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No pun in today’s title.  A double meaning, maybe.  But no pun.

Remember, back in February, when I showed you how we convert the kids’ play room to a guest room?  That’s not quite all of it.

There’s something we’ve started hanging up in there to make our guests feel a little more special.

1 ~ Use an old manila folder to create a diamond-shaped template.  Diamonds folded in half, of course, make triangles.  Trace the diamonds onto newspaper.  Make sure you’ve already read the newspaper, if you want to, because it’s going to get ruined.

2 ~ Water down acrylic paints just a bit, so the newsprint will show through.  Be sure to keep warm colors separated from cool to prevent muddiness.  Notice that I gave Nicolas all the reds, oranges, and yellows, and Kalen had the greens, blues, and purples.

3 ~ Paint!  Go hog wild.  Go outside the lines!  It’s abstract!  It’s fun!

4 ~ While the paint is drying, cut out letters that will fit on the folded triangles.  I wanted to print perfect letters in a pretty font from my computer but decided to embrace the child-like, handmade look of it all.  I hand-drew the letters on construction paper with Sharpie and cut them out.  W’s and M’s are particularly difficult; just thought you deserved fair warning.

5 ~ Choose a string/ribbon/something-like-that to hold all your triangles.  I found some red paper twine in my stash and braided it with raffia.  Cut the [dry] diamonds out, fold them over and glue them around the s/r/s-l-t.  Reinforce the top with a staple, if you’re concerned they might slide around a bit.

6 ~ Attach the letters.

7 ~ Hang.  You know all those looooong plastic twist ties that hold toys in their packaging and generally make birthdays and Christmas morning so frustrating?  Jason’s always insisted on keeping them and storing them out with the hardware in the garage.  I cannot tell you how often they’ve come in handy.  I use two to attach the bunting the curtain rod.  The hardware’s a little much for a paper banner, but I might get curtains in there someday, too.  Maybe.

It was a fun, free project that took us only an hour or so one afternoon.  Folded up, it fits nicely in the drawer with the guest room alarm clock.  Unfolded and hung, it shows our guests how happy we are to have them.

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Happy Blogiversary – to me!

One year ago today, I began blogging our family’s letterboxing adventures over on Blogger.  The place quickly morphed into a more life-encompasing adventure, with a heavy emphasis on crafts, and for reasons I have long since forgotten, I moved over here to WordPress last summer.  I suppose a blog, like any journal, will take on a life of its own.

I don’t have a huge following; my stats show my busiest days as those surrounding the 12th of the month for some strange reason, and they also have a nice little blip when I participate in Pip’s challenges.  However, I appreciate each and every one of you who visits, whether it’s on a daily basis, or once a month…or less!

So, as a thank-you for commenting enough to keep me blogging for a full year, I decided to offer a gift.  But what??  Realizing my blogiversary was approaching, I began to fret and wonder what on earth I could share with people that they might find worthwhile.

The answer came when I began tweeting about and then posted pictures of the Washi eggs Mom and I made on Saturday.  I’m sure there are plenty of tutorials out there on how to make these, but why not make it easy on my readers and put the tut right here, where there’s no laborious Googling involved?  (To honor the occasion, I even created a new “tutorials” category over there in my category cloud.  Maybe this will be the incentive to start adding to it!)

So, without further ado, Happy Blogiversary to Me, and Thank You to You!!

Washi Eggs

Supplies

~Eggs (blown out, rinsed, and allowed to dry thoroughly)
~Decorative paper (traditionally, Japanese Washi paper is used, but we use leftover scraps of wrapping paper and decorative cocktail napkins)
~Scissors
~Ruler and Small Tape Measure
~White Glue, Water, and Paint Brush for applying it
~Spoon
~Matte Varnish

How-To

1. Measure the egg and cut out the paper

Use the tape measure to measure the circumference of your egg around its middle.  Add 1/8 – 1/4 inch (5 mm) to this measurement.  This is Measurement #1.

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Now measure around the egg the long way.  Divide this number in half and add 1/8 inch (3 mm) for Measurement #2.

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Cut your paper to size:

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2. Cut paper to shape.

Fold the paper in half lengthwise, as shown in the above drawing.  Cut slits in the paper about 3/8 inch (1 cm) apart, from the cut edges towards the fold, leaving about 1/4 inch.

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Now, cut halfway up each flap to make “picket fence” points.

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(Much like my drawing, these cuts do not need to be precise.  I encourage you to embrace the okayness of eyeballing it!  If, however, that freaks you out, go ahead and measure.  I won’t tell anyone.)

3.  Apply paper to egg.

Unfold the paper, and lay it down with the wrong side up.  Mix a little bit of water with the glue and brush it onto the paper carefully.

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(This picture is too much fun not to include.)

Center the egg carefully on the paper.  The ends of the egg should “point” in the same direction as the pickets.  Gently wrap one side of the paper around the egg, and begin smoothing the pickets (one at a time!) into place on one end of the egg.  Use your fingers to smooth out air bubles and wrinkles as you go.  Take your time, and reapply glue if it starts to dry out.  Don’t rush on this part!  After one end of the egg is covered, turn it over and do the other end.

4.  Spoon the egg!

Use the back of the spoon to gently rub wrinkles out of the paper and smooth the seams.

5.  Let the egg dry.

6.  Spoon the egg!

7.  Varnish the egg.

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Dip one end of the egg in varnish, and roll the egg in your hands to apply it evenly.  The number of coats of varnish is up to you…I do at least three, although some instructions I’ve seen say to do up to ten! Just make sure you let it dry in between coats.

8.  Spoon the egg! one last time when the last coat of varnish is not quite completely dry.

9.  If you make eggs using this tutorial, please leave me a link!  I would love to see them.

10.  Repeat, repeat, repeat, until you have a basket (or a tiered plate) full!  These last for years.  (My mother, sister & I made the eggs in this photograph in the early ’90’s.)

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