30 June 2009

Tray, tray chic!

We're taking these vintage handkerchiefs out of the closet and making them part of the everyday.

How can you not with prints pretty as these?

Just like yesterday's project, we'll put one of our favorite hankies inside a frame.

But this time, we're turning the frame into a useful tray!

29 June 2009

More Hanky Panky

Happy Monday Everyone! I hope you had a nice & sunny weekend.

Last week, we played around with some vintage handkerchiefs that any blushing bride can use at her wedding. I hope you gals who aren't brides-to-be didn't feel left out. Good news! This week on blah to Tada!, we'll get into some more hanky panky...the wholesome kind of course!

I have this stack of floral handkerchiefs sitting inside my sock drawer. In a not so distant past, every lady carried one and I bet, if these hankies could talk, they'd be muttering, "Bring us back in style!"

Part of that stack is this handkerchief I got from a pink & green swap. Isn't it pretty? The pink rose really grabs your attention.

I love it so much, I think it's worthy to be framed.
It brightens up my desk, giving me the feeling
of having
a vase of flowers!

26 June 2009

Heirloom Hankies

Horay it's Friday! Let me cap wedding week with a final blah to Tada! transformation dedicated to the bride and all her best friends.

Here's the blah...an old handkerchief.

Here's the Tada!...an old handkerchief, but one that's personal & sentimental.

It's meant for best friends to share and pass on.

Each lady's name and wedding date are written (or embroidered) on the handkerchief.

It marks that special day when she was a bride.

Then it's passed on to the next bride!

This has all the elements a bride needs for her wedding day:

Something OLD: the handkerchief
Something NEW: the NEW bride's name & wedding date
Something BORROWED: the handkerchief that's passed on
among friends
Something BLUE: the embroidery thread

The current bride keeps it in her care until a new engagement is announced. It can be presented to the bride-to-be at the engagement party or bridal shower.

This handkerchief can also be a wonderful heirloom piece from mother to daughter or shared among sisters.

Who says new wedding traditions can't be created?

Have a Tada! weekend everyone!

25 June 2009

A Bride's Buddy

Planning a wedding can be one of the most stressful things a woman can go through. Too many lists to make & cross out, so many details to think about. So to all the brides out there, I'm offering to you this vintage handkerchief...

Not to wipe those tears away, though!
We're turning it from blah...

...to Tada! -- it's now a bridal pouch!
Just fold the handkerchief in half, then in thirds.
Sew the edges and add a button with an elastic loop to the flap.

The blushing bride can use this to carry the important things
she will need for her big day like
tissues & blotting paper (
no shiny faces!).

Add a small bottle of cologne, a compact, lipstick and a sewing kit.
Let the maid of honor hang on to this -- she'll be there with you
for touch ups and small emergencies.

Here's wishing you a wedding that's truly Tada!

24 June 2009

With this Ring...

It's the month of June and it's wedding week here at my blog. Vintage handkerchiefs like these are getting a blah to Tada! makeover:

Once a blah...

...now a Tada!
It's an outfit for the pillow that will hold the precious wedding rings.

It's easy to make: Just sew two same-sized handkerchiefs together (or one hankie on top and a regular piece of cloth on the bottom), leave a big enough hole on one side, insert the pillow and seal the hole by more stitching. Sew on a piece of ribbon (use a color that matches your theme) at the center. I suggest you sew through the pillow to achieve that little dimple at the center.

On the wedding day, all you need to do is tie the wedding rings securely. And the "I Do's" aren't far behind.

23 June 2009

Judge the Book by its Cover

We're celebrating brides this week and I've got some ideas lined up to transform an old handkerchief from blah to Tada!

A vintage handkerchief, whether received as a gift or found in a flea market, is a perfect accessory for a wedding. Weddings are also a good time to break tradition...

Don't use the handkerchief the way it's supposed to be used (use tissues instead). Use it to cover a book (ex. Bible) that you want to be part of the ceremony. Another alternative is to cover a handmade booklet that holds your vows. This way, something simple turns into something special!

22 June 2009

This One's for the Bride

Happy Monday Everyone!

As the month of June comes to an end, I'd like to give a shout out to all the brides out there. I'm dedicating this entire week to you with a bouquet-full of blah to Tada! ideas you can use to personalize your special day.

This week's blah is an old handkerchief.
Well, it's not exactly a blah when it's a special gift from an aunt or grandmother.Turn it into a Tada! by incorporating it into the wedding!

Make the handkerchief part of the bouquet.
Wrap it around the flowers & secure with a ribbon.

Tada! Something old & something new for the blushing bride!

19 June 2009

Shadow Box Made Simple

Whenever we travel, we always take something back home with us. It can be a lesson learned, a new friend, a funny memory or something more tangible like a souvenir. This week, I showed you that souvenirs need not be expensive. In fact, many souvenirs are free. We just need to know what to do with them so that they'll keep reminding us of that fabulous trip we went on.

Theater tickets and Metro cards are just pieces of paper. But when arranged and placed in a shadow box, you add more meaning to them. Errr,
shadow box? It's a deep picture frame. Not only can you display photos in it, you can add 3-D objects like sea shells, starfish and little toys. You can get one at a home store or you can make your own!

Blah: a plastic box that, until recently, contained some scrumptious chocolates.

Tada!: a shadow box showing off some travel memories of New York City!

How did I do it? I removed the indented plastic insert (to keep chocolates from moving around) that was inside the plastic box and made sure the box was clean inside & out. Then I made a collage using maps, ticket stubs, business cards, a subway ticket, photos and a plastic spork (spoon & fork in one) by gluing these on a piece of cardboard. Then I put the collage inside the plastic box and Tada! instant shadow box!

I hope I've inspired you to collect those mundane objects on your next vacation so that you can turn them into your own personal souvenirs.

Have a wonderful weekend and to all the Dads out there, HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!

18 June 2009

A Bowl of Beads

I hope you liked the necklace I crafted yesterday. Today, I'll tell you about another necklace that reminds me a lot of my travels. Here goes.

It all started with a bunch of beads...

Each bead came from a different city. I purchased them at craft stores or souvenir shops by the piece, by the bag or as a bracelet that I took apart.

Then one day, I went into "jewelry-making mode". With the help of my trusty pliers, a handful of findings and a silver chain, I turned some blah beads into...

...This Tada! necklace!

In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy has a pair of ruby slippers...all she has to do is put them on, click her heels and away she'll go! This is my version of Dorothy's ruby slippers. I simply look at the red bead and I'm off to London. Or I can rub the turquoise bead and I'm transported to the blue beaches of Puerto Rico. The amber bead takes me back to a South African safari and the crystal blue bead reminds me of the mosaics in Morocco.

So if you think it's impossible to wear a vacation around your neck, this necklace shows that you can!

17 June 2009

Pleasant Pendants

It's all about easy and inexpensive souvenirs here at blah to Tada! this week. And today, I'll show you what I do with some objects I found at the beach.

Look at these shells...they're not the perfect shape but I picked them up for their smoothness and sheen. Some even have natural holes in them.

All I had to do was slip them onto a silver chain, add a cute fish charm and Tada! -- instant souvenir!

16 June 2009

Souvenir Scraps

I'm not sure if you'll agree with me, but sometimes, the most ordinary blah objects are the ones that bring back those happy vacation memories. Just like a scene from a Harry Potter movie, touching a shoe or rock magically sucks you into a different world, and Tada! it's like you're on vacation again.

Here are some ordinary, everyday things I've picked up from vacations past: pebbles, sea shells, a feather and a little bit of sand (packed into an old film canister). These can be displayed in small bottles or glass dishes, but here's what I do with them:

I add them to my scrapbooks!

I transfer the sand and shells into a miniature zip bag and glue this on the page. Add a feather (or pressed flowers if the destination isn't seaside) for a tactile and three dimensional scrapbook!

14 June 2009

Travel Souvenirs

Happy Monday Lovelies!

Last week, I shared some ideas on what to pack for a trip. This week, let me suggest what you can bring back home -- souvenirs that are inexpensive, crafty and uniquely your own!

Let's say you find yourself at the touristy section of your vacation. Do you make a bee line for the souvenir shop or do you avoid it like the swine flu? I make a go for it and get myself a bunch of postcards, then I send some to family and friends. Even in this age of Facebook and Twitter, nothing beats giving your status update (or the answer to the question, "What are you doing?") on a tangible piece of paper that traveled across the world!

But here's the Tada!: I send myself a postcard to my address back home. I use different formats like the traditional letter to myself; a list of things I want to remember (ex. the soothing Thai massage, bargain shopping at the night markets and meeting a baby elephant in Bangkok, Thailand or pistachio gelato, buying herbs & spices at Campo dei Fiori and seeing the Colisseum in Rome, Italy); little sketches or phrases in a newly learned language.

I always get a kick out of finding a postcard in the mail when I've returned from a trip. As you can see, I've collected quite a few and if I need to take a break (but can't afford it), I simply fish out these postcards and I'm instantly whisked away.

12 June 2009

Bon Voyage Bucket

Goodbyes...I'm not a big fan.

Whether it's a short trip or a permanent move involving a loved one, I consider goodbyes a blah. Let me explain: it's like a piece of me moves away, too, and that little empty space swells. And it hurts. And I don't like it. But don't worry, I never cause a scene (ex. hanging on to the pants of a dear friend as she boards the bus to her new adventure). I do my darn best to be supportive, even preparing a thoughtful Tada! going-away present:

Presenting the Bon Voyage Bucket!
It's made from a candy can, cleaned and wrapped with decorative paper.

Hmmm, wondering what's inside?
I've stuffed it with things that you can find in those free amenity kits on the airplane.

Like the basics: a sleep mask, ear plugs and a pair of socks (plane blankets aren't big enough to cover your toes!).

I also include tissue paper, anti-bacterial hand wipes, a travel toothbrush, toothpaste and moisturizer for face & lips (all in 3 oz. sizes as required by airlines for any carry-on liquids).

And because this isn't your generic amenity kit, I threw in some mints, vitamins or a packet of dietary supplements, energizing aromatherapy oil, relaxing chamomile tea and a handmade bookmark with a prayer for a safe journey.

An inflatable pillow, a magazine, destination guide and travel journal are other things that I might want to add to the package.

So even if that special someone saying goodbye leaves on coach, this gift is sure to make him or her feel like they're on first class!

Have a good weekend everyone!

11 June 2009

Plane Food

When I'm on a plane, there are two things I look forward to: arriving at the destination and when the food service cart is rolled onto the aisle. Okay, so airplane food may never get a Michelin star rating but I must say I've had several memorable airplane meals. It's unfortunate that these days, many airlines have stopped serving food to cut costs. They don't even give away those little packets of peanuts anymore. Only drinks are free. They do sell food like sandwiches and snacks, but $4.00 for peanuts?!

To turn this blah situation into a Tada!, here's what I do:

I get myself a plastic container -- you know, the ones where they package take-out food.

I add these colorful liners that not only make my snack tray pretty, they make very good compartments for the nibbles I've prepared: cheese & crackers, nuts and dried fruit!

I like using these plastic containers because there's less garbage after the meal, food keeps it shape (no flat sandwiches), there's less mess and it can easily be stuffed into your carry-on luggage or handbag.

You can choose whatever you want to put in it and you're sure it's healthy! Here I've selected some banana muffins, an apple and raisins that I can eat with coffee or tea while watching an in-flight movie.

Depending on how long the flight is, you can pack smaller snacks that you can enjoy in between naps and reading. I think these containers I got at a Japanese store are ready for the job.

I've filled them with fruit (blueberries), protein (hard boiled eggs) and sweets (my favorite dark chocolate)...hey, everyone deserves a treat! You can also use these for kiddie snacks -- one for each child.

For the duration of the trip, simply rinse these containers and re-fill with more snacks.

For the flight back home, buy some snacks that you loved from your destination (ex. pain au chocolat, empanadas,
cupcakes) for that one last vacation hurrah.