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Create A Day

One creative project every day for a year


Day 339: “Plarn” Pencil Holder/Can Cozy

Posted by annagrace under Days 301-365

Yet again it has been quite awhile since I posted last, but between moving and trying to find a job, I haven’t really had much free time to post. I’ve got several projects that I’ve finally uploaded the pictures to my computer, so hopefully I can bust out a few posts and get back on track!

At any rate, today’s creative is for my Dad’s birthday! For once I actually have a present ready on the actual date it should be given, so I thought I’d go ahead and post it! Of course, I still have to mail it, but baby steps people! In case you don’t know, my dad is amazing! And one of my favorite things about him is how environmentally conscious he is! I wish I was as good as him with composting and buying local/organic goods, but I’m sadly not at a place where that’s possible at the moment… maybe once I actually have a job! But the point is, he’s more environmentally friendly than anyone I know, so I thought why not make him something for his birthday that embraces that eco friendly side of him? Enter “plarn.” I don’t know if you all have heard of it, but Plarn, or plastic yarn, is made by upcycling used plastic grocery bags into a long strip or ball of “yarn” that can be used for crocheting or knitting! I found this great website that gives you step by step instructions to make your own if you want! I came across this a few months ago when a friend of mine was making a plarn basket. I wanted to make something for Dad with this material, but didn’t have that many plastic bags (my loving boyfriend recycled the huge pile I had… he knows now to save them :P ), so I found this project for a can cozy/pencil holder that uses about 10 bags!

I went around the house and gathered up all the bags I could find, but ended up only having about 6, so I thought, why not use some used zip-lock bags as well? I had several lying around from a recent trip that had holes in them or whatever, so I made do! Following the instructions in the tutorial, here is my ball of plarn!

So then I started crocheting. Before I post the final pictures there are a few things I learned that will help with future plarn projects, so I thought I’d share with you. First of all, try and get fairly new bags. A couple of the bags I had were probably at least a few months old and were holding stuff from my move. Because they were so old and worn, when I was tying them together, they were tearing super easily! Secondly, if you want to use zip-lock bags, I would do the entire project out of them. Since they were a thicker plastic, the rows that I used zip-lock bags on were a lot thicker, so the holder doesn’t look as uniform as I would like. And finally, while the zip-lock bags were a lot easier to tie together because they were so strong, they were much harder to crochet with. If you use those, I would use a much bigger crochet hook (this project called for the H size) and reduce your stitch counts. They always say to do a test square to see how big your stitches will be, which I never did, but I think this is definitely one case where that would be beneficial! At any rate, it was a bit of a struggle at some points, but here is the finished project!

And here it is with pens/pencils in it.

No pictures with a can in it for now, but you get the idea. :P I’m pretty happy with how this turned out, especially since this was my first plarn project! I think my dad will really like it and I will be making many more projects with plastic bags!

Happy Birthday, Dad! You’re the greatest! I miss you and love you so much!

Anna Grace


Day 338: Strawberry Pie

Posted by annagrace under Days 301-365

A few weeks ago I made dinner for my some of my family and my boyfriend. The main meal was just a simple stir fry, but the dessert was a super yummy Strawberry Pie! So, I thought I’d share that here. I found the recipe on my favorite site, Pinterest. The recipe is the last one on this page. I started out by slicing up the strawberries and putting them into the graham cracker pie crust.

Then I cooked all the other ingredients together…

And poured it on top of the strawberries… it was a little overflowing, so I put the pie on a sheet pan.

Then it set for 4 hours in the fridge and it was done!

Oh man, was this good! Super simple, but tasty. I think my boyfriend ate more than half of the pie by himself over the next few days. This pie reminds me of summers at my grandparents lake house, because my grandmother always made one similar to this. I’ll definitely be making this again!

Anna Grace


Day 337: Lake Pictures

Posted by annagrace under Days 301-365

For my birthday weekend (which was over a month ago at this point… oops), the Georgia part of my family and I went to a friend’s lake house! Well… we call it a house, but it was more like a mansion!! I’m telling you, that place was huge! At any rate, it and the views were gorgeous, so I took a ton of photos. I immediately instagramed some of them and then got around to editing a few more today in Photoshop. This post is pretty photo heavy because I had a hard time narrowing it down, so I’ll keep the descriptions short!

This first photo is of the main house looking from the direction of the lake.

This photo is of the small A-Frame guest house.

And here’s my cousin Clarissa and aunt Kitti walking with second cousin Wells in front of the guest house!

And Wellsie on the small dock, which she kept calling a boat!

This was the view from the small dock to the main house and dock.

Here’s part of my family swinging on the swing outside of the guest house.

A closer look of the main house…

They had this sign right by the door… I thought it was appropriate :P

Here’s one of my other second cousins, Charleston or Charlie! Isn’t she adorable??

They had this amazing stone fireplace where the stone went all the way to the ceiling in this double-height living room! It was nice and cozy to be around!

For my birthday my aunt made one of my favorite desserts, Pineapple Upside-Down Cake! It was soooooo good!!

So! Overall it was an amazing, restful weekend! Probably one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had! I can’t wait to go back!

Anna Grace


Day 336: The A Team

Posted by annagrace under Days 301-365

This creative project is a cover of Ed Sheeran’s The A Team. I’ve been hearing this song on the radio for awhile now, and always wanted to cover it, so I did! I started out by putting the piano part into Garage Band. Then I recorded the vocals and added the shaker. I ended up making the piano part sound like an acoustic guitar because it seemed more appropriate. At any rate, here’s my cover!

The A Team

I’m not super happy with the way my voice sounds on this recording and was planning on redoing it, but now I have strep, so I decided to just go ahead and post it as is! It’s not terrible, I just messed up a bit.

Sorry for such a short post! I should be posting at least one more creative project tonight, and maybe a few more tomorrow! Keep on the look out for them!

Anna Grace


Day 335: Eric Berry Digital Portrait

Posted by annagrace under Days 301-365

It’s been almost a month since my last post, so I clearly didn’t make my deadline of finishing this 365 project by my birthday… What can I say, I have a life! But seriously, I’ve done several creative projects recently, but I just haven’t had the time to post them! At any rate, I think I’ll definitely have this done by May, but we’ll see. Moving on…

This creative project was my birthday present to my awesome boyfriend! His birthday was January 31 and we had just started dating the weekend before that. I don’t know about ya’ll, but I’m terrible about buying gifts for men… I never know what to get them! Plus, we were in that awkward period of the relationship where we were just getting to know each other, so a typical expensive boyfriend gift didn’t seem appropriate. Anyways, in one of our first conversations Chris had mentioned that he wasn’t a UT fan (why the hell not??!!!), but he really liked Eric Berry who went there, but now plays for the KC Chiefs! I agree that Eric Berry is amazing and was fortunate enough to see him on the bus at UT between classes once! :mrgreen: So, I decided I would do something creative and FREE for Chris’s birthday and do a portrait of Eric Berry!

I decided to do a digital portrait so I could work on it while nannying on my iPad when the baby was asleep. I used the same app from my Dad’s portrait, Sketch Book Express, to draw this one. Here’s the original photograph of Eric Berry in all his muscular glory!

So I took that photo into Sketch Book Express and just started layering over it with the paintbrush tool. It took me maybe 3 or 4 hours over 2 days of nannying to complete it. Then I used the Over app like in my Typography post and added his name and nickname “The Fifth Dimension!” I have no idea why he’s named that, but I love the way it sounds, so whatever. :P Then I took that back into the Sketch Book Express app and wrote Happy Birthday and signed it! Here’s the finished product!

I’m extremely happy with the way this turned out! It was relatively easy to do with this app, but it looks like a unique piece of art! The best part is that Chris loved it! I’m pretty certain that’s why I’m his girlfriend! :mrgreen: Well, that and our mutual love of Dr. Pepper! :P I love this drawing and will definitely be doing more like it!

Anna Grace


Day 334: Mason Jar Salads

Posted by annagrace under Days 301-365

This creative project came from… Pinterest. Ok, it’s a problem. But it is giving me lot’s of post ideas, so deal with it! This post is about the layering of different ingredients in a salad inside a mason jar in such a way that it’s able to stay good for up to a week! The original posting had some recipes, so I decided to follow a couple!

I went to Kroger when I got off of work specifically to buy the ingredients I needed as well as the mason jars… fail. Kroger only had huge 10 or more packs of jars and I only wanted 3! So, I found another glass jar-like container that sealed pretty well and decided to use that instead… but they just had 1! So, when I got home, I decided I would try the same basic idea, but in tupperware containers instead of jars. I think the layering is the most important factor.

The first salad I tried is the Poppyseed salad. I changed this a bit by leaving out the green peas because I hate them, and I added some leftover chicken from dinner. Also, I used spinach for all of these because it’s my favorite! Here’s the finished product!

I love the way the layers look! I think I may have done too many toppings in comparison to the spinach, but I still think it will taste great!

The next meal I used the same recipe as the last one, but used ginger dressing instead of poppyseed and strawberries instead of raspberries.

Not quite as pretty as the jar, but I still think it will be great!

The last meal I made was the seafood salad! On the site it says she made her own dressing, but she doesn’t give the amounts of each ingredient, so I just started mixing everything in a small jam jar until it tasted good!  I ended up making a lot, so I can use more later!  I did this exactly like the directions said, but used carrots instead of cabbage.

I couldn’t find any canned shrimp salad, so I went with the crab, although I’m a little suspicious of it to be honest. I tried a piece and it wasn’t bad, so we’ll see!

I’ll be sure and let you all know how well these keep in the tupperware! I’m excited about my lunches for the rest of the week!

Anna Grace


Day 333: Banana “Pancakes”

Posted by annagrace under Days 301-365

Yet again I have an example of how Pinterest has taken over my life in the form of a crazy recipe! This one is actually pretty great and sooooooooooooooo easy! This will be a short post because it’s so easy and I forgot to take many pictures…

This recipe was for Banana “Pancakes!” I put pancakes in quotations because they aren’t made of the ingredients you would think. It’s just two main ingredients: 1 ripe banana and 2 eggs! That’s it! You just mix the ingredients together and pour it into a pan and fry them up like normal pancakes! I added a touch of cinnamon just to give it more flavor, but they were really good! You would never no that they weren’t normal pancakes! Here’s the only photo I got… sorry!

They were extra good with a bit of syrup on them, but tasty either way! And I coated the pan with coconut oil versus olive oil, so I think that added to the flavor and sweetness a lot. These were so good! And easy! I will definitely be making these again!

Anna Grace


Day 332: Typography

Posted by annagrace under Days 301-365

Over the past few months I’ve seen a lot of images on instagram that had text added to them. I thought they looked really neat, so I did a bit of research and found that most of them were made with an app called Over. So I downloaded it and played around with it!

This first one is an instagram picture that I took awhile back as I was relaxing in the tub. Something I forget to do often is to take a moment for myself during my busy schedule, so taking a nice long bath is the perfect way to do that! Here’s two variations of this text because I couldn’t decide which I liked better.

Which do you like better? This next image was taken of 2 of my cousins carrying my aunt who has cerebral palsy into the ocean! I love this picture of them! When I got back to Atlanta after Christmas I found a quote from Maya Angelou that perfectly describes how I feel about my family. Since I found that quote, I’ve been trying to figure out a creative way to use it… so why not on this picture?

Then I decided to use the same quote and make it a bit more fancy.  This is the original photo taken by my amazing cousin Callie (Check out her photography! of her two precious girls! I thought this photo definitely supported the quote.

I then took this photo into Adobe Photoshop Express and messed around with the saturation, hue, etc. until I got it a little antique looking. I decided to play around with different fonts to make it more interesting!

I LOVE how this turned out! It’s now my desktop pattern, and I think I will print it out to put in this awesome frame I got for Christmas! I hope Callie doesn’t think I butchered her photo… Sorry Callie! But I’m really happy with it!

At least one more post coming up tonight or tomorrow!

Anna Grace


Day 331: The Orchestra Song (Instrument Song)

Posted by annagrace under Days 301-365

This creative project started as just something I did for fun, but then I decided to really do it and record it right, so now I’m posting it! The idea to do this came to me the other day while I was nannying. The baby I nanny for is just 12 weeks old, but has just started really smiling and making happy baby noises! He is soooooo cute when he smiles, so I was singing to him and trying to make hime laugh. I realized that he smiled and “talked” a lot more when it was an upbeat sort of cutesy song, so I started to think about the songs my family used to sing on road trips growing up. The Orchestra or Instrument Song was one of our favorites! It is a sort of round where everybody singing has different words they sing, but all the parts fit together! So I started singing all the different parts to Levi (the baby), which he loved, but then I really wanted to hear all the parts together again, so I started recording it. Well, recording while nannying on my iPad is near impossible, so I got down a couple lines, but that was all. Then I decided today that I would record it right!

Just a side note real quick: I just got a new computer for Christmas (well… new to me anyways! It’s my dad’s old laptop, but still like new!), so it doesn’t have everything on it. I’m trying to find a firewire cable so that I can transfer everything from my old computer to the new one, but haven’t had any luck so far. And I can’t just use an ethernet cable because the old computer won’t turn on!! Ahhhh… At any rate, at this moment I don’t have Garage Band on my laptop (although if it were a brand new Mac, it would come with it on it already…), so I recorded this on my iPad without any of my usual “live recording” effects and what not. I think considering the simplicity of the song, it doesn’t need all that, but I just think my voice sounds better with effects, so… whatever.

ANYWAYS, I started just like my family did growing up with the Horn part, which is just the same note repeated over and over saying, “The horn, the horn awakes me at morn.” This part helps sort of keep everything together. I can’t remember the order that we added the parts in growing up, so I just did what I thought sounded right, starting with Clarinet. That part goes “The clarinet, the clarinet goes doodly, doodly, doodly, doodly, det.” Then I added Trumpet singing “The trumpet is calling, rat-tat-tat, tat-ta-ta-tat-tat, tat-tat, tat tat-ta-dat” After that was the Kettle Drum with “The kettle drum plays. It plays only two notes. Five one, one five, five five five five one.” Then was the Violin singing, “The violin sings with joy for me. The violin sings with joy for us all.” Now in most of the versions of this song you’ll find, that’s all the parts. Well, my mom’s family growing up, being the musicians that they all are, decided to make up a couple more parts! The first one was the bassoon, which I think my mom made up, if I remember correctly… It goes, “The bassoon it makes a noise, a joyful noise. Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo.” And the final part that I believe my Aunt Gwenn made up is the Piccolo, singing “The Piccolo, the Piccolo, aaahhhHHH!”

So, I recorded all of those parts a couple times through, then put them on a loop so I wouldn’t have to sing so, so much! Then I decided that instead of just adding each part in one at a time all on top of each other, I wanted to make sure each part was heard individually with just the horn. So, I broke it up into sections, then after that did the layering…. I feel like those last couple of sentences were hard to understand… but it’s after midnight and I’m tired, so just listen to the song and I think you’ll get it!

Orchestra Song (Instrument Song)

I’m really happy with how this turned out! Doing this brought back a lot of happy memories with my family, so I’m glad I recorded it!

Last post for the night! More tomorrow!

Anna Grace


Day 330: Homemade Hair Gel

Posted by annagrace under Days 301-365

Following the theme of the last post, in addition to making shampoo the other night, I also made hair gel! This one I actually got directly off of Pinterest. The original posting is here.

I’ve been playing with the natural texture of my hair lately and trying to embrace the waves. I’ve tried several different scrunching gels and mousses and have found a few I like, but they are all so expensive and ultimately leave my hair feeling crunchy and weird, so I looked into a natural scrunching product and made it up!

This recipe consisted of three ingredients… Water, flax seed, and essential oils. I won’t go through all the steps because they’re on the site, but here’s a picture of the flax seed cooking.

So then I followed the directions like it said, but I feel like mine never got as thick as it needed to… possible because of using a gas range versus electric. My theory is that when you turn off an electric eye, it stays warm far longer that a gas one because of the coils, so maybe the flax seed didn’t cook enough… It ended up more of a thick hairspray consistency versus a gel. At any rate I just went with it and put it into two little spray bottles after adding tea tree and jojoba oils. After taking a shower, I sprayed it all over my hair and scrunched my hair like always. Here’s a picture of me not really caring after my hair air dried.

So, it gave me a bit of texture, but not really as much as I wanted. I think next time I will use more of it and see what happens. I also think I may make another batch and cook it longer. It’s so cheap, I’m not worried about tossing out the other stuff! I’ll update you all when I’ve made it again.

Anna Grace

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