Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Little Bit of Holiday DIY

Oh my goodness. I'm finding it hard to focus over here, as Brooks Brothers just tweeted me complimentary words about my "Tartans & Tidings" post.

It's true. They did.
@BrooksBrothers: @missrachel_lora Caught wind of your plaid post. “A few more plaid findings, for your own tartan tidings”—lovely line.
As my dad just put it: "Praise from Mecca."

I'm finding it hard to wipe a big grin off my face.

But ever focused, I will press on.

On Wednesdays, I usually try to post something related to children, either the children - as in M & N - or relating to children, but as that's going to tie into tomorrow's Cookie Week post, well, I thought I'd try something a little different this Wednesday.

As this is my first year in my own apartment, I've been quite excited to decorate it for the holiday season. I got started the other weekend when I hosted a small pre-Thanksgiving dinner for friends, which prompted me to go on a Paper Source shopping spree (gosh I love that place. It's so gosh darn pretty). They have these nifty little kits, and since I've always been quite terrible at folding - and gluing, for that matter - when it comes to making crafts out of paper, I find it helpful to buy these kits. Is that cheating? If it is, I'm happy to do it.

Plus they're always so pretty, and made from the nicest paper!

Unfortunately, I can't quite take all the credit for these.

You see, I had just finished baking the apple pie when my friend C called. She would be unable to attend, but could she come over and offer me any help getting ready so we could hang out and chat?

Of course!

So when she knocks on the door, I'm full-on getting ready to stick my hands in some herb butter, and then inside two chickens and I answer, buttery hand, apron and all to find she has company!

It's my upstairs neighbor (whom I've never met) and he's locked out of his apartment and saw Cory and thought she lived here, and, well, she directed him to me.

So he came in, called management on my phone, and sat down. Cory asked what she could help with, and as buttering and roasting the chickens is really a one-person job, I directed her towards the craft portion of the preparations (plus she's an amazing visual artist, bonus!). And my neighbor, poor kid, well he sat down and got to crafting too.

And he made these:

Snowflake Kit from Paper Source

Three to be exact, which are all hanging in my windows. C had a terrific suggestion: that I cover the ends in glue and glitter (man, I love glitter) to make them extra pretty, something I will surely accomplish over the next week or so. But didn't he do an excellent job? Such a wonderful guest; when he finally was let back into his apartment, after hours of waiting and crafting (it was a Sunday evening) we invited him to stay for dinner.

C got to work on another Paper Source craft of mine, this wreath - from their Mums Wreath Kit:

Isn't it lovely? I just love the colors; I feel they work for both autumn and the holiday season. I'm currently working on finishing this one up.

Looking for some DIY holiday projects of your own? Here's some decorating DIY's on my list:

I also bought one of these large stars, from Paper Source as well, which I plan on decorating with wrapping paper left over from last year (and probably some glitter, and who knows what else what. I swear it won't turn out tacky!):

I'm currently trying some DIY in the form of gardening, via a bulb kit bought at Target this weekend. I'm trying my hand at some paperwhites and some amaryllis(es?), but in case that doesn't work out, Paper Source has me covered. I especially like this Shimmery Magnolia Kit.

I've been in search of advent wreaths all day, and while I planned on visiting Anthropologie after work, I found this assortment of ideas while doing a little research for a Creative Candles post:

From Kevin Sharkey Home, over at Martha Stewart: Beautiful Hanukkah Menorahs and Advent Calendars:

Isn't this matchbox calendar adorable? I actually have quite a few matchoxes laying around, many of which were laying on a windowsill, next to an open window, during a rainstorm (oops) and the matches inside are no longer functionable. This would be a perfect way to repurpose them!

I also loved this calendar made from socks. I'm obsessed with hosiery and socks this season, and just bought quite a few at Target over the weekend, where they're selling them for $1 a pair, or $2 for knee socks.

Last March, DIY genius Eddie Ross visited the Creative Candles factory and helped us all make some quite lovely monogrammed etched hurricane glasses, for our pillar candles.

Here's mine:

I've actually made two of these now, and I promise, they're so easy! Find instructions on Eddie Ross's blog post about the workshop - I think that I'll be switching out my pillars to holiday colors, and filling the hurricanes with cranberries, or something of the like. And you wouldn't have to etch your monogram either - snowflakes would make a lovely holiday hurricane!

Well that's all the DIY I have for today, folks, but check back next week as I get into some fashion DIY's that I've both done and want to do. Happy Holiday season!

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