Friday, October 28, 2011

Do small things with great love.

Sometimes I find the best time to try new things is when we're disappointed; 

be it from a missed opportunity, an estranged relationship, or even just a gloomy day when things just don't go our way. Perhaps it's the optimist (or scaredy-cat) in me, but I don't like to dwell idly on negative feelings (really, what good does it do you?), so when things go awry, I keep my hands busy.

I also think trying new things when we're feeling down helps us create new memories, experiences, and feelings outside of and separate from our disappointments (whatever they may be); I also believe success in a new goal will help us come to grips with failure in another.

So in my efforts to not only create new memories, gain new skills, develop new products, but just have plain old fun, I ran across some fun DIY stuff that was too cool not to share. I'm babysitting my younger sister Grace on Monday, and I was wracking my brain for inexpensive fun ideas.

1. Suminagashi Marbling Paper
Did anyone else spend hours at their kitchen table with marbles, paint, and a pan when they were kids? I did! This looks BALLIN. I am so excited to tell my sister about it tomorrow, and even more excited for Monday, when we can get our hands dirty! Grace just did block-printing at school, and I bet this would be a great related project that she'd really enjoy. This looks amazing for both kids and adults-who-are-still-kids-at-heart like me, and I plan to dye my paper, let it dry, and then do black and white graphic illustrations over top to experiment for my grad school portfolio. Yea, girl! Takin' care of business!

2. Bright & Spunky TerraCotta Pots

My mom and my best friend's mom used to sew all of our clothes when we were kids, and she and I would make puppets/doll dresses/costumes of out of the old scraps. My mom still has her chest full of old fabric - what a cute gift idea to take a sentimental fabric (like the pattern of my preschool dress), cover the pot, tuck a little gift inside (and a matching photo!), and give it to her for the holidays?

Or, if you're just looking for something chic for your windowsill, grab some spunky fabric and go to town.

Ahhh, the wonders of ModgePodge!

3. Sewn Paper Holiday Packaging
I always try to start my shopping early every year (and thanks to all those like-minded shoppers who have been already gobbling up my Handmade Holiday Ornaments!), but I am hoping to do something special with this darling DIY. When I was a kid, my mom handmade an Advent Calendar out of felt - it was in the shape of a Christmas tree, and every morning my sister and I would take turns pulling out a felt ornament and pinning it to the tree. It was so exciting to wake up and know it was my turn to pin the ornament!

This year, I want to make mini-gifts with the Sewn Paper Packaging and hide little treats/knick-knacks/funny things in there. I'm going to cut them all in Christmas shapes, and mark a number for the day on each, so when my little sister gets home from school, she can open a little surprise! (I secretly love doing gooshy stuff like that; I'm a sucker)

I'll definitely have to report in with pictures of Grace and my Suminagashi adventure on Monday! I am so excited! Have a great Halloween weekend, and hope these DIY sparked some busy hands & some positive thoughts :)

 { All photos via }


  1. What lovely ideas - just wish I had the time to try them all! Have just come across you on the Blogging Buddies site, and called in to see what you're at! Enjoyed it so much that I'm going to follow you - so hope you'll give me a chance too, by visiting where I post about making, mending and creating toys which I then try to sell at Both sites would truly welcome you - meanwhile, have a great week-end and Hallow'een in particular.

  2. Erin, thank you for stopping by my blog, which led me to yours:):) Love that idea of covering the pot with I have something else to do with my leftover fabric stash:):) Happy Halloween!

  3. Love your fabric covered terracotta pots, and the sewn paper holiday ornaments! Great ideas.

    A new fan from Etsy Blogging Buddies.

  4. Love the ornaments! I've been working on some for my tree as well.

  5. Hi Erin - found your blog through Kala's. I was so captivated by your banner.. it's so pretty! Great post! I tried marbling when i was alot younger but I have not done it for a LONG time. And I love your terracotta pots idea! It's great I think it's a perfect gift for house warming too.



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