Posts Tagged ‘holiday’

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: 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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12 Days of Gift Wrapping: Quick and Easy Gift Tags from Envelopes

Sometimes, I just cut my own. It’s really handy if you only need a few, and it’s fun! We all still receive junk mail and bills, but before you throw the envelopes away, check the security envelopes. You might be surprised!

Security envelopes turn into scrap paper

Find really cool patterned paper by just looking inside security envelopes!

Lots of pretty patterns!

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Take plain cardstock (or index cards) and cut them into 1″ x 3″ (approximately 25 mm x 75 mm) strips.

Generously apply glue to the cardstock strips with a glue stick, then adhere the patterned paper.

Using an X-Acto knife or crafting blade, trim the excess paper. The just punch a hole and tie some yarn, ribbon, or baker’s twine.

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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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12 Days of Gift Wrapping: Yarn or twine

Totally Pinterest-inspired wrapping.

12 Days of Gift Wrapping: Yarn instead of Ribbon

So, in case you don’t have or run out of ribbon, scrounge around your house… maybe you have twine or yarn! Cut ten to twenty lengths of yarn, enough to go around your gift and enough for you to tie tight knots. Tie the yarn one piece at a time around your gift with a double knot. Once you’re done, line up all the knots and then trim the ends to the length you desire. Kind of like a hair cut.

12 Days of Gift Wrapping: If you don't have ribbon

How about a skein of multi-colored yarn? Just take your yarn and apply the same way as above, or tape one end of your yarn and wind around your gift until you get the width you like. Cut and tape the end, tucking it in behind the rest of the yarn. It’s just as much  fun unwrapping it as it is winding the yarn around the box.

12 Days of Gift Wrapping: If you don't have ribbon

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Mugshot Monday: Ornaments

Today’s prompt is “Mistletoe or humbug?”

It’s never really humbug around here. Today I’m sharing a couple of cherished ornaments. My favorite ornament is still at my parents’ home, and I look for it every year: a toy soldier girl with a wooden body and white cord limbs. She’s so cute, and actually it was my aunt and uncle’s. I loved it so much when I was little, my aunt let me take it home. It’s amazing I haven’t snagged it for my own home yet.

Mugshot Monday: 12/16/2013

This little crystal snowman came from a lovely family… I used to be their babysitter on Saturday nights. (So glad to say we’re all still in touch.) I look forward to seeing my snowman on the tree every year. The way it looks like pure ice; it’s like magic, and I’m giddy, young all over again.

Mugshot Monday: 12/16/2013

My husband and I bought this Swarovski star together in Seattle… I think the Christmas before our daughter was born. I suppose I could look at the year tag hanging on it. I love how the lights bounce off the points. This one always gets placed high up on the tree and in the front.

Mugshot Monday: 12/16/2013

I bought this teacup ornament just a few years ago… thought it was appropriate for today.

Just two more Mugshot Mondays left!

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