DIY: Stop Motion Video

When T and I were engaged, we wanted to share the news that we’re getting married in a fun and informal way. This stop-motion video was created a couple years ago for our Save The Dates but the same concept can be used by future brides, mom-to-be’s, party planners for an eco-friendly alternative to party invitations, announcements, Thank You notes, etc.

Visualize your story or message. Once you have an idea of what you’d like to display in your video, you may use Photoshop or simply free-hand the individual cartoon-like sketches. The sketches in our video were created using oil pastel. Select a suitable background for your video, I ended up using one of our spare travertine tiles for it’s smooth surface.

Set up the photoshoot. We situated a tripod above the tile, after tweaking the camera attachment, T was able to configure it to take photos from above.

Snap away. Similar to old cartoons, the video consists of still images strung together to create motion effects. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a smooth transition from one image to the next, the imperfections give it character.

Edit. You can then use Photoshop to edit any of your photos for added effects. The fireflies at the end of our video were simply added in this way. Using a video program found online, the individual images were strung together with our song of choice to create the stop-motion video.

DIY: Urban Minimalist TV Stand

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When T and I shop for home furniture, I usually point to a rustic minimalist piece and ask, “Can you make this?” His answer is usually, if I had a “__”. The right tools usually get the job done. Lately, we’ve been attempting a few home projects where we start with an idea for something and then rummage around the hardware store for materials that may work. It’s amazing how much you can do with the right tools, a bit of creativity, and a basic knowledge of structural support.

Our TV stand was constructed in half a day in our apartment, no garage needed!

Tools:
jig saw
kreg jig
power drill
1 3/8″ spade bit

Supplies:
4 each 12″ long x 1″ diameter steel pipes
2 each 1″ elbows
2 each 6″ long x 1″ diameter steel pipes
2 each 1″ couplers
4 each 1″ flanges
a couple of thick pieces of wood (we used 1 3/4″ thick cedar boards)
screws

We chose black steel pipes over galvanized steel for its matte finish and decided to go with 1″ ID pipes and fittings for a more robust look, feel free to choose whichever size/style you’re going for.

Cut boards to desired length and width. The first step is determining the length you’d like for the TV stand. For us we have a 46” LCD so we made ours 60” long to provide room on either side for odds and ends. Once you’ve decided on a length, cut your boards to length with the jig saw. Alternatively the hardware store will usually cut them to length if you ask nicely. Using a good straight edge, the jig saw can then be used to “rip” your boards to width. Additionally you’ll need to cut two more pieces of wood. Those two pieces will separate the top and bottom sections of the TV stand and create a space for your cable box and DVD player. We left a slight gap on the sides (towards the back) to allow for ventilation.

Join wood pieces. The secret to the TV stand’s clean look is using a Kreg Jig to drill pocket screws. This allows you to join the wood pieces in a way that no fasteners can be seen. The Kreg Jig positions the drill bit just right so you don’t drill through the top of your workpiece. T used a screw every 12 inches along the length of the wood pieces. After the top and bottom pieces of the TV stand were assembled, he joined the top and bottom together with the additional sections of wood that were cut earlier.

Assemble the stand. At this point you’ll have a wood box with an open front and back. From here you’ll need to drill holes in the top and bottom pieces of wood to allow for the steel pipes to pass through. Perform a dry run to make sure the holes are in the right location. T used a 1 3/8″ spade bit for the holes since we chose 1″ ID pipes. After the holes are drilled, assemble the steel pipes and install it into the wood “box”. One pipe assembly consists of the following (from bottom to top): flange (floor), 12″ pipe, coupler, 6″ pipe, elbow, 12″ pipe, flange (wall).

Install the ledger board. The ledger board is used provide extra support to the TV stand. T used a 1”x4” board for the ledger board. Attach the ledger board to the bottom of the top board of the TV stand. Once attached, position the TV stand where you’d like along a wall and screw the ledger board into the wall.

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DIY: Juice Cleanse

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With the Oscars airing tonight, I’m sharing a detox menu plan for those wanting to trim up for a special occasion without spending big bucks on websites like Organic Avenue and Blue Print. If you are planning on doing this cleanse a couple times a year, I recommend investing in a juicer and making the juices yourself. This is a great way to kick-start into a healthier and lighter you.

First, invest in a masticating juicer. T did the research for me and found the Omega 8004 was best rated in our price range, specifically for juicing greens.

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Menu
8am Young Love
10am Coconut Water
12pm Green Apple
2pm Cucumber Juice
4pm Beet Ginger
6pm Cashew Nut Milk

Adjust the times to your schedule. Play around with the ingredients to suit your taste buds and use fresh organic fruits and vegetables when possible.

Young Love

  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/2 bunch spinach
  • 3 stalks celery

Coconut Water
There are many brands available these days (Vita Coco, Zico), check that it doesn’t contain added sugar and is not from concentrate.

Green Apple

  • 1 green apple
  • 1/2 lemon (zest and pith removed)
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 4 kale leafs
  • 3 stalks celery

Cucumber Juice

  • 2 large cucumbers

Beet Ginger

  • 1 lemon (zest and pith removed)
  • 1/2″ ginger
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 beet with greens
  • 2 celery stalks

Cashew Nut Milk

  • 1/2 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp honey

I followed this meal plan for 5 days with minor adjustments from day to day by substituting different fruits, herbs, and greens. Remember to keep the juices chilled, grab a straw and sip away. Check back for more recipes, happy cleansing!

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DIY: Mini Name Tags

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I created these mini name tags for the little ones at my sister’s reception this past winter. As party favors, she had large caramel apples decorated in fun bright colors and wanted to include a personalized note for each kiddo.

So I got to work. I started by sketching out different designs that doubled as name tags as well as mini envelopes to hold inserts for a personalized hand written note. And to finish it off, care instructions for proper storage of the apples to keep them fresh.

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Supplies: card stock in 2 contrasting colors, envelope liner (I chose one with a nice sheen), scalpel, gluestick, paper cutter, printer, and image software

I added the colored balloons on the inserts and instruction tags for a fun touch. Since this was done last winter, unfortunately, I didn’t document each step during this project. Here was the finished product! (before hole punching the corner)

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Such a fun project! And I loved how my sis wanted to do something so sweet for the kiddos, happy to have been a part of that. The caramel apples themselves were quite scrumptious!

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