My 2018 Christmas Wrapping Paper

My 2018 Christmas Wrapping Paper

Instead of grabbing some plain and drab paper from the store, decorate your friends’ and family members’ gifts in a special way. From embellishments to hand-drawn elements there are tons of ways to make your presents for others pop. I’m showing you guys how I personalised my wrapping paper this year.

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DIY Glitter Monogrammed Gift Tag

Hello Lovely,

With only 12 days until Christmas, I’m sure some of you have already started wrapping your gifts. I’m hoping you haven’t because today I’m sharing a quick and easy craft that is going to instantly elevate ANY gift you’re giving this holiday season. I’m kicking off the 12 days of Christmas with a custom gift tag that is so simple, yet so chic.They were super easy to make and affordable too!

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Here’s what you’ll need to make the letters:

  • Glitter

  • Foam Brushes or regular paintbrushes

  • Cardboard or a file folder

  • 2 Inch Printable Letters A-H I-P Q-Z

  • Sharpie

  • Scissors

  • Glue

And here is how I made the letters:

  1. Start by printing out the letters. Each sheet has two of each letter. Cut out the letters you need.

  2. Using a sharpie, trace the letters onto your cardboard or file folder. The cardboard is sturdier but a file folder will work just as well.

  3. You don’t have to, but I shaded in each letter just in case I didn’t get complete coverage with the glitter.

  4. Spread your letters out on a clean work surface, that you can easily lift to the garbage once you’re done. Using one of your brushes, apply the glue to your letters one at a time. Sprinkle the glitter carefully over each letter and allow to dry for 10 minutes. Then shake off excess.

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And that’s it! That’s all it takes! Here they are on my presents! I still added a gift tag but you don’t have to. So there you have it!  Super easy DIY glitter lettered gift tags! How are you wrapping up the holidays?

Printable Thanksgiving Recipe Cards

Hello Lovely,

If you love cooking and can’t live without it, you probably have a lot of recipes to choose from. If you don’t want to store them only on your computer, you can go old school-style and print or write them on recipe cards, which you can exchange with your friends. I need all of my friends reading this right now to know that I’m totally giving them recipe cards for Christmas. Deal with it. So today, I’m sharing some DIY recipe cards with free printables – just choose the design you like and go make them!

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Bring back the nostalgia of the pre-internet days with these free printable recipe cards! Use to store your favourite recipes or customise and gift to friends & family. The great thing about being able to type in your own recipe is that you can print off as many copies as you need so you don’t have to spend an hour hand writing 5 copies of that in-demand cookie recipe all your friends are asking you for.

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If you are giving a baked good as a gift, a recipe card to accompany your goodies is the perfect addition! Another great gift idea would be to print out a whole bunch of cards with your favourite recipes on them, and present them all in a recipe box!

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To get the falling leaves double sided recipe card, download here

To get the other two one sided recipe cards, download here

How I'm Trying To Live a More Creative Life in 30 Days + You Can Too

Hello Lovely,

I’m always looking for ways to stay active creatively. I started a membership for only $5 a month with Creative Bug but never used it. I even suspended my account and considered terminating it, but I wanted to believe that if I kept it, someday I would actually use. When the autmatic bill pay notification came up, I decided to go back to the site. I really didn’t know where to begin. I just wanted to get back into creative things with a manageable project. So when I found this class on Creative Bug, I really wanted to try it. I’m sharing my experience with the first week and I encourage you guys to try it for yourself.

Course description:

So many of us are on a quest to incorporate creativity into our lives, but short on time and resources, we’re not sure how to begin. For inspiration and sage advice, we turn to artist and explorer, Courtney Cerruti, who incorporates art into everything she does and finds beauty in even the most mundane moments. This series is perfect for aspiring artists, crafters who are in a rut, and anyone who suspects that a creative habit would be good for their soul - your eyes will be opened to new creative possibilities that are easy to practice every day. No matter your skill level, we hope you’ll show up, bring a playful attitude and a willingness to try new things.

Learn how to: 

  • Be prepared when the creative urge strikes

  • Utilize your local libraries and museums

  • Find accountability partners

  • Curate collections from everyday objects

  • Explore colors and play with motifs

  • Create on-the-fly art

  • Look at the world around you in new ways

  • Start a creative ritual that will change your life

Day One: Blind Contour

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For my blind contour, I chose to draw a picture of an awesome afro chick I found really inspiring online. I definitely want to get this imaged cleaned up by someone who actually knows how to draw well and incorporate it into a t-shirt design.

Day Two: Daily Observations

6 Things I Saw Today

  • I saw mt friend Gary in traffic this morning

  • I saw students from our school in Exuma visiting us

6 Things I Did Today

  • I wore my hair out today

  • I used pumpkin spice eggnog instead of coffee creamer

  • I ate cereal for breakfast

  • I finally went to the Teacher’s Credit Union to open an account

  • I got my hair done

    I made Apple Pie “Egg Rolls”

Something I Overheard

“Did you say he had a knife?” I work in a school so there are a lot of random things I can possibly overhear in a day. This one is the oddest I’ve heard for the school year. When the principal asks this kind of question, I’m not sure I want to be there for the answer.

Day 3: Be Prepared for Creativity

This day was just about having the proper tools on you for when creativity strikes like drawing tools and a pad. For me, I draw on inspiration through Pinterest. Whenever I have a free moment and I’m feeling creative, I stroll through the site for a few minutes. Looking at all of the creative ideas makes me happy and recharges my brain.

Day 4: Changing Your Perspective

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 Of course, it's easy to look up and look down when you're in a brand new space, but the challenge is to be in a space that you already know and are familiar with and change your perspective about navigating that space. So, if it's your walk to work every day or maybe it's just going into your own backyard and just looking at it in a new way with fresh eyes. 

Day 5: Urban Rubbings

Today’s challenge was about looking around for interesting surfaces to make impression art on. All I needed for this was a couple sheets of typing paper or copy paper and a crayon that has all of the paper peeled off of it. If you want to do this, take a look at the sidewalk and see if there are any interesting textures or impressions in the cement. Look at things like metal grates or building walls and see if there's any interesting bumps. 

Day 6: Become a Collector 

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Day 6 advocates for us to start collecting something, big or small. They could be things that you already might have in your home, but the concept of creating a collection or establishing collection allows you to become a curator and have an editing eye. Let’s say you collect pencils. You don't have to collect all the pencils in the world. So what are the pencils you are gonna collect? Do they have interesting type on them, have people chewed off the erasers, do they have brightly colored erasers? These are the things that you're gonna bring with intention to your collection. I already collect glass bottles and that photo is only a sample of all of the glass bottles I own (there were a good much that didn’t make the photo).

Day 7: Check Out Your Local Library

I am definitely not one to go to the library. I think my early years of college, using a microfiche really scarred me. Now I use Net Galley to find books to borrow. And having an Amazon Prime account also helps me to discover a free new book each month.

I thought I would be doing something like drawing or painting every day but it’s not like that, which is good. The class wasn’t too demanding in the early stages so it requires no financial investment in pricey art tools that you may never use again. The first 7 days were rather easy. While I didn’t find the class particularly inspiring, I will continue with it and see where it leads me. I’ll be sure to share anything interesting that I create. How are you guys getting creative? Share what inspires you in the comment section below!

DIY HALLOWEEN MASK

Hello Lovely,

Halloween is just around the corner! It’s that night of the year where a costume can instantly change your identity and almost anything goes. Sometimes, the best costumes are ones you can make at home. A masquerade or Venetian mask is a great costume solution if you’re short on time or money, or if you want to try creating something you can’t find at a store. So last Monday, on the holiday, I had two of my best friends, Krista and Telia (at this point, they should be your best friends too) and Telia’s daughter Bre, over for a fun craft party. We ate, laughed and created masterpieces. I ended up making Krista’s mask for her and I’m pretty proud of myself! So if you want to make one of your own, here’s the simple steps you can take to have your own masquerade or Venetian mask just in time for the holidays!

GATHER YOUR DIY HALLOWEEN MASK MATERIALS

You can make Halloween masks out of pretty much any material, from felt and balsa wood to paper and ceramics. I invited some friends over to make some simple masks with nothing more than cardboard, construction paper, and a few little bits of crafty scraps.

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MAKE A TEMPLATE FOR YOUR HALLOWEEN MASK

We all started with the same template. I made a basic half-face mask template and loved how we all created our own different interpretations from it. Cardboard was used for the main structure, but the template can easily work as a pattern for paper, clay, fabric, papier-mâché, or anything you can find. Feel free to adjust the eyes and nose areas to fit your face.

ADD YOUR MASK DETAILS

Then it’s time to decorate your mask! I do a little bit of planning of what I want my composition to look like before I commit to gluing things down. A good glue gun and some scissors is sometimes all you need.

ADD THE FINISHING TOUCH

When you feel like your mask is done, you can glue or tape on a wooden dowel to the back of the mask to wear it Venetian or masquerade style, or punch holes and add string to wear it hands-free. This easy, DIY costume is sure to make your Halloween happier!

I can’t wear a costume at my job but hopefully they won’t mind this cute little mask, right? What are you dressing up as for Halloween?

A HUGE THANKS TO THINK MAKE SURE FOR THIS ACTIVITY

DIY Cat Repellant

Hello Lovely,

I am the proud owner of two 11 year old cats. Cats make the perfect pets for lazy people like me. Feed ‘em, give ‘em water and they take care of the rest. They don’t interrupt my TV shows, I don’t have to bathe them and they play with each other. As long as their litter tray is clean, they’re happy. But there are a few things about cats that aren’t so great. THEY SCRATCH EVERYTHING! On top of that, I can’t leave flowers lying around, or my male cat will eat them. I never understood why cats like to eat plants. After photographing a meal, I usually have to dispose of the plants otherwise I know I’ll find it half chewed or worse regurgitated, somewhere around the house. So when I found this DIY recipe for a cat repellant spray using items I already have at home, I couldn’t wait to try it.

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Because cats are way more sensitive to smells than we are, they are less likely to mess with or chew on the leaves if they smell gross. so I made some repellant spray and hoped it would also work on furniture.

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materials

  • glass mist bottle

  • printable labels

  • printable square label paper

  • essential oils

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directions

  1. In your bottle, mix together 3/4 parts water with 15 drops of each essential oil. cats dislike eucalyptus, lavender, lemongrass, peppermint — just choose the ones you don’t mind the scent of yourself.

  2. Shake the bottle up and spray solution on the leaves of your plant and into the soil.

  3. You can spray your plants pretty liberally, and you can add more or less oil depending on what works for you and your cats.

So does this really work? I used essence of peppermint and this didn’t work at all. I sprayed some old placemats and it actually attracted my cat. He laid comfortably on it until I shooed him. And I never have a problem with them bothering my artificial plants. I was really hoping this would keep them off the furniture but all it really did was make the house smell minty.

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I’ll try this again with lavender or eucalyptus essential oil when I buy some later this month. If you try this, let me know how it works for you. Share your experience in the comment section below.

How I Made My New "Kitchen" Backsplash

Hello Lovely,

A few weeks ago, I placed my first order with Wayfair. I was so excited when I saw the huge 50% off sale I rushed over to look for a few key things I needed to upgrade my food photography. I was mostly looking for a white ceramic baking dish. I found three in three different sizes and a beautiful white brick backsplash wallpaper. I was quickly disappointed when I realised that Wayfair ships everything separately. When you live in a country that requires a courier forwarding service to receive online orders, separate shipping is an expensive nightmare! I spent about $50 in shipping fees to receive a $60 order. What made it worse was the size of all of the baking dishes. The oval dish is really only big enough to be a soap dish and the Rachel Ray dish is more of a single serve. The only things I liked were the larger baking dish, which is the perfect size and the white brick wallpaper. When I unwrapped it, I knew exactly what I was going to do with it!

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I have a trifold poster board that wasn't quite what I expected so I wanted to cover that. The wallpaper isn't peel-and-stick so it requires an adhesive, which I don't have. But guess what, because I was only adhering it to a cardboard poster, I only needed regular tape. All it took was measuring, cutting (I was never good at cutting straight so that was my biggest struggle) and using tape to hold it down. I used tape in case it didn't turn out well, or I changed my mind, I could remove it without damaging it.

I love how natural it looks! My kitchen is way too small, doesn't have enough natural light and the cupboards and countertops are old and outdated. So like most food bloggers and photographers, I actually stage my photos in a "fake" kitchen. For a very long time I've used a simply white foam board, but after my cats destroyed it (they thought it was a scratching post) I needed something new. I tried buying a backsplash on Amazon, but it was NOT what I expected and probably only covered 2 square footage. The only thing I didn't like about it, is it's only about 16" wide so when you have a large space to cover, you're going to see the seems, even when it's perfectly lined up and that's what makes it look unnatural.

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Now all I need is a bigger "countertop".