known for two things, writing amazing historical fiction, and writing extremely long books.  This one is over 900 pages but it's worth every word.  I was reading another Antony and Cleopatra novel just before this but it was so detailed and tedious that it still sits on my bookshelf with a bookmark at the halfway point.  George's version is much more readable. 

Because the book starts when Cleopatra is just a child, we gain some insight into the events that transformed her life and her personality that make her the character we're all drawn to today.  It's almost difficult to believe she was a real life person, her life was so unbelievably amazing.

It does always bother me that such a strong minded and intelligent woman would eventually be brought down by the love of a man.  I think her love of Marc Antony blinded her and at the wrong times deterred her from her love of power.  It's unlikely that she would have ever had the ability to fight the forces of ancient Rome but perhaps she would've played her role differently if not so deeply in love with Antony.

Theirs is a story as old as time so I don't think I'm giving any of the plot away.  However, this book is worth reading if you want to go beneath the surface of the love story we all know.  The other book I was reading went into great detail about every military battle, which is why it bored me to tears.  This book gives enough information to understand the battles but balances it with all the opulence and romance that you really want to know about.

If you read only one Margaret George novel, this is the one.  However, be prepared, clear a large space on your book shelf, because you will get hooked on her writing and you will need a lot of room to keep your treasury of historical tomes.

Coin minted in 41 BCE, depicting Antony on one side and Cleopatra on the reverse.
Have you tackled any of Margaret George's books?  She's also written about Henry VIII, Mary Queen of Scots, Helen of Troy, and her latest, Elizabeth I.  Leave a comment below~

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Match Stick Holder

Poor me, in order to make today's project I had to eat a whole entire can of Pringles.  Somehow I powered through and I did it.  Ooooh, the sacrifices I make for crafting~


All you have to do is eat up the Pringles, cover the tin with some beautiful paper, gold doilies, and other embellishments and you're done!  (Notice some of the goodies from my Consumer Crafts haul??)

Obviously, these are the super duper extra long matches you get for lighting fireplaces, bar-b-ques, etc.  I don't have either but with the holidays coming up there'll be lots of candles to light.

Don't forget to remove the strike plate from the box and adhere it to the bottom of your can~

Now I don't have to go searching for the ugly box tucked away in the bottom of some forgotten drawer or cupboard.  I can leave the pretty container out and always be prepared.

Don't forget to enter this week's
for a free download
 from Signs by Andrea
to make your own Family Rules sign! 
*Contest ends Friday, November 30th, 2012.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Family Rules GIVEAWAY

Just in time for Christmas, I was lucky enough to try out the new, and very fun, customizable Family Rules sign designer from:

You can choose from several different styles as well as customize your wording and colours.   Watch the short video below to see just how quick and easy it is!

Signs by Andrea makes it super easy.  I had loads of fun just coming up with different versions.  The hardest part was picking the one I liked the best.

 Here are just a few examples of the different styles you can choose:

"This is not a "send-me-your-rules, tell-me-your-vision, match-these-colors, and then wait-three-days-for-a-response" kind of product. This builds your artwork INSTANTLY. You will literally watch your one-of-a-kind artwork take form as you add rules, remove rules, write new rules, select your colors, switch styles, rearrange the order of the rules, add a title, etc."

You can order a poster print, wrapped canvas, or an instant download.

And because Andrea is such a nice person...
she's giving me one extra FREE download to 
to one of you lucky Etcetorizers!

Here's how you can win:

Mandatory Entry:
1) Go to Signs by Andrea, try out the sign builder, 
come back here to leave a comment, tell me which style is your favourite

Additional Entries
2) Leave a comment telling me how you follow Etcetorize
3) Share your Customized Family Rules design on Pinterest (leave a comment with the link)
4)Tweet about this giveaway (leave a comment with the link)
(example: Win a free @SignsByAndrea Family Rules sign at @Etcetorize: #giveaway)
5) Leave a comment telling everyone what the #1 most important rule is in your house

Good luck! 
Make it for yourself or for an awesome personalized Christmas gift!
Any one can enter, you have until midnight Saturday, December 1st to enter.

PS.....Andrea has loads of other wonderful sign designs too!  You see them HERE.

I'll announce the winner next week so make sure to check back~

Monday, November 26, 2012

'Tis the Season Card

I've been making a LOT of very simple and easy to make cards but this week I thought I'd try to put just a bit more effort into this enterprise.  I have a long list of people I want to send cards to this year though, so I can't get too carried away.

I love how this one turned out.  It's still very easy to make but the punched bottom, edging, and embossing make it just a little more special.

You can see the embossing a bit better here.

And before you complement me on my outstanding penmanship, all credit goes to my Silhouette machine.  That's the "English Essay" font.  I still haven't figured out how to get my machine to fill in text so I love how thin the lines on this font are.

Here's the inspiration card, which looks very little like the one I made.

                                          Source: via Etcetorize on Pinterest

Do you stick to traditional red and green for Christmas or do you like to play with colour?  Leave a comment below~

Friday, November 23, 2012

Super Pretty Ceiling Fan

Bet you never thought you'd hear all those words together ever, did you?  Well, lucky for you, you're in the land of Etcetorize and everything's pretty!  Even ceiling fans~

Here's what you need to make your own:

-Gorgeous heavy weight paper
-scissors, sharp blade, straight edge, cutting mat
-Mod Podge, sponge brush
-one blah boring ceiling fan (not shown)

1) Using your screw driver, remove the blades from your fan.  You'll probably need to wipe them down unless you live in one of those fanatically clean houses I've only seen in magazines.

2) Lay out your gorgeous paper (I got mine from an art supply store), and decide where you want the designs to fall.  Watch for repeats or a one way pattern.  With a pencil, lightly trace around your blades.

3) Cut along the traced out lines with your scissors.  If you're especially confident with a sharp knife you could skip these two steps and just cut along the edges of the fan blades.  I wasn't so confident.

4) Lay out your cut pieces to make sure you're happy with the configuration.

5) Now comes the fun part...the Mod Podge!  Get out the big bottle and paint it onto your fan blade.

6) Lay your paper down on top.  If you don't have a brayer, use a straight edge to gently push the glue right to the edges and even out any air pockets.

7) When you traced your paper, you probably didn't go right close to the underside of the fan blade and now have a bit of extra paper along the sides.  Use a sharp blade to cut off any excess.  Make sure your knife is sharp, you don't want any raggedy Anne edges!

8) Use your sharp blade again to make holes in the paper where the screws need to go through to re-attach to the fan.

9) If you want a shiny finish lay another coat of Mod Podge on top of the paper and seal in the sides while you're at it.  I opted for a matte finish and didn't do this top layer of Mod I'm already done!

10) Reattach the blades to the fan and then just sit underneath it and gaze at it's prettiness!  So lovely, don't you think???

This room is getting seriously pretty!  I left the other side of the blades white so that if I change the decor or sell my house I can easily switch it back.

This is also a slightly better photo of my PEACE wall art that I showed you a couple of years ago.

Have a crafty weekend everyone!  Enjoy~

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Seeking a Friend

Instead of a book review, this week I want to tell you about a movie I saw recently.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

Summary (IMDB):
As an asteroid nears Earth, a man find himself alone after his wife leaves in a panic.  He decides to take a road trip to reunite with his high school sweetheart.  Accompanying him is a neighbour who inadvertently puts a wrench in his plan.
While Steve Carell and Keira Knightley are perhaps one of the oddest match ups in movie history I enjoyed this movie.  I love how the very first scene starts with the announcement that all efforts to stop the asteroid from hitting Earth have failed and the countdown is now on.

I also loved how the movie showed the full range of reactions to the news.  We all might think we know what we'd do if we only had a few weeks to live, but this movie explores the reality of what probably would happen.

There are funny bits, sad bits, uncomfortable bits, and heartwarming bits.  I was genuinely surprised by the ending.

This is one of those movies that still had me thinking several days later, wondering how I would react to the news.  I honestly don't know.  It also begs the question, if there's something you really want to do with your life, what are you waiting for?  What's the meaning of being here if not to do something great with what you've got?

So many questions, so few answers.  If you watch this movie, I think you'll be entertained and forced to reevaluate your priorities.  For some of us, that's a good thing~

Have you seen this movie?  My friend found it on Netflix but I don't even remember it showing up in the theatres.  I don't think it got fabulous reviews but I still recommend it.  What do you think?  Leave a comment below.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Travel Coasters

I picked up these fairly ugly coasters at the second hand store that I'm sure some stylish newlyweds donated after receiving as a thoughtful wedding gift.

And I turned them into these!

When I say "Travel Coasters", I don't mean that they're meant to take travelling with you.  They're glass and a little on the heavy and breakable side as far as coasters go.  I just mean that the images are of travel and hopefully inspire the user to want to visit the far off place on their coaster.

The images are from magazines and travel brochures that I've collected over the years~

You can visit my Butterfly coasters post if you want to see a step by step tutorial on how to make your own. There's a trick to getting that super shiny gloss finish on top.

Do they make you want to travel?  Where's your dream destination?  Leave a comment!


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