Tuesday, January 31, 2012

February's Creative Everyday Theme: Night



Night time is really the best time to work.  All the ideas are there to be yours because everyone else is asleep.  


~Catherine O'Hara


I love the February theme at Creative Everyday. The theme is "night"- a rather beguiling topic to uncover, discover and explore through art, crafts and reflections.

This theme reminds me of the unforgettable movie of yore  Brother Sun, Sister Moon ( Fratello Solle, Sorella Luna). The movie is essentially about the friendship of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Clare but it also touches on the metaphysical  aspect of our divine brotherhood with the cosmos. As the sun and the moon are both siblings in the cosmic playground, there can be no sibling rivalry.  As the sky changes from blue, scarlet to pitch black, we notice the seamless and flawless division of labor of these cosmic elements. The sun illuminates, energizes and powers the planet while the moon is a gentle night light- inducing peace, rest, sweet dreams and physical restoration. There is beauty in daylight but another kind of  beauty also exists in the darkness, shadows and silence.

For the next 28 days I wish to explore the beauty of night through arts and crafts, photography and paper crafts. I wish you could join me in this creative everyday challenge.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Pretty Fabric Scrap Gift Tags



Don't throw those fabric scraps just yet. You can turn them into pretty tags to embellish gifts for all seasons.

I made a set of fabric scrap gift tags in shabby chic palette from Creature Comforts' Pretty Fabric Scrap Gift Tag tutorial. It is one of EZ's recommended  DIY projects to craft and make this January/February. Of all the projects, this is the quickest and easiest project to make although I also want to give the Fancy DIY Clothespin project a spin. I'll definitely be making another set of fabric gift tags using holiday themed fabrics for Christmas.


Have a great week!

Mosaic Monday: Welcome February




1. February, 2. "February was so long that it lasted into March", 3. 1st February - My Heart Belongs to You, 4. Untitled, 5. ♥ february ♥, 6. Violets for February, 7. February blossoms, 8. February 13th - With Love... x x, 9. Sweet

See more Mosaic Mondays here!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Everyday, Lovely Day


Sweet links:






Express Chocolate Pudding Recipe + Valentine Coffee Coaster Pattern




I'm not jell-o. I'm not crème brûlée. I'm chocolate pudding. :)

Hehe, remember the romantic comedy My Best Friend's Wedding? I think I've watched it a bazillion times I could recite the dialogues in my sleep.

Back to the topic of this post which is chocolate pudding. I rhapsodize over the virtues of this snack.  It's as comforting as a big bowl of mac and cheese,  instant ramen, (insert fave comfort food here) or a big slice of chocolate cake. This particular recipe only takes 10 minutes to make and it's so yummy you can slide off the couch or temporarily forget your name. This recipe is a keeper. It's love. 

Express Chocolate Pudding

1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 Tbsp cornstarch
2 cups skim/low-fat milk
A pinch of decaf coffee powder
2 Tbsp vanilla extract

1. In a microwave safe bowl, combine all dry ingredients and blend together  with balloon whisk.

2. Add milk and vanilla extract. Whisk until dry ingredients have completely dissolved.

3. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and whisk for one minute.  Microwave again for 3 minutes and stir to dissolve lumps. Continue to microwave for 1-2 minutes (alternately stirring to dissolve lumps) until the pudding reaches a thick, jell-o like consistency. Remove from the microwave oven and let cool.

3. Enjoy! Buon appetito!

Bonus:

If you plan to serve this wonderful treat to a loved one, make sure you present it in heartwarming style. Make a heart shaped/valentine coaster using the template I made. I made mine using dotted red cotton fabric ala Cath Kidston.

Embellish your coffee coaster with a cute fabric cotton tape like the ones from Lillalotta shop on ETSY.

Have a merry, little weekend!


Saturday, January 28, 2012

All the pretty dala horses



I love Swedish dala horses! I've made a few dala horse inspired crafts before such as this and this but this decorative dala horse cushion (I named mine Lily)  from Tilda's Summer Ideas is really my favorite. I think I need to sew another horse to keep her company. ;)

I've learned from Hanna, one of my favorite Swedish bloggers that the traditional dala horse color is actually orange. Check out Hanna's link on how these Swedish icons are painted and decorated.

Hmm, I wonder what's going to be my next dala horse project. I still have some extra Aida cloth so this dala horse cross stitch project from The Split Stitch would be fabulous I guess.

By the way,  the Sweet Tidings creativity theme for February is Shabby Chic! I'll be posting the last Coffee Month recipe and project this weekend.

Till then. Happy weekend! 



Friday, January 27, 2012

Weekending: Illustrated Recipes from They Draw and Cook

Winter Warmer Soup by Sarah Ward
Cardamon Coffee by Salli Swindell

Tiramisu by Gaia Bordicchia

Chef Kitty's Top Secret Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Warning: Cute overload!

Put on your polka dot apron and baker's hat because we have some serious kawaii baking and cooking to do! They Draw and Cook  is an online gallery of superlatively cute illustrated recipes from artists all over the globe. Have fun browsing! You may want to print the recipes for your homemade recipe folder. The artworks alone are tons of fun!

Happy weekend!



Thursday, January 26, 2012

Valentine paper treats from Mr. Printables

Gingham Check Candy Wrapper

Tiny Cards for Little Valentines

Teddy Bear Heart Cards

Melt someone's heart with sweet valentine tokens made even special with lovely printable cards and wrappers from Mr. Printables. They're too cute!





Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations are still ongoing until the 29th! Add a bit of fun and a dash of good luck to the new year with these adorable dragon masks.  For sure I want the pink dragon mask. :)

Creative Explorations



Keri Smith's website has lots of fun prompts to get your creativity going. This February, I think I want to do this.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Winky Dollhouse Bakery

Images from Winky ETSY

My, oh my! The Winky Dollhouse Bakery at ETSY  is filled to the brim with yummy miniature valentine goodies--pink sugar cookies and candy baskets presented in the sweetest style. All this sweetness is caramelizing in my brain!





A cake your little dolly will love! Fluffy frosted heart cakes are my favorite too! Grab these miniature yummies while you can.

~Smile~ Have a nice day!

Pretty Pink Crafts

Pink Bunny Knitting Project from Woman's Day


Drink parasol project from Papermash 


Pretty Pink strawberries from Cheeky Kitchen


Baking sheet memo board from Elmer's 


Hooray for valentine season!  It may not be my favorite crafting season but I do enjoy the pink overload. Savor and enjoy the rosiest season of the year with some of my handpicked to-do  crafts and projects. 

How is your 2012 coming along? My January could be better (health wise)  but  at least we have this quote  to remind us that regardless of circumstances everyday can be a good day. 


Enjoy the day!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What is essential is invisible


I'm happy to have found this adorable Le Petit Prince Mary Engelbreit desktop wallpaper. I love how this  famous literary quote keeps me grounded, inspired and grateful. For today I thank God for the sweet, invisible oxygen that keep us alive and thriving!

Happy Tuesday!   

Monday, January 23, 2012

Kung Hei Fat Choi!


Wishing you good health, good luck, prosperity, peace of mind and happiness in the year of the water dragon. Kung Hei Fat Choi! Happy Chinese Lunar New Year!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Romantic style organizing crafts and wise words from the Goddess of Happiness

Vintage thread labels
Food and gift labels
Fabric remnant organizing labels 
Printable message box 

Channel you inner shabby chic domestic goddess with these utterly feminine and romantic printable organizing crafts from Cathe Holden of Just Something I Made. Deep down in every crafty feminine soul  resides a goddess that wants to celebrate everything blissful and beautiful.

This weekend, you can also be a Goddess of Happiness. Debbie Gisonni in her book The Goddess of Happiness: A Down-to Earth Guide for Heavenly Balance and Bliss. I love chapter 14 of her book that discusses the need to accessorize our lives.

Here are her 5 ways of how to accessorize your life:

  • Surround yourself with things you love to look at.
  • Intermingle frequently with adults, children, animals and nature.
  • Fill your home with the smell if fresh-baked cookies or a meal made from scratch.
  • Listen to your favorite music while doing mundane chores.
  • Carve out time for a special hobby.
Affirmation: "I surround myself with people, animals and things I love."

Have a beautiful weekend!



Saturday, January 21, 2012

Recycled Vitamin Water Canisters from Tweety Atelier



I was clearing my workspace this morning when I  noticed a cluster of mineral water/vitamin water bottles in a corner. I was about to throw them in the trash when something stopped me. I could possibly find a cool eco friendly tutorial that could make use of this ubiquitous landfill monster. Tonight as I was browsing korean DIY power blog Tweety Atelier for origami projects, I found this recycled vitamin water canister tutorial.  What a cool, serendipitous find! Now I know what to do with these water bottles and with my printed cotton twill stash.

Happy weekend!

P.S. My blog now has a header! I finally discovered how to tweak blogger's dynamic view template. Yay for  pleasant discoveries!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Printable valentine gift wrap sets



Have you been doing your handmade valentine shopping?

If so, you might want your valentine gifts to look their prettiest, romantic-est best. Wrap your valentine tokens in these cute Valentine gift wrap printable sets from Giftwrap-it (via Designs of Artisan).The gift wraps come with coordinating greeting cards and gift tags. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Coffee Mug Cozy Pattern and Homemade Kahlua



What to do with leftover fabric scraps? Make them into cute coffee mug cozies of course!  I tailored this pattern to fit a regular sized coffee mug. Most of the patterns I see on the web usually are made for paper coffee cups. 

Download the pattern here

Coffee Mug Cozy 


Materials:

  • Japanese fabric
  • Insulated padding/lining
  • Button
  • Needle and thread
  • Sewing machine 
 
 
1. Sew wrong sides together and reverse. Stitch edges together. 
2. Use velcro or button and ribbon snap to join  the edges of the cozy together.


Image from Veronica's Cornucopia

Today I have stumbled upon this awesome homemade kahlua (coffee liqueur) recipe from Veronica's Cornucopia. I love kahlua so this is heaven sent! As soon as I gather my ingredients I'll give this recipe a shot. I also hope that someone soon can invent and share a recipe for Homemade Bailey's.  


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sorry, no blog post today

SOPA ad PIPA if passed in U.S. Congress can usher in an Internet dark age. Help stop SOPA ad PIPA! Sign the petition here and here if you are in the U.S.  Those outside the U.S. can sign the petition here.

Thank you for spreading the word.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Coffee and Life

Via pinterest
Photo credit

박신혜 for MBC Music

From hirudoki.hungry.jp via Pinterest


More coffee inspired images to celebrate Coffee Month here at Sweet Tidings. Stay super buzzy!



Sweet Valentines at Shop Sweet Lulu

Images from Shop Sweet Lulu

Look no further. Shop Sweet Lulu has everything you need to make your valentine crafting, decorating and soirée extra sweet and special.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Zakka organizing style for trinkets and stuff



One of my craft resolutions this year is to imbibe the mori girl handicraft spirit. That means making more natural, zakka style projects just like this one. This wood shadow box which  I purchased many moons ago from a Japanese supply store is just a wonderful material to display and organize everyday wear trinkets and jewelry.

What organizing projects are you doing this month?




Wakey Wakey Coffee Body Scrub Recipe



Happy Monday! It's a great day to start the week with something energizing and reviving. To continue with this month's coffee theme, here's bath and body recipe that will perk up your morning bath ritual. Sesame oil's emollient and moisturizing properties makes skin extra soft too.

Coffee Body Scrub

  • 1/2 cup ground coffee 
  • 1/2 cup sea salt
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint massage oil


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Food and Crafts for Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year Lantern tutorial from Craft-Craft
Printable Chinese New Year Dragon Mask from Family Fun

Paper dragon from Martha Stewart

Fortune cookie recipe from Kitchen Samurai

Printable Chinese Zodiac calendar from HP Creative Zone
Chinese New Year Peanut Cookies from Bread et Butter

Chinese New Year is just around the corner (January 23) and I'm so excited. It's one of my favorite holidays and I love all the good luck traditions that go with it. Invite auspicious luck and good fortune in the Year of the Dragon with these fun crafts and recipes. Advance kung hei fat choy greetings!