Are you familiar with washi tape? If you like crafting of almost any sort, you need to be! Washi tape is a type of Japanese tape that is close to masking tape in that it feels mostly like paper on the outside and is removable/adjustable on most surfaces, but it comes in all kinds of pretty colors and patterns.
Most of the time, I can only find washi tape online or actually in Japan (I’ve been lucky enough to have a few business trips to Japan and have seriously stocked up), but office depot now carries a huge selection of washi tape and other pretty masking, packaging, scotch, and duck tapes! Below is just one area of the pretty tape section at the store I found them at in Austin.
And here’s what I came home with that trip:
This tape can be used for all sorts of crafts. Its great for cards and giftwrap. I’ve seen whole books about ways to use washi tape for gift wrapping! It can also be used to make jewelry, decorate picture frames, hang things on walls, and more. I have a whole pinterest board for washi projects if you want to browse more ideas!
p.s. office depot and scotch do not know I exist, and I’m certainly not being compensated for this post – I just really love cute tape!
Two weeks ago, Eddie and I spent a week around San Francisco with my parents and had an amazing time. If you follow me on instagram, you already know about many of our adventures This is a photo dump and some records of what we did and loved, which is something I haven’t done on the blog here before. If you’re interested in visiting the area or like lots of photos – read on.
We started off staying in Santa Cruz for a few nights, while we visited Monterey, Point Pinos and Lobos tide pools, 17 mile drive, and Santa Cruz.
The aquarium was fantastic. There were lots of cool exhibits, including jellyfish, otters, and penguins. It was just a really neatly laid out aquarium (I’m somewhat of an aquarium connoisseur). Point Lobos and Point Pinos were both really neat in their own way. Point Pinos had lots of urchins and some anemone, and Point Lobos had some sea lions, crabs, and some fish (more photos to come when I get pics back from our underwater camera).
There was some awesome wildlife and amazing views along 17 mile drive – including the squirrel type guy above, sea lions, otters, and lots of birds.
The redwoods were amazing – huge and really impressive. Many have survived fires and some have holes straight through them (many of which are much larger than in the photo above). Ano Nuevo was another awesome stop on the way up to San Francisco – more gorgeous coastal views and lots of fighting elephant seals.
While in San Francisco, we checked out Muir Woods, Lombard Drive, Pier 39, china town, and had some ah.maz.ing. food!
They had awesome sourdough animals at the Boudin Bakery on fisherman’s wharf.
Creme brulee cart restaurant in San Francisco – they also have food carts, but it was closed the day we were there.
One of the 6 Creme brulees we had at the creme brulee cart store – this one was a vanilla creme brulee topped with caramel and candied pecans. Om Nom!
We made a few stops on the North side of the golden gate bridge to take some cool photos.
This is one of many, many photos from Muir woods. The parking here was insane, but the redwoods really are amazing and there are some really cool hiking trails here.
You can view more of the photos on my flickr photostream here if you’re so inclined!
One of the updates in my guest bathroom makeover was putting a frame up around the mirror to make it a little less builder-basic.
I think it really helps transform our bathroom from builder-basic and plain to sophisticated and custom. I didn’t take any before or during pictures (bad blogger!), but I used a combination of these tutorials (and the pictures were great for convincing my husband that this was actually a good idea!): Design gal, This thrifty house, A little of this, a little of that, Impatiently praying for patience, and Thrifty and chic.
Basically, we got some trim from home depot to match our door molding ($8 for two 2.25″ thick, 7′ long, pre-primed pieces). We cut them to size and mitered the corners with our table saw, then painted them with some high-gloss white paint (left over from our bedroom shelf). We glued them directly to the mirror using this product, reinforced the glue with painters tape, and let it dry overnight. I then caulked the corners and touched them up with more paint.
Some tips I want to reiterate in case you want to do this your self:
- Use a product labeled to work on mirrors for attaching the trim to the mirror. I went in just thinking ‘liquid nails’ because that’s what a lot of the tutorials I read used, but our store had many varieties of liquid nails, none of which said they were good for mirrors (they didn’t have the liquid nails mirror variety, but it does in fact exist). Again, we used this kind.
- Check that your corners all line up by taping the trim pieces around your mirror before you glue anything down to make sure they line up. I found that keeping the other pieces taped up as I untaped/glued each piece helped keep my corners perfect.
- Pay attention to the angling on the corners – front/back as well as the angle of the miter cut.
- Make sure not to put the glue too close to the inside edge of the mirror – otherwise you’ll see it in the reflection (I have one spot where this happened – shown above). On the same note, paint at least the inner half inch or so of the back of your trim!
- If you want the corners to match up, you need the trim to all be flat. The easy way to do this is to have the outside of your trim frame line up with the edge of the mirror, but I decided I wanted to have my frame extend over the edge of the mirror. The bottom edge of my mirror was flush with the granite sink top, though, so I had to sand down part of the back to make it flush. Hope that makes sense!
I don’t know about you, but getting real mail (i.e. not bills or junk) completely makes my day! How would you like to get a personalized package in the mail from a new crafty friend? Then you should sign up for this round of package pals!
Here’s how Package Pals (PP) works:
- Sign up using the form below, by Thursday, July 25th. The first 100 people will be included in the August Package Pals (PP)!
- We will pair you with one other crafty person. You will each send and receive one crafty package in the month of August.
- We will send each of the 100 PP’s an email by Thursday, August 1st, letting you know who your package pal is.
- Send your PP a crafty package by August 31st, 2013!
- We will have a linky party set up on September 3rd for everyone to share their package pal goodies!
- You can chat with all PP’s (and me and Jamie) on twitter with #packagepals
- You do not have to have a blog to be a part of package pals.
- PP is open to everyone everywhere in the world! Please note, if you are outside of the US, you will possibly have to ship a package outside of your country. *I will do my best to pair people in their country of origin, but I can not guarantee it.
- If you have more questions, check the FAQ and then if you’re still not sure…email me at starsandsunshineblog at gmail dot com.
Here are some crafty ideas that are easy and inexpensive to ship from me and Jamie @ C.R.A.F.T.:
- lacy clay bowl
- map frames
- dino photo holder/magnets
- pillow cover
- a hex nut bracelet
- personalized coloring book
You could even send your package pal crafting supplies for a certain project on their to do list or general fun crafty things like bakers twine, lace tape, Elmer’s painters, or our favorite crafty book, Young House Love !
Here’s a spunky button to add to your side bar if you have a blog and decide to participate in the October PP!
*Please include your city, state, and zip in the what is your shipping address question on the form.
*By filling out this form, you are committing to putting together a crafty package and going to the post office to send it to your package pal within the month of August. In return, you will get a surprise crafty package delivered to your door step too!
*signups now closed*
I haven’t posted anything sewing-related here in quite a while, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing any sewing! I’ve made one quilt, started another quilt, made several pillows, and started practicing free motion quilting all in the past couple of months. More on the rest later, but here’s the first quilt. It’s made of lots of wonky stars in jewel tone colors, but with prints in the centers.
The quilt I made was for my sister, Steph. We’d kind of talked about me making a quilt for her before, but I think it was kind of a surprise that she got one now for her birthday. We’d decided that she liked my taste/style enough to completely surprise her with the colors/design, which was pretty scary for me. Quilts are a lot of work, and the idea of giving one to someone that isn’t really their jam – yikes! Anyways, I think she really likes it – crisis averted! The finished quilt fits a full-sized bed nicely.
I completely stole the idea from here, but only used 4 solid colors. I used 21 prints: 6 purple, 6 navy, 6 green, and 3 gray. There are two stars of each print – 42 blocks total. This was one of my first bigger projects using my much-loved Japanese fabric. Its good that I’ve finally started using it though, because I’ve just gotten back another work trip to Japan right now and bought more fabric this time as well
The backing fabric is flannel, and is this really fun bold print. I also added a pieced border using all the print fabrics from the quilt top, which was a last-minute addition that I completely love.