Service Project

Hello! I feel horrible for playing hooky from the site for the last few days. This semester is by far my busiest and midterms have taken any spare minute. I discovered that hours of quiet studying is a great way to think of ideas though, so hopefully I will be able to use my super organization skills now and finish some of them!
I should have posted earlier, but at the beginning of my lost weekend I guest posted on a great site, thesipproject. Go check out DeAnn's blog! Her theme is service and she's had some great feedback from the post, including a teacher who wants to try it with her class. What an honor!
You can see the full story on thesipproject, but here's a sneak peek of my 'service project'.
- Ashley Mae Hoiland


Guest Post: Inspired by Seb Lester

I have a list of projects to start working on as soon as my second round of midterms are over! I can't believe this semester is already halfway done. Today I have a guest from across the world. She has the cutest blog and some great design projects! Meet Pratya:

Hello new friends,
It’s really nice to meet you and I’m so flattered to be featured on the Hello Hydrangea blog today!!
I’m Pratya. I am a part time blogger from Indonesia and the owner of The Oliveandlavender blog. I only blog on the weekend because during the week I work as a junior architect in a consulting firm. Blogging is a way to share my passion about crafting, handmade, upcycling and lovely things, just like my blog's tagline!
Today I wanted to share an upcycled project that I finished recently. I was given this clock a few years ago by my friend as a birthday gift. It has a Mickey and Minnie mouse background on it. It was cute, but I was bored with it :)
So... I decide to change that background picture with something that has a more simple, graphic look. I started to browse the web for some inspiration and found this Seb Lester website. He has designs absolutely gorgeous typography art prints and illustrations.
To start this project I had to disassemble the parts of the clock and remove the background image. With the background image I traced the circle pattern onto some cardstock paper so that the size of the new background image would match the size of the clock.
Then I just began to sketch the handwritten typography using a pencil. I used ink and a micro pen to make the lettering more bold. Parker ink works best for the thick parts and a micro pen for the slightly thinner parts. Once that was done I cut the paper according to the form of the circle that I traced earlier.
All I had to do after that was stick the new handwritten typography image background onto the clock and reassembled it. And voila! I have a new clock!

It was so simple to do! You can try it as a clock or just frame it to make a typography poster to decorate your room.
I hope this inspires you - you can see other upcycled and handmade project I’ve made on my own blog.
Thank you so much Lindsey for having me here at your wonderful blog!!
Have a very lovely day, everyone!!


Inspired by Cinemagraph

Three day weekends are the best, but a seven day weekend would be even better! I went skiing for the first time and feel quite accomplished. Who knew I would be an olympic-worthy snow plower in only three hours? Wonders never cease.
Too bad I have three tests to look forward to this week. It seems like lately my life's motto has been, 'a little play, alot of work.'

Have you ever heard of cinemagraph? It is a project that I have been watching and loving for some time now. It is a combination of video and pictures designed by a graphic designer and a photographer. They define it much better than I could; "A 'cinemagraph' is an image that contains within itself a living moment that allows a glimpse of time fo be experienced and preserved endlessly."

You can tell that these miniature moments are carefully thought through and designed. I tried my hand at this technique during our adventure in small town, America.
The key is to take a few pictures of one moment at the same angle and distance. Then the editing skills come in handy as you choose which small piece to focus on. If you'll notice, only one part of the photo changes - making these changes look fluid is the tricky part. There is a great tutorial on making a moveable image on this site.
I am in love with this technique and I promise that you will see more in the future!


Star Artist: Amy Joy Watson

Hello middle of February. Today marks the fifth month anniversary of hellohydrangea! I thought today would be a great time to start something new. Sometimes I run across an artist that I absolutely love, but I am too amazed to recreate any of their pieces. I think they still deserve a spotlight on my site because there is alot of inspiration to glean.
So, here is our first 'star artist': Amy Joy Watson!
* btw - just because I didn't do an inspiration project doesn't mean you can't do one. Be sure to send me a picture or two so I can share!
 Amy grew up in Bel Aire, Australia. She received a bachelor, majoring in sculpture and painting.
Her pieces are amazing! Get this: she carefully cuts bits of balsa wood into geometric shapes and then stains each piece with watercolor. In order to create the 'crumpled' look, she hand stitches each piece together using polyester thread. These pieces both inspire me and intimidate me at the same time.
I about died when I first came across her work. I feel a connection and admiration towards this artist, mostly due to her age. She is only 23 and has done so much already! It is obvious that she knew what she wanted to do at a young age in her life and has achieved that.
You can visit the rest of her work on her website. Now show me some inspiration!


Jean Bag

I hope everyone's valentines day was filled with love and hearts! I love apple pie so I gave it a try at making one in a heart shape.  I was also thinking about my family and how much I love them because this day was all about love.
I remembered a project that I did with my brother while I was sending telepathic love messages to them across alot of miles.
My brother's favorite pants ripped in an unpatch-able area, so I turned them into a denim bag! Sewing is so much fun - especially when you don't have a pattern and just want to see what happens. I think this little experiment worked out alright.


Guest Post: Inspired by Valerie Boy

Today we have our first guest post from a cute and famous blog, theletter4! They are my idols because they have been on the Martha Stewart show... always a dream. I'll let them tell a little more about themselves below but here is a link and a few photos from their inspiration, Valerie Boy.

I'm so honored to introduce myself here on Hello Hydranga!!!
We are The Letter 4. A blog of 4 sisters with all different talents and tastes. We grew up so close to one another and our blog has been a way for us to feel close to each other again despite living far apart. 
The oldest is Julianna, who likes to craft and cook. Next is Jade who is our expert chef. Then there is Jamie who is the designer/printable maker of the blog. And last there is the baby of the family, Janae. She is our style guru and is always sharing hair tutorials. You can link up your style related posts to our What I Wore Link Party every Wednesday.
I wanted to share some wall art I created recently with you all. I was inspired by these amazing light wall arts created by Valerie Boy and seen on Apartment Therapy.
I had a couple of blank canvas's that were calling my name and Valerie Boy's wall art inspiredthis cut canvas creation.
So I sketched out some clouds on the back of the canvas. When I stood the canvas up I was able to see through the canvas to my sketches easily follow my little pattern to create some clouds. For the clouds I just dipped the brush in several colors I wanted without mixing to much and swirled it into a half circle.
After I was done and my clouds had dried, I took an exacto knife and cut the top of my ridges on the clouds on the spots where I wanted the light to shine through more.
I was so happy with the way it turned out! And from the side it gave it a little added 3D bonus since the could ridges popped out a little bit.
Perfect addition to my daughters room. It sits on a dresser in front of a light :) You can see other creations I've made over at our blog.
Thank you so much again for having me Lindsey!



Notice anything different? Changing things up feels pretty good so i am in the process of a few remodeling tweaks. As my site has grown, i've realized that i am missing a few important things. I think it is time to try out a new look. Let me give you a tour!
On the left you can find me on bloglovin, pinterest, facebook or email. There is also a list of popular posts and a new set of labels to easily navigate through them.
On the right, i now have three new buttons where you can become a part of hellohydrangea. I am not currently taking sponsors, but that might change! For right now you can grab a button or submit a guest post to be on the site.
Underneath everything else on the right are all of the ways you can stay connected with me! Don't forget to follow and send me an email introducing yourself!)
(I still have some tweaking to do, so please email me with any problems i may have missed)

Valentine's Shop Opening

Grand opening of the hellohydrangea shop has begun!
This post is halfway inspired by the mindset of change as well anthropologie. Again. I love jewelry design and anthropologie has some of the best inspiration! The other day as i was looking through their necklaces i spotted a sweet accessory with this concept of 'wrapped wire'.
It took me a while to make my own but i loved it so much that i wore it to an art museum and out to lunch with my husband. It inspired me to finally start posting to my shop

The necklace is even cuter in person! I can use my awesome cursive skills to make almost any word available and then cover it with any color you can dream of. Hanging on the end is a homemade tassel that catches attention so others will see your wear-able message. I am already planning on giving these as gifts and you should too! (after getting one for yourself, ofcourse.)
I will be adding more items to my shop very shortly so check back and contact me for any information you might have.


Fixing Broken Earrings

I love winter semester because as classes get harder, the weather gets better! It feels good to go outside without a coat on again. It's also crazy that thirty five degrees feels warm enough to not wear a coat.
After a long night on campus with my husband in his 'chemical engineers are so cool that they need codes on the doors of their study labs', we began to walk home. I felt something fall down the front of my coat and before I knew it, my earring was lying broken on the sidewalk! Is it bad to wear one earring like a pirate? When your earring is dangly and flowery, then probably. My poor earrings sat for weeks before I decided to do something about it. 

1. Take it apart
2. Glue it together
3. Braid some embroidery floss
4. Paint it
5. Glue some floss on back
6. Wrap floss around and glue end on back
7. Put it back together
On different note; I am currently listening to ingrid michaelson's new album and loving it. It was an early valentines gift! My roommate and I saw her on tour last year and ... she was amazing. Her new album is making me so happy right now.



When I say the word, time, what do you think of? Perhaps, ‘it goes fast’, ‘not enough of it’ or ‘a gift’ comes to mind. Today I was involved in a wonderful discussion about this simple word that runs our lives. 
I have been thinking about my time a lot lately. Some days I feel that I won’t be able to finish everything I need to do. School, family, work and church take up a lot of this precious gift in life. This morning I was looking through some pictures of myself as a happy, satisfied kid and I’ve realized something very important. I have decided that in life, we all have goals. I understand that every person’s goals are different, which is a blessing because we need to have different people doing different things. However, every choice we make in using our time will eventually point us on a path that leads somewhere. 
If we are not choosing actions that lead towards our goals then we are wasting our minutes. I am not very good at prioritizing my choice in activities sometimes. When I think of a project that seems ‘funnier’ than other projects or assignments I have to do, I have a hard time finishing the essentials. I think the act of realizing my faults are helping me become better at doing the important things first. I hope I’m getting better at prioritizing! I am open to advice on prioritizing tricks…

Inspired by my Hometown Texaco

I grew up in a tiny farming community where the best places to eat were the apple orchards or the gas station... And I am not exaggerating. I have great memories during high school when you would see almost everyone from town taking a lunch break at the Texaco deli. From the superintendent to the sheriff, it was the place to be. They made hamburgers, Mexican food, Chinese food, Italian sodas and what I thought was average deli snacks.
However, since I have left home and travelled to bigger cities, I have yearned for some of my favorite foods that I seemed to take for granted. Jalapeno poppers have been some of my biggest cravings. So far I have only found their equal in my hometown.

 Yesterday I finally broke down and decided to do the impossible: make my own cream-cheese-stuffed-breaded-and-fried-jalapenos from scratch and without a recipe. My husband helped, but warned me that I was not allowed to do it alone. (I have never fried anything before and planned on throwing the hot oil down the sink when we were done.) Now I know that there are a lot of good skills I can learn from the gas station deli lady.

1. Split four or five jalapenos down the middle and then gut the insides.
2. Mix together half a brick of cream cheese with any herbs/spices you want. Chives, onions, Creole, cumin...
3. Fill the jalapeno with cream cheese mixture and then spread some on the outside of the jalapeno as well. (We figured this out from trial and error because it makes the breading mixture stick easier)
4. Rest your jalapeno and prep three bowls with different ingredients. One bowl with an egg and milk mixture, another bowl with flour and the third bowl with breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, cumin or whatever else you like.
5. Roll the jalapeno in flour. Then egg. Then breadcrumbs. Then egg. Then breadcrumbs. Then egg. Then breadcrumbs. As you can tell, I like a lot of crunchy breading.
6. Heat oil to about 365 degrees. You will know when it is ready when you drop a piece of breading in the pan and it bubbles. Cook jalapeno poppers for about 2-3 minutes on each side.
That's it! They don't seem too hard when I write down the instructions. Imp proud of my little jalapeno poppers... Even though I’d rather stop by our gas station and pick a basket up. If you have a great jalapeno popper provider take advantage of it for me!!!