I grew up to raves, to loud voices of strange female faces making big deals over anything and everything in my house. I always knew my mother to be a crafty and creative woman. Part because of compliments I’d overhear as a child, and part because she lived up to these compliments 27 years later. She always had an eye for things. She’s a painter. She’s a graphic designer. She’s an interior designer. She’s a seamstress. She’s a chef. She was all of these self-renowned professions growing up, and she was really good.
And, she was entirely self-taught.
Then there’s me. A girl standing in the kitchen at 16 with a question disguised as a proclamation: “How can you spend this much time on this?”- this was directed towards my mom as she was painting little leaves for a cake decoration . She had been standing for over three hours. It was, at that time, absolutely outlandish that anything in this world, let alone food, should require so much attention and time.
I never understood it then.
Fast-forward five years and I began to take my very first baby steps in the kitchen. It happened suddenly, and then slowly, one step at a time I began to frequent the family kitchen. And like a child, and a completely amateur, I learned from trial and error- cause and effect.
I now have a food blog? and ironically enough, I am blogging a DIY craft project?
But let me tell you how I arrived at the ‘craft’ part in my life, first. I met my fiancé five years ago, about the same time I was fiddling in the kitchen and burning stuff, especially toast. After I met him (this wonderful, wonderful man), I took a slight keener interest in personalizing items. By that I mean, the type of box I chose, the one that had the cookies I baked. Or, the wrapping paper, and the hour it took to choose the ‘one with the hidden message: “I have artistic taste”.’ Now this might not at all scream Arts & Crafts to you, but this is how it starts.
About two years ago, I started visiting stationary shops, and I can now successfully demonstrate what a good quality paper looks like. And the difference a good pen makes when writing notes, letters, or cards. I began creating and mixing my own wrapping paper, and the hour was now spent on choosing a complimentary ribbon (mixing patterns and colours )- and not to mention all the extra add ons I devoted my time on, like tags, clips, notes.. and all the little things that tie everything together. More time was gladly spent on this part, than on anything else. Then, you begin creating your own note cards, or monogramming them. Or, you begin investing in better quality stationary.
Slowly, as you can see, a pattern forms. And I realized, truly, that we begin changing for the people we love. Maybe it isn’t so much changing as it is wanting to impress those we care so much about. And although impress often carries a negative connotation; in this context, especially, it is deep-rooted from a place of care, and perhaps devotion. A hand-written note wrapped around a jar of cookies is so much more sweeter.
To wrap this up, I wanted to try this technique my sister-in-law showed me with mugs. It was really simple to make, and the outcome, as you can see, is pretty impressive. I thought of it as a great gift idea. And is it not?
A container (any container; possibly one you don’t mind throwing out after)
A paper towel
Your favourite nail polish colours
A mug and saucer (or anything else really)
Process: Fill the container with hot water. Before you pour in your nail polish colours, you must work fast or the colours will begin to dry as soon as they hit the water. Use the toothpick to mix the colours and create a design (example: I used dark blue and black nail polish to achieve the colours in my pictures). Dip your mug in. Dip your saucer in. Let them dry on the paper towel for about an hour or two, and open up a window. That’s all!
Easy, right? I told you.