Leave a comment

Almost a month later…


The delicious appetizers table. Love the diaper cake center piece (a link on how to make a
similar one can be found under the Baby Craft Tutorial Roundup tab at the top).

Asparagus Gruyere Tart
recipe from Martha Stewart

One of two yummy cakes, a chocolate and a carrot cake.

It has been almost a month since my last post. Sometimes it is so hard to get back into the swing of things. Lots has happened this past month. The biggest was having an unforgettable baby shower. My friends and family are just so sweet and generous. David’s mom flew in from Colorado to help us start to pull our nursery together. That week was full of painting, sorting through baby clothes, choosing some decorating fabric (Alexander Henry’s Kleo Sage), and trip to Ikea for a much needed bookshelf, dresser, and storage bins. Sandy even made us an awesome crib skirt while she was here, so we could hide boxes in the extra space beneath the crib.  Honestly, with only 8 weeks before baby, I think we are mostly prepared. At least with baby stuff. The emotionally and physically part, I’m still working on.


4 Comments

Free Holiday Cheer Board Game

Holiday Cheer Game

Holiday Cheer Board Game – download free pdf here

A couple of weeks ago while I was shopping at Michael’s I made several spur of the moment holiday purchases, including 2 foamy-style rubber-stamp blocks and 3 packages of epoxy stickers. I have no idea what made me pick these items up because I don’t stamp, or use stickers (much). There was just something pretty and tactile about them that made reach out and place them on the check stand. (Actually, I was just going to buy one stamp, but it didn’t have a sku tag, so the checkout girl asked if I could grab another. Then I heard myself saying “I’ll just take that one, too”). Thank goodness they didn’t cost much!

So I’ve had these foamy stamp blocks on my desk for a while now. David asked me why I bought them and I guiltily mumbled something about probably returning them, or using them for… something. Later, I found myself tossing one around and noticing how it bounced merrily before settling. Then I thought Eureka! I could design a holiday game for my nephew with it! (Okay, so I didn’t say Eureka!, but that word perfectly described how I felt. As in: Whew! If I can make something useful/fun, then I can be excused for making an impulse buy. After all, it must have been fate at work that day, right?).

This picture is misleading. These are the two stamps I bought, but only one is used for the game.

How to Play: Here was my thought process. The foamy stamp block would work like a die that you roll (there is a snowman side, a snowflake side, a kid’s face, the words “Let it Snow,” and two blank sides). Whatever lands face up is the icon that you’d move your game piece forward to on the board. Sounds pretty easy right? The only kicker is that when you roll a blank side you lose that turn and don’t get to move forward. I designed the whole game board with this idea in mind.

I should mention here that I don’t know anything about three and a half year old boys, or any kids at all for that matter (although two of my good friends are now expecting!). Paolo, our nephew, lives in Austin and we rarely see him. I could be totally wrong about skills at that age or his interest in something like this. However, the other night when I explained this game to Marcy, she said it sounded like Candyland, which I looked up and is rated for ages 3+, which is perfect.

To make a long story short, you can download my Holiday Cheer Game here. It’s pretty large, with a full size of 17 x 22″ so it has to be printed out (or tiled) in four sections if you’re printing it out on regular letter-sized paper, like I did. Then I pasted the sheets to a larger piece of thin cardstock for durability/foldability.

Playing Cards: Unless you happen to find the same stamp block at Michael’s, the best way to play is to print out a second set of pages and cut out the squares from the game board to use as cards. Instead of rolling a die, you would set the stack of “cards” face down and each player would draw a card and then move his or her game piece forward to the nearest icon indicated. You would also have to cut out some “blank” cards to use as “lose a turn.”

Holiday Cheer Game

These are the simple plastic playing pieces I made . I would have preferred something more 3D, but they seem to work okay.

Game Pieces: I made game pieces out of Shrinky Dinks plastic (I am having such fun with that stuff!), but any small objects will do. Playing pieces from another game, a set of erasers, coins, bottle caps or anything that will fit on the squares should work.

Advanced Play: Depending on the level of the players, you can make the game harder by adding additional rules. For example, instead of two players sharing a square, maybe the original player gets kicked off his space and moved backward to the nearest same icon. Or maybe he moves all the way back to start! It’s up to you.

Have fun!


37 Comments

Free Holiday Gift Tags

Free Holiday Gift Tags

What happened to this past week? I could swear I blinked and suddenly it’s Monday. I’m happy to report that the working from home business has picked up quite a bit in the last few weeks (thus hardly any real posts from me). However, I was able to whip up a page of free holiday gift tags to share with everyone tonight. I printed the set shown above on plain white cardstock from our laser printer and I have to admit they turned out pretty damn good for such a short turnaround. Hope you guys enjoy them too!

Download the above pdf with outlines or this pdf for a version with cropmarks.

Be sure to check out the other free downloads listed at the top right sidebar if you haven’t already!


6 Comments

Free Snowflake Placecards

free snowflace placecards

free snowflace placecards

Okay, a little late getting these Free Snowflake Placecards posted. I think, in the future, I’d be better off moving these posts to Monday instead of Sunday!

It is very rare to see placecards used, but I think they are a really nice way of adding that little something extra to a nicely set holiday table. Although they are traditionally used to designate a person’s name for each place setting, they would also be a handy and elegant way to label the different dishes on a buffet table (more so in the case of food allergies, etc).

After dinner, there might even be other uses for that little piece of paper, perhaps as a mini-scorecard for a game, to use for placecard origami, or, with Thanksgiving this week, you could even have everyone write down something they’re thankful for.

Check back next Sunday Monday for the next in a series of weekly Holiday downloads.

Week 1 – Free Holiday Gift Checklist


9 Comments

Free Holiday Gift Checklist

checklist

checklist

I am a big fan of list-making, and with the holidays coming up I thought this Holiday Gift Checklist would be an handy way to get organized. It’s a single-page printable pdf that you can use to plan out recipients and gift ideas while keeping track whether the gift has been purchased or made, wrapped, and given or shipped. Plus, in the upper right I’ve included a small at-a-glance calendar for November and December. This way you can see where you are and how much time is left for shopping, crafting and/or shipping. Hope you find it useful!

Next week: Free Snowflake Placecards

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am planning to provide a free download each Sunday from now until Christmas. It’s my way of saying thanks and giving a little back into the blogosphere this holiday. Feel free to check back next week!


10 Comments

My New Favorite Mug and Other Dinnerware Confessions

cherry blossom cup

David and I were getting groceries at New Seasons where I saw the cutest mug. I was this close to putting it in our shopping basket, but I knew that the last thing we needed was more dinnerware. You see, back when I was in college I worked at Pottery Barn in the “Table Top” section. I barely had two pennies to rub together back then, but for some reason I couldn’t pass up certain sale items, especially since I got a 20% discount on top of the sale price (the regular employee discount was 40%).

So now we have all kinds of dinnerware and accessories for entertaining – multiple full sets of “Suppertime” and “Bianca” dinnerware, specialty dessert and cocktail plates (with different themes like vintage hula girls, french posters, and celebrate the century), 3 different colors of sets-of-three nested serving bowls, fondue and sushi plates (from Williams Sonoma, where employees also got a discount), and multiple patterns of complete pasta bowl sets (5 that I can think of off-hand). It’s insane how much we have, and that we still have items we’ve never even used. I haven’t even begun to describe our specialty glass collection, including old fashioned fountain sundae glasses and a gorgeous amber iridescent decanter for some liquor that I can’t remember and don’t drink because of an allergy. Seriously. It’s that scary.

The thing is, I am not that person anymore. I never shop at Pottery Barn or even like that kind of style anymore. Now I like things that are more modern, or fun and ‘artsy’, or even clever. I like things to have a little more personality, or maybe a handmade element. Living in Portland, there is no lack of small, independent boutiques, although I would just as soon shop at Crate & Barrel, where at least I can find nice things I might be able to afford.

My husband has asked me so many times to get rid of some of that stuff, but I just can’t bring myself to do. I’ve tried. Truly. But I just can’t do it. What if I need that adorable Thanksgiving ceramic butter dish with the little turkey handle on the lid (that has never been used and is still in its original box)? Or maybe that set of green unbreakable plates for the next time we decide to go on a picnic or have kids over (which has never happened, because our young nephew lives in Austin and none of our friends have kids… yet.) See? There is just no reasoning with myself. Until I can make a little space in our pantry cupboard, I will not buy that cute mug. Or that adorable matching bowl with the little flowers on the inside rim. Or any other piece of dinnerware.

(Sigh) Serves myself right, I suppose.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...