The Smiling Journal

For all your creative needs!

Poetry Paper Cranes!

Me and two of my friends decided to give each other easter presents every year, because we always had great ideas for gifts, and birthdays couldnt come around fast enough! The only condition is that they have to be homemade, not bought.
This year, one of my friends gave me a bunch of paper cranes with poetry and quotes written on them! Its quite a simple concept, yet they look totally cool! So I decided to share the idea with you guys – but my friend thought of it first!

You will need:
– Squares of paper about 10cmx10cm (the amount doesn’t matter, it just depends on how many you want to make)
– A nice pen to write on them with
– Knowledge on how to make a paper crane

Firstly, write the quotes/poems on both sides of each square of paper. Then, simply fold them into paper cranes! Easy, really.

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Cute, aren’t they?

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No-No Box!

My friends and I always love to be honest with each other – that’s why they gave me a no-no box.
A no-no box is just a normal box (or container) that you put things (or pictures of them if they’re too big) you aren’t allowed in. For example, an envelope of money (you could keep adding money if you’re saving up for something), a picture of a bar of chocolate, or something else you want to give up. Alternatively, if you’re a parent, you could even use it as some sort of disciplinary system for your kid/s.
All you need to do is get a box, about the size of a shoebox, and put it somewhere you won’t see it every day.

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In my no-no box I have a lighter, my pen collection (I’m not allowed to waste the ink – they’re for special occasions), and a few angry/emotional letters to people that I’ll never give them.
What’s even better, is if you get a box that can be locked, and give the key to one of your friends!
Resisting temptation can be hard, but with a no-no box, it can be easy. That’s what friends are for…right?

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Inspirational Quote Book!

One day, I was sitting there thinking, there are so many inspirational quotes in the world that I always forget about…how can I remember them all? What could help me on tough days? The answer, is a quote book!

You will need:
– 1 piece of A4 paper (any color, but black or white look best)
– A gel pen or thin felt pen that will show up on the paper (e.g if the paper’s black, you’ll need a white pen)
– Scissors
– Stapler
– Quotes!

Firstly, cut the piece of paper into quarters. Layer the pieces on top of each other, then fold them in half to make a booklet. Then, staple the centre of the booklet two or three times along the fold (preferably with the flat bit of the staple on the outside of the booklet). Now all you need to do is write quotes in the booklet!

Tips:
Quote books look nicer if the writing is really small, and you start on the cover, rather than inside the booklet.
Try to work it so each page finishes at the end of a quote.
Use something like an arrow or star in between quotes so you don’t get confused.
Try not to repeat quotes!
Try to keep to a theme – inspirational quotes, song lyrics, quotes that remind you of someone, etc.
Its a great gift for a friend or family member!

I’ve made a collection of quote books, including a paramore lyrics one for my best friend, an inspirational quotes one for another friend’s mom, and a song lyrics one for my boyfriend. Here’s the one I’ve made for myself:

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Keeping My Holidays On Track

Mom: Would you be interested in tramping the Milford track these holidays?

Me: Uhhh…

Mom: I’ll book you in.

And that’s how I came to tramp the Milford track.

The Milford track is one of the Great Walks of New Zealand. Its way down near the bottom of the South Island (its closest settlement is a small place called Te Anau), and weaves through the Southern Alps. It takes four days to complete, its 54km long (33.5 miles), and it has the most gorgeous scenery. What’s even more special, is that they only let 40 people on the track per day! Its a well-known track, so you’re competing against backpackers from all over the world. Exciting stuff!

Personally, i’m not that great fitness-wise. But this track made me forget all of that, and I actually loved it! I tramped with a group of people from an organisation i’m part of, and prior to the tramp we’d never met at all! We were all between the ages of 16 and 20, and there were seven of us (4 boys, 3 girls).

DAY ONE.

First off, we caught a boat across Fiordland, from Te Anau Downs to Glade House. It was quite fancy; we even got free tea and coffee! The trip took an hour and a half. Here’s the view as we travelled:

 (View From Boat)

Nice, huh? You ain’t seen nothing yet.

The first day was positively luxurious! A mere 5km hike, before reaching the Clinton Hut. Ironically, for the next day we’d be constantly crossing Clinton river!

We’d reached the hut so early, that we had oodles of time before anything had to be done. But of course, the rangers had already thought of that! On the wall there were two oversized hula hoops to play with.

Also, about a hundred metres down the track from the hut, there was a swimming hole (complete with a handmade sign)!

 (Swimming Hole)

After everyone arrived, we didn’t do anything worth reporting, apart from make dinner. The tramping day was so short that i hardly took any photos! Lets move on.

DAY TWO.

 (Crossing The Clinton River On An Awesome Swingbridge)

Like i said; today we’d be crossing the Clinton River many times. That was the first.

The distance we covered today was 14km. Quite a big step up from the day before! But it was gorgeous, so really, it didn’t feel like that long.

Most of the way looked like this:

 (Framed By Trees)

I really wanted to just sit and paint the beautiful views, but sadly I couldn’t.
Today the track wound through a massive valley – all day we could see massive mountains on our left, and more massive mountains on our right. Also, there was a massive mountain in front of us…

…which we had to climb over the next day. Its actually the lowest point we could’ve climbed over – called the MacKinnon Pass. However, we did have to climb about 200 metres up in order to get to our hut for the day, the Mintaro Hut.

Once there, most of us just relaxed. Sadly for me and my friend, everyone had taken all the bunks on the top floor! Our group was supposed to stay together so we could do debriefs, so to solve this problem, we grabbed two spare mattresses from downstairs, dragged them up, and slept on the floor. Lastly, while making my hot chocolate after dinner, I realised that my hot chocolate and milk powder could be used to make art… I just couldn’t help myself!

 (I Can’t Quell My Creative Side)

DAY THREE.

The second night, it rained non-stop! It just kept going and going, until we were sure we’d be stuck the next day. However, it did stop raining just as we got ready in the morning. Luckily for us, the rain had gotten the waterfalls going! Here’s one of them:

 (A Nice Waterfall)

And of course, when we got to the highest point in the tramp, it was cloudy! I still took this photo anyway (turns out the edge is less than 2 metres behind the sign – its a 500 metre drop!):

On the way down, when we stopped for lunch, a friendly weka came and said hello to us! Weka aren’t too smart, so they come very close to you and try to steal your food. This photo is not zoomed!

Fiordland is full of beautiful views, and the water is the clearest I’ve seen in my life! Great for reflections of the landscape like this:

We got to our hut and pretty much crashed on our beds – the tramp was really getting to us. But whats worse, the longest day was yet to come! Luckily, the more food we ate, the less weight we had to carry! We spent a while giving away all our spare food (for mother’s benefit, of course…)!

DAY FOUR.

The last day, we had to get up and leave by 6am! Yet somehow, we were all alive and happy (but somewhat cold) as we left for the long day ahead of us. The reason we left so early, was because our boat home was due to leave at 2pm, so we had to hurry (tramping days usually finish around 4 or 5pm for us)! Luckily we made it on time. On the boat, we sat, relaxed, and ate the rest of our food because we could! It was so great to be done, that we didnt even mind the three hour bus ride back to Queenstown!
It was great fun to laugh at silly names we found on the map (such as Steep Hill – i’m not even joking), and i highly recommend this tramp! It was definitely one of the best experiences of my life!

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5 Fun Projects!

I’ve put together a few projects for you guys to try, which aren’t long enough for a whole post to themselves ;P

Project One – Whiteboard Words

You will need:
– Scissors
– Thin magnets with words on them
– A magnetic surface to stick them on

Want to write a message to yourself, but don’t want to have to buy a whiteboard marker? All you need to do is cut up thin magnets into individual letters or words, and put them on your magnetic surface! Easy!

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Project Two – Wall Quotes

You will need:
– Scissors
– Lots of black paper OR paper and a black vivid to color in with
– Blue-tack
– Space on your wall

What you do, is count the number of each letter is in your quote (I.e 5 u’s, 3 t’s, 4 s’s, etc) and draw one of each of them on the paper. Then, if you have multiple of one letter, fold the paper until you have the same number of layers as the number of each letter there is (e.g, if there are 3 t’s, there should be 3 layers of paper). This means you don’t need to cut out 3 separate t’s – you only need to cut it out once to get 3! Then, blue-tack each letter to the wall in the right order!

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Project Three – Flower Phonebook Pencil Holder!

You will need:
– Hot glue gun
– Old phonebook
– Craft knife/scissors
– Paint (if you prefer)
– A piece of cardboard (around 30cmx30cm)

I find this project simply amazing! Admittedly, its not mine (though I wish it was!!!) so here’s a link to the project!
http://www.chicaandjo.com/2009/02/24/recycle-phone-book-into-pen-organizer/

Project Four – Butterfly-style Wall Hearts

You will need:
– A variety of colored paper
– Scissors
– Pencil/pen
– Blue-tack

This is such a cute idea (if I do say so myself)!
All you need to do is cut out many many hearts from different colors of paper, fold them in half, then blue-tack them to the wall! Also, you can put layers of paper on top of each other to save cutting time, and cut small hearts out of the remaining paper to save trees!

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Project Five – Paper Crane Window Decoration

You will need:
– Square colored paper
– Needle
– Transparent string (like nylon or fishing line stuff)
– A pin or something to attach it to the window

All you need to do is fold a few paper cranes, push the needle (with string tied on) through the body of the crane (twice – otherwise the cranes will all slide down), and attach the end to the window! Simple.

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Hope you enjoy making these 5 fun projects!

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Hanging Hearts Decoration!

You will need:
– 2 x A4 paper (any color)
– Scissors
– 1 metre of string
– Stapler
– Push pin

Start by cutting the paper into strips of about 2cm wide (there should be 9 strips). Cut three of the strips in half, so you have 6 long strips and 3 short strips. Like so:

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Next, fold all the all of the strips in half and unfold.
Using the push pin, poke a hole through the middle of each strip of paper. Now, put a piece of string through the holes of each strip – but do it so each strip faces ‘up’, and alternating between short strips and long strips, with a long strip at the top. Like so:

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Next, use the stapler to staple the string to the paper, half a cm up from the centre crease. Like so:

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Repeat this for all the strips of paper, then tie a knot under the bottom strip so it doesn’t slide off.
Now, starting from the bottom strips, bend one half of a long strip, and one half of a short strip (on the same side of the string) out and down towards the string below it. Then, hold it there while you do the same for the other side. Staple it in place, like so:

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Now repeat for the rest of the hearts, and pin the string to the wall!

Ta-da!

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Yin Yang booklet!

This booklet is two halves of a Yin Yang symbol, and they fit together like a puzzle!

You will need:
– 3 pieces of black paper (A4)
– 3 pieces of white paper (A4)
– Scissors
– Pencil
– Stapler and glue

Firstly, fold all the pages in half and cut out 6 black circles, and 6 white circles. Make sure they’re all exactly the same size. Keep the rest of the paper to one side.
Then, draw an s-like shape down the middle of each circle, like so:

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Cut along the lines you’ve just drawn. Now, sort the shapes into piles of black and white. Each bit of paper should look like a distorted teardrop.
Now, staple or glue each bit of the same color paper along the side of its bulge. Like so:

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Next, cut out two small rectangles out of paper (one of each color). Glue them inside one of the opposite colored pieces of paper, and vice versa. Like so:

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Lastly, glue a white circle on each side of the black ‘teardrop’, and a black circle on each side of the white ‘teardrop’

Ta da!

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Rose Pen!

This rose pen is adorable! Perfect for a mother’s day gift, or just a unique way to pimp your stationary!

You will need:
– 1 pen (preferably a plastic one, or a bic one)
– 1 fake flower with a stem of 5cm or more
– black tape

Start by placing the end of the tape on the bottom of the pen at a slight angle, like so:

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Next, wrap the tape around the pen until you reach a stem’s length from the end (e.g, my flower’s stem is 7cm, so I’ll stop that far from the top). Like so:

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Then, hold the stem against the pen, and continue taping all the way up to the top. This will hold the flower in place, like so:

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Ta da! Thats it! You’re done.

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Paper Plane Hanging Decoration!

In this post I’ll teach you how to make a paper plane hanging decoration!

You will need:
– 12 pieces of A4 paper (If you don’t have that much, or if you want to make a mini version, grab three pieces and cut them into quarters.)
– Scissors
– String or transparent fishing line
– Needle or sharp object to poke a hole through the paper with
– Space to hang it up!

Firstly, fold the pieces of paper into 12 separate paper planes.
Instructions below:

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Then, cut the string to the length you want your hanging decoration to be (my mini version is a metre).

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Divide the paper planes into groups of four, and lie one of the groups out in front of you (leave the rest aside for now).

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Thread the needle.
Grab one of the paper planes, turn it over so its facing bottom up, and push the threaded needle in about 1cm from the end.

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Pull the string through until there’s a ‘tail’ of about 20cm hanging off the end.
Next, push the needle in about 1cm from the other end of the paper plane, and pull the string taut.

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Do this with the other three planes, and then take the needle off the end of the string. You should now have a trail of paper planes!

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Now you need to do the same thing twice more (one for each set of four). You should end up with three rows of paper planes, like this:

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Now all you need to do is hang them! You can either tie the ends of the string to push pins and pin them to the wall, or you can use lots of blu-tack like me (a great idea if you’re only renting your house!).

Ta da!

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