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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. 🙂 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:


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.


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?

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. 🙂


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.

2014 Sewing Projects!

Hello cyber world! I’m back with some goodies to share; some sewing projects I’ve enjoyed working on over the past few months. It was such a relief to FINALLY check off some of the items I’ve been meaning/dying to make (thanks to my ever-growing list of things I want to make in life… which none of it is truly necessary. But I just like hoarding ideas and creative undertakings I would eventually get to do one day.) Like my sister’s laptop bag, with the fabric was that bought specifically for it over 2 years ago! And I made a few simple tank dresses for my madre who wanted some not-too-shabby home clothes. Next on my “list” are tops I could wear to work and I bought a cute skirt pattern from JoAnn’s during their 99 cent pattern sale. But that’s for another rainy day… Onto my projects!

Ok, so my sister’s laptop bag is made with this adorable British fetish fabric (we found at Michael Levine), featuring vintage scooters. It was originally supposed to be a messenger bag she could carry to work. But she later decided that a laptop bag would be more useful.

Here it is hung on the dress form (which I really wish wasn’t so purple-ly) with a tank dress I made to wear during the hot summer SoCal days. (Oh, how I miss the warm summer nights…) Because the over the shoulder strap was wide, I had a heck of a time finding hardware that fit its size. I found one at the fabric district but it was a belt buckle instead of a strap adjuster. Oh well. It still works.
Laptop Bag with Tank Dress

Next, is a summer tote I’ve been carrying around all season long (even now I take it with me everywhere!) I didn’t realize versatile tote bags were until carrying this around. Now that they’ve gotten rid of plastic grocery bags, it’s been so practical to have a tote on hand to carry your smaller grocery purchases away. As for the straps, if you remember a few posts back, I had shopped at a leather store and got a bunch of scrap pieces. Well, the straps were made with one of the scraps. (Straps, scraps, straps, scraps – that’s hard to say.) I really like combining leather with fabric. I am “planning” on going back there and getting bigger pieces to make myself an all-leather tote. Yea, let’s see when THAT’s going to happen. lol.

These next two, I made these with the intention of selling them on Etsy if they turned out well. But I wasn’t so confident they would sell. So I’ll just give them away to someone’s daughter if they want ’em. I used mesh fabric for the Fairy Head Piece and some sparkly silver Christmas ribbon I got from Michaels.

This one I wanted to call it the “Miss Little Diva” headband if I sold it. But it just didn’t look all that diva to me. Oh well.

Next, I found an easy dress pattern for little girls in a Liberty book and thought, ‘Why not make a dress for my niece in Korea?!’ I call her my niece, but she’s really my cousin’s daughter. The fabric isn’t from Liberty but it was so darn adorable that I couldn’t pass it up. I made matching headbands and sent them on their way across the Pacific. My niece liked the dress so much that she wanted to wear it for four days straight! lol. Oh, that made me soooo happy. 🙂 Here she is!




Seriously, she’s the cutest thing ever!!!

This apron is on my Etsy shop. I saw this fab green apple fabric while shopping in Seoul’s fabric district and immediately fell in love with it. What better way than to make it into an apron?! Et voila.

These next few are also on my Etsy shop. For a while, I’ve been hearing about “Liberty of London”, especially from my sewing buddy J.B. I’m quite ashamed to admit that for someone who sews often, I’m so late in the game in my discovery of this ridiculously spectacular fabric line. Its prices by the yard speak of its undeniably exquisite quality. And the feel of tana lawn cotton fabrics is comparable to silk. So ever since these luxurious objet de desir caught my attention, I’ve been hooked! I mean, I can’t really afford to buy them in bulk or anything. But even 1/8″ of a yard is suffice to soothe my craving for a little something magnificent. So, I got my fabric from Michael Levine in downtown LA and made a skinny and a wide versions of these headbands.

Liberty of London “Fitzgerald” Fabric-Covered Wide Headband:

The skinny version:

I also made these headbands in this awesome turquoise fabric I found at JoAnn’s. (I love love LOVE ~~~ turquoise! It’s just a fabulous color that seems to go with just about anything.) Here’s the wide version of the turquoise headband:

And the skinny version:

That’s it for now! I hope to be posting more before the year’s over. But I’ve decided to be more gracious to myself and not push for something that might not really happen…

DIY Magazine Christmas Trees

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! What are you thankful for this year? I have lots to be grateful for but one of them is my talented sister. I love her not only for her creativity but for her spunky and fun personality and her never-ending well of wisdom! And speaking of amazing capabilities, she has done it again. It was time to transform her library with Christmas decorations. So what does she come up with? These wonderful Christmas trees made out of old books and magazines! Ok… To be honest, this wasn’t her clever idea. And I’m sure someone else had come up with this long before Martha Stewart ever did. But here is the link to Martha’s DIY tutorial if you’d like to see where she got the idea from. Wouldn’t this be a great craft project for the holidays with the family?! If you haven’t thought about what to do with your old books & magazines that’s just taking up space in your home (besides tossing them into the recycling bin), give this a try! I guarantee you’ll come up with wonderful results like these…








2012-2013 Sewing/Knitting Projects

Helloooooooo world!  I’m back for a little bit to play on the blog.  🙂  After my last BIG project for the year in June, I told myself that I would take a looooooooong break from doing anything remotely obligatory for the REST OF THE YEAR.  This kind of a hiatus is highly unusual for me, as I’ve always been known for packing my schedule with things, whether it be social, hobbies or church stuff.  Anyway, I find this newly found freedom liberating and empowering… and I admit, sometimes truly boring.  lol.  Only because I’ve never had this much free time to do WHATEVER I wanted, which includes not lifting a finger for anything and just being a couch potato.  I think my body and soul desperately needed some rest from my addictive quality of doing, doing and more doing…  It’s amazing how much time I’ve gained now that I don’t have every weekend booked with some kind of a project.  My focus has shifted to taking care of the things I have long neglected to do (like getting back into shape, learning Photoshop, catching up on my Korean dramas (hehe), etc.) I can’t go on, however, neglecting my blog forever.  And I won’t even start mentioning the long list of creative projects I’ve been putting off because I would torture myself with guilt and a sense of failure…….  So for now, I want to be child-like and happy by presenting some of my past work.  (Note: My next shipment from Oriental Trading Company is on its way!  I will be throwing a Fall-themed birthday party for my sis and dad whose birthdays are coming up.  So please be on the lookout for my next post on Fall decorations!  Or better yet, please subscribe to my blog via your email address or RSS feed.  As you can see, I won’t bombard you with daily updates.)  ~grin~

When I started sewing more things and posting them up online last summer, people started encouraging me to open an Etsy shop and start selling my stuff.  I made some sales on and off of Etsy, which in itself was rewarding and surprising that people actually wanted to pay money for my “creations”!  I even went as far as coming up with a company logo and making fabric labels to sew onto my projects.  All of this was embraced and affirmed by the community of supporters I had around me.  And frankly, that kept me going for some time.  But sewing is a laborious task…  (And that’s probably an understatement.)  The materials can be quite expensive to make a profit or break even, even when you acquire them at a wholesale price.  If I had to choose between yay or nay, I would have to say sewing IS enjoyable (especially when you see the final product after hours of concentrating and making your work space look like a fabric war zone), but just not as a money-making wheel.  🙂

Anywho, here is a sampling of some of my past sewing/knitting projects!  Please excuse the quality of my photos.  These were taken during my pre-DSLR-days with an iPad Mini in not-so-good lighting.

1. iPad Mini Cover – made purely out of necessity and me being cheap.  I didn’t want to shell out $25 for one. So instead, I spent a good 6-7 hours making my own.  Time well-spent!


iPad Mini Cover

 2. Make-Up Bags – I think this is one of my favorite things to sew!  (And they happen to be my best-sellers ’til this day.)


 By the way, I LOVE the app “Bamboo Paper” on the iPad!  You can make docs like this by importing your photos and writing/drawing on them directly.


3.  Business Card Holders – Had some leftover scraps of fabric and was looking for ways to use them.  Googled and found a few great tutorials for these card holders!  I’m carrying one myself to house all my frequent buyer cards and business cards inside.  Love these!


4.  Fancy evening clutches – I have yet to use any of these clutches (well maybe the blue one once, and I have given another one out as a gift.) One of these days when I have a fancy event to go to…  I feel quite accomplished to say that I made the fabric flowers myself (tee-hee).  And not to mention feeling like a pyro when I burn the edges of the fabric to make them curl up…


5. Custom Orders:  It was exciting when I started getting custom order requests!  I’ve done some knitted hats (not pictured here) but the most requested were tote bags (baby diaper bag, school bag, lunch bag, everyday bag made out of oilcloth, etc.)

20130917-150828.jpg20130917-150923.jpg20130917-150913.jpg20130917-150904.jpg20130917-150837.jpg20130917-150847.jpg20130917-150028.jpg20130917-150524.jpg20130917-150138.jpg6.  Knitted items.  I usually knit using my loom (round or rectangular).  I’ve knitted with regular needles but the looms are faster and produce equally beautiful products (I think!)  The cold months are coming and I’m excited to start knitting again.  I’ve made many wooley items but here are two samples.  The first picture is my head model “Marlene” sporting my latest winter beanie in my homemade light box.  Isn’t she doing a fabulous job?  The second is a scarf I knitted for my grandma.  I hope she’s wearing it (will check when I visit her next May! hahaha!)


7.  And lastly, my craft show back in March.  Ah… the Craft Show…  And, the memories of freakish long hours slaving over the ironing board and my wrist getting sore from all that fabric cutting…  Did you know that I even took one week off from my full-time job to sew for this event?  Now, THAT is dedication, if I must say so (or maybe I’m just not a fast sewer.)  No denying that it was lots of fun but to my better judgment I’ve decided against doing another show this year. Sorry to those who were asking about another show.  I may do another one next year… Maybe…  🙂


Here’s a vendor belt I made for myself, with hidden money pockets.


Vendor Apron - Purple

Vendor Apron - Purple with pockets

This is a belt I made for my friend Christine. I like the multiple pockets on this one. 🙂
Vendor Apron - Blue Green with pockets

Vendor Apron - Blue Green  

Well, that’s it!  🙂  Hope you’ve enjoyed looking through these pix!  Looking back, it’s good to know where all my time went to these past 12 months or so.  Man, I guess I didn’t waste any time after all…  hahaha.  Please click on the heart if you liked the post and/or leave me a comment.  It’s always encouraging to see people visit my blog.  I’ll try to be better about posting more regularly!  But for now, back to my hibernating hole…

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.



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.  All opinions are my own.



    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.

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

      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.)

      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.)

      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.)

      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.

      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!


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

Paper Owl

Owls have been all the rage in recent years! They’ve been showing up everywhere in decorations, artwork and even in fashion! Well, here’s another kids’ craft project my sister came up with: making this cute paper owl with a toilet paper roll and construction paper! Great way to recycle something into a decorative feature and be creative with your kids!


To make this paper owl, here’s what you need:

1. toilet paper roll
2. colorful construction paper
3. small round craft hole puncher
4. a small piece of white paper for the eyes
5. a small piece of black paper for the eyes
6. glue

I didn’t get a chance to take the step-by-step pictures but here is what the punched circles look like. (Click on the picture to enlarge it.)


Here are some simple steps on how to put the owl together:

1. Punch out small circles from colorful construction paper. You can choose whatever color that you prefer. I like how this owl has stripes in the middle and the same color on top and bottom.
2. Cut out two big white circles for the white part of the eyes, and two smaller black circles for the pupil part of the eyes.
3. Cut out two leaves shaped paper for the wings.
4. Cut four small heart shapes for the ears and the feet.
5. When you have all the pieces cut out, glue them on the toilet roll.

Doesn’t the owl look so adorable?



And then out of nowhere, my little kitty showed up (like they always do) and got her curious nose into what was going on. 🙂



A Preview of Things to Come

Hello all! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted an entry so I thought I’d say hello and give a little preview of things I will be working on!

Frankly, I’ve been preoccupied the last two weeks with a service project my church group and I were involved with (Big Sunday). Last Saturday, my team and I cooked and packed 350 Garlic Rosemary Chicken Ciabatta Sandwiches (well, they were really done on torta breads.) and served the volunteers that were participating at different locations on that day. Although the event was a success, I may have over-exerted myself a bit and got really sick afterwards. It got pretty bad the first day or so – high fever, body ache, sore throat like I’ve never had before, a crazy uncomfortable sinus headache that kept me from sleeping or even opening my eyes, etc. etc. Today is day 5 of trying to get better from a double whammy of a nasty virus infection and strep throat. Thank God for modern medicine and vacation days!! All this “resting and getting better”, however, has made me antsy and nervous that I’m losing productivity (yes, I have a problem of staying still and not doing anything. lol.) So since I’m not quite well enough to physically get up and start making/doing/driving around/etc, the next best thing is to sit in front of my computer and write out my plans for all the things to come. Here are some projects I would like to accomplish in the next few months:

Rachel and Mark’s Wedding in June – This Hawaiian themed outdoor wedding is going to be held in someone’s gorgeous backyard. I have big plans for it (I’m in charge of the decorating) but I have not settled on anything solid yet. I’m thinking about creating a white wedding with Hawaiian decorations (with leis, paper cutouts of tropical images). My biggest challenge will be figuring out how to hang or suspend things in the air and make it look festive and beautiful. The couple is really down to earth and they’ve already told me to make it easier on myself by keeping things simple. I will definitely honor them but truthfully, it’s not really me to keep things too simple… 😉 It’s no wonder that I’ve already earned the nickname “Franck” (as in “Father of the Bride”). lol. Thankfully, Rachel has turned down my idea of suspending a fabric tent over the guests. I took that as a saving grace from my over-ambitiousness. But here’s a rough sketch of where I was going with that.

outdoor wedding

Another sub-project for the wedding is to come up with a SIMPLE table centerpiece for the 10 tables we’ll set up for the guests. We bought a whole bunch of white plastic leis so I’m sure I can do something with them. 🙂 I hope to take lots of pictures from the day and post them on the blog. Wish me luck!

Fabulous Lamp Shades for these Fabulous Lamp Bases – When I spotted these glorious white porcelain lamp shades at Target, I knew I had to get them and add my own fabric shades! And even better, they were on sale. 🙂

Check out this pretty shade with a fun Amy Butler fabric. I want to make something like this: (Photo credit: Amy Butler’s Facebook page)
Amy Butler Lamp Shade

Extra Big Shopping Tote – This sewing project will not be for an Etsy sale but for yours truly. I was browsing for some fabric in Downtown Los Angeles a few weeks ago, as I do from time to time to see what catches my eyes and to get inspired by all the colors and designs I see around me. I usually get my shopping thrill from Michael Levine but I decided to venture out to the other shops one day and found some gems of home fabric stores one street over on Wall. Here’s a peak into one of those home stores:

As you can see, it’s rows and rows of flowing home decor fabrics at fairly reasonable prices. I spotted an interesting design for what can become a great big tote and decided to get a yard of it. At first look, it CAN be too bold/ugly/different. But I took it as a challenge to make this into a great looking tote bag that will fit all my fabric buys! (Adrian Orange Gray Beige Geometric home decor fabric.)
Big Tote Fabric

I’m thinking about adding some metal grommets and maybe some white rope for a nautical look. My sister saw it and the first thing she said was, “That’s ugly…” Well, I plan to prove her wrong and make her want to borrow it! lol.

Well, that’s it for now! Back to bed I go for some more shut eye.