The Color Hive

In honor of Earth Day, I created the 'Color Hive' to share with you:

If you can't quite put your finger on what this reminds you of, here's a tip:

I've abused plenty of MS Office software to do my ghetto "design" work DIYing stationary, and in the process wasted a lot of time/scratch paper/ink to get the colors just right. Colors / shades on the computer screen can be quite different than what each printer produce, so printing this as a guide may be helpful in minimizing the steps and waste to get that perfect color.

*Originally I had made this in a full page PDF file for another free download, but I recently had to reimage my computer and I lost most of my templates in the process. I almost didn't post this but I figure it may still be useful if you print the top image.

Enjoy, and Happy Earth Day!


DIY Mini 'Laundry' Calendar - v.2011

I've gotten quite a few requests for an updated template of this little calendar (see original post HERE):

So I woke from my blog-hibernation briefly, updated the template and posted it for you to download. You can go to the original post for detailed instructions on how to make this. I added a calendar cover and a few more tag options in the new template, and it covers October 2010 through March 2012.

Download 2011 template HERE
Original post with DIY instructions can be found HERE

Goin' back to bed now, happy crafting!


Double Dipping Asian Cucumber Salad

Da hubs can't get enough of these, so I figured out how to use the marinade twice. The first batch is always devoured in one sitting, the second batch makes a happy healthy snack for the next day or two.

  • 2 cucumbers/english cucumbers
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes (optional, use 1 tbsp for extra spicy)
  • 1/2 tbsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tbsp roasted sesame seeds (optional)


  1. Peel cucumber and half it length wise, use a small spoon to rid the seeds
  2. Slice cucumbers (~1/4" thick)
  3. Add salt to the cucumbers and mix well, fridge in a colander for 2 hours*
  4. Mix everything else except the sesame seed in a medium bowl
  5. Add cucumbers, toss to coat
  6. Fridge for at least an hour
  7. Drain, reserving the marinade
  8. Add sesame seeds, toss
To Double Dip:
  1. Repeat steps 1-3 above with another 2 cucumbers & 1/2 tbsp salt
  2. Add the following to the reserved marinade: 1 tsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  3. Repeat steps 5-8 above, but fridge overnight and toss the marinade this time
* this make the cucumbers 'sweat' so the marinade is less diluted and reusable, don't forget to put something below the colander to catch the the drippings

Happy Nomming!


Sweet Shower Thank You Postcard (Downloadable Template Included)

As promised, here are the matching thank-yous to MOH-Ho's shower invites:

I designed several back options for MOH-Ho to choose from. My favorite was the cleaner looking centered print...
but she preferred the one that had the lighter background pink text with the the original 'Sugar Spice Nice' reference.

Like her wedding invitation thank-you cards, I designed this to print on one side with the optional backside if you can get it to line up right. I'm putting up both our favorite options for download.




DIY Packaging Air Pillows

I needed small air pillows to package the little valentines for mailing, so I did some recycling and made my own:
Left over from all my online holiday shopping were tons of these air pillows too big for this application:
So I cut out the sealed edges of each pillow: And also cut out any part with printing on it, leaving me with just the clear plastic:
I folded the clear piece in half:
Resealed all the edges with my suckie-suckie (aka food saver):

Then I snipped off a little corner to fit a straw through (a fun option: insert confetti of your choice) and give it a quick puff:
Bring that snipped corner back to the suckie-suckie for sealing again:
  • Even if you're not looking to alter the size, snipping air pillow corners can let the air out and flatten for easy storage. You can then reuse these with a quick puff and seal whenever you need them.
  • Other soft plastic pieces can be use to make these, look around for plastic wraps that are (unfortunately) all around us!
  • Suckie-suckie made this project easy, but with some testing I imagine many heat sources can produce the same results.

Happy crafting!


DIY Song Themed Valentine (If The Stars Were Mine)

Like last year, I made little packages to send out as valentines. This year each box is built based on lyrics from this beautiful song (press play):

Since the very first time I heard it, I had wanted to 'put the stars right in a jar and give them all to...' ehh... somebody, ANYBODY! Valentine's day finally came around and gave me an excuse to do this without creeping people out:
Initially I wanted to baked some Green Tea cookies for the project. MOH-Ho brought over a recipe from Martha and we made some freaking adorable star cookies:but DUDE they tasted like @$$!

So we switched gears and turned to a basic sugar cookies recipe. We made what felt like a gazillion batches of these puffy little suckers before getting them to turn out just the right size to fit in those tiny glass hinged jars:
The package wouldn't make much sense without the song, so I burned the song onto these business card size mini-CDs. For the label, I drew a simple bird silhouette sitting on a 'wire' of the corresponding lyrics 'I'd teach the birds such lovely words and make them sing for you':
[Keeping it legal: Turns out Amazon doesn't let you purchase the same MP3 more than once, making the purchase of multiple copies difficult (I assume it's similar on other music sites). You can get around it by buying different versions, set up multiple accounts, use the spouse's account, or purchase from various sites.]

To illustrate the final part of the chorus 'wrap the world in ribbons', I printed the lyrics with an antique world map graphic background on linen paper. I hand tore out each map for the frayed edges effect, rolled it up, and wrapped it with coordinating ribbons:
Then I packed them up in little boxes and off in the mail they went:

... though not before I DIYed coordinating packing materials that made EVERYONE roll their eyes. That will have to be another post, but I'll leave you with the lyrics of...

If The Stars Were Mine by Melody Gardot

If the stars were mine
I'd give them all to you
I'd pluck them down right from the sky
and leave it only blue
I would never let the sun forget to shine upon your face
so when others would have rain clouds you'd have only sunny days
If the stars were mine
I'd tell you what I'd do
I'd put the stars right in a jar and give them all to you

If the birds were mine
I'd tell them when to sing
I'd make them sing a sonnet when your telephone would ring
I would put them there inside the square, whenever you went out
so there'd always be sweet music whenever you would walk about
If the birds were mine
I'd tell you what I'd do
I'd teach the birds such lovely words and make them sing for you
I'd teach the birds such lovely words and make them sing for you

If the world was mine
I'd paint it gold and green
I'd make the oceans orange for a brilliant color scheme
I would color all the mountains, make the sky forever blue
So the world would be a painting and I'd live inside with you
If the world was mine
I'd tell you what I'd do
I'd wrap the world in ribbons and then give it all to you
I'd teach the birds such lovely words and make them sing for you
I'd put those stars right in a jar...and..........
give them all...to you.......


Sweet Shower: Fun and Games

Coming up with games for the shower had me pulling out my hair. I had never been to a bridal shower and had no clue what's fun to a bunch of women with ages/interests/backgrounds that are all over the map.

So I went with what I know best - sticking to the theme.

For the ice-breaker, I armed MOH-Ho with a stack of labels with names of different character associated with food (from Julia Child to Mrs. Butterworth) to greet the guests with. Here's a shot of MOH-Ho with her new identity as the Morton's Salt Girl:

She'd go hug her hellos, stick the label on each guest's back, and explained the rules (guess who you are by asking people only yes or no questions). This worked out wonderfully because it gave MOH-Ho brief one-on-one time with each individual as soon as they came in, and the labels ensured she would not miss a soul. It also gave guests an easy topic to mingle with. There were a lot of 'ooo, you've got a good one!' and/or 'do you know who you are yet?' going around even among those meeting for the first time.

Next to the cake plate guest book, I set up a couple games for guests to get to at their leisure. The first one is a simple guess-the-number-of-candy-in-jar game:

White chocolate raspberry almond M&M's was the perfect sweet and pink for this:It took some looking to find a jar to house 116 candies (11-6 was MOH-Ho's wedding date) just right!
The second game set up on the table had the ladies guessing jars of spices covered by tissue paper with small holes. By mainly sniffing, guests were to identify the spices. The game cards coordinated with the invite suite like everything else, but they were nothing special so I didn't take a photo. Here a digital snapshot though:

The last game was the most fun as it gathered the guests together for some chuckles. I made these game cards with 5 themey questions (see pics of front and back below). Guests answers were read to MOH-Ho and each author of her favorite answers won a prize.

I had MOH-Ho's now hubby read all the answers to her. It was a great way to involve the groom, and it bought me time away to figure out the winners of the other games.

If I recall correctly, Momma MOH-Ho was the winner for the first question with 'Chip Clip'. Many answers, along with MOH-Ho's responses to them, tickled funny bones around the room.

Games are best when there are prizes, and it's fun adding a little competition. Since MOH-Ho's choice of a Pampered Chef shower eliminated the gift opening portion of a standard shower, having her award prizes gave something for the guests to unwrap and 'ooo-and-ahh' a little bit over. Again I chose some food related items (for the candy jar game, winner took home the jar with the M&M's):

I decorated some of the wrapper with left over vellum strips from the vanilla extract & sugar favors project (which were scraps from the shower invite envelopes):

I also bought a half pound box of See's truffles as a raffle prize. To encourage guests to participate in the games, the game cards were used as raffle tickets for the final prize.

That's it, and it all worked out surprisingly really well!

What are your favorite shower games?