How To Stay Organised

So, I’m naturally quite a disorganised person. I’m forgetful, I procrastinate constantly , I’m always late and my desk is a huge mess.  I’m the type of person who does my homework on bus. I’m that annoying classmate who always has to borrow a geometry set before maths exams. I’m that one friend who says I’ll get back to you later, but never will.

The worst part is that I’m in denial of how unorganised I am, so I’m always trying to convince myself that it’s a good idea to stupid things like plan events, get involved in projects, start a blog… 😉

Just last month, I thought it would be brilliant idea to plan a surprise birthday party for my friend. First of all, you should know that I only remembered it was her birthday a week beforehand. Then, I had to go through the agony of organising a venue (a task which I ended up entrusting to my mother – making a reservation is just too much responsibility for me). Finally I had to sort out the guest lists – and can I just say that getting people to confirm whether they are free or not is a nightmare (not to mention that my social skills are as poor as my organisation skills).

Anyway, in the end everything did work out all right, but I think it’s fairly obvious that organisation is not one of my greatest talents. However, I have managed to prevent my life from turning into complete chaos with a few helpful tricks I’ve picked up over the years. Hopefully, you’ll find them useful to!

  • To-do Lists

At the risk of sounding cliche, I would honestly get nothing done if it weren’t for To-Do Lists. As simple as it sounds, just having all my tasks for the day laid out in front of me makes me way more productive!

  • Set reminders

OK, so you know when someone gives you a piece of important information that you absolutely can’t forget and instead of writing it down, you convince yourself that you have the best memory in the world? But, two weeks later, lo and behold you’ve missed your doctor’s appointment, job interview and best friend’s birthday party.

Seriously, the amount of times I’ve written a little ‘X’ on my hand and told myself I’ll remember to do something is unbelievable. To avoid this situation, set reminders on your phone for the day before your event, so you’re sure to remember!

  • Timetable Tip

If you’re like me and can never remember your timetable, just take a picture of it and set it as the lock screen wallpaper on your phone. It may not be that stylish, but it’s a total life saver!

  • Sticky Notes

If there’s something you really want to remember, jot it down on a sticky note and stick it up somewhere you won’t miss it like your mirror or computer. Sounds simple, but it works!

  • Invest in a pinboard

If you have tons of paper all over your desk just get a bulletin board and pin up all the loose sheets. This way you can keep your desk tidy and actually read what’s written on each sheet of paper when you’re bored!.

Well, those are all my tips for today. Do you have any organisation life hacks? If so, leave them in the comments below – I’d love to know!

Also, I’m so sorry, I know I haven’t uploaded in ages , but I’m actually on holidays in France at the moment and haven’t had my laptop with me! Of course, an organised person would have prepared posts beforehand… ;). Anyways, don’t worry – next week I’ll be back to posting regularly.

Have a great week!

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#ArtKnowItAll: Cubism

In one of the comments on my earlier #ArtKnowItAll posts, someone suggested that I feature Cubism next. I had a vague idea of the movement, associating it with abstract, geometrical art that seemed to almost resemble optical illusions. As always, I loved learning about the revolutionary art of the past… imagining the rebellious artists inventing new styles of art and defying tradition makes me slightly jealous that I missed out on all the excitement 😉 .signature

 

What is Cubism?

Cubism is an avant garde art movement that developed during the 1910s and 1920s, predominantly in Paris. This new, modern style of painting and sculpture both revolutionized European art and inspired the music, architecture and literature of the time. In fact, it is often regarded as the 20th century’s most influential art movement.

Main Features:

  • For the first time in centuries, perspective with a single viewpoint was abandoned. Instead, cubist painters used numerous and sometimes contrasting vantage points, showing objects from different angles and interweaving the background and foreground of the painting.
  • In fact, cubist artists turned away from depicting figures ‘realistically’, rejecting the idea that art should copy nature. Instead, they decided to emphasize the flat, two-demensionality of their canvases and reduce objects into geometric forms.
  • The early phase of the movement was called Analytic Cubism, characterised by the pronounced use of geometric shapes and use of monochrome colours.
  • The second phase was Synthetic Cubism, where artists experimented with ‘non-art’ materials such as newspaper.

Three Key Cubist Artists

  1. Pablo Picasso (1881 -1973) : Regardless of whether you’re interested in art or not, every one has heard of Picasso. The charismatic Spanish painter was a pioneer of Cubism, along with Geaorges Braque, and considered to be the most influential artist of the first half of the 20th century. He invented collage and was primarily a painter though he had an eclectic style and also worked with sculpture, printmaking and ceramics.
  2. Georges Braque (1882-1963) : After meeting Pablo Picasso, Braque went on to become another leader in the development of Cubism. He focused on depicting abstract still lifes, exploring different viewpoints, colours and textures to achieve dimension in his work.
  3. Jean Metzinger (1883 – 1956) : Though at first Metzinger was inspired by Fauvism and Impressionism, the french painter later turned to Cubism and became one of the principal theorists of the movement. In 1912, he created ‘Du Cubisme’, the first major treatise on Cubism, along with fellow french artist Albert Gleizes.


A revolutionary art movement


At first glance, Cubism may seem somewhat simplistic compared to more ‘classical’ art that strove to capture scenes completely realistically. But really, it’s just another way of representing the world around us and exploring different point of views. Plus, imagine living in a world where these abstract, geometrical paintings were virtually unheard of. Cubist artists weren’t just painters, they were innovators; inventing new styles of painting, as well as being acutely aware of and responding to current events (particularly World War I). Throughout Europe, offshoots of Cubism developed including Orphism, Futerism and Abstract Art.  And that’s only a few!

There are so, so many art movements – old and new – left to explore, comment down below or tweet me with the hashtag #ArtKnowItAll to let me know what you want to see next month.

. . .

I hope you enjoyed the third installment of my #ArtKnowItAll series. As usual, you can see my cubism-inspired artwork above, which I first sketched out in pencil and then coloured in digitally with  the aid of my graphics tablet. What do you think?

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DIYs inspired by India

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As some of you may already know, tomorrow is Holi, an Indian springtime festival which is renowned for its unique celebrations that involve throwing colourful powder and water at random strangers on the street. Seriously, that’s not even an exaggeration – look it up. I’ve personally never celebrated this festival, but I’ve always thought it seemed like tons of fun!

So this year, in honour of Holi, here are three fun DIYs that are inspired by India. Let me know which one’s your favourite in the comments below!signature

 

1. Elephant Garland

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What I love about this DIY is that you can make it using things you probably already have at home. Elephants are always the one animal everyone associates with India (accept maybe peacocks, but they’re way to complicated to draw) and fun fact, Indian Elephants can weigh 2,000 – 5,000 kg. Now that you’ve learned that useless piece of information, let’s move on to the DIY…

What you need:

  • different coloured card paper
  • black marker
  • paint (I just used nail polish – it works fine)
  • jewels, stickers, sequins… you can decorate them with anything really
  • twine
  • sticky tape

Method:

  1. Cut out as many elephants as you can from the card paper. If you’re not a skilled elephant artist, then you can print out my template.
  2. Using your paint and various decorations, make your elephants as colourful and glittery as possible.
  3. Outline your elephants with black marker and add a couple of fun designs. This step is optional, but I thought it gave the elephant shapes a bit more definition.
  4. Lastly, tape your elephants onto some twine and hang them up on your wall!

2. Jeweled Perfume Bottle

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This glammed up perfume bottle would make an Indian Princess jealous! Gluing on all the jewels is a little time consuming, but the end result is definitely worth it!

What you need:

  • a perfume bottle
  • glue gun
  • fake jewels
  • black glass paint
  1. Paint the top and sides of your perfume bottle with pretty, abstract designs (spirals, dots, lines etc.) using the black paint. Leave to dry.
  2. Carefully glue the fake jewels onto the perfume bottle in any pattern you choose.
  3. You’re done! Now all that’s left to do is proudly display it on your dressing table 🙂

3. Painted Glass Frame

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This glass painting DIY looks a little daunting, but I promise it’s very simple. This was actually my first time ever painting glass, and I was thrilled with the result!

What you need:

 

  • A4 glass frame
  • glass paints
  • black relief outliner
  • paintbrush
  • A4 sheet of white paper
  • A4 sheet of paper with a sketch of desired design (for my design, you can print off my template)
 Method:
  1. Place your sheet with the design inside your frame.
  2. Using your rough design as a guide, apply the black outline directly from the tube onto the glass. Make sure that your lines are continuous as paint will bleed through any gaps. When you’re happy with the design, leave to dry.
  3. Once your outliner is totally dry, you can start applying colour with your paintbrush. Leave to dry, remove your reference sheet from inside the frame and replace it with a sheet of white paper.

Well, that’s all for today. I hope you’re all having a great week and if you are celebrating Holi, have a wonderful time! Oh and before I forget – I recently got an Instagram account which I am on constantly, so you guys should definitely follow me@artsyteenblog 🙂

 

You Know You’re An Artsy Teen When…

1. You never throw anything away because you’re convinced that “it’ll come in useful”
Admit it. There’s a box under your bed full of useless objects that you’ve been hanging onto for ten years and that you’ve NEVER used. And to be honest, you probably never will!

2. Pinterest is your kind of social media
Facebook and twitter are OK, but the day you discovered Pinterest changed your life forever. And whats more, you don’t just spend hours browsing Pinterest. Well OK, yes you do, but unlike most people, you actually make the DIYs you pin!

3. You can wield a gun better than James Bond – a glue gun that is 😉
Its no secret that a glue gun is every DIY-er’s best friend. And no wonder – there’s basically nothing that a bit of hot glue can’t fix!

4. You refer to your messy bedroom as your “artistic space”
So yeah, technically speaking you haven’t cleaned your room in six weeks and maybe you can’t see your desk underneath the pile of junk on top of it. But honestly that’s just because you’re an artist. The creative mind doesn’t like structure. Also your lazy, but that’s besides the point.

5. You’re the ‘art’ kid at school
Ever since you made that awesome poster in primary school or won that drawing competition, everyone knows you as the ‘art’ kid. You rule the art classroom and all the other students calls you the ‘Art Master’ (OK, no they don’t – but you get the idea 😉 ) .

6. You doodle on everything
Literally, its slightly worrying. Your notes, your homework journal, your hand… everything around you is just covered in ink.

7. Since you were a kid, you’ve been getting craft kits for Christmas
All artsy teens have that one cabinet in their room full of all the craft kits they’ve collected over the years. Candle making, crocheting, vase painting, DIY jewlery… seriously, we own every craft kit imaginable.

8. You get random bursts of motivation that can last anywhere from 2 minutes to 4 hours

We all have those mornings when we wake up and suddenly we’re inspired to write a novel or redecorate our entire room. Unfortunately this motivation usually doesn’t last long enough for anything really important to get accomplished.

9. You’re a problem solver
Artsy teens love a challenge. In fact, coming up with ideas to solve a problem is our idea of fun!

10. You’re unique and individual
Where’s the fun in ‘following the crowd’? You have your own sense of style, your own ideas, your own opinions and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.

DIY Button Accessories

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Am I the only one who possesses a random collection of buttons in my room? Probably. Still, I’m sure you have a few lying around that are just waiting to be turned into beautiful accessories! All these DIYs are amazingly easy, fashionable and double as great gifts.signature

 

1. Chunky Button Bracelet

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As you can probably tell just from looking at the photo, to make this bracelet all you have to do is a string some elastic/twine through a bunch of buttons and tie the ends together. If you want the bracelet to look really fun, try using buttons that are large and colourful.

2. Bold Button Ring

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Again, this DIY is so simple and really unique! Just take a button and, using a glue gun, glue it onto a metal ring. Now you can buy always buy a cheap ring, but if you’re like me you’ll probably have a few old rings lying around that you can use.

3. Vintage Button Bracelet

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To make this vintage bracelet you’re basically going to use the same method as for the chunky bracelet, except that you’re going to string the elastic through two holes of each button, so that they lie flat against your wrist . For the ultimate vintage look, you can use metal buttons and few beads as well.

4. Button Hairband

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Looking for a new fashion statement this spring? Jazz up an old hair band by simply gluing or sewing on some colourful buttons.

5. Button Bobby pins

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Bobby pins are just one of those things that everyone has lying around their bedroom. It doesn’t matter if you have long or short hair, at some point in your life you’ve probably bought a multi-pack of bobby pins that were on special and now, every so often, you’ll see one pop up here and there. So next time you find one, glue a few buttons on to it- try layering buttons for a really cool effect- and voilà! You have a stylish one-of-a-kind hair accessory.

6. 5-Minute Belt

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Do you ever put on an outfit and think “a belt would make this”? Next time you’re wearing a loose top or a plain dress, add a pop of colour with this 5-minute button belt. Just take a piece of cord the length of your waist, thread it through a few large buttons and tie the ends together.

7. Simple Button Bracelet

bracelet 1(revamped)

Last but not least, this simple button bracelet is both casual and chic, and all you need to make it is one button and two pieces of string. Thread one piece of string through the two holes on the right side of the button, and thread the other piece of string through the two holes on the left side. Tie both pieces of string together and you’re done!

 

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I hope you guys enjoyed these DIYs! If you’d like more posts like this, let me know in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to follow me on social media to keep up to date with all my latest posts and news 🙂

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5 things to do when you’re on holidays

I’m not sure what the school calendar’s like in other countries, but here in Ireland we are currently on mid term break. Now I don’t know about you, but whenever holidays approach, I convince myself that I’m going to spend my time off being amazingly productive. I’ll write a novel. I’ll exercise every morning. I’ll do all my homework the Friday before the holidays.

Yeah, as if. In reality, I ultimately end up lying on my bed staring at my phone all week.

Not that there’s anything wrong with eating junk food and watching Netflix, but time off is a great opportunity to do all the things you don’t have time to do when you’re busy with school.
So, here are five things to do during the holidays…


1. Read that book

You know, that book. The one you’ve been meaning to read for ages but just haven’t gotten around to doing it? Maybe it was recommended to you by a family member, or maybe you have to read it for English class. Either way, it’s just been sitting there, gathering dust on your bedside table for weeks. Well, good news – this is the perfect time to read it. So as soon as you’ve finished reading this post, go get a cup of tea, or coffee, or whatever beverage you enjoy and get reading!

2. Revamp your room

 Winter’s finally over (or so I’ve heard – it’s still rainy and cold over here), so that’s means it’s the perfect time to give your bedroom a good clean (or as I call, move the pile of my belongings from the floor, to my desk) and revamp your room decor. And I don’t mean just go on pinterest and contemplate revamping your decor. I mean physically embracing your inner artsy teen, getting out your glue gun, scissors and sharpies and making some stylish DIY decor. I’m actually working on a room decor post at the moment which I’ll be publishing shortly, so hopefully that will give you some ideas!

3. Do some baking

 One thing I personally love doing during the holidays, or any time of the year really, is doing a bit of baking. If you’re stuck for ideas, allow me to recommend two amazing recipes for Lemon Cake and Chocolate Chip Cookies. Seriously, you should try them out 😉 .

4. Practice!

Whether you play an instrument or a sport, make sure you take advantage of all your free time and get some extra training/ practice sessions in. Ironically, I always seem to neglect my piano playing during the holidays, but really I should be practicing even more than usual.

5. Organise a day out

OK, so maybe this last bit of advice is a little hypocritical as I actually haven’t left my house all week, but I swear I’ve tried to organise something with my friends, they’re just all too “busy”. Which is strange, because I know for fact that none have them have social lives. Anyway, planning a trip with your friends is always tons of fun, whether it’s going into town and having lunch out, or going for a walk (not really my thing, but each to their own) and having a picnic.
So, that’s all for today… I know this was a short post, but as I mentioned, I’ve got some really fun DIY posts planned for the not-so-distant future, so keep an eye out for them!

The Best Cookie Recipe EVER

 

Hey Artsy Teens,

Happy Valentine’s day! I hope you’re all having a good week. I was actually going to post this recipe earlier, but I then I thought better not – there still might be a few people determined to stick to all those “stay healthy” new year’s resolutions. But I think I’ve left a sufficient amount of time for everyone to have given up on them by now, right? Also, I realize that calling these the best cookies ever might be a bit presumptuous but hey, if you really want to prove me wrong you’ll just have to try making them yourself 😉 !
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Ingredients

cookies 6

1 cup butter, melted

1 cup caster/granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

4 cups all purpose/plain flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I saved a few to put on top of the cookies)

1 tbsp cocoa powder

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180’C/350’F.
  2. Cream the butter and sugars together.
  3. Mix in vanilla extract and eggs.
  4. Add the flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt.
  5. Mix well and add chocolate chips.
  6. Take about 2 tbsps of the mixture and using your hands, roll the balls and place on a cookie sheet*. Flatten each cookie with a fork and press a few chocolate chips on top.
  7. Bake for 9-11 minutes until the cookies look golden (the cookies will still be soft to the touch, but don’t worry – they’ll harden as they cool). Enjoy!

*If the cookie dough is a bit sticky, rub some vegetable oil onto your hands to prevent the dough from sticking to your fingers.

How to make the perfect Sticky Lemon Syrup Cake

About two years ago, I went through what I like to call my “Lemon Syrup Cake” phase. What is this, you ask? Let me explain.

The “Lemon Syrup Cake” phase is a sudden, inexplicable obsession with Lemon Syrup Cake that lasts approximately 9 months. Symptoms including baking this cake constantly, eating it constantly and staring at this recipe longingly for several hours.

As I said, I eventually managed to move on (cinnamon is my new fascination), but during this time I did manage to perfect my “Lemon Syrup Cake” recipe. Of course, I had to share it with you guys and I wish you all luck as you embark on you “Lemon Syrup Cake” phases!

Ingredients

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for the cake

  • 150g / 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 175g/ 3/4 cup butter (softened)
  • 175g/ 1 1/2 self raising flour (sifted)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon

for the syrup

  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • juice and zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/3 cup water

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180’C (375’F) and line a 5 x 9 inch rectangular baking tin with parchment paper .
  2. In a large bowl, combine sugar and butter.
  3. Add eggs and flour. Mix well.
  4. Stir in vanilla extract, lemon zest and lemon juice.
  5. Empty mixture into tin and bake for 35-40 minutes.
  6. While your cake is baking, make the lemon syrup. Heat sugar, lemon juice, zest and water over a low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved (about 10 minutes).
  7. When the cake is ready, remove from oven. Using a fork or skewer, poke holes all over the cake (this helps the cake absorb the syrup).
  8. Pour syrup over cake and leave to cool.

 

#ArtKnowItAll

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I hope you’re all having a good week! I have some exciting news. Last Tuesday, my art class went up to Dublin to visit the National Gallery and the National Museum of Ireland (that’s not the exciting news, but I’m getting to it). They’re both lovely museums that I would recommend visiting if you’re ever in Dublin (admission is free, which is a plus for us broke students 😉 ). The National Gallery holds the national collection of European and Irish fine art while the National Museum displays a broad range of decorative art, archaeological artifacts and historical items.

Anyways, whilst admiring all the beautiful exhibitions it did come to my attention that I actually know very little about both modern and historical art. Now for a lot of people this isn’t really a big deal, but the fact that I’m planning to go to Art College in less than two years makes me think it’s probably time to start doing some research!

So, I thought  of a fun way to learn more about art and share what I’ve learned with all of you Artsy Teens…

I’ve decided to start a series called #ArtKnowItAll. On the first Monday of each month I’ll post about a different art movement, telling you about it’s historical background, it’s most famous works, important artists of the time and how they influenced society. I’ll also include a painting/drawing/sketch of my own inspired by the said movement.

Of course it’s impossible to truly “Know it All” where art’s concerned. This series  isn’t meant to be a really in depth study of all the art movements in history, but hopefully it will be a fun and interesting way to learn a little more about art!

But I need your guys’ help… Comment down below which art movement you’d like me to start off the series with! Classical Realism, Expressionism, Cubism, Pop art? Anything goes!

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Why my New Years Resolutions NEVER last

So at the beginning of each year – without fail -I feel an inexplicable need to reevaluate my life choices, plan my future and just make myself a better person in general. So then I start coming up with a list of resolutions, imagining unrealistic scenarios of future success and convincing myself that “this is my year”.

Unfortunately, this random burst of motivation only lasts a couple of hours. The good news is, after 16 years I’ve finally figured out why.

Reason 1. Too much commitment.

The longest time I’ve ever committed to anything – school projects, personal goals, important decisions- is probably around sixty five hours, give or take. Even my music playlist changes on an hourly basis. So, as you can see, it’s clearly impossible for me to commit to a resolution for 365 whole days (actually 366 – leap year).

Reason 2. I’m forgetful.

To be honest, I can’t even remember what I had for lunch today, so can I really be expected to remember a resolution I made at the beginning of the year? Because the reality of the situation is, if I decide to stop eating junk food in January, in February I’ll probably be the CEO of McDonalds.

Reason 3. Why help myself, when I could be helping others?

Look, I can’t help it – I’m just a naturally generous person. So of course if it comes down to choosing between improving myself and improving someone else, obviously I’ll choose the latter. In fact, I’d just like to take this moment to say “You’re Welcome” in advance to all the people who’s lives I’m going to make better this year.

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That being said, if you are the type of person who makes new years resolutions and sticks to them, well…. thanks for making the rest of us look bad. And on that note,  Happy New Year Everyone!