Monday, September 26, 2016

Quilled nursery decor and watercolor greeting cards

I co-hosted a baby shower this weekend and it was so delightful to celebrate a dear friend Bekah from my church! She is naming her daughter Elsa after her grandmother (and also happens to be a Disney princess now ;)  ). I've been loving the combination of watercolor and calligraphy and also made a birthday card for my bff. Read on to see the framed quilled nursery decor that I made for Bekah!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

DIY Pottery and Tea tasting, paper flower garlands

A few months ago I was standing in line at a craft supply store when I met Krista, of Krista Moll Photography. She was holding a stack of blank brown paper bags, and since the line was about 40 people long, I asked her what she was using them for. Her answer: a tea tasting event! I was intrigued. Turns out that Krista recently started conducting tea tasting events paired with yoga, and was planning a tea + pottery event! I started following her on Instagram and the rest is history. 
Click to read on about the pottery we made from clay!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Painting an upholstered chair

I've been on the hunt for a wingback armchair for years now. One with perfect bones, a light grey color. I decided to give this tan wingback armchair (gifted by a neighbor cleaning out their shed) a makeover. Although I've sewn a new cover for a square-shaped ottoman before, I decided that sewing a cover for this wingback chair was one DIY project that I did not feel up to, despite watching countless tutorial videos.

Instead, I decided to paint the chair instead to give it a new look. First, I cleaned the chair thoroughly with a spray bottle filled with water, dishwashing soap, and vinegar, scrubbing carefully with a brush, and then I cleaned it with vodka, which removes odors and is a trick that many professional upholstery stores use. I let it air dry in the 98 degree Durham heat and then set to work painting!

Before and after applying chalky paint!
Read on for the tutorial.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Banners galore

I've been making more banners than I expected this year! Basically banners make ANY party instantly more festive! 

For Luke's 1st birthday party banner, my friend Brittany went with a nautical/ocean theme. She found some awesome nautical rope from Joann's to go with the burlap banner. I cut 6-inch diameter scalloped circles using my Cricut machine. The font is from the "Don Juan" cartridge, and the whale and the anchor are both from the "Wild Card 2" cartridge. We used gluesticks to attach the letters (cut from scrapbook paper) onto the heavier cardstock backing. I love the color scheme Brittany ended up choosing! If you look closely you can see that some of the letters were cut out with scrapbook paper with an adorable anchor pattern.

Next, the "ONE" banner on burlap. I cut cardstock letters with my Cricut machine and we used Elmer's glue to attach it to the burlap, which we cut out in bunting shapes.

We then used a hot glue gun to fold the top edge of the burlap down onto the rope and secure the banner in place. 

Love the finished look of this burlap banner! 

Last week I made this banner for my friend, who was organizing a bridal shower for her best friend. Her wedding colors are coral, gold, and yellow. 
Reminds me of pink lemonade! My favorite part was the shimmery gold cardstock I found at Michaels. 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Jayhawks baby card

I had to google what "Rock Chalk, Jayhawk!" means this week because I notice it on a lot of Kansas University gear. Apparently Kansas has lots of chalk rock limestone and KU fans chant "Rock Chalk, Jayhawk" during sports games.

My friend requested a baby card for two of her close KU Jayhawks parents. She showed me around KU's campus a few years ago when I was doing a clinical rotation in Topeka and for her wedding ceremony a year later. It's a beautiful (and big!) campus with lots of greenery.

Despite my sadly minimal knowledge of college sports, I DO know that KU's basketball team is pretty amazing! I included hints of yellow/crimson/navy to match KU's colors and to welcome a new baby Jayhawk into the world!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

First wedding anniversary --paper gift

A few months ago my friend asked me to make a quilled Golden Gate bridge for her first wedding anniversary. They had their honeymoon in SF last year and they loved it so much that they are going back to California again this summer! Since it was their first wedding anniversary, they decided to follow the wedding anniversary tradition of gifting something made of paper. I made a similar quilled project last year for my sister and decided to make one for them too.
Read on for more details! 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

April blooms and birthdays

Last year I planted iris bulbs from my coworker's yard, and after 14 months of waiting....they bloomed this month! It's so lovely to come back home to these colorful flowers. The colorful petals seem to open and close more depending on the time of the day, and the earliest bloomers have shriveled up and new ones are catching up and blooming now.

I also made a few April birthday cards this month:
 This card was for our secretary--a nod to her black cat!

And this sunflower card (letters cut out with Cricut) was for my mother-in-law!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Under the Sea baby shower banner

About 5 years ago, I met the Macaron Whisperer, also known as Amrita, after eagerly perusing all of her wonderful dessert and food recipes at her blog, The Sweet Art and generally being a fangirl. I loved being her neighbor and how it meant long walks at Forest Park with her dog Mila, eating the leftover macarons from her dessert business, taste-testing desserts like Shrikhand, Oreo ice cream (I love ALL her ice creams), Earl Grey Cardamom Pound Cake, and Clementine Cake with Chocolate Ganache, and doing Wii Just Dance in her apartment (to work off calories from eating all her desserts). 

Fast-forward to the present: we sadly no longer live across the street from Amrita & Joe, but they happen to be visiting NC this weekend to throw a baby shower for a friend! She needed a banner to fit her Under the Sea theme so I put my new Cricut machine to use. 

Amrita purchased the sea creature graphics from Etsy, and I bought the Kraft paper and cardstock at Michaels. I used my Cricut machine to cut scalloped 6-inch circles and 5-inch patterned/color cardstock, which has little fishies in the background. I then cut letters out of navy cardstock and adhered everything together with double-sided tape. To hang the banner up, I strung twine through the holepunched circles and taped it all into place in the back of each circle, so that the space between each circle is uniform.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Farewell music-themed card

Tomorrow our church is having a farewell party for our worship pastor and his family, who is transitioning to a new position and moving away from NC. I used my Cricut machine to cut out the music note for this farewell card. His family and worship ministry will be greatly missed! 
Materials used: Kraft cardstock, scrapbook paper, Daiso brush pen, and Tombow dual brush pen

Next up on the blog will be the 2 orders that I'm currently working on--a baby shower banner, and a quilled Golden Gate bridge! 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Calligraphy with Quilling and a weekend St. Louis visit

We visited old friends in Saint Louis this weekend and visited all our favorite places of nostalgia--Forest Park, St. Louis Zoo, our old church, Tortillaria. We also stopped by a couple of new additions to St. Louis that arrived after we left: IKEA, Jeni's Ice Cream, and Lonas Lil Eats. It was the best way to spend 3 short days in St. Louis!

B & T were our amazing hosts and fed us/cooked for us/drove us and let us play with their adorable kids! B ordered a custom quote of Joshua 24:15 embellished with quilling, inspired by a previous project. I hand-carried the framed print onto the plane and was quite relieved when I was able to deliver it safely to St. Louis. This was another collaboration between Karmomo (the brushlettering) and me (quilling).

Since I'd made gifts for B&T's 2 boys in the past, I decided to be fair to their 3rd child and make her a personalized gift---another log branch slice ornament! B&T plan to use it as a door sign for her room.

Thank you card for B&T's generous hospitality during our lovely St. Louis weekend visit!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Easy patterned pencil cup organizer

Recently I've been feeling motivated to organize my office and craft supplies, partly because Andrew returned from his out-of-town rotation. This meant clearing out all the paper and pens and markers and half-finished craft projects invading his side of our shared table area.

In the process of organizing and labeling everything, I decided to jazz up my pen/pencil cup organizers with gold and white chevron leftover wrapping paper. This was literally the easiest less-than-5-minute DIY project ever and I would do it again a heartbeat!

Supplies needed:

  • Spray adhesive (or glue)
  • Wrapping paper or wallpaper of your choice
  • Tin cans--washed/cleaned and dried. I used cans from my clam chowder soup obssession

Step 1: Cut the paper in a rectangular shape to wrap around the can
Step 2: spray adhesive all over the exterior of the can

Step 3: Carefully press the paper down onto the can and smooth out any wrinkles
And...that's it! 

This can is the perfect size for my Tombow dual brush pen markers!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Birthdays and babies

My coworker have been keeping me busy recently! They ordered 4 greeting cards from me this week and I finished them just in time for my trip to New Orleans. I used my new Cricut Expression 2 machine to cut out the Scottish terriors, banner, baby carriage, and to stencil out letters. My learning curve is still pretty steep right now and I'm spending more time choosing and designing the cuts than it takes for the machine to actually make the cut. I'm loving the crisp edges of the machine cuts though!

One hot mama! Gold glitter washi tape, scrapbook paper, and I used the end of a pencil eraser dipped in gold inkpad to make the polka dots!

A little blue quilled heart for a baby boy!

Hand-stamped bluebird, banner and Scottish terriors cut by Cricut machine, and washi tape (Elmer's designer masking tape)

Sunday, February 28, 2016

English bulldog greeting card

My neighbor recently gifted me an old Cricut machine--the Expression 2 model, to be exact, because she bought the Explore and no longer needed this one. It's probably one of the most generous gifts I've ever received! Having used a Silhouette machine before, the Cricut Expression 2 is less flexible because it's only compatible with Craft Room software, which requires that you buy the whole set of images in each cartridge (about $10 per set). Whereas Design Space, which is compatible with the newest Cricut model, Explore, allows you to just buy single images (99 cents) and to create your own too. In any case, I'm happy to have any paper-cutting machine to cut out intricate designs like the bulldog below!

My coworker asked me to make this card for her sister, whose English bulldog recently passed away. While Googling images of English bulldogs, I came across really adorable pictures of baby English bulldogs! Only bulldogs can make wrinkles look so cute.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Twine-wrapped monogram door wreath

It's been awhile since I've posted! With Andrew on an away rotation for his residency, it's actually been harder to stay motivated, eat something besides frozen pizza for dinner, exercise and blog more regularly. This past week my neighbor took me under her wing and taught me how to knit and how to make organize handmade soap. That gave me the little kick I needed to get going on some craft projects! P.S. I now have newfound respect for anyone who knits because it took me FOREVER to knit 4 rows...

I recently made a twine-wrapped monogram wreath for a friend who just bought a new house. Surprisingly, wrapping the twine around the cardboard took longer than I expected. I finished playing 3 Settlers games while hot-gluing the twine to the letter. My husband pointed out that I trailed small bits of dried hot glue all over the Settlers game pieces. Oops. And sometimes I was in the middle of wrapping the twine, when it was my turn to roll the dice for my turn. Needless to say, Andrew ended up rolling the dice a lot for me.
Click below for the tutorial for the twine-wrapped monogram!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Embroidery hoop & modern calligraphy

I finally took the leap and tried embroidery + handlettering as a Christmas gift for my friend K, who teaches workshops on mindful brushlettering.

 I was worried that the letters would turn out all shaky or crooked but am pleased with the final result! K had mentioned that the combination of embroidery with calligraphy has been a rising trend this year. I've been practicing brushlettering with brushes, Tombow dual pens, and Daiso pens recently, and Andrew also gifted me with this calligraphy set that I'm excited to try out soon.

 Mindfulness is a practiced discipline of just noticing and describing events so as to process them more carefully instead of automatically repeating a script or mantra. The Mindful Brain, by Dan Siegel

Click below for the tutorial!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Personalized wood slice ornaments with calligraphy

Now that I've given all my Christmas gifts away, I can finally post them up here! When I asked my sister what she wanted for Christmas, she told me, "anything you make!" She is my biggest fan and I love her for it! I decided to make her a personalized wood slice ornament because she really liked the monogram wood slice coasters I made for my brother-in-law.

I also made my friends a personalized ornament for their first Christmas together as a married couple.

For my friend's daughter. They ended up using this to label the door to her nursery!

Click below for the tutorial!