happy new year!

We've been having a wonderful time with family, friends, watching movies, playing games, and just enjoying each other in general. I didn't intend to be away for so long. But I can't complain because we've had a wonderful time.

As the year comes to a close, I want thank you all for your support, comments and inspiration throughout the year. I don't think I'd be where I am without so much of your generosity. Thank you - thank you! 2007 was great and I'm sure 2008 will be too. I hope that the next 12 months prove to be exciting and joyful for you as well. See you next year!

counting down

We're almost done with the last minute running around but I'm a little sad that I didn't get to make some of the gifts that I had planned on making. Maybe this weekend I'll give it a shot but I feel like I'm already running out of steam - a calendar or two may be in the making.

Speaking of the calendar, I'm still getting some last minute orders for people making them as gifts for the holidays. So if you need one, I'm sending out orders as quickly as I get them because I know that time is of the essence!

We had to stop at the mall (which I've been avoiding like the plague) on Thursday, to go to the Apple store and fix a problem with my computer. The carrousel was the next stop. After little C rode she just wanted to watch for a bit. I don't know why but I just love this photo. I like the contrast between her dark silhouette (still wearing her school uniform) and the colorful carrousel. I also look at it as a reminder that sometimes it is nice to stop and just watch, just listen. This photo is one of the first ones I take with my new toy and Christmas present for me from my hubby (yes, I'm like a little kid that couldn't wait for the 25th).

Thursday night we were at the kid's school again for the annual Journey tradition. It was D's turn to be in the spotlight. Journey, is a singing presentation by all grades from Kindergarten to 8th grade that starts with the Annunciation and ends in the Nativity scene. Every group sets up a little stage area, it's all done outside and people walk around in tour fashion. As a Catholic school this is obviously one of the most special nights of the year. Fortunately for everyone it wasn't so cold this time. My little shepherd boy is somewhere in the photo below.

I don't know if I'll have time to pop back in so in case I don't... I hope that you all have a wonderful time with your family and friends - Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

'tis the season

To be really busy (nothing like stating the obvious!). That's why I've been mia. The unread blogs in my bloglines is endless. I simply haven't had time to be around at all. I've worked on three web site designs, a logo, custom paper illustrations, made countless trips to the post office and the obvious Christmas related activities. Our shopping is done, but I still need to work on the wrapping.

Speaking of wrapping I'm so happy that so many of you enjoyed my latest gift tags (over 1400 downloads and counting!) and thank you for all your kind words. I know that the word spread quickly due to at least the posts of a couple of ladies (that I can think of right now) including Molly at her Momformation blog (a very generous post) and Cassi's great list of tag ideas that is definitely worth checking out. Oh and one more! Whip Up has compiled a great list of handmade ornaments and gift ideas and they included my kids tags and junk mail trees. Thank you!

The kids get out of school before lunch today so this will be short and I'll just leave you with some photos taken this week. I hope that you're all doing well!

Some commission work

Tea light holders I won via Emmas blog - I love them!

Little angels singing last night at the annual PreK Christmas school presentation. My little C is in there somewhere. This is the fourth year the school uses the star I made when D was in PreK. It's made of balsa wood and covered in fabric.

gift tag no. 4 - for the kids to write on

I haven't forgotten about my little tags series. I just hadn't come up with a new idea until this past weekend. Excuse the darkish photos. It's so gray here today. It's the perfect day for wrapping presents!

As a general rule gift tags are small. Sometimes really tiny. This makes it difficult for children, like ours, who are in their first years of writing to write on tags themselves. I made these holiday tags so that the kids can address the gifts to their teachers and friends this year. They are fairly large (1/4 of a letter size sheet of paper) so that they can fit in everything comfortably. D gets a little frustrated when things aren't just so (gets that from me?), so I thought that providing him with the guide lines he's used to using in school would help out. Little C has been learning to write as well so, with a little help, she can use these too.

I am providing a free PDF for this project which can be downloaded below. One sheet has four different holiday motifs and only has to be cut into four equal sized tags. The top margin is slightly wider to allow room for the two punched holes that are used for threading yarn or ribbon through them. As a final touch, our tags, have rounded corners. Enjoy! :)

EDIT (Dec 2010) :: new download here

decorations à la tinker toys

What do you do when your son is sick (not too sick) and stays home from school (sister stayed home too)? You make, you bake, you color, and you dig up old Martha Stewart Kids magazines (why oh why did they cancel them!?).

We love tinker toys but I definitely can't take credit for this tree idea. The 2005 Winter MS Kids magazine had this tree in there. The ornaments used in the magazine were beautiful colored buttons but since I don't have those we used construction paper instead.

This was my little 'wreath' creation to accompany the tree.

Mefuza tagged me for 5 random facts about me. Thank you for thinking of me Mefuza!
So here I go...

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

My random things (I don't have any weird ones that I can think of):

1. I used to know how to play the piano. I hated every minute of practice. I stopped playing when we moved (I was 10).

2. I had to do 5th grade twice. I was a good student but we moved from the US to Colombia at the time and the new school decided it was best for me to go through 5th grade again. The reasoning was that it would be easier for me to catch up with everyone else as far as spelling, reading, etc in Spanish.

3. I was the oldest in my high school graduating class (because of #2).

4. My dolls were my favorite toys as a child. My daughter now plays with what used to be my favorite doll. I didn't keep it purposefully. It somehow has just survived all the moving throughout the years.

5. When the time comes to have the "just say no to drugs" conversation with the kids my husband and I can both honestly tell them that neither one of us has ever tried anything - ever.

Will I be struck by lightning if I don't tag anyone else? ;)

By the way, my chalk lamp made it to The Artist's Magazine blog! Thank you. And thank you to those of you that have been mentioning my work and my calendar project: Brown Sugar Design (a creative husband and wife team of designers that do GORGEOUS work), Scribbit (there's a great list of projects in her post) and Fabulous-Fabulous (a lovely blog of all things handmade). I'm so flattered by all your kind words. Thank you so much!

Have a great weekend!

nice surprises

I had no idea several of you had commented on my chalk lamp idea. Thank you! It seems that Blogger is being unfriendly with me again and not sending me updates. As far as the lamp goes, I am so ready to go buy proper chalk paint but I just haven't had the time. My daughter simply loves it! Imagine her thoughts... "mom, is letting me draw on a LAMP! - weee!!" At least that's what I think goes through her mind. The truth of the matter is that I find it just as fun.

I've been burning the midnight oil for the last couple of nights and there's nothing exciting worth showing. In the meantime I've found a couple of interesting blogs (because they mentioned my calendar at some point - thanks!):
- Monoscope: a blog of interesting design and art of all types
- Surfgarden (in german): for web design, blogging and all things mac

Another one I found out about today:
Make Something Today - a list I had no idea existed and there I am in the top three. No idea how that happened but I'll take it. :) There are so many blogs to look at there. I certainly don't need my bloglines to grow any more than it already is!

Oh and I saw this Beringer vineyard commercial today and just about died. Such paper goodness!

Going to watch Project Runway... (soooo disappointed I accidentally found out who 2 of the finalists are! boo-hoo!)

who would've thought

I have a full plate today so I really shouldn't even be here but I thought I'd share a few photos of a spontaneous project.

A little background on my thrifting experience first. I've only done it twice in my life: once in college, because I was in need of cheap materials for a school project and the second time was about 2 months ago. I had an idea for a lamp project and wanted to experiment on something that I could mess around with and not feel guilty about it. I invested a whole $4 on a lamp and painted it with primer (originally the lamp was an awful shiny dark blue). That's as far as I've gotten with the project. The funny thing is that even though this traditional shape isn't something that I'd typically buy I'm actually using the lamp.

Yesterday, as I was reading with Little C, I saw the lamp again, I thought about my pending project (one of so many!) and had a fleeting thought. I wondered if I could draw on the matte paint using chalk. I gave it a shot and it worked. Even little C got into the action and drew a bunch of rainbows (she erased them before I could get a photo taken). The paint did get a little scratched with all the writing so now I'm very tempted to just buy chalk paint and forget about the original idea I had when I purchased the lamp.

As is usual with chalk, none of these took more than 5 seconds to complete. It'll be fun to change the look on a whim. Sorry about the blurry photos. I took them last night, I didn't want to use the flash and I was too lazy to pull out my tripod. ;)

It could go on and on...