For the last 3 year’s I’ve been sharing my Easter tradition of painting holed out eggs with you guys and I thought as I am not really going to have an Easter post this year we’d have a look back at the last few years in eggs! From natural dyes to silk tie eggs and traditional pysanky…
For Christmas this year I ended up making my friend a personalized Fujifilm Instax Kit to go with her new Instax Mini 8 camera. Inside included a bunch of essentials for starting out with an Instax like film, a carrying case and more. This kit is useful for beginners to Instax or even someone who has had it for a long time as these types of things are useful regardless. Now you can buy premade kits from Amazon which are of great saving but sometimes it’s hard to find every element you want and have a fully customized kit but they are worth having a look at. I ended up buying one medium sized kit and keeping some of it for myself and buying additional elements to it to customize it fully for my friend. Below is each piece I thought was worth adding and links on where to find it individually.
Fujifilm Instax Mini Kit
I have a massive amount of Polaroids and over the years I’ve discovered a few ways for organizing and storing them so I thought I’d share. As the film is no longer common these days there is not a lot products available for storing the film and in fact almost all of my organizers were not intended to be used for Polaroid film. A big distinction I want to mention is when I say Polaroids I am referring to pack film whether it’s Polaroid pack film or the Fujifilm FP-3000B or FP-100C variety (which is still made) and not the other types of Polaroid film. I’ll also be giving tips on how to store your negatives for pack film, if like me you like to keep them instead of throwing them away.
Organize Your Polaroid Film
I use every one of these to store and organize my film and negatives at home and when I am out shooting with my vintage Polaroid cameras. Below I break them down in seperate categories of what they are best for and where to find them.
Practical & On the Go
To be honest this is 90% of what I use for my storage, it’s not the best looking solution but it functions perfectly and for someone who takes a lot of instant photographs it’s very easy to manage and affordable. These are Print File Archival Negative Pages ($10 for 25 pages) which I just put inside a normal 3 ring binder. If you are just storing the film you can put several in each 4×5 pocket because the pack film is actually smaller than the pockets, which also makes for easy removal. If you want use the pages for display you can fit 8 pieces of film on one page using the front and back side. The clear plastic makes it easy to see and no PVC means its great long term storage. I also use these pages, minus the binder when I am outside shooting. I simply bring along as many pages as I need and slip into my bag. The pages fold up easily so you can get it down to the size of just 1 pocket making it easy to bring along. After I’m done taking a photo on my camera I’ll wait for the film to dry and slip it inside one of the pockets. This makes sure my film stays free of dirt, does not touch anything else, and if it isn’t completely dry the worst it will do is stick to the plastic which in my case has never wrecked the film as you can effortlessly peel them apart. Two things to note when using these pages while on the go is that they will collect dirt over time so you will need to replace them after a while and the pages will not prevent the film bending so you want to make sure you are putting these somewhere flat. In my camera bag I put the pages in between the cushion and the outside part of my bag, folded up together, haven’t had a issue with bent photos yet.
The classic way or decorative way for storage is a photo album. You can use modern albums or vintage like I have here in the above shot. Vintage Polaroid photo albums are easy to find online and thrift shopping. I picked up this cute 70s album on Etsy for $10 (examples here) and two plain leather ones for a few dollars locally. They provide affordable storage and very charming at the same time. Keep in mind though that Polaroid film comes in many different sizes, for pack film the perfect album has pockets sized 3 ½ x 4 ¼. Most vintage albums will be this size or large on average so if you don’t mind a bit of extra room there isn’t many that will not work, just avoid square shaped pockets as they are not for pack film and likely too small. You can see in the photo above these vintage albums are great as well for holding smaller vintage photography! Modern albums are made for 4×6 film so technically pack film will fit but I prefer the two above options more. For photography portfolios however I like using Portfolio Nobel albums which come in all different sizes, the smallest being 4×6 or 5×7, I simply use photo corners to keep the Polaroids centered.
When I am out taking photos with my Polaroid I always like to keep the negative side whether I am shooting in black and white or color. So to make sure I can carefully carry back all negatives home I use a simple plastic sheet protector that you can get cheap from any office supplies store, or Dollar store. It can be folded up neatly in any bag before use and doesn’t take up any space at all. Once it has negatives in it what it does is protect my bag and camera equipment from getting any of emulsions and developing goo on them, and only takes up as much room as the negatives. The sheet protector is also long enough to fit the whole back side of the Polaroid including the negative and the paper tab without trimming. This is really important especially if you are shooting and don’t have the time, or the ability to let the negatives dry completely. I normally don’t putting them in completely wet but I have, even with two negatives at once facing away from each other and not had an issue. They will stick to the plastic and stay a little moist but if you must…it’s a great way to get them home. The plastic protector will get dirty with the chemicals after several uses but you can wash it or throw away if it’s too far gone.
Once I am home I like to store the pre-negatives in a plastic container until I have a chance to clean and turn them into proper negatives (only with color pack film – black and white you can scan right away). I picked up this plastic storage container made for 4×6 photography from an art store for a few dollars, it fits the negatives perfectly without me needing to trim the sides or tab. It can sometimes take a few months for me to process them so it’s nice to have a large container to store them in the meantime. You can also use this for storing the film while out shooting but it takes up a larger area, however it’s great for a long vacation when you want to store film in your suitcase. For storing the negatives after processing them, I use the same Print File pages again and store in a binder. I’ve actually wanted to do a tutorial on how to make the back side of pack film into negatives for over a year and never get around to putting all my thoughts together but if you interested and don’t currently do this with yours here one video and another as a guide.
I hope this was helpful! I know when I first started shooting with vintage Polaroid cameras I had no idea how to organize them or store them safely when I was shooting. One time I put my film in-between the pages of my camera manual thinking the film was completely dried and ended up ripping out two pages of the manual as the pages got stuck to the emulsion. Wrecking my vintage manual for the camera and the photo almost entirely, since then I have never trusted pack film to ever be dry no matter how dry it feels. With these organizers I’m really happy with my the safety of my film when I’m shooting and know it’ll get home fine, not to metion how easy it is to find a photo I need in my big binder. If you have any questions about this ask below and please share any tips or suggestions you have!
In May I did a post about starting to make my own homemade vanilla extract. Ideally it takes close to 2 months for the alcohol and vanilla beans to work their magic so I wasn’t able to show the results right away. Now that I have the finished extract however I wanted to update you on how the vanilla extract turned out and show how I am packaging it for friends as presents. If you want to check out the making post first, click here.
The extract after just 1 week, much darker than it was originally. At this point you could just stop and use the vanilla extract but the longer you wait the better the flavor. I could really tell by constantly smelling it each week when I went to shake it what difference each weeks make. The smell of the alcohol slowly starts to turn more and more into a strong vanilla scent.
Here is the vanilla extract right before I packaged it, so dark and aromatic. Now it’s just under the 2 month mark and it’s still has a slight alcohol bitter smell to it that I was under the impression would have disappeared by now. I researched online and it appears the smell of homemade extract will not smell exactly like manufactured vanilla extract which I was use to. People suggest leaving the vanilla beans in longer than 2 months if it’s too bitter. Keep in mind it normally will not affect the overall taste of the extract as the alcohol is burned off when cooking.
A look at all the containers I thought might work wonderfully with the vanilla extract. Keep in mind that glass works best as the alcohol can leech plastic containers. As well it’s recommend the glass be tinted however if it will be spending most of its time in a cupboard I wouldn’t worry about it.
I had no issue filling up 6 containers with just one 750ml bottle of extract. I thought around 100ml containers was a good size for presents to friends and family as most people who do not bake often will take quiet awhile to go through that much extract. For myself I choose the large bottle.
Since I couldn’t leave the extract alone for the recommend two months I decided to cut up the vanilla beans I had used in the large bottle into fairly small but manageable pieces to place at the bottom of each jar. Keep in mind the vanilla beans need to be covered at all times with alcohol so I cut mine small enough to lay flat on the bottom on each the container.
After placing the vanilla beans into each container I simply closed them up and made sure the lids were secure. The easiest way to see if you containers are spill proof ahead of filling them up is to simply fill with water and laying the container on all sides, or shaking it up and check for leaks. Most of the containers I used were intended for dry spices so it’s always good to check.
I am giving my vanilla extract away as house warming presents so I also made labels. I thought of a cute name, Luna Vanilla Extract and wrote that on all my prebought labels. Other ideas for what to write on the label include listing the year/month, the name of reciever, ingredients, storing instructions, how many beans you used in the bottle (if you are testing to find a great combination), or what type of vanilla beans you used (for example I used beans from India).
Vanilla beans are reusable so if I wanted to make another batch right away all I would need to do was fill up the bottle again with more alcohol to cover the vanilla beans, shake up and start again. What I did since I only used 1 1/2 bottles for all the presents was remove the leftover beans out of the first bottle that was finished. Cut them up again so that they’d fit below the line of alcohol in the half used bottle and placed them inside. Then shook the bottle to mix everything together again and have it settle at the bottom. Next I placed the bottle back in a dark place to ruminate a bit longer.
So far haven’t had a chance to bake with it yet but going off the smell alone I think you can’t go wrong to make your own. I can’t wait to see how this next batch turns out and the great thing is that I can wait as long as I want this time so I’ll be sure to update this post with more information if I really notice a big difference between waiting more than 2 months. Hope you liked all my tips and let me know down below if you have any comments or questions!
I mentioned earlier about my brother shipping me a bunch of goodies from his most recent trip travelling around India for half a last year. Well one of said goodies was an insane amount of vanilla beans and as soon as they arrive I realized it would probably take me years to actually bake enough to get through my new supply. So I decided to do the most logical thing and make homemade vanilla extract. I had no idea what that required until I googled it and my first reaction – vanilla extract is vodka?? I am so ashamed to have not known the ingredients of extract considering I did pre-culinary school courses. My second reaction was how easy it was to make, just some 35% proof alcohol, a few vanilla beans in a glass jar and a little time.
To start off you will need a cutting board, knife, any type of alcohol you prefer over 35% proof (vodka, bourbon, rum), vanilla beans (mine are Indian variety which have a hint of chocolate) and since my bottle of vodka is in a glass jar – I’m all set. This by the way is only half of my vanilla beans.
So to start the number of vanilla beans is really up to you, there is no agreed upon correct amount per liquid. Every recipe I found online uses a slightly different amount, as well excess doesn’t necessary mean a better or stronger flavor. I had a 750ml bottle of vodka so I went with 1 vanilla bean per 60ml (or 2 fluid ounces) in total of 13. To prep the beans I cut off the ends, flattened them down with the side of the knife and sliced in half to expose the beans.
Simply add the sliced vanilla beans into the glass container. I removed a shot glass of vodka out of the glass container first to make sure there was enough room. Any glass container will do, just make sure the alcohol is above the beans. As I was using the whole bottle of vodka I decided to simply use it to save time and I knew I would be repackaging the extract after it was made. The container HAS to be glass as the alcohol will leech any plastic container over time.
I left 4 vanilla bean halves out when I was adding them in and simply scraped them down the middle to get the vanilla seeds and placed both the stalk and the seeds into the container. Not required but I wanted to guarantee that my extract would have some seeds at the bottom. After that I topped the container up with some of the vodka I had taken out earlier and put on the cap.
The last step is to shake the concoction up and place in a cold dark area. I am using one of my bottom kitchen cupboards. Now just to leave it alone and shake it up once a week while the magic happens. The extract should be useable in a few weeks however the ideal time is to wait 6 weeks and you can go longer. I will be sure to show you the results at the end of June and how I will be bottling up my vanilla extract to gift to friends and use.
Anytime you have a film camera the evitable question is how do I organize all my shots after I’ve taken them? Thought I’d do one specifically for organizing Instax mini films today as I’ve already done a ‘How To’ for organizing negatives (here) and plan on doing one for Polaroid film soon. Plus there is a lot you can do with Instax film and it’s great to get creative. Hope you find this information help, and let me know in the comments if you have your own suggestions!
My first tip is the most obvious for organizing, ALBUMS. It’s easy to find albums online and in fact they are pretty affordable but my biggest tip is to buy off of Ebay. Like with any Instax mini accessory I always recommend looking on Ebay because North American just isn’t as into Instax cameras as much as people in Japan, Korea and other countries in China. So unless you live there, it’s the best way to see what they have. What they have that you won’t find anywhere is variety and price. Whether that meas color, patterns and even album material and size (albums for 24 shots, 64 shots, 84 shots, and even over 100+ ). I even have a Little Twin Star album that matches some of the film I have and all of them I bought for around $5 each with free shipping. All the albums I have except the mini album are 64 shots, my favourite being the two faux leather albums. If you don’t like Ebay, Amazon America (Canada’s is terrible still) has been getting way more variety in albums the last few months than they use to, although usually more expensive.
If you want another way to organize/show you Instax film here are 4 ideas that I think can be really fun. The best, and one I love the most is photo walls. Simply use tack, tape, pins or anything really and stick the film on the wall. I’ve made them with other types of film in the past but right now I prefer having artwork on my walls instead, so here are a few awesome Instax walls for reference (here, here, and here). Second idea if you want a bit more structure that will probably be less damaging to your walls use Fotoclips. They are made to be used to any type of film and are great if you are worried about the film curling up. Third is the wall sheet which fits 10 or 20 shots that can be hanged on the wall or used as a curtain. I bought a bunch of them with the idea of making them into curtains but haven’t really used them yet. Check out this photo to see what it’d look like, also useful if you don’t want dirt or dust getting on your photos. The fourth idea is more for protective storage but you can use card protectors which just happen to be the same size of Instax mini film.
My biggest concern when I first got my Instax Mini 90 camera was how the hell do I store the film when I’m out taking shots or while I’m waiting for them to develop. A lot can happen between then and getting home sometimes and you don’t want to ruin that perfect shot you just took before you even have time to share it. My favourite and most reliable way to store Instax film when out of the house is the mini album. The reason why it’s amazing is because it’s tiny enough to fit in most of my purses and camera bags and will not become an inconvenience like a bigger album (belows shot is so you can compare a mini album to a medium sized one). It also means your film will not get bent, and it holds 24 shots which for me mean I can take it for weekend trip like camping and have plenty of room to store all my shots in. Other alternatives can be the photo wall I showed above which is about the same size as the mini album except it’s a tad longer but much skinner; or the card protectors which are great if you are mostly worried about the film getting dirty and want to slip it into a pocket or bags. The only down side to both of them is the film can get bent.
Well storage can be anything, but I love these hipster wooden cases and wanted to share them. I just picked up my own in both styles and can’t wait for them to arrive.
I am so excited to show you all my silly tattooed Easter eggs that I made this year. If you haven’t seen my DIY for how to make these yourself, you can check out it out here. I’ve actually updated the original concept of using temporary tattoos to design eggs for ornaments or to use as center pieces. Instead this year I changed it up and went with plastic eggs that I bought at my local Dollarama instead of blown out eggs (they work pretty good but for some reason they attract a lot of dirt and loose particles so I washed them a few times throughout). I also decided to make a few for my friend who has twins, a 2 year old boy and girl. So I thought I’d do designs they’d like, so I made Batman, Cinderella, unicorns and Easter temporary tattoos eggs. As well I used much nicer ribbon this year around. My favourite at the Easter designs and the glow in the dark Batman ones which were really fun to make. Let me know what you think in the comments and show me pictures if you make your own, would love to see other people’s designs.
And one last me with the eggs just for fun! Had so much fun making these, because of my concussion I haven’t had a chance to pick up my Easter tree yet so the ornaments ones can’t be hung up just yet but the rest I have in a festive bowl on my table with the rest of my Easter goodies. Hope you have a great weekend! I’ll be posting all weekend since I have a lot of Easter content to share so you can check back if you like looking at my crazy obsession with Easter, lol.
July’s Do It Yourself project for paper switch plates came to me last week while I was deciding what to do with the ugly beige switch plates I have all over my house. I went to Canadian Tire to pick up new ones after disappointing not finding anything better than plain white online. It wasn’t until I was re-watching a DIY video made by a vlogger I like doing a project with manga switch plates (here) that I realized how easy it was to customize my own! What better to go in my purple living room than a cherry blossom light switch? As soon as it occurred to me that I could use scrapbooking paper to make mine more interesting and to match my pastel house I was set on this project (and scraped my other DIY idea for next month). This is a super simple beginner project and a nice way to accessorize your house if like me you’ve went a little unconventional with the wall colors or for a kid’s room! It’s also great if your a renter because switch plates cost around 26 cents so it’s an easy way to decorate the house in a non-permanent way. Let’s get into it…
- Mod Podge
*you can use any glue&sealer
- Origami paper, scrapbooking paper, comics, wrapping paper…
- Foam brush
- Ruler & pen
- Scissors / exacto knife
- Switch plates
*found at your local hardware store or your wall
Price: Under $15
*if you craft often you may not need to buy anything
This month’s DIY has been a long time in the making. I’ve wanted to make display of hanging origami paper cranes in my office for months. I am a huge fan of paper cranes and have in the past made 1000 paper crane chains for good luck. In the last few years I have given away most my chains and made a few new ones for friends but I have always kept a few of the unchained cranes so I thought I’d make a display piece on my living room ceiling with the remaining. I was inspired by the paper crane displays that are popular at weddings but wanted to make a permanent installation of them. I like a much cleaner look of having single strands but single strands would also mean a ton of holes in my apartment’s ceiling so I’m making paper crane mobiles to reduce that but still get the look of single lines. These paper crane mobiles look great on their own, in pairs, and all over like mine – it’s a really easy project – just needs patience and time!
- Origami paper
*large, medium or small squares
- Wooden circle dowels
- Thread/Fishing wire/String
- Craft glue
- Push pins or wall hooks
$10 for materials minus the cranes
For the cranes depending on the amount, variety and the quality of paper roughly around $10-$20
- Make all your paper cranes. Great thing to mix it up is having various patterns, colours and sizes. I have a tutorial on how to make them here!
*I ended up making new paper cranes in various sizes as well as using ones I’ve been hording for the last 5 years. I do have a lot of variety of paper, my pro tip is buy paper from your local Chinatown and make sure you get double sided paper. Low quality origami paper is super frustrating and if you are making a lot you will not enjoy the process.
- Plan out how you want the canes to look overall. Basic decisions to make are: Multiple cranes per thread? Different lengths? Different colors, and sizes of cranes? Lots or a few? Single dowel or mobile? Color coordinated or random cranes? How many dowels? Invisible thread, or colors?
*this is just for getting the right amount of supplies and cranes needed and having a bit of light game plan. Since this project is very open ended, I can’t really say how many of each you’ll need. For the thread I just bought at a local art store for 69 cents each and they had around 50 various shades which is prefect for finding the exact color you want.
- Paint your dowels and leave to dry overnight.
*this is easiest option if you prefer not see the wood, I have a more time consuming option instead that I prefer below Step 6.
- Using the thread and needle you will want to make enough chains to start you off.
*there are many ways to make paper crane chains, here is a video I made of how I like to do mine.
- Grab 1 dowel and decide which chains you want to use and tie them loosely to the dowel leaving extra string to wrap around the dowel at least twice. Tie them loosely so you can change you mind and play around with the overall look and remember if you don’t have a chain that fits you can always make another.
- Now that you have a complete dowel with the heights, color and amount of cranes you want, you will want to wrap the thread at the top of each chain over the dowel and glue the end using a craft glue.
Optional: For a really polished look instead of painting the dowels use a whole bundle of thread. (it will take almost a whole bundle of thread so I bought a cheap pack of 20 various colored thread for $3).
I have a quick video of me doing it as it’s hard to explain:
- If you aren’t doing the above wrap technique to hang the dowel without having to worry about balance you will want to create a ‘handle’. Tie a piece of thread to each side and then wrap the ends of the thread around the dowel and glue the ends to make secure.
*you can create a proper mobile with multiple dowels, this is a great example!
- Hang the mobile(s) on the ceiling / wall with either push pin, nail or a hook.
Optional: For an extra splash if you don’t mind too many holes in the ceiling, add some chains directly from the ceiling to flesh out any gaps.
Having a Closer Look
Another extra DIY for Easter to make up for missing last month’s DIY project. This one is super cute and easy to do. All you need is temporary tattoos you like, some patience and very little else. I’ll also be showing you how to make ornaments out of the finished eggs as well for those of you want to hang them up or like me celebrate Easter with a tree (it’s an old German tradition to have an Easter tree). This project is great for those of you who have kids too as you can create themed eggs so easily. Superheroes, dragons, flowers, skulls, moustaches, cartoons – pretty much anything as long as you can find them as temporary tattoos. I’m going to be making Hello Kitty Easter eggs because I have a few friends who love her and I thought it’d be a cute gift idea. I also picked up temporary tattoos from Dollarama of flowers and butterflies since I thought they’d be cute and be great ornaments.
- Temporary tattoos
- Easter egg dye
- Scissors and thread or lace
*only if you want to make ornaments
For this month’s DIY I wanted to make something in celebration of one of my favourite holidays – Easter! This DIY project has been around for a long time and hit the mainstream due to Martha Stewart years ago so it’s not the most original but I wanted to show you guys anyways. I’ve wanted to make these ever since my friend showed me a photo of silk dyed eggs last year. It was the first time I had ever seen them before and was blown away with how cool they were. I make pysanky eggs almost every year because my grandmother was obsessed with them and it’s just a really fun activity to do with friends. Plus dyed eggs make great decorations either for Easter or year around in a bowl (I keep mine in a glass vase on my bookshelf). For my version I will be blowing out the eggs so the eggs can be kept permanently however if you are using them just for Easter hard boiling will be fine, just remember that silk dyes are toxic so the eggs shouldn’t be digested (the worst part of Easter for me was being forced as a kid to eat my decorated eggs – not a fan). I would consider this project intermediate level and not very kid friendly but if you want an easier and quick way to decorate eggs I have another DIY coming up on Wednesday that might be better!
- Silk ties or scarfs
- Egg blower kit
*I bought my locally from a Ukarine store but available online here
- Muslin or scrap white fabric
- Twist ties or piper cleaner
- Seam ripper or scissors
Cost: $20 approximately
(the price for all the items required except the silk)
How To: Battery Conversion for Polaroids
I am very excited about today’s Vintage Tuesday post as it’s my “How To” for converting Polaroid cameras to take AA or AAA batteries instead of the original camera battery. I’ve been waiting a long time to do this modification to my Polaroid Land Camera 210 and as soon as my battery holder arrived in the mail I pounced! Most older Polaroid Land Cameras use a custom 3V or 4V battery type that is hard to find (not impossible mind you if you look online) and relatively expensive. So it’s ideal to do this simple and cheap conversion and that way you can spend more money on film! Speaking of film, I heard right after doing this mod to my camera about the discontinuations of FP-3000B Fujifilm Black and White instant film. Let’s just say I am very sadden by this news and have signed this petition to have Fujifilm reconsider – highly suggest you sign if you use instant film because this the last and only black and white instant film on the market anymore. Anyways sad news aside below is simple steps for the conversion, it took me no time at all and the only thing I bought was the battery holder for $2. Make sure to click on the photos for the better view of the steps.
- A Polaroid camera
- Electrical tape
- Electronic pliers
- Battery case holder
*for AA or AAA batteries (3V bought here)
*to figure out what voltage you need for each type of Polaroid camera this guide is great!
- Using pliers snip off the old battery ends as we will not be using them.
- Using the pliers stripe the plastic coating so you have exposed wiring for both black and white.
*I did go back and restrip so I had more exposed wiring as this amount was not long enough
- The battery holder I am using comes with wiring already and had the ends striped. However you can trim down the length.
*it’s been awhile since I’ve done any wiring so I left mine intact in case I made any mistakes.
- Now twist the wires, black to black and red to white.
*I had to do this a few times as my wires were not that long and the older Polaroid wiring was frayed badly.
- Before doing anything else put batteries in the holder and test to make sure the connections are being properly made. There is two ways to see if the shutter is working. First: open up the back of the camera where the film goes and try taking a photo, you should be able to see the light from the open shutter. Second: Fire off the shutter once when there is no batteries in the holder and again when there is and listen for the difference. If the batteries are connected correctly there should be a 2nd distinct click sound when you let go of the shutter that wasn’t there before.
- Take electrical tape and wrap the exposed wires.
- Take pliers (or anything that will work for you) and snap off all the old battery holder plastic to make room for the new case. This step should be #1 but I wasn’t very confident and well I am one of those people who hates doing permanent modes to cameras.
*this was actually the hardest part and took me an hour, keep in mind I had to be careful about the wiring so I think it’d be much easier if done as the first step. I also gave up towards the end so my holder just barely fits.
- Insert the battery holder with the batteries and close the case.
*you can add foam to secure the case so it doesn’t move around however since I didn’t gut the insides out completely it’s tight enough that it doesn’t move.
*as you can see my wires are very long – would reccomend trimming them however not a big issue.
- Take photos!
This month’s DIY project is a little niche and silly but I think it’s adorable. I love chalkboards and nowadays you can make anything a chalkboard. I had painted a wall in my old apartment into a chalkboard a few years ago and have been missing it a lot (although FYI chalkboard walls are so messy and not ideal if you are a clean freak). One chalkboard I had never seen though is instant film chalkboard which is strange because instant film is a paintable surface and already has a cute frame built in which makes it ideal. I’ve also been wanting to find a project for instant film because my vintage Polaroid camera is a monster and jams at least once per roll so I end up with tons of over exposured or unexposed film. Now if you don’t have access to instant film, this is pretty much exactly what you’d do with any other surface anyways so it’ll still make a good reference.
- chalkboard paint
*comes as either paint or spraypaint
- chalkboard chalk
- blank Fuji instant film
*I am using over exposured Fujifilm FP-110C Continue reading %s
It’s the start of a new year which means that there will be a few changes coming to Citizen Erased. It’s almost been the year anniversary since I first started posting daily and leaping into the world of blogging. I’ve tried a lot of various posts over the year to try and find my style and what I like to post about. I hope some of that material has been either useful or interesting to you guys (hit me up with feedback in the comments anytime). This year I’ve decided to stick with having formatted days because I am a bit of an organizational freak and with me working full time it just makes my life easier. Below will be the schedule, which I am sure may need some tweaking throughout the year and is more a rough estimate. I am really excited to test out more cameras and continue to develop film myself in the new year!
Schedule for 2014
- Pick of the Week – either an Etsy store feature, a book /store review, or a recipe.
- Vintage Tuesdays – bi-weekly vintage photography or cameras, photography I’ve taken with a vintage camera, and how to’s related to vintage cameras.
- Featured Artists – bi-weekly I will be featuring an artist’s work that I enjoy (hoping perhaps to start doing interviews with artists as well).
- Lomography Wednesday – bi-weekly photography taken with toy cameras, toy camera reviews and how to’s.
- Double Exposures – bi-weekly double exposure photography taken by myself.
- Weekly sharing of past photo shoots or casual photo sets of my life.
- Butter – cute photos of my cat while I talk about my week.
- 365 Challenge – monthly posting of my 365 Project where I take a photo every day. I post them daily on my tumblr and FB page as well. Will end in March.
- Monthly DIY – every month I do a DIY project which can vary between homemade pins to lamps made with slides.
- Month in Review – on the first week of the month I will review what happened that month, my favourite posts, and any updates or changes to the blog.
- Otherwise for the Saturdays that don’t have the above two posts it will a day off for me.
- Self-Portrait Sunday – weekly self portraits either current or from previous photo shoots.
- Camera Profiles – exploring me as a photographer with one of my many cameras.
- 52 Weeks of Self Portraits – will start in April after my 365 Project is over, basically a weekly self portrait series.
I wanted to show you guys this super fun way of making film notes to send to friends. I first discovered this cute and easy method for sending notes when my friend PawPaw sent me one from Mexico. It’s such a great idea and if you have film canisters laying around it’s a great way to recycle them. When I develop film I never know what to do with the leftovers so I’ve been keeping them for little notes to include with various friend’s Christmas presents, it’s kind of like a message in a bottle. Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried this!
- Empty 35mm film canister
*if you are having trouble finding ask a local photography lab or just buy a cheap roll and remove film
- Tape or glue
- Pen / Ruler
- Measure the height of the film (35mm) on 1 or 2 pieces of paper along both sides.
*Any type of paper will work
- Then cut the paper into stripes with scissors or an exacto knife.
- Take your stripes and tape/glue together until you have a long line of paper. I used 5 stripes.
- Open canister and then take out film spool. Tape paper to spool.
- Re-spool paper like film.
- Put spool back in canister leaving a lead of paper.
- Start writing your message
*You can do it in sections or write the message all the way down the paper.
- Respool and leave a lead again.
*Extra: pop into film container and send it on it’s way.
This Month’s DIY is one of those projects I’ve been dying to do for over a year and just never done, a no sew tshirt pillow. I’ve had the stuffing for this project for almost a year and half now, I even packed it when I moved so it’s really due. The reason it’s taken me so long to get around to making these is I couldn’t decide if I wanted to do a no sew method or sew them but I finally realized that a sewing machine is not really high up on my list of things I need. So I thought I’d make a few of these no sew pillows in the meantime and check it out. It’s a super simple project and beginner level so if you have any old t-shirts around this is a great way to reuse them and add some comfy additions to your couch or bed.
- Old t-shirt
- Crayon or chalk
*I bought mine from a local fabric store for $5 for 1lb. Continue reading %s
When I first started getting into film photography one of the hardest things was finding the film I needed. More and more these days stores that would normally carry film no longer have any stock, let alone carry specialized film like 120 or instant. A lot of camera stores as well have been losing business over the last decade so they tend to mark up film that is already expensive to begin with. It’s a really big hump that can prevent people from getting into film photography or giving up due to the cost. So I thought I’d share where I get mine and why I think it’s a great place as I was in this position about 2 years ago myself and was getting super frustrated with finding affordable film. This guide is for people in Canada and United States as I currently live in Canada and I am only aware of North American stores. However the online stores I reference are based out of New York City and do offer international shipping. Continue reading %s
This month’s DIY project is super fun to do for Halloween and can be used to hold candy, decoration or as a container. My best friend Ana made me a playful jewelry box a few years ago that I treasure so I thought a coffin one would be a great twist to make her one and for myself I am making a silly treat box for work. This project is suitable for beginners and on average cost less than $10 to make and can easily make more than 2 at a time. Half of the stuff you will need can be found around the house, the trickiest item to find will be the coffin container. I found mine at a local Dollarama store, but I have seen them online, and in various craft stores. I bought my velvet paper at a local art store Deserres in the scrapbooking section and the remaining items are easy found at most craft/art or dollar stores.
- Coffin container
- Velvet paper
- Optional: Rhinestones, photo, lace, pearls, dried or fake flowers, cobwebs, spiders, Halloween stickers
When you start getting into film cameras and lomography one of things you don’t take into account is how much negatives you are going to end up with. They just start to pile up after a while and that’s when you realize you are going to need a way to store them and make sure they are preserved for future printing. This doesn’t matter if you have a few rolls or a filled box – it’s great to have them stored properally. Now that I spend so much of time with film cameras I’ve realized how important this is. I thought I’d create a little tutorial on what I do with my negatives for those of you who have started to get into film photography or even if you want to help a family member sort theirs (keep in mind before the mid-2000s everyone had film cameras).
- Permanent Marker
- Dust cloth
- 3 hole punched binder
*I recommend a binder that has a cloth cover that zips up as it helps with keeping out dust and light.
- Archival Sheets
- Stapler/ paperclips, Scissors, Clothespins
Information about archival sheets:
You can get many different kinds of archival sheets for all types of film. I use 120 and 35 film so I have archival sheets for both. Most sheets are a standard sizes and will fit in a 3 holed binder, the most difference you’ll find is some have top loading or areas to add notes. So have a look around until you find what you want. A great thing is that it’s easy to find packages for the right amount for what you need, whether it’s 20 sheets or 100. (I buy my sheets here, my exact sheets 120 and 35). I also started making negatives with my Fuji instant film and the archival sheets for medium format cameras works great for those negatives or even just Polaroid photos you want to protect. Continue reading %s
I love unique jewelry organizers, and they are one of the most popular DIYs you can find on sites like Pinterest. It’s not hard to understand why as by the time you are half way through your 20s you seem to have more jewelry than you know what to do with. I love having my jewelry available and in a convenient location but still aesthetically pleasing. My first DIY for the site was a jewelry organizer and it worked great however I had the hooks directly into the wall which is not a great option for people that are renting or conscious about putting too many holes in the walls. Of course as soon as I moved I was out of a jewelry organizer for that very reason. It’s been months since we moved and still just have my jewelry sitting on top of my dresser in a pile – it’s awful. So finally I decided it was time for Jewelry Organizer 2.0. This time I am going to showing how to create a simply and cheap organizer using shelves instead!
What You Will Need:
- Shelf or shelves
- Hammer & nail
(easy to pick up from any hardware store available in various sizes and colors)
- Paint & brush Continue reading %s
It seems like everywhere you go nowadays there is moustache related paraphilia. And what better than incorporate moustaches into your next party whether it’s a birthday, wedding, you name it. Who doesn’t want a moustache themed photo booth? Today I am going to show a super simple way of making your own moustaches on sticks for a photo booth or shoot. I made these for my friend Nicole’s bachelorette party that happened in July. I wanted to make unique moustaches to match her personality so no standard boring black ones here. She loves animal prints so I went with leopard and zebra print so use your imagination and have a look at your local art or craft store for ideas. Let me know what you think in the comments below, and check out my mini photo-shoot I did with Nicole’s daughter with them, here!
- Pencil or pen
- Tape or hot glue gun
- Computer and printer
- Craft sticks
- Craft paper, card stock or scrapbooking paper (1-3 sheets)
* keep in mind if this for multiple use as you will want to buy sturdier paper
- Using Google search for moustache cut-outs that are in a style you like and save to your computer*you can also find cut-out shapes for glasses, pipes, hats, etcetera!
- Using an editing program like Photoshop resize the moustaches to be the size you would like whether for adults or kids. *you can play around with smaller moustaches and more comically large ones, keep in mind you may need to print some out to check on the size and make sure they will fit.
*TIP: don’t want to spend your time searching and resizing cut-outs, check out Etsy stores like this
- Print out your final moustache designs and cut out
(Keep in mind if you are great at drawing and can free hand moustache outlines, you can skip these step)
- Take your moustache cut-outs and lay flat on the paper (none patterned side if you have patterned paper). Trace around moustache.
*TIP: if you have plenty of cut-outs I like to lay them all out at once and organize where they will go to maximize how many can fit on 1 piece of paper before tracing.
- Now that you have the moustaches traced out on the paper, simply cut out.
- Take the cut out moustaches and apply the craft stick to the back (non-patterned side) using either hot glue or tape
*if you wish to reuse the moustaches I suggest investing in hot gluing them, plus it will be easier to do those tricky thin moustaches
*TIP: make sure you are putting the sticks in a good place as to not obscure the face, that means with some items like hats or lips you may to attach them on a diagonal.
*TIP: alternate between putting the sticks on the right and left hand side, that means people can hold multiple items like a pipe and a moustache, and it’s always good to accommodate those left handers (like me – hehe)
- A look at all the different designs I did for moustaches, hats, tiara, sun glasses and a pipe.
- That’s it, the only thing left now is to take silly photos with your photo booth moustaches
Shots from the Bachelorette Party:
I’ve been waiting to decorating my new office since moving and now that I have my light purple walls I finally can. I have so many pieces of artwork from talented artist to hang up there however I want to frame all the pieces before I do which will take awhile. Instead I wanted to work on another section of my wall. I collect so many bits and bobs but struggle to have them out in the open so I can see them and be inspired, and that’s were the inspiration for this project came from. I do not like cork board from previous experience and my old old house had a chalk board (it takes a lot of time and is very messy) so I wanted to try something new. A hanging memories organizer seemed like a great way to show off my bits and bobs in a way that is easy to organize and easy to change out pieces when I get new inspiration or photos. It also allows me the freedom of choosing what to hang, memories, photography, art, business cards, presents, notes, lists…you can really use it for anything.
- Ruler, marker, scissors
(ribbon, yarn, fishing wire)
(a few types shown but I will being using the circle ones)
- Paper clips
- Hammer and nail
*Decorate your own paper clips!
*Metal and plastic clips are much rougher on your photos/bits and bobs, be careful and test out before.
Time & Cost:
10 minutes, and roughly $5-10 depending on what you have at home.
There are a few ways to convert a 127 camera to take 35mm film. The easiest is if you own a 127 camera that is wide enough to allow for the 35mm cartridge to sit inside of it or if you don’t have a camera that is able to do that (like me) you will have to respool 35mm film onto a 127 roll.
This month I am showing you one of my favourite things to make – origami crane chains. Paper origami chains or garlands can be a beautiful addition to your décor at home or for any kid’s room. Even simply individual cranes can really add a bit of whimsy. (I keep a random assortment in a jar for a bookend and have a variety of chains around my house tucked in closets or hanging in my bedroom). The ones I’m working on at the moment are for my friend’s two new baby twins for good luck.
What you will need:
- Thread (or yarn just make sure the needle is big enough or fishing string)
- Safety pin, button, beads or ribbon (optional)
- Origami paper in any size or amount
TIP: Where to buy paper? Your local Chinatown or paper/stationary store.
TIP: Small paper makes really adorable chains and differently color paper can add extra flare to your chain.
TIP: Be careful what material you buy, not all paper is created equal. Some paper will make the process of making them harder than others. My suggestions if you are not getting traditional paper, is to get good quality paper ones. Textured paper is much harder to work with, like foil or shiny paper. If you are not sure, I recommend buying a small pack and making a few first to try it out. And keep in mind that the coolest, cutest paper is going to be folded in so many different ways that if the design isn’t a constant pattern you may not even see it in the finished project.
Step 1: Make Paper Cranes!
This video shows you the two different methods that I use to make paper cranes:
*Choice a makes a much fuller body. Choice b will make a much crisper and more upright head and body. Both choices look good to me so I make them either way but for the chain make sure you make them all the same way.
Tip: The key to perfect or almost perfect cranes is the creases. Make sure you are aligning everything as best as you can before folding down and make sure you use your hand to press down creating a strong crease. You’ll notice any fold made without a perfect crease or alignment will pop up later usually in the tail or head. Don’t worry if it takes a while to become good at this or if it isn’t perfect, a lot of times the crane will turn out fine. As well a pen or pencil can be a big help when starting out for the first few steps.
Step 2: Planning
Great so now that we have our selections of cranes to choose from you have a few decisions to make. 1. How long do I want it to be? 2. What kind of pattern do I want? 3. Do I want spaces between the cranes? What I like to do is layout the cranes in the pattern I’d like before I even start making the chain. You want to avoid having to undo any steps and if you bought different types of paper it allows you to play around with the pattern and see what looks good together.
Step 3: Starting the Chain
Thread the needle in any color of thread you’d like (if you want spaces between the cranes keep in mind it will be visible so choose a complimentary color or you could use fishing string which is clear). I suggest cutting the thread and making it about 20cm longer than you want the chain to be. Next you will need to decided what style for the bottom you want. There is three ways to start the chain:
- Tying a knot at the bottom of the thread.
*I personally don’t think this is a good option for a long lasting chain, keep in mind the more cranes the heavier it will be.
- Sew a button/bead to the bottom of the thread.
- Tie a knot at the bottom then sew into the bottom crane using the thread, do a few passes through the crane body at the very bottom.
*this is how I like to make mine as it is almost completely invisible and creates a strong chain.
Step 4: Threading the cranes
Regardless of how you started the chain you will now take the cranes and insert the needle in the hole at the bottom of the crane, pierce the middle area of the body of the crane and repeat until you have done all the cranes. The cranes already have a natural hole at the bottom and on the body due to the folding there is perfect X for the top.
TIP: Alternatively you can thread the cranes with spaces between them. Leave a space of thread between each crane and tie a knot or put a bead for the next crane to rest on.
Step 5: Ending the Chain
For mine I like to tie the thread onto a safety pin for easy hanging. You can also do a knot or a loop with the thread and leave as is or attach to a ribbon for hanging. Lots of other options are available so don’t be afraid to play around with it. Try 20 paper cranes, or 1 or 3, there is so many possibilities. These are a few of the ones I’ve created.
Of course Butter had to be apart of this DIY, she decided when I was going through my old paper cranes chains to try and sleep on them. She has not been a fan of paper cranes since she was little.
If you make these are home please send me photos, I’d love to see them! Or if you have any further questions about the materials or steps let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kittens of Boxville DIY Project! This project came from the book and postcards of the same name from Japan by Ryosuke Handa and Yoneo Morita. I’ve been waiting to make this for my cat for months and finally did it in January as a late Christmas present to Butter. This project was so much fun so I thought I’d share what I’d did in case you want to make your own. And the great thing about this project you can make anything, whatever you can paint goes!
What you’ll need: $10 or less (Most of the supplies are common to find around the house. I use the generic acrylic paint you find at Dollarama)
- The biggest box you can find. I kept waiting for a bigger box but finally settled on this one, it’s a bit small for Butter so I may make another one soon. Ask around and make sure you get one big enough for your cat to be comfortable.
- Paints, whatever you’ve decided to make sure you get colors that you think will work well. It can be colorful, realistic, or futuristic. I do recommend getting black for adding details.
- Brushes, I suggest fine brushes for details in a variety of sizes and 1 large paint brush for applying paint to larger areas.
- Scissors or a box cutter.
- Paper and glue. I got glittery red paper for making letters on hard card stock.
Step 1: Pick a design! Your Boxville house can be anything. A fire station, town hall, a church, school, clock tower, office building, a store, your own house… I love baking so I decided to make mine a cupcake bakery for my cat Butter. Think of a witty name if you are making a store for later!
Step 2: Using box cutters or scissors cut off all flaps for one end of the box as you want nothing on the bottom of the house. Save flaps for later. Cut out your door. You can make a front and back door if you’d like in any shape. I made only a front door for more privacy, in an oval shape and made it be almost the full side of the box. I recommended you make the doors on the short sides of the box unless you are making it for a kitty. You can save the door part if you want to make a swinging door or an entrance, and I will show later how I used mine.
Step 3: Paint the cardboard box the main color on all sides. I wanted mine white so I had to do 3 coats to get the coloring I wanted waiting 30minutes between coats. Keep in mind, darker colors are easier and if your box has logos on it you may need several coats in the areas the logos are to cover. I painted my box with it laying down doing one side at a time as I found it easier. Keep in mind cardboard when it gets wet can change shapes so after its dries put books on top for a few hours to make is flat again.
Step 4: Roof Part I – Paint. There are so many different kinds of roofs designs you can choose, looking on google is a great reference. I own the Kittens of Boxville book so I used that as reference for mine. I used a ruler to draw the lines because I wanted it to be exact but I free handed most other parts so it’s up to you how much you want to freehand and how much you want to draw on before painting. I used a sharpie for the lines and the paint covered it’d without issue. I wanted my roof to have a ceiling so I also painted one of the extra flaps in the same colors to match me design.
Step 5: A sign! Signs are fun so I toke glittery red paper from Dollarama and hand drew the words “Butter’s Cupcakery” on the white side backwards and cut out. Then I used normal liquid glue to attach onto the cardboard. You can always paint your sign too.
Step 6: Details. This is where you can really let your creativity take over. I wanted to make a fake back door, fake windows on one side and two real windows on the other. So I used the box cutter (this would be hard to do with scissors) to cut out two windows and added paint for details while painting the fake door and windows. I did all this by hand using the ruler more for spacing and I’m a terrible painter. So its easy, trust me and remember this is for your pet! It doesn’t have to be perfect and making it should be fun. As well I made the piece I cut out for the front door into a side element to add more dimension and added cupcakes on the side to make it looks more like a shop. As well I added some swirls and dots on the side to make it appear more like an actual building (a very colorful building that is)
Step 7: Smoke stack. Take a left over flap and paint it any color you like, then with the ruler and a marker make identical size rectangles shapes and then cut out with scissors or a box cutter. I left my design very plain, it would be easy to make a nice brick detail if you’d like. I just used glue and tape after the paint was dry to attach all sides together. I didn’t attach the smoke stack to roof.
Step 8: Roof Part II – Making a roof. Now you want to make the roof using the flaps at the top in the upright position to give your cat more room. It’s up to you if you want a slant roof or a square one, or open or closed. I wanted mine to be enclosed as I mentioned in the previous roof step so I had painted one of the leftover flaps to be the ceiling. For the slanted roof look use all of the attached flaps of the long side and then cut a triangle on both sides of the end flaps to create the slant. Then I used safety pins to hold it together on the corners and to the ceiling flap (I tried tape and toothpicks but both didn’t work very well for me)
Step 9: Finishing Touches! You are all done, wait for the smell of paint to fade so your cat will go and explore their new house. I put mine on top of a cat blanket for extra comfort. Another great idea is to put this ontop of the kitty litter just make sure its big enough to fit the litter box inside.