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Aren’t these holiday cards adorable?  Not to mention some sweet sisters.  I’m getting them out today — ahead of the rush! 

These days so many mothers are opting to start their own business to suit the needs of family and allow for personal creativity.  Ashley Baine of Sugar Cookie Cards began hand-painting invitations for friends.  Her designs became so popular that she started a successful business with her sister, Newell.  You can find the whimsical designs of Sugar Cookie Cards at a store near you.  They offer invitations, stationery, holiday cards, stickers, notepads and more.



Festive Sweater Ornaments from Viva Terra.

I’m thinking about waste a lot today; perhaps this is because we made a trip to Party City.  I have now convinced my almost five-year-old that it will be acceptable for us to make a pinata for her birthday party.  We are making it from cardboard and tissue paper and it will have pull strings.  We’ll see how this turns out.  Anyway, with Christmas splattered all over the stores I was thinking that it’s nice to make/recycle/pass along ornaments like these pretty tin can angels made in Guatemala (pictured below), also from Viva TerraGreat Green Goods has a nice list with these and others.



Since I’m trying to make most of my holiday gifts this year, I decided to make silhouettes of our children.  I went with a traditional interpretation, but you could use colored papers, do full-body action silhouettes, add design elements to the background, make your portraits face one another, or any number of other creative things. 

I’ll give the step-by-step process because this is a project that anyone can do, though it was a little tedious.


-digital camera

-acid free craft paper for silhouettes and background


-sharp scissors

-acid-free spray adhesive

Step 1: Take a photo in profile.  Upload this to the computer and re-size to the size that you’d like your silhouette to be (I made mine 5″ high on an 8″ square background).  I used photoshop, but I’m sure that you could do this in other photo programs.

Step 2: Print image and trace the outline of the profile (I did this with a sharpie so it came through the paper and I could get an idea from the back side of what it would look like).  I then cut out this image.  Now is the time to make changes.  I added the eyelashes because you couldn’t really see them in my photos and I embellished the hair-dos.  I first made the silhouettes of Eva without the bow and realized she looked like Darth Vader so had to start again.  My children have very straight hair, but curls would be so pretty in a silhouette and you would not be faced with the helmet-head problem.


Step 3: Tape cut-out photo to silhouette paper and cut around the edges (or you could just trace the design onto the back).  Now is the time to think about which way you want your silhouettes to face.  I read somewhere that the secret to cutting details and curves is to move the paper and not your scissors.  This is good advice.  I cut off several eyelashes and had to start again.  Do those first in case you screw them up.  Also it helps to cut off the bulky pieces of paper first to make your cutting more manageable.

Step 4: Spray adhesive to back of silhouette and place on backing paper.  Frame them up and — voila! — a great gift for the family that you can enjoy for years.


This project took me several hours.  Just be sure that you are relaxed and able to concentrate during the cutting stage as this is the most difficult part.  Mine did not turn out perfectly, but I am pleased with the end result, especially since they are my children’s sweet little faces (you can see that my two-year-old sucks her bottom lip).  How sweet!


I decided not to buy any more stuff and made my own gift tags this year.  You can find the .pdf file below .  I created these with an Avery 5294 template, so you could use them as stickers.  I am printing them on card stock and punching holes with my new Martha Stewart hole punch.  I’ll put the to/from on the back side. 


In my earlier post I found some great wreaths and check out this new one from Betz White.  I have a pile of fabric scraps and  a wreath form just waiting for some inspiration.  Not everyone has a million beautiful cashmere sweater scraps lying around the house, but isn’t this pretty?  I am already seeing houses decked out in decorations, so I guess it’s time.

Skip the candy and plastic junk.  Here are some stocking stuffer or Hanukkah ideas:

Mittens from Liz Jones Handmade, $22.  Available in her Etsy shop here.

turquoise-horned monster mittens

Hair clips or ponytail holders from Meeting Street Designs, $12.25 for the set pictured below.

My Little Friends - Seven Days of Fun - Adorable and Fun Ponytail Holders for Little Girls

This stamper necklace from The Small Object, $24.

Mushroom pocket case, $20 from Gifts Define.

A couple of nice handmade items, maybe some underwear and socks.  Eva’s favorite present one year was a flashlight!  Don’t think my kids won’t have some Disney princess stickers in their stockings.  Our kids are the smallest victims of our consumer culture and my four-year-old actually CRIED for princess underpants.  My mother says that they received oranges and nuts in their stockings when she was a child.  We’ll try that this year and see if there’s a revolt. 

Happy Tofurky Day

Happy Thanksgiving!  Lucky us, my mother is cooking this year.  All we did was bring our Tofurky!  Have a great day.

b.jpg f.jpg

My four-year-old and I have been going around the house taking photos for an alphabet book that will be a gift for her sister’s birthday.  Eva has really enjoyed finding things that start with the all the letters and I think Laura will get a kick out of it.  We included some of her toys, food, parts of the house and pictures of our family.  I’ll add the text and then we’ll upload them to a photo site to make into a book.  But if you couldn’t use Photoshop to add the text, you could just add it as a caption.  This has been a really fun project.  We’re just missing a few letters! 


In the midst of an unruly number of projects, holiday shopping, birthday planning and vacation preparation (not to mention that I can’t walk across a single room in my house without stepping on a bead or tiny toy), I’m thinking about spring.  Perhaps this is a form of escapism?  But I’ve had these Liberty of London fabrics stuck in my head all day. They are very expensive, but I’m thinking of Easter dresses now. I’ll need to hone my sewing skills a bit because it’s a different ball game when you’re working with fabric that’s $35 a yard. But aren’t these embroidery hoops such a nice display? I keep running across this image from PurlSoho.  Ahh, I love fabric!


I had to add some images of this snowman drawing that Eva made.  I digitized it and embroidered the design on some hand towels.  See my recent post about preserving children’s artwork.  This time she had me make some changes after I scanned it into the computer (she wanted to change the hats) and she picked the thread colors.  We’re going to give these to the grandparents.

Also, I had another thought about children’s artwork after watching Eva get super excited about these rubber stamps from the small object.  You could turn a drawing into rubber stamps!  I think a simple line drawing would make a fabulous rubber stamp (and a great stocking stuffer).  Here’s a site that can do it.  The customization feature is not totally user-friendly, but you can see your design after you upload it.

And I love the idea of making your child’s drawing into a stuffed animal.  Here‘s a nice example from Fruit of Her Hands:

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