29 September 2014

Bead Bracelets

Two Sundays ago, I had the privilege of teaching a group of young girls how to make necklaces. We were celebrating Sophie's sixth birthday. 

On a beach trip with her family this summer, Sophie learned how to make a necklace. She wanted to re-create this and share the craft with her little friends.

I love it when kids are enthusiastic about crafting and have a memory attached to what they make.

Everyone strung starfish pendants and colorful beads on a piece of string, which we then finished off with closure clasps. Even if they used the same beads, each necklace had their own personal stamp on it. They proudly wore their creations while eating birthday cake.     

This inspired me to dig into my bead box.

These are just some of the beads that I found.

And I discovered a few odds and ends like tassels and pompoms. Why not throw those into the mix?

Stretchy cord. Yes, I can use that, too.

Instead of necklaces, I decided on making beaded bracelets.

So I strung the beads onto the cord, getting lost in my thoughts as I went along.

A few minutes later, here's what happened:

I made a bunch of unique bracelets using my old, blah beads. TADA!  

Stack them together for a bohemian party on the wrist!

26 September 2014

When September Ends

Happy Friday! I'm feeling a little nostalgic today, with another month swiftly coming to an end plus the beginning of autumn.

Can I share a few pictures? They're not crafts but by all means they have turned a quiet night sky from blah to TADA!

The super moon over New York City

The super moon illuminated the evening and early mornings
several times this month

The Empire State Building under the Manhattan Bridge

I wish you all a bright and happy weekend!

22 September 2014

A Basil Bouquet

A new week is upon us and on Tuesday, a new season -- autumn is officially arriving. The mornings are getting chilly, the sun sets earlier, and fall fashions are in full display at the shops.

But I'm still in denial. I'm still hanging on to the last bits of summer. 

This basil bouquet has cheered me up. It keeps summer alive, at least in our dining room, because of its fragrance. I would love to bottle it up and then bathe in it. I know the tomatoes will find me attractive. LOL.  

It's another gift from my new friend, picked from her garden.

For her thoughtfulness, I made another thank you card which I'll give her today. TADA!

Have a good week ya'all!

17 September 2014

Eraser Magic

Happy hump day! I hope your week is coming along fairly well. 

I promised you a craft today. 

Remember a few weeks back when I learned how to make this craft stamp? Well, I wanted to practice my technique.

I also wanted to try it out using readily available erasers. I picked these up at the dollar store. As an alternative, check out office supply or department stores for back to school deals. They're usually inexpensive compared to a carving block.

I made an investment on these lino cutting tools.

It includes five tips that can be stored inside the grip. Genius!

I started with a freehand drawing on the eraser.

Then I carved around the design and on the details like the eyes and feathers.

I used a brayer and block printing ink, but a stamp pad would work just as well.

Start with a dollop of paint on a piece of wood (I used the back of a broken photo frame).

Then I spread the ink using the brayer. Spread in both vertical and horizontal motions. When the ink and brayer make the sound of a zipper opening and closing, the paint is ready. 

Apply ink on the craft stamp using the brayer. Make sure the design is well coated.

Here's a test run.

I found these envelopes in the trash (please don't think I'm pathetic!). Really, one neighbor's trash is another's treasure.

Envelope-decorating can be quite therapeutic.

I added more details using craft stamps that I already had. These covered a few flaws from my process. I also used the ink from the brayer.

These envelopes can be used to mail letters, little presents, or products from your on-line shop.

It's blah to TADA!, baby!

15 September 2014

Why Craft?

Hello and happy new week! Like me, I know you like to craft too. But sometimes do you feel guilt once you've picked up your materials and really get into it? And many times, put crafting in the low rung of the priority list because there are other more important things to do? Please raise your hand. I know I'm not alone.

Here's an insightful quote from an issue of Good Housekeeping magazine: 

Apart from the pretty things we make out of crafting, the doctor says crafting is good for one's health! Isn't that TADA!?

Please stop by on Wednesday for a fun blah to TADA! craft idea.

Have a good day!

08 September 2014

A Tomato Harvest

Happy Monday dear friends! Do you remember last week when a new friend gave me cucumbers from her garden? It only gets better.

She gave me tomatoes! 

I am astounded by her generosity. She says, "We have so much, I can't let them go to waste." I am also astounded that I was the chosen recipient. 

I heart tomatoes.

How lucky was I that I didn't have to forage for food or scramble to the supermarket in order to put dinner on the table that evening. With a few pantry staples, here's what I made: 

A Caprese salad -- a humble composition of the beautiful tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, pesto, all seasoned with salt and pepper.

But before this meal happened, I made a painting for posterity:

It started with a sketch.

Then I filled in with color.

I added some details and highlights.

Plus gratitude.

Inside, I wrote a note. I tucked the card into an envelope and handed it to her the next time I saw her. I hope she was pleased with the tomato family portrait.  

I'm now inspired to make these into a series of note cards.

For good measure, I made another version, still using watercolor this time on darker paper.

And that's this week's blah to TADA!

01 September 2014

A Garden of Veggie Delights

So. It's September 1st today.

A blah feeling is slowly creeping in. That's because here in the US, it's also Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer. Boo! I don't want summer to end just yet. 

Also, it's September! Is it just me or is the year flying by so quickly?

I need to snap out of this little tantrum I'm having (I'm so sorry folks!) -- on to happy things and thoughts of gratefulness.

These cucumbers!

Someone who I just met gave these to me, delicately tucked in a brown paper bag. She grows them in her garden (pretty impressive, right?).

She also gave me these basil flowers. I wish you could smell them -- fresh, citrus-y, pure basil goodness.

Recipes and storage information were also generously shared (keep cucumbers on the counter for two days, refrigerate if keeping for a longer time; store the basil in a partially open plastic bag in the fridge).

I think gifts from one's garden are TADA! A true labor of love.

I've added the basil to both hot tea and iced tea, and the cucumber has been a refreshing highlight to evening salads.

Before consuming all this summer bounty -- I made a token of appreciation. 

A greeting card with a watercolor expressing my thanks. TADA!

Have a nice day and a superb September!