Friday, December 30, 2011

Mori Girl Flower Tags from Vanillery Garden

Image from Vanillery Garden

Start off a blooming 2012 with this easy Mori Girl Flower Tag project from Vanillery Garden. Print, cut, attach to a chopstick and randomly stick onto flower and herb flower pots. For extra durability I would suggest laminating the tags before attaching to a peg.  Thank you to the lovely Greta of Something by Virtue of Nothing for sharing this lovely blog.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Done is better than perfect

Image from Lifehacker
"Done is better than perfect." 

I agree. And that is going to be my mantra for 2012. Check out the  Done Manifesto and its 13 underlying principles. Who knows, a shift in thinking might help make 2012 your best year ever.

The Done Manifesto Principles

  1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
  2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
  3. There is no editing stage.
  4. Pretending you know what you're doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you're doing even if you don't and do it.
  5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
  6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
  7. Once you're done you can throw it away.
  8. Laugh at perfection. It's boring and keeps you from being done.
  9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
  10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
  11. Destruction is a variant of done.
  12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
  13. Done is the engine of more.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Merry Little Christmas Owl

What little gift did you treat yourself to this Christmas?

My kawaii Christmas present to my self is this colorful owl mug which comes inside a metal coin bank canister. It makes drinking coffee, tea or golden milk  more enjoyable!

Crafty Year 2011

I always end the handmade year with a collage of some of the crafts I've made. This year I've pretty much managed to make a few things from my mega list of crafty things to do. I don't really have the luxury of time to try every craft project but next year I would love to focus on crafts that resonate with the Mori Girl sensibility.  That would mean trying out crafts from Therese Laskey and Chika  Mori's Zakka Sewing, Suzuko Koseki's Patchwork Style, Country Living's Crafting Vintage Style as well as embroidery projects from Japanese craft books.

What about you?  What crafty theme or direction are you going to in 2012?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Sweet Tidings turns 4 today!

It seems it was only yesterday that I had my first handmade Christmas!  1,332 blog posts later I now feel so at home with this handmade/DIY lifestyle thingamajig.

Thank you to all my blog visitors and readers as well as old and new blog friends. It's been a great 4 years in blogland. I'm looking forward to another fabulous handmade year with you all!



Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas Day

I've been up all Christmas eve baking a special fresh cream cake for all of you. Hope you have a slice and enjoy this sparkling Christmas Day!

Have a happy, blessed light filled Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Joy to the World

Image from Bill Frymire Visuals

A few hours to go before Christmas eve. I wish you love, I wish you joy, I wish you God's grace on this most magical time of the year.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

All the Beautiful Christmas

All images from Fotopastele

What a feast for the eyes--these idyllic almost fairy tale like picture perfect images of a White Christmas. All the Beautiful Christmas only from Fotopastelė.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mail love: A touch of Victorian Christmas

Something sweet arrived in the mail today! It's a romantic, Victorian style Christmas inspired ornament from my blog friend Kerryanne from Shabby Art Boutique and Woodberry Designs. It's so beautifully handmade and I love it!

Thank you Kerry!

Color Me Kawaii


Another kawaii find that makes me happy! This mini LED bunny lamp is small enough to stand on your palm and it delightfully changes into dreamy colorplay.  It's now my official bedtime night light as the colors make me feel relaxed and sleepy.

By the way, ever wonder what's next year's official color? It's Tangerine Tango

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Spice-Kissed Hot or Cold Cocoa Mix

Warm Wishes sticker from Martha Stewart

It's not Christmas without a cup of the proverbial hot chocolate (or iced cocoa in my case).
Happy holidays!

Spice Kissed Hot or Cold Cocoa Mix

1/2 cup vanilla sugar
2/3 cup good quality cocoa powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 star anise
mini marshmallows (optional)
hershey kisses (optional)
whipped cream (optional)

Sift together all dry ingredients and mix well. Blend in the star anise. Transfer to dry container.

To make individual cup of hot/cold chocolate bring one cup of milk to a simmer. Stir in 2 tablespoon of cocoa mix. Mix well and bring back to simmer.  Add mini marshmallows if served hot. To make a cold drink, add crushed ice and a  add a dollop of whipped cream. Add a  pinch of cinnamon. Top with a Hershey kiss. 

Enjoy, mwah!

Recipe adapted from Christmas Family Gatherings by Donata Maggipinto

Eco Desk Solution

Eureka! I have found the perfect eco friendly desk organizer.  As part of my 7 Things List for 2012 I will be more earth friendly and organized in the coming year. I guess my desk is a good place to start this practice.    

See how the recycled pulp paper packaging of an HP printer smartly converts into a nifty desk organizer box. I love how everything fits nicely inside the box.

I'm off to make a hot cocoa mix (or iced cocoa mix if live in hot climes). Will share the recipe later. Ciao!

Monday, December 19, 2011

My Inner Christmas Elf and 7 Things X 2012

Felt slippers for happy toes

Playing some reindeer games

Cherries in the snow chocolate cupcakes anyone?

I am in Christmas elf mode--just making and creating non-stop. I hope it lasts all year and into the new year!

2012 is also fast approaching. Honestly I am excited about it yet I feel a sense of dread  and urgency (I hope that Mayan calender end of the world is not meant literally). I don't know where I will be or want to be on December 21, 2012. I know I'm not the only crazy one thinking about this. Anyway, one thing for sure, I'll be singing THIS song all 2012 long.

I also would like to share my new fabulous website find--Day Zero. This clever web app allows you to create a list of things you want to do in the next 1001 days. You can keep your list private or share it with the whole world. If the world ends on 12-21-2012 I will settle for 7 Things. Now I'm off to make my list. Happy Monday!

Mosaic Monday: Season's Sparkle

1. heart of christmas, 2. Christmas Bear, 3. O Tannenbaum, 4. Sparkle and Shine, 5. Creche Nativity, 6. christmas candles, 7. folk art snowman, 8. Christmas Bear, 9. Sparkles

See more Mosaic Mondays here!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Window Dressing

Images from Retail Design Blog

Ah, Christmas window displays. Visual merch is an artform, yea!
I read a lot of non-craft related blogs and one of my favorite genre is interior design. One of the interior design blogs that I read regularly is Retail Design Blog, a blog that focuses on and celebrates the best in global store design, furniture, visual merchandising, branding, lighting and eco design.

If you were to design a Christmas window display, what would be your theme? I would love to know!

Magical Holiday

Here's my jolly cadre of helpful holiday gnomes. Apparently there's still a lot of baking and  crafting to be done and I need all the magical help I can get. ;)

I really love Christmas sparklies and twinklies! I can stare at these lovely bokehs the whole day. What Christmas thing makes your heart sparkle?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tangled Christmas Lights

No matter how carefully you stored the lights last year, they will be snarled again this Christmas.  ~Robert Kirby

I'm taking a mini blog break for the next couple of days. In the meantime  you may want to visit my photoblog Basho's Pond or to listen to this amazing eclectic Christmas playlist

Seize the day!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Goodies from We Love to Illustrate

Images from We Love to Illustrate

Fire up your printer as there's cute printable overload at eye candy blog We Love to Illustrate. The blog is an online collabo of six talented amazing ladies- Bee, Cally, Jennifer, Julissa, Nina and Shirley.

I'm definitely going to make  handmade Christmas cards and stickers from the very adorable and squeal-inducing printable holiday scrapbooking elements and holiday tag printables.

By the way Sew Mama Sew blog is having its annual December giveaway day! Visit the blog to win exciting prizes from participating arts and crafts bloggers.

A is for Apron

All I Want for Christmas by Duru
Little Red Riding Hood by Guzk

Kitchen Bear by Mélusine Allirol

Coffee and Cookies by Connie-Island

Happy Breakfast by LaninaApolila

Lou by Flora Design
Winter by Amaia Arrazola
Utero by Monica Greco

  Marie-Antoinette and the Cupcake  by Printed Pretties


My favorite designer apron picks from Envelop, an online shop/platform where graphic designers upload textiles that design lovers buy.   Read more design  inspiration on  the Envelop Blog





Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Tabletop Trees and Charlie Brown Christmas

Do you love tabletop trees?

Unlike regular, family sized Christmas trees, tabletop ones are wonderful to personalize. The one pictured above is my retro kitsch Christmas tabletop tree affectionately called "Life Savers Christmas tree" in reference to the iconic bouy shaped candy.  

 This is my Santa's Workshop tabletop tree. I love wooden ornaments!

Well, not exactly a tree but a Metoo bear nightlight that I upgraded for a festive Christmas mood.I love how it casts a nice, warm glow to the room as I fall asleep.

Speaking of Christmas mood, listening to some Charlie Brown Christmas music always make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. 

May you have a happy Charlie Brown Christmas!

Playful Point of View

Images from Christopher Boffoli

For once, I want to become a miniature figurine to gain a  cute, playful point of view.  It must be so exciting to go scuba diving in a cup of Earl Grey Tea!

Live up your food fantasy with photographer Christopher Boffoli's miniature food play series. Check out the delightful gallery here.

Make it a fun day!

Recipe: Homemade Donut Balls

'Tis the season to make hot chocolate  (recipe link shared by the lovely Greta at Something by Virtue of Nothing)  and homemade donut balls. This recipe yields enough yummy donut balls to share with friends. By the way, these donut balls taste better when eaten the day after. By then the cinnamon sugar has melded delightfully with the spicy taste of nutmeg. It's really a flavor reminiscent of Christmas morning.

Homemade Donut Balls


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Vegetable oil  for deep frying

Sugar coating:

  • 1/2 cup cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

1. Place two cups of all-purpose flour in a large bowl and fluff with whisk to aerate it. Add nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and whisk mixture until well blended.

2. In a bowl, beat egg until frothy. Gradually add granulated, beating until light and fluffy. Add buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla extract. Blend well.

3. Make a well in the center of the egg mixture. Pour the egg mixture into the well and blend well with a wooden spoon. The dough should be soft but not sticky. Continue to add small amounts of flour until the dough reaches the desired consistency.

4. Lightly flour a work surface. Transfer the dough to the work surface and dust the top loightly with flour. Roll out the  dough about 1/3 inch thick. Dip the removable center of a doughnut cutte or 1 1/2 inch cookie cutter into flour and then cut out donut balls. Chill donut ball in the ref for 3 hours of overnight.

4. Deep fry doughnut balls until golden. Roll in cinnamon sugar coating.

Recipe adapted from Christmas Family Gatherings by  Donata Maggipinto

Monday, December 12, 2011