Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wrap it up Thursday - New Year Crackers

1. Delish  2. Absolutely Crackers via Christmas Cracker Blog 3. Carloyns Homework 4. Pinecone camp via Poppytalk

There's nothing like a new year cracker to get the party started.  You still have time to put something together if you are so inclined.  I really love the fabric and twine one created for Poppytalk.

I think this year I might go for something different.  This cupcake was inspired by one created by my friend Amy Powers (see here)  I don't know if the girls will go for it. They like the snap sound.  I'll let you know.  

Happy New Year !!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A New Year Celebration

Champagne and Icy Blue for a New Year

I love this icy blue and champagne combination.  (Even though these are all different sources - some coming from a couple of years ago!)  That blue is my favourite - and it seems to work as a colour story for decorating around a new year .

First Picture :   The lovely garlands are from Martha Stewart.  

Second Picture :  I think I might make a version of these clocks - too cute and I love medallions!

Third Picture :  I would love to be at this party!

We usually celebrate with a pot luck and a fire on the beach.  But to bed early - my crazy family is in a New Year's Run!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wrap it up Thursday - Kraft Paper and Red

Wrapping up tradition -
Kraft paper and red accents

First Row - left to right  - Sweet Paul (photo by Frances Janisch), a creative mintcreature comforts
Second Row - left to right - flickr (patchwork pottery),  a creative minthow about orange
Third Row - left to right - Whipperberryangel at my table,  achica living

Well if you celebrate Christmas - it all comes to a close in the next few days and in keeping with tradition I've created a collage with tried and true red.  What makes these combinations more current is the use of kraft paper as a backdrop.  I just love how Leslie Shewring (top centre photo), of A Creative Mint, uses a simple grocery bag as wrapping.  There is something so beautiful about a simply wrapped gift. 

 If you still need to wrap a few- grab some paper grocery bags, red yarn and a candy cane ...
 and go to town!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Holiday Color Inspiration Part Two

Holiday Inspiration from Knitting a Sock

 You may recall that knitting a sock inspired me to go with a color inspiration of pink and green.  I must say it has taken some time for me to put it together.  And I am not sure I will stick with it every year but I did have fun doing something different.

I came across these amazing snow globe cloches featured in Poppytalk and I was drawn to the cover of Heather Sprigg's Gatherings Gift Guide cover and its yarn wrapped branches.  I just grabbed what I had at home - a bell jar, my yarn and some branches I usually keep in the basement...oh, and some styrofoam for the glittered tree and one to shave into snow for the bell jar.

It created a bit of a mini winterland - just above my fireplace.

A good spot to curl up and finally finish my other sock...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wrap it up Thursday - Teacher Gifts Part Two

You may recall from this post that I had hoped this year to have all my teacher gifts organized well in advance but I kind of think that isn't going to happen.  Well at least we know know what we are putting in.  Homemade marshmallows and caramels (find recipes here and here) Homemade Hot cocoa - our own recipe here. A sweet little battery operated votive and a cute mini cupcake.  The one I have ordered has a little snowman with earmuffs but it won't be ready until next week so the blue one is sitting in for the snowman.

 I have a lovely cupcakery at the bottom of our street and that is where I will get my special cupcakes and where I was able to get the plain, white bakery boxes.  The little tins are magnetic and can be used for craft supplies, spices or desk supplies when the hot cocoa is used up.  I continued making pom poms as I did here (Creature Comforts) to top off our teacher gifts.  

I will try to update this post with a snowman cupcake photo when he arrives - he's that cute.

Since I needed so many teacher gifts there is really nothing too large in the package.  I think the sweet labeling helps take it up a level - information on downloads can be found in yesterday's post. 
(Food labels Creature Comforts, outside labels Eat, Drink, Chic and Love vs. Design)

It's just a small way to say thank you to each of them for all their hard work.  However... someone please remind me that next year we are going to say thank you with a packaged candle and card ... I always seem to forget...

UPDATE - Here are the snowman cupcakes! :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hot Cocoa and the race to finish!

Well things are ramping themselves up ... why is it that? ... every year, no matter how hard I think I have things under control and ready ahead of time - it always seems to be a panic.

Time for some tried and true gifts for teachers and last minute holiday visits.

After some tweaking and combinations, here is one we have done for teachers many times before.

Hot Cocoa for Gifting

1 and 1/2 cups of milk powder
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup crushed chocolate or mini chips

crushed candy canes
vanilla bean

This should make enough for about 3 jars for gifts.  So double or triple for multiple gift giving.

Directions on gift label : 
Place 3 tablespoons of mix into mug with boiling water or hot milk.  Add a marshmallow and enjoy!

This year I am going to add some kind of fun tag - and there are so many great (free! downloadable!) ones to choose from.  Here are a few picks from this year and years' past.

1   Eat, Drink, Chic     2/3   Studio of Mae via Gifted (Creature Comforts)     4/5    Creature Comforts 

6  Orange you Lucky         7/8    Eat, Drink Chic          9  Love vs.  Design

I plan to get to work this afternoon and see how much I can get through.  You know ... before things really, really ramp up!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wrap it up Thursday - Decorating with Pom Poms

After decorating gifts with nests I wanted to do something different.  Maybe finish up my teacher gifts but I am still gathering supplies.  So here is another bird inspired gift.  This is for a friend who is celebrating a significant birthday.  She plans on taking a very personal spiritual journey after the holidays and so I thought it would be nice to give her a journal to take along.  I added a feather pen, a blue crystal pencil and a blue watercolour pencil.  All inspired by the Thomas Paul slipcovered journal and the wonderful robin's egg blue that lines the inside covers.

I guess you could say that this is wrapping without the wrapping.  The book itself is so lovely I couldn't bear to cover it up.  I was completely inspired by Ez's pom pom video tutorial at Creature Comforts.  And she is definitely right ... those pom poms are the cutest after a haircut. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Holiday Color Inspiration

Color Inspiration

Right after I finished my nest wrapping last week my computer started to act strangely.  The next day I found out my hard drive had crashed and everything was lost. (of course... 2 months past my one year coverage)  I had been backing up my computer but because I had moved its location this fall things had changed and I didn't have a proper back up since mid-September.  All my blog photos gone and so much more.  Lucking first day of school was the last back up.  But I did lose halloween.  

Well what is a girl to do when she is totally bummed out.  Knit of course.  Back to thick, cabled sock knitting - it is so therapeutic.  When you begin with the heel you need a contrast yarn color and I chose hot pink.  Well I loved its combination with my thick green yarn and now I have decided on my holiday colors.  I know ... a little late to start but better late than never.  I remembered these little glittered birds from a local shop and now I have a direction. We'll see what I can come up with over the next few days.

Now ... back to teacher gift wrapping part two...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Wrap it up Thursday - Nest of Yarn - Gift Topper

You may remember my tutorial on making felt flower rings.  Well I have been busy crafting a whole group of them to give to friends as gifts.  My friend Shelley appreciates thoughtful wrapping so I decided to get creative.

I found some gorgeous turquoise velvet ribbon and thick cream wool, on spools at Anthropologie.  I knew I wanted to use them for something special.

I took a circle of card stock and began adding a strand of cream and a strand of taupe yarn, anchored with a glue gun.  I build the nest up with circles of yarn, continuing to glue,  and finally added a few strands in the center for my eggs.  The eggs are from a collection including store bought and hand felted.  Once I added the eggs I finished up the nest by building up yarn around the eggs.

I took three of the felt rings that I thought Shelley would like and added them to some thick kraft paper to fit in the box.  I made an x-acto knife cut, to fit them into the paper.  I used that same paper to make a tag and added a grommet to finish off the tag.

 Okay ... one present finished.  I better get cracking :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday On-Line Magazines

I love all the eye candy and inspiration provided by a collection of wonderful on-line magazines.  You may know about these already ... but if you don't you must check them out!

 Sweet Paul Magazine is overflowing with absolutely stunning images and sumptuous recipes.

I just found out about this wonderful compilation of gift ideas from Anthology Magazine.

Lonnymag always has great style but this issue injects it with the holiday spirit.

 Last year I poured over the 2010 version of Gifted Magazine from Creature Comforts.  This year the 2011 issue of Gifted Magazine is filled with great ideas and some wonderful free downloads. 

 You have to check it out!

I was so inspired by last year's issue that I took out an advertisement this year.  The girls helped me tone down my tendency to completely fill the image frame and pare it down to a few artifacts.  I think it turned out well.

Hop on over to these sites for some on-line love ... who said nothing is free?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wrap it up Thursday - Teacher Gifts Part One

This is the year.  The year we (my family) put together holiday gifts for our teachers well in advance.  So we aren't chasing them down the halls, out to their cars, leaving them unattended on their general not putting it together last minute.

Okay so I have some ideas... well we have ideas :)

 Clockwise from top  Peppermint Cocoa (my,  Cocoa with snowman (the decorated cookie),  handmade mug (creature comforts),  hot chocolate on a stick  (giverslog)

Monogram mugs with cocoa (designmom),  homemade caramels (giverslog) ,
 monogram mug with candies (martha stewart)

For the past few years we have done a few of these things.  Mugs with homemade hot chocolate, hot chocolate sticks, homemade cocoa in a mason jar.  Last year we also added homemade marshmallows.  

So the story goes ... this year - maybe homemade cocoa, caramels and marshmallows.  I found the most beautiful shade of blue colored tissue paper and these adorable red chevron striped little paper bags ... that will be wrap it up thursday - teacher gifts - part two.  We have about 17 teachers combined ... plus office staff ... plus bus driver...
looking at about 25 ... better get to it!  

This is going to be the year ...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thinking of Spring ... and a new winner

Thinking ahead ... to spring!

 1. House of Turquoise    2. Style Me Pretty  (Christian P Photography) 3. House of Turquoise   4. Style Me Pretty  (Photos by Amanda Hein) 5. At Home Arkansas  6.  Style Me Pretty (Eric Kelley Photography)  7. Creature Comforts  8. This Modern Romance

It's starting to get cold out now and everywhere I look I am seeing this combination of turquoise, green and a touch of apricot.  I tend to stay in my rut of blue and linen but I think this spring I am going to take it up a notch.

This is a mood board I created for the Blogging Your Way course.  I have posted it on my flickr page.
I started out with my usual blues and linens (on the left) but when I looked at all the images from blogs that I liked (on the right) I realized you need a hit of a complimentary colour to really make the arrangement pop.  And every time I removed some of my felted green balls in the felted bowl I realized green balanced it all out.  Lesson learned .. perhaps ... maybe ... well I guess I'll see this spring!

Finally, you may recall the giveaway for the holiday corsage?  Well I never heard from Kathy so we have a new winner.

Congratulations Maaike!

The 29th comment -

Maaike said...

Hi Tracey, Of Course I would love to enter... and win! The brooch is so pretty, absolute joy.

Love, Maaike

True Random Number Generator


  Contact me with your address and I will send the corsage your way!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wrap it up Thursday - Coffee Filter Flowers


You might have seen the bracelet I made for my friend Tiffany the other day.  Well it needs to be wrapped and Tiffany wraps a mean gift... so mine better be good!

I was inspired by all the amazing paper flowers and poms that are being used for displays at buffets and dessert tables.  These ones I found on Ruffled.

I wanted to recreate a mini display similar to this and thought about the natural coffee filters I have kicking around looking for a project.  I happened to have a long kraft box just waiting for a gift to be gifted.

 These filters are great because if I flatten them out I can use them to make all sorts of shapes, flowers and tags.  A few filters can go a long way.  If I cut out rectangles and layer them, accordion fold and trim the edges, I can make poufs like the tissue ball poms.  Here is an example. (Martha Stewart)  The centre circle can be cut into a spiral to make a rose. As an example look here. (Little Birdie Secrets)  The edges of the filter can be cut and folded accordion style, to make mini medallions like the ones you find here. (How About Orange)  Simple flower shapes can be cut out and layered on top of each other. And the edges left over after cutting looked just like a feather so I used those to make a tag.

The elements came together like this.  I used two coffee filters to hold the bracelet in the box.

I added a pom pom that I made with ribbons and yarn (Tiffany loves pom poms!) for a shot of pink and to hold the lid to the box.

With my feather tag, it's ready for Tiff!  Shhh .... I still have to drop it off!

Monday, November 14, 2011

We have a winner

I wish I could give each and every one of you a holiday corsage for all your kind words and encouragement.  I really can't tell you how much it all means to me - 
THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

According to my random generator we have number 12 as our winner at 6:04 EST.

That would make Kathy the winner.

Kathy said...

Super cute! The spirit of Christmas sweater in one adorable pin!

          Here are your random numbers:

              Random Integer Generator

         Timestamp: 2011-11-14 23:04:41 UTC

Congratulations Kathy! - please email me (Contact Info to the right) and I will have your corsage out the door Tuesday the 15th.
Kathy - cannot contact you and haven't heard from you- if I don't hear from you by November 28th noon EST.  I will redraw for a new winner of the corsage.

Thank you to all of you for dropping by.  I hope to finish up the post for Ms. Glitterpie for tomorrow - waiting for some light for a final picture.  Keep you posted...

Pie in the oven

I've been working on my first guest post on ms glitter pie's site. Can you guess what I'm making? Stay tuned.

There is still time to enter the corsage giveaway here.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Holiday Brooch Giveaway

Leave a comment to enter for a chance to win this corsage

The latest Amy Powers' Inspired Ideas is here.  Loaded with great holiday projects you can check out all the details on her blog.

This is the project that I did for Inspired Ideas.  I call it the Christmas Sweater reduced to a Holiday Corsage.  In the magazine I give directions for making the corsage but in order to do so I had to actually make a few :)  And I am going to part with this one!

In honor of the release of the magazine I am hosting a giveaway.  Leave me a note here on this post (one comment only), contest closes this Friday 9 a.m. EST and I will select a winner( on Friday at 12 noon EST.

EXTENDED - closes  Monday November 14 th 6 P.M.  - EST

Good Luck and I hope if you can you will check out the magazine.  There are contributions from Mary Engelbreit, Matthew Mead as well as many other gifted crafters.


Kathy (comment #12 ) you won! - see post to follow.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Surrounded by inspiring images

When you arrive at my daughter's school, these are the images that greet you.  I LOVE that truck.  It is her screen saver on her phone right now.  I saw her take the picture one day when I was waiting for her in the parking lot.  The sculpture below, I call the egg beater, but it is actually entitled
"Still Dancing" by Dennis Oppenheim.  

Yes, my daughter goes to school  here. 
To say that it is an inspiring place to go to school, I think, would be an understatement.
Her older sister went here too but Ali couldn't stop herself from falling in love with this magical space, despite the fact that her older, very different sister loved it as well.

I was exercising my new instagram app and took these shots a couple of days ago.  I will file this way and return again sometime in the future.  I can't wait to see how learning and growing in this inspiring space will shape their choices and interests in the future.  Will they remember this time in their lives?...

I can't help but think they will.

Happy Friday!
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