Darla and Liz, this photo is for you. :) This is one of the boy angel Christmas ornaments that my great grandmother made for the males in the family. Happy Christmas Eve to you all!

Christmas lights

Christmas tree

Don’t you just love Christmas lights? As an apartment dweller, decking the yard with lights isn’t an option, so instead my living room is almost as bright as day in the evening with all the strings of lights. They’re the next best thing to sitting beside a flickering fireplace. Check out all the new growth on my little potted Christmas tree. It’s growing fast! The angel on the top of the tree was tatted by my great grandmother—the same one who made these doilies. She made everyone in the family either a boy or girl angel. My father insisted his angel needed pants, so she created the pattern just for him. Have a very Merry Christmas everyone!

DIY reusable gift canisters

Chocolate canisters - before

Here’s a last-minute idea for us last-minute gift wrappers. I felt guilty about discarding those round, sturdy cardboard canisters that hold nuts, cocoa, and other foods. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think they can be recycled (aluminum + cardboard?). But they definitely can be reused! Here, I covered them in gift wrap and tied on ribbon—and they can be reused year after year to hold anything from cookies to socks. Or you could wrap them in everyday decorative paper and use them as pencil holders or storage containers. I just thought they were too cute to toss. (The blue and green is for you, Carolyn!) Read more »

Giant white craft stick snowflakes

Giant red craft stick snowflakes

I could hardly wait to show you this Popsicle stick craft! These snowflakes are fun, easy, and so inexpensive to make. The smallest snowflake is 12 inches across; the largest is 24 inches. I had some rhinestones left over from my Christmas tree advent calendar, so I glued some at the tips of each white snowflake. You could also coat them in glitter or fake snow. And why stop with snowflakes? You could make stars, wreaths, or Christmas trees decked with lightweight ornaments. Hang them in your window, over a door instead of a wreath, or from the ceiling. Read more »

Craft stick advent calendar with origami boxes

I had a box of 1000 craft sticks and no idea what to do with them. I wasn’t about to start building 1980s Popsicle stick jewelry boxes. I eventually came up with some Christmas ideas. This advent calendar is my first craft stick project. I’ll post my other ideas next week. The advent calendar is easy but time consuming. I suggest you enlist some helpers to fold the “origami” boxes and tie ribbons and string. Technically, the boxes aren’t origami because they involve a few cuts, but they are assembled without tape or glue. Each box holds a piece of chocolate. The beauty is, you don’t have to remove the ribbon to open each box, so the calendar is reusable. Read more »

Framed botanicals

I know: Monica, you need to get your seasons straight, right? I’m celebrating Spring in November because I couldn’t wait four months to share these beauties. Besides, red and green makes it almost Christmasy. I’m sure you recognize this window that used to be a mirror. I decided I had too many mirrors in my apartment and not enough art. And one can never have too much white paint, I say. The botanical illustrations are from Köhler’s Medizinal-Pflanzen, a four-volume German book published in 1887. Botanicus.org scanned the nearly 300 drawings and made them available to download for free! © 1995-2009 Missouri Botanical Garden. Read more »

DIY tank top headband

Tank top headband - before

Remember my tank top totes from a few weeks ago? Well, I just had to share this tip. The piece I cut off the bottom of the one of the tank tops made a perfect—and super comfortable—headband. My friend Rhean did a beautiful job modeling it for me. So, save your scraps. Mine is about four inches wide, but nearly any width works. Skinnier = headband; wider = head wrap. They’re ideal for pulling your hair back to wash your face or apply make-up too. Read more »

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