My Shiver/ Linger Obsession.

Well, the title says it all. I LOVED Shiver. Want to know why? Because it made me cry on the very last page. And I never cry. Unless I'm hormonal. But Shiver was just so beautifully written and so well-developed that yup, I cried.
And then Linger came out. And I didn't cry, but I still just straight up loved it. So Maggie Stiefvater was coming to Austin. Oh mah goodness. I had to celebrate!

I spent 3 arduous days laboring over designing and making 2 shirts for me and my friend Stephanie. We had to look rockstar, after all. And of course, we got a ton of comments on them at the signing and asking if I was selling them. Yeah, hah, at like $50 a pop!
AND (the highlight of my night) was when Maggie asked where I got them printed and I was like oh, no no, I made them. She was impressed. I beamed.

Now this process was so long and complicated that I couldn't begin to tell anyone at the signing how I did it. But here's my tutorial of sorts. And I'm sorry for the lack of progress pics, I suck at stopping and thinking "picture time!".

All right, if you have ever used freezer paper stenciling, that's what this is basically.

You'll need:
- freezer paper (found near wax paper in the grocery store)
- an iron
- stenciling sponges (I used the ones without wooden handles)
- acrylic paint (or fabric paint, but I have a preference with acrylics and I used BASICS brand paint)
- X-acto knife (or craft knife)
- pencil
- stencil blanks (Hobby Lobby has them!)
- masking tape

1) First I drew the trees and made them the sizes I wanted.
I actually scanned the drawings, blew them up and printed them off so I could just trace them on to the freezer paper.

2) Draw the trees on the MATTE side of the freezer paper and cut it out.
So it looks like this:

3) Position it and get that iron ready! And iron the sucker! Iron all over, especially the edges. Some tutorials say to iron both sides. I never did that and I had no problems with it.

4) Now, spread some paint out and try to coat the sponge evenly. Then dab the paint on the stencil. Now it's not as important with freezer paper stencils, but be sure to make the motion up and down and not pushing the paint side to side at all.
I've ruined many a good shirt doing that...

5) Let it dry. Why I like acrylic over fabric paint is because fabric paint needs to be heated or something and I don't have the patience for that. Bah.
With stenciling, the acrylic paint layer is really thin so it doesn't take long at all to dry!

6) Peel off the paper. And voila!
Now repeat this a billion times. Or so.

7) For the leaves, I used a plastic stencil blank and just cut them out once (3 different batches of leaves). Instead of ironing it on, just use masking tape to secure them. The leaves part goes really fast.

Also, to get the color/fade effect that's on the cover of Linger, place the first trees higher up and color them the light green, medium in the middle and dark green in the foreground. That's a distance/proportions thing.
Click on the pictures to see a bigger version!

Now did I have Maggie sign the shirt I sprained my index finger's first knuckle on? Yes. Yes, I did.


And so you know what all this leads to...?

Now I'm a little beginning baby blog, so this is going to be super easy.
Comment on this post to enter. You MUST be a follower to enter.
Just post your name and email. That's it!
And YES! It is open internationally!

(edit) This is for a SIGNED SHIVER!

Want more than one entry? You can do one or all!
- With the comment include what you LOVED about Shiver or Linger OR stroke my ego and tell me what you thought about the shirts! (I'm kidding... kinda...)
- Twitter - RT this contest on Twitter with the hashtag #FYshivergiveaway or @ me (JustlyJennifer) into the RT (and if you do this, please make it easy on me and include your Twitter name with your post...).
- Facebook - Post it on Facebook (and provide a link in the comment).

Contest will end a week from today, August 6th! Yay! I'm excited! :D

My Summer Crafts

Since I've graduated from college, I've exactly gotten a job. Haven't been looking either. So here's some of what I've been up to recently!!

Chalkboard Coasters

This serves the basic function of wine charms and all that froofy stuff. But I saw this on another VERY awesome craft blog: Shrimp Salad Circus
And they are super easy to do!

But then I thought 'if you use these, you need chalk nearby and chalk is messy...'
And so... I made a coaster holder!

Cute, no? How did I do it? Lots of measuring, no lie! I poked around on the internet looking at other holders and I noted features I liked. While this too is made out of cork, it's also chalkboard. I LOVE chalkboard paint. If you see more random things painted chalkboard you know why...

Secret Jewelry Box
I also saw this and HAD to do it. SO cool. Basically take a shadow box (one where the front opens) and put a picture against the glass. At a glance it looks like just a picture:

But when you open it... secret compartment!

Now I haven't had a chance to hang jewelry in it, but still! Fun!

And last, but certainly not least...
Lady Gaga inspired shoes!
Now with this blog I am trying to keep it to book and film inspired things (obviously not with this post) but music is also something incredibly important to me. I love classic rock and appreciate everything from the 40s up. But I also love me some glam pop Lady Gaga. So sue me.

About 8 hours. 700 rhinestones. And more nail glue than one should breathe... I present to you...

Awesome sauce.

And now back to our regularly scheduled topics... VERY soon, I will be posting a blog about this INSANE craft I'm working on for Maggie Stiefvater's Linger book tour. I'm very excited. The signing is on Thursday and I'll be debuting the work there and after that, expect not only a new blog, but my first GIVEAWAY!!!!! :O

Jurassic Park

July 9, 2010

An oldie, but a greatie! I absolutely adore this movie and it's one of my (few) favorite Spielberg films. And what's funny is when I was five, I was so scared by this movie that by the time the T-rex chomps down on the lawyer, I had run from the room not to return until it was over. But as an adult, I love it. I even read the book in 8th grade and it has so much about genetics that by the time I got into Biology in High School, I had a step up in the class (first and only time ever!).

What I love so much about this movie is that it is a huge turning point in the difference between "old" film and the new CGI age. At the time, it was not possible to do a completely convincing CGI dinosaur film, but the total use of puppets was just not something Spielberg was interested in. So, this film blends them both. And perfectly, I might add. I could go through the film and point out what is a puppet and what is not (even more amazingly what the actors are actually seeing and what they aren't) and if you are a shrewd film watcher, you might be able to figure it out, but really, why bother? It still looks so fantastic!

I must say that I end up quoting this movie easily on a weekly basis. 90% of them delivered by the absolutely amazing Jeff Goldblum, this man can do no wrong in my eyes, ever. Here are some of my all-time favorites.

[Amusing how often this comes to my mind.]
Dr. Ian Malcolm: God help us; we're in the hands of engineers.

[I say this with a ridiculous frequency, or at least think it with ridiculous frequency...]
Ray Arnold: Hold on to your butts.

[Whenever I speak computer nerd this line comes to mind...]
Lex: I'm a hacker!
Tim: That's what I said: you're a nerd.
Lex: I am not a computer nerd. I prefer to be called a hacker!

Henry Wu: You're implying that a group composed entirely of female animals will... breed?
Dr. Ian Malcolm: No, I'm simply saying that life, uh... finds a way.

[why did he not win an Oscar for this line?]
Dr. Ian Malcolm: I'll tell you the problem with the scientific power that you're using here: it didn't require any discipline to attain it. You read what others had done and you took the next step. You didn't earn the knowledge for yourselves, so you don't take any responsibility... for it. You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could and before you even knew what you had you patented it and packaged it and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox, and now you're selling it, you want to sell it!

[I really want this on a shirt I love it so much.]
Dr. Ian Malcolm: God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs...
Dr. Ellie Sattler: Dinosaurs eat man. Woman inherits the earth...

Muldoon: Clever girl.

Dr. Ian Malcolm: If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it's that life will not be contained. Life breaks free, expands to new territory, and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously.

Okay, I realize this has been mainly quotes. Oops. Oh well, this film perfectly blends action, science and humor in one terrifying blend.
Need a movie for the kids on the same theme? Don't do what my parents did to me, get Land Before Time. That's for the kiddos.

First, I have to give a little shout out to this site (non-craft shirt, but very cool). If anyone wants to bribe for any reason, let it be known...

Mini Raptor Earrings
How freaking cute are these??
Dinotopia Necklace
Wear your dino pride loud and proud.
T Rex Lollipops
Now you can take a bite out of them!
Jurassic Amber Soap w/ Insect
So simple and yet so clever.

Thunder the Brontosaurus Dinosaur
So adorable!
Mommy's Little Velociraptor T-shirt
If I had a small child...
Jurassic Park Sketch Card
Love it!
Kirigami Jurassic Bobblehead Pop-up Card Series
Scare people when they open your cards.

FYI!! I apologize for the spread-out-ness. Apparently Blogger does not like tables. *eyeroll*

First Movie of the Week!

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
July 3, 2010

With this film having just come out on DVD I thought appropriate to review something I saw far too many times in theaters.

Now first off, I LOVED the books, so there's a slight bias in my review there. But I also LOVED the movie. Why? Not sure. Maybe because it was totally entertaining. Or maybe Logan Lerman is pretty sweet on the eyes. Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed it and wished it had done better in the box office. A lot of the faithful readers complain over the adaptation of the book to the screen. And, yeah, it is different, but there are a lot of problematic cinematic issues with the book. For one, it is very episodic, which is great for young readers, keeps them interested, but incredibly hard to do well in a film. Films are short! This also influenced the actors' ages. It's hard to coordinate 12 year olds constantly getting rides and such, though I think after the film came out this was less of an annoyance to the readers. Another big irritation is the whole 'going after my mother' plot. But, dear readers of the Percy Jackson series, you must admit that even the book going off after a lighting bolt where you have no idea where it is, is thin reasoning at best. Even in a kids book. The mother subplot in the book is a much better plot for the movie. Flows better.

Now, all that aside, I still really enjoyed the costumes, casting, humor and even action! Christopher Columbus kind of sapped me out with the first two Harry Potter films, but he redeemed himself very well! There were still sap bits, I mean he is a family film director after all. Now this seems obvious, but keep a watch out for Logan Lerman, that kid is going places. He's already signed up for The Three Musketeers and The Perks of Being a Wallflower (which I could NOT be more excited for! The book is awesome!).

Great movie for kids and adults!

And now, for the Percy Jackson goodies!! (Be warned, there is some shameless self-promotion on the first two items. :)