Friday, December 17, 2010

And that's a wrap!

One of my favorite Christmas activities is figuring out my "wrapping paper scheme" as I like to call it and decorating all of my gifts.  Yes, it takes a ridiculous amount of time and energy and money, but it makes me happy.  And yes, I understand I will likely not wrap presents like this when I have children and I'm wrapping a billion gifts.  However, as of now I only wrap a few and they're going to be as pretty as I possibly can make them.  They make me happy and I hope they make you happy too.  Here's this year's wrapping paper scheme.

Steps and Instructions (and I'm aware I'm probably the only person who'd have multiple steps required for wrapping their presents.)

Card Materials:
  • 5.5" x 8.5"cards.  I purchased these and envelopes in a package of 25 at Michael's for $3.00
  • Coordinating thread- I used red, green, and silver.
  • Sewing machine
  • Computer
  • So I'm not the best calligrapher, but I like to pretend that I am.  So to "cheat" I use this sneaky method: I'll design the wording on a card and then print it a couple shades lighter than the pen I'm using.  I then trace over the words with a calligraphy pen and presto! instant calligraphy quality without the calligraphy skills.  I did this first and then printed out the card.
  • Sewing: sewing on paper is very similar to sewing on fabric.  If you can sew a straight line, then you can sew these cards.  The only trick is adjusting the tension on the thread.  I usually decrease mine to the lowest tension setting.  Sew straight lines in whatever shape/pattern/color you choose.  I tried to create a sort of plaid pattern with this one.  You could sew far less lines if you'd prefer.  Keep adding lines and colors until you're happy.

  • Tie each thread into a knot and cut the excess.  You could also tape it to the inside of the card or leave it loose for a rustic homemade look.  To be honest, I did a combination of all three.

  • Hole punch the left sides and set aside.

Christmas Birdie Materials
  • Gray and white felt
Using this template from Design Sponge, cut out the bird and the wing shapes from the coordinating fabric.  I chose not to include the legs, but feel free to do so if you wish.  Glue the wing to the bird, draw on an eye, and set the completed bird aside.

Package assembly time!  Wrap your gift in brown packaging paper.  It's my favorite thing to wrap gifts with and I always have a roll of it on hand.  

  • Cut a LONG length of yarn.  I used red and white yarn with glitter running through them and about 8 feet of each color.  The beauty of using yarn over ribbon is that you can use a ton more and each huge spool of yarn only costs around $3.
  • Thread the yarn through the holes in your card. 

  • Wrap the yarn around the present and tie in a bow.  

  • Hot glue the bird to your bow and admire!  

Seriously makes me happy.  

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

So now that school is finally over, it's going to look like Santa's workshop in my apartment for the next couple of weeks.  I am very excited to get a couple of projects done that I simply haven't had time to do during the semester. Be on the lookout for some of my craziest endeavors to date, including painting a rug.  And yes, I did just say painting a rug.  In the meantime, I've finally created a logo to put on things that I create and may eventually decide to start selling.  Really it was just an excuse to play around on Photoshop, but I can do that now, because I have free time! :)  Hope you like it, and good luck finishing (or starting if you're me) any Christmas shopping/crafts/plans!


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Prayers in a Basket

So it's finals, law school finals.  What I had, until recently, considered the most important period of my life. I have a tendency to get so caught up in finals that it becomes my life.  That ended up being my demise last year, and I have worked really hard to find a better balance this semester, but I still had a tendency to lock myself to my textbooks for weeks on end.  That is until a friend of my reminded me that there are things so much more important than law school.  Someone who reminded me to tell those who are close to me how much I love them and not take what I've been blessed with for granted.

So, even though it's finals, even though I could study for 20 straight hours and not be ready for my final on Monday, I don't care.  I'm going to get up tomorrow morning, and I'm going to cook brunch.  I'm going to sit with my puppy, my boyfriend, my coffee, and I'm going to ignore the rest of the world.  I hope you'll do the same.

And here's a super quick easy recipe to try out.  It's usually called "eggs in a basket", but for this week I'm calling it "prayers in a basket."


  • eggs
  • bread
  • olive oil/butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Take a cookie cutter of any shape/size (it just has to fit within in the size of your bread) and cut out the shape in the middle.  For "intricate" shapes, I find it's easier to flip the piece over and just push the bread through the cutter, but that's just me.  Don't throw away the cut out!  I like to toast it by itself and eat it.
  • Heat about 1-2 tbs of butter and olive oil in a non-stick skillet on medium heat.  I like the combination of the two because I feel like it gives the best results in terms of taste and cooking abilities.  Feel free to use only one or some other oil.  
  • Toss the bread into the skillet and cook for several minutes until lightly browned.  (You want the bread to develop a nice color before you put the egg on.  If you put the egg on too early you'll have to cook it for too long and it'll be overdone and gross.)
  • Once the bread is nice colored, slowly pour the egg into the cutout.  I like to pre-crack the egg into a small cup, because I'm incredibly messy when cooking and I don't trust myself to crack an egg into a pan without making a huge mess or burning myself.

  • Let the egg cook until the bottom is white.  DO NOT OVERCOOK.  Nothing is worse than overcooked eggs.

  • GENTLY use a spatula to flip the bread onto the other side and cook for 1-2 minutes more.  Again, do not overcook.  Once finished, remove from the pan and let cool.  Cook the cutout if desired like a piece of toast
  • Serve with some tasty coffee and enjoy!