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Crayon Art inspired by Lisa Frank

This bit of creativity is a throwback to your childhood-especially if you were a child of the sixties or if you like me had (have?) an obsession with Lisa Frank. If you believe sun flowers are the perfect decoration for gorgeous locks and that people should enjoy sinking their toes in the grass until winter buries them into Birkenstocks, or if you are a free spirit that regularly sings to the wind about its colors- or are utterly terrible at traditional crafts- then this craft is for you.

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First, I invited a sweet friend to join me- props to Erin Schaberg for years of humoring my creative whims and some very bright dorm room decor our freshmen year that was reminiscent of Lisa Frank. Next, I started peeling crayons. Peeling crayons is a task that makes me feel a bit of a five year old, but in a wholesome way. I feel in touch with the giggling pigtailed red head that hugged everyone in sight. I started with a color scheme and then changed my mind half way through- let freedom commence.

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Of course I had to keep the Crayon peeling for crafts round two!!

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Next I grabbed a canvas and added a flower to make it look artsy ūüôā

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Grab your newly unwrapped crayons and place them on your canvas- a dab or two of hot glue is great to help place them initially. Then grab your or your roomate’s (thanks Mere!) hairdryer and let the fun begin. There are many different ways to go from here- I suggest a team work approach. Have your friend hold the dryer while you move your canvas up and down and side to side to guide the crayons to achieve the affect you seek!

Take this up a notch by adding a sing along element while you guide your crayon on its journey. I recommend the Lion King soundtrack.Enjoy your creative journey- EMBRACE the simple freedom of a pack a crayons.

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Empty Frames

In honor of Easter I wanted a repurposed craft that took something dark, dusty and purposeless and pumped it full of life. I found an old picture frame that I had been meaning to fill for quite some time, but had remained empty– only a wrinkled reflection stared back at me. The center of the frame represents the purposeless that I once felt.

photo%201                                                                                                              I chose yellow and pink to represent light shining and the sun rising on Easter morning. Flowers also remind me of a beautiful story as they bloom and break open from their slumber into the beautiful spring time. As a Christian, I celebrate Easter as the raising from the dead of Jesus Christ after he had three days before died on the cross to take the penalty for the sins of humanity.

photo%202¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† I decided to turn my colorful frame into a little message board for daily, encouraging messages. A combination of everyday necessities and beautiful reminders. I borrowed my housemate’s name for the sake of alliteration (past English major nerding out).

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Senior Countdown

On Friday my housemates and I joined the thousands before us who have taken pictures in our Carolina blue caps and gowns at the old well, Chapel Hill mural and in the arboretum. We even snapped a picture with the chancellor and warded off a sweet group of “holi-molified” colorful friends along the way. For the first time since August I was forced to leave my warm burrow of denial and admit that I was graduating in May. This weekend I have been wavering from extreme bouts of laughter to my eyes welling up with tears after hearing the lyrics “you are done” at the Ben Rector/ Matt Kearny concert in Raleigh (luckily my friend Diana helped me to pull it together by reminding me it was just a song). I have noticed that my homework habits are absent completely and I spend free time on the quad soaking up the Carolina sunshine because I know in the future “In my mind I’ll be gone to Carolina,” but I will never be a student again.
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Saturday night, as I drove a car load of freshmen to the concert, I realized that the sun is setting on the class of 2014. We will soon join the alumni, the “something old” that makes Carolina so special, but we will no longer be the “something new” experiencing our four years on our happy hill. I told them that I was jealous of the growing they will get to do over the next three years during this special time of exploration. We talked about how sometimes this growth is taken in stride and other times they will be stretched to the point of almost breaking. I added that this is the point that I often learned the most about myself and about the need for support from others. As much as we like to believe we are invincible, we are not. ¬†I added that I hoped they enjoyed nesting here under the beautiful Carolina blue sky.

Today I decided to dedicate my blog to a countdown for the class of 2014. I am doing this mostly for myself. This countdown does not signal the nd of the “best four years of your life” as we have been told, but the next chapter. We will no longer be “future ______” we will be living in the world. I cannot wait to see the class of 2014’s beautiful palette of gifts spread around the world.

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The Conversation betwixt Sleep and a College Student

What if Sleep and a college student had a conversation? I imagine it would go something like this.

(opening scene Freshmen year first semester)

Sleep: Hi! I noticed you met all of your best friends these past two weeks and I felt a bit slighted. We were thick as thieves in elementary school and I hope we can still be besties in college. I know that we drifted a bit in high school, but we have four years to make up for that before you have to actually be a real person.

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Student: Hi sleep, it’s so nice to see you! Sorry I have to dash! I need to brush up on tango before ballroom club, ukulele club, an intramural ping-pong game and a dance marathon meeting!

(12 AM that same day)

Sleep: I don’t know how you juggle two clubs, intramurals and the largest organization on campus. Are you up for hanging out now?

Student: Silly sleep. I’m in college now, no one hangs with you until at least 4 AM. Plus my suit mates and I are going to this club called Players…We can hang out all day saturday pre-brunch at Rams!

(Sophomore year)

Sleep: Do you think that you should give those chocolate covered coffee beans a rest?

Student: Coffee is liquid gold. Plus I might be in this coffee shop all night pretending to do work, but actually writing lyrics for my new blue grass band and brushing up on my social media skills- I need to put that on my resume to get an internship this summer. Plus the UNC game is coming on and we have a chance of becoming NATIONAL CHAMPS this year- even you would loose a few Z’s for that, sleep.

(Junior Year)

Student: (runs into sleep’s arms) O’ sleep I have missed thee/ why have thou forsaken me. I was up all night writing my twenty-five page Shakespeare analysis AND a lab report.

Sleep: I will make you some piping hot tea so that you can relax as soon as you submit it!

Student: I wish, but I need to go to this leadership meeting and it’s my friends 21st birthday tonight. So I have to help decorate for her themed party before we go out!!

(Senior Year)

Walks by sleep and begins to ignore Sleep because student thinks they were “freshmen friends.”

Sleep: Hi! How are you! Look at those bags under your eyes!

Student: Hi sleep! I can’t look that bad can I? I have been alternating between my thesis, job applications and raging. My mac has been threatening to move out because of the amount of windows I have been running.

Sleep: Remember you are a Senior Citizen now. Take a break and come hang out.

Student: But you see sleep… I only have three weeks left at my beautiful home. I want to capture it all. (eyes start to get teary)

Sleep: I can’t fault you for that. (hands student a tissue and gives them a hug) But, when you look like a zombie it’s impossible to enjoy your time. Take a twenty minute nap and then sit in the pit and relive the past four years.

Student: Thanks Sleep. I might start taking your advice.

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All About the Journey

I had just recently received that perfect piece of plastic. I had passed my license test-by a hair- the three point road turn was killer (I am still terrible at these to this day). I could not wait to pull out in Lexie (a solid car that was two years older than I was) and hit the road of FREEDOM-a sixteen year old’s freedom at least. I was driving to my friend’s house in Mooresville while my dad followed with my friend Posey. Background info: there is this insane intersection of highways in Statesville called the clover leaf were, as you could imagine, several major roads intersect. I confidently made my selection and gunned the accelerator around what looked deceivingly like the right turn. While I made this move Posey asked my dad if they should call me to let me know my error before I drove to florida. Dad replied, you know “this is all a part of her journey.”

Since then I have made “this is all a part of your journey” one of my personal mantras. This can mean many things from go with the flow to take the less traveled road of adventure. I decided that the best way to illustrate this part of my life was to take an old map and repurpose it. I used a map that my friends and I had used in DC over spring break.

The first thing that I made was a simple place setting. I borrowed a cute fork that my friend bent for a display at her wedding.

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The next idea I admittedly stole from pinterest. I decided to redecorate an old lamp shade with a bit of pizzaz. This can easily be accomplished with tape (if you are seeking a removable solution) or of course a bit of mod podge for a long term solution. Please make sure that your lampshade is cloth or a similar material for best results.

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Next, I decided to take an old mirror and cover the back so that I had a chic new look for spring time.

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I cut small strips of paper from the map in long rectangles. then I dabbed mod podge on them (throwback to third grade crafts) and pasted them directly on to the mirror.

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In the past my wrapping jobs have been less than stellar. During college I have resorted to wrapping most gifts with recycled Daily Tar Heel’s (UNC’s newspaper), but as I will be a grown up in less than three weeks I decided that one thing that I needed to learn was how to wrap gifts at least half as well as my mom.

The wrapping of a gift starts with the perfect miniature card. I cut out a cute little card and then proceeded to borrow the string from the shopping tag of the present that I was wrapping=perfect.

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Finally, I made the cutest craft of all map crafts and an essential for me due to my Rapunzel length hair. I decided to take some of the smaller extras of the map and decorate my bobby pins with the assortment.

First, I made a Rose from the map.

I began by twisting a tiny piece of leftover paper into a tight circle as picture below.

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Then I twisted a piece of paper by holding the two ends and twisting for the surrounding petals.

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After Mod Podge and a dab of hot glue-this was the result!

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After miniature floral success, I spotted a butterfly on one of the colorful advertisements next to the map and decided to give it wings. I cut the butterfly out of the AD and rummaged in my miniature sewing kit for a small button. I mod podged the paper to the button and then hot glued it to the bobby!

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Here are the final products!

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I hope that you enjoyed your crafting journey today! Remember to always treat life as a journey and not as a series of destinations!

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A Sister Craft

This post is dedicated to a sister craft.

Sister crafts are special. My sister and I have been embarking on the crafting journey since we were wee little tykes. I was known as the Billy Goat because I ate all of her poor acrylic paints and sunk my little baby teeth into her paper. As we got a little older and our legs started to inch closer to the ground as we cuddled around our kitchen table crafting, we progressed to glueing our fingers together and using lots and lots of scented magic markers. Kara once even gave me a stylish haircut using the crafting scissors.

We have made everything together ranging from matching pink and yellow dresses that we sewed with a little help from my very patient grandmother to this repurposed picture frame. Our trips to Michael’s and to the back of what we lovingly called “the craft closet” are legendary.

The first step to making this sister craft is to make some chocolate chip cookies (make sure to gobble up some cookie dough during the process!) Kara is known for her excellent desserts. Therefore craft time often occurs simultaneously with baking time.

Now go to the back of your closet or dust off that old softball picture that you have stashed somewhere and find the perfect frame. Size depends on how much jewelry you wish to be stored on your jewelry catcher. Kara loves earrings so her frame was on the larger side while I made mine for necklaces so it is more medium sized.

Then remove the glass, old picture of you cheesing the first day of middle school ect.

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Now you can chose to take this craft two different ways as Kara and I did. This makes sense because Kara and I are as about as opposite as siblings can be. Yet, we have discovered in our old age that we can actually be the best of friends despite our differences. She is the left brained med school student and I am the right brained aspiring designer. So together we make a match.

First, I’ll show you what Kara designed.

Kara found some fine wire mesh at Lowes. She then cut a square of the mesh material to fit inside of her frame.

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Then she got out her trusty hot glue gun and glued the sheet of fine wire to the inside of the frame. This created little holes where were she now organizes her gazillion earrings.

She found some Carolina blue paint in the craft closet and she proceeded to decorate with a half blue/half black design.

This jewelry catcher has moved with her from Statesville to Chapel Hill to Clemson to Phoenix and is still in working order I am happy to announce.

I decided to go a slightly different direction because I had some cork board left over from a past project. I found some material that I loved from my fabric box (I chose a fun vintage canvas material) and then hot glued the material on top of the cork board so that the ends of the material were folded neatly on the side that would face the back of the frame.

Then I placed my fabric covered cork board inside of the frame.

I rounded up some stray pushpins and hot glued blue fake flowers to the top of each pushpin for a bit of fancy chic flair.

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I tried out my new pins in the board and began hanging my necklaces! My Picture frame necklace holder has helped me to become much more organized in the fashion department! I hope that you have a marvelous time doing this craft with someone you love. Treasure the time you have to create together.

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Heart Warming “Leftovers” Quiche

Cooking should not be like an injection of nutritional supplements. Watching Star Trek as a kid, I always felt sorry for Data, the computer-being, because he could not taste food. He could not even enjoy meals with his fellow crew members in the dining hall. Food to him was merely a “compilation of nutrients which humans needed to survive.”

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Food connects us as human beings. There is nothing as special as taking time to sit down and have a meal with someone. This simple act of eating without outside distraction allows for conversation and the establishment of wonderful friendships. In our current day of iPhones buzzing, Facebook poking, and twittering from birds that do not exist beyond the internet, taking precious moments away from these consumptions is vital.

Today I wanted to take the leftovers not from your craft box, but from your kitchen cabinet and refrigerator. These leftovers are meant to be repurposed to share in a Heart Warming “Leftovers” Quiche.

First, take that rolled up croissant dough that you have been saving for some delicious breakfast treat or any sort of dough that you may have. If you do not have dough then make some using this simple recipe!

Mix together the following ingredients and you will have your very own homemade pie crust made from those ingredients that we always seem to have stocked in the back of our fridge or cabinet. This is known as 3-2-1 dough because it is 3 parts flour, 2 parts fat and 1 part water. Add a dash of sugar and a bit of butter and you have it ladies and gents!

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into small pieces
4 to 5 tablespoons ice water

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Use a little bit of butter or Pam on the bottom of a circular pan so that your quiche will not stick. Spread your pie crust/ dough over the circular pan.

Crack and mix 6-7 eggs together with a whisk. Some day I hope to successfully not get the eggs all over my hands. My hope is when I become an official adult and graduate from college that this will happen magically.

Now it is your time to be creative. I suggest adding a veggie to the mix. My personal favorite is Kale, but spinach or broccoli are also solid alternatives.

If you are a vegetarian/ are not feeling like a carnivore continue on this route and add whatever looks good in your cabinet.

If you are not I would try adding a meat. Deli meats are good as well as chicken. My personal favorite, for some crazy reason, is the mini ham squares that you can get at the grocery store that I eat in omelets.

Add any additional sauces you wish to try. I think that salsa would make a really interesting addition personally.

Mix your ingredients together and then pour them into your pie pan overtop your crust.

Now slide your delectable quiche into the oven and leave there for twenty minutes (I know it is tempting to take it out to early-but it will be better cooked: raw eggs are a messy business).

Take it out and if you wish sprinkle cheese or other seasonings on top. I know such a tease.Now leave your quiche in the oven for another 20ish minutes or until it is cooked completely through and does not ooze egg.

Finally, share your meal and heart with a friend.

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The In-between book

Everyone needs a little book to document their day to day thoughts. This little book is not for the day that you win a world championship or paint a masterpiece that hangs in a museum. It is for those in between days in which you are simply living your life.

This book allows you to stop for a moment in the swirling world and listen to your feelings and the rhythm of the world surrounding you. I hope you find a feeling of peace from taking a few seconds from your often hectic day to stop and examine the world around you instead of rushing by it to get to the next place in your planner.

I suggest recording anything that inspires you in whatever form you desire. I encourage anything from sketching a flower, writing a haiku, doodling an epic story or pasting in a favorite memory with a photo. You can also choose to record famous quotes, movie lines or simply a good joke that your friend told you.

The first step to creating your own little book is to eat a bowl of cereal. Seriously.Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 11.34.03 AM

Then cut your book shape out of the box and turn your pandora station to the film score station (this makes anything that I do feel extra epic).

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I did not plan to have a book with a little flap, but after taking a look at my cereal box I decided that this could be cute! And I figured if I does not work out that it is all apart of my crafting journey anyway! Remember to fold your future book so that the colorful cereal box outside faces the inner part of your book.

Take a nice slightly thicker piece of paper and cut it to the shape of your future book and connect with hot glue.

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Now cut a large piece of fabric to fit over your book. Allow for extra on the top and bottom of the material so that you can hot glue the edges so that you do not have scraggly ends getting in your way. Then paste the material to the cover and back of your book. Spread a bit of hot glue and fold over the edges of the material onto the inside of your soon to be book.

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Next, find some paper. I was just thinking that if you do not have traditional white paper, try newspaper! Paint the newspaper lightly with white and then write and draw over past words and ideas! Cut the paper to fit equally inside of your book. Then take a needle and some hardy thread and sew two long stitches through all of the pages of your book to bind them together. After finishing your sewing, hot glue your set of pages in your little book.

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Now you have two choices. I will not offer you a red pill or blue pill (Matrix anyone?) and thankfully this decision is not quite as serious as changing the world as you know it.  You can chose to leave your little book as it is or spice is up a bit more. Here it is so far.

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I chose to try to spice it up a bit more. I did not have a button so I decided to use an old bottle cap that I have had sitting in my room for months. I hot glued it to my little flap.

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Then I decided to add a bit of glam with a piece of frilly gold thread to bind the journal close if I wished.

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Enjoy your little book!

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Twelve Ways to be Inspired

1. Embark on an outdoor adventure. Take a walk with a furry friend. Go on a bike ride to your local ice cream shop. Take a moment to stop and smile at the sun.

2. Go dancing. Dance is a beautiful form of communication. Whether you are a fan of Contra, Salsa, Hip-hop or Ballroom get out of your comfort zone and onto the dance floor. Look for dancing opportunities at your local community center or at restaurants and bars. I dare you to dance with a complete stranger and have the time of your life.

3. Make a pillow fort in your living room. You might feel like you are five, but guess what- some of the most creative people I have met are under the age of ten.

4. Take art outside. Whether you are a musician or a painter take your art outside. Enjoy sharing a bit of yourself and your gifts with others. Also enjoy solid people watching.

5. Visit a Nursing home or assisted living center and listen to some epic stories. Hone your listening skills. The ability to listen is a gift that will serve you in the future.

6. Bake an epic meal or dessert and give it away. Try an old recipe that you have never had the courage to embark upon.

7. Make a new friend. Chat with someone on the bus, in a coffee shop or at work.

8. Leave your phone at home on purpose and chronicle what adventures you end up getting into as a result.

9. Volunteer to read to kids at your local library. Children’s books are often brimming with life lessons. Make sure your dress up as the title character.

10. Plan a surprise for a friend or significant other just because. Enjoy the planning and intrigue, Sherlock.

11. Sing at the top of your lungs in your car. A random road trip is bonus points.

12. Call a family member who you haven’t chatted with in a while. You just might make their day.

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Flower Mirror Blossoms from Plastic Spoons

The leaping arrival of springtime has made me wonder what it would be like to be a florist. Imagine being surrounded by every flower imaginable and needing to package them together to perfectly express individual stories. If we inhabited a society like the one from Lois Lowry’s “The Giver” I believe that the florist would be an esteemed keeper of emotional knowledge. Florist’s are like great artists who hear the first paragraph of a novel and are willing to illustrate the cover.

What if Romeo had relied upon flower type to express his love to Juliet? Talk about pressure. Today the bachelor attempts to convey his love to over twenty women by giving them red roses. Trying to decode the meaning of flowers is akin to trying to use morse code to express your emotions. Beeps and dashes simply are not enough for the spectrum of human emotion, but they can provide the general outlines. These outlines can include everything ranging from: “I love you,” “I miss you” to a simple “congratulations.” Unless the recipient of flowers is an expert in the language of flowers I would recommend a short explanatory card.

Apparently the “Language of Flowers” was very popular topic during the Victorian era in England.

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The arrival of spring has made me want to burst open like a flower so I decided this week to collect some plastic spoons and create something that does just that. Today we will create our own chrysanthemum mirror by up-cycling plastic spoons and an old make up mirror.

The first step is to collect all of your supplies. I ended up using my housemate’s old shoe box as my base even though the Cheez-It box is featured here. My friend Joey also graciously volunteered himself to help paint some of my spoons even though he is not featured here.

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Next, trace a large bowl on your flattened shoe box/dumpster dive find. Then paint it a vibrant red.

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Now turn your Pandora station to Gregory Allen Isakov. He is a fellow marveler at the intricacy of life’s detail. His website records his explanation of his title “Weatherman” for an album. He said “to me the idea of a weatherman is really powerful. There’s a guy on television or on the radian telling us the future and nobody cares. It’s this daily mundane miracle, and I thing the songs I chose are about noticing the beauty in normal, everyday life.” I feel like his music is appropriate for the bursting of spring onto Life’s page.

Now begin the process of creating your petals. Cut the tops of your spoons leaving a little leeway on the stem of the spoon. I recommend making a slight cut with scissors and then lightly breaking the plastic with your hands. As I did this I tried to think about the petal like blessings in my life. The beautiful things right under my nose that I sometimes forget to notice unless there is a chilling, difficult winter in life.

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Then paint your petals the vibrant red color and recruit a sweet friend or two if possible.

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Now start imagining how you would like your chrysanthemum to come together and then hot glue the first layer of your petals.

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Now complete the other layers of your petals by hot gluing a spoon under where each two spoons meet. Then use scissors to cut the cardboard to outline your last line of petals.

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If you have a sealing spray, wait until your blossoming flower mirror is fully dry and spray. Make sure that you cover the mirror with tape or something similar when spraying.

Finally, enjoy spring to the fullest! Make sure that you skip outside today.

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