Saturday, December 24, 2011

we're ready for you santa!

merry christmas!  merry everything, friends!  i hope you all are where you want to be, with who you want to be with, and that your heart is full. xo, amber

Monday, December 19, 2011

it's a wrap: diy package garland


take some fabric scraps and cut into strips.  you can use anything, quilt tops, vintage trim, bakers twine, jute webbing, twine, etc.  cut everything into half hazard strips of various lengths and widths.  make little piles of your various strips.  they will look like messy little fabric flowers.

center one of your fabric piles under the presser foot and zigzag stitch a handful of times and back stitch a few times.  once your flower is sewn together, lift the presser foot and pull your fabric pile but DO NOT cut the threads.  center another pile of fabric under the presser foot and repeat, zigzag stitch a few times and backstitch a few times.  DO NOT cut the threads.  you will now have two connected fabric flowers.

it should look something like this.

and this.  you can make your "garland" as long as you want.

i used mine to add some texture and color to a plain craft paper wrapped package.  it looks a little crazy,   like messy hair, but i like messy hair.

i made these accidentally on purpose when i was making this banner.  i needed to sew a bunch of red fabric strips together and i was too lazy to cut the thread in between flowers.  it's funny how things workout sometimes.

happy crafting,

Saturday, December 17, 2011

it's a wrap: personalized salt dough gift tags

the inspiration for these salt dough personalized gift tags came from these stamped cookies.


first i made this standard salt dough recipe.  little miss s made her own salt dough ornaments too.  we spent a solid 3 hours doing this one rainy afternoon recently.  i roll my dough out onto parchment paper, that way when it is time to put the cutouts in the oven the shapes don't get distorted from transferring them from the rolling surface to the cookie sheet.  mamas,  if you do something like this with your kiddos, let them make their own.  don't get mad at them if they don't do it your way or if their idea of perfect isn't the same as yours.  this is often how i'm able to work on projects during the day.  i let little miss s make her own version of what i'm doing.  it buys me time to work on stuff i want to work on with her, but separately at the same time. 

now here's where the personalization comes in.  i gathered all my stamps.


*****this is an important step*****  
i put my stamp in flour and tapped off any excess flour and then stamped my dough cutouts.

once you have all your cutouts stamped, pop them in the oven until cooked and attach them to your packages.  they can work as ornaments or personalized gift tags.

Friday, December 16, 2011

quick bites during the holiday hustle bustle


all you need is three simple ingredients: thinly sliced ham from the deli (you want it almost falling apart), finely shredded cheddar (i prefer tillamook sharp), and some original kings hawaiian rolls.  sandwich all three items together in your panini press and you have an amazing little sandwich!  i have recently gotten braces, my husband has been traveling the past three weeks, and these are what i've been living on.  the are soft and chewy, salty and sweet, and very quick, perfect if you are in my situation or not!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

craftee christmas: pillow project and other christmas decor

hey,hey, hey!  still here friends?

when melissa and i first started working on "the room" she suggested adding contrast piping to the window seat cushion.  i'm so glad i spoke up because i'm fickle and change my mind a lot.  maybe not change my mind so much as get bored, and i requested the piping be neutral like the cushion. the main components of the room needed to be neutral so i could change out pillows and such when i get the urge.  i've always wanted to make pillows but have been scared for some reason.  i made the red floral pillows and the blue and white plaid pillows.  i bought the red fabric at the thrift store for a couple bucks and got the plaid fabric for free here.  i used this tutorial on how to make the pillows.  red, white, and blue is a little unconventional for christmas, but they can double up for fourth of july pillows too!  

one of my first christopher radko ornaments, i started collecting these when little miss s was born.  i buy two a year, one for me, one for her.  when she grows up she will get hers and will have a very nice collection of ornaments.

i recently celebrated a birthday and one of my friends surprised me with this flower pot.  she had no idea about the pillows and i needed something for this spot.  it is unreal how well the pot works in the mix.  it's a little unexpected and so much prettier in person.  here, a stack of vintage ornament boxes elevate my favorite candle.

another radko ornament, i think this one is a classic.  any other radko collectors out there?  the ornaments can be a bit over the top, so i'm very picky about which ones i choose.

i had grand plans to make homemade popcorn garland, had being the key word.  the popcorn kept breaking and i had no patience for it.

these are new to me this year and they are awesome!  this is the best way to buy christmas lights.  i bought them at a christmas store here in san diego.  you buy everything a la carte, the cord, and the bulbs.  you can choose your cord color, white or green, your cord length, up to 50' long on one strand, your socket size, and then your bulbs.  you can buy all one color bulb, multiple color bulbs, opaque bulbs, shiny bulbs, globe bulbs, you decide.  the possibilities are endless!  i was tired of little lights that hardly put out any light.  i went with the big babies, giant c9 sockets, with traditional opaque, white bulbs.

these are a long-time tradition in my house and my parents', wooden, red bead garland.

all of these were bought at the thrift store for super cheap this summer.

i made the plaid pillows from a tablecloth i bought at the thrift store too.  see what i mean about he piping on the cushion?  i'm glad i went plain.  did you know the bench seat is a seat just for pillows?  who needs room to sit?  i love pillows.

and finally, my pleasure chest.

happy holidays friends!  i hope you're enjoying the season!