Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Random Crafts - Gift Wrapping

Happy Holidays! :)

Christmas is slowly creeping up, and it usually comes up faster than we can all keep up with! This year, vow to get your shopping done early! If not for the sole reason of not stressing, maybe do it so that you can spend more time wrapping your gifts more creatively this year! 

I have a problem, it's quite bad actually. I tend to spend hours and hours looking for the perfect wrapping paper, choosing a theme for my gift wrapping, finding a unique and personal ornament for each gift, finding matching ribbons and additional accessories for each gift! Like I said, I have a problem! This usually takes just as long, if not longer, than actually finding the actual gifts! It's terrible, but extremely unique! Because of this, however, each person gets a very unique and personalized wrapped gift!

I'm not going to do a tutorial on this because each person is different and I think making things person is the most fun part about this. But what I will say is: GET CREATIVE! Here are some things I've done in the past! :) Enjoy! (And please pardon the terrible pictures. Some of these were from a few years ago when I used a crappy 1.3 megapixel camera phone!)

This was in 2009 (I think?) and this was taken before I added on each personal ornament. I wish I had taken a picture after! :( But the theme was red flowers this year, and I added a little bit of a gold flare to each. I took gold star wire garland and cut them into 1ft strips, then wrapped both ends around my finger a couple times so they would be spiraled and attached 2 strips to each gift. At the end of each spiral, I attached a gold bell so that when you hand them their gifts, they jingle! Fun, right?! 

 (2010?) My best friends husband has a Beagle and love Hounds tremendously! Luckily that year, I found this cute, glass Beagle ornament! And even more lucky, I found a Dachshund one too for my best friend, since they're her favorite dogs. (She has 3 of them!)

This year was a little different because I got my best friend different wrapping paper for her gifts. This year, her aunty was diagnosed with breast cancer and she was really worried about her. After hours of searching, I found wrapping paper and ribbon that were both pink and the wrapping paper company donated proceeds from the pink wrapping paper sales to a Breast Cancer Foundation (I can't remember which one though). It was such a lucky find, and I was super happy to have found it. 

Unfortunately, you can't exactly see how unique this gift was. And to tell you the truth, it wasn't entirely my idea. My boyfriend wanted to play a prank on some of our friends this year. Instead of getting conventional gift boxes for our friends, he built wooden crates for their gifts. (Even funnier, this "box" only had a gift certificate in it!) Each wooden crate had screws in the top to seal it. Instead of putting an ornament, we got them Craftsman screwdrivers and attached it to the gift. (I think it may be hiding underneath the bow!) It was a really neat idea because they needed the screwdrivers to open their gift and it was also a part of their gift! That was a really fun way of making these gifts personalized!

There are so many ways to personalize gift wrapping! I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do this year, but I'm sure I'll come up with something :) Over the years, it's pretty much become a tradition of mine! With that said, I'll end this post by asking..

What are some quirky Holiday traditions you have?   

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Floral Arranging III: Thanksgiving DIY Centerpiece

Happy Thanksgiving! :)

Again, I'm super excited for the festive months! It really hasn't hit me yet that it's already Thanksgiving in about 2 days! How exciting, right? Well, to celebrate this awesome holiday where we eat a lot of SUPER yummy food, spend time with the ones we love and fall into a tryptophan coma, I've decided to do a fun DIY post for a floral centerpiece that's perfect for this wonderful holiday! 

Here's what the finished product looks like! If you want to learn how to make this, read on! :)

What you'll need:
1 Cornucopia Basket
1 Plastic Liner (Find a size that fits inside your Cornucopia)
5 Floral Picks w/ wire
Raffia Strands
1 Block of Oasis (wet floral foam) 
1 packet of floral food
1 Fall/Autumn Spray Flowers Bouquet (Most supermarkets sell them, I got mine from Safeway)
2 (Different sized) Candles (optional) 



1. Mix 1 packet of Floral Food with Water (amounts as directed) in a large bucket. Float the Oasis (or other brand wet floral foam). The Oasis will eventually sink on its own, do NOT push it down as this will cause air bubbles to form inside the foam. 

2. After letting the floral wet foam soaks for about 10 minutes (10 minutes is the minimum I would leave it in, for optimum usage, I like soaking the block overnight.) Cut the foam with a sharp knife into blocks that will fill the plastic liner. Try to fill the entire liner. 

3. Set the plastic liner (with floral foam) into the cornucopia basket. 

4. Set the cornucopia aside. Form little ribbons out of the raffia and using the wire attached to the floral picks, wrap it aroud the center of the raffia ribbon. Make 5 of these. (You can make more if you want, just remember to make odd amounts!)

5. Arrange the flowers as you see fit! It's fun and exciting to see how everyone's arrangements will differ based on the flowers available at your local supermarkets, and your own personal arranging! To arrange, give your flowers a fresh cut (to the size you like) and stick it directly into the floral foam. Start with larger flowers and work your way to smaller flowers. Most bouquets come with some kind of filler, you can add these into all the spots that seem a tad bit bare. The raffia floral picks should go in last. Add them in random areas but make sure they're spread throughout the arrangement!

6. Place your arrangement in the center of your Thanksgiving table and enjoy! Add the optional candles around the arrangement to set the ambiance! 

That's it! 

  I hope you all liked this Thanksgiving tutorial! Let me know if there's anything you'd like to see! Have an amazing and yummy Thanksgiving and a FUN Black Friday! 

What stores will you be shopping at on Black Friday? 


Friday, November 9, 2012

Feature: The Kenji Set

 Several months ago, someone very dear to me was diagnosed with cancer. Unfortunately, several rounds of chemo doesn't kill this form of cancer because he was diagnosed with a very rare, Neuroendocrine Cancer in his Pancreas. (It's basically a really rare cancer called a Neuroendocrine tumor located in the islet cells of the Pancreas which unfortunately spreads to the liver and lymph nodes eventually.) Because this type of cancer is so rare (affecting 1 in 100,000 in the US),  "[M]any physicians lack experience with or education about neuroendocrine tumors as a result of inadequate attention to the subject both at medical schools and in training programs. As a consequence, the diagnosis is often not considered until the disease is advanced." (-Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2008) 

Beacause of this, I've made it my mission to figure out a way to help and thus this Kenji Set was born. This set will come with 3 bracelets. The sets will consist of (1) the INY original Tamashii 2.0 in silver with 2 shades of purple crocheted around each chain, (1) silver toned mini Himitsu in jewl toned purple and (1) purple flower beaded bracelet! That's 3 bracelets! All bracelets are in a purple tone because that's the awareness color for Pancreatic Cancer. Each bracelet will also feature a silver toned awareness ribbon charm!

Each set will be sold for $45 (plus shipping). To avoid Etsy fees (for larger donations), I will be selling this set via Paypal only. Proceeds will be donated to the Caring for Carcinoid Foundation where their donations go directly to the research of Carcinoid and Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Cancer cures! To order, please email me at and I can set up your order immediately!  

Thank you all for being so supportive! <3 
What are some causes you support?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Random Crafts: Floral Arranging II

Traditionally on Halloween, pumpkin carving is the norm and usually, I'd be ecstatic to do this. This year however, I felt like changing things up! Of course, the newest in thing to do is to try and make the coolest, most creative pumpkin! Here's one I did last year

Well this year, I opted for much smaller pumpkins for some odd reason. Unfortunately, I jumped the gun a bit and purchased them a bit too early and they.. well.. died prematurely. I was weirdly devastated because at the time of purchase, I was SO excited that the festive part of the year has returned. Unfortunately, I had to repurchase!

Since I was in a small pumpkin mood, I decided not to carve it. Instead, I turned it into a vase for a floral arrangement! I'm sure this has been done numerous times, but here's my rendition! 

(Disclaimer: The "happy halloween" writing was added on my phone!) This little project is so simple to do and requires very minimal flowers/accessories. Here's what I used (Everything listed below was purchased at my local Safeway):

1 Small Pumpkin (The one I used was about 7" tall and 6" wide)
1 Bunch of Yellow Spray Roses (miniature roses)
5 Fall colored Mums
15 Pieces of Wheat
3 Decorative (fake) pumpkins

You can arrange them in any way that you want,  I would just suggest a few tips!

1. Random is better! When there's too much "perfection," things don't look right. Of course, this rule doesn't apply if you're trying to make wedding centerpieces because you want all the tables to look the same, but for the sake of these kinds of arrangements, random will make these look more beautiful.

2. The rule I always stick with for a lot of things is: Always use odd numbers! I learned this in a stamping class when I was a child and since then, it stuck. Odd numbers work out better for a lot of things! Try it, I bet you'll totally understand when you see it for yourself.

3. Try to stay within your theme. If I used purple flowers, this probably wouldn't look that nice. When you're trying to accessorize your pieces, try to stay within your theme. Don't add fairies and butterflies to a pumpkin floral arrangement!

Well, I hope you liked this post, and I hope you try it sometime! I will definitely be doing a Thanksgiving floral arrangement (my mom already asked me to)! Perhaps when that one is being made, I will make that one a tutorial! I hope you all had a safe and happy Halloween! 

What did you dress up as this year

P.S. The winner of the Jose Eber Giveaway is Kylie! Please expect an email within 24 hours! Congratulations! And thank you to everyone for entering!