Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Sweet Mouse All Dressed Up

Ok, this little mouse is not ALL dressed up. I mean, she is lacking attire, but she's got it going on in the accessory department.

This is the newest stationery set for my etsy shop. It came about when Jamie at City Chic Country Mouse (click here to see the seriously cute stuff in her shop) wrote that she was having a hard time finding cute mouse graphics. I thought Hmmm... if she was having a challenge, then perhaps other mouse admirers were also. So I set to work and came up with this little gal.

She travels through the mail with her sister
who likes to ride on the envelope.

This is the three color combinations she comes in.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Final Handmade Christmas Gift!! -- A Bucket of Love

Finally finished the last of my handmade gifts for this holiday. Whew! It's a Bucket of Love for my husband.

This idea started in November of 2007. I was going to make a daily calendar for Christmas with each day stating something I loved about him. Well... that idea turned out to be more than I could take on (365 is a lot to think of, not too mention making the calendar!). So, I shelved the idea for last Christmas, tweaked it a bit and came up the "Bucket of Love" for this Christmas.

The Bucket of Love ready to give.

The idea for the paper fortune cookies came from the For the Love of Paper blog, click here to see how they're made. I printed the "loved things" on the paper directly (not a fortune slip), cut out the 3" circles (bigger would have been better) and folded them. I had a heck of time keeping the cookies from popping open (even with permanent sticky). I ended up heavily creasing the fold. They don't look near as nice as Kimberly's, but I was running out of time!

I put them in a clear paint can/bucket from the Container Store, made a label for each side of the bucket and voila, I was done. A Bucket of Love for my Love Bucket!

I wonder if he will read them all at once or spread his reading out over time? Either way, I hope he will feel the love.

A Birthday Shout Out

My pal, Cathe Holden, over at Just Something I Made is celebrating her birthday today so...


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Handmade Goodies for Me!

My little elf self has been working hard on making some handmade stuff for this holiday season, but little did I know there was another elf in my midst who was also working quite hard.

My pal, Cierra, at work bestowed these beauties on the LOML and myself yesterday. Well, knock me over with a feather! I mean, just look at the details! She did some shopping at Paper Source and spied these plain boxes and then just let her creativity go.

Inside were a couple of homemade truffles. Sweet!

She didn't stop there. She also made us a beautiful card that becomes an ornament. Truly, my poor photography skills do not do it justice.

It's dated and she wrote a lovely sentiment on the back.
The tree pops out of the card, ready to hang.

Cierra admits she may have an slight addiction to Paper Source and all the inspiration and supplies they offer. (She's not at the intervention point yet, but we are keeping an eye on her :))

I so appreciate the care and creativity that went into these goodies and I will have good memories each year we hang the ornament on the tree!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Handmade Gifts

I haven't been posting much lately. Trying to make this holiday a hand-made one is taking loads more time than I thought it would. Here's a few more things I can check off my list...

Little Cat A is a snuggler. She loves plush/soft stuff (blankets, stuffed animals etc). I thought I would knit her a scarf for Christmas. I haven't knitted in about 20 years and I was very much a beginner when I stopped knitting. I have to give a big THANK YOU to You Tube and all the kind, generous people who post knitting videos. Without them I would have ended up giving Little Cat A a ball of yarn! Thankfully the yarn I chose was VERY forgiving. I initially started out with 25 stitches and after 1.5 hours of knitting, realized that would be way too wide and I unraveled all my hard work. After all, I wanted the scarf to keep her warm, not strangle her! I started again, this time with 12 stitches and somehow ended with 14 in the end! I don't know that happened. Anyway, here's what Little Cat A is receiving.

Little Cat A's Christmas scarf.
I thought it worthy of two photos since it took me forever to make!

Next up may seem like a cop-out, BUT my peeps will need to write thank you notes after Christmas. So they will each get a set of flat notes with return address labels designed just for them.

Little Cat B appreciates the Steam Punk style,
so the gears work for him.

The LOML would appreciate something simple.
Manly yes, but I like it too.
(Does anyone remember those Irish Spring soap commercials??)

Little Cat A likes cute things; puppies, kitties and of course, butterflies.

I have only one more hand-made gift to make. I'll post it when it's done. I'm excited about the concept, I hope the execution of it meets my expectations. Fingers crossed.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Gifts for the Neighbors

Each year at Christmas time the LOML (Love Of My Life) bakes up several varieties of yummy cookies for our neighbors. He puts a LOT of work into these babies. He scours the internet for new and different recipes and no recipe is too time consuming or difficult for him. I always encourage him to keep it simple, but he's all about the taste, no matter the effort. Then, after all his efforts, he's perfectly fine with putting his creations on a cheap paper plate and covering them with ugly plastic wrap for delivery to the neighbors. He's been doing this for 15+ years and each year I suggest he kick up his presentation a notch or two. He's never interested. This year I figured, if it was important to me, then I should do something about it. So I did. Here's what we co-created together. He was responsible for the cookies and I was responsible for the marshmallows and the packaging.

A package of wrapped cookies and the supplies I used to make the cookie tags.

Here's the Hot Cocoa packaging before I cut them out.
Props to
LollyChops for coming up with the great hot cocoa packaging idea.
Thanks Lolly!!

Iced Citrus Crackle Cookies
Lemon Meringues
Ginger Cookies
Cappuccino Flats
Homemade Marshmallows (little hearts - cut with a cookie cutter I bought at Bake It Pretty which I discovered from Miss B at Le Blahg. Thanks Miss B!)
Hot Cocoa Mix (store bought, but packaged with love)

The filled boxes before they get all wrapped up!

All wrapped and ready for delivery!

I like how they turned out and they were worth the hours and hours of work!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Teacher Gift

My sister, who has been a 2nd grade teacher for years, knows a thing or two about teacher gifts. She's been on the receiving end of many and written a thank you note for every one of them. Well, this year it's her turn to give a teacher gift. It's her daughter's first year of pre-school and her class is the caterpillar class. Here's what we came up with for Gianna's teacher to use as thank you notes to her class. We did a little play on my Learn-to-Print stationery and added an extra personal touch at the bottom.

We hope she likes them. We think they're funny!

Gifts, gifts, and more gifts!

This holiday season I'm trying to make as many gifts as I can. Of course, I see loads of things that my peeps would love to receive and I have bought a few of those too (especially since I feel I'm running out of time!).

I believe the wrapping of a gift is just as fun as the gift itself. So, though a number of the gifts pictured are store bought, I did try and put my lovin' touch on the wrappings and used some of my just received 3" round labels to make gift tags.

It doesn't show up in the photos too well,
but the font on the gift tags is striped like a candy cane.

This next little pretty is my gift to me. I bought it on etsy at dottyral's shop. She has soooo many cute pin cushions, I had a hard time deciding which one wanted to live at my house. But, I can't say no to a cupcake (real or felt), so now she is living with my other sewing supplies and looking scrumptious. Maybe this will get me to sew again...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My 2009 Calendar

Timing is everything they say and though calendars are all about time, I blew the timing of creating a calendar for my etsy shop this year. I'm learning as I go and it looks like the beginning of November was the time to introduce this time sensitive item. Next year I'll know. I still wanted to create one because I thought it would be fun and a good learning experience. It was both. So this year there will be none for sale, but here's what I made to give as gifts.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Family Fun Week - Day 9 & 10

Day 9
The "fun" part of Family Fun did not actually include my family for Day 9. My friend, Jan, over at Room With a Past invited me to visit Wendy Addison's shop, Theatre of Dreams, in Port Costa for one of Wendy's openings. We were joined by pals Rosann and Sherry. We went on the second day of the opening and Wendy mentioned that Day 1 was tres busy with many items sold out. I still scored a glittery bird that I'm planning to hang in my "studio".

Rosann, me, Jan & Sherry outside of Wendy Addison's shop.

My newest glitter addition.

Glitter Bird -- $8
Discovering a new place and being inspired -- $Priceless
Total -- $8

Day 10
We headed into San Francisco for our last day of Family Fun. To the Presidio to be exact. The Presidio was once a military base, but is now run by the National Parks Service. It is so very charming. We toured the Visitor's Center and right next door was a small exhibit of Andy Goldworthy's nature art. He is a fantastic artist. Click here to see photos of his work on flickr. We then drove the the Golden Gate Bridge and walked half way across and back. It was a great experience. I wouldn't mind doing it again on a crystal clear day. We had a bit of fog/smog happening when we were there.

We were all hungry after our walk, so we drove back into the Presidio and lunched at a semi-fancy place called La Terrasse. We all enjoyed our food and Little Cat A claimed it was the best French Toast she had ever eaten!

We tried to geocache a little, but realized we were too pooped to give it any real effort, so we called it a day and drove home (taking the long way through the Presidio to look at all the cool buildings). On the way home we stopped at Katrina Rozelle's and each got a piece of cake. I had the Almond Vanilla and was happy as a clam!

Parking -- $1
2 bags of pretzels to keep from starving -- $3
Fabulous Lunch -- $65
Fabulous Cake -- $15
Enjoying a beautiful location with my family -- $ Priceless
Total -- $84

Family Fun Week was fun and I'm ready to return to our regularly scheduled programming!