Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Paper project - DIY bows

This gift bow tutorial from How About Orange came in handy this Christmas to create some pretty and unique bows for many a holiday gift. 

Experimenting with different types of magazines and catalogs (it wouldn't be as fun or as eco-friendly with regular paper, IMO), I found that the prettiest bows are made using...

Paper Source catalogs!

The variety of colors in the catalog and the stiffness of the paper stock itself is perfect for this project, which you can do even while watching TV.  Save them up to use to wrap gifts all throughout the year, and never buy another pre-fabricated plastic-y bow in the store ever again!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Out with the old, in with the new

I hope everyone had a very joyous and festive Christmas!  Now that the craziness of the holidays are almost over, we have a moment to catch our breaths and reflect on all that's happened over the past year.  I always  marvel at how quickly each year passes, and as I get older, time seems to go even faster.  Not only is it the end of a year, it's also the end of the first decade of the new millenium.  I remember thinking on January 1st 2000 that 2010 seemed SO far away, but look...we're almost there! 

Of course, with the start of a new year come new resolutions.  I've never been one to really make new years resolutions (maybe  because I'm terrible at keeping them), but with the start of a new decade, perhaps now's a good time as any to make and committ to some.  Looking around my house at the myriad of unfinished craft projects, abandoned hobbies, and unkept promises in my head to finish what I've started, I think my resolution will be to follow-through on anything that I committ myself to.  First order of business - follow through on finishing this blog post. 


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Random backyard photos

The overcast skies and setting sun made for a pensive mood today, so I thought I'd try to capture this ambiance through pictures.  Here are some examples...

(this one's my favorite!)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Pros and cons of full-time crafting

There's an interesting article in the New York Times regarding the risks and benefits of turning a hobby into a full-time job.  Specifically, they interviewed a number of Etsy sellers, who to the outside world, seem to have hit the jackpot - having transitioned a side job or hobby which they loved into a full-time, profit-turning business. 

However, many sellers tempered their enthusiasm with what seemed like sheer exhaustion.  Doing what you love and being an entrepreneur seems like the perfect situation, but as with anyone who owns their own business can tell you, the amount of sweat equity one puts into it can be enormous, far more than a typical 9-5, 40 hour/week job.  Calculate into that the time spent thinking about new products, ways to improve your business, and a million other items and one can easily spend 90% of their waking hours on their business, not to mention shouldering a ton of anxious, sleepless nights and tremendous amounts of stress.

Of course, many people will tell you that the gratification that comes with being your own boss and doing something you're passionate about far outweighs any of the downsides associated with it.  I've thought long and hard about taking the risk to start my own business, but realized that it's easier said than done, and that it will take more than just a good idea to make it successful - am I willing to make my job my life?  Yes...but only for something that I truly enjoy and I'll be willing to put 110% of my effort into.  And at the end of the day, that what it looks like some of these Etsy sellers are doing.

To read the full NY Times article, click here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

DIY pom pom failure

Maybe I'm not following instructions.  Maybe I'm using the wrong kind of tissue paper.  Or maybe I'm just not a crafty person.

Whatever the case, I attempted to create some DIY pom poms like the ones I've seen on Martha Stewart's and others' websites.  Since they required little in the way of materials, skill, or time, I thought this was the perfect project for me.

In order to be sustainable, I reused some anthropologie tissue paper I had saved.  The result was something that looked rather...sad. 

The pictures above that I took don't look TOO bad because I tried using flattering angles/lighting.  In reality, they sort of look like blooming cabbages.  Or some sort of albino vegetable with red veins.

Maybe using recycled tissue paper was the mistake.  I looked at several different sets of instructions from Martha's to other crafters' blogs.  I do have this theory though that Martha's instructions are purposely a little off to get people frustrated, subsequently leading them to buy her premade craft projects instead. 


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Go crazy with printable moustaches

The Inspired Bride has a post on some quirky printable moustaches for all your nefarious holiday (and post-holiday) shennanigans! See the full post, complete with PDFs and instructions, here.

I'm having family over for Christmas lunch and plan to make everyone take silly moustache photos then, heehee.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A little rain = winter in LA

I've had to bring out my winter scarves and coats now that winter has arrived in LA.  Anyone who lives in um, less temperate climates than us are probably laughing their heads off when we complain about 50-degree weather and a thunderstorm.  Despite catching a cold and feeling a little woozy from medication, I love this weather because it finally feels like winter and the holidays.  It's simply not the most festive feeling when you see your neighbors putting up christmas lights in shorts and flip-flops and sunglasses.

I'll be heading up to Seattle this weekend to visit relatives up there, and I hear temperatures are below the 30's at night, so I better pack up puffy jackets, earmuffs, and mittens in excess to stay warm! 

The days are getting's barely 4:30 in the afternoon, but the sun is already starting its way down the horizon...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Kusudama balls as wedding decor

I love the clean, elegant look of kusudama balls, and decided to forgo flowers for our wedding ceremony aisle decor and use these instead. 

Initially, I was totally psyched and ordered several sheets of blue and silver mulberry paper, excited to get started on this project.  Can you believe it took me about 6 months to make 12 balls?  Let's see...5 petals per flower times 6 flowers per ball times twelve balls...okay, makes sense.  I'm pretty flaky when it comes to crafting, but even with every spare minute dedicated to cutting the paper to size, folding, and gluing, it  felt like a neverending task.  Even with the help of one of my bridesmaids, it was still pretty daunting. 

After the wedding, I managed to find and keep 3 of them, which are now hanging from a lamp in our office.  I have no idea what happened to the rest. 

Thursday, December 3, 2009

DIY mini-magazine holder

I've seen several DIY magazine holder tutorials online.  Since I had some time last night, I decided to create a holder for my Martha Stewart Food magazines, which are smaller than the average size periodical.

A family size cereal box proved to be perfect for this quick project:

I measured about 3" on the shortest side, up to 7" on the tallest

Then cut along the lines using a craft knife

Here's what it looked like after cutting

The trickiest part was covering the box with patterned paper.  Other sites recommended using fabric, but since I didn't have any I liked for this project, I ended up going with a Wooster & Prince paper I had on hand. 

I ended up just tracing each side of the box on the back of the paper, cutting out each piece with about a quarter inch allowance, and then gluing them in place with a glue gun.

Here's the finished product:

Easy peasy!  Now I just have to actually start cooking some of the recipies in these magazines...

Anthropologie in-store crafting sessions!

Throughout the month of December, select Anthropologie stores will host special crafting sessions and/or reading hours for children.  Hopefully they'll teach shoppers how to create some of those amazing displays they showcase!

All the stores around LA look like they'll be hosting these events, lucky for me!  The complete list can be found on their Facebook event page, located here.

Who can pass up free crafting lessons and babysitting?!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Deliciously delightful baby shower inspiration from Project Nursery

I was so excited when I saw this baby shower inspiration board on Project Nursery, especially with all the juicy, eye-popping colors and simple but whimsical details!

This would also work really well for a cool blue summer wedding or a lucky child's birthday party - just substitute the birds nest for something wedding or birthday-themed!  For more details, check out the post on Project Nursery.