Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Garden Stake Signs

Well, this may be my last post for 2010...unless, I happen to get a dose of inspiration (and free time) to make something before the new year. You just never know when creativity will strike.
That said, here are the Christmas signs that I made just recently. Unfortunately, I started these a little too late, so I was only able to make a few. This could possibly be the easiest (and most inexpensive) gift to make for someone and what a great that can be used year after year!

All that is needed: wood - cut into 12"-16" slabs, stakes, paint and brushes. The wood can be purchased from The Home and they'll cut your wood for free! You can find the paint and brushes at Michaels. I used Craft Smart Acrylic Paint. They have every color you could imagine and each bottle only costs about 50 cents. If you don't already have paint brushes, I'd suggest going with a good brand...not the BEST brand, just a good brand. They can be somewhat costly, but it's so worth it. You'll find painting to be much easier and the results to be much nicer with a good brush.

That's all I've got for now. Merry Christmas, everyone! May LOVE, JOY, PEACE & LAUGHTER be with you now and continue throughout the new year. xoxo!

P.S. - Thank you, Lori for giving me the idea to make these and for the time spent together "crafting"...SO FUN!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Baby Sock Advent Calendar

How cute is this? i think...sooooo CUTE! Another great find from I know that we're already into December, but how about for next year??? Click HERE for step-by-step instructions...or just scroll down.

photo credit:

"Invite little ones to count down to Christmas with this charming treat-a-day calendar. This hanging Advent calendar assembled from baby socks is full of great things, and it's the perfect way to mark the season for a baby or an older child. A collection of stray socks or a mix of new ones in festive colors looks adorable dangling from a ribbon along a mantle or railing. Stuff each mini stocking with an age-appropriate toy. Then, starting on December 1, take down one sock a day, and let your child pull out the surprise inside (clip socks back onto the ribbon after gifts have been removed). The 24 days before Christmas are sure to sail by."

Tools and Materials
24 socks
Number stickers
Round stickers
Mini clothespins

Calendar How-To
1. Gather 24 socks -- singles or 12 pairs -- in colors that go well together (vary the sizes, if you like). Lay them out in the order you want to hang them, leaving spaces in between.
2. Cut the ribbon to the desired length; to find how long it should be, measure across the row of socks and add 12 inches (ours was 72 inches).
3. Use number stickers to label each sock. If one has a busy pattern, place the number on top of a solid round sticker so that it's easier to read.
4. Tack the ends of the ribbon to a railing or mantle; if you like, you can fasten the ribbon in several places to make a few swags.
5. Use mini clothespins to clip the socks to the ribbon; overlap them if you need to save space.
6. Tuck a gift inside each. If the item is heavy, use a larger clothespin to secure the sock.

Note: Gifts must be small enough to fit in tiny socks but safe for your child's age. Choose bath toys, pacifiers, or blocks for a baby; pencils, notebooks, and toys for an older kid.

Friday, December 3, 2010


My dear friend, Shara Braithwaite is an extremely gifted artist...amazingly gifted. I've had the sweet privilege of knowing Shara since we were both in elementary school and thankfully, we've remained friends throughout the years and there's no doubt, we'll continue to be friends for the rest of our lives. Lucky me! :)
Today, I visited Shara in her home and was able to see some of her paintings. I've always known that she was a great artist/painter, but OH MY GOSH!, she's brilliant...truly! These pictures are just a couple glimpses of her talent, but if you'd like to see more of her work, go to Studio Shara and you'll find pieces that will make you smile...from illustrations to family portraits, her work is without question...AMAZING!

photo credit: Studio Shara

photo credit: Studio Shara

I'd like the world to know the name, SHARA BRAITHWAITE and I'll simply start by introducing her to some of you on my tiny little blog.

Monday, November 29, 2010

DIY Magnetic Holiday Advent Calendar

I've been searching for the perfect advent calendar, one that I could easily make and enjoy year after year. Well, I think I found it. Twig & Thistle (an amazing blog) created this magnetic advent clever, unique and simple to make. Can't wait to get started on this one.

photo credit: Twig & Thistle
photo credit: Twig & Thistle
photo credit: Twig & Thistle
photo credit: Twig & Thistle
photo credit: Twig & Thistle

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas treats for the teachers...

 ...are done! Woohoo! :) I racked my brain for days trying to come up with a fun gift for the teachers at Christmas time. I considered painting an ornament, but decided against it because I knew that it would consume too much of my time. Painting 40 ornaments in the month of December...definitely not a good idea. I also considered making hand-dipped chocolate pretzel rods, but decided I'd save that idea for Valentine's day. So, to make my life a little bit easier during this holiday season, I finally opted to buy something rather than make something. I just had to find the perfect "something" that would fit my budget. On a whim, I drove to the nearest Harry & David store and there I sampled the yummiest Apple Butter. It was love at first bite!

However, 40 jars of Apple Butter at $5.50/each did NOT fit into my budget. After chit-chatting with the manager for a bit, she was extremely kind enough to offer me a SWEET discount as well as send me home with all the wrapping materials (bag, filler, ribbon and sticker) needed for each gift. I have to give the Fullerton Harry & David store a BIG shout out. The staff was unbelievably friendly and helpful. Awesome customer service!
So here are my Christmas treats for the teachers. A delicious jar of Apple Butter wrapped up all pretty with a handmade tag attached. HAPPY!

Lovely Felt Wreath by Suzonne Sterling

Suzonne Sterling is a professional crafter and she's good at what she does...really good! I fell in love with this wreath that she made and had to share it with you.

photo credit: Suzonne Sterling
photo credit: Suzonne Sterling

Clean, beautiful and simple to just doesn't get any better than this. Click HERE to read Suzonne's post on how to make these beauties. Thanks Suzonne! :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Not a creature was stirring, not even a...Candy Cane Mouse!

Sorry folks, but Christmas IS really just around the corner! I've already started on the treats for December and I think you're going to like this one...

Candy Cane Mice

A combination of two Christmas icons -- mice and candy canes -- these tiny fabric creatures with their red and white striped tails make fitting favors at a holiday dinner or delightful gifts for children to give to friends and relatives.

Another great find from Martha Stewart's website. Here's the mice template if you want to make these too. Be sure to enlarge the template by 150 percent before printing out. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thanksgiving Turkey Finger Puppets!

Cute, eh? I'm making these for Hazel to pass out to her classmates for Thanksgiving. I really only need to make 30 of these, but my goal is to make at least 96. Why? Because the only place that I was able to find the exact candy sticks that I needed were sold in bulk. 96 candy sticks per case = 96 turkey finger puppets.
This idea came to me from dear ol' Martha's website. Easy to make, but somewhat time consuming. The cutting, gluing and hand-sewing for each turkey took me almost 15 minutes to make. 15 x 96 = I'm nuts! So far, I'm at 61 turkeys...ugh!

I stuffed each turkey with a yummy Root Beer Float Old-Fashioned Candy Stick. I tested them out on a few kids and they LOVE em'! A fun treat to pass out to your little friends at Thanksgiving.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Paper + Glue = Fortune Cookies!

I have to say, I love this! I do, I do, I do! This brilliant idea came from Tiffany Bird at Simply Modern Mom, who made these for her daughter's first birthday. She filled her cookies with birthday fortunes and wishes from loved ones and then placed them in a jar. So sweet!
This would be the perfect gift for just about any occasion - baby showers, birthdays, weddings, graduations, you name it.

I filled my cookies each with a happy thought...and with money (to make it extra fun for the recipient.) :)
Seriously now, don't you love this too?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The PERFECT little gift!

If you're planning to give a gift card or some other kind of small gift such as earrings, you can make these cute little holders to place them in. Way more fun than putting them in an envelope or a plain box.

Using a free Hexagon Petal Card Template, cut the template out of patterned paper and fold. Embellish with ribbon or whatever else you like to keep closed. Each one took me less than 5 minutes to make. You can also make these as cards or fill with potpourri to create a sweet sachet. The ideas our endless.


Aren't they lovely? I think so!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thanksgiving treats for the teachers...

I know what you're thinking..."Thanksgiving? Already? Seriously?" Well, I do know that it's early, but the treats are done and now that's one less thing I have to do in November.

In an earlier post, I showed you the cute little gift boxes that I made. I made 35 boxes and filled each with a Pumpkin Pie votive candle (Colonial Candle) placed inside a votive holder (Crate&Barrel)...a perfect fit!
I hope the teachers LOVE them as much as I do. :)

For those interested in making these boxes, here's the link with the template that I used.

Cheesecake Caramel Apples Recipe!

My sister, Sandy was sweet enough to share her recipe. Now everyone can enjoy "a little piece of heaven!"

2 Dozen Medium Granny Smith Apples
1 - 5lb. Box of Peter’s Caramel
1 - 5lb. Bag of Merckens White Chocolate
2 Boxes (crushed) Graham Crackers
Cheesecake Flavoring

Wash/dry and remove stem from apples. Insert wooden sticks into the apples. I usually tap the sticks with a rolling pin.

Slice caramel in 1 inch pieces and microwave in 30 second increments. Stir and repeat until you get the right consistency, not too thick or runny. Dip apples and place on wax paper. Let the caramel harden until it is easily removable from the paper then fold and mold the excess on the bottom. The best container for dipping for me is a 2 cup glass measuring cup.

Using the same cup, melt the chocolate in 30 second increments until smooth then add a few drops of the cheesecake flavoring. Dip the apples and let the excess run off a bit then immediately dip in graham crackers. Let sit for about 1 hour before packaging.

I purchase all of my supplies including the plastic bags at ABC Cakes located at 429 N. Tustin St., Orange, (714)633-2055. I buy my apples and graham crackers from Costco and remember there are 3 boxes of graham crackers in a container. You want to also have ribbon on hand for the finishing touch. For Christmas you can use ribbon and add an ornament or a mistletoe, so much you can do to make them look festive and beautiful!

I'm telling you, these are so YUMMY!

Friday, October 22, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things...

Owls, letter stamps, scrapbook paper - put these together and you have some cute handmade cards!

Why buy cards when you can easily make them? And just think how much money you'd save if you did. Before I started making my own cards, I was spending at least $20 (or more) a month at the Hallmark store.
All you really need to make your own are: scrapbook paper, plain colored cardstock, letter stamps, ink pad and a little bit of creativity. All these items, minus the creativity, can be purchased at Michaels.
I created the owl on these cards by first drawing it out and then creating a template with the parts (body, belly, eyes and nose). I cut the pieces out and glued it together. It was a HOOT! (Sorry, I just couldn't resist.) ;)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A little piece of heaven...oh, yes!

I know that my blog is supposed to be dedicated only to crafts, but this certainly deserves mentioning...
Cheesecake Caramel Apples 
I wish that I could take credit for this, but ALL credit goes to my lovely sister, Sandy. She makes these yummy batches of goodness every year, wraps them up all pretty and passes them out to her friends and family. Can I just say that the picture does not do any justice to how beautiful these apples actually are. And the taste? Absolutely, positively, unquestionably, 100% SCRUMPTIOUS! Thank you, Sandy! :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Button Wreath Ornaments!

I made these beautiful button wreath ornaments last year for a boutique and they sold out...FAST! If you don't have enough loose buttons, or the right colors, don't worry - most stores sell them by the bagful. Kids will enjoy this project because each wreath they make will be unique. Hazel must have made at least 20 of these.
Button Wreath Ornament How-To:
1. Using pliers, make a small loop at one end of the wire.
2. Thread buttons onto the wire until you have enough to form the size of the wreath you want.
3. Using pliers, bend the plain end of the wire around the looped end. This will form the wreath.
4. Use the satin ribbon to make a loop for hanging the wreath; tie the ribbon in a knot about 3 inches above the wreath.
5. Tie a bow of seam binding to decorate the wreath...FINIS! :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Paper Ornaments! Is it too early for these???

Oh, the many things you can create with paper! I'm not a scrapbooker, but I love scrapbook paper and use it often. With my leftover random pieces of paper, I was able to make these fun ornamental balls. I discovered this idea from the Martha Stewart website. Here's the link...
Another easy project and one that the kids can easily participate in making.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

H my name is Hazel...

I painted this picture when I was pregnant with Hazel. Six years later and it is still one of my favorites.
This is not an original piece, I confess. The idea actually came to me from a catalog that I received years back. I absolutely loved it, but didn't want to spend the money to have it made. So, like most things I find that are too expensive and easy to make, I decided to replicate it (with a few minor tweaks here and there to sort of make it my own...and not get sued by the original artist). From start to finish, it only took me a few hours.
FYI - this makes for a HAPPY baby shower gift. :)

Baby, it's cold outside!

Well, I live in Southern California and it really doesn't ever get too cold. But still, cold or not, you see people all around wearing beanies and scarves. I am a BIG fan of beanies.
Many years ago, my dear friend Cindy taught me how to crochet. I admit, I am still just a beginner after all these years and my creations are pretty basic, but cute nonetheless.
Last year, I posted photos of some of the beanies and scarves that I had made on Facebook. Surprisingly, I received an enormous response from people asking me to make beanies/scarves for them. I ended up making and selling over 70 beanies (thanks to those who bought them! :)) and by the end, I was sooooo done with yarn and needles. Well, that was certainly short lived. It's cold outside. It's a good day to crochet. I'M BACK!

Here's a fun gift idea...

I'm certain that everyone would like to be given one of these as a gift. :) It's a money/candy flower pot that I put together and gave to one of our little friends for her birthday. Needless to say, it was a huge hit! 
All that is needed is a flower pot, a few artificial flowers, moss, floral foam, green fuzzy wire or wooden sticks, head shot photo of recipient, candy and money. I folded the dollar bills into shirts (how-to instructions can be found online) and then inserted photo into each shirt. First, I arranged the flowers in the pot, then I filled in the spaces with the money and candy. So FUN!

DIY gift boxes!

Yesterday, I went to Michaels in search of some small gift boxes. The ones that I found there were more than what I wanted to spend, especially because I needed at least 40 of these. So, instead, I decided to make my own gift box. Not only was it less expensive and easy to make, but they are way cuter than what you'd buy in any craft store. I found a template online and printed it out on cardstock paper. I then outlined the template onto my paper, cut it out and glued the sides together...and VOILA!
I plan to use these for the teacher's gifts in November. I'll post another photo when they are finished. :)

Halloween treats for the teachers...

I was recently asked to join the PTA at my daughter's school...and i said "YES!" :) My job is to provide something fun for the teachers each month. This month (October), I decided to make these fun little containers filled with flavored Hershey's Kisses (candy corn, pumpkin pie, caramel apple and chocolate). YUM!
These containers were easy to make...and they are so cute. I simply went online and searched "how to make sour cream containers" and then followed a tutorial posted by someone. So easy!

It's official...I'm now a blogger!

"gaja gaja!" translated (in Korean) means "let's go let's go!" The title seemed fitting for my blog...a blog dedicated to all things crafty.
I've spent many hours looking online for different craft ideas and quite often I am led to other people's blogs. There are so many amazingly talented people out there and I have been inspired by them a countless number of times.
I decided to create my own blog with the hope of inspiring others in their "crafting" journey. That said, I truly hope that you enjoy my site. Now, let's go let's go! :)