27 November 2017

An Advent Calendar

Well hello there! Today, some photo inspirations for the coming holiday:

An Advent Calendar wall hanging!

And an Advent Calendar pillow! I think these are both darling. 

If you're not familiar, an Advent Calendar is used to count down the days before Christmas. There are 24 little pockets where you can hide a gift like a toy or candy. Or to make the season less about material presents, why not put in notes to encourage giving or starting family traditions. For example:
  • Make a donation to your favorite charity
  • Listen to Christmas carols
  • Bake cookies
  • Write a holiday card to a friend abroad
  • Make handmade ornaments
  • Send candy to service men and women who keep us safe
  • Decorate a gingerbread house
  • Watch a movie about the holidays
  • Attend the tree lighting event in your town
  • Give to Toys for Tots

This is getting me excited for Christmas. TADA!

23 November 2017

Time for Thanks

It's Thanksgiving here in the U.S. -- a time for food, family, and the start of the holiday festivities.

As I do evey year, I like to pause and take stock of what I have been blessed with. And that includes a loving family, thoughtful friends, good health, food in the fridge, a warm blanket, a bag of chips when I crave something salty, a chocolate bar when I'm feeling down, a greeting card in the mailbox, finding a five dollar bill in my jeans, uplifting music from the choir, a reliable bus line, a new set of watercolors, a moment of quiet for meditation.

I am also grateful that I get to write this blog where I can share my thoughts and ideas. I am thankful for all of you who come and visit. That's always a TADA! for me.

Thank you and I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

20 November 2017

Nifty Napkin Rings

The holidays are just around the corner and here's a craft that will turn your dinner table from blah to TADA!

Let's make some napkin rings! Most likely, everything we need, you already have.

First up, cardboard boxes. Simply cut these into letter O's. 

Second on the list is yarn (I found these in a garage sale).

Wind the yarn around the cardboard ring, securing the ends with hot glue.

You can opt to use a single color around the ring or use a combination of two or three colors.

Make a tassel with more yarn and attach it to the ring.

The color combinations might be a little a odd but I think they're unexpected.

Make a napkin holder for each of your guests and you can give them away as a party favor at the end of the evening. TADA!

13 November 2017

The Giving Plate

I was at one of my favorite gift shops when I saw this:

It's The Giving Plate and it has this inscription: 

"This plate is for everyone to give love and kindness away. Let its gift bring joy and comfort while it's with you this day. Cherish the precious memories made with your family and your friends, then pass it on to someone else so its giving never ends."

It was my first time to see one and I thought it was such a TADA! idea. It's a plate that you bring to a potluck with something you made (like a roast chicken, a meatloaf or a bundt cake). You leave the plate with the party host for her to keep. When she is invited to another potluck, she'll use this plate to serve her dish.  She leaves the plate with the party host to continue the cycle.

It's encouraged that the back of the plate is signed (with the name and the date, and even the dish) with a permanent marker to track where the plate has travelled. 

You can find plates like this on Etsy. I also found these cute ones as inspiration if you want to make your own using this technique.

Image result for the giving plate

Image result for the giving plate

It's a nice tradition to start now that the holidays are just around the corner. Enjoy your week!

06 November 2017

A Beaded Brooch

Howdy everyone!

Many years ago, I received this brooch from a friend. She knows me well enough as the girl who appreciates a handmade gift.

It's a pretty dragonfly made of semi-precious stones like malachite, azurite, quartz, and jasper.

Stones and crystals have caught my interest lately because of the different "powers" possessed by each and every kind. My readings from the web have led me to a description of the stones in my dragonfly:
  • Malachite (green) -  is a Stone of Transformation, assisting one in changing situations and providing for spiritual growth
  • Azurite (deep blue) - this stone awakens psychic abilities and helps the user to recognize intuition and spiritual guidance when it occurs
  • Quartz (yellow) is a Golden Healer stone to help create a sense of confidence, zeal, happiness, and adventure
  • Jasper (red) - is a stone of physical strength and energy; it stimulates gently and steadily, enhancing stamina and endurance, and increasing the amount of chi, or life force, in one's aura. It is a stone of health and passion, and brings the courage to face unpleasant tasks and to rectify unjust situations.
Imagine that...what a wealth of energy!

It's easy to make a brooch like this one with a brooch pin, thin-gauge wire, pliers, a wire cutter, and an assortment of beads.  

Another clever idea is to use old or broken jewelry to make something entirely new. "Blah to TADA!" is what I call it!