Thursday, December 24, 2009

Make: Our Holiday Cards

Designing Mom Tori had asked us to send in some of our holiday cards. I wanted to wait until the very last minute to post them, just in case they were still enroute to their recipients!

I'll be taking a little holiday break and back with more fun posts (and new contributors!) from all of the Designing Moms January 1. Until then, I leave you with some holiday cheer and greetings. May all of you have a very special holiday with your family and little ones!
xxoo, Cat

above: Of course, I am not surprised that Designing Mom Erika of Delphine would have such a special suite as her holiday card!

above: Designing Mom Tori with her family. Aren't they beautiful?

above: if this holiday card from Designing Mom Jackie isn't adorable enough, she finished it off with some gold glitter in the boys' bowls. I just loved it!

above: Designing Mom Lori's wonderful boys and holiday button card.

above: ...and the photo I decided to use of my mini-chubbo!

Gleaux Calendar #6

Well, here it is! The final page (click here for pdf)... I hope you have lots of fun printing these out over the holidays. And if you happened to have missed any, go to the lefthand column and click on "downloadables" to see all of the pages. Thank you again Erika G!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Decorate: Recycled Holiday

Vicky at The City Cradle sent in some great holiday decor of her home. She carried out a recycled natural theme as she and her family are moving shorty after the holidays and it turned out to be quite a success. I absolutely love her JOY cranberries. To see a few of these tutorials, click here to go to her site. Thank you for sharing with us Vicky!

Our Holiday Decor: Lori's Tree

above: Designing Mom Lori's beautiful tree

Our Holiday Decor: Mari's Angel

Here is some current holiday decor from Designing Mom Mari's home with one very adorable angel in the background...

Gleaux Calendar #5

I'll be posting the very last page of this beautiful downloadable calendar tomorrow.
For the pdf click here!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Our Holiday Decor: Glittery Ajax

by Designing Mom Erika

We went with an understated silver, glitter (if glitter can ever be understated), white and turquoise theme this year.

Make: Salt Dough Ornaments

by Designing Mom Mari

We all know what salt dough is, but I think Katy Elliott's take on the traditional stuff is very inspirational! I love these red doodle snowflakes. What an easy finish for all kinds of Xmas crafts - a red pen!

Gleaux Calendar #4

...only two more to go! Click here for the pdf.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Make: Holiday Stockings

by Designing Mom Shinmin

Ever since Jackie posted the library bag she made for Graham, I've been thinking about a fun-with-felt project. I went to the fabric store and decided that I would make some fun stockings. My new favourite colour combo for Christmas this year is red and grey. I happened to find this gorgeous grey Italian fabric from their scrap bin, so I was giddy to start this project.

I wanted the stockings to have a elf toe rather than the traditional round toe. So I made a template for myself. Anyone is free to use this template. Just print to the size you want, pin to fabric and cut. Sew around the stocking, but leave the top open so you can fill it with goodies.

I made Mila Monster's stocking out of the red felt. Kiril and my stockings are made from the italian grey fabric. I cut out the first letters of our names in a "times roman" font. Although my current favourite font is "eurostile", I wanted a serif font for this look.

I hope I get some nice surprises in my stocking. Fingers crossed.

Gleaux Calendar #3

Here's page #3 of Designing Mom Erika G's downloadable calendar.
Click here for the pdf!

Story: Wreath Envy

by Designing Mom Jenn

Wikipedia has this to say about Wreaths:
Wreaths are usually made from leafs, evergreens as a symbol for the strength of life, with these plants overcoming even the harshest winters. Such wreaths often use Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis) and can be categorized as laurel wreaths. Other components of a wreath can be pine, hollyor yew, symbolizing immortality, and cedar, symbolizing strength and healing. The Greekgod Apollo is often associated with wreaths, and was a god of life and health. This inspired the Greek to use the symbol as crowns of victory at the Pythian Games, a forerunner to today's Olympic Games. The circularity of wreaths can be used to symbolize eternity or immortality.

But this is what I have to say about wreaths:
I love'em! Wreaths are festive! Wreaths signify the holidays are upon us and ignite the holiday cheer! They decorate doors, and in some cases perfume the air. They can be real or fake, green or brown, or just about anything else... and I really do love them!
Now, let me be clear - I shouldn't have this love affair with wreaths! I'm Jewish, and we're not exactly wreath-making and wreath-loving people... but I call myself "The Jew Who Loves Christmas" and somehow I've managed to get away with my love for all things Christmas; wreaths and Christmas music top the list!!
The first wreath I ever really saw and fell in love with was a popcorn wreath, in the window of a fancy furniture store on Union Street in San Francisco. When I first moved to San Francisco back in 1999 I saw this huge, oversized wreath in the window of this store, and every year thereafter, I would get reinvigorated by the popcorn wreath's appearance. While there was no snow on the ground to tell me it was winter, the wreath helped enforce the idea and made me want spiced apple cider or hot chocolate (despite that it wasn't even cold enough for a hat yet!) I can't find a photo of this wreath but I'm pretty sure that I took one every single year!!
This year, having just moved to the 'burbs, we have a house with a door that's just begging for a wreath... but I've got 34 years of wreath-ideas and wreath-envy and don't know how to filter my wreath "wants" and "needs" into one actual wreath.
Martha Stewart Living (December issue) has some pretty amazing wreath ideas, but the one that stood out the most to me was a wreath made out of small white jewelry boxes, each wrapped with a ribbon and tied in a bow, and adhered to a circular frame. It was so elegant and unusual. I've also seen some great wreath concepts online - wreaths made out of buttons, fake flowers, doilies, twigs, pine cones, ribbons, etc.
Trader Joe's is selling your basic, lovely evergreen wreath for super cheap... but I feel like I'm cheating if I start with that as my base! I'm very black-or-white about this kind of stuff, being a designer and all!

Seeing as how it's December already, and being that my doctor has just put me on partial bedrest for the duration of my pregnancy, I have a feeling that I'm not going to get to have my glorious wreath debut this year. Perhaps this year I'll just have to collect some photos, make a "wreath file" of ideas and plan for next year... and enjoy the wreath that my 20mos old daughter Grace made at daycare a few weeks ago, and proudly brought home at Thanksgiving! Funny... I seem to have a zillion photos of this one!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Decorate: Our Holiday Decor

Just wanted to post up some photos of last year's holiday decor from a few of the Designing Moms. With that said, I know that all of you have your current holiday loot up and humming by now... I'll be posting some current decor in the next few days and we'd love for some of you out there to share with us. Let's get into the holiday spirit together--snap a photo and email it to me at!

Designing Mom Contributor Dana: (above) "It's nothing big...but it's something i do to dress up my interior doors (a whopping three!)...I just took small wreaths and wired ribbon...looped the ribbon around the wreath and then made a bow and hung them from a nail on my doors. It's simple and it makes the hallway to look festive."

above: Designing Mom Guissell's holiday decor

above: Designing Mom Erika and her family celebrating the '08 holiday

Gleaux Calendar #2

Day two of the free downloadable calendar from Gleaux.
Click here for the pdf!

Shop: Staccabees

Here's one more for the holiday gift list... I've always got my eye out for stylish Hannukkah gifts for some of my friends. Daniel at Staccabees wrote about these totally great, mod Dreidl game sets. I'm in love with the color and the fact that they're made from sustainable lumber.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Shop: Nonchalant Mom

Are you tidying up details for the last of your holiday gift buying this weekend or just starting (like me yikes!)?

Designing Mom shop contributor Carina has some great gift guides from her Nonchalant Mom boutique if you're looking for ideas and wanting to avoid the crowds this weekend...

Gleaux Calendar #1

Here is the first free "page" of Designing Mom Erika's downloadable Gleaux calendar!
Click here for the pdf and stay tuned for more pages in the following days...

I'd like to post a free printable calendar, designed by Gleaux, as a
holiday gift to the Designing Moms. I figure as we wrap up 2009 and
bring in 2010, what better way to stay organized than having a stylish
little "pocket docket" on hand to glance at either on the run, at the
desk or in the kitchen. I hope this finds you and all the fabulous
designing moms and their families happy, healthy and warm this season ~
Happy Holidays, from Erika at Gleaux!

Story: kaufmannsladen

by Designing Mom Shinmin

With the Holidays sneaking upon us, I remembered that I have a fun story of Holiday tradition to share. Well, this is really my husband, Kiril's, childhood tradition.

Kiril grew up in New Mexico and his Christmases were MAGICAL. Besides the warm adobe homes glowing under blankets of pure white snow, flickering luminaries lining the organic shapes of the mud packed buildings, the hundreds of bond fires warming the streets, the smell of roasting red and green chillis dancing into one's nose, Kiril had kaufmannsladen.

My husband is half German and half Russian. For Christmas, he got kaufmannsladen. For easter, he got Russian home made bread and cheese. Not a bad childhood huh?

In this German kaufmannsladen tradition the adults construct and transform the entire living room into a candy store. In Kiril's house this was serious construction work. They built actual shops, nailed up shelves, provided cash registers, and stocked the shelves full of jars of candy and baskets of marzipan fruits and figurines. Each kid in the family got his or her own store.

The kids were restricted from the living room until construction was completed (by Xmas eve). Kiril told me that he recalls being unable to breathe for days in anticipation.

When the candy stores were unveiled, often with a trainset running through the stores, the children would run wildly into their shops and immediately began taking inventory of their goods. They were in charge of price negotiation, competitive advertising and building their business strategies. They sold to adults, visitors and sometimes to each other. They told me hilarious stories about Kiril's brother (who was a natural entrepreneur) going to his cousins' shops to buy out all their candies, which excited them beyond belief. However they quickly realized that Christmas was no fun without candy. So then Kiril's brother sold the candies back to them for twice what he had paid.

Now every Christmas we return to Santa Fe, NM for a little magic. We plan on sharing this tradition with Mila when she gets just a little older.

Unfortunately we can't find any photos of Kiril's candy store right now. However I was able to find a couple of cute examples of homemade kaufmannsladen online.

And it seems like they now sell kaufmannsladen kits.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Happy Holidays from Gleaux

Have I got a holiday treat in store for all of you!
Designing Mom Erika G of Gleaux is graciously allowing me to share a beautiful (just wait until you see the pages) free pdf downloadable calendar. I'll be posting a two month page each day starting tomorrow until Christmas Eve for you to print...just think of it as our little advent calendar!

Shop: Out of this World Crochet

by Designing Mom Jenn

Well, this post has been a long time in the making! Some of you readers may not even remember me, and think that good ol' "13 Creative" has become "February 13 Creative" (some of the other new, great contributing designing moms!). But, I'm here to tell you that I'm still around, and have made a firm commitment to continue contributing to this wonderful blog on a more frequent basis. Bad designing mom, bad!! I have known I wanted to blog about this since I was inspired by the image below about 6 months ago. These past 6 months, though, have been spent being pregnant with my second little girl (pregnancy and I don't get along so well, but I'm due in 7 weeks so I can see the light!) as well as being extremely busy creating some great new packaging designs and invitations for my clients, moving to the 'burbs and following a 20mos old toddler around!

But that all said, 6 months ago I was surfing the web and found the most amazing blog that was highlighting some gorgeous crocheted items! The photo above hit me over the head and made me think of all the things in our daily lives that are so simple, that we may take for granted, but that used in an unusual, out-of-the-ordinary way have the ability to make people stop in their tracks (and think about writing about them for 6 whole months!!).

I'm a knitter at heart, and have only crocheted one small stuffed animal in my life, named Rory, when I was in highschool. So when I saw the gorgeous photo of the crocheted headboard, it made me think of my hobbies and my crafts in a whole new light. Taking a hobby that is normally done on a smaller scale (meaning, blankets, scarves, hats, etc.) and turning it into a giant, oversized product (that looks like it took three years to make) was just mind boggling. I was also totally amused (and amazed) by these other crocheted goodies:

Were I not about to have another baby, and were my husband not already about to kill me because of the plethora of half-finished craft projects around the house, I think this is something I'd really like to tackle! I'll put it on my list of "things to do" for that spare moment or two that is likely to happen sometime around, oh... 2018! Hope these photos inspire you to create something out-of-the-ordinary, too.
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