05 December 2021

Simple Joys and a Gift Wrap Idea for the Holidays

Hey everyone! How is your December? Here are a few of my little joys:

Harry Connick Jr., Celina Smith, Annie, Little Orphan Annie, Daddy Warbucks, blah to TADA

Watching Annie Live! the live action musical version of the Broadway show and movie "Annie" on NBC last Thursday. Harry Connick, Jr. played Daddy Warbucks and Celina Smith played Annie (she was fabulous!). The little girls in the orphanage and even the dog (a real dog!) who played Sandy all deserved a standing ovation. I appreciated the diversity of the cast, the singing and choreography.

Annie the Musical, Annie Broadway, Annie the Movie, flea market finds, blah to TADA

I saw "Annie" the movie (1982) when I was a little girl and instantly fell in love with the soundtrack. I even found a vinyl album at a flea market...TADA!

Food52, gift exchange, food swap, cookie swap, holiday swap, pen pals, gift box, goodie box, gift tags, owl hand towel, blah to TADA

One of the Christmas traditions I started in 2019 was the Food52 Holiday Swap. Last year, because of Covid, we kept it safe and simple by exchanging recipes. But this year, we've resumed sending baked goodies and foodie gifts. This is just a peek into the box I prepared for Sue, my swap partner who lives in North Carolina. I made the gift tags and the hand towel is store-bought but there are cookies and other fun things at the bottom. I'll write a separate blog post for that and I'll include what I receive in the mail, too.

coffee-themed rubber stamps, bakery-themed rubber stamps, coffee, bakery, baked goods,  craft stamps and ink pad, Daiso, Japanese Dollar Store, blah to TADA, crafting supplies

These stamps are my "gift to self." I got them at the Japanese Dollar Store and I fell in love with the designs: coffee-themed (my husband is a huge coffee fanatic) and bakery-themed (that would be my other passion apart from crafting). I'm excited to craft with these and I'll definitely show you the crafts I make!

Big Roll Grilled Seaweed Roll, Ito-En Green Tea, Hello Panda Chocolate Cookies, Calbee Fruit & Granola, blah to TADA, Japanese Dollar Store, Japanese snacks

Because the store just opened, I got a bag filled with these Japanese goodies...woohoo! What a fun surprise. I've been pining for a trip to Japan but this will have to do for now.  


Now that we're in the thick of the holidays, who has time for crafting? But since many of us are wrapping presents, that's a form of crafting, too.

Here is a quick gift wrap inspiration:

This pretty package was given to me by a dear cousin. Inside is a bar of peppermint soap. I just love how it's wrapped -- like a door decorated for the holidays!

I can't get enough of the details like the brick wall, plants, and the cute bulldog. 

The wreath is just the lovely final accent.

So I took a white paper bag...

Sketched a few houses in pencil and traced the lines in black ink.

I now have a series of row houses like the ones in Amsterdam. 

I made a tiny wreath using leftover ribbon and greenery plucked from a garland. Then I attached everything together with hot glue.

I chose to position the wreath on top of the bag; that way I don't cover any of the houses.

And here's how I turned a plain paper bag from "blah to TADA!"

Here's another version using white cardboard.

I drew a door based on the ones I see in Brooklyn. 

Then I glued on the wreath. I'm using this as a gift card envelope

While I won't be doing this for all the gifts I'm wrapping, these two will qualify as a "handmade holiday project."

By the way, you can also try the idea on a plain box or mailing envelope...TADA!

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