My Alaskan Life: Dip Netting

Like I said last Friday, I missed the opening ceremonies for the Olympics because my family and I had a date with some salmon on the Kenai River. And by that, I mean we went dip netting.

I hadn't ever gone dip netting before (despite eight years of living in Alaska), and I wasn't sure what to expect. The basic concept of dip netting is you have a huge net (5 feet or less in diameter) connected to a super long pole. You basically just hold this pole in the water at the mouth of the river, and wait for the unsuspecting salmon to entangle themselves in your net. 

We caught 15 red salmon. Not a bad haul for the end of the season.

As you can see here, there are quite a lot of gung-ho fishing enthusiasts with whom we shared the beach. And by gung-ho I mean the sort of people who get to the water at 6 PM and don't leave until 2 AM. You know... people like my family. 

One of the coolest things (besides catching fish) was seeing droves of seagulls just flocking to pick at salmon carcasses and remains. I mean hundreds of seagulls in one concentrated locale. It was quite a sight--although it did make my sister and I pull out caps on for fear of getting seagull poop on our heads. 

And there's a snapshot of my Alaskan life. I'm definitely going to miss it up here when I leave for Philly in the fall.

Geeking Out About {8} // Olympics Edition

Unfortunately, the opening ceremonies coincide with prime dip-netting time at the Kenai River--so I won't be able to watch. However, that doesn't mean I can't geek out about the olympics, now does it? Here's an Etsy round-up fit for the occasion. (And by the way, this isn't sponsored or anything. I'm just promoting handmade goods because I like to.)

I absolutely love this cute laurel wreath headpiece. It's simply perfect for the olympics. Check out PoppyHartDesign on Etsy to purchase. 

And here's a keychain to show your Team USA pride. It even has good ol' Abe Lincoln on it. How can you get more American than that? Take a look at NatashaAloha for details.

And, lastly, this cute tote bag. Frankly, the graphic is genius--if they had a print of it, I might be cajoled into purchase (and I'm a poor college kid!). Look at lucyirving for details.

That's all for today! Have fun watching the ceremonies... it's times like these I wish we had TiVo.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for free advertising space here!

Tutorial: Simple Sewing Labels

Today I'm going to show you how to make these simple "brand" labels to use on your sewing projects. These labels would also be great for putting names in things you sew as gifts, or projects sewn for little kiddos (and big kiddos too!). I personally plan to use them for my Etsy shop next summer.

I'm also going to show you how to make the little side tag/label thing that I sewed into this pencil pouch. It's hard to see it, but it's on the top right of the pouch with an "l" on it.

You'll need:
-cotton twill tape OR ribbon
-Heat n' Bond
-letter stamps and an ink pad that will work on fabric (you might be able to use fabric markers instead of stamps, but you'd have to experiment with that as I haven't tried it...)

First, I cut my Heat n' Bond into a long strip narrow enough to be ironed onto the twill or ribbon without any extra hanging off. If you are using ribbon, be sure to iron the Heat n' Bond to the satiny (shiny) side of the ribbon--you'll be using the not shiny (matte) side to stamp your letters because the ink won't adhere to the satiny side.

After ironing on the Heat n' Bond, stamp on the letters to make the word or name that you want on your labels. Also, for your reference, I used Tsukineko Versa Magic ink. It was kind of pricy, but I used a 40% off JoAnn coupon to buy them.

Once you stamped out your words you just need to wait for the ink to dry and then iron the labels to heat set the ink. Then you can cut them and iron them into the lining of your next pouch or bag! I also sew the edges of the labels on as well--just to be sure they stay. 

For the side labels, simply cut about 1.5 inches of ribbon or twill and stamp on 1 or 2 letters. Be sure to put them towards the center, but also leave a goot space between them. 

Then, iron them to heat set the ink, and also iron them in half. Simply sew them into the seams of your next project (be sure to pin it very well to make sure it doesn't get sewn on crooked!). 

You can also try different color combinations to match your project. 

These labels are perfect for Etsy or shop branding, as well as gift giving. They lend a nice professional touch to your crafts, but are also hand made! I think that's what I like about these. I don't see the point in sewing something from scratch and then slapping on a factory made label. It taints the integrity of handmade--of course, that's just my opinion.

I hope you find this helpful. If you have questions or comments, just leave me a note in the comments section. :O) 

Happy label making!

And don't forget to enter my giveaway for free ad space this coming month! Enter here!


Catalogue & Magazine Paper Crafts

Ordinary people see a Pottery Barn catalogue... 

I see free wrapping paper!

Basically, I flip through the catalogues and find colorful pages and rip them out from the middle of the catalogue and PRESTO! an economical piece of wrapping paper. 

To top it off I used Avery labels to label them... as you can see, I had fun writing their names.

Here are some other fun things you can do with catalogues (or magazines... but they aren't free, so they aren't as cool). Click the links for the tutorials.

You should seriously check these tutorials out. If you have a pile of old catalogues or magazines (I have both... remember what I said about me being on Hoarders: Buried Alive when I get old?), there are some great ways to use them. I plan on doing some stuff with the few weeks of summer vacation I have left. I'm determined to do as many crafty things as possible because at Penn I won't have access to a sewing machine, or most of my crafty stuff (although, I'm hoping I can get into pottery again). 

If you have any ideas or suggestions for crafts I can do in a dorm room, please let me know. I'm scared I'll lose all my creative flow--and I don't want to completely drown in academics... My crafts are a sort of coping mechanism, so suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Also, I am hosting a giveaway for 3 free ad spaces for next month! Enter here

Have an awesome week!

(I've Been) Gone Fishing!

I haven't blogged in about a week. (GASP!) I know. It's terrible. I honestly don't know what the world has done without my sporadic semi-daily pearls of wisdom. Just kidding. Totally kidding. I'm sure the world has done just fine and dandy without my blogging. 

At any rate, I'm back! I was out fishing for a week in Prince William Sound--one of the most beautiful places in the world (if you can see it on a sunny day). 

I didn't have time to put together a "Geeking Out About Post." So instead, here are some pics from my trip. Enjoy! (Don't freak out--I'll continue my "Geek Out" posts next week). Keep calm and read on.

 I was trying to do that thing that I always see on Instagram where people take photos through their aviators. Turns out, it's hard to hold your glasses and press the touchscreen button on your smartphone camera without dropping your beloved phone into the crystally cold depths of the ocean. Hence the awkwardly taken shot.

I took this shot using Pano--a panoramic photo app for Android. I got it for $0.10 last December during their we-almost-sold-as-many-apps-as-Apple sale.  

And here's another Pano shot. Except this one makes it look like the world is folding over--kind of like in Inception--sans Leonardo DeCaprio and Ellen Paige. Their absence just makes this shot "eclectic." It does give a good view of the mountains though. Imagine mountains like those, surrounding you from every angle, and in the middle there is a vast stretch of ocean. That is the basic definition of Prince William Sound.

And here I am chilling with my Keen sandals. They're actually a youth size 6--about $50 cheaper than the adult sizes, and a wonderful alternative to Xtratuf boots. (Alaskans are SO fashion forward). 

Well... that's all folks! I'll be seeing you around (the blogosphere, I mean). Have a great weekend.

P.S. For you Alaskan readers (aka my friends and family), we caught our limit of rockfish (mostly yellow-eyes), two nicely sized halibut, and one pink salmon.

Geeking Out About {7}

1. Cards via Nordstrom 2. Fletcha Mugs via Spartan 3. Mini Notebook via HappyDappyBits

This week I've really been inspired by bold geometric prints. In fact, that Fletcha Mug was the inspiration behind one of my newest linocut projects, which I will show you soon. 

I really love all of these prints though. The thank you cards at the top remind me of linocutting--perhaps it's a style worth emulating? It offers inspiration, if nothing else. 

It's been a busy week, so this is all I have to say. If you haven't yet, you should check out my new Etsy shop, ClickClackClunk. I'm selling my linocut cards and prints from there, so if you're interested, I encourage you to take a gander. 

100th Post... and Etsy Announcement

Today I am celebrating my 100th post on Click, Clack, Clunk! I started this blog on a whim one night in January--I had wanted to start a blog for a while but never had the guts to do it. Then, I just decided to dive in a go for it.

This blog is still small. It's still growing. However, it is strong, and has awesome readers--so I feel like one lucky duck!

So, I just wanted to thank you all for taking the time to read my blog! If it weren't for you all, I know I probably would've thrown in the towel a while ago. Basically, I just want to say, "Gee, Thanks."

In addition to celebrating my 100th post, I also wanted to share something with you... I'm setting sail on a new adventure (so to speak)...

I am proud to announce the grand opening of my Etsy store, ClickClackClunk (gee, I wonder where I got that name from?).

Just like with blogging, I've always wanted to try Etsy. And just like with blogging, I've had this sense of fear about doing so. I don't know the source of it, but it was there nonetheless. But, I've decided that 2012 will be the year for new things. New blog, new college, new Etsy shop. Heck, compared to college, Etsy is small potatoes!

Anyway, my shop will be selling my lino block print wares for now. I may expand later, but focus is always a good thing (something I learned from blogging). 

I would love it if you would take a look!

Tutorial: Bleach Dip Dye Tee

In case you've been living under a rock, stuck in a time warp, and/or stranded on an island with a volleyball named Wilson, ombre is a major trend right now. I'm generally trend blind and I know it's trending. I can't get onto Pinterest without seeing something ombre. I can't online window shop without running into it either. In fact, I was looking at Anthropologie and saw this shirt. I like it, but it's $50. I don't pay $50 for anything except jeans--so, I decided to make my own blue ombre shirt with materials from home!

For mine, I decided I kind of wanted a tie-dye/acid wash look as well, so I used some basic tie-dye techniques to make it happen. And the result was this cool tee--all for FREE!

To make this shirt, you'll need: an old (SOLID COLORED) tee shirt; a grocery bag; rubber bands; rubber gloves; a large plastic basin/container; Clorox bleach

Start off by soaking the shirt under the faucet until it is completely drenched, and squeeze away the excess water. Next, use your grocery bag and a rubber band to cover the bottom 6 inches (or so) of the shirt. This will prevent bleach from accidentally getting on it.

Then, rubberband the shirt where you would like the stripes of color to be. Make sure you rubberband it tightly so that bleach can't get in.

I then filled the plastic basin about 4 inches high with HOT tap water. I then added the bleach and used a clothes hanger to mix it around. (I didn't measure how much bleach... just use your own judgement and you'll be fine.) Then, I placed the top part of the shirt into the bleach solution and let it soak for about an hour.

I did this portion in the bathtub. It kept all the bleach contained and made for a super easy cleanup. I highly recommend it.

After an hour, I came back and the shirt looked like this. Depending on how you would like the shirt to look, you can let it soak for more or less time. This is a pretty flexible project, so experiment with it a little!

To finish off the shirt, I took it out of the bleach solution and (wearing rubber gloves!) I squeezed out the excess bleach water from the shirt. I then rinsed it under COLD water for about a minute. After that I removed the plastic bag from the end and rinsed the shirt for another minute or so.

Then, I let the shirt sit on the (dry) floor of the tub for about an hour. After that I rinsed it one last time, removed the rubber bands, and hung it up to dry.

And that's all! With minimal effort and no money you have a trendy shirt to wear for summer!

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave me a note in the comments section. Also, if you make a shirt of your own, I'd love to see it--so you should definitely e-mail me a picture of your finished creation.

Happy bleaching!

Another New Look

As you probably noticed (if you're a regular), I kind of recently changed the layout of the blog. And, I'm pleased to tell you I actually like this look and will be sticking to it for a while longer than I have the other layouts. I know I say this every time--but this layout took me a while to design, and I like to simplicity of it--therefore, it will be sticking around for a while.

So, new stuff.

On the left side bar there are links to Feedburner (RSS) and my Pinterest. I'm a Pinterest addict. If you're interested in looking at my boards, go for it.

Below those is the Google Friend Connect widget. If you like this blog and would like to express your support, I encourage you to follow by clicking that "Join This Site" button. There is almost nothing in the world that makes bloggers happier. (Although commenting is good too.)

Then, there's the Blog Lovin' button. You can follow through there as well.

After that comes archives and subject tags and the search bar. These will all help you navigate the site.

On the right side bar, you may have noticed I've opened spots for sponsorship ads. If you're interested, just contact me. Rates are very affordable!

And then, there's the top navigation bar. That's all pretty self explanatory. :O)

And lastly, check out my new tutorials directory! It's all pretty and user friendly now.

I was going for a linen look, and designed everything, including the textures, on Pixelmator. Pixelmator is pretty much my new best friend. Just kidding. That would be sad.

What do you think of the new design? 

Geeking Out About Friday {6}

I've been on a book kick this week (well, honestly, I'm on a book kick every week), so here is a small collection of the tutorials I've been geeking out about this week. 

I plan on covering a book with the Delightful Distractions tutorial very soon on a book of Hans Christian Anderson fairytales my grandpa gave me. It's a wonderful book, but the cover is really not that attractive. I need to find the right fabric first, of course. 

As for the bookmarks, I've made a few already, and they work wonderfully. I made mine using colorful pages trimmed from a Pottery Barn catalogue. I also use paper from catalogues for wrapping paper sometimes (don't judge!). There are lots of uses for the stuff--trust me. Plus, it's better to reuse it than to just chuck it in the trash can.

Lastly, the dock. I love that dock. But, I have a Samsung Galaxy SII, so I don't think it would work... Darn. Oh well. I love my Android phone, so I'm not complaining. Maybe if you could figure out how to build in speakers, you could make an iPod dock instead. That would be sweet. 

I wish you all a delightful weekend!

Doodles: Baking

Here's a doodle I made yesterday after baking brownies. I was just in a baking kind of mood I suppose. I've realized that sketching mundane objects really isn't all too mundane. In fact, it kind of lets you take note of things you never really bothered to examine before.

Plus, I don't have to think very hard while I do these, which makes it a relaxing process.

Quite opposite of this "relaxed" sort of drawing is my recent attempt to practice drawing people. I've never been good at drawing people, and I figure that since I'm not doing anything else this summer, I may as well practice. It's the faces and hands that get to me. The proportions just seem to get away from me.

Anyway, grab a pen and paper and draw something mundane today. Trust me, it's more fun then it sounds.

Have a wonderful 4th of July!

Easy Caramel Brownies

Yesterday, I made caramel chunk brownies. They were delicious. The whole pan was gone in a matter of minutes... if it helps, we had company over. 

I bake cookies and cakes and pies from scratch, but never brownies. I mean, Betty Crocker has this one down pat--why fix what isn't broken? 

So, all I did was I mixed the batter, and then cut up caramels into fourths. 

I poured half the batter into the pan, and then spread the caramels on top. Then I poured the remaining half of batter on top and baked it the way Betty told me to. 

And the result was a beautiful pan of brownies that were devoured so quickly that I didn't get a good picture!

I hope you had a blessed Sunday!