Wrapping Up

We are at the fag end of a very eventful year. It has been a good year for this small blogging adventure too. It has been a little more than an year I have been blogging (If you would kindly forget and forgive me for those 5 odd months I went AWOL) But anyways, I learned so much, came across wonderful opportunities and am sure beautiful things are yet to happen, including a surprise early next year - Thank you all - all those who read me, leave comments above all encourage me to move forward.

Before I wrap up - here is a little wrapping inspiration for you all. I have used most generic wrapping paper and twine here, but I did spruce up with clay gift tags.

I have used the regular Air Dry Clay - which I rolled out and cut out in the shape ( in my case a tree) and painted it - then decorated with things I already had in hand. I believe any generic wrapping paper can be notched up with a thoughtful handmade tag - and these are proof.


Air dry Clay
Mod Podge
Glitter Dust
Colored Fennel Seeds

Take a handful of clay and using a roller pin roll it out to medium thin sheet. I used a tree template cut out on card board as stencil and cut out the shape from sheet with a knife. Do not forget to make a small hole on the top to tie up.

How- To

It takes a day for air dry clay to dry (polymer clay could be baked and ready in half an hour. Once dry you can paint it and decorate. I used mod podge to glue my decor stuff on to the tag. They stay as long as you handle gently.

Now wrap your gifts and tie up using twine how ever you want.

So that is a wrap from This Design Journal for now. See you all after the holidays. Wish you all a merry Xmas and happy happy Holidays.

Personalized Polka Dot Ornaments

What is happier than making your own ornamnets and watching them thinking of the moments you made them? I say gifting your creations to dear friends and share those moments with them. That is what I did with this set of ornaments - Made them, decorated them and even personalized them with their initials. Happy right!

Decofoil Personalized Polka Dot Ornament

I wanted a classy look because this particular friend loves things classic - be it a story, be it accessories - so I went for white and gold and red. But other than the color choices ( for which I though long and hard) everything else about this DIY is simple and is done under an hour.


Ceramic Ornaments
The zot transfer dots
Gold foil Paper
E6000 Glue
Foil Transfer Letters (Michaels )

It all started with the white ceramic ornaments I spotted at Michaels. I had the Gold Foil transfer sheets. I knew the combination would be classic. Besides I haven't known a girl who didn't love polka dots yet -  What was tricky in my plan? Finding a way to make perfect dots. I tried with hole punches and sticking them to the ornament - but that was messy and fussy and glue all over. I searched for an alternative - that was also the time I came across Therm O Web products ( remember the posts here and here) and I found the Zots adhesive Dots perfect for my project. I ordered them through Amazon though ( free shipping is hard to pass up!).

Once you have the adhesive dots - it is fairly simple. You have to ensure you don't touch the dots with your hands - instead use the ornament itself to adhere it directly. Once you have the dots on the ornaments - cut down small strips of the foil sheets and press it on the glue dot, metallic side up.

I used the same technique with the transfer letters - Only i had to use E6000 glue to stick it to the ornament. Simple and easy diy project for a quiet afternoon - right!

Decofoil Personalized Polka Dot Ornament

Have you finalized your gift giving plans for the year? do you think DIY ornaments make a cool gift for a dear one?

Buddha Board - Modern day Etch A Sketch

This post is about a new product I came across very recently. Enso's Buddha Board is completely new to me thing but it immediately reminded me of my younger days. I was born and brought up in a small town in rural Kerala ( southern part of India) where we learn alphabets by writing in the sand. Yes, in the sand - on our front courtyard - a small area - a foot long or something - was built with bricks for border and we would sit and trace alphabets with our fingers - repeat it until we learn - I think the idea was to build the flesh memory that will be etched in our brain for ever . The world had moved forward so much by that time with notebooks and black boards but my parents were insistent that we learn and live the traditions and never forget our roots.

Then came the magic world of Etch A Sketch boards - I think I saw it first when one of my classmates brought it to school - apparently some one from abroad gifted it to her and we were amazed by it. These are things I have not thought about for a very long time but these snippets of my life were the first things I thought of when I received my Buddha Board. How the world has moved forward and how the time has changed us.

Anyways, Buddha Board is inspired by the Zen idea of living in the moment. You simply paint on the surface with water and your creation will come to life in bold design. Then as the water slowly evaporates, your art will magically disappear leaving you with a clean slate and a clear mind, ready to create a whole new masterpiece. Buddha Board is environmentally friendly as it only uses water - no ink, no paint, no chemicals - and it will last for years. Great idea, right!

Remember the magic the first time you used Etch A Sketch?  - I mean an ink that is erased just by a stroke of hand! Imagine my thrill when I realized this thing could erase ink by doing nothing. It was me who tried it out first, but it was my little daughter who found it amazing- as amazed as me with Etch A Sketch. The board as such comes with a pen brush which you can fill with water. You can dip the tip in water and use too - I believe any soft clean brush will work, but I haven't tried that.

She played around it but then I remembered I could teach her how to draw with it. She was especially thrilled by the angel we drew. I would draw first and when the ink slowly starts to disappear she would keep repeating - a fun game we found together.

The important part was how it kept her engaged to create one angel complete and perfect - like a race against disappearing ink.I found the focus and perseverance we need to finish our design- that is what it makes this fun tool special - that gives it the zen effect.

A simple way to engage the kids and ourselves and have some fun along the way , right! How do you guys relax ? Coffee and candy or Wine and a movie or making art or weaving ?

I partnered with Buddha Board makers to bring this post to you.While the team kindly sent me the product to try out, the concept, effort and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help me bring my ideas to life.

DIY : Glitter Dipped Snowflake Ornaments

DIY Snow Flake Glitter Ornament

Christmas trees are definitely festive and fun. I agree completely. But you have to also agree with me that they don't come cheap. You get a real tree or fake it does drain your wallet. Do you know what drains your wallet more? The decorations and ornaments. They are a dollar or two a piece - but think how quickly they add up!

What drains me more is the fact that kids demand different things every year - putting up the very same set every year is not something they are not crazy about. I do have a set of special ornaments that I repeat everyyears - but then, they are special because they were made by us or gifted.

Now since I have been doing it for past three years, I know better and do better. I make them at home as much as possible. They are not super fancy or take up a ton of time and effort. On the other hand I am going for simple - that I can customize a different way come next year. So here I am sharing some of my favorite ones over the next few days. They are super simple and you can easily replicate or even take it to much fancier level.

First up is glittered snow flake ornaments.


Snowflake Gift Tags ( you can even cut out papers)
Acrylic Paint
Mod Podge
Glitter Dust

DIY Snow Flake Glitter Ornament

To start off I painted them white, since I have a white and gold theme going on. Once the paint is dry, which takes about 10 minutes - tape off some part of the snow flake and apply a thin layer of mod podge. Generously spread a layer of glitter dust and let it sit for a few minutes.

DIY Snow Flake Glitter Ornament

DIY Snow Flake Glitter Ornament

 Shake off the excess dust and let dry for thirty minutes. Apply another thin layer of mod podge to seal off the glitter. and you are good to go.

DIY Snow Flake Glitter Ornament

Simple right! I bought 2 bags of the tags from target for a dollar each, I had rest of the supply in hand. that means 12 glittery home made ornaments for 2 dollars - I am not counting the precious time I spend with my daughter to make those here.

Hope that was easy peasy to inspire you to splatter some glitter dust fun around. Do let me know.

DIY : Celebrate love & Compassion with an Advent Calendar

Advent Calendar DIY with Decofoil.

Christmas - the world says it is the time we celebrate the birth of Christ. But for me it is the time we celebrate life as such- not just Jesus - but everyone inspired by him or not. We did not have any traditions until now - but I am trying to begin some for my little girl -  She is just five - all she cares now is Santa bringing some goodies on the D-Day and baking a cake and singing happy birthday for Jesus. But it is not too early to learn some lessons on giving, loving our friends and neighbors and living a purposeful life, right!

Advent Calendar DIY with Decofoil.

I have always been attracted by the idea of Advent - something to look forward to make each day of this festive season special - each day having a purpose. It is a worthy tradition to begin with right! I loved our group discussions to find what we plan to do each day leading to Christmas. We made suggestions - argued on some and made a pact to do some giving too along with fun activities. Trust me it takes a while to get our little ones to agree up on anything.

On to the DIY part :-

Advent Calendar DIY with Decofoil.

While we were deciding on activities, I got some envelops, wood stickers and some foil transfer supply. Everything mentioned here came from Michaels - except for the decofoil transfer paper and adhesive - which the kind folks at Thermoweb sent over to try. If you can't find wood stickers,  just cut out the shapes using craft paper. Decofoil works with any of the porous material.

I started out by applying liquid foil adhesive using a brush. I recommend using a bristle brush so that brush strokes are reflected once you apply the foil. It gives a natural textured feel. 

The adhesive takes about an hour to dry and once fairly dry , cut out small strips of foil transfer paper and apply - metallic  side facing up. Rub the foil in for a few seconds and peel of the rest of the paper.

Now it is time to put the stickers on the envelope. If you are using paper cut outs use any generic glue to stick the foiled design on to the envelopes. Then write the dates on the envelop or use stamps as I have.

More detailed instructions with pictures are present in this post.

Advent Calendar DIY with Decofoil.

Advent Calendar DIY with Decofoil.

I filled each envelop with candy and activity for that day which is the most important part and put it up at an easily accessible place for her. Now we are waiting for tomorrow to come to start opening one by one. Yum!!!

Advent Calendar DIY with Decofoil.

 Do you have interesting Christmas traditions? Share and suggest some for my young family.

DIY : A Festive Table Runner with Decofoil

So it is here - the most festive season of all. Until two years ago Christmas wasn't really a thing in this house but now, for my little daughter and family it is "THE THING" . It is so much a thing now, we have elaborate plans to make the most of it, from ornaments to gifts, cookies to feasts, advent to movies.

Festive Table Runner with DecoFoil

I am kicking off the Holiday DIY series today with a very sweet and festive addition we made to our decor adventures. It came to me as plain jane $3 burlap table runner from Target dollar spot , except it now sparkles and shines- thanks to Decofoil  products.

A fabric Table Runner
Decofoil Metallic Transfer Paper
Decofoil Liquid foil Adhesive

Festive Table Runner with DecoFoil

It is a sweet and simple DIY even kids would enjoy. I used a table runner - but this can easily be a pillow cover, place-mats or hand towels. You start with prepping the fabric- I didn't wash it, just did a quick iron. Next is to find an amazing stencil or if you are artistic with your hands (so very unlike me) hand draw a design on your fabric.

Festive Table Runner with DecoFoil

Once you have design in place it is time to cover it with liquid foil adhesive. You have to make sure you get good coverage with the adhesive, it doesn't have to be thick but not barely there kind either. If need be use a paint brush to spread the adhesive equally.

Now it is the hard part- the wait. It takes around 1 to 2 hours to dry according to package directions. I waited just a little more than an hour - impatience is a hard bitch to kill. But I was fine -

Once it adhesive is fairly dry, it is time to apply the transfer foil. I chose to use transfer foils in green and gold - traditional green,red and gold sings Merry Christmas like no other colors for me. Cut the foil a little larger than the design and apply on the adhesive.

Make sure tp apply it with color side facing  up and apply medium pressure with your fingers and slowly rub in the design on the fabric. I kept on for about a minute on each one hoping to get the foil covered as much as possible. Peel off the foil paper slowly to reveal the design.

As I progressed I knew if you have enough adhesive, you will get good coverage with very little time and effort. If you are not satisfied with the coverage, apply the glue again and repeat the process. It is that simple.

Just to add a tad bit of glamour I whipped up some pom poms and stitched to the both ends of the runner. It is difficult to keep my little ones hands off it - but it totally adds cheer.

An easy DIY to get your home ready for the festive season right? What I love more is that with a change in color and design, it could easily fit any season or occasion. I hope you love it.

Now tell me how you like it? In what other ways you would use these transfer paper? I would love to hear your ideas.

If you are my regular reader, you also know that I am Guidecentral Maker for past few months. I publish guides with Guidecentral and work on campaigns initiated by Guidecentral. They partnered me up with Thermoweb- Decofoil  to come up with guides using their products. While Decofoil team kindly sent me the products to try out, the concept, effort and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help me bring my ideas to life.

5 Elegant DIY Tablescapes for Thanksgiving

I know I jumped ahead to Christmas with last two posts. But I still have hopes and plans for Thanksgiving and it is just around the corner. Have you guys finalized on your plans? We don't have the tradition of formal Thanksgiving get together. I never started it because we don't have family nearby. But we do have informal friends-giving get- together planned. Is that even a term or something that exists only in blog land? Anyways before I share my own small DIY attempts at a tablescape and decor, here are a few inspirational ones from around the blog world.

Thanksgiving - Inspirational Tablescapes

If you are color crazy like me, I am sure this one will be treat to your eyes too. The beauty of it is that it is quite simple and easy to put together. That is something I love about A Bubbly Life blog too. The way she uses colors and put them together is incredibly beautiful. I love that it is perfectly suitable to a family get together or a meal together for your favorite friends.

Thanksgiving - Inspirational Tablescapes

The above tablescape is glamour and elegance put together. It has the traditional colors that marks this beautiful season, the candles that adds warmth , flowers and greenery that makes it meaningful. In other words, PERFECT !

Thanksgiving - Inspirational Tablescapes

I am a fan of anything and everything Amy of Homey Oh My does. This beautiful neutral table is no different. I know, it is a bit too neutral and modern for the traditional ones out there, but even they can not deny that the table is impeccably put together.

Thanksgiving - Inspirational Tablescapes

Julie Banner's blog is relatively new to me, but I could not take this tablescape out of my mind from the moment I saw it. Do you see it is a 5 minute decor with things most probably you already have in hand. If you are a busy bee, this is your table.

Thanksgiving - Inspirational Tablescapes

Colors have always been my thing, and that is why I love this moment so much. It is simple, organic yet budget friendly and put together in minutes. Just to add a twist, I switched traditional vase for a cabbage (it tastes as yummy as it looks). Only thing to do there is to carve out the center to fit in a small glass. Then I placed the glass inside and filled water half way through.

I am drawing inpirations from all these wonderful spaces and ideas and many more. What are you planning for the great Thanks Day? What are your traditions and inspirations? Suggest me some since I am only getting started for my young family. 

2015 Holiday Ornament Exchange Link Party

Welcome to the first 2015 Holiday Ornament Exchange!

Hey All, how is your holiday preparations progressing? I know most homes don't put out their tree and decor until after thanksgiving, me too. But this year has been different with this wonderful opportunity I had to participate in this huge exchange game. Come, see all these wonderful creations and let's all get inspired this season!

Want to see all the amazing ornaments we have shared? We are linking up all of our ornaments in the link below so everyone can see all the beautiful handmade and/or store bought goodies we came up with!

Let's all get inspired this season!

Ornament Exchange Link Party

The Hosts of the Exchange

Ornament Exchange Hosts

We want to say a huge "Thank You" to all the blogs that shared the exchange announcementon their sites, we could not have done it without you! Hugs! 

Ornament Exchange Helpers

Make sure to visit all the other wonderful bloggers of the 2015 Ornament Exchange! All of their incredible creations are linked in the link party below.
DIY Adulation | The Farmhouse In The Field | Tastefully Frugal | My Sweet Things |Christmas Tree Lane | Simply Kelly Designs | Munofore | Decor To Adore | Tulips & Orchids | Rhinestones & Sweatpants |Happily Ever After, Etc. | From This to That | DIY Just Cuz | This Design Journal | I am Homemaker | Organized by Sunshine | Displaced Yinzer | My Life From Home | Nets Blog About Jnets Line | 10 Acres and 6 Chicks | Books and Life | Gardenchick | Two Purple Couches | DIY Just Cuz | Across the Blvd | Kentucky to Cali | Insolence + Wine | Our House Now a Home | Weekend Craft | Mary and Martha's House | Random Bits of Happiness | Dragonfly and Lily Pads | Garden Matter | Recipe For a Sweet Life | Mama's Journey | Amber Downs | Toolbox Divas | Craving Some Creativity | Vikalpah | Flourish & Knot | Raising Fairies and Knights | Blue Willow House | The Road to Domestication | Love My Messy Messy Mess | An Oregon Cottage | Home On The Corner | Fearlessly Creative Mamma | The Evolution of Mom | The Green Mountain Couple | Simply Home Love | Run with Jackabee | simple.pretty.life | The Chilly Dog | Try it - Like it | Gypsy Road | Playfully Tacky | Wife Mommy Me
We want to see your ornament tutorials too! Show us your creations by adding your post to the party below! Please add only ornament tutorials to the party. Thank you!

An InLinkz Link-up


DIY Glitter and Glue Christmas Ornaments
I have been absent from this space for a while now. I can give you long version of the story or short. But today is not the day for long version because there is much more interesting, exciting and useful things happening here. So I hereby state the short version which basically tells you the absence was because of some minor disasters and major hiccups. Did I leave you hanging for information? I am so sorry. Please stay on for a while.

Moving on to more important stuff now,

Welcome to the third day of the 2015 Ornament Exchange! Erlene at My Pinterventures partnered 80+ bloggers to exchange ornaments and we want to share our creations and special finds with you! Over 14 days, a group of ladies will be sharing our ornament tutorials or shopping trips to give you lots of holiday inspiration early and in advance.


I was partnered with the lovely Jillian from I am a Homemaker blog, Jillian shares simple, cost effective yet beautiful projects on her blog, and if you spend a while at her sweet blog you will know she is the girl next door you and me are familiar with.

Now on to what I made for Jillian and her family - She didn't have a lot of guidelines for me , only that her tree this year is inspired by her blue couch - that basically dictates decor of her living room - So blue it is this time. I made two sets of ornaments just because I wanted to ( I am a very lovely friend in that way :-))- besides it was fun.

Please find the simple steps here.

What you Need :

Clear Click Open Ornaments (Most craft stores carry them, Mine is from Michaels)
Mod Podge
Small Craft Mirrors (Found here )
Sweet and Simple Glitter Ornaments - all you need is glitter and mod podge.

The first I made were using the clear Ornaments. Open the plastic halves and apply a layer of Mod Podge, once you have good coverage then sprinkle the glitter dust covering the whole area. Now wait a few minutes and shake off the excess glitter. Let it dry and cure for an hour or two. Since Mod Podge dries clear, you will not have glue marks. I glued on a pretty ribbon I found at Michael s to have an extra detail and secure the ornament . That's it. Simple right!

DIY Glitter and Glue Christmas Ornaments

DIY Glitter and Glue Christmas Ornaments

The second set was made with mirrors, I love the idea of some mirrored surfaces on the tree, especially with the lights glowing. Here I stenciled and drew some trees and flowers on them with glue and sprinkled plenty of glitter on them. Let it dry and shake off the excess. The same method as the previous.

DIY Glitter and Glue Christmas Ornaments

There you have it. I hope Jillian and family enjoy it as much as I loved making them.

I am not alone today bringing you inspiration and ideas, check out what these wonderful ladies have in store for you.

Ornament Exchange2015 by My Pinterventures

To see all the inspirational posts in the series please visit My Pintervetures.

So have you started thinking about your plans for this years tree yet? Let me know if you are going DIY way or have already layed eyes on pretty stuff out there?