DIY Hanging Boxwood Pendant

December 19, 2012

Since my plywood Christmas tree project earlier this month, I’ve been on a bit of wood kick. Here is my latest contribution for Project Wedding; hanging modern pendants filled with fresh boxwood and a few sprigs of cheerful flowers. A grouping of these in varying sizes over a table setting would look cool, mixing minimalism with botanica.

 

Last-Minute DIY Gifts for Kids

December 19, 2012

Wish I could say I was completely done with Christmas preparations, but in my rush to check things off, I always find there is a teacher aide, or neighbor, or school bus driver that I had almost overlooked. And photobooks for family — whoops, late start on that. Procrastination is like a familiar friend.

Ryan and I barely finished rounding up a few presents and stocking stuffers for the kids (Lego Hero Factory sets and a rock tumbler will be dropped off by “Santa”) and I will be working on a couple of homemade presents with the boys to gift to one another. Just in case you’d like a couple of easy projects, I shared a shrink film charm DIY over at HelloBee and wrote up a step-by-step process on making your own crayons at SheKnows.

DIY Plywood Holiday Card Holder

December 4, 2012

Just like that, December is already here! Have you received any holiday cards in the mail yet? My latest project is this card display made with just a few basic materials. 
You will need:
Jigsaw
Masking tape
Corse grit sandpaper
Plywood (purchased a large birch square from the woodworking section of the home improvement store)
Pencil
Suede cord
Metal tacks or nails
Hammer
Ruler

Step 1: Along one edge of the plywood board, make a small pencil mark at 20 inches. This will be the bottom of the tree.

Step 2: Along the opposite edge (top of the tree) make a pencil mark at 10 inches.

Step 3: With masking tape, you will now prep the plywood to minimize splintering while sawing. Lay down a long piece of masking tape at a diagonal, starting at the top pencil mark and ending at the bottom mark. Lay down another long piece of masking tape, starting at the top pencil mark and ending at the bottom left corner of the plywood, forming a triangle. Over the masking tape, draw a line connecting the top pencil mark to the bottom mark and bottom left corner. This is your guide for sawing.

Step 4: Brace the plywood on a sawhorse with clamps, and saw along your pencil lines, starting from the bottom of the tree.

Step 5: After the triangle is cut out, smooth rough edges with corse grit sandpaper.

Step 6: Starting at bottom right corner, nail in or tack the end of the leather cord. Use a hammer to drive in the nail/tack.

Step 7: Pull the leather cord taut over to the left side of the tree. Make sure the leather is pulled tight and flat against the plywood. About 6 inches from the bottom, nail or tack in the leather cord. Before hammering in the nail/tack in deeper into the plywood, pull the cord tight over to the right side of the tree. Repeat this process, zigzagging the leather cord all the way to the top, taking care to keep the leather tight and flat.

Gift Tag Printable and Wood Star Charm DIY

November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving week was a doozy in that I came down with the vilest, most tenacious flu of my life. As if running a 102° temperature for days wasn’t enough to contend with, my husband was gone — GONE! — for work. So it was just me, my little cocoon of feverish misery, and three kids to take care of. It was awful with a capital, bolded, underlined A, especially since poor Mara also had the flu and needed to be held and cuddled for most of her waking hours. Fortunately, her case was mild and she bounced back after a matter of days. +1 for nursing! I, however, am STILL recovering and have been on bedrest for much of the week. I think I’ve been operating on too little sleep and too much stress for so long, my body just threw in the towel at the slightest whiff of illness and said “Done! Quitting temporarily!”

With that said, I came on just to quickly share my latest project I worked on for Dotcoms for Moms (which I had finished before I came down with the plague of 2012). Click over to download printable gift tags and for super easy instructions on adding wooden star charms to your gift wrap. And lastly, forgive me for getting all stranger-bossypants on you, but avoid needless suffering and get your flu shot!

A Full Heart

November 22, 2012

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! And I want to say thank you so much for stopping by and reading this little blog and that I value every kind comment and email that comes my way. Sometimes, when the demands of life and family tug me in different directions, I always come back to reassessing the importance of blogging. But I think I’ve found a formula that works for now, so thank you for your feedback and words of encouragement!

2012 has been good to our family, with great health (no broken bones this year!), food to fill our stomachs, clothing on our backs, no fender benders (phew), and another year of watching my beautiful children grow. And I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this already, but back in California, both my job and Ryan’s felt the pinch (though death-grip is more accurate) of a sluggish economy. The past couple of years have been filled with challenges and a great deal of hard work and late nights, but just recently Ryan landed a new job that will relieve most if not all of the stresses we’ve been carrying for some time. My heart is so incredibly full from this unexpected opportunity.

So in the spirit of thanks and of giving, I thought this would be a good time to share some ways to give with a few of my favorite international aid organizations. If you’re not familiar with these causes, I invite you to check them out and possibly make a difference in someone’s life:

International Justice Mission (IJM)
IJM seeks to provide legal services for victims of abuse and disenfranchisement. The number and frequency of aggressors committing acts of rape and violence with impunity is absolutely horrifying. Proper legal representation isn’t an option for many women and children worldwide, but IJM is steadily building a presence internationally so that ultimately, perpetrators are sent behind bars.

Kiva
I’m sure you’ve already heard about Kiva! But I had to mention it because micro-financing can be so powerful in changing a business idea into a money-making enterprise that can lift a family out of poverty. You can loan as little as $25 to help an individual start their small business of a general store, bed and breakfast, dressmaking, etc.

Plan International
Sponsor a child in a developing country or contribute to Plan’s Because I Am a Girl campaign, which advocates education, opportunity, and gender equality for girls worldwide.