Archive for the ‘celebrating’ Category

12 Days of Gift Wrapping: Earrings and Brooches

Raid your jewelry box for a little bling on your presents! I have a few orphaned earrings that would make fun embellishments for the fashionistas in my life.

Dig through a stash of jewelry for single earrings or old brooches.

Dig through a stash of jewelry for single earrings or old brooches.

An old brooches can dress up a gift.

An old brooches can dress up a gift.

You don't have to throw away single earrings or old holiday pins. Put it on a gift!

You don’t have to throw away single earrings or old holiday pins. Put it on a gift!

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12 Days of Gift Wrapping: Paper Medallions, Paper Bows and Pinwheels

Once in a while, I run out of gift bows (and I don’t feel like running out to the store for the bag o’ bows). I’m probably not the only one… and what’s a gift without a bow or something fun? If you need a gift topper, check out some really cool tutorials and make your own!

Gift wrapping paper scraps, papercrafting scraps, and magazines are great resources for making your own gift toppers!

Gift wrapping paper scraps, papercrafting scraps, and magazines are great resources for making your own gift toppers!

A paper bow tutorial can be found at the end of this linked post.

Rosettes, or paper medallions, are so fun too! I make mine like this paper medallion tutorial on Craftaholics Anonymous.

Pinwheels are timeless… check out the pinwheel tutorial on instructables.com. I make my pinwheels with 3″ to 5″ squares, and then use a pom pom, stickers, buttons, or rhinestones in the center. Use a variety of sizes as gift toppers.

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12 Days of Gift Wrapping: Scrap Fabric

Here’s how you could use some scrap fabric in gift wrapping!

Gift wrapping with fabric as ribbon

Selvedges make a cool ribbon substitute.

Julie-Tiu-fabric-scrap-wrap-2

Instead of ribbon, maybe you have some left over selvedges (the edges of a bolt, or cut, of fabric). Or you can take scraps and sew them directly onto paper tags in the shape of a tree, star, stack of presents… anything seasonal.

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Mugshot Monday: Still Valentine’s Day

Mugshot Monday Zentangle inspired Doodling hearts text

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One Way to Recycle Glass Jars into a Fun Party Favor

So I’ve established that I’m sort of a hoarder, and my poor husband was so nice turning the other cheek when he saw I had a crazy amount of glass jars stashed away… in the basement, under the stairs. I explained to him that I had every intention to use up the glass jars – well, I thought I had a craft for them. I just hadn’t gotten around to it. I’ve seen a lot of recycled glass jar projects around Pinterest, some of them leading to non-English tutorials, but pretty easy to figure out.

Recycle Glass Jars Fun Party Favor

Friends, grab your glue gun (Note: Super Glue did not work well), miscellaneous plastic animals from the party store (or your kid’s collection from the dentist’s treasure box), and clean, empty glass jars. Get a can of spray paint. I have metallic silver, so that’s what I used.

Wash the lids well. After your lids are clean, you can swipe them with some rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball to make sure they’re really clean. Using your glue gun, adhere your little critters of choice to the lids. They should all be secure after a minute. If you’re a good crafter, you’ll wipe away the hot glue “strings” before painting, I didn’t bother since it didn’t look too bad.

Recycle Glass Jars Fun Party Favor Spray Paint

Now for spray paint… Make sure you have good ventilation and a spray box (optional). If you can head outside and spray them, kudos to you. It’s freezing here, so I ended up spraying them in my (heated) garage. I gave the lids and animals three coats, 15-20 minutes in between. And, I still have a little touch-up to do.

You could wash all the glass jars while you’re waiting for the lids to dry. I took the labels off the same way I take off wine bottle or beer labels. And if the label adhesive doesn’t come off easily, grab some Goo Gone (Just follow manufacturer’s directions on the bottle.).

Recycle Glass Jars Fun Party Favor Plastic Animals Recycle Glass Jars Fun Party Favor

I let them dry overnight, and now my daughter will fill them up candy for her buddies.

Recycle Glass Jars Fun Party Favor Plastic Animals

I’d love to know if you end up making this project!

Click for more party ideas!

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Chinese New Year: Year of the Horse and Noodle Recipe

** My original article posted on patch.com a few years ago, but the links are presently broken. Imagine the horror when I thought all my articles were deleted! But, I got in touch with the engineers, and hopefully they will have it up and running in the near future. Until then, I’ve updated a few things.**

Chinese New Year: Year of the Horse and Misua Recipe

This Friday, January 31, marks Chinese New Year, 4712 by the Chinese calendar, which is also known as the Year of the Horse. It’s a special year in our house with my daughter, brother, father, father and mother-in-law all celebrating their year. To set the record straight, I am not Chinese by heritage, but my husband is, and almost everything I know about Chinese New Year, I’ve learned from him and his family.

Chinese New Year: Year of the Horse and Misua Recipe

On Chinese New Year’s Eve (and regular New Year’s Eve) we light a red candle

Chinese New Year is based on the date of the second New Moon after the Winter Solstice, so the date changes from year to year, but is usually sometime between late January to early February. Traditionally it is a fifteen-day celebration, so it is acceptable to celebrate anytime within two weeks of the beginning of the New Year.

On Chinese New Year’s Eve, we light a red tapered candle surrounded with coins… the candle symbolizes your parents’ lives, and coins for prosperity. Let the candle burn through the night for long life. (If you think I’m going to burn my house down, you won’t be the first one.)

My family typically has a wonderful brunch at my in-laws home to celebrate Chinese New Year, and sometimes, we wait until the weekend for more convenient scheduling. It’s not a particularly lavish brunch, but steeped in tradition and symbolism. And, we all wear red.

Chinese New Year: Year of the Horse and Misua Recipe

My husband and his mom making misua for New Year’s (2014)

Chinese New Year: Year of the Horse and Misua Recipe

Mom-in-law, hubby and me preparing misua (noodles) for New Year’s

The color red is used whether in clothing, tableware or dishes, and the color was believed to ward off evil spirits. The word for red in Mandarin also means “prosperous”, so lucky word, lucky color – lucky red! Round or circular shapes are found throughout the meal since circular shapes are considered to be good luck.

Chinese New Year: Year of the Horse and Misua Recipe

Red envelopes for Chinese New Year

Our kids will receive red envelopes (shown above, and first picture) from their grandparents and us, mom and dad. Again, it’s red symbolizing good luck, and to ward off evil spirits. The envelopes, ang pao (Fukinese) or hong bao (Mandarin), contain money – good fortune. Read on for the misua (noodle recipe)

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