29 January 2018

A Shawl for Prayer

It's very nice to see you today!

prayer shawl ministry, watercolor, brush lettering
I'd like to talk about prayer shawls. Have you heard about these?

janet Severi Bristow, Victoria Cole-Galo, prayer shawl, prayer shawl ministry
I first learned about prayer shawls when I saw this book at the craft store. Its written by the same women who began The Prayer Shawl Ministry combining compassion and the love of knitting/crocheting. 

As the shawl maker begins his/her project, prayers are said on every stitch until its completion. Then a final blessing is offered before the shawl is sent to its recipient (ex. a bride to be, a mother to be, someone who is sick or is to undergo a medical procedure). Sometimes, the recipients make new shawls to pass along to others in need thus maker and receiver feel an embrace of love and kindness. Isn't that awesome?  


As I did some research, I came across the above description. What a thoughtful present to give! But don't forget to enclose a prayer or tell the recipient why this shawl is special.

And speaking of prayer shawls, can I share mine?

shawl, butterfly shawl
It's not handmade, not knitted nor crocheted. But my Mom owned it. 

When she passed away last year, my Dad had mentioned this scarf, "Maybe you want to keep it. It's from Auntie Marcia" (Auntie Marcia was a long time friend of my Mom).

I wear it when I miss her. Sometimes I wrap it around me when I pray. Maybe the butterflies will deliver my messages up to heaven. 

And speaking of butterflies, I came across this lovely Monarch late last year. Just as autumn turned into winter and I was taking my regular walks at the park. She was the lone butterfly and I saw her on four different occasions. Perhaps she's my Mom saying "hello".  

I hope this post inspires you to make your own prayer shawls and to admire butterflies, too...TADA!

26 January 2018

Washi Tape Flags

I've got a collection of washi tape. What's not to love? The cheerful prints and colors are irrestible!

To justify my purchases, I find new ways to use them.

Out of washi tape, I made these flags that are ready to party. 

It's a festive (and easy) way to decorate a cake.

And we surely deserve some cake. Today, blah to TADA! turns 10 years old! Woohoo!

Thank you to all of you, my dear readers, for encouraging me to keep on blogging. The past 10 years have been absolutely TADA! Here's to many, many more!

22 January 2018

A Cool Cushion Cover

Hey, hey everyone! I have an easy and fun craft today, if I should say so myself.

I love interior design. I like to make my living space relaxed yet visually appealing, and going to home decor stores brings me joy. I usually go in with something specific in mind (ex. a throw or kitchen towels), but sometimes little items catch my fancy.

crafting with table napkins, sewing with table napkins,
Such as this table napkin. It was on sale but it was the only one. 

One. single. napkin.

If I were to use it on my dining table, I could make it work by gathering other table napkins in the same color palette and make an attractive table setting.

Instead, I'm turning this lonely napkin from blah to TADA!

I unearthed some black fabric I had left over from this project, some sewing supplies, and a throw pillow.

Yes, I'm making a cushion cover!

Measure the napkin so it can cover the pillow (adding a 1/2 inch margin all around). With the black fabric, cut a matching square. Pin them together and sew around it, leaving a hole to insert the pillow. A zipper, buttons, snaps...how you want to close the cushion cover is entirely up to you.  

And here is my pillow with its new outfit...TADA!

Use it as an accent on a sofa or favorite chair.

Or make it a floor pillow. Perfect for lounging!

15 January 2018

My Journaling Box

Very nice to see you today! 

Moleskine, craft stamps, ink pad, planner, journal
Last week, I shared my version of the Bullet Journal

Cigar box, craft stamps, crafting box, planner, journal
And because I use a collection of craft supplies for this, I put together a kit also known as my Journaling Box.

Cigar box, craft stamps, crafting box, wooden box
This is an empty cigar box which I got for $2.00 last summer at a little shop in Nyack, New York.

Cigar box for crafting, craft stamps, crafting box, planner, journal
I don't smoke but I do appreciate the art of cigar making (I've seen them make it in the Dominican Republic) and the craftsmanship of cigar boxes.

Cigar box for crafting, craft stamps, crafting box, planner, journal
This pretty box is just right for the items that I'll be using everyday of this year.

Cigar box for crafting, craft stamps, crafting box, planner, journa, wooden box
It houses craft stamps, an ink pad, and washi tape.

Cigar box, craft stamps, crafting box, planner, journal, ink pad, carft supplies, wooden box
I spelled out words with alphabet stamps. You can find a tutorial here.

Cigar box for crafting, craft stamps, crafting box, planner, journal, wooden box, bullet journal
Because a good pen is a deal breaker, I have a lot on standby. 

Cigar box, craft stamps, crafting box, planner, journal, ink pad, wooden box
I can add more items like page flags, sticky notes, and colorful pens later on.

Cigar box, craft stamps, crafting box, planner, journal, wooden box
My bullet journal and journaling box make a handsome pair.

Cigar box, craft stamps, crafting box, planner, journal, Moleskine, wooden box
They also make my desk extra attractive...TADA!

10 January 2018

In the Company of Women

I just recently finished reading the book "In the Company of Women".

Grace Bonney
It's filled with words of wisdom from 100 ladies from all over the globe who are makers, artists, and entrepreneurs.

These are my people! And my heroes like Anna Bond, Cheryl Day, Dana Tanamachi, Joy Cho, Christine Schmidt, and Maira Kalman are part of it. 

It's written by the talented Grace Bonney and she says, "My goal with In the Company of Women is to provide motivating and relatable examples of all kinds of women running their own businesses, so that any woman, anywhere, can open to a page and see herself reflected."

Grace Bonney
I picked up a lot of encouraging nuggets (as seen by the page flags) and here are some of my favorites:

brush lettering, quote of the day, quotes to live by

"I could not find a product that I liked for my skin, so I created my own. I was fifty-nine." - Linda Rodin (stylist and beauty entrepreneur) 

* * *

"Winners are losers who got back up. Full stop. If you want something, grab it. Get it. It's yours, damn it. " - Jodie Patterson (Beauty Entrepreneur)

* * *

"I've nurtured the ability to feel nervous but jump in anyway and know that if I make a mistake or misjudgement, I have the smarts to work things out. It wasn't always like that -- with age comes wisdom." - Lisa Hunt (Designer and Artist)

brush lettering, quote of the day, quotes to live by

"I define success as being able to match one's passion with a deep sense of purpose." - Thelma Golden (Museum Director and Chief Curator)

* * *

"I think success is a very personal thing. For me it's the legacy you leave behind when you're physically gone from this earth. Did you help anyone? Did you contribute to the betterment of your community or society as a whole?" - Cy Lauz (Lingerie Designer)

* * *

"Almost everyone fails before they succeed." - Desiree Akhavan (Writer, Actor, Director)

* * *

"Maybe I define success as simply doing things I don't think I am capable of doing." - Dominique Browning (Author and Activist)

* * *

"It takes ten years to become an overnight success. " - Anishka Clarke (Interior Designer)

* * *

"Success means staying true to the vision and values I held before ever setting out to be successful. As long as my work continues to foster joy, celebration, community, generosity, and simplicity, I'm on the road to success." - Dana Tanamachi (Graphic Designer)

brush lettering, quote of the day, quotes to live by

"I don't compare myself to others. I'm not in a competition." - Christine Schmidt (Artist and Designer)

* * *

"Be authentic. Own your work style and don't ever think you have to change who you are to be successful." - Cheryl Day (Baker and Author)

* * *

"Be you and not another." - Olimpia Zagnoli (Illustrator)

brush lettering, quote of the day, quotes to live by

"I ask myself if what I am doing is making me happy. Would I want to put my energy in a different direction? So far, realigning myself with my goals and priorities does the trick." - Sarah Neuburger (Artist and Designer)

* * *

"I also learned that sometimes you work hard and passionately on something you love, and it may not work out. That's okay. You live to tell about it. You come up with other ideas and something will grow. Something will work if you're just patient and persistent. - Klancy Miller (Writer and Chef)

brush lettering, quote of the day, quotes to live by

"As a business owner I know the importance of being able to network and make personal connections with your customers. It's something I work on every day. And trust your instincts." - Lisa Hunt (Designer and Artist)

* * *

"I've learned to say no primarily as a mother and now as an experienced member of the design community. No is powerful. When you can say no, you have worth. I've learned that by saying no to certain jobs and other aspects of life, I can be more balanced, and often offers that are more valuable quickly follow." - Genevieve Gorder (Interior Designer and TV Host)

* * *

"Trust your vision and be patient. Don't let go of your goals, but let go of your expectations " - Elise Kornack (Chef and Restaurateur)

* * *

"Hire professionals to do the things you are not good at or knowledgeable about. They key takeaway was that you don't have to be able to do everything on your own. Look to the experts when you need to." - Danielle Colding (Interior Designer)

* * *

"Never just show the product. Always show the lifestyle." - Rebecca Wood (Potter)

* * *

"People often go into a business because they love something: baking pies, building furniture, designing clothes. The reality of being a business owner is that your occupation is not Pie Maker, Furniture Builder, or Clothing Designer. Your occupation is Entrepreneur. If you don't love business, you will not love your job." - Mary Going (Fashion Designer)

Thank you for reading. I hope these words have inspired you today.

08 January 2018

My Bullet Journal

Hello guys! It's that time of year when we write down our goals and promise ourselves a more organized, results-oriented year. Planners and journals have been all the rage and I think it's TADA! This old school system of pen and paper is alive and well.

My journal takes elements from the Bullet JournalI created a version that suits my needs:

Moleskine, planner, 2018 calendar
The notebook I chose was a company gift from work. It's a Moleskine with lined pages. 

Moleskine, planner, craft stamps, 2018 calendar
To make it my own, I used these cute craft stamps and a black ink pad. These have been collected over the years waiting to be used more regularly.  

Moleskine notebook, planner, 2018 calendar, craft stamps
The first page has my contact information in case I accidentally leave it while on the go. I also promise a hefty reward! 

Moleskine notebook, planner, 2018 calendar, craft stamps, #bujo
Start each page with the date.

Moleskine notebook, planner, 2018 calendar, craft stamps, #bujo
I divided each page into five sections. 

The main attraction of this journal is my TO DO List.

As much as I love crossing off the list, I'm instead following the "Task Bullets" as follows: 
  • "X" means task complete
  • ">" means task migrated (a task that wasn't completed and will be moved to the next day's list)
  • "<" means task is already scheduled (ex. a vacation, meeting, etc.)  
I also want to include highlights of the day which will help me remember events. These I put under NOTES.

There's a line that goes, "Baby steps will move you forward". I want to celebrate little victories that help me reach my goals. These are the items I list under BRAVO.

MESSAGE is where I put a memorable quote, a verse from my prayer time, or a shoutout from the Universe.

GRATITUDE is where I write down at least five things that I am grateful for on that day.

Moleskine notebook, planner, 2018 calendar, craft stamps
I also put some random frames where I can make art or stick a souvenir from my day.

Moleskine notebook, planner, 2018 calendar, craft stamps
My preference is a simple black and white page where I can track productivity and allows me to pause and appreciate. I want to look at each page as a sense of accomplishment instead of a daunting list of things that need to be done.

Depending on my future needs, I can change the layout and the categories, but for now, this is an ideal system for me.

Here's a related book I want to check out:

Bullet Journal, planner, Rachel Wilkerson Miller
I hope these tips were helpful for your journaling journey!

01 January 2018

A New Year

How lucky are we that we're ushering a brand new year filled with fresh possibilities!

I'm raising a glass of bubbly to all of you. May 2018 be our best year yet.

Happy New Year!