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beadazzled.

Short story: I found a bead store and bought a bunch of beads. I hope Bebe doesn’t eat them.

Owned and operated by Lilian Leung, this Solano Avenue (Berkeley side) shop – Beadazzled – boasts two rooms of beads and findings, handmade jewelry (by Lilian!), and a space to create.

On this visit I reupped my collection of Miyuki beads, memory wire (love this stuff!), and nylon jewelry cord (which I actually use for making garlands). I also learned that kids like to put stuff up their noses – Lilian shared that her grandchild once put a bead up their nose. D’oh!

As far as crafts go, Bebe and I have drawn together, painted (more on that soon!), and he’s seen me work on a couple macrame pieces. I hope one day we can craft together with tiny materials, hot glue, and scissors. 🙂 Hurry, name some toddler-friendly (beaded) craft projects!

dream big!

It’s been quiet on the felt crafting front, but I’ve managed to work on a few projects over the last few months inspired by customers who dream big!

I worked on a giant wall hanging for a school auction. A class of second graders shared what giving means to them and I made a collage with their responses. What a joy to cut these words out! All the students got to sign the back, too.

I made a duo of metallic felt garlands for my friend – one said Happy Birthday! and the other Congrats! The goal was to make something in neutral-ish colors to match any celebration. Metallic is neutral, right? 🙂 This is the biggest word garland I’ve made yet! Each flag is 6 inches by 12 inches.

And lastly, I made another happy birthday sign for a friend. They wanted something colorful that they could use every year for Henry’s birthday. This banner was so big it barely fit my craft table! I used tape to line up my letters and make sure I glued the words in straight lines. I also added grommets to this one for easier hanging.

I’m loving these exercises in large crafting! Which one is your fave?

baskets and bees.

The last in-person crafty workshop I attended was held at Royal Bee Yarn in Pacifica. The shop is filled with yarn (of course), craft kits, and gifts.

They also had bee-utiful spice wall.

And as if a yarn store and a creative workshop weren’t enough, there was also a neighborhood event happening the same day and Royal Bee was hosting a few handmade vendors in their backyard space. Clearly I was drawn to the baskets as is apparent by my camera roll.

I adopted two baskets! I now officially have a designated farmers market bag and Bebe has a travel book basket (Start ’em young.). Discover any fun creative shops lately? Share below.

sunshine baby.

My Bebe turned one (ahem, in November) and we threw a little party. We were still (and still are) in keep-away-from-people times so we kept our celebration to just immediate family, but of course decorated like there was a crowd (why not!).

We went with a first trip around the sun theme to inspire the photo backdrop and birthday outfits, plus You Are My Sunshine was on Bebe’s top song list. I had two ‘major’ projects for the occasion: a balloon arch and a birthday cake.

Balloon Arch

I’d made a small balloon arch just to experiment with making balloon arches a few years back. Bebe’s balloon arch was a much more involved, larger project with over 100 balloons. I found a balloon arch kit online; it came with balloons, a long plastic strip with holes to place the filled and tied balloons, plus sticky dots (like Glue Dots). That plastic strip is a total game changer! If you’re planning a big balloon project I also highly recommend getting a balloon pump and balloon tie tool. Your lungs and fingers will thank you!

Once we got the base layer of balloons attached to the plastic strip, we hung up the arch on a tree with string and then filled in with more balloons. We had a balloon drop with the extra balloons, and everyone got to take a photo with Bebe and the arch.

Bebe’s First Cake

For Bebe’s first cake I used a recipe from Solid Starts (who I followed for all my baby-led weaning tips): a blackberry parsnip cake with coconut cream frosting. Blackberries were (and still are) a favorite so this was a perfect recipe!

I also love a recipe-excuse to purchase new cooking equipment; for this recipe I treated myself to a trio of mini springform pans.

The cake was a hit! And oh so very messy. 🙂

And More!

My friend Rebecca laser beamed Bebe’s birthday sign and I scattered photo confetti throughout the backyard.

My Dad cooked the main courses (picadillo, pinakbet, pancit), my Mom was project coordinator (i.e., helped with everything and made sure all things got done), my niece and nephew were on photo and baby entertaining duty.

Oh yes, and we printed giant Bebe heads.

And we made Boomerangs while Bebe napped.

And lastly, Bebe’s birthday crown was from Flowerlane Handmade on Etsy. It is my absolute favorite accessory and I hope to use it for as many birthdays as he lets me.

I’m so thankful we were able to celebrate Bebe’s first birthday and our first year of parenthood with family! And that I got to make things! 🙂 What is your favorite birthday memory? Share below!

back at it.

Oh hi! It’s been a minute and I’ve got a backlog of fun local finds and creative pursuits I want to share. I am not fully back to the level of explorations and crafts pre-pandemic and pre-baby, but I’m easing my way back with a different capacity and mindset.

First, you’ll be happy to know that I’ve visited a few local pop-up markets within the last year or so, including Handmade Pacifica (featuring my friends Roberta, Chelsea, and Melissa!) and one across the street from where I live at the Senior Center (that’s super local!).

And, get this: I participated in my first in-person event in two years – the first Small Business Love Holiday Market hosted by Pamana Plantas, The Dance Floor, and Fonda, all businesses on Solano Ave in Albany.

This definitely took a lot of mental preparation and months of getting accustomed to life with Bebe, but I’m here for it, as long as it’s low key and no one tries to high-five me. Also, aren’t you so proud of me for remembering how to Tetris my car with craft goods?

Here’s my booth! I met new maker friends, enjoyed the live music, and snacked on some yummies!

I hope you’re continuing to shop small and support local artisans all year! Mention your fave craft shows below.

skeleton.

#tbt to last year’s Halloween festivities! I learned how to create a skeleton look during one of the online Yelp events. I was never big on face paint – something about sharing a palette with others and germs grossed me out – and also I was never sure of safe make up or how to remove it all afterwards (now I know – coconut oil for the win!). This was the perfect class for me because I didn’t have to share a palette and I learned some pro tips!

Sabrina Lopez of Rabbit Rye based out of San Antonio, TX led the make up tutorial. Before the event she provided a list of make up and tool recommendations. She’s the pro so I got all the things on her list. I gathered a cream-based make up palette, paint/make up brushes, and make up sponges. Plus, I opted in for face glitter – I had been looking for an excuse to purchase body glitter! Here we go!

First, we felt around our face to find our eye sockets and cheek bones. Then we ‘sketched’ on top of those lines using white paint (easy to cover up in case we messed up). We went in with black around the eyes and painted our entire face white. We retraced the cheek/mouth area with black lines and continued on with creating teeth, a nose, and accent cracks. We also outlined our jaw bone and forehead, and blended those lines to complete the look.

I added glitter to my eye area. I’ll need more practice with this technique. It made my look confusing — am I scary or sparkly?

I wanted to scare the neighbor kids but I scared my Hubby instead.

As part of the festivities, Alfresco Photo put together an online photobooth for the event. Headshot for the eve:

Thank you to Yelp San Antonio, Rabbit Rte, and Alfresco Photo for this fun transformative evening! Do you like to dress up with costume make up? Share your favorite looks below.

paper bag.

It’s the easiest Halloween treat bag ever! If you’re pressed for time or need something foolproof for Halloween crafting, look no further.

All you need to create these treat bags are

  • Paper bags – Size will depend on what you plan to use for filling. I found these smaller bags at Daiso.
  • A black marker
  • Treats – I picked a few types of candy and stickers.

Optional materials:

  • Brown or green felt for the stem (You can also use paper.)
  • Fabric scissors (or paper scissors if using paper)
  • A stapler

Work on a flat surface. Fold ~1 inch of the top of the paper bag to the backside. This helps with centering your jack-o-lantern drawing.

Next, draw a jack-o-lantern face with marker. If you’re using a permanent marker (or thin paper bag), consider using a piece of paper or cardboard inside the paper bag to prevent the marker from bleeding through.

You can write a note on the backside of the paper bag, too. Then fill with treats.

If you’re adding a stem, cut out a long rectangular strip of felt. Fold the strip in half so the short edges meet. The folded edge will be the top of the stem. Cut out a stem shape (I cut out a stem with a slight curve), leaving the top edge in tact. The open edge will ‘hug’ the top of the paper bag. Staple close.

Tahdah! An easy and quick DIY for any size celebration. What would you fill your treat bags with?

hello dah-ling.

Some major flower crown inspiration here!

I’ve been wanting to visit the dahlia farms in Petaluma. I didn’t have the opportunity to go this season, but I did get to visit the dahlias in Golden Gate Park.

This garden is near the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers and is maintained by the Dahlia Society of California. It’s a small garden but packed with so many varieties of dahlias!

Apparently, dahlias come in a range of sizes from 2 inches in diameter to over 10 inches! Some, I didn’t recognize to be dahlias. They are all so different!

Lucky me, they were in full bloom on my visit (first weekend in October).

I later learned that dahlias are the official flower of San Francisco, so it seemed fitting to go see the San Francisco dahlia garden first (before Petaluma).

Are you a dahlia fan? What’s your favorite variety? Mine is all. 🙂

laser pumpkins.

The same friend who laser beamed craft goodies for my Crafty Bebe Shower last year also created these laser beamed geometric wood pumpkins for a special Halloween DIY kit to gift to my fam.

I gave my friend a photo of what I wanted and she created pumpkins in the perfect size.

These kits were really fun to put together.

I included paint pots filled with Martha Stewart acrylic paints (my fave) and brushes.

Here’s how I packed them up. I included a string of orange lights, snacks, pumpkin spice goodies, googly eyes, and a fun Halloween card. I love putting together items to make the unboxing super fun!

Some of the creations!

I got in the fun, too, of course. Here are my pumpkins:

What’s on your Halloween craft list this year? Share!

sunflower.

Since I’ve been back to work full time I’ve found myself working long hours most days. So I’m doing my best to carve out some days where I can take a break. I’ve been averaging one day off every two months. It’s not much, but it’s a start.

I’ve spent my days off with my little family visiting somewhere new together. So far, we’ve gone to the beach in Pacifica, strolled a Petaluma neighborhood, and went sunflower field hunting in Dixon – featured here! We even made a music video.

There are so many sunflower fields in the area. Take your pick! Just note, the ones we spotted were all on private land so we stayed on the outskirts of the property, was careful not to damage any of the plants, and of course did not take any blooms. It was such a treat to catch a glimpse in real life.

What do you like to do on your days off? Share below!