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.



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. 



family…easter wrap-up

We made it through the much anticipated Easter Sunday. The rain did disappoint us as our egg hunt had to be moved indoors, and our picnic brunch was cancelled. Nevertheless, we had a good time.

The boys wore their ties [made with purl patterns] with great pride which made me so very happy to see. 

 I'm extremely happy with the fabric "basket". It was filled with all things Japanese. 


I hope your Easter was fun…and dry!



family…easter prep

Geez! As much as I like to plan, I never seem to get ahead. Late nights and early mornings will be the new routine this week as I finish our Easter projects.

This year will be headed to the 'burbs to have an egg hunt and picnic with my mom. Somehow, having our celebration off-site creates more work. Control freak? Yes!

Last Easter, we had the big eggs and oysters. This year, I'm doing a Japanese inspired theme as the three of us love Japanese culture both traditional and pop. I'm told Easter is uneventful in Japan. But they do celebrate the hare,  and that's enough for me. 

I hope your Easter plans are underway!



object love…all things alice

Four days and counting until Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland opens! As much as I would love to attend on opening day, I won't. In fact, I probably won't see the movie until it's available on iTunes. Doc and I aren't movie-goers. We never have been.

But I'll attend in spirit. Do you think people will go in costume? Will there be pathetic, middle-aged woman like myself wishing they were thirteen again and wearing pinafores, stockings and ribbons in their hair? Perhaps we'll have a little Alice themed evening. The chances are slim of that happening. I will, for sure, wear my Alice apron all day! I'll embarrass my child and my husband, but WTF, you only live once!

Maybe I'll even carry this lovely book around while I wear the apron. I love this cover; it makes me want to dive right into the book.

We're all mad here.


crafty things…a book bag

It was time for a new book bag for D. His previous was so dirty and tattered, and I had a need to "make" something.  

I FINALLY used the wax paper stenciling technique, and I love it! I'm extremely pleased with the results. The handles were made from an old belt of D's cut in half which provided the perfect length handles and a ring to clip his water bottle or various Star Wars key chains. 

While I did consider buying a back pack for him, I still think he is too small. The packs that do fit his body really don't hold his library books and other school papers, and he still doesn't have patience to actually unzip the pack. He likes to just dump everything in the bag and run. 

Frankly, this might be the last book bag for him. Sniff, sniff. He's taking control of his wardrobe, and I'm sure the desire for the Spider Man backpack will be to strong to deny. 

Happy Crafting,


small stuff…an art space

D is growing in all ways, and his art space needs to grow too. He outgrew his old table and chair, and his supplies and scraps were overtaking our craft room. So we dropped some cash, made a few upgrades and additions, and now we're all happy.

His old set-up in his old room.


His new set-up in our new craft room.


Close-up of desk and taborets.

We reused the IKEA legs from his old table [NOTE: I cut these with a hacksaw to standard height for a child's table] and replaced the yellow egg table with stainless steel one, again from IKEA. [NOTE AGAIN: I did not pay the web price in-store. I got lucky and only payed $60…I think.] I'm sure you all recognize the shell chair from Modernica and the Bisley taborets. 

I'm a big fan of the shell chairs. First, they are practically indestructible. Second, they are both kid and adult comfy. Even with the low base, it's quite comfortable for an adult to sit and lounge in. In fact, we swapped out the rocker base on an arm shell chair in our living room with the low rod base so D had some lounge furniture of his own.

The magnetic blackboard is an old steel top from a worktable painted with chalkboard paint.


The pen cubbies are Ikea kitchen storage items. TIP: if you use these, adding an adhesive felt "dot" to the back at the bottom will protect your walls!

While it might seem like a steep price to pay for an upgrade, we believe, like most of you I'm sure, that children deserve good design too. The advantage of each of these pieces is that they will grow with D and be useful for Doc and I when D is out on his own. The table top will eventually need new legs again, and we'll have to switch out the base on the chair for proper desk chair, but I think we're good for the next few years.

Best of all, the three of us can fit into one room comfortably and craft away.

Thanks for stopping by!