Jun 6th, 12
Want to make Sunday special? Serve brunch outside on your patio. You can throw this together without much planning. A trip to the grocery store and some eclectic table décor is all you will need.
Try using mismatched thrift store plates on top of plain white plates to add interest to your casual table. Tie silverware and vintage napkins together with raffia. It looks nice and you don’t have to get out the iron.
Add a personal touch and delight your guests with birch place card holders. People love to see their name on the table. They feel special and you look like a hostess extraordinaire. You can also use them to identify the food you are serving.
Serve crumb cakes or pastries on a rustic birch serving plate
The DIY centerpiece is made from three flowers and some mismatched bottles. Easy and affordable.
Whip up some omelettes and pop the champagne. Happy Sunday! You can find the birch party accessories in my SimplySofie Etsy Shop.
May 6th, 12
Recently. My daughter Brie was one of 25 accepted into the fine arts program at Cal State Long Beach. The 25 students were honored with a show at the Duncan Anderson Gallery. She built her installation with her dad which had to house her projects and two portfolios.
To congratulate her, we gave her some earrings. But the store wrapping was just not up to par.
We’ll save this for Halloween!
Here is my re-wrap. So cute and easy.
Apr 30th, 12
Jen and I got together this weekend and made some really cool fringe necklaces. No matter where we go, people stop and ask us where we got them. We used old bracelets, earrings and leather lace.
It’s amazing what you can create with best friends, crafts and Coronas on a perfect Sunday.
Such a cute model!
Even a fringe bag was with a adorned with a bracelet.
Let us know if you would like to order one! Soon coming on our Etsy site!
Dec 1st, 11
Wrapping Lesson 1: Go outside.
I went out for a walk with my dogs and this is what I found. My basics are craft paper, scissors and tape. Keep it neutral when adding nature. I use a bit of wrapping paper and ribbon in these gifts but the natural elements are my bling. You don’t need to buy fake nature at a craft store, it’s free for the taking.
Sheesh, don’t you love it! Invest in some baker’s twine. It will last you a forever. Supplies: craft paper, twine, a bit of wrapping paper and nature.
Leaves and a bit of velvet ribbon adorn this bag. So easy. Nothing more to say. except for the awesome tag that I made with my chop saw and a birch log.
You wish you could smell this one. Craft paper, ribbon, raffia and rosemary. Mmmmmm
My most favorite…….bark wrapped around, acorns hot glued to a black velvet ribbon and craft paper. Crazy! I have to show one more pix.
Oct 10th, 11
If you know me, then you know I love wrapping gifts. If you know me, then you know I always wait till the last minute to wrap your gift and somehow, it turns out lovely. All you need is some brown paper and something vintage. I like to keep a box of vintage papers, laces, ribbons and tags in a “go to” box. For the gift above, I used some brown paper, twill tape for the ribbon and a vintage photograph for the tag. I made flowers using old sewing patterns, masking tape and wire. It looks complicated but it’s really easy. You cut some circles out of tissue and scrunch them up, poke a wire in the middle and wrap some masking tape around the bottom to hold it on the wire. You can use old book pages, catalog pages or plain tissue. Anything you have on hand. I like making them big for maximum impact.
I found some Moroccan ribbon at the flea market and bought a few yards for a couple of dollars. This was from a basket of scrap ribbons she was just getting rid of. Hopefully, my friend will keep the ribbon and reuse it. I also picked up the little drawstring bag at the same vendor and made it into the tag. Who wouldn’t want this gift?!
I used the same brown paper and twill tape but added a vintage doily. This would make great wedding wrap.
For this gift I used vintage wall paper! I love collecting wall paper at garage sales and thrift stores to add to my gift wrap supply. They are generally too thick to wrap an entire gift but you can use it like I did here and it makes awesome tags (and invitations, but that’s another story). The rolls are usually quite large, cost pennies and are pretty interesting. This one is silver metallic with pink flocking. Can you imagine this on your walls? NO, but it looks great here! I also have grass paper and some funky 70′s wallpaper. Just remember to “think outside the box” when it comes to wrapping and your gift will always be opened first!
Oct 3rd, 11
This week we had a mishap with our tray of candles that we keep on our patio table. They melted in the 100 degree California sun and ran all over the place. I started to throw them away but then thought……..what if? What if I re-melt the big candle and make some new candles?
First I shaved off the dirt with a peeler. Then I took the candle and put it in the microwave on the “melt chocolate chips” setting in a microwave safe dish. I had to run it through a couple of rounds until it was sitting in a puddle of wax. I read online that it is best to have a candy thermometer to get the wax the perfect temperature, but we don’t have one so I just put in for a few minutes at a time. I had some wicks from a previous project that you can find at craft stores for about $3 for six. In a pinch, string and a pencil will work too. All I needed was some vessels for the new candles. We had grapefruit for breakfast, so I tried that. It turned out beautiful and smelled good, too. Perfect for Halloween!
Then I tried an abalone shell we had in the backyard. This time I mixed in some patuli oil. They have candle scents at the craft stores but I think they are pretty stinky. It’s worth the investment of a nice essential oil.
Happy day! The abalone candle is so lovely and serene. So next time you have some old, dirty candles, make some new candles from them. Try using an eggshell, teacup, flower pot or coconut shell as a vessel. I’m going to start collecting vintage glassware for this project. I hope my friends aren’t reading this because I know what I’m making for holiday presents!
Jul 19th, 11
My friend Jen is moving and getting rid of everything including her collection of vintage fabrics. Lucky us! We wanted to make her a housewarming gift using her fabric. Here are a couple of easy projects using left over fabric scraps that you and your kids can do!
Your probably have everything you need without running to the store. Jars, clothespins, scissors, craft brush, glue and fabric scraps. The fabric can be anything; denim, bandanas or old shirts. We used some torn kimonos from Jen.
First cut the fabric to fit on the clothespins and jars. No measuring necessary.
Mix the glue with some water to thin it out. Or use Modge Podge. Paint the clothespin with glue, put on the fabric and paint the top of the fabric with glue.
Do the same thing with the jar. Paint some glue on the jar and apply the fabric.
Paint some more glue on top of the fabric. Take a damp towel and wipe off the extra glue before it dries.
Use the jars to hold pencils, flowers or candles. We wrapped a wire around one to hang with the candle. Makes a great gift for teachers, new neighbors or grandparents!
The clothespins come in handy to attach a tag to a gift.
Or on a string for notes! So easy!
Apr 15th, 11
This year I tried using natural dyes for our Easter eggs. It was more work than dropping the tablet from the kit at Target in water, but the results from natural dyes were beautiful. You can find the recipes for natural dyes on Martha Stewart. I chose beets, onion skins and coffee for my dyes. I used cilantro to make the leaf patterns. Here’s how….
Wrap the egg in a few sprigs of cilantro. I didn’t use glue or any adhesive. Find an old stocking that doesn’t have a match. Mine was tall so I cut it so it was short. Hold the cilantro on the egg and put it in the stocking.
Twist the stocking until it is tight and wrap it with a twist tie. Drop it in the dye. You can use cheese cloth instead of a stocking if you have that. I left the egg in the dye for a couple of hours, sometimes overnight. I used brown eggs and white eggs.
For this egg, I used grass instead of cilantro. Celery leaves, fern leaves or small leaves from your garden would work well.
Instead of displaying your eggs in baskets, try these ideas. Use wine glasses and grass or sage leaves on your cupcake stand. Happy Easter!