DIY Trendy School Supplies

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I’m not one to brag, but I think over the past two months I’ve done a pretty good job of erasing any evidence of ‘school’ from my life. My backpack is hidden in some corner of my room out of sight, my school uniform is crushed underneath a pile of clothes in my cupboard and every time someone mentions “studying”, I throw something at them. Clearly, summer’s having a great effect on me.

So you can imagine the shock – the betrayal, really- I felt when the other day I went grocery shopping with my mum and find a whole display of school supplies. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s just disrespectful.  I mean who gave that supermarket the authority to crush my dreams? It’s not even like there’s one small school supply section. Oh no, they’re EVERWHERE. How am I supposed to forget about school when I walk into the cereal aisle ready to buy some cheerios and end up surrounded by shelves of set squares and colouring pencils? (On a side note; I’m not even sure where that joke came from, I don’t even eat cereal).

Anyways, all this to tell you guys that I have finally faced reality and accepted that I’m going back to school soon. So much so, in fact, that I decided to do a couple of back-to-school DIYs. I have to say, I’m really happy with how these ones turned out! I went for a black and gold/yellow theme with geometric designs, and I think they ended up lookin’ pretty stylish ;). Plus, they’re all super simple to make. All you need is some tape, some basic materials that you’ll have at home, and some creativity!

  1. The Tape Art Notebook

 

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This was a bit of a spontaneous DIY, which are always my favourite! I just happened to have an old notebook lying around, and I thought I’d have a bit of fun re-vamping it with whatever art materials I could find. I had some paint and this tape on hand (and yes, I am the type of person who buys tape with sheep patterns on it), and in an hour I basically had a brand new notebook.

 

What you need

  • a plain, hardback notebook
  • some tape
  • acrylic paint

Steps

  1. Use your tape to create a triangle pattern on the cover of your notebook.  Don’t worry about trying to make it perfect – trust me, it’ll look good either way.
  2. Next, paint the entire cover of your notebook and leave it to dry. I used two coats of paint to make the design stand out even more, but it’s totally up to you.
  3. Finally, carefully peal back the tape and you’re done!

2. The Washi Tape Pencil

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I’m going to be honest with you guys, this may well be the most complex DIY I’ve ever posted on my blog. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Maya, this is way too complicated”, and yes, it does takes years to acquire the necessary skill to complete this tutorial. But, I think with time, you’ll eventually figure this out.

What you need

  • washi tape
  • a pencil

Steps

  1. Wrap the tape around your pencil.
  2. Give yourself a pat on the back and go take a coffee break. You’ve earned it.

 

3.The Stripy Folder

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A part from being artsy and enjoying the art of creating and all that, one of the reasons I like to DIY things is because it’s way cheaper than just buying them at a shop. Instead of buying an expensive folder with a cool design on it, you can get a cheap, plain one and make a cool design yourself!

What you need

  • a permanent black marker
  • some tape
  • a plain folder

Steps

  1. Outline a triangle shape on your folder with some tape. It can be whatever size you want, but if you ask me, the bigger the better!
  2. Take your black marker and draw horizontal and vertical lines inside of the triangle. Draw as many as you can, and don’t worry if it looks messy.
  3. Carefully peel back the tape, and you’re left with unique & trendy design on your folder.

. . .

I hope you guys enjoyed these DIYs and get a chance to try them out! Make sure to share & like this post if you’re going back to school too, or if you just feel like being a nice person. That’s cool too. Oh, and don’t forget to comment below letting me know which DIY was your favourite and if you’re looking forward to the new school year!

 

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Book Review: ‘Beautiful’ by Naomi Katz

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So today’s post is going to be a little different. As you can tell from the title, it’s my first ever book review!

A few weeks ago, I was sent a copy of Beautiful‘ by Naomi Katz to review on Artsy Teen. You guys know how important my blog is to me and so I’m very particular about what I post and promote on it. But, when I read ‘Beautiful‘ I knew I wanted to have a part in spreading it’s positive message.  I’ve always considered myself to be a relatively confident person. Granted, maybe not ‘super-outgoing-and-strikes-up-a-conversation-with-a-random-stranger’ confident, but I’ve always been pretty confident in who I am and my ability to achieve my goals, which I think is something everyone should feel. And that’s exactly what ‘Beautiful‘ is all about, promoting female empowerment .

I think what I liked most about the book is that it really felt like Naomi Katz was sitting right next to me and telling me her story. It wasn’t like reading a fictional novel or fact-packed textbook, but more like a friend telling me about her life. She starts off the book with a brief introduction titled ‘Why I Wrote This Book and Why You Might Want To Read It’, where she talks about her experiences as a middle school teacher in New York that inspired her to speak up about the problems that were affecting teen girls.

In the ten chapters that follow, the author explores the everyday struggles young women have to face in today’s society, from peer pressure at school to the negative influences of the media. Naomi Katz offers her own advice and insight on how to deal with issues like the objectification of women, difficult relationships with friends and family, body image, mental illness and more. Some topics I could relate to, others had never effected me, and I’d imagine that everyone who reads the book identifies with each chapter differently.

Together with short narratives from real teenage girls, Naomi Katz tells an honest story of the confusing and challenging lives of young women. I mean, how many girls do you know that refuse to go out in public without covering there face in make up? I know a few. When did expensive face painting even become socially acceptable? In a world where ‘beauty’ is too often defined by Photoshop, ‘Beautiful‘ aims to inspire women and girls to have confidence in who they are.

If you want to buy your own copy of ‘Beautiful’ click here and make sure to check out Naomi Katz’s website www.beautifulproject.netAnd don’t forget to like and share this post and comment down below if you want to see more book reviews!

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Short Story: Traffic Lights

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I hope you’re all having a good week! I know I promised a DIY post, but I’m running a little late on that so, in the mean time, I thought I’d share one my own short stories with you guys. As some of you may know already (or have guessed from my rambling blog posts 😉 ), I’m an aspiring writer. The dream is to one day write a full length novel, but let’s just say I have attempted this task several times and I have rarely been successful in making it past Chapter 1. That being said, I have managed to write a few short stories, which seem to work better with my attention span of a five year old. Short stories are so interesting because you don’t have time to delve into character description or an elaborate plot line, it’s really about capturing a snippet of time that you find important.

Anyways, I hope you guys enjoy Traffic Lights, and let me know what you think of it in the comments below :).signature

Traffic Lights

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I rested my head against the dusty glass, the soft hum of the engine making the window pane vibrate ever so slightly. The car seemed to drift lazily along the road, the speedometer’s needle wavering indecisively between 40 and 50 kmph. Some 90s one hit wonder was playing on the radio. The sound was fuzzy and I couldn’t make out the words. Still, it added a hint of atmosphere.

I gazed out at the less than picturesque scenery as we drove past. The dull grey of decade-old cement walls mimicked an overcast sky; the well-known backdrop to every suburban neighbourhood. Cracked pavements, bent bus-stop posts and graffiti-sprayed road signs all floated past. Here one moment, gone the next. The road was roughly patched up with a mishmash of monochrome tarmac. In the distance I saw a crane, towering over the city outskirts like a bizarre sort of monument.

I glanced out the window again and saw a plump woman with too much eye makeup walking with her son. On the way to school I supposed. The little boy was proudly carrying a spiderman backpack that was twice his size, excited to show it off to his best friend, Tim. His mother held his hand and scolded him. Probably telling him off for missing the school bus yet again. Now she was going to be late for work, second time this week. Her forehead creased in anger and I saw her lips move, but her voice was drowned out by sounds of distant traffic. Pity she wasn’t sitting where I was. Then she would have realised that her lecture was being completely ignored. Spider man was much more important than school buses, after all.

I turned left to look out the other window. A young man with short sandy blond hair and a half-zipped up jacket stood casually at the side of the road, holding out his thumb. I watched as car after car zoomed past, ignoring him. He pulled out his phone and pressed a few buttons. He frowned for a moment, then shrugged and put it back in his pocket. Dead battery no doubt, though this didn’t seem to bother him. An old guitar case, covered with faded stickers and lyrics written in Tippex, hung from his shoulder with a worn strap. Despite the evident lack of success in his hitchhiking endeavours, he seemed quite content and untroubled. Maybe he didn’t really have to go anywhere. Maybe he was just going for the hell of it. So he just stood there, relaxed, confident with an easy smile playing on his lips.

As we approached a crossroad, I saw a teenage girl, maybe sixteen or seventeen, with purple headphones waiting to cross the road. Her head was down in an attempt to remain unrecognisable. There really was nothing wrong with her grey and maroon uniform, but she’d never been a confident girl. I saw her occasionally mutter a few words under her breath… the lyrics of an Eminem song she was listening to on replay. Funny, she didn’t seem like the rap type. She subconsciously twirled what looked like a key ring, attached to the bottom of her schoolbag. A good luck charm, I guessed. A stupid superstition, but she had a lot on her mind.

Across the road from her was an elderly woman attempting to stop her three chiwawas from eating the cigarette butts that littered the sidewalk. She kept whacking the dogs with her umbrella and yelling at them. I half smiled. I couldn’t hear her, but I was willing to bet anything that she was warning them against the dangers of smoking. I suppose her children are all grown up now though, and they live in the city. Who else was left lecture?

The hum of the engine dimmed as the car came to a stop in front of a red traffic light. As we waited for the lights to change, I spied the mother and son I’d watched earlier turning a corner. The woman had given up on her lecture and was now listening with hidden amusement as her boy told her about the many exciting things one could do with a superhero backpack.

I smiled and turned, just in time to see a van pull up next to the guitar hitchhiker. The man looked around one last time before climbing into the passenger seat. The first step towards his new life.

As a green man flashed and bleeped, I saw the teenage girl wearing headphones cross the road, passing the old lady and her dogs. As their paths crossed ways, their eyes met for just a second and they shared a small smile. Maybe that smile changed each of their lives just a little bit.

Then, the traffic lights changed. The car started to move again, the radio continued to buzz and, just like that, all those people were gone. That’s it, I’d never hear of them again. I’d probably forget this ever happened. They would too. Yet we’d shared just one small moment of our lives, together, all because of a red light.

But perhaps that’s what life is; crossroads and traffic lights.

5 things to make with that random piece of cardboard

Yes, I know…that’s quite a bizarre title. Let me explain.

The other day, I bought something (isn’t that specific) and when I opened the packaging and took out this unnamed purchase, inside I found a thin, square sheet of cardboard. The thing is, this sheet of cardboard served no evident purpose whatsoever. It wasn’t there to provide support or give information. No, it’s sole purpose was to just… be there.  Kind of like that one teacher at school who never really teaches anything, but just sits there for “adult supervision”.

And this isn’t the first time this has happened to me. Oh no, it’s happened several times, with several purchases – clothes, shoes, food, electronics, you name it.

And that got me thinking… is this some sort of conspiracy ? I mean, surely companies aren’t trying to waste money.Is there some sort of unwritten code around the world that cardboard has to be included with each purchase? Are packaging companies being blackmailed by cardboard manufacturers? Is it even cardboard, or is it some sort of espionage device recording our every move?

Yeah, that escalated quickly. Anyways, luckily for us artsy teens there are tons of ways to put these supposedly purposeless pieces of cardboard to good use. I’ve been working on this post for quite a while now (editing the photos took ages), so I hope you guys enjoy it!

 

  1. A Makeshift Paint Palettepaint cover 2

Now I’m no professional painter, but every once in a while I do like to pick up a paintbrush and attempt (unsuccessfully) to become the next Picasso. Seeing as I don’t own an actual palette, during these random bursts of motivation I tend to use a piece of cardboard instead and, trust me that works just fine!

2. DIY Bracelet Holder

cardboard 1 cover

If you’re anything like me, some part of your room/desk/shelf is covered with tangled heaps of jewelry. Or maybe you’re a normal, organised person -who knows. Anyway, for this simple DIY just take a square sheet of cardboard, cut it to desired size, roll it into a tube-shape and staple the sides together. Then, just slip on your bracelets and you’re done!

3. DIY Stencils

cardboard 2 cover

Stencils probably aren’t something you use on a regular basis, but now and then they do come in handy. Instead of wasting money and buying them in a shop, you can simply print off a stencil template at home and cut out the shape from cardboard. Then you can spend your money on something else. Like food 🙂

To download the flower stencil I used, click here.

4. DIY Vintage Bookmarks

bookmark cover

I love reading and one of my greatest struggles in life will always be my inability to hold on to bookmarks. Every year, I’ll get about seventy eight bookmarks from friends, families, bookshops etc.,  but whenever I’m actually reading a book I can never find one. Then I end up using random bits and pieces laying about my room which will inevitably end up falling out of the book.

So, I thought I’d improve my chances of finding a bookmark by making a few more (which I’ve probably lost by now) out of my sheet of cardboard.

As you can probably tell, it’s not a very complicated process. Just cut out strips of cardboard and decorate them with pretty paper, drawings and just whatever takes your fancy. Making them look “Vintage” is not a requirement, but seeing as you can basically stick some old newspaper onto cardboard and call it “Vintage”, I decided it was my easiest option.

5. DIY Diamond Garland

garland collage

This DIY is a simple way to add a pop of colour to your room. All you need to do is cut out your desired shapes from the cardboard (for the diamond design I used click here), colour them in with pencils and give them a black outline with a permanent marker. Then, simply tape them onto a long piece of string/wool and hang the garland up in your room!