DIY Guitar // Part 2: Sketching + Woodburning

TITLE INTRO Hi guys! I hope you enjoyed last week's post that was part one of our new series, DIY Guitar! Now, it is time for part deux! This will cover my sketching process to come up with the perfect design, and then about the wood burning process and some tips. Enjoy!

guitar sketch 1

Jake and I threw a lot of ideas back and forth about what kind of design to put on this guitar. At some point, we settled on a koi fish because we both like Asian art and Japanese tattoos. We also thought the shape of the koi body would flow well with the shape of the guitar. This was one of our final sketches, which I drew on a guitar body template I made up in Photoshop.

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However, at the last minute, I think both of us knew we weren't crazy excited about the koi fish design. Although I was the one drawing, the whole sketching process was very collaborative between Jake and I, especially because he will be the one playing the guitar! One day we had an aha moment. One of our favorite bands is Four Year Strong. They have a lyric that goes "We built this city on heart and soul," and once we started discussing that as a possible design, we were hooked. This was one of the original sketches, but we improved it before getting started.

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Here is a refined sketch before we began wood burning. It incorporates a city and sunburst, as well as stars and a planet to make it a little more etherial. As you can tell, I didn't draw out the entire design perfectly before sketching it on the guitar in pencil, but that is kind of how I work. I usually save the final sketch for the final product, and do it freehand.

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We were now ready to begin wood burning! I used a Walnut Holly Creative Woodburner, which has lasted me over 6 years and it has always been reliable and awesome.

woodburning tips

If you're unfamiliar with wood burning, here is a little guide to get you started. There are a ton of different tips you can purchase for your woodburner, and most come with about 4 when you buy it anyway. The ones I use most commonly are these three.

The universal tip: this is what I used for the majority of the guitar design. It has a very straight and sharp edge that creates clean, straight lines. Curves are a little more difficult with this baby

The point tip: This was a new tip I picked up, that I now love! I used it for all the stars because it makes nice little perfect circles. I also used it for some of the curves, like in the planet and lettering.

The shading tip: I didn't do any shading for this project, but it's a great little tip. The harder you press, the darker your shading will be!

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Here is how the design turned out. I was very pleased with it considering I hadn't woodburned a big project since this longboard.

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Here's our whole design! We love it! Let me know what you think of it in the comments, and if you have any questions about wood burning guitar projects, let us know! Stay tuned for Part 3: Staining! x. Paige

Travel Journal DIY

IMG_5061 Before blogging, there was journaling. Whenever I go on a big trip, mainly to Europe, I collect little bits and pieces of my travels and compile them into a big fat book. I've never been one to sit down and write much, so I choose to go a more visual route by keeping ticket stubs, brochures, and postcards, and then adding little comments of memories here and there. With thoughts of going abroad on my mind, I thought about these journals I had tucked away, and decided to share them with you. Here are my favorite pages, and some tips and tricks!

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This journal is from when I traveled to Germany + Paris with my mom for 2 weeks when I was 13. My love of all things colorful is reflected on these pages. When it comes to travel journaling, I say that anything goes. I tape in candy wrappers and even receipts, because it's fun to look at the different shops and currencies.

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If my pages are looking a little sparse, I even throw in a few related magazine cutouts, like the backpacking bag covered in travel stamps.

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The other journal I have is when I took a 26-day Europe trip through an educational program, which 3 of my friends happened to go on as well! We visited Greece, Italy, Austria, and Germany. On a trip like this, journaling is awesome because you're bound to forget certain things, and this fills in some of those gaps.

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With this journal, I packed more drawing supplies and stickers that related to the countries. This helped because I was a bit busier on this trip. I used colored markers to write down silly memories, and the stickers helped make the pages have more depth and interest.

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There are no limits to journaling! Stick whatever you want inside. One of my favorite parts is this fold out book of mini postcards, which pops up when you flip through the pages.

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You may think it's hard to collect so many things on your travels, but I will just take any brochures, etc. offered to me, and just stick them in my bag. At the end of the day, its relaxing to sit down and journal to reflect on your day.

I hope you enjoyed this peek into my memories and my tips on travel journaling! I am so happy I have these little collections to look back and remember my fun vacations with friends + family. I am sure I will be avidly journaling (and blogging) while in Copenhagen, especially because I will be seeing it through an architectural background now that I am in college. Thanks so much for reading, and stay tuned for my future travels! x. Paige

DIY Guitar // Part 1: Supplies + Testing

I am thrilled that Jake and I have finally started our big project of designing a guitar body and then getting it all set up and wired to play! I previewed the project in this photo at the beginning of the summer, and it has taken us this long to do all of our research and gather the supplies. This project is a bit of an undertaking, so we will be sharing it as a series of posts over the next few weeks. Stay tuned! Today we will be sharing all of the supplies we will use throughout the process, how we chose the guitar, and some experimentation we did to prep.

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After doing our research, we gathered everything we thought we would need to design, stain, and finish the body of the guitar. Here are some of the supplies we are using:

-Miquelrius sketchbook & ink pen, for design ideas -pencil, for testing the art on the guitar body -woodburner, for the art -pliers, useful to change out tips of the wood burner -rubber gloves, for staining -staining pads, for applying the stain -Minwax Emerald Express Wiping Stain, we chose a green stain for the body! -220 grit sandpaper, a very fine grit to help us smooth out the body gently -steel wool, to sand off the oil coatings after staining -Tru-Oil and cheesecloth (not pictured), which is what we will be using to make the guitar shiny after the staining process is complete.

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The body we chose is a Warmoth Musiclander. Jake was awesome and let me help choose the shape from the Warmoth Custom Body Builder. I preferred all of the "Modern Styles" but decided on the Musiclander because it wasn't too crazy, and still had a traditional feel to it. Jake liked this choice as well, and that was that!

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The guitar is made of Alder wood. So far it has proved easy to work with, which is great. It is also a beautiful color. We considered going with a brown-toned stain and even had it in our cart at Home Depot, but at the last minute spotted the Emerald version and thought, why not? We did however have to track the color down on Amazon, because it isn't stocked through Home Depot.

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We were then ready to prep the guitar for sanding. The body is high quality, so it was already pretty smooth, but we went over it with a very gentle 220 grit to get it perfect.

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Testing beforehand is always a good idea. We wore rubber gloves and then squirted some stain out onto a paper plate. Then dip a staining pad into the stain. A little goes a long way when it comes to this product, so work with it in very small amounts. We then rubbed it along the direction of the woodgrain, on a test piece of wood from the craft store. You can test different methods and how many coats you would like at this point.

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Since we decided to wood burn our design into the guitar, I practiced that on the scrap wood as well. This was useful to test out the new tips I had purchased, to see what each one can do. In the third part of this series, I will elaborate on each tip and what kind of results they will create!

That's all for now! Thanks so much for reading and check back soon for the next part of our series, the Design + Sketching process!

Girl On Fire

IMG_4986 A lot of the street style I've been admiring as of late has been from European cities and New York. These styles are, not surprisingly, very focused on neutrals. This influence as well as my transition into office attire has me wearing a lot more neutral outfits than usual. I'm not complaining, but for the summer season I think color is necessary. On this day I pulled out my DIY clutch that adds a statement to my outfit, but still stays professional with its hardware detailing.

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After wearing this thrifted maxi skirt once before, I was torn between chopping off the interior lining, or just leaving it be. Well, I spotted my fabric scissors one day and that skirt had a new fate. I am so glad I cut it! I love that the lace detail shows now, adding so much more depth to my outfit.

geometric crop // local boutique

lace maxi skirt // altered, Goodwill Outlet

sandals // Steve Madden for TJ Maxx

hardware clutch // DIY, check out my tutorial 

studded belt // Forever 21

midi ring // Urban Outfitters

skull cuff // eBay