Valentines day is a wonderful days for all you single lovers out there. But when you are parents it’s really hard to get around grand gestures of love. Here is a neat little DIY project I managed to create between work and diaper changing.

You’ll need:

1. a cross stitching hoop

2. piece of fabric

3. cross stitch pattern (I used this one)

4. pen

5. needle

6. Embroidery thread

 

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DIY cross stich heart

 

 

Place your fabric securely inside the wooden hoop.

Place over the cross stitch pattern and trace the stitches with a pen (be sure to use a light color that won’t show on the other side).

Stitch along the pattern of the heart.

Remove the excess fabric with scissors.

Give to your Valentine.

Happy Valentines Day!

 

 

 

I can’t believe that this is my 100th post! I was saving one of my DIY projects just for such a joyful occasion, though I must admit that I almost didn’t notice that I hit 100 posts. It was a real surprise realizing that I did,I guess it’s kind of like forgetting that it’s your birthday.

So here it is a special DIY project that I call: Our friendship in a nutshell.

There are several reasons that this post is very dear to me. First, it was a gift to my oldest and dear dear friend. Second, I came up with this sweet idea all by my little self. Third, I wasn’t sure I’ll be able to actually make this gift, so you can imagine how excited I was to see that it came out real nice.

The idea is based on the phrase “In a nutshell” which refers to describing something using as few words as possible. The idea came to me when I saw walnut perfectly broken into two shells. I thought to myself that it could be used as a little box to contain a secret message. And then it hit me! It would be such a cute gift to write down a summery of the relationship, pointing out special occasions, shared phrases and long lost memories, using a nutshell as the box. Hence, “Our Friendship in a Nutshell”.

Once I thought of the idea it was obvious which friend is going to receive it, my oldest friend. Going back almost a year and a half ago, I wrote a post about a gift I received from my oldest friend, using a shared phrase that became sort of legendary phrase among our friends: Tuna Fish Need Love. I think that the “friendship in a nutshell” gift is similar in concept to the book she made me, since both gifts are like a time capsule of memories. It was so much fun trying to remember all the silly things we did together.(Initially I thought about using pictures but then I realized that they would come out too small and probably won’t fit in the nutshell).

 

 

This is a quite simple DIY project. Follow these few simple steps:

Step 1: Break a walnut into two pieces

Step 2: Coat it with a color of your choice. I used gold leafs, but I think that a simple acrylic color would be just as good.

step 3: This is the tricky part. I wanted to be able to open and close the nutshell. At first I though about using a hinge, but that was too small. So I took a piece of ribbon and glued it to the inner side of one of the shells. This way I was able to tie the two pieces together in order to open and close the nutshell.

Step 4: Print out a small note with the friendship description and in a separate thin piece of paper the phrase “our friendship in a nutshell”. Roll the note up like a little scroll and use another string of paper, to keep the note rolled. I simply glued one end to the other, making enough room to slip the scroll in.

Step 5: Place the note inside the nutshell, allowing the thin paper with the phrase to stick out. Tie the ribbon in a pretty bow and there you have it! Your friendship in a nutshell.

Step 6: Hide the nut in a bag full of nuts and give to your friend.

 

I made this for a close friend but this really is a wonderful anniversary gift for your husband/wife, niece/nephew, Parent, teacher or anyone sharing a long history that can be described in a nutshell. Since it’s small, you can give it as a keepsake for a traveling loved one. It is a great gift for the end of the year or a new beginning.

Most importantly it is real easy to make and although it’s cheep and easy to make, it’s actually priceless.

 

 

I have many pending articles I want to post, different gifts ideas I came across throughout the years, some are over 15 years old. Sometimes, I run into a cool idea, I take a photo on my iPhone and forget about it. This is one of these forgotten ideas I took a picture of.

 

 

I was at a beautiful wedding and when it was time for the bouquet to be tossed, the bride came out with a basket filled with flowers and asked all the single ladies to gather around. She then gave each bachelorette a  silk flower with a little personal message wishing each girl to find her prince charming… A most lovely idea, easy to make and a beautiful wedding favor.

I can’t believe that almost a year passed since I started this blog. I am bringing this up since I remember that when I uploaded the blog on March 6th, I had a Valentine’s Day idea in my mind and I knew that I would have to wait for almost a full year before I can post it. Back then I didn’t even know if I would be able to keep a blog at all… I wasn’t sure that I would be able to persist, writing every week seemed like a huge task I wasn’t sure I would be able to pursue. However, almost a year later, I am proud to say that I was able to keep this blog alive, long enough to supply my readers with this next gift idea. I hope that you agree that it was worth the wait…

 

1.2.3. 4.5.6.

“Surely you know what a kiss is?” she asked, aghast.

“I shall know when you give it to me,” he replied stiffly, and not to hurt his feeling she gave him a thimble.

“Now,” said he, “shall I give you a kiss?” and she replied with a slight primness, “If you please.” She made herself rather cheap by inclining her face toward him, but he merely dropped an acorn button into her hand, so she slowly returned her face to where it had been before, and said nicely that she would wear his kiss on the chain around her neck. It was lucky that she did put it on that chain, for it was afterwards to save her life.

– J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

I’ve always been captivated by the story of Peter Pan for many different reasons, the adventures, the romance and the notion of not having to grow up. I was especially fascinated by the idea of the kiss as a small token that holds a great power. Surly the concept of the kiss as a powerful thing exists in many fairytales such as “The Sleeping Beauty”, “Snow White” and “Beauty and the Beast”, but in these tales, the kiss exists in its original manor whilst in Peter Pan the kiss wears the physical form of an acorn or a thimble. This turns every little acorn and thimble into precious kiss that may be given to your loved one, and in contrast to a real kiss, this one stays with you at all times.

 

 

 

Thanks to my Google Reader, I get to see all the fun Valentin’s Day idea’s People come up with! I just had to share this simple, super cute DIY idea by Woman’sDay, A lovely heart candy ring (I already expressed my affection to those). If you are proposing on Valentine’s Day, make sure you have a real wedding ring in your pocket as well… As much as a candy ring is cute, it won’t last long… If you can’t afford a ring, this ring is a thoughtful substitute until you are able to afford a real one.

Valentines Day is about three weeks away and it is time to start planing your Valentines gifts, especially if you want to order something online. It’s been a while since I wrote a top 5 on Etsy piece and what a great opportunity this is to share some of my Etsy choices with you. I love browsing Etsy and finding all sorts of stuff there… it’s the perfect place to browse for gifts since many of the vendors offer personalized gift options.

1. “I pick you” Guitar pick  2. Red heart locket necklace  3. Human heart print  4.  3d hearts with song lyrics  5.  Candy hearts

Here are my top 5 choices:

  1. I used to date a musician and I think that this “I pick you” Guitar pick is a great gift if your other half plays the guitar… It’s a cute way to express your love with regards to your spouse’s occupation.
  2. A more romantic choice for your special lady. There is something so warm and nostalgic about lockets, whenever I open one, it’s like opening a secret. That’s why I find that receiving an empty locket is somewhat disappointing. This lovely locket with the heart embroidery is just the sort of surprising secret most lockets lack. Add a personal love note folded inside the locket and it would enhance the surprise element and give another boost to your gift.
  3. This one is for those of you who don’t really like celebrating Valentines. A crowed that usually divides in two: the pure romantics who don’t need Valentine’s Day as a reminder and the non-romantics who don’t celebrate Hallmarks. For the latter I recommend this beautiful heart print, it’s a more realist way of being romantic with a dash of humor. Works as a great gift for cardiologists as well…
  4. Here is an example for a romantic personalized gift. A heart shaped cutout of your first song with your initials and special date. I always encourage people to DIY, however, if you are not crafty you can purchase a beautifully custom made framed song on Etsy.
  5. Heart candy always works for me! They are very nostalgic since when I was little my mom used to decorate birthday cakes with them…

I know I have been falling behind my blogging lately… Usually I post once a week but lately it had become once every one and a half to two weeks. I actually have so many pending posts and some followup posts I still haven’t gotten to, so I really don’t have a good enough excuse… So I hope to catch up a little. Even though I have many pending posts I found this lovely DIY project by hoot Designs, originally made in Design sponge. Since it is a great idea for new years, I thought I’d share it with you.

 

The concept is really cool! It’s your basic “Dear journal” for everything that happened on each day and if you keep jotting down highlights of your day throughout the month, by January 1st you’ll have a great record for the past year. Imagine how wonderful it would be in 2052 to open this box and reminisce. What I especially like about this project is that it’s a simple DIY. What I love about  DIY projects is not only that they are fun to do and make great personal gifts, but also because they really open your mind to new ideas, and you can alter the initial design according to your needs. I like both the hoot designs and design sponge calendars, but if I were to make one myself, I would probably add a little of my own flare into it…

I want to note that this idea can be great for almost any occasion that involves a  new beginning or end of a period. using the same concept you can make great gifts such as a Pregnancy journal, a graduation log, a teachers diary…. The sky is the limit.

Yesterday I realized that today is our second anniversary!!! oops! I totally forgot about it and didn’t have anything ready… Some gift blogging wife am I! Thank god for the internet for quick solutions. I just Googled “anniversary gift for husband” and found a great gift on Etsy: The Eye Exam Chart Print.  I like a simple design like this one, the idea is smart and strong, the concept is simple enough: at first glance this looks like your average eye exam, but when you read into it you find a secret message hidden inside. Don’t you just love hidden messages???

Since I had no time whatsoever, I couldn’t order this online and had to make my own version. Luckily I had all the supplies. I needed a frame, colors, the print itself, (which you can DIY with Word, Power Point, Illustrator or Photoshop and print in black and white).

 

Making the gift myself gave me the freedom to check different text options, which was good since I wasn’t sure on how I wanted to phrase the sentence. You know how you use sentences differently with different people… Well, even though this sentence is  weirdly written, it is the outcome of the common language that my love and I share.

Since the first thing my husband does in the morning is sit by his desk and browse the internet, I decided that the best way to give him this gift would be to leave it at his desk. This way it is the first thing he will see in the morning. Since he wakes up before me I had to sneak it into his den at night and leave it for him to find. The surprise was almost revealed since he went to close the computer before we went to bed, but fortunately he didn’t notice that something was different.

I forgot to mention an important fact that made this gift extra personal. My dear husband has a condition that requires eye physiotherapy, hence, he has to go through the eye exam every few weeks in order to check if the treatment works. When he saw the frame at his desk in the morning, he initially  thought I was mocking him, but when he looked closely, and read the message, he realized that it was a loving gesture.

Keep in mind that I made this for our anniversary, but given the right wording, this gift can work for almost any occasion and anyone. Just use your imagination and personalize it any way you like.

 

It is not that often that I run into such a great gift idea, a beautiful personal story, that is translated into a moving  gift idea. This beautiful embroidered geography love pillow by Erin from In Between Laundry, makes such a remarkable gift idea.

 

The key to a great personal gift such as this one, is finding a way to break down a personal story into it’s core idea and then interpret this idea into an image. This pillow represents the well known story of boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, they live miles and miles away, have to fight a communist government in order to finally get married. I know, I know, this pillow doesn’t represent all of that, however, this idea is simple, lovely and heartwarming nonetheless.

 

Thank god for my readers comments! If I haven’t known that some one is waiting for my posts, I probably would update this blog once a year… And since I promised I would share my Barcelona inspirations by the end of the week, I forced myself to sit down and write about my impressions of the gifts this city has to offer.

Being an architect, makes you do silly things like going to the College of Architects of Catalonia, which is lucky since I wouldn’t have found their wonderful book store if I hadn’t. The college is situated in the Gothic quarter right across the Gothic cathedral and the bookstore is located at the lower floor. What I loved about this store is that it is divided into two floors. The upper floor is the actual book shop, with an impressive collection of architecture and design books. The lower floor is dedicated to art supplies and wonderful gifts with an affinity to design.

 

 

Two items especially caught my attention:

The first is designated to architecture lovers who have a special affection the works of Le Corbusier. The “Modulor” by Le Corbusier is regarded as the most important modern attempt to develop a mathematically coherent measurement system based on the proportions of the human body.The “Modulor” measuring tape  is a limited addition item that would serve as a wonderful gift only for those who are passionate for The works of Le Courbusier.

The second is a stainless steel  lemon squeezer by Alessi. This is the most prestigious looking kitchen device I have ever seen! Honestly, it looks more like a modern piece of art, rather than a simple lemon squeezer. The advantage of this piece over other kitchen utilities is that it will look gorgeous on the table even when not in use. This gift is appropriate for someone who loves cooking as well as design, it would surly be welcome as a gift for a new home, for the holidays. You know the old saying: If life gives you lemons, make lemonade… and I say: If you are making lemonade, make it with style. Thinking about it, adding this message to the lemon squeezer is just the thing to upgrade this gift.

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