25 December 2017

Happy Holidays!

Hi guys! I know all of you have been nice this year (maybe a bit naughty, but that's okay) and you all deserve a memorable Christmas day. 

I hope you are surrounded by your favorite people and celebrate this season with meaning and presence.

And what about this magnificent tree at Rockefeller Center:

Beautiful, isn't it?

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

18 December 2017

Christmas Baking and Packaging

I hope you are doing well today. Do you do a lot of holiday baking to give as gifts or perhaps you're taking part in a cookie swap party?

If your answer is a yes, this craft might spark some ideas.

Begin with a plain box.

Line the box with a pretty paper doily.

Pile on your baked goodies...these are fudgy brownies.

Tie on some baker's twine, decorate with labels, and as an added bonus, embellish with a candy cane.

Now, who wouldn't want to receive a package like this one? TADA!

11 December 2017

A Christmas Card Display

Christmas cards in the mail are one of my favorite things about the holidays! The simple thought of families and friends wishing me well (all relayed in a card) is enough to warm me up inside and out. 

I like to put all these cards on display. Here's how I do it:

I start with a set of clothespins. They're looking a little blah, though.

By adding some stickers, they look festive already. TADA!

Use readymade stickers or make your own. These were cut out from sticker glitter foam.

Make a "clothesline" out of cord or string. Put this up on a wall or above a door frame.

Use the clothespins to hold the cards in place.

Love and merry wishes on display! TADA!

04 December 2017

Red Noses

It's December! How did the year go by so quickly?

Whether we like it or not, it's gift-giving season. Everyone loves a well-thought of gift and a beautifully wrapped package.

Here's an idea that will turn your gift tags from blah to TADA!

All we need are plain gift tags (cut out from cardstock or better yet, recycle some cardboard), glue, scissors, red pompoms, yarn, and markers.

Start by drawing some cute reindeer.

Use a pompom for its nose. Just secure it to the cardstock with glue.

Accent the tops with yarn.

As an optional step, gild the empty spaces with glitter. 

Now, your plain packages will be ready for the holidays! 

Oh, and here's a bonus:

Use the same concept for birthdays using the pompoms as clown noses. TADA!

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!

30 October 2017

Halloween Treats

What are you guys up to this Halloween?

halloween cake pops, halloween treats
I made a few cake pops! Inside, they're devil food's cake -- is there a more evil flavor fit for Halloween?

halloween cake pops, halloween treats, skull cake toppers
Then I coated them with white chocolate, very imperfect, to mimic a skull.

Then I decorated the cake pops with these paper toppers. TADA!

May you all have a fun Halloween!

26 October 2017

How To: Embroidered Shoes

Hello there! I've got a bonus post for you this week.

It begins with a pair of shoes:

TOMS diy embroidery, hand embroidery on shoes
I've had these for at least 7 years. They're easy to slip on and off, goes with most items in my wardrobe, and are very comfortable. Plus the company's advocacy where "for every purchase, a new  pair of shoes will be given to a person in need" is truly inspiring.

TOMS diy embroidery, hand embroidery on shoes
I wore it too often that a hole eventually developed.

And then I stopped wearing them. I didn't want the hole to get bigger and I was afraid I would be mocked for my ripped shoes. It's not exactly as cool as wearing ripped jeans, right? 

I thought about how I could repair my pair. How could I turn this situation from blah to TADA!

TOMS diy embroidery \, hand embroidery on shoes
And so I drew on them.

TOMS diy embroidery, hand embroidery on shoes
And embroidered them.

TOMS diy embroidery, hand embroidery on shoes, floral embroidery on shoes
One shoe doesn't exactly mirror the other. But the same colors and flowers were used, allowing them to still look cohesive.

TOMS diy embroidery, hand embroidery on shoes, floral embroidery on shoes
The only challenges I had were: (1) too much handling of the shoe made the white pencil marks of the pattern disappear. My remedy was just to draw over. (2) Not being able to make tight knots to finish the stitch because I put the design towards the hard-to-reach toe area.

TOMS diy embroidery, floral embroidery, hand embroidery on shoes
Now, I am able to wear these again. The floral embroidery instantly gave them a second life...TADA!

Please let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by!

23 October 2017

Cats and Books

How are you today? I hope you are having a good day!

When shopping for new stuff, it's likely that they come with these tags. I can't bear to throw them away. I think they deserve a fair shot at a second life.

Armed with cat-print Washi tape, a sheet of assorted cats, a pair of scissors, and some glue, I'll transform the tags from blah to TADA! 

Here's one that I made for my "100 Day Project". It's a collage using pages from an old book and rubber stamps.

The washi tape and cat cutouts disguise the brands on these tags:

I like to use them as bookmarks for the stack on my bedside dresser.  TADA!