It's a Wrap!

Being the procrastinator that I am, I saved all my shopping, gift-making, gift-wrapping, and card-making til the last minute. I stayed up til 4am this morning stamping cards and making all the my packages look pretty. My favorite go-to combo is kraft paper, ribbon, and shipping tags. On some packages, I added pages from an old german book that I had laying in my scrap bin. Cards were made using a new stamp in the Hero Arts 2011 Catalog. It is definitely one of my faves! Messages are from an old clear set. Off to take a catch some much needed zzzz's! Wishing you all the happiest of holidays! xo, Mon

The 2011 Hero Arts Catalog!

hero arts 2011 catalog
Hey Hero Arts fans! The 2011 Catalog is now available for viewing online! You can check out all the new goodies including a few of my favorites that I designed, the My Type cling set and the wood foxes! I wonder what your favorites are?  Photo by the Lisa.


sweet potato biscuits
Although this is a belated Happy Thanksgiving, I hope everyone had a nice day full of food, family, friends, and laughter. I sure did. P.S. These are the best sweet potato biscuits ever! Especially when served with honey butter.

Giving Thanks

thanksgiving cards
Last night, I stamped up these cards using this clear set of stamps I designed for Hero Arts. Use black ink to stamp the image on white cardstock, color with color pencils, cut out, and glue to patterned paper then glue on to brown card stock. Then, add a silver gemstone for the final touch for that extra pilgrim-bling! The finished card went into mini muslin bags which were stamped as well. I'm so looking forward to Thanksgiving and can't wait to eat, drink, and laugh with friends and family!

Chick Time!

fabric chicks
This entire weekend was spent sewing these little chicks. My sister and cousins got together at my parents' house and production began! Even my nieces and nephews helped out. We made a total of 80 of them in preparation for Thanksgiving. Once we started, we couldn't stop...we even made mini chicks!

Happy Halloween!

baby owls
Just had to post these photos of my two nephews, Nolan and Dylan...dressed up as baby owls. So sweet! Happy Halloween!

Z is for Zain

z pillow and zain owls
Congratulations to my friends Karishma and Shez on the arrival of their beautiful baby boy Zain! "Z" pillow made from green wool felt, blue cotton checkered fabric and gray corduroy. I used scrap fabric for the owls. Gray wool felt was used for the belly. Name stamped using Hero Arts alphabet stamp set.

Happy Birthday x 4

birthday banner
So many birthdays today that I had to do a blog post about it. Wishing my dad, big sis Niki, dear friends Andrew and Matthew a lovely day! P.S. the birthday banner was made using some scrap watercolor paper, awesome Elvis stickers, some alphabet stamps, and divine twine.

The Perfect DIY Coffee Table

hairpin legs DIY table
First of all, please excuse my lack of posts the last couple of weeks. In between work, a couple of short trips to Portland and Los Angeles, I sort of abandoned my poor little blog. Since I haven't had time to work on any exciting projects, I thought I would write about this amazing DIY table by Sylvia Song! It's definitely the next item on my "things to do" list. I've been in need of a coffee table for years now, and this is THE one. I'm gonna head over to Ikea this week to check that they have the table top, then I'm gonna order the hairpin legs here. Photo credit: Sylvia Song

Peanut - the wee elephant!

peanut the wee elephant
I finally had a chance to make Peanut, the wee elephant! The pattern is from Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson.  This little guy isn't perfect (it's a good thing you can't see his under side!), but he turned out pretty darn cute. The embroidered letter "E" stands for Evan, Rance's newborn nephew.

P.S.  If you have this book and are thinking of making this elephant, the first part of the sewing instructions is a bit confusing! Read the comments on this discussion thread and it should help clarify how to sew the belly. Otherwise you might end up sewing the legs together like I did the first time around!

Chillwave Gratitude

thank you cards
Some quick thank you cards I made using photos I took when Rance and I were in Santa Cruz. I sized the photos, printed them on 80 lb cardstock, and stamped a simple thank you message on each one. These cards make me want to go back to the beach...

My Portfolio Site!

mon's website
Helllooooo....I realize I have completely abandoned my blog this week! And for those of you who wonder why...this is why! I just finished an 8-week html course and have been busy designing and coding my portfolio site. I should be back to a more normal crafting schedule next week as there are so many things I want to make on my ever growing to-do list! Luckily it's Friday and I have the weekend to ease back into my craft projects. Wish you all a happy weekend!

Bobby Blingz!

bobby blingz tooth fairy pillow
Remember when I made my first Tallulah, the tooth fairy pillow? Rance saw it and left a comment that read, "Can you please make a gold companion for the tooth pillows?!" So for his birthday, I made him a tooth fairy pillow of his very own. Introducing, Mr. Bobby Blingz, the gold capped tooth fairy! This fairy doesn't collect teeth, just little cheesy love notes. Happy birthday boo!

3 Peas in a Pod!

3 peas in a pod
Over a month ago, my 10 year-old nephew Noah gave me a special request to make him a pea pod. I've been so busy working on other stuff, I kept putting this project off. So I finally finished it this weekend and will send it off to him today. Hope he likes it!

Handmade Tags

anita's handmade tags
I made these tags last night for Rance's mom following this tutorial. All you need is iron-on transfer paper, some ribbon (I used 1/2" cotton twill), an xacto knife and cutting mat, and an iron! Gonna pop them in the mail this afternoon. I also finished sewing another project which I cannot share til next week because it's a birthday present for someone really special...

Pillows for Mr. and Mrs.

kara and ryan pillows
My sister Chan commissioned me to make a wedding gift for her friends Kara and Ryan, who are getting married this weekend in Colorado. I spent Sunday afternoon sewing together a couple of shirt pillows (one using a men's white tuxedo shirt, and the other a women's lavender ruffled shirt.) The hang tags and card were made using rubber stamps by Hero Arts. A big congratulations to the couple!

The Sketchbook Project

The Sketchbook Project: 2011
I signed up for this project yesterday after I saw it over on Gennine's blog. I can't wait to get my sketchbook in the mail! What's exciting about this whole thing is that the tour will be stopping San Francisco so I'll get to see all of the books in person! If you are interested, there is still time to join the fun.

It's Pouring!

raindrop dolls
Last night I finished up the remaining raindrop dolls I started last week. Some turned out better than others (a couple are a bit lopsided). I guess we're not perfect and neither are raindrops! I was happy to use up most of the scraps leftover from my shirt pillows. Now I just need to give them all names...

A Little Owl Love for Miss June Adele

owl pillow
I made a little sleepy owl pillow for my friend Ruby's newborn daughter June Adele. She's so adorable (do you see her in the birth announcement in the photos above?) On Saturday, I drove up to Healdsburg and we spent the day catching up (we haven't seen each other in 3 years!). It was a perfect Saturday afternoon.

Thank You

Thank you everyone for stopping by my blog on the alphabet walk. I enjoyed reading all your lovely comments! And a big thank you to Piper for putting it all together!

Alphabet Walk...Featuring the Letter "W"

Welcome to the letter "W" on Piper's Alphabet Walk! I was worried I wouldn't have enough subjects to shoot, but I ended up with more than enough! This was so much fun and it made me realize that I should always have my camera with me...inspiration is everywhere! Camera used: Canon G-11, Action: Soft and Faded by Pioneer Women (which I found via Pugly Pixel). Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to check out the other walkers! Happy Friday!

Drip, Drop...

raindrop plushies in progress
Can you believe its the middle of July and we are still experiencing foggy, gray skies in the bay area, while New Yorkers are in a serious heat wave? The chilly weather has motivated me to make more little raindrop plushies, this time with hands and feet. I have the fabric all cut and ready to go...these are all scraps leftover from the shirt pillows I made. I had big ambitions for my Tuesday craft night session but I only had time to fully complete one raindrop. Say hello to...

deer drop
Little Miss Deer-Drop! She is a special one out of the bunch because she is made using the cute deer fabric that Lisa gave me awhile back. This little one happens to have really big arms, which means she can give super big hugs!

Just Saying "Hello"

just saying hello card and gifts
A few little goodies that I'm sending off to a great friend. From top to bottom: Card was made using an old illustration I did for some holiday cards. I added some color to her lips and skirt and cut her out. The bunting was made using cut pieces of rubber scraps! Message stamp by Hero Arts. Guest check plate from Fishs Eddy (love that place! I also got these cute set of bowls). Little mushroom cards from Scrap (love this place's a "scroungers' center for reusable art parts!) And more clothespins made over using Japanese washi tape...I think these make great gifts. Now off to the post office...

Cloud Cookies!

Strawberry-basil popsicles weren't  the only yummy things I made this weekend...I also made some chocolate dipped shortbread cookies. What's the best part of these cookies? They're cloud shaped!! The cookie cutter is from the father-daughter duo at Herriot Grace. They also make fantastic hand-carved wooden spoons and bowls (all from salvaged wood). The cookies were so fun to make, eat, and share! Next time, I'm gonna try Nikole's recipe.

Strawberry-basil Popsicles!

Strawberries are so amazingly cheap right now and great for making jam and popsicles! All you need is:
  • one pound of strawberries, washed and tops cut off 
  • basil simple syrup, follow this recipe but use half the sugar since the berries are already sweet 
  • a blender and popsicle mold!
    Dump the strawberries (set 4 aside and slice) and half of the basil simple syrup into blender. Blend on liquefy mode for 30 seconds. Pour into mold and add a few slices of the strawberries. Freeze and enjoy!

    Say Hello to Sadie!

    Remember awhile back I made my first doll Molly? Half a year later, I  finally decide to dress her! She's now sporting a checkered muumuu (made using leftover scraps of a men's shirt). And, she now has a new friend named Sadie. Sadie's going to be a birthday gift for my friend Aulien's daughter. I hope she likes it! PS: The two dolls are sitting next to one of my favorite magazines!

    Banter Banner!

    My banner arrived and I immediately hung it across my bedroom windows! I love that "Beauty in Little Things" is what I now wake up and fall asleep to. There are other great messages available at Banter Banner, like "Magic Surrounds" (which I also bought and will give to a certain someone next month when we celebrate a two year milestone).

    Happy Birthday Amy!

    My youngest sister Amy celebrated a birthday last month. Being the procrastinator-older sister that I am, I didn't finish making her gift until this past weekend. To make up for the 3 weeks of lag time, I made her an owl pendant (remember these I made for my nephew?) and made sure to add some special touches to the packaging. I made more clothespins ...those cute, little fabric pom poms really are a cinch to make! Happy Birthday Amy!

    Beach Time!

    When it hits 85 degrees in San Francisco, you know it's time for the beach. It was actually hot enough at Ocean Beach to lay out and get a tan. Actually it was so hot, I think I burned the soles of my feet on the hot, hot sand. Can I say hot one more time, that's how hot it was! P.S. Gummi worms are the perfect beach snack!

    Clothespin Makeovers

    I saw this post last week, and it never left my mind. So today I headed over to Target and bought a pack of clothespins (50 for $2.00...what a steal!). They were a little hard to find...I finally located them in the ironing/sewing aisle. With the glue gun warmed up and all my rolls of Japanese washi tape out, I made a set of these clothespins and adorned them with paper flowers by Hero Arts. Super easy to make!

    A Sweet Surprise!

    I baked these cookies, a recipe I got from my annual cookie exchange and sent them off to Rance's mom, Anita for her birthday. Of course I had to package them using orange baker's twine. I also made another drawstring bag...this time using fabric that Anita got from her trip to Senegal. I hope she likes this little sweet surprise!

    Just for Fun...

    These little angry periods are for my cousin Kim. For those few days out the month when you just don't want anyone to mess with you, just pin this on! Haha!

    Favourite Things Lamp

    I can't stop thinking about this lamp by Chen Karlsson, a design studio based out of Stockholm, Sweden. Its simple, beautiful, and personal since the little cut-out allows you to put any one of your favourite things inside. I am in serious covet mode right now and I can't find any info on where to get one of these things!

    Via bloesem. Images: Chen Karlsson.

    A birthday present for Nolan!

    My nephew Nolan turned one this weekend. We celebrated with lots of food, cake, cookies, and even one of those big inflatable jumpy houses. For his present, I bought him a couple of organic cotton tank tops from H&M (so cute!), and added some cloud pins on them. The gray sad cloud for when he's having a bad day, and the white happy cloud for his good days. These were inspired by the cards that Lisa sent me awhile back. Both tank tops went into a drawstring bag that I made following these instructions. Really simple and easy to follow. Happy Birthday Nolan!

    Mom's Day Cards

    Mom's Day is this Sunday and I think this is the first year I haven't scrambled last minute to make her a card. My mom is a fabulous cook so the last card with the laundry line of oven mits is for her. The extras are for Rance to give to his mom and grandmas. All stamps by Hero Arts.


    So much noodles this weekend at the San Francisco Chinatown-Northbeach Noodle Festival! Passports in hand, we each sampled six noodle dishes, all super yummy. I inhaled the asparagus ravioli so fast, there is no documentation of it. From the top: penne arriabata, pad kee mao, tomato sauce chow mein, buddha's delight veggie noodles, and pad thai. Belly full of noodles = happy.

    Silhouettes Two Ways

    This photo was taken over the weekend right above Dolores Park. Despite the lovely view of San Francisco, I thought it was still missing something so I digitally added a fun silhouette! For Rance who sent me a Serenading Unicorn...I'm still smiling.

    Then with the silhouette I had already created, I decided to make a little card using pieces of scrap paper, Japanese washi tape and some baker's twine! I haven't stamped the message yet...can you tell the "hello" was added digitally?

    Rainbow Birthday

    I love themed parties so when I saw these rainbow birthday outfits I was completely smitten. The birthday girl Jessie asked all her friends to show up dressed in their favorite colors. Jessie herself couldn't pick just one favorite, so she changed outfits every hour. Awesome!

    via SwissMiss


    Found this lovely pair of shoes while thrift store shopping this weekend! A vintage pair of Salvatore Ferragamos. Love. I also scored a light pink Christian Dior shirt...that means a new pillow to come. Hope you had a lovely weekend.

    Cloud Cookies!

    Found these cloud cookies yesterday...yes cloud cookies! Herriott Grace makes these cloud-shaped cutters and has included a recipe for the cookies on her blog! The cutters are sold out at the moment but I've added myself to the mailing list. Hopefully she will re-stock soon, because I can't wait to make a batch of these cuties. And I know the perfect person to share them with!
    (via Bloesem)


    These snapshots are from lunch I had last Friday with some good friends. Since I had the day off, we met up at Atlas Cafe for coffee and their amazing sandwiches and salads. Ben got the tuna salad...mixed in are bits of cashew and shredded coconut...yum! Can you say delicious? I got the baked tofu with nori sandwich, my go-to everytime I'm there. I love afternoons off from work, especially when I get to eat yummy food and spend time with friends!

    My Red Shoes

    I love my pair of red shoes so much, I made a drawing of it awhile ago and I use it all the time to make cards. I made this little card from a pile of "bad" silkscreened prints from last December, which you can see here. I simply cut out the part that was still good and used japanese washi tape to adhere it to a blank notecard. For the back of my cards, I usually print my name and my blog address using my inkjet printer. But it's a hassle since the cardstock almost always gets jammed and it just gets messy. So my solution: a personalized rubber stamp made by North Coast Stamps in Santa Rosa. I emailed them the artwork on Tuesday and the stamp arrived Wednesday. It was only $13 including shipping!


    Remember Esprit, specifically circa 1986? I used to love their clothes (and shoulder bags!) back when I was in junior high. My older sisters and I would skip class just to go to their semi-annual blow out sales at their outlet store in Potrero Hill. The company is still around but don't think their stuff is available in the US. No big loss though because I doubt they can beat their rocking style from the 80's. All photos from Lady Greyer's flickr set via Nothing is New. Thanks Rance for the nostalgia! Sometimes I think you should be blogging...

    Froggy Pillow

    I finally finished up this fun little froggy pillow for my friend Rebecca. The frog is cut out of lime-yellow felt and hand embroidered onto chocolate brown corduroy. It is backed with light blue polka dotted cotton. This time, I made a little hang tag to go with it. Gonna deliver the pillow this weekend, then I'm off to Big Basin in Boulder Creek for a weekend of camping fun!

    Zhou Fan

    zhou fan
    I was browsing ffffound this afternoon for some inspiration and came across the work of Zhou Fan. I love the fine details and use of bright colors in his paintings. He says this series of paintings was based on dreams he had as a child of many jellyfish floating in the sky, some of which fell to the ground on parachutes and became mushrooms. That sounds just magical and lovely. All images from Zhou Fan's site.

    Outstanding in the Field

    The official 2010 tour dates are here! Outstanding in the Field is  a traveling culinary feast, bringing diners together with food that is locally sourced from farms in their area. I missed last year's tour so I am so excited there are a bunch of bay area dates to choose from this year. Going to round up some foodie friends to join me for this food adventure. I already know it will be one to remember. Check out all the photos on their site and prepare to drool. Photo credit: Outstanding in the Field.

    Alphabet Drawers!

    It's gray and pouring rain outside and not helping my already blah mood this afternoon. But when Rance sent over a link to this amazing piece of wood furniture awesome-ness, it immediately brightened up my day. I love letterpress, especially large woodblock letters. Combine that with a storage unit....even more love! This chest of 26 drawers by Kent and London would be perfect to keep little treasures in or to hide the little random knick-knacks in need of a home. Photo credit: Kent and London.