Happy 2010!

And welcome 2011!  This first year of blogging (seriously) has been a great one, and I’m looking forward to all the creativity that will come out next year!  Here’s just a quick image of what’s happened this year!


Thanks for visiting, and see you next year!

Anytime freebie craft: fabric cards

Finding myself with a little extra time over the break, but no money, I decide to take the path less traveled this year regarding our holiday cards to friends and family.  I pulled out my collection of scraps, ribbons, baubles, and Wonder Under, and proceeded to make a collection of hand crafted Christmas Cards!

The fabric set for my sister’s family.

Starting on Nick’s family’s card.

Wonder Under-ing a base fabric.

Fabric and decorative supplies.

Several finished cards.

The inside of one card.

This is a very individual endeavor!  Feel free to use any resource or technique you like best; I focused mostly on the fancy stitches on my new sewing machine and strengthening fabric with Wonder Under.  I used several techniques for messages.  In some cards I simply used double sided tape to secure a paper message.  In others, I sewed in a pocket or corner catches.  Any of these options make these cards totally reusable!

Everyone seemed to love their unique gifts!  What were some of your successful holiday projects?

NOMday: Apple Tart

One of my gift requests for this holiday was a food processor.  I’m an inefficient chef at best, and anything that will make my construction easier and more consistent is a friend to me!  I received a Cuisinart from my parents and tried it out immediately upon my arrival home yesterday!  Here was my result!


This is my darling apple tart!  The apple slices were done in the processor with the slicing blade, and the pastry dough was made in the processor also!  Both ingredients were included in the recipes in the instruction manual, but they’re pretty basic.  The dough consisted of a little flour, salt, sugar, butter, and water.  The apple filling involved nothing more than the apples themselves and a little brown sugar and cinnamon!  It was a nice little treat!  Also pictured is my new silicon cookie sheet; this was instrumental in creating the 4 dozen cookies we brought to dinner!

How’s your holiday cooking going?

Happy Holidays!

My Christmas consisted of snow crab legs, cookies, and a lot of tissues as I inherited Nick’s cold, but it was delightful nonetheless.  I enjoyed the company of my family and the special delight of my nephew in his gifts.  I was also gifted a special present that I requested – a food processor!  More on this tomorrow for NOMday!


My 30th birthday approaches quickly, and I can’t wait to reach that goal!  Happy Holidays and safety in your travels and pleasures.

Cool EL Wire projects

I saw the new Tron: Legacy movie this weekend and LOVED IT!  I may need a Tron costume in the future… but in the meantime, I went looking for cool EL wire projects.  EL wire, short for electroluminescent wire, is a copper wire coated with phosphor that produces a 360 degree unbroken line of visible light (rather than points of light such as in a LED rope light).  It’s a neat product that’s accessible for a lot of projects, including a costume I created, Juliet here.  I used EL wire in the hem of the dress and in the swirly hat (as well as some fiber optics added to my wig!). 


There are a lot of costumes out there that use EL wire – particularly the Tron costumes, but I wanted to take a look at what other projects were out there!  Take a look as some of these amazing artworks and craft projects!


Loving this glowing jellyfish, created by Jason Eppink.  I can totally see this reproduced for a lighting feature – it’s gorgeous!


Fantastic EL wire spider web by rogueg at Instructables!  It’s delicate and still really functional as a light feature… or even just as a work of art by itself.


Okay, so I’m not totally over the Tron thing yet… Here’s an awesome and easy mod for a bag from Lady Ada!

What’s your favorite use for EL wire?

Nomday: The best ever!

Nick has declared this recipe the best one yet in our MyRecipes.com experiment.


I made a few edits: replaced red onions with shallots – a good idea, but fresh shallots are VERY pungent.  Tread carefully!  We used watercress instead of arugula because we had it on hand; spinach seems like it would suffice very well.  Finally, I used a frozen tortellini instead of fresh; it was just cheaper, and it tasted just fine!  Create your own edits and enjoy!

A Costumed Christmas

My five-year-old nephew is on a serious cowboy kick lately, and I was asked by my mother (his grandma!) to make a ‘real cowboy vest’ as a gift.  However, as I am completely tapped out on funds by this point (thanks student teaching =p), I wanted to see if I could manage to fanangle this out of nothing and air.  And maybe spit.image

I raided the fabric stash and got really lucky finding a great faux leather pillow cover (from the pillow project earlier this summer) that provided JUST enough base material for this mini-sized vest.  I copied and shrank a vintage vest pattern that I’ve been saving for making Sarah from Labyrinth, and I had all the supplies I needed, already on hand!  No worries there!

Because the leather-like material was such good quality, I decided to do a really authentic look and lapped seams instead of doing a regular seam.  I stitched each one twice for durability as well as for a more authentic rustic look.  That made construction really easy and really attractive.  Finally, I top stitched all around the outside and the sleeve openings of the vest for a finishing touch.

I’m delighted with the finished product, and I hope my nephew will be as well!  This is a sturdy little garment that should last for years… at least until he outgrows it!

What’s your favorite handmade Christmas costume?

A copper Christmas

Copper is one of my favorite materials, both as a jeweler and a decorator.  It’s warm, glowing, and rosy, and can compliment so many palettes, from equally warm colors to bringing a sparkle to cooler choices (give me a copper and amethyst necklace any day!).  Gold and silver are the traditional Christmas metals, but what about this versatile color?  Let’s see what’s out there!


Adorable copper cookie cutter from Sur La Table.  Talk about multitasking; make a few tree cookies and then hang this little guy on the real tree!


Other-than-green Christmas trees are all the rage this year, so how about this glittering copper beauty (best buy at Amazon.com).  It’s also prelit, saving you precious holiday time.


These punched copper gingerbread men (running, of course) from Etsy seller tinworks are a staple from my own childhood as well!  I recall creating these as a very young child, and my own still grace my tree to this day.  DiY with some copper sheeting and nails, or pick these up from tinworks!


Even though Hanukkah is over for this season, the menorah is a delightful decoration in copper as well!  This lovely woven metal version is available from Traditions Jewish Gifts. What glitter and glow are you enjoying this holiday season?

Steampunk shower, anyone?


This is an American Standard "Rib Cage" or "Needle" Shower.  Okay, so it’s chrome rather than brass or copper, but WOW!  What a look!  From the Antique and Artisan Center.

I’m dreaming…

…of a pink Christmas!  Maybe a little girl you know is insisting on a princess theme… or maybe you just love pink!  Check out this inspiration for a pink Christmas theme!


Sources: Lacy paper snowflake tutorial at How About Orange.  Pink “Dream” Bird at Fancy This!  Pink Glass High Heels at Trendy Tree.

Oh, and why not a few pink decorations for yourself, like this pink ostrich feather bangle?  And of course don’t forget your pink tree and all kinds of pink flowers!  Pink it up this Christmas!  Why not?