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When You Promise Not to do Wedding DIY But You Are an Artist so You End Up DIYing

Hello! This post is about some of the wedding DIY things I did. As the title indicates, I promised myself I would not under ANY CIRCUMSTANCE stress myself out with diy  and then of course I ended up DIYing.

The first thing I DIYed were the save-the-dates and invitations. Did you know that it costs several hundred dollars to get wedding invitations designed and printed? I did not know this until several months ago and was absolutely shocked at the exorbitant prices for literally paper that people look at for one second and then throw away. SERIOUSLY!!! So i decided that to achieve the price and look I desired, I would try and make my own. Here are the supplies I used:

(Not pictured: masking fluid, liquid water color, salt, and paintbrushes (duh))

I created paintings and then took them to UPS to have them scanned in high resolution.

Then, I uploaded the images to Vistaprint and got the invitations printed with exquisite detail for about a quarter of the price of most wedding invitation suites.


I also hand painted our Welcome Sign using the same materials on 18×24 watercolor paper. Finding a frame for this size was surprisingly difficult but I managed to finally find one at Target.


On a dollar store frame I painted “Please Sign Our Guestbook” which went along with our incredible handmade paper and leather book from Mind’s Eye Journals. I also set our invitation in a shadow box displayed with it.


The last bit of DIY was the card box. I ordered this house terrarium from Amazon which kinda matched our terrarium centerpieces. Then I used white acrylic paint to add leaves and vines.


Another lovely bespoke detail was this set of corn hole boards created by Rusty Nail. They were a big hit for wedding guests!


So that’s about it for my Wedding DIY! We also did bubbles with ribbons but I can’t seem to find a picture of those at the moment. I will leave you with a selfie of me and my Mister:



❤ Mrs. K


DIY: How to Learn How to Sew Your Own Clothes

This post is very overdue. Like, if this was a school project I would have all kinds of points knocked off for being so darn late. It is now January-o’clock and these projects were started back in November during Thanksgiving break.


For my birthday, my S.O. gave me a sewing machine. I have always been interested in fashion and clothing making and I watch Project Runway religiously. I had been looking wistfully at sewing machines for a while and never got myself one because I thought any attempt at making something would ultimately end up in disaster. But my ever-supportive guy believed enough for the both of us and surprised me with this beauty of a machine. The manual of course is complete gibberish and quite indecipherable so I learned how to use it from Youtube.

So on a sunny November weekday morning, I went to a local fabric store and completely splurged on fabric, notions, and patterns. When I say I spent a few hours in there I am not exaggerating. It was just such a luxury to be in a place on a weekday morning when everybody else is working. I felt like a Real Housewife!

Anyway I left the shop with a million ideas and all the motivation that I could muster up. I had purchased 6 different fabrics and 3 different patterns and had no idea how to begin or make something. The first project I embarked on will not be shown here because it was so dreadful that it will probably never be shown anywhere. I tried to make a tunic top out of ikat upholstery fabric and it was a complete and utter #fail (and of course the most expensive fabric) I think this is probably because I did not follow a pattern and just basically disregarded basic rules of measuring and planning. This is a lesson I have been taught the hard way over and over throughout my life: you have to know the rules before you can break them. This is true in art and creating especially.

I was not to be discouraged. I decided to try out a pattern and make a dress. With darts. And a zipper. Because how better to learn something than to jump right in! The pattern is this:


I did the racerback style with example A.

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^ Front View ^


^ Obligatory Spin! ^


^ Crooked Wacky Yellow Zipper ^ 

Not pictured: the messy and uneven hemline, the atrocity that is the connection of the bodice to the skirt, and the white thread (why oh why didn’t I match the thread?!) It really is a learning experience and I am quite proud that I created something slightly wearable on my first attempt!

Project two is also from a pattern:


I made option B and improvised with some pockets. (Once again a little over-ambitious!)  I was really excited about this fabric and wanted to play around with the bold graphics of it.


^ Front View. This this is super wide and ended up being kind of circus-tenty. ^


^ Do your pockets hang low, do the wobble too and fro? ^

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^ Back detail with racing stripe inside of the hood. ^ 

The hood was sooooooo tough. I originally lined it with the zig-zag fabric but it turned out to be too heavy and bulky so I covered the middle seam with a “racing stripe” of zig zags. The way it is attached is a little wonky but it kind of works!

Project three is from this pattern:


I made this amazing pizza skirt from pattern A.

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This “simple” circle skirt with elastic waistband ended up being pretty tricky. I messed up the waistband by pulling the elastic taut before sewing it (thus negating the entire point of having it!) and the back is a little poofy and messy. But I just love the fabric because pizza is of course the best food on this good green Earth.


What I learned from trying to sew my own clothes: 

1. Using a pattern is hard. Not using a pattern is way harder. I still don’t really understand all of the symbols and instructions on patterns and maybe I never will – after all some things will always remain a mystery like how magnets work and the meaning of life. But after trying my hand at creating clothing my hat goes off to people who can create their own pattern or even drape fabric without a pattern.

2. Pockets are amazing and amazingly confusing. If it was up to me, every garment made for a female would have functional pockets already in it. Dudes aren’t the only ones who need to carry stuff around! Figuring out how to make something that is symmetrical and inside-out-upside down is really tricky but worth it.

3. Like every skill, sewing takes patience and practice to become proficient. I am just a beginner and even though the stuff I made is, in my humble opinion, a hot mess – I am going to keep at it until I am better. It’s like what I tell my students when they ask how they can be better artists: you have to practice, practice, practice! I am excited about some fabrics I have stashed away and ready to go. It might be a while again before I find the time/energy/focus to sit down and create clothing (especially because I am about to start a master’s program for Art Ed) but stay tuned . . . there will be more!

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Dark Wings, Dark Words DIY (a.k.a. Ms. K Nerds Out)



A few months ago I went to the Dragon Con Parade. Here in Atlanta it is an annual event kind of like Comicon where all the nerds and weirdos and unique awesome people of the land dress up and come together to celebrate everything from Dr. Who to Game of Thrones to Pirates and everything in between. Basically, it is an amazing geek party.

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Meanwhile on Peachtree Street. . . 

I went with a few buddies and while we were sitting on the curb watching the parade, I looked over and saw a girl wearing the most amazing crown and gauntlet both made out of metal and glass. I just had to know where she got them and was pleasantly surprised when she said “My dad made them,” and pointed to the dude right next to her. I immediately got his contact info and commissioned a crown of my very own. It is definitely one of my favorite things that I own and I feel so lucky to have an original piece of artwork. The artist (Rusty) is SUPER talented and so creative by turning found objects into wearable art.

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You can tell there is lotsa magic in that thing!

I really wanted to incorporate the crown into my Halloween costume this year and after throwing some different ideas around I decided to go with a Dark Fairy Princess. To stick with the theme of Home-Made Awesomeness, I made my own wings! To make fairy wings you will need:


  • 4 wire hangers
  • Hot Glue
  • Stockings/Pantyhose (I used 1 pair but 2 works best)
  • Scissors
  • Metal Working Tools to bend and cut (a wrench or pliers will also work)
  • Glitter (in spray form and glue form)
  • Fake Flowers
  • Ribbon

Step One: Prep the Hangers

Take any paper off of the hangers so they are naked (tee hee). Uncurl the top part (the part that actually hangs) so it is straight. Bend the hanger into an eye shape. You can make the tip pointy-er for a more “evil” look or rounder for a sweeter look. Do this with all 4 hangers.

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Step Two: Stretch the Fabric

Next, cut the stockings in half. Stretch the foot part over the end of the wing and tie it off at the bottom. Cut the excess off and use it for the next wing. You will have to tie a knot at the top but if you slide it down a little bit its not as noticeable. (It is best to use 2 pairs of stockings for this but I only had one.) Do the same thing for the other 2 wings.


Step Three: Twist Em’ Up

The ends should still be sticking straight out. Bring them together and use the metal tools/wrench/pliers to twist and bend them until they are connected. Once you do this it will look crazy and you will have to carefully bend in the ends so they don’t stick out and stab you.


Step Four: Bundle Up

Hide the craziness with fabric scraps from the stockings. I cut strips and wrapped it around the wires until it was padded and well covered up. It will still probably look messy and crazy. I broke off the stems from the fake flowers and used them to connect the 2 sets of the wings into one bundle by wrapping them around the bundles several times. Then, I covered the whole thing again with more fabric scraps.  This part was kind of tough and an abundance of hot glue was super helpful!

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Step Five: Hide the Mess . . . Some More

I hot glued the 3 flowers on top of the bundle of wires to hide them. I used 3 black roses because I am going for a Dark Fairy vibe but any flowers would work.


Step 6: Use ALL. THE. GLITTER!

Use the spray on glitter to create shimmer and sparkle. I sprayed the front and the back twice. Then, I used the glitter glue to add “veins” and more details on the wings.


Step Six: Ribbons

Tie 2 long pieces of ribbon to the bundle in the center of the wings. These ribbons can be tied in several ways, do whatever is most comfortable for you. I like them tied in a bow near my collar bones; I pull one over my shoulder and have one under my arm. Another way to tie it is to make a giant bow in the center of your chest with all 4 ends of the ribbon. You will definitely have to walk through doorways sideways and take them off every time you get in or out of a car but I think that for one day a year (or weekend if you are into that kind of party) it is worth it. Now I will not claim that these look professional or even all that great (an artist can always spot the flaws!) But they were really fun to make and they are so unique — nobody else will have wings quite like these! This is the entire costume all put together:



Happy Halloween!

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Apple of My Eye DIY

Fall has finally hit Georgia full force and what better way to celebrate than to frolic through an orchard picking apples? I got a chance to do exactly that with some of my lovely girlfriends this past weekend. On a sleepy and bleary car ride to school last week I thought to myself, Ms. Katzin what can you do to make this apple picking adventure even more fun and special? How about some crafty, nonfunctional piece of kitsch that will mark you and your friends as the most ridiculous humans in the orchard? Thus, the Apple Eyes were conceived!

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I began by sketching out the general idea. It is a *pun on the phrase “You are the Apple of My Eye” I cut out the sketch and used it as a template.


I cut out the individual shapes and traced them onto some felt.


I traced the eye shape and the circles inside of the eye and cut em’ all out.


I glued the eyes in layers. . .

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For the eyelid I traced the entire eye onto black and cut out a curved arch that fit over the top. Hot glue galore!

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The lashes were three little curved triangles:


I hot glued a little stem to the back:


I glued the eye to the apples and added a little heart. Then I glued the apple to a white piece of felt and cut out a bubble around the entire thing. Then I cut out a black bubble around the white one. This added a little more visual interest and tied in the black and white of the eye. The last step was to use some Hulk Strength to punch a hole in the top and tie a string through.




The apples were a hit with my homies and we had a blast gallivanting through the orchards!







Group Shot 😀

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SO happy I got to fill a sack up with these awesome apples! #delicious #fiber #wewillbefeastingonapplesforthenextcoupleweeks








Happy Fall Y’all!




*Not an actual pun (Meghan)

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DIY: Running Hat


Running hats are great for sunny day jogs and I wanted to give gifts to a few runner buddies. I began with plain white running hats from Target.


Using an X-Acto blade and a steady hand, I cut tape into thin strips and tabed off the brim of the hat.


I also taped the top part so that the paint did not get up there.


I used an assortment of practically antique acrylic paints to paint the shapes that the tape lines created. This Blog has tons of examples of beautiful and inspired color palettes.

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After waiting for the paint to dry* I carefully pulled off the tape. For these first few beauties I did not “finish” them with any kind of fixative but I’m sure there is something out there for fabric.


On the back velcro-bit I added personalized details.


The finished product came out great!


*I have made the mistake before of being super impatient about seeing the finished product and ended up creating a catastrophic mess. Patience is a virtue in art! 


DIY: How to Make a Marathon Medal Display

My BFF over at just completed her second marathon (WOOHOO!!!) I am so incredibly proud and inspired by her awesomeness and wanted to show her some love and support by making her a display for all of her race medals. This ended up being a Generic Winter Holiday (Xmas? Thanksgivikkah? Kwanzaa? . . . whatever) gift and seeing as it is one of the few DIY projects I have not only attempted but also invented and also actually completed [almost] successfully, I figured I would post it here.

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Please excuse the poor quality of this picture I PINKY SWEAR it looks good in real life!

I began by spending an absurd amount of time in a craft store armed only with a vague idea and some inspiration. It was one of those big box stores (which is why I refuse to name it here) that has a very unbalanced ratio of Christmas-decorating housewives to employees. When I finally did track down someone who might have just been pretending to work there they told me I would be better off going to a home improvement store.

Anyhow none of this is really important except that it gives you some backdrop to the situation and you should probably also imagine me picking out all of these materials to some really cheesy Christmas tunes (I’m pretty sure they played a few Elvis songs and at least one Kidzbop carol). I knew I wanted to make something black and white (keep it classy!) so when I stumbled across the drawer knob aisle (yes there was an entire aisle for that nonsense) I spent several long minutes choosing some pretty nifty little knobs. Next it was just a loooooong walk across what felt like several miles of fake poinsettias and faux antique chatchkas over to the wood section where I found a glorious letter (for BFF Meghan.) Then the fun began:


I used a drill . . . knew that sculpture concentration would come in handy 😉 . . . to drill holes the size of the screws in the drawer knobs. Thanks for the supervision, Dad!


Voila! And also Happy Hanukkah. 


After some serious blog stalking I came up with pages of photos of cuteness and friendship la la la blah blah blah.


I felt like a master scrapbooker as I cut and placed all of the pictures in a cute overlappy kind of way. (thats a word, right?) This is the exact moment when I realized that I should have painted the darn thing first. Oops!


So I proceeded to ever so carefully paint the empty spaces with black acrylic paint. . . after the fact. That is the precise reason why I do not ever attempt this kind of thing. 


After it dried (aren’t you surprised I actually used common sense!?) I coated it a couple of times with mod-podge. 


It came out great if I do say so myself (which of course I do.) Here is the recipient herself:


Can you even handle the amount of medals on that thing? What a champ! To read a recap of all those races and more (many including yours truly) as well as see some yummy healthy recipes and get workout and fitness tips, head over to FITNESSCREATURES.COM FITNESS CREATURES.COM FITNESSCREATURES.COM

Oh and happy Generic Winter Holidays to all of my readers!


The Parthenon and DIY Marbled Paper Tutorial

Warning: this project is AWESOME. I was inspired by this picture:


3rd graders learned about the Parthenon and were fascinated to learn that parts of it have been stolen! We began by creating the background using watercolors and salt to get that cool tie-dye effect.

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Students thought about what they wanted their sky to look like: sunset? stormy? night? day? One student made a “Norfire” sky which was basically just a sky filled with red dragon fire. It was hardcore. Next class period, we got messy. And when I say “messy” I do not mean your average art room mess. I am referring to my room and the kid’s hands being covered in shaving cream. “Shaving cream?!” you ask incredulously? Why yes, you heard me correctly. Shaving cream!


(Okay so the picture makes it look not really messy at all but trust me it was.)

So in order to make the “marbled” stone for our Parthenons, we had to create marbled paper. I went to a hardware store with one of these strange people and bought an actual piece of marble to show the kiddos. They noticed the beautiful colors and even the veins just like in our arms.

To make marbled paper you will need:

Paper. . .

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LOTS of shaving cream . . .


Baking trays at least a couple inches deep. . .

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Popsicle sticks or chopsticks or kebob stick thingies. . .

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Liquid water colors (we used metallic and bright colors).


You will also need a few pieces of cardboard cut about 6×9 but I don’t have a picture. Just turn your imagination on to picture it. Go ahead. . . I’ll wait . . . . Okay are you ready now? Good!

Step One: Fill up the pan about 1/3 with shaving cream. Use something flat (like the imaginary cardboard) to gently smooth the top flat.

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Step Two: Sprinkle some liquid water color onto the shaving cream. Two colors work pretty well but more than 4 would probably end up looking muddy.

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Step Three: Use a stick of some kind to create the ‘veins.’ The kids pointed out that it looks like cake or brownies or even a graph if you criss-cross.

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Step Four: Place the piece of paper on top. GENTLY press down – do not smoosh it! Make sure you get all of the corners and especially the middle.

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Step Five: Peel off the paper carefully and use the imaginary cardboard to scrape off the excess shaving cream. This step is really important because it is the great reveal of (drumroll please) AWESOME MARBLE PAPER!!


The whole process left my room smelling quite clean 🙂

After the marble paper extravaganza, it was time to construct a Parthenon. Students used crayons to create a hill and folded, cut, and glued paper to construct columns and a pediment.


They even added ‘ruins’ and details with torn paper scraps and all sorts of interesting things in the sky.

With some people:


With some snowflakes:


With stars and a sun:


With warm colors:


With a rainbow, hearts, and stars:


With a rainbow sky:


With a triangle sun:


Put a bird on it:


With a dragon!





With a rocket ship!


On a serious hill:


After students finished, they gave a title to their artwork and wrote all about it.




This project was a great success. I am a big fan of cross-curricular activities and this one involved history, writing, math, and even science. These are currently hanging up in the Media Center windows so everyone who passes by can marvel at the amazing 3rd grade artwork.