What is the Definition of a Terrorist?

I am taking an English course this year called “Terrorism and Modern Culture.” From the title you can make  accurate assumptions about what is discussed in that 75 minute bi-weekly class. Since we live in a post 9/11 world, terrorism is an important concept to define but difficult to understand.

Read More What is the Definition of a Terrorist?

Where Are All the Women?

It’s hard to believe that my last first week of college has come and gone. Now I’m that much closer to graduating and finding my first legitimate job. That job hopefully will be as a journalist. I always cringe when someone asks me what my major is and what I plan to do with it after graduation. My confidence level is pretty high but I still have a twinge of doubt regarding my future, especially with the economy being down and jobs decreasing. Read More Where Are All the Women?

How to Make Washcloth Cupcakes

I have a good friend who is the perfect example of a “girly girl.” Her favorite patterns are floral, she loves the color pink (especially pale pink), and she loves frilly dresses. She is the definition of delicate and feminine. But when her birthday came along, I was clueless on what to get her. Giving gifts is not my strength, especially when it’s expected. Read More How to Make Washcloth Cupcakes

Movie Review: “Beginners”

My faithful movie junkie friend took me to see the highly recommended Mike Mills film, Beginners. The film stars Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer and Melanie Laurent. McGregor plays Oliver, a graphic artist, who is forced to come to grips with the death of his father, Hal (Plummer). Read More Movie Review: “Beginners”

How to Make Magazine Wine Bags

Recently I’ve discovered several tutorials on how to make gift bags out of newspaper. I thought these bags would be a perfect way for me to waste my summer nights as the holiday season approaches.

I’ve always been a big fan of recycling and buying bags or notebooks made out of recycled materials, so the DIY projects made sense. The best tutorial I found is from the site “How About Orange.” The tutorial has very structured steps to make tiny little newspaper bags. So I modified the steps and created magazine wine bags.

Now that I’m a legal drinking citizen, what better way to recycle my fashion magazines, which I’ve stored since 2008, than to make wine bags? They are sophisticated, fun, and environmentally friendly. For a friend you can buy a cheap bottle of wine and give a handmade bag – it’s a win-win. I’m not trying to sell this tutorial, I’m just excited that I created something and I’m proud. I hope you take a few minutes to try my tutorial and tell me what you think. It takes a little time and some patience. But in the end, recipients of these wine bags will be so delighted to have wine and a topic starter (your bag!).

So prepare yourself, because you might have to get use to hearing that you are exceptionally crafty, ingenious, creative, resourceful, and environmentally conscious. This project should take you about 15 minutes the first time, but after your first bag, it will be quicker. The bags will be 9.5” tall, 5 ” wide, and 3.5″ deep. If you complete this craft and want to revel in your success, please let me know how it went. Modifications are always welcome! I know friends and family will love these; mine sure did. Just follow these nine steps and enjoy!

Materials Needed:

  • Old magazines (you can use covers or the pages)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Tape and Glue sticks
  • Pen
  • Card-stock/ Cardboard
  • Hemp twine (you may use ribbon, rope, etc)
  • Single Hole Punch

Steps to success:

1. Take two sheets of magazine pages (or the front & back cover). Attach the sheets with tape. This should measure about 17.5″ in width. If you opt to using magazine pages (I did this), you will need to double layer your pages (glue is the best way) to reinforce the bag.

2. You will need to take two more magazine page and cut it in half. These halves will be attached to the top of the already-attached pages, giving you a larger surface area. You have four pieces because you need two layers of paper for bag thickness, so glue the edges together. The height of the bag should be 14.5″. So now you will have a surface area of 17.5″ x 14.5″.

3. Next you will measure 1.5″ from the top and fold making a flap. Then at the bottom of the large rectangle, measure 2″and make a fold.

4. Now you need to take the rectangle and fold it in half. Then measure across from left to right: 5″/3.5″/5″/3.5″/0.5″. These will establish the width and depth of your bag. Once you’ve measured, make fold creases at each measurement going down. After these steps you may add pieces of cardboard/card-stock just below your 1.5″ flaps for reinforcement, because this is where your handles will go. But be sure to glue down your 1.5″ flaps before you move on to Step #5.

5. Glue the 0.5″ flap to the 5″ section. This is important because this is what brings the whole bag together!

6. Now you need to refold the bottom 2″ flap; the creases need to be deep so you can get to Step #7.

7. Reshape into the tube-like shape. Then take the bottom flap, folding it in like a present. Attach with tape at the bottom and on the inside. Cut a piece of cardboard/card-stock to fit the bottom of the bag for more reinforcement. Glue the cardboard/card-stock inside the bag.

8. Position the bag upright and punch two holes on the rim of the bag. String the hemp twine through the holes to form handles. Finally, tie tight knots at the end of the twine on the inside to secure the handles.

9. Then fold in the sides and pinch the top together to give your bag the “gift bag shape.” That’s it! You now have a wine gift bag, and you finally put your old magazines to good use!

Walking For the Health Of It

My parents recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary touring Barcelona, Spain and the surrounding countries. Since their return, they reference this “trip of a lifetime,” reminiscing about Antoni Gaudi’s architecture, the true location of the Statue of David and the Mediterranean cruise that didn’t make my mother seasick. Yet, the most profound discovery they found was the popular European mode of transportation–walking. Read More Walking For the Health Of It

Meat or Veggies, or Can I Just Choose Both?

This year, I spent my July 4th afternoon at the movie theater watching a double feature of Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris and the documentary Forks Over Knives. My friend and I chose to see the latter on a whim, hoping for something intellectually stimulating and different. Read More Meat or Veggies, or Can I Just Choose Both?

A Journalist’s Discretion

At the age of six, I was given the nickname “Nosy Noëlle.” My family never called me that to my face, but I distinctly remember my mother’s friend coining the name. I had overheard her talking on the telephone one afternoon, and I asked her who was on the receiving end. Granted, she was in the middle of a complicated divorce and it probably was her ex, but I was six. I was hoping it was my mother, but she never told me. To this day I have not forgotten that name, but I never thought I would hear it again since my mother stopped calling her “friend.” Read More A Journalist’s Discretion