How to: Recycled Paper Beads!

These beads are so easy and fun! Limited supplies are needed, and most of them you can find in your home right now. They’re very versatile; I’m making these for a kids’ craft for an event I am holding, but they can easily look great on adult jewelry.

Materials you will need:

  • Magazines, newspapers, scrapbook paper, and any other paper materials
  • Scissors
  • Ruler (optional, but suggested)
  • Glue (I used a simple glue stick, but Elmer’s glue or higher quality craft glue could work)
  • Toothpicks, kabob skewers, or some sort of narrow stick to wrap the beads around
  • Mod Podge or clear nail polish

Start off with a stack of magazines and newspapers. If you want a thicker, bolder bead that may be stronger, go for the magazines, but I’ve found that the newspaper holds up just fine.

Cut the papers into triangular strips. They should be widest at one end, and then slant into a point. The length of the wider end is going to be the length of your bead. This can be up to you, but I would suggest 2 to 3 centimeters. The longer you make the triangular strip, the thicker the bead will be.

You can use a ruler to make sure that the sides of the triangle are perfectly straight. However, I am lazy, so I did the best I could to cut in a straight line.

Next, coat the triangular strip with glue on the side you do not want showing.

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I used toothpicks for the wrapping of the beads. Place the widest end of the strip on the stick, and begin wrapping the paper very tightly. This may take a few tries, especially if you are manually challenged like I can be.

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When you are done, you get a finished product like this!

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One last step. In order to seal the bead, it needs to be covered in either Mod Podge or clear nail polish. While making my first beads, I didn’t even own clear nail polish, so I used transparent sparkly purple polish, which worked just fine and gave it a pretty shine. However, for a more “polished” (ha), sleek look, use clear nail polish.

At first, I just dried the beads on newspaper, but then they began sticking. I found that using a jar or glass with a narrow opening works much better!

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Have fun beading! 🙂

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In the kitchen…

So, it’s a sticky, sunny 90 degrees outside. I can only take so much painting and yard work outside, so I decided to try a recipe from one of my many food pins (oh, Pinterest).

FROZEN HOT CHOCOLATE.

All credit for the recipe goes to The Picky Palate, although I altered the ingredients to make an individual serving for myself (and my mom, since she stole a few bites).  I also added a squirt of Hershey’s chocolate syrup 🙂 If you would like to see my serves-one recipe, let me know.

I highly recommend the drink! It tastes just like a chocolate milkshake.

Coming up soon will be a review of John Mayer’s new album, Born and Raised. I’ve been listening to Mr. Mayer and little else for the last 36 hours (currently Something’s Missing from Heavier Things). He’s simply the best summer, sunny-day soundtrack.

So, let yourself relax in a lounge chair with a glass of frozen hot chocolate and some lovely background music courtesy of John Mayer.

American Idol Top 7 Redux Results Show

Colton has been eliminated! I’m so disappointed.

I mean, how can you not love this face:

Really though, I was upset last night. Colton truly is talented. I have to admit that I sort of understand– this past Wednesday wasn’t his best night. Bad Romance was very different from his usual. Some moments were Muse-esque and wonderful, while he had weaker moments when he went lower. It was a little strange, especially with the odd cape and skin-tight red… pants, but I still enjoyed it. I liked September as well, although I had to agree with the judges that it was similar to past performances. I think the key for Colton is that he stays in his similar style and groove, but mixes things up a little as well.

Anyway. I really admire Colton for not being afraid to talk about his faith and his last performance made me a little teary. I felt like I was intruding on a private moment, and the expressions of his fellow contestants like Phil and Hollie made my heart hurt.

I still hope and think that Colton will be very succesful. Jennifer Hudson was seventh place as well, and look how much she has accomplished. I wish he had not gotten eliminated so early, but he may have even more freedom now with his future album. Personally, I look forward to buying his CD 🙂

Now that Colton has been eliminated, I’m honestly rooting for a girl to win this girl. I’ve wanted a girl to win for years– the last one was five years ago! Joshua Ledet is SO talented, but I do get tired of his ballads. Runaway Baby is one of my favorite performances of his because it was so peppy and fun.

I love Phillip Phillips as well– what a cutie! And I like his style, it’s the type of music I listen to frequently. However, as the site Vote For The Worst has been emphasizing, he is basically White Guy With a Guitar 5.0. I love David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee Dewyze, and Scotty’s okay. But we could really use a bit of a change-up.

So, that brings us to the four remaining girls– Skylar, Hollie, Jessica, and Elise. I like them all.

I’m not a huge country music fan. But Skylar has this incredible spirit when she’s performing that just draws you in. Also, her country is sometimes borderline country-rock, so it’s not the complete country twang that I dislike. I would definitely be happy if she won– her songs make me feel happy and energetic.

Hollie, I am a little conflicted about. I really liked her early on, but lately her performances have been running together for me. This week, she did spring back and connect a bit more, and I enjoyed Rolling in the Deep. She’s very cute with her Liverpool/Texan accent. Between her and Colton, I would have preferred her elimination. I don’t know how I’d feel about her winning and I don’t really expect her too, but I wouldn’t be unhappy, either.

Jessica is a powerhouse. It’s hard to believe that this girl is just a few months older than me (yes, I am “young”) but displays herself with such maturity. I agree with Jimmy, however, that she has to do some more youthful songs. I personally love  the older, more mature songs, but it would be nice to see some more variety. I’m not quite sure what her album would be like– something soulful, perhaps? I can definitely, definitely see her winning, talent-wise. The fact that she almost got eliminated, however, makes me nervous that she might not have strong enough of a fanbase.

Finally, Elise. I really like her tone. It’s unique. I disagree a bit with the judges– I really loved No One and Let’s Get It On. She may have a problem with emotion at times, but I don’t think it’s as huge as the judges make it out to be. I do think that she may need to show some more of her personality outside of her singing, though. I’m still not sure I really know her as well as I do, say, Skylar or Colton. The dog pity was a little pathetic. I don’t know if I see her winning, just due to her so-called “vacation home” in the bottom 3. But I would love it if she won, because she’s very talented.

So. Talent-wise? I think any of these people are talented enough to make it. The people most likely to reach the finale, in my opinion, are Phillip, Jessica, or Skylar. I’m thinking Phillip might be a shoo-in for a place in the finale, just with his large fanbase, his talent, and the fact that he’s a male and that, sadly, tween/teen girls + cute male = voting like crazy. But, we’ll see what America does!

 

The end of an era… but the magic will never end.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

This past Thursday at 12:01, I attended the midnight premiere of Harry Potter. It’s something I’d been looking forward to, and dreading, for weeks. I reread the second half of Deathly Hallows and watched all of the movies in preparation.

Personally, I attended a pre-premiere party at a friend’s house. We drank homemade butterbeer and ate Harry Potter sugar cookies and the British pudding spotted dick (yes, you have permission to laugh). Before the movie began, we couldn’t stop freaking out. Now, onto my review.

SPOILER ALERT AHEAD, for those of you haven’t seen it. You can’t say I didn’t warn you. If you haven’t… please just go see it now!

The final movie surely wasn’t a disappointment. One of the most notable parts of the experience was the scenery and effects; they were gorgeous and realistic. From close-ups on Harry’s face to fragments of Voldemort’s dead body floating in the sky, the movie was a visual treat that my round 3-D glasses certainly enhanced.

However, my vision may have been slightly altered by the tears brimming in my eyes for the last hour of the movie. No joke– the second half was emotionally intense. After reading the seventh book, my appreciation of Snape grew immensely. I didn’t think it could possibly grow larger– but it did. Snape’s story and death were beautifully portrayed. Snape’s line to Harry as he dies (“You have your mother’s eyes”) means a lot. Throughout the movies, he has constantly harassed Harry for being similar to his father, and pointing out his negative traits. But as he dies, he finally sees Harry’s likeness to his mother, the woman he loved. Snape’s devotion is heartbreakingly beautiful. The memory scene was all I expected and more. Simply beautiful. The fact that young Lily’s eyes were actually brown bothered me, however– it’s something relatively important to the story that could have been easily fixed by colored contacts or editing! I’m sure with all of the fancy editing around, they had the ability to do so.

I really enjoyed seeing Ron and Hermione in the Chamber of Secrets and Hermione destroying the cup, unlike in the books. The kiss was perfect and lovely, although I missed the added awkwardness of Harry witnessing the kiss in the book.

Luna is badass. I confess that she’s one of my favorite characters, and I adored her line to Harry. “HARRY POTTER, YOU LISTEN TO ME!” You go, girl.

Neville is also incredible. It’s amazing to see the little boy who timidly said “I’ll fight you!” to his friends in the Gryffindor common room behead a snake.

I dislike that we didn’t see Fred’s actual death, or Percy redeeming himself. However, the scene was still well done and heartbreaking. Fred and George’s scene during the battle (“Are you okay, Freddie?”) made my heart hurt.

Molly Weasley is perfect. Her line was the line I had been waiting for. As she yelled, “Not my daughter, YOU BITCH!”, my whole theater applauded. It may have been my favorite moment of the night. It was a moment when all Harry Potter fans swelled with pride for our favorite fictional mother.

Harry’s walk through the woods to Voldemort was perfect. The Resurrection Stone scene definitely induced tears. The scene afterward with Dumbledore was a scene I had been waiting for, and I was not disappointed.

The epilogue was great. I was irritated that they didn’t mention the other childrens’ names, for those fans that have only seen the movies. It was very emotional, seeing them all “grown up,” and when it ended I may have cried a bit.

Basically, I need to see it again. Preferably in 2-D this time, to process more. While many minor changes bothered me, all in all, Deathly Hallows Part 2 was a breathtaking way to end the saga.

Though, I’m still in denial that it has even ended. I may be going through the seven stages of grief.

For now, I will listen to the soundtracks, wait for Pottermore, and someday share these books that shaped my childhood with my own children. Hopefully they will inspire and impact them and much as the books did to me 🙂

I leave you with this quote, one of my favorite Dumbledore quotes: “Of course it’s all inside your head, Harry. But why should that mean it isn’t real?”

quote of the day

“It’s much easier to not know things sometimes. Things change, and friends leave. And life doesn’t stop for anybody. I wanted to laugh. Or maybe get mad. Or maybe shrug at how strange everybody was, especially me. I think the idea is that every person has to live for his or her own life and then make the choice to share it with other people. You can’t just sit there and put everybody’s lives ahead of yours and think that counts as love. You just can’t. You have to do things. I’m going to do what I’m going to do. I’m going to be who I really am. And I’m going to figure out what that is. And we could all sit around and wonder and feel bad about each other and blame a lot of people for what they did or didn’t do or what they didn’t know. I don’t know. I guess there could always be someone to blame. It’s just different. Maybe it’s good to put things in perspective, but sometimes, I think the only perspective is to really be there. Because it’s okay to feel things. I was really there, and that was enough to make me feel infinite. I feel infinite.”

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

One of my all-time favorite books, especially that I have read recently. It’s one of those books that makes you physically incapable of putting it down. It really is a life-changing novel that makes you think, and hopefully makes you turn your life around. It teaches readers to just live, and make as much of life as they can. I’m still struggling to apply its message to my own life, but I’m determined that someday I will.

Hello there! I’m Lindsey. I love reading, writing, drawing, photography, crafts… anything creative. So that is what this blog will be about! I’m going to try to review books, TV shows, movies, and music I read/watch/listen to over the summer. Expect analyzations of characters and episodes as well, because that is something I love to do.  There will also be poetry and possibly short stories written by myself, to practice my own writing techniques. Maybe the occasional photo as well.