crafty things…easter cracker

I came across this cracker template by Mini Eco via Pinterest. Although traditionally used for Christmas, I thought it would be fun to use for an Easter hunt this year. A simple selection of spring inspired papers really makes these feel like oversized wrapped candies. 

Each cracker will be filled with D's favorite sweets [and mine!] from our favorite treat shop, Miette, and hidden throughout the house. I cannot wait for Easter Sunday to arrive.



crafty things…a Mexico wedding + my silhouette cameo part I

My bestest of best friends was recently married in Los Cabos, Mexico. It was a beautiful, intimate ceremony on the beach. Isn't that sky amazing?  

I knew my girlfriend and her fiance wanted a simple ceremony. They didn't feel the need to have decorations or elaborate flower arrangements. Instead, they focused on a great location, food and drink much to the pleasure of their family and friends. Despite their plan for simplicity, I couldn't help inserting myself and my Silhouette Cameo into the mix.

After sharing some images of wedding papel picado with my girlfriend, she was game for incorporating it into their wedding. So off to work I went designing a custom papel picado [I used a vector file I purchased from istock as a starting point] and using my Cameo to cut away. I was skeptical the machine would be able to handle such fine detail, but I was wrong! The results were fantastic.

The real test for my Cameo was cutting itty-bitty papel picado notes to attach to the maracas that were placed at each seat before the ceremony. I have to say, the reduced size was amazing and more impressive than the larger papel picado. 

Needless to say, the wedding and the entire weekend were a blast. I can't wait to go back to Los Cabos with Doc and D and enjoy some sun and sea together…and margaritas. 

Thanks to Alec & T., the wedding photographers and planners, for allowing me to use their beautiful photos on F&N. You can see more pictures from the wedding on their blog here.



designerly tidbits…a remodeled kitchen

pot rack_lr.jpg

Finally, a follow-up to the post about our kitchen remodel. It's been two years and I must say that I have not had one complaint about the kitchen. Hmm…there are a few. OK, maybe two, but we love our new-ish kitchen. 

As we talked through and shared our ideal kitchen scenarios, we quickly realized that we wanted a functional kitchen. A kitchen that had a feel of a workshop. A place where you could easily and quickly grab whatever tool or ingredient you needed. We wanted it to feel old and new, period and modern/ish at the same time. So with that as our guiding principle, we began designing our kitchen.

We quickly settled on science lab cabinets for our cabinetry because they are ambiguous. You're not quite sure if they are old or new. Plus, they fit the criteria of "workshop" and "functional" perfectly. And despite the drawbacks of natural stone counter tops, we chose marble for its texture and pattern to offset the clinical feel of the cabinets. 

I think it's beautiful, but more importantly, it's functional.

Thanks for checking in!


family + crafty things…creepy, crawly birthday

One of our highlights of 2011 was D's birthday party. He's not a birthday party kind of guy. I find this extremely ironic since I love to put on a good party. Anyhow, he initiated the idea of an all boys party which included his classmates and other friends outside of school. 


Since our place is small for a group that size, I had to find a alternate location or park. Unable to reserve a park spot and nervous about the possibility of rain, we ended up booking the party room at Paxton Gate Kids in the Mission. In the end we combined Paxton Gate's beetle pinning activity with a reptile show presented by Owen, owner of the East Bay Vivarium

Having a party offsite had it's benefits, but it meant I had to keep things simple and transportable. Decorations were minimal, huge black balloons with silhouettes of insects and reptiles. 

Dirt parfaits were the dessert treat served with a bottle of bug juice to wash it down. I used Smitten Kitchen's vanilla pudding recipe [easy and tasty!] layered with Oreo cookies that have been refrigerated and zapped in a food processor. Goody bags were sewn and stenciled by yours truly. Each bag had a composition notebook with custom cover and back I printed and spray mounted, a bug jar with custom label and fact sheet, a pencil and sharpener, and gummy worms. Bug Crunch was the snack and I used this recipe as my guide, substituting chocolate covered raisins and cranberries for all the candy.

It was so much fun, I want to do the same for my birthday. Of course I'll have to substitue the bug juice for booze.




Paxton Gate Kids did a terrific job hosting our party and engaging the boys. They were extremely helpful before the party assiting me with balloons and setting out all the food and goodie bags. A big thumbs-up for the crew and the store.

Owen is AMAZING! He is so informative, witty, and entertaining. The love and respect he has for his animals is inspiring. If you live in the Bay Area, and are looking for a different type of entertainment, give him a call. Better yet, head over to Berkley to check out his store.

For those of you worried about the beetles, they were already expired. The "pinning" consisted of rehydrating the insects in hot water so that the legs and antennae become pliable. The boys used tweezers to pull and arrange the legs then used pins to keep them in place. The pins actually don't go through the insect, they criscross each other over the legs and antennae to keep them in place while they dry. It's a really fun activity. If you're interested you can get some home kits from here.

crafty things…a fishy valentine's


This year's inspiration for Valentine's Cards is the one-and-only Miracle Fish! I remember having one as child and thinking it was magic. Years ago, I re-discovered these at Arch and let out a squeal of delight. As they were only 30 cents apiece, I snatched up a handful to put in Christmas stockings and include in greeting cards throughout the year. 

I stocked up again in preparation for last Christmas, but I forgot about them! So, D and I agreed to use them for his Valentine's cards. We've got a big list this year, so I enlisted my Silhouette machine to take on the majority of the work. 

The card consists of a library pocket with removable card, a vellum fish, a Miracle Fish and [I couldn't resist] a few red Swedish fish. I downloaded the library pocket template from the on-line Silhouette store, and designed the simple graphics. Easy!  

The hard part will be discouraging D from eating too many fish while he fills the little bags. 



personal…adventures in longboarding


In all seriousness, I should have titled this post How to Make a Jackass out of Yourself because that's how I feel while I attempt to learn how to longboard. For clarification, I don't mean a longboard surfboard, I mean a longboard with wheels! 

What possessed a soon to be 41 year old mom to take up longboarding? Below is your answer!

I came across these inpsirational girls, aka The Longboard Girls Crew, via Design Mom. The first time I watched the video, I knew longboarding was something I wanted to learn. I wasted no time getting a board and roping in a few girlfriends to join me. 

Doc and D are super supportive, and neither think I'm a jackass. The 20 somethings that are skating in the local DMV lot probably think otherwise, but what can you do about that? I don't get a chance to ride as much as I would love to, but Sundays are my dedicated day to get out and have fun. I just like cruising and finding the perfect slope [not ready for hills yet!] to practice carving and attempt a slide or two. It's enough to put a smile on my face [skin a knee or elbow] and leave me wanting more.


family…year of the dragon

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year, making today Chinese New Year's Eve. I previously mentioned how we have instituted our own traditions around this festive international holiday, and this year is no different.

Yesterday, we elbowed our way down Clement Street to buy flowers, moon cakes, and pomelos and tangerines with stems and leaves intact. We finished the final bits of house cleaning to sweep out the bad luck and ill-fortune, and painted our chun lian, or good luck and good wishes for the coming year. [You'll notice in the slideshow that D decided it was more fun to paint Clone Troopers.] 

I'm not superstitious [or Chinese!], but the beliefs and traditions of Chinese New Year resonate with me. D loves the associated activities such as making lanterns, painting good luck characters, eating sweets and receiving hongbao. Best of all, it allows us to experience the many different faces of San Francisco.

I'm looking forward to the Year of the Dragon. Gung Hay Fat Choy!