Tuesday, December 21, 2010

DIY Book Paper Flowerettes

With all the silver and gold on our tree, I was looking for something to add a little matte depth to all the metallic and shimmer going on. I am loving all the book paper I have been seeing everywhere, so I decided I'd try incorporating it into our tree. Luckily, I have a TON of books from Sky's 30th party last year (I used antique paper for everything including the cupcake toppers, decor, cards, etc.).

To start, I cut varying sizes of circles and decided 3 layers of paper was sufficient. Next time I might add some tissue paper or fabric into the mix.

After layering 3 pieces of paper I sewed the back together (see below photo) and tied with red thread for contrast.

After sewn, I played with the shape of each to create a little flower. Voila!

These could be great gift toppers, or even better, a fun garland - perfect for any time of the year and easily customizable with varying papers and fabrics. Best of all, it is incredibly cheap, all while adding that homemade touch to your decor and gifts.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday Mild Obsession: Paloma's Nest

While doing much of my online Christmas shopping this year, I stumbled upon Paloma's Nest on Etsy. Their "modern heirloom pieces" are gorgeous - all individually handmade and customizable. Whether its a new marriage, baby or just for that perfect gift, I adore the clean, hand-stamped look of all of their pieces.

And that packaging?! GORGE. Just read they did something with Anthropologie recently too. Somehow I'm not surprised.

Images: Paloma's Nest

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Lite Brite Tory Burch Style

While finishing some last minute shopping yesterday at the mall, I came across this fantastic window display at Tory Burch. Lite Brite + huge deer = awesome!

I wonder what Sky would think if made something similar for the living room?...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

More Handmade Holiday Spirit

Last year my friend made us the most beautiful wreath with scraps she got from where she bought her tree. This inspired me to make my first this holiday season. Although she is a little simple and bare, she turned out pretty well, and regardless, is full of festive holiday spirit.

I used scraps from our tree with some dried berries and a pine cone I already had to adorn her. The wreath frame I had from the one my friend made us last year. Total wreath cost = zero dollars! Next year maybe I'll try some feathers and other fun things to spice it up.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Who doesn't love freshly baked chocolate chip cookies? I found my NEW favorite recipe (they are both perfectly crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside) a few months ago in my Martha Stewart Living magazine but didn't have the opportunity to bake them until a few weeks ago for a friend. They turned out AMAZING! Even despite the ton of butter the recipe calls for, I will definitely be baking these again! Enjoy!


Makes 20

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups packed dark-brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and sugars with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Add vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; beat until combined. Mix in chocolate chips.
Using a 2 1/4-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough, (about 3 tablespoons) onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake until golden around edges but soft in the middle, about 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack, and let cool completely.

Dough can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. Cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.

You can also find the recipe directly on Martha Stewart's website.

Martha Stewart Living

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday Mild Obsession: Leigh Viner

Over the weekend I stumbled upon Leigh Viner's Etsy shop and fell in LOVE. Bought one of her pieces for a dear friend for the upcoming holiday and seriously want to buy all of her prints for myself. She is incredibly talented and I suggest you RUN, not walk, to her Etsy shop now.

All images: Leigh Viner

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Simple, Easy + Pretty Holiday Gift Wrap

One of my favorite parts of gift giving anytime of the year is the wrapping. Especially at Christmas, if your gifts are going to be placed under the tree, why not have them be part of your decor? I always have to keep in mind that many of the gifts will be sent home to the Midwest, so I can't include huge bows or things that will be flattened or ruined during shipping. This year I used a more neutral palette with basic brown wrapping ($2.99 at Target for a roll), cream colored yarn, jute string and brown and white baker's twine, all found at local craft and fabric stores. Inexpensive and beautiful, and I love the different looks and textures of each:

For the tags, I used a purplish grey cardstock, white paper doilies and spray Tacky Glue:

I cut the cardstock into about 1" by 2" rectangles, sprayed the doilies with glue, placed on cards and trimmed accordingly. They turned out beautifully!

The final product - simple yet pretty and easy to ship! I used varying amounts of yarn, twine and jute string to create different looks for each package.

DIY Knit Sweater Candle Holders

With Christmas around the corner, it has been like Santa's workshop around here. One of my latest DIY projects I have actually seen around the blogosphere for awhile. But not long ago I saw this post, fell in love and finally decided to take the plunge. Looks easy, right? I started with just a couple glass candle cylinders and a couple $1 sweaters from a local thrift store. After simply measuring and cutting the sleeves off, here are the results:

What an easy and great way to warm up your house this holiday season!