Month: October 2015

best dressed.

My favorite parts of Halloween are dressing up and making treats. Today, I thought I’d share some of my favorite costumes and themed food from the last few years. I’ve never purchased a ready-to-go costume before. Growing up, my Mom made my costumes; and then I started concocting my own once I left the nest. One of my best costumes was when I dressed up as a Magic Mic. No, not like the movie, but like the karaoke microphone. I’m also really into wigs. They are so itchy, but so fun! I bought this afro wig just to own and it came in really handy for this costume. I already had a black top and bottoms, too. I grabbed some sticker paper to create the numbers for my top. And viola, mic drop. Another fun costume: super fruit! Last year, I dressed as a strawberry. I already had a red dress and boots from previous costumes. I purchased red fabric for the cape, added felt seeds all over, and crafted a stem headband. I really like making costumes from things …

so old.

Not you; this church. 😉 Throughout my weekend adventures in Santa Fe, I realized I couldn’t just eat and shop. Ok, maybe I could have, but I wanted to also include visits to historic sites. Of course, I spent some time at the Plaza, but what I really enjoyed was my visit to San Miguel Mission. San Miguel Mission is considered to be the country’s oldest church, dating back to the early 1600s. Though it has required some reconstruction over the years, it has been in this location since it was first built. The church is still in use today, and is open to visitors during the week. There is also a gift shop  where you can purchase locally made handicrafts to help support the church. I got the feeling that in Santa Fe there is a rich appreciation for history and a respect for one’s heritage. I like that the city continues to preserve this church, as well as other historic sites in the area. What’s the oldest structure you’ve visited and where is it located? Share below. 

volcano!

The outdoors! We finally had a weekend off and planned a little hike in Oakland. We adventured to Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve. I’m not sure what I was expecting to see but when I heard we could hike on/near an old volcano I was convinced it was going to be awesome. The fog had taken over for most of the morning but as soon as we started on the trail the sun began to peak through. We didn’t have an exact path in mind; instead, we wandered around, deciding on forks in the road as we came across them. This is supposedly part of the old volcano wall (unless we read the map wrong). What do you see? A spade? A heart? It’s nice to get away from buildings and responsibility to recharge, even for a short while. I love breathing in the fresh air and admiring all the greenery. I wonder what this place looked like before the drought; maybe it was even more lush? I can’t wait for my next nature hike. There …

light it up!

Here’s a fun one for you Halloween lovers: glass lanterns! It’s perfect for all ages, makes a great family craft, and they’ll look so good on your window sill, front porch, fireplace… anywhere! For this DIY you will need: A glass jar, any shape Decoupage glue (my favorite brand is Art Minds) Foam brush Dish for glue (cover with foil or plastic wrap for easy clean up) Tissue in festive colors Black paper Scissors Pencil (optional) Halloween shape templates (optional) Lights (battery operated works nicely) How to: Tear or cut tissue into strips, squares, or shape of choice. I recommend keeping your pieces small/thin, especially if your glass jar has curves. Apply glue to your jar using the foam brush, place a piece of tissue on the jar, and apply another coat of glue on top of the tissue. Repeat until the entire jar is covered in tissue. Make sure all of the pieces get a nice coat of glue. Cut out your Halloween shapes. Bats, ghosts, haunted houses…whatever you like. You can also print …

one dress, three weddings.          

I attended four weddings this year, three of which were back to back to back weekends. To keep my sanity and because all three weddings were amongst different groups of friends, I decided to buy one dress and wear it three times. I didn’t even change up the accessories, my hair, or make up. I just got really good at getting ready and it was a good thing because as each weekend approached, my getting ready time got shorter and shorter… Wedding #1 was held in the South Bay, about an hour’s drive from my home. I had plenty of time to get ready; I even tried different hairstyles. I had helped this friend with her photobooth so we arrived early and had enough time between dropping off props and the ceremony to hang out at a coffee shop. Wedding #2 was held in New Mexico. I flew into Albuquerque, drove a rental an hour north to Santa Fe, checked into my hotel, freshened up, and headed straight to the ceremony. I got there with just …

craft party!

Being a craft lady is a pretty fun gig, especially when your clients are just as crazy about crafting as you are! I recently hosted a DIY station for a lil lady’s Halloween themed birthday and it was the cutest! My client, the crafty Ms. Ethel, decked out her entire home with beautiful handmade delights– everything from the decor to the spooky treats had a handmade spin. I’m featuring her work today because she’s awesome and this is exactly the reason (ok, maybe not the only reason but a really great reason!) why I’m looking forward to having kids: epic crafty birthday parties! While the kids were busy decorating pumpkins and making paper plate ghosts, I got to snap a few pictures of all the handmade creations, and note that this is only a smidgen of all the details. Ethel said she spent all week creating, staying up into the wee hours of the night. (Hmm…that sounds familiar.) But all the hard work and late hours paid off because her home was beautifully and thoughtfully …

oh hey, santa fe.

Oh hey, Santa Fe. Your flavors are rich and inviting. On a recent trip to Santa Fe I got to eat my way through the town. I was given specific orders to eat something with green chile and to get my hands on some sopapillas. Done and done. My first food experience was fancy catered wedding food. Every bite was bold. We started with a baby spinach salad wrapped in cucumber, topped with crispy bacon, and drizzled with a goat cheese dressing. Not pictured: mini scallion cheddar cornbread. Then, the main course: a surf and turf dish – chicken with romesco and fish with chimichurri – served with grilled mixed vegetables and basmati rice. The food did not end there — there was a dessert table all night, and as the evening progressed, burritos and waffles. We were stuffed to the brim. And then the altitude kicked in and started to affect me. My nightstand made it look like I was sick all weekend, but I didn’t let it stop me from seeking and eating more …

embroidery with zelma rose.

Day two of my craft vacation was spent at the Creative Live studios learning about embroidery. (See day one here). Look at all these lovely samples our instructor Lisa brought to share. Similar to the cross stitch course, we first learned about materials to use and some great resources to reference. We learned nine embroidery stitches: backstitch, straight stitch, bundle stitch, spoke stitch, satin stitch, French knot, chain stitch, lazy daisy, and feather stitch. My favorites were the bundle stitch (they look like little sticks being held together with ribbon) and the French knot (who doesn’t love these?!), but really, you can do so much with all of these stitches. Here are my hoop samplers that I created in class:  And here is my neighbor/classmate/new friend’s hoop sampler in progress. I love all the colors she chose and her matching illustrations. (See more of her work here.) During the second half of the day, we learned how to work with saral paper (carbon paper for fabric transfers) and how to stretch fabric onto a wood frame (my first time!). …

I’m melting…

I just discovered this technique to fuse designs to candles. I had to share! Also…23 days until Halloween! The best part about this craft is that you probably have all the supplies and materials already. Supplies & tools: Candle, any size Tissue paper, white Markers, any color Scissors Hair dryer (or heat embosser) Decide on your design and get to drawing. The finer your marker the more intricate your designs can be. (Protip: Place your tissue paper on some scratch paper in case the ink bleeds through.) You can also print out a design via inkjet printer or use stamps & stamp ink. Trim your design and decide on placement. Then, add heat (don’t burn your fingers!). You’ll see the tissue paper melt into the candle. It’s like magic! If you have multiple tissue pieces add them one at a time. And boom, done. What other designs would you fuse on to candles? Share below!

aha!

I was recently in Santa Fe, New Mexico for a wedding. Leave it to me to figure out where the closest handmade event was being held on a wedding weekend getaway. Boy, did I score big time in Santa Fe! Behold the AHA (After Hours Alliance) Festival of Progressive Arts held at the iconic Railyard just southwest of downtown Santa Fe. There were so many great artisans and can I just say everyone is super friendly in Santa Fe (It’s true!). There were jewelers, fine artists, ceramicists, and woodworkers. So much talent! I’ll feature some of my favorites here. Ceramicist Esther Ann Smith makes wearable and usable art inspired by the sea. I love how she was able to achieve a golden hue on many of her pieces; it looks so great with the calming shades of turquoise. She also hand stamps some of her wares with fun objects like thimbles! Local artist Keith Secola uses his skateboard style and Native American heritage in his works. Just look at this beauty! I love the dark, clean lines and his color palettes. …