Paper Ornaments Galore…

I am so in love with these – and they’re super easy to make!


Find the tutorial here.


Looking Forward to Being Snubbed…

Looks like I’ll be spending part of the Christmas holidays somewhere very special this year: Switzerland!!!

B has been commissioned to work on a project there for five weeks, and I’ll be joining him in late December. When checking out his schedule, we discovered he would be working in Gstaad at that time. Here’s what I found out about Gstaad on a tourism website:

GSTAAD – twinned expertly with Cannes – is an odd place. You’d think, from the high profile of its name, that it would be some kind of glittering Geneva-in-the-Alps, a fantastically expensive mountain paradise. Yet although its instant name recognition may effortlessly attract Europe’s royal households, celebrities galore and countless lesser hangers-on, Gstaad is in fact just a one-street village, a rather charming, attractively located place full of restored weathered-wood chalets – even if there is an overabundance of jewellery shops and furriers. Nonetheless, its high-roller status makes it a village like no other. If you fancy being snubbed by the world’s richest people, come here for Christmas week, scene of a heady round of sparkling soirées and lavish banquet-style dinner parties all but barred to ordinary mortals.

Glossy magazines may advertise the town as some kind of winter wonderland, but St Moritz steals its luxury-class thunder on this score: Gstaad is really more of a place to spend the odd ten grand renting a hillside chalet and sipping champagne around town than it is somewhere you can get stuck into any serious skiing. Where Gstaad really enters into its own, prosaically enough, is as a centre from which to hike the little-known Saanenland during the summer months.


Not quite sure what to make of this, considering that I wasn’t planning on sipping all that much champagne around town…

More encouragingly, I’ll be heading over to Zermatt for a day or two. This travelogue has me very excited about the place – imagine seeing the famous Matterhorn! Woo hoo!

End of Year Questions

While showing off my chunky advent book a few posts back, I mentioned that on each of the tags I planned to include a self-reflective question. Although I haven’t decided upon each and every question yet, this end-of-year survey will give you a good idea of what I’m planning to use:

1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?
2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. What countries did you visit?
6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
9. What was your biggest failure?
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
11. What was the best thing you bought?
12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
14. Where did most of your money go?
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
16. What songs will always remind you of 2006?
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i) …happier or sadder?
ii) thinner or fatter?
iii) richer or poorer?
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
22. Did you fall in love in 2007?
23. How many one night stands?
24. What were your favourite TV program?
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
26. What was the best book you read?
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
28. What did you want and get?
29. What did you want and not get?
30. What was your favourite film of this year?
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
34. What kept you sane?
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
37. Who did you miss?
38. Who was the best new person you met?
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

I’ll pick and choose from this list, and add some questions specific to personal goal-setting for 2008. My plan is to answer one question each day and keep a record of the process in a new journal used just for this purpose. This seems manageable to me, considering my lack of spare time and low energy level these days…

It’s your turn to share…
– Do you go into a self-reflective period at the end of the year?
– Do you set new goals/resolutions for yourself?
– Do you record this process in a journal?
– Do you have any other special end-of-year rituals?

Letters and Envelopes Book Swap

I’ve mentioned a few times that I love participating in swaps, particularly on Swap-Bot.

The last swap I took part in required each participant to make a book filled with letters and envelopes filled with goodies. Here is what I came up with for my partner:

book-of-letters-envies-1.jpg book-of-letters-envies-2.jpg

I created my book based on a Christmas theme – I found some wonderful old-fashioned clip art from a CD & book my mother gave me for Christmas last year. If you look closely, you’ll notice that each of the signatures is made from a mini file folder, with even smaller (minier?) file folders interpersed.

book-of-letters-envies-4.jpg book-of-letters-envies-3.jpg

In one of the envelopes, I included the famous “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” letter. In some pockets I added a packet of tea and one of minty hot chocolate.

All in all, this was a fun project to make. As usual, I wish I’d had more time to work on and embellish it…oh well, maybe next time.

Weekend Report

This weekend was great, from a crafty perspective. I’m really getting into the Christmas spirit, despite being so exhausted from my day job. Worked on a few projects:

Project #1: Chunky Advent Book
Bought a kit to make this project and turned it into this:

chunky-advent-book1.jpg chunky-advent-book2.jpg


Each page is a numbered mini-envelope with a tag inside. The book itself is 2″X2″, and refuses to shut close (but that’s exactly how I like it!).

I was debating what to include on each of the tags, and finally decided I would write one self-reflective question for each day. The end of the year is always a time for me to look back on past accomplishments and to future goals. I love those end-of-year questionnaires so I figure I’ll adapt one for my chunky advent calendar.

Speaking of advent calendars, if you’re as obsessed with them as I am, check out this site – I was very pleased to see the star advent calendar I made several weeks back:

Adventures with the Provosts

Project #2: Christmas Cards and Envies
Some days I’m convinced I’m insane to insist on making my own Christmas cards every year (or almost), but it’s so important to me and I love doing it. Here is what I made for this year:

xmas-card-2007.jpg xmas-card-2007-envie.jpg

The envelope has a small window, inside of which is stamped “let it snow”. (And it’s not diarrhea green, as in the photo; it’s actually a beautiful olive green. Trust me.)

Project #3: Ribbon-Hinged Albums
I was commissoned to make two ribbon-hinged albums, both of which I’ve started and almost finished. Photos to come…

Project #4: Personalized Journal
I was also commissioned to make a journal for a co-worker’s daughter. She (the daughter) is a ballerina whose photo was used on promotional material for a ballet school, and her mother has asked me to include some of the material as part of the journal. I love a great challenge! I think I’ve finally figured out what to do…again, photos to come…

All in all, a great weekend!

Crafty Christmas Inspiration

Spending way too much time online looking for Christmas projects and not enough time catching up on my sleep after a rough week (I organized three out-of-town events this week alone)… Planning on spending what’s left of today catching up on some commissions for handmade books and finishing my Christmas cards… Sometimes I wonder if I’m insane to insist on making my own cards and gifts when I barely have a moment to myself, but I can’t help it – Christmas has this effect on me….

Here are a few projects to inspire you, should you have some free time this weekend:

Popsicle Stick Gift Tags

Gift Tags

Spice Rack

Envelope Accordion Book

Advent Boxes

Happy Crafting!!!