Monday, September 29, 2014

Antiquated Paper: DIY

  I've always loved old looking paper, and recently I decided to make my own. I'd done this before a couple years ago and I thought I'd try it again using a new method. It turned out really well, so I thought I'd share a DIY with you guys!


   What you'll need:
-A baking sheet
-Sketch paper (this works better than printer paper or card stock)
-Black tea of any kind
-One cup of water
-An oven

   Step 1: Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and boil your water. Meanwhile, lay your paper flat on the baking sheet. If you have more than one piece of paper, make sure they don't overlap.

   Step 2: Steep tea in boiled water for about five minutes, more or less. Use as much or as little tea as you want, depending on how dark you want it.


   Step 3: Pour the tea over the paper, making sure to soak both front and back. (You may not have to use all the tea.) Put in the oven for 20-25 minutes, turning the paper over in the pan half way through.


   Step 4: Pour excess liquid out of the pan, and place paper in the oven for a few more minutes so it can dry out a little and be less fragile to handle. After about five minutes I like to let it air dry the rest of the way. If it stays in the oven to long, it may get to 'crispy' to fold or roll up.


   And that's it! This kind of paper is great for writing old fashioned letters or doing ink drawings on. Thanks to my sisters, Hannah and Sarah, we were able to photograph the process and do a little still-life photo shoot which I think turned out great! I am really awful at photography, so I adjusted the lighting as I was commanded and kept my little brother from climbing on the table and messing things up. (-: Yeah, they probably put more effort into this post than I did... So, thank you guys for putting up with your weird older sister's ideas. 


      Bonus Tips: Remember, every batch of paper you dye is going to be slightly different depending on how dark a tea you use, if you bake it for longer, etc... If you want your paper to look extra distressed, you can crinkle it up before you spread it out in the pan. Burning the edges can also add a dramatic effect if you want.(-: I've also heard that coffee works as a replacement for tea.

    If you have any thoughts, tips, or questions, comment below. And if you happen to try this, tell me how it goes. I love hearing from all of my lovely readers!

~Elizabeth

Monday, September 22, 2014

Happy Hobbit Day!

   I believe I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that I'm a big fan of Tolkien. Well, today I finally have an excuse to talk about my favorite fandom. Happy Hobbit Day! Hamlette at The Edge of the Precipice is hosting a blog party this week in celebration. I am so exited!


Be sure to check out her blog. There are lots of give away's and all kinds of fun stuff!
Here are the questions for the first blog party post:
1.  Who introduced you to Tolkien's stories? 
Well, I actually had to make the introductions myself. You see, I'd heard of the Lord of the Rings before, but I had no idea what these books were about, so one day I decided to be adventurous and check them out at the library. I have never regretted that decision.

2.  How old were you when you first ventured into Middle Earth?

When I checked the Hobbit out at the library I was twelve. I don't know how I didn't hear about Tolkien earlier!

3.  Did you read the books first, or see movie versions first?
I read all of the books first. It wasn't until I was thirteen that I saw the movies.

4.  A dragon or a balrog -- which would you rather fight?
Hmmm... Well, I think I'd prefer a dragon, although I really hate the idea of being incinerated or roasted and eaten for lunch. At least you can talk a dragon out of doing all of those awful things; with balrogs, well, I'm not sure how easy they are to reason with.

5.  Who are three of your favorite characters?  (Feel free to elaborate on why.)
What? Only three favorite characters. Hmm... This is extremely difficult. 
My first character is Sam. Sam is one of the greatest hero's in the books, but he's often forgotten about. I mean, think about it. He's the one who follows Frodo all the way into Mordor. The one who carries all of the supplies, does all the cooking, keeps Frodo's spirit's up, and even saves his life several times. I don't think I remember Sam complaining once. Now that's a hero.
My second character will have to be Gandalf. He's extremely wise and his sense of humor is wonderful. I wish there were more people like him in real life.What could be more awesome than a wizard who's thousands of years old, has been on hundreds of adventures, and is one of the greatest hero's of Middle Earth, but still makes fireworks for his dear friend's birthday party? Plus, he's got some of the best quotes in the books/movies.

And last but not least, one of my favorite heroines, Eowyn. She is such a strong character and I think she'd be a great friend to have. She's brave, wise, and altogether awesome. And she has some of the best costumes ever.
Those are just three of my favorite LOTR characters. What are yours?

6.  Have you ever dressed up like a Tolkien character?
I wish. I'm seriously planning on having a Hobbit style birthday party some day with costumes and everything.(-:

7.  If someone asks you to go on adventure, how do you respond?
An adventure? Take me with you!

8.  Have you read any of the "history of Middle Earth" books?
I have to admit, I haven't, but I intend to own the entire set sometime in the near future. (-: But first I have to read the Silmarillion.

9.  Would you rather drink a bowl of Ent Draught or a glass of Old Winyards?
Hmm... I would like to be a little taller, so I think I'd like a bowl of Ent Draught.

10.  List up to ten of your favorite lines/quotes from the books or movies.
Doesn't Gandalf have the best quotes?



I'm still looking for an opportunity to use this quote...


Have a Happy (belated) Hobbit Day, and definitely go check out  The Edge of the Precipice blog. You won't regret it. (-: 


~Elizabeth

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Janeite Tag!

So this is officially the first tag I have ever done, and I'm super excited about it. (-: Thanks to Evie Brandon of A Period Drama Fangirl.
    

~Thank and link back to the person who tagged you.


~Tell how you were introduced to Jane Austen and share one fun fact about your Janeite life (this fun fact can be anywhere from "I stayed up all night readingEmma," to "I visited Chawton and met Anna Chancellor.").
~Answer the tagger's questions.
~Write seven questions of your own.
~Tag as few as one or as many as seven other Janeites and let them know you've tagged them.

I think I was first introduced to Jane Austen when my mom bought the 1995 version of Sense and Sensability at a garage sale. I was about nine or ten, but I enjoyed it. It wasn't until we borrowed Pride and Prejudice (1995) from the library that I was really hooked. I absolutely loved everything about it. And Lizzy Bennet was amazing and brilliant, etc. I think that Pride and Prejudice is still one of my favorite movies of all times.

Now for the questions:
1) What is your favorite Jane Austen minor couple? I'll have to say Harriet Smith and Robert Martin. They're especially cute together.


2) Would you rather spend a weekend with Mr. Wickham or Mr. Willoughby? Ugg. They're both scoundrels. Okay, since I can't really say neither, I'll have to say Willoughby because he was sorry for his actions in the end and Wickham was not.

3) You've been invited to a ball, what's your first reaction? A ball? Yay! I can't wait. Hopefully I won't embarrass myself with my sad dancing skills, but I really do enjoy dancing.
Here's a hipster Darcy meme, just because...

4) If you could choose a Jane Austen home to live in what would you choose? Netherfield? 
Pemberly? Gosh, there are so many amazing houses to chose from... Well, perhaps I would live at Pemberly for part of the year, and in the summer I would live in the Dashwood's cottage by the sea. It is just so charming! 

5) Darcy or Bingley? Oh, I think Darcy. Bingley is great and all, but Darcy is very intelligent and and a complex character. Besides, he owns Pemberly Estates! 

6) Brandon or Ferrars? Ummm... Oh, gosh, they're both great characters. I don't know why exactly, but I think I like Edward Ferrars better.

7)Knightley or Captain Wentworth? Eenee, menee, minee, moe... Okay, I've finally decided on Knightley. You see, I haven't read Persuasion yet, so I'm not fully acquainted with Captain Wentworth, and Mr. Knightley has some pretty memorable quotes.

My Questions:
~ 1995 or 2005 Pride and Prejudice?
~ If you could meet one Jane Austen character, who would it be, and why?
~ Favorite Jane Austen quote?
~ How many of Jane Austen's novels have you read?
~ Would you rather go a Christmas party with Emma Woodhouse or visit the sea shore with Anne Eliot?
~ Have you ever been to England?
~ Would you rather spend two hours listening to Mrs. Bates ramble or with Mrs. Bennet complaining about her poor nerves?

I tag:
 Kiri Liz at Lianne Taimenlore

Emma Jane at A Lantern in Her Hand
Hannah at The Daisy Tree
Skye Hoffert at Ink Castles
And The P&P95Forever Club

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Challenges

   As a general rule, I don't get excited about Mondays, but this Monday is an exception. Go Teen Writers is doing a 100 for 100 challenge! Yay!

 If you haven't heard of it, it's a 100 day challenge where you write 100 words or more daily. You can register on the Go Teen Writers blog. As I mentioned in an earlier post, my writing schedule has been a bit funky, but this aught to be the perfect thing to get me back in the habit of writing daily. Plus, it will be great preparation for NaNoWriMo in November. An other challenge I have never done before. (-:
   Are any of you planning on doing the 100x100 challenge this year?

xoxo
Elizabeth



Thursday, September 4, 2014

September is Here!

   I haven't posted all week because it's been absolutely crazy! I know it's already the third week of school for me, but I'm still getting into the swing of things. It's been so hectic that I haven't really been taking note of what has been happening around me, so this post is going to be about what I love and am looking forward this fall.
Monet's Autumn Effect at Argenteuil

  • Fall decorations: This week we decorated our bakery with adorable velvet pumpkins. So cute!
  • Now that I'm getting my school schedule under control I'll have more time to write and read. (I'll admit it, I haven't done any work on my WIP this entire week. :-/) 
  • My older sister, Michaela, is driving home from school for the weekend. I can't wait to see her!
  • My friend, Lorena, from France is coming for two weeks next month. I'm really looking forward to meeting her in person. We've been e-mailing for a few months now, and I think we'll have a great time together.(-:
  • Homeschooling is pretty awesome right now. I get to choose all the books I want to read for literature. For example, I'm taking this month to read a few of Shakespeare's plays. I've decided I really need to read Romeo and Juliet, because it's such a well known play. I personally think the story line is really stupid, but then I might end up liking it. I'm only on the first act, so who knows?
  • Since I live in the southwest it doesn't really cool down till late October or sometimes November, but I'm already excited about fall clothing. I love being able to wear cozy sweaters and plaid skirts. Oh, and don't forget the boots and hats!
  These are only a few things that I'm looking forward to/enjoying this fall. I'm sure I'll think of tons more later. What are you looking forward to this fall?
xoxo,
Elizabeth

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