Tag Archives: decoration

DIY Christmas Ornaments

Before we get to the DIY ornaments…

Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving and maybe some Black Friday shopping done? I’m still in disbelief that we are well into the end of the year holiday season! 2015 was pretty eventful to say the very least, starting with my kitty getting diagnosed with stage 2 kidney disease last December and our home remodel in May-June. A lot of things had to take a back seat to get my life and family in order. But now that the dust has settled, I can finally move onto the hobbies I enjoy (well at least until our kitchen remodel next year!) A quick summary about our remodel: we finally replaced our super gross carpet with laminate flooring all throughout, painted the house inside and out, replaced our A/C and heating system, upgraded our electrical outlets and modernized our light fixtures. I’m telling you, reflooring your entire lived-in house is a MASSIVE project and not to be taken lightly!! We had to schedule several weeks prior to D-day to pack and move everything out of the house. That was probably the hardest and the most labor-intensive of the project, probably because we had so much junk! Planning and shopping for the flooring and picking out the paint colors were fun. Dealing with difficult workers was not. Keeping up with logistics and handling the budget was more than manageable. After about two weeks of noise and dust and living in one cramped bedroom with two kitties, the house looked nice and new. And every weekend after that, it was spent on cleaning, organizing, decluttering, getting rid of (a LOT of) stuff, shopping for new furniture and decorations, assembling and painting furniture, mini decoration and sewing projects, etc. etc. I think we had the Salvation Army and the Bulky Items trucks come out to our house practically every week. We worked diligently on the house for about 3-4 months straight, which took a toll on all of us. I know I talked about posting pictures of the remodel on my Facebook page, but frankly, I’ve gotten so tired of anything that had to do with decorating that I just gave up on finishing the house… well, until some time passes and I get inspired again. At this point, it’s about 80% done and I am completely okay with a living space that’s not magazine-worthy. It’s just not worthy enough for a blog post. πŸ™‚ Maybe when one of the rooms is done and is to my liking, I will do a post on it.

So, after all this, was the remodel worth it? Absolutely! I love coming to a de-cluttered pretty home with new furnishings and decorations. And now that the holiday season is upon us, we have started to deck the rooms with Christmas decorations. We’re still working on the living room so I won’t write about that today. But here are some pictures of DIY’ed ornaments for my pink and grey bedroom. First, holiday greetings from this cute little birdie I found at Target:

Merry-Christmas-greeting-FOR-WEB

Oriental Trading provided these awesome clear ornaments that I used to make these pink balls. I swirled Martha Stewart’s pearly acrylic paint on the inside to coat the orbs. I mixed two colors in some them. You just open up the clear ornament, pour some of the paint on both sides of the orb, close it and shake it until the globe is coated well. I’ve had to reopen the globe to add more paint when there wasn’t enough. Once you do one or two, you’ll get the hang of how much paint to put in. The “Happy Holidays” sign and the white snowflakes are also from Oriental Trading.
Ornament-Bowl-FOR-WEB

Birdie-on-Ornament-Bowl-FOR-WEB

On a few ornaments, I brushed some Elmer’s glue on the outside and sprinkled either some fake snow or glitter. To finish the look, I added a mini holiday wreath from Michaels to a big white decorational bowl and arranged the ornaments inside. Since my bedroom wall is pink (it’s actually a violet that’s close to pink), I painted the ornaments in shades of pink to match. It’s feminine but also Christmasy. What do you think?
Pink-Ornaments-Bowl-up-close-FOR-WEB

For the living room, the color scheme is red, green and gold. So I made these golden ornaments by drawing on the outside with a gold metallic sharpie and putting gold glitter inside. These will be going back to the living room Christmas tree after this photoshoot. πŸ™‚
Gold-Polka-Dots-Ornament-FOR-WEB

Gold-Ornaments-FOR-WEB

We got this LED lit ornament tree from Target. It adds a nice ambience to the room and will be staying as part of the room throughout the year! We LOVE Target and their fashion-forward products!
Birch-Christmas-Tree-with-Gold-Ornaments FOR WEB

Hope you all have a nice and cozy rest of the year! This probably will be my only post for 2015 and I’m not promising a more fruitful 2016 blog-wise. lol. But I still love my blog and sharing my craft ideas. So please look on my Facebook page (click on the icon on the top of the page) for announcements! And let’s also remember the less-fortunate during this season. My prayer is for the good Lord to provide them shelter and food, hopefully through people like you and me! Blessings!

**I received the pre-made and materials for the ornaments from Oriental Trading Company for this review. All opinions are my own.

LA Flower Mart + Flower Arrangements

Flowers close-up

Wildflowers 2

Hellllllllloooo Peeps! And Happy Summer!!! After a month of traveling to my motherland, South Korea, and getting used to the time changes back and forth, enjoying my lazy weekends, etc. etc., I felt the need to be creatively productive again. πŸ™‚ So, yesterday, I visited the LA Flower Mart in Downtown Los Angeles with the intent of getting lots of “cheap” flowers and making several arrangements out of them. Well, I was hoping they were relatively cheap and I could even squeeze in some beautiful peonies into my budget. To my surprise, I actually woke up on my own unusually “early” on a Saturday morning and got ready lightening fast, got in my car and was happily on my way to the flower mart! Aaah, not so fast… The lovely 5 freeway that had an unexpected road closure and everyone was crawling at 3mph. Forget that! So I decided to be brave and go locally the rest of the way, through the daunting streets of South LA…! But it wasn’t so bad after all mostly going through the City of Industry. I just had to pass through a lot of graffitis and bad smelling areas (seriously). And finally, I made it to my destination by 10AM.

LA Flower Mart 4

LA Flower Mart 1

LA Flower Mart 2

I brought with me $40 in cash (plus an extra $20 JUST IN CASE I might go fLoWeR shopping CrAxY!) I circled around the entire store before making any purchases, checking out everything and comparing prices. All the flowers were so pretty but there weren’t too many vendors selling my beloved peonies. I found one vendor that had these stunning coral ones but they were being sold for $30 for five stems!! WOWZAS…

coral Peonies

I wasn’t about to blow my whole budget on them, so I made one more circle around and slowly started purchasing some other flowers I spotted earlier. Before my visit, I went on Pinterest and discovered the beauty of wildflowers! I totally fell in love with them… There’s just something so romantic about them. And the arrangements can be carefree and still look perfect. So of course, I knew I had to include them on my shopping list: chamomile, spray roses and a bunch of other flowers I know not the names of. I REAALLY tried to stick to my $40 budget….. (heh heh) But I ended up spending the extra cash I brought, ’cause man, flowers add up! Five dollars here and there, two bunches of spray roses for $10, and I ended up getting a bouquet of pink peonies that were $17. They were my most expensive purchase of the day. But I’m so glad I got them!

IMG_4760-1-1

Okay, time to create my bouquets! First of all, I had no idea how to arrange flowers. I had tried putting them together many time before. But alas, they ended up looking like sad limply things, flailing around in the vase. Not this time! I watched several videos of this guy, Michael Gaffney and learned how to make full-looking flower bouquets/arrangements the fast and easy way. Watch his videos. They’re pretty good and full of good info! One take-away is to buy some greens along with your flowers, because it’s the greens that help fill the vase and make your arrangement look good. And here it is. My first time trying out the Michael Gaffney way and I think it turned out well!

Michael Gaffney floral arrangement

As for the vase for the wildflowers, I wanted something rustic-looking. I had gotten these mason jars** from Oriental Trading Company a few months ago and a wooden crate (?) from Michaels.

Mason Jars

Together, I knew they were going to be the perfect pairing to make smaller arrangements look like one big statement! Here’s how the idea turned out. What do you think?

Wildflowers in Mason Jars

IMG_4792---Brighter---FOR-WEB

The best thing about arranging wildflowers is that there seems to be no rules! You can just put them in the vase however you want and they turn out just fine. πŸ™‚

Wildflowers

I made a total of four arrangements in different containers. I spent a good three hours working on these and they made me so happy! There is truth in happiness being found in connecting with nature.

Floral Arrangements

Peonies in vase

I think this is my favorite out of all the arrangements. So simple yet so elegant!
Wildflowers in metal pitcher

How would you feel if this came delivered to your door? It would make this girl smile ear to ear for sure! πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading!

Wildflowers delivery

**I received the mason jars from Oriental Trading Company for this review. All opinions are my own.

Wedding Decoration Photos

My super talented photographer friend, Sandra (of Shoebox Stories Photography/Loveland Photography), had asked me to help her take some photos at her family’s wedding. I was quite surprised when she asked since I’m still just starting out. But she assured me that I could do a good job. (I sure hope I did. hahaha!) So I agreed with some bridled excitement. My task was to photograph the wedding decorations, while she was to take care of the rest. Here are her photos from the wedding. And below are mine. Some of the reception photos were challenging to edit since they were taken under bright fluorescent lighting. But I picked out the ones I liked the most. Feel free to tell me how they turned out!

4082---Aisle-Flower---wLogo---FOR-WEB

4058-Aisle---wLogo---FOR-WEB

3963-Church-wLogo-FOR-WEB

4157-Guest-Book---wLogo---FOR-WEB

4038-Sweetheart-Table--wLogo---FOR-WEB

3991-Sweetheart-Flower---wLogo---FOR-WEB

4147-Picture-Frame---wLogo---FOR-WEB

4167-Cake--wLogo---FOR-WEB

4227-Glasses---wLogo---FOR-WEB

4151-Table-closeup---wLogo---FOR-WEB

4238-Tables---wLogo---FOR-WEB

4008-Napkins---wLogo---FOR-WEB

4027-Chair-Detail---wLogo---FOR-WEB

4229-Cali-Rolls--wLogo---FOR-WEB

4241-Citrus-Water---wLogo---FOR-WEB

4208-hors-d'oeuvres---wLogo--FOR-WEB

Fall Pumpkin Centerpiece

Hello folks!

Long time no write on blog! I don’t know if I should be sad or happy about it. Sad because I have so much to write about but “life” took over and blogging had to take a back seat for about a month. Happy because I was able to enjoy the break even in the midst of more pressing responsibilities. Aaah, life… Why can’t it be all about play? πŸ™‚

Anywho, I had these awesome pumpkins** painted and ready to go about a month ago. They were all orange when I received them. I’ll skip the step-by-step how-to’s. But I’ve included some of the in-process shots at the bottom. First, here are some pictures of the finished products. Enjoy!

**I received the pumpkins and acrylic paints from Oriental Trading Company for this review. All opinions are my own.

IMG_2643-Watermarked-for-WEB

IMG_2605-Watermarked for WEB

IMG_2624-Watermarked-for-WEB

IMG_2718-Watermarked-for-WEB

I LOooooOOooooove~ these china from Lenox!! It’s the French Perle collection.
IMG_2708-Watermarked-for-WEB

Here are the some of the before shots. Sorry, these were taken with my point and shoot so the quality isn’t great.
Painted pumpkins

The pumpkins were painted with white acrylic paint first, then I added a layer of “Fine Crackle Effect” medium by Martha Stewart. I may have put it on too generously. You can see it dripping on the pumpkins. Please learn from my mistake. πŸ˜‰ For the white paint, I mixed plain white with some cream colored paint to make it an off-white for a more natural look.
Pumpkins painted with white acrylic paint

Here’s a close-up of the fine crackle effect.
Fine Crackle white pumpkin

And lastly, some of the paint colors I chose from the Martha Stewart’s Pearl and Metallic acrylic paint collection. I did end up going to Michael’s a couple of times to get more acrylic paint (of different colors.) I didn’t take photos for the coloring part but you can see in the final products above of the variation I made. ‘Tis was lots of fun!
Martha Stewart pearl metallic acrylic paint

Citronella Candle Buckets

I ~LOVE~ SUMMER… Especially balmy Summer nights! What’s even better is sitting out on the patio, as the heat cools down to a pleasant no-jacket-necessary temperature. The only exception would be those annoying mosquitos that disrupt your much needed chill time! So to combat those pesky little things, I made some citronella candles out of fabric-covered metal buckets.

IMG_2257

IMG_2248

Here’s What You Need:

    * Candle Wax – I used about 2 1/2 pounds of wax. ^
    * 9″ Candle Wicks (Got these from Michael’s)
    * 3 Silver Buckets with handle, 4 1/2″ diam. x 5″ ^
    * Fabric (enough to cover three buckets. I had a yard of some fabric I wanted to use.)
    * Fabric scissors & regular scissors
    * Mod Podge – Matte Acrylic Sealer ^
    * Brush for the Mod Podge sealer ^
    * Wet Paper Towel for cleanup
    * Wooden Chopsticks (for stirring)
    * Double Boiler (I used a 4-cup GLASS measuring cup and a big pot. Try to find the biggest measuring GLASS cup as possible. The bigger the cup, the more you can melt at one time.)
    * Citronella Essential Oil (*Optional: Eucalyptus Essential Oil)
    * 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon
    * 3 cloth pins
    * Newspaper (to cover your work surface)
    * Knife or Cleaver

    ^ I received these products from Oriental Trading Company for this review. Β All opinions are my own.

    IMG_9880

    IMG_9902

    Here’s how:

      1. Tightly wrap fabric around the bucket generously to cover the surface. (You don’t need to cover the bottom.) Overlap the sides about 2″ and cut. Also cut around the top and bottom, leaving enough slack, about 1/2″ all around.
      IMG_9885

      2. Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge with a brush all around the bucket, paying close attention to the edges.
      IMG_9889

      3. Wrap the fabric around the bucket, starting with one edge. Press down the fabric well to stick to the glue. Apply more Mod Podge as needed. You can brush more on top or under the fabric. Peel off if the fabric gets wrinkled and re-wrap tightly. Let the bucket dry for about 15 minutes.

      4. When fabric is dry, cut around the top and bottom edges as neatly as possible with fabric scissors. (Tip: Clean the scissors well after usage with a damp paper towel, making sure that there is no Mod Podge residue left.)
      IMG_9892

      5. Apply another layer of Mod Podge on the outside of the fabric, creating a “seal” around the fabric. Let it dry for another 15 minutes and apply a 2nd coat. Set aside to dry. (Don’t worry if they look chalky now. They dry clear.)
      IMG_9896

      6. Next, prepare the double boiler/water bath by placing a glass measuring cup in the middle of the pot and pouring water on the outside of it. Let the water come up about 3/4 way. Martha Stewart has a great video on how she does this. Click HERE for the video tutorial.

      7. Cut about 2 1/2 pounds of wax into small pieces with a cleaver or a strong knife. (This took some time to complete.)
      IMG_9905

      8. Melt the pieces of wax in the double boiler until liquified.

      9. Dip a candle wick into the hot melted wax and affix it at the bottom of each bucket, placing it in the center. Use a cloth pin and the bucket handle to hold and stabilize the wick. Straighten and center the wick as much as possible for even burning.

      10. Drop in the Citronella oil (or a combination of Citronella and Eucalyptus) into the melted wax and stir with a wooden stick to mix. (Tip: Use 1/2 tsp per 1 pound of wax.)

      11. Pour the rest of the wax into the buckets. Let it solidify. You will need to melt more wax at this point. Repeat steps 8 & 10 until you have filled all three buckets about 1″ from the top.
      IMG_9908

      12. When the wax solidifies, cut the wicks to 1/2″ high. Hang these buckets during the day to create a cheerful environment in your outdoor space and at night, light them up for that added summer romance in the air!
      IMG_2235

      IMG_2262

      Feel free to leave a comment or click on the heart if you’ve enjoyed this post!

Water Bottle Centerpieces

Looking for a centerpiece idea that’s easy on the wallet and also eco-friendly? Check out these centerpieces made out of small and big recycled water bottles!
Water Bottle Centerpiece 1

IMG_0762-2

Mark+Rachel-133 Gary Chiang Photography

Mark+Rachel-173 Gary Chiang Photography

Mark+Rachel-5 Gary Chiang Photography

Mark+Rachel-138 Gary Chiang Photography

With less than one month before my friends’ outdoor Hawaiian wedding (you can read more about it here), I had to come up with centerpieces for 10+ tables. I knew that I wanted to incorporate the theme of water, sand and fire, so I needed something that would hold one of these three elements. But what do I use and how? Well, my first step in brainstorming: Google search! (As much as I hate the fact that Google knows so much about everyone, I do love Google…) So I began searching for wedding images and the internet is brimming with them! Of course, with unlimited funds, the sky’s the limit in terms of creating incredible-looking centerpieces. But I needed to find a budget-savvy solution… One night, brainstorming around my backyard, I looked over at the pile of hopefully-soon-to-be-recycled but-too-lazy-to-go-to-the-recycling-center water bottles that have been amassing for months. Then came the idea, ‘Ok, why not make something out of these plastic bottles since I have plenty of them?! If I mess up, I have more!’ At first, I was going to cut them at different heights and use them as vases (as inspired by this image.)
Water Bottle Vases
(Source: http://inhabitat.com/fullfill-vases/fullfill/)

I thought the ridges on the bottle were cool and not so cheap-looking when you get rid of the labels. You know, anything simple that’s repeated looks good. But vases are so predictable at a wedding, no? How about another way of using the bottles? Then after a dinner conversation with my friend (thanks for the inspiration, Dora!) I locked in on the idea of cutting the 1-Gallon bottles sideways and filling them with sand to make them into mini sand boxes. These sideways bottles were perfect for transporting the wedding guests to the beach, even only for a moment, with sand and Cricut cut-outs of beach-themed images. Here’s a mock-up I made during a dry run:
IMG_0503

While the sand boxes adorned the family tables up in front, I made vases for the rest of the eight tables that were filled with water, real Lei flowers, sand and LED candles. Each centerpiece had a table name that were cut out with Cricut, with names like “Aloha”, “Maui Me”, “Family”, “Friends”, etc. The Cricut cut-outs were propped up by popsicle sticks, and stuck into the sand (mixed with some water to make it sturdy.) Here’s how I assembled them:

1. Cut out two identical layers of table names using Cricut. I used my Cricut Studio to make custom words and welded them together with images. Fonts and images are from the Life is a Beach cartridge. Place two popsicle sticks two-inches apart from end to end (because that’s how wide the small water bottle was) and glue them in between the layers. Use a strong glue (I used a tacky glue) so that the paper don’t come apart.
image-4

2. Remove the label from a 1-Gallon plastic water bottle (I got mine from Costco) and cut it to about 6″ high. I made an incision with an exacto knife first then cut around the bottle with scissors. It was easier than I thought. With a lighter, burn away any rough edges. Cut a smaller (individual size) plastic water bottle, about 5″ high the same way. Glue the bottom of the smaller bottle onto the middle of the big bottle with hot glue, so that it doesn’t move around in the water. Fill the smaller bottle with sand, about 4″ high. Fill the big bottle with water, also about 4″ high. (These height measurements are relative. Cut and fill them as high or low as you need them.) Insert the popsicle sticks into the sand and place a battery-operated LED candle in the middle. You can float flowers around the small bottle. Here I have some plastic flowers from Oriental Trading Company. But we floated real Lei flowers on the wedding day. I also threw in some river rocks into the water to anchor the bottle.
IMG_1467

3. Here’s the finished product. You can further decorate the vase with a ribbon around it.
image

With a little bit of imagination, you can recycle your water bottles into fun centerpiece creations! Please feel free to leave me a comment or click on the heart if you like this post!

Quick Hello

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything on my crafts blog, so I just wanted to say a quick hello. Hello! πŸ™‚ Most of my free time has been concentrated on coming up with a decor for an upcoming wedding. Not mine but for a couple friends of mine. I’ve worked all weekend long to finalize the table centerpiece. Many hours of researching, drawing, planning, Cricutting, shopping and setting up the table and seeing what works and doesn’t. Someone asked me why I do all this work and for what, because it surely is a lot of work. My answer was simple: this makes me happy and I love being creative!! Well, before I go back to my edits, here’s a picture of what can possibly be a future baby shower. It’s the tablescape I came up with for this wedding but I don’t think it looks quite right yet. I’m most proud of the mini sandbox in the middle. It’s made out of a recycled bottle of water, cut in half on top and filled with sand and fun Hawaiian-themed paper cut-outs. It brings some nostalgia to anyone who has enjoyed playing in the sand (which also brings out the kids in us!)

Beach-Themed Party Centerpiece