This is a quick glance at what happened this year—a lot of fun ideas and memories. I think my favorite definitely has to be the publication of Home, Paper, Scissors. That was incredible. Even if I am lucky enough to get another book published, there will probably be nothing like the first one. It was a lot of work but I learned valuable lessons too. I'm so very grateful that I had that experience.

I'm also extremely grateful for those of you that stop by. Thank you so much for another year of encouraging words and support. You are all awesome!

What are we doing for New Year's Eve? Nothing and I absolutely love it. I'll give all my sweeties hugs and kisses and that will be it.

Be safe, be merry and I'll see you in 2010! Happy New Year!



I don't really blog about food but this was a must. As simple as they may be to make for some people, pancakes have always eluded me. Always. I give them another shot every few weeks or so (not that we need to be consuming anymore carbs in this house), but I'm stubborn like that. Today my bad streak has finally ended. I owe it all to a cheat sheet you can find here. Thank you Amy! Thank you!

Or, maybe I owe it all to my assistant who started running to her room when she saw me pulling out ingredients. "Wait for me! Wait for me!" she yelled as she trotted away to her room to get her chef's hat and a stool.

Where's that enthusiasm when there's homework to be done? (not that I blame her)

change of pace

This is the best week I've had in well... weeks. And it's only Monday! I feel completely relaxed and ready for the new year.

We had a wonderful and cozy Christmas. There was a bit of everything and even some sleeping by all of the adults at one point or another, but it was deemed appropriate and very necessary. The socks are due to my request of a shoe free house. Let's see how long it lasts.

The weekend was l-a-z-y. Loved it. Needed it.

The big to-do on today's list was going to the library. When we got back the kids jumped on our bed to read. They covered themselves with an afghan my Mom made for me when I was about nine. I wanted to join them so badly but dinner wasn't about to cook itself. I love that little raised finger.

The days between Christmas and the new year are the best. Don't you think? The feeling of anticipation is so overwhelming but comforting. More than anything I think it's just the longing of a clean slate. A new year full of new possibilities. What is around the corner?

merry christmas

May peace and love be with you and your family on this Christmas day. Merry Christmas!

making progress

This morning. It's still missing some knickknacks but it's almost there.

A week ago.

This is the only room that is almost complete. There's still so much to do. But I feel so much better. I almost feel like we're in a new house. There is much to be said about new flooring and paint.

Is it crazy that I still agreed to host Christmas here? I consider it an incentive to hurry up and get this all done once and for all. Wish me luck!

christmas traditions

Stephanie Levy was so kind to invite me to participate in her artist advent calendar. She has posts from artists around the world and they are sharing their Christmas traditions. She just posted my feature today—here. Take a minute to read all the other posts—they're all so interesting and different from one another. Thank you so much Stephanie!

I had to send her some old photos because we are still in the process of putting our Christmassy act together around here. We completed our pesebre as you can see above and now we need to tackle our tree.

Cutting it all a bit close but we're getting there.

going green with yolanda green

Last week, somehow and in the middle of everything going on, I managed to record a short segment for Houston's Going Green with Yolanda Green. I worked on my yarn gift tags and teardrop holiday ornaments.


Since our house was still in the middle of remodeling, we used my parent's home as our setting. The painting & pictures that are visible on the walls are some of my brother's work.

Less than 12 hours after shooting this video I was completely voiceless (laryngitis) and feeling like a truck had plowed over me. I still had to deal with the last week of school activities, walk through at the house, checking out of the hotel, delivering orders from my shop (yep I dragged all that to the hotel), etc, etc.

Home, sweet home!! Last night we finally got to spend our first night home after a couple of weeks of hotel living. Needless to say we are beyond thrilled to be back. My bed never felt cozier. However, nobody warned me about all the clean up work that comes after the fact—holy moly! I don't think I've ever cleaned up so much dust in my entire life. Even the dishes in the closed cupboards are going to have to be washed. On the bright side of things we're happy to be here in time for Christmas and the house does look so much better now.

Tonight I will be catching my breath and relaxing with a cup of tea and watching Love Actually.


dollar store table setting

Here are is an idea for using red and white paper decorations to match the ornaments I posted earlier this week. It's a project that I worked on several weeks ago. Since it never made its final destination I've decided to share it here with you.

Place card holder - Use the curly top of the ting ting stem as a place card holder. The card itself is a simple circle made with two different sizes of paper punches.

Votives - Cut the remaining part of the ting ting branch into pieces that are as tall as the glass votives and tape them (1" apart) to the back of a strip of red paper. Wrap the whole thing around votives that have been covered in tissue paper.

The tissue paper, red paper and and the dry ting ting were all dollar store purchases—a total of $3 in decorations for a table of 12. Add a few scattered snowflake covered hurricanes that I showed you yesterday and your table is set!

How's that for decorating on a budget?

Have a great weekend everyone!

martha stewart radio - round two

Yesterday I started off the day very early. I was invited to join Betsy and Kim on the Martha Stewart radio Morning Living show. My first interview with them was back in August.

Click on the logo to the left and you can listen to yesterday's interview.

This is the last project that I mentioned during the interview. Too bad I don't have a tealight handy to show you what it would like when it's lit. It's another very simple idea—a snowflake hurricane cover that can be made with the help of the entire family. Just use scissors to make a bunch of snowflakes and use dots of glue to attach them to both sides of a sheet of paper. After everything is dry, simply wrap the paper around the glass container. I like that the snowflakes aren't completely flat.

Here's a thought provoking question for the day: How do you make it?

teardrop holiday ornament

Our hotel room needs to look holiday-ish (at least for the kids' sake) and I thought a series of ornaments would do the trick. They'll pull double duty because we'll be able to add them to our tree once we get home.

What I came up with is extremely easy to make and it only requires very basic materials—a good thing since that's all I have right now.

- Two colors of letter sized paper
- Scissors, craft knife and ruler, or paper trimmer
- Glue (Tacky glue was perfect because it dries so fast)

There are two different ways to make this ornament.

Option 1 (ornament in the background)
  1. This is the simplest one. It only requires 4 strips of paper, of alternating colors. Cut each strip so that it is 11" (28cm) long (hint: cut along the long side of the letter-size paper) and 1/4" (6mm) wide.
  2. Fold over and crease 1/2" (13mm) of one end of one strip.
  3. Glue the new tab to the opposite end of the strip of paper. The teardrop will automatically form itself as you glue both ends together.
  4. Let it dry and repeat steps 1-3 three more times in alternating colors.
  5. Stack the teardrops together by tucking the creased ends one over the other. Tie them together with a strand of embroidery thread that is long enough to hang the ornament from. Done!

Option 2 (ornament in the foreground of the top photo)
  1. This style of teardrop requires 5 strips of paper in alternating colors. They will all be 1/4" (6mm) wide but will vary in length.
  2. The strips should be 11", 10", 9", 8" and 7" long.
  3. Follow steps 3 and 5 from above.
The simplicity of this project and the fact that the kids have been loving my paper trimmer recently, may help turn this into a group project. We'll shall see.

Only I would have a small crafty stash and a paper trimmer in a hotel room, right?

• • •

Thank you so, so much to those of you that joined me at SewCrafty on Saturday! I had a wonderful time and I hope you did too. Everyone's projects turned out really great and I loved talking to each one of you. We must do it again!

teaching + book signing

We are safely tucked away in a hotel (below) watching the some rare snow fall. It has been a crazy week but at least the house is on its way to getting fixed. I'm just hoping that we can be back home in time for Christmas. Crossing fingers!

If you live in Houston or surrounding areas this may interest you - I'll be teaching a beginner level paper crafting class at 10:30am tomorrow at SewCrafty. It will be my first time to teach an 'official' craft class and I'm really excited about it. There will also be some Home, Paper, Scissors book signing going on — bring or purchase a copy there. I hope to meet some of you in the morning!

Have a great weekend everyone!

One of the two projects we'll be working on in class.

gingerbread house

It seems so appropriate to start off the month with an ornament project. December here already. Can you believe it?

My intention had always been to make all the ornaments from Crafty Tree Trimmings but with everything that is going on I've managed to make only one so far. Here is Betz White's design of a gingerbread house. It's the ornament that my little C asked me to make first.

I always forget how fun it is to sew something by hand—as my critical mind thinks my stitching could've been a bit more even. Hopefully I'll be able to show you how this looks on our tree once we get a chance to decorate our almost empty house. Excuse the gray-day photo.

The photo below is a much better one taken by Betz. It shows the opposite side of the gingerbread house.

If you're interested in making this gingerbread house or any of the other 5 ornaments in the book visit Crafty Pod for more details and purchasing info. The book will only be available until December 31st and please remember that part of the proceeds are going to support Project Linus.

We'd love to see your creations! Join us at the Flickr pool created for all Crafty Tree Trimmings ornaments here and thank you so much to those of you that have supported this project so far.