Friday, December 31, 2010

Link Love No.36!

You must be wondering why I am posting Link Love so soon... the reasons are...

1. Tomorrow is our New Year’s party, and I am not posting.
2. On January 1st there is something exciting I am going to post, so I really wanted this week’s link love posted soon.

Thank you again everyone for your wonderful projects. It is hard for me to pick just five every time. I always try to have a variety by picking different types of projects. Also, I want to give many different people a chance to be featured. I hope you understand where I come from and why I pick certain projects for my link party.

Ok, this week’s link love...

The Quick Un-pick shared this wonderfully done Sewn Photo Canvas Display. Her tutorial shows you how to make this, and the result is stunning!

Are you looking for the perfect gift to give in January that is useful all year long? Very Merry Vintage Style created free printable calendar for 2011 and shares a tutorial on how to create this amazingly cute calendar. This will be going on my "to-do" list. :)

These black & white fortune cookies by Homeworkwill spice up any party. A very fun and stylish idea!

Is this pretty or what? I keep my recipes in a special binder, but I might start writing my recipes on index cards, so I can use this card holder. :) Check out Life's Sweeter with Chocolate wonderful step by step tutorial!

I posted several different tutorials for brooches (including mine) in the past, and I believe this is totally new! I love the fullness of it, and it looks easy to make. Thank you for sharing Innocentia !

I can't believe this year is ending soon... I just want to tell you all how thankful I am that you to take time out of your busy day to come back to read my blog. Really, THANK YOU SO MUCH! I hope, I can keep creating and writing fun and feel good posts during the coming year.

Have a nice New Year’s Eve, and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Link Party No 36!

This is a picture that I took while ago. I love this tree. Every time when I drove pass by I glance at it. Some reason, the tree gives me a very calm and peaceful feeling.

Hmmm... You guys must be wondering when I would post my new projects. Well, tell you the truth, I don't even know. I have two other dinner parties (one is for New Year’s Eve) planned out and don't have much time to work on my projects.

Although, let me tell you this, there is something very special and fun planned out for begging of 2011. I can't tell you what it is yet, because that will spoil the fun, but you will find out soon enough. :)

It is time for the link party. I can't wait to see what you have been working on!

Here are the rules;

1. Please post something YOU made. It doesn't matter if it is crochet, quilt, clothing, anything would be fine. I want to see it! If you use someone's idea or patterns please give them the rightful credit.

2. Link to your specific post, that way it is easier for everybody to find and read it.

3. Please grab the "Tea Rose Home" grab button, and link back from your post. If you can mention the party in your post or place the button on your side bar, that would be great! I want more people to have a chance to come and show off their creation.

Thank you for your participation, and making this link party sucssesful and fun!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Link Love No.35!

It's little late, but here is the link love No.35! I have been inviting people over for dinners, spending lots of time with my kiddos since it is winter break. Watching movies, doing some crafts, more cooking...

I adore you all for linking and sharing your projects with us (while I haven't done much lately). Thank you so much!

Ok, here are my picks...

Sandy's Space shared this pretty tent dress card! The card is so unique, and nicely done. Great job!

This romantic warmers by Little Treasures was made with a little effort, a pair of socks and some lace. I love ideas like this! Thank you for sharing!

Here is one more way to use ruffles in your project. Leafy Tree Top made this ruffled tree and she shared wonderful tutorial on her blog. Cleverly done and the result is so awesome!

Just Between Friends made this amazing Anthropology inspired necklace. I love the shade of pink she has chosen, and the design is not overwhelming. Love it!

Christmas is over, but we still have plenty of winter ahead of us... check this out adorable Melting Snowman shared by Moody Fashionista! Aren't they so cute? I bet this will be a perfect treats for winter birthday parties.

Thank you all for sharing such amazing projects to inspire us all! I am starting to get the itch to get back in to more sewing and crafting. :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

1 of the 12 pains of Christmas

How was your Christmas? Over all, my family and I had a wonderful Christmas.
Wait, did you catch that? Are you wondering why I said "Over all"? Well, let me tell you what happend to my little girl on Christmas Eve.


No, the "thing" around her head is neither an exercise head band from the 80s' nor a part of her outfit. That is a bandage.

The morning of Christmas Eve, my husband and I were still in bed and enjoying that we didn’t have to get up so early... we could hear the kids playing at the hall by the stairs. Then there was a

"BANG!!!" followed by Rachel's loud cry.

"WHAT THE!!" We thought that Rachel fell down the stairs.

But, this is what happened. There was an exercise device hanging over boys’ bedroom door. Christopher didn't want Rachel to come in to their room, so he closed the door on her. That caused the exercise device to fall on her head.

She was screaming and crying, so I held her and rocked her for a while. It was after she calmed down that I found out she had a cut on her head. It was small, but I said to my husband.

"We are going to the emergency room!!"

Yup, that's how she got 4 staples.

There were several things that went through my mind when Rachel came out from the doctor’s office with my husband (I waited with boys in the waiting room) after she got treated with the bright head band on her head. First I thought;

"What is that?" then, my mind processed that that is a bandage. The next thought;

"I am a maniac, a maniac..." then some reason, the 80s' music video came to my mind. Another thought;

The famous Christmas song "The 12 pains of Christmas" popped into my head. Then I thought, oh, Rachel got 4 staples in her head from her brother...

I know it is not funny, but sometimes that's how my mind works to find the humor in bad situations...

I am so glad that she didn't get seriously hurt, and I am crossing my fingers that we get through this year (one week left!) with NO STITCHES AND STAPLES, unless they are for sewing and crafting...

NOTE: I am sorry; I have been so busy and didn't have time to go through the link list. I will post the link love next time. :)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

I’ve done more cooking than sewing lately... This is one of my favorite cakes.

I visited some friends and had their fabulous food, and enjoyed their company.

I spent time with my family, did some more cooking, watched some movies, more wrapping (just me), and baking for Mr. Santa.

In a dark room, the Christmas tree shines so beautifully and peacefully. I love Christmas Eve, I am picturing the kids’ faces tomorrow morning when they open their presents.

Well everyone, I better get going to play Mrs. Santa Claus and carry down the presents to the tree.

I hope everyone will have a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Link Party No. 35!

We got tons of snow. It kept snowing for almost two days.
At first I wasn't going to play in the snow because it is too cold, but once I started helping the kids to build an igloo I got into it. My three kids and I worked together and kept building the snow pile bigger and bigger.

Then, I realized that I was supposed to bake two dozen cookies for one of the church activities tonight. When I realized it, I only had 2 hours left... Ahhh!

I tripled the recipe to have enough for tonight’s activity, saved some for the kids to decorate tomorrow and froze some.

The kids have no school, no martial arts, no cub scouts, no chess club... nothing.
I loved it. At night we played a card game as a family too.

I feel like I played a lot today. It is nice to have days like this once in a while.

Ok, if you have done any projects, here is your chance to show it off!
Here are the rules.

1. Please post something YOU made. It doesn't matter if it is crochet, quilt, clothing, anything would be fine. I want to see it! If you use someone's idea or patterns please give them the rightful credit.

2. Link to your specific post, that way it is easier for everybody to find and read it.

3. Please grab the "Tea Rose Home" grab button, and link back from your post. If you can mention the party in your post or place the button on your side bar, that would be great! I want more people to have a chance to come and show off their creation.

Thank you for your participation, and making this link party sucssesful and fun!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Basket Makeover ~Winter Style~

I finished the makeover a few days ago. I wanted to take good pictures outside but the weather has been awful! Don't get me wrong, I love snow. I think it is so beautiful to see the earth covered with snow... But it is very challenging to take pictures for my projects.

So, I only have pictures I took inside the house.


With some spray paint, real rabbit hair, charms, and a corsage...

Here is the after...

Depends on the outfit, it is better not to have so many accessories on the basket. So, I made it so that the charm and the corsage are removable. It is so much fun to see a basket transform and gain character. I really enjoy the process. When weather is better, I have several more baskets I want to spray paint. I can't wait share them with you!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Link Love No.34!

Hi every one! Yes, I am still alive and well... because I didn't update my blog the last couple of days, some of you might be wondering.

I have been kept busy with last minute things for CHRISTMAS lately. Also, I actually had a really fun day with my friend today. We have been friends for about twelve years now, but we don't get to see each other that often. It's not that we live far away from each other (actually we are about 10 minute away) but we are both quite busy and it is very hard to coordinate our schedules.

First of all, we talked a lot, went to a couple quilting stores (I got some of Amy Butler's new fabrics!!), and went to Anthropologie (their sales items were an additional 25% off and I had a 15% off your entire purchase coupon from my birthday. Yea!) and other stores, went to new cupcake shop (I loved their coconut cupcake), grabbed some Chinese food (their sesame chicken and spring rolls are so delicious)...and of course we talked the entire time.

It was a lot of fun. I feel like whenever I see her I learn something new and it feels like I was positively influenced. It is a blessing to have a friend like her.

Ok, I have a few link loves for this week, they are so fun. Are you ready?

This pretty book mark was created by The Life of Jennifer Dawn. She shares a step by step tutorial on her blog and it looks quite easy to make. If you are still wondering about gift ideas for someone, this might be it!

You need to check out the head wraps that Home Sweet Homebodies made! I wanted to own one and never have because I have never seen ones that I like. Her head wraps are very detailed and I love them. Thank you for sharing!

When I sew this Nina Ricci Inspired Flower Sash I almost fell out my chair. Isn't this gorgeous or what? I LOVE LOVE it. Ruby Mines did such an amazing job creating this. I feel like I need to get back in the workout routine and do more sit ups before I can wear this, but that will be a nice motivation for me. :)

She did it again. The Train to came up with this sassy Christmas skirt. I love how she mixed traditional style fabric and ruffles. It is cute on a little girl, but I bet it will be fun for grow up girls too.

The last one... the kids are now in their Christmas break. Usually I have things for them to do planned out in advance. Movies, crafts, places to go... I think it will be fun to make these chocolate covered candy canes from Simply Designing with them. They look so easy to do and tasty too. Thank you for sharing!

I had other links that I loved. Seriously, everyone is doing such a nice job and I just want to say thank you for coming back to the link party.

I will be back on Monday to share the results for the basket makeover... it is finished, but I need good pictures. I will see you on Monday!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Link Party No 34!

I feel like a week goes by so fast, well faster since we entered December. Is it just me? I am working on something, but the process is slow, I don't have the "TA-DA!" picture to share with you right now...

I will just show you a "Before" picture.

Since I do lots of basket makeovers, one of my sweet friends found this and gave it to me. I've had this for several months now; I keep thinking of what I want to do with this. I hate to do something and that doesn't work out and ruin it.

I will share the "After" picture, as soon as I am done. Hopefully it won't be long! :)

Show us what you have been working on! I know some of you are already familiar with this but there are always new people, so here are the rules;

1. Please post something YOU made. It doesn't matter if it is crochet, quilt, clothing, anything would be fine. I want to see it! If you use someone's idea or patterns please give them the rightful credit.

2. Link to your specific post, that way it is easier for everybody to find and read it.

3. Please grab the "Tea Rose Home" grab button, and link back from your post. If you can mention the party in your post or place the button on your side bar, that would be great! I want more people to have a chance to come and show off their creation.

Thank you for your participation, and making this link party sucssesful and fun!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Material Obsession 2

This book was one of my birthday presenst from my husband. I have been wanting to get this book for a while, so I was soo excited! The first thing I said though...

"Did you use coupon?"

He looked at me with disbelief "What?"

...Ok, I will shut up. It was a gift from my sweet husband, its ok if he paid full price.

I had a 33% off coupon in my purse for Borders. I should have secretly slipped that into his wallet...Oh well.

I don't really have time to sit down and read it cover to cover right now. I am enjoying looking at the beautiful pictures of quilts and dreaming of cutting the fabrics for one of the quilt I really liked. (I have no idea when that is going to happen)

I have "Material Obsession" too. I love both books! The quilt projects in those books are very inspiring and fun to look at. I really appreciate talented people like them. I am 99.9% sure that they don't read my blog, nor don't even know that I exist, but I want to say "Thank you for sharing your talents! I am a big fan!"

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Link Love No.33!

It's late, I am tired...but I am very happy right now. Tonight my husband and I had a chance to go out with our friends. I really enjoyed the conversations, food, and the time I was able to spend with my husband while we were driving.

I LOVE my kids, but it is so nice to take a break and go out on a date as a couple every once in a while. We don't do it often enough. It was so fun, and rejuvenating!

Thank you so much everyone for participating in the link party! I have selected some of my favorites for this week...

Silly Precious Piggies shared tutorial on how to make roll-up totes. I gave something similar to my friends two years ago as a part of their Christmas gifts, but they were store bought. This will make a great stocking stuffer!

Check this out! See Kate Sew did a fantastic shoe re-do with a dictionary! Aren't they so unique and beautiful? I wonder if I walk; will the papers come off? (You certainly can't wear it for a spelling bee contest...) but it is sure pretty to look at.

I have to say that I really love Theresa's style over at 612 Riverside. It is not overly feminine, lots of white, calming, vintage items... when I go over to her blog, I feel like I stepped into a nice gift shop to look and reconnect with my original style for decorating. She has many pretty pictures to share for decorating ideas, don't miss it!

Just Between Friends shows you how to make this personalized clock! I think this will be a great Christmas, anniversary, birthday, or wedding gift. I really want to give it a try. Great job!

Would you like to learn how to decorate a shoe? Polka Dots and Pizza did a post on shoe decorating 101. She has made-over many shoes so nicely and shared what she did and gave some helpful tips.

Oh, you guys are so talented! Again, thank you so much for taking the time to visit my blog and linking to my party each week!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tutorial ~ No Sew Felt Pot Sticker ~

Some of you who have been reading my blog might be thinking "Is she a little bit obsessed with Pot stickers lately?" Well, I might be.

I made a bunch of post stickers the other day for dinner and froze some. While I was wrapping pot stickers over and over and over again, this idea came to me.

"Why not felt pot stickers?!" :) I was over joyed with this new idea. I had to quickly start making them. I have a group of friends who I go out with for dinner once a month, and for the month of December, we had a gift exchange planned. The limit was $10. I love gift giving and thinking about what to give and making it unique is so much fun. When I was little, I dreamed of owning a gift shop, so I could wrap the presents for the customers. (Really, that was one of my dream jobs...)

I already had a few things that I got for a really good price, but I still had some room to spend to reach $10, and then, another idea came to me. (Oh my gosh! Two ideas in a row? I was on fire that day!) I decided to wrap one of the felt pot stickers and add it to the gift bag...

When one of my friends opened the gift and saw the felt pot sticker she asked, "What is this?" Then I told her that that is a token for Sachiko's homemade frozen pot stickers. The fact that she loved the gift made me very happy!

I will give you quick tutorial of how I made them. It was a very easy and quick project, to make 7 pot stickers start to finish took me less than 30 minutes.

{You will need}

Ivory color felt (you can cut 6 circles from one felt)
Fabric glue

{How to}

1. I used one of my ribbon spools as a temple, it is 4"diameter. Trace, and cut the circles out of felt.

2. Put fabric glue slightly from the edge and about an inch shy of halfway around the circle.

3. Fold the circle in half, and start making pleats just like wrapping real pot stickers. Leave about 1" opening for stuffing. Press each pleat well to make sure they stay. Put a little bit of glue on the each pleats to glue them down to the pot sticker.

4. I stuffed them with rice to give them a more realistic weight. Although, you will be surprised to find out how little you need to stuff one pot sticker.

5. Put some glue in the opening, make one last pleat and glue it shut.

That's it! I lined them up on the plate, and I was pretty happy with the results. When the kids came home from school, I asked my oldest (he LOVES pot stickers) if he wanted pot stickers for a snack and showed him the plate. He got so excited and came running towards me and then realized that they are not real and said "Hey!” hehehe...I think this is one of the fun parts of being a mom. I get to tease my kids.
Don't worry; he got to eat real pot stickers for dinner. :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Link Party No.33

Thanks to those of you who left nice comments about my bento post! It is fun to hear other peoples' opinions and experiences. Isn't it fun to take what is fun and interesting from other cultures and incorporate it into our lives?

I had quite a busy day today, and before I had to leave home at 10 AM I made pot stickers. Yes... the precious time that could have been used for my projects. Oh well, I made my family happy, and my tummy is very happy too. :)

So, I really don't have anything to share about me project wise. Although, some of you had questions about rice, so I will try to answer them.

There were questions like, why their rice is not very sticky, or why doesn't it taste good at room temperature.

Well, I am guessing it is probably something to do with the type of rice you used. Where you live? (the area I live is high altitude and dry). Growing up, I always ate really good tasty rice, it was very sweet and sticky... but I didn't think much of it because it was normal for us. Some relatives who are farmers always sent us some.

After I got married and moved out here, I had no idea which brand of rice to buy, so I just bought a bag of rice with some Japanese on it. I just thought that they are all the same. WRONG! I mean BIG TIME WRONG! When I cooked and ate the first bite, my reaction was "what the ...".

It tasted sooo different than what I was used to. It was not sweet and sticky as the rice I knew.

Since then, I learned that (I am strictly speaking about Japanese rice because I don't know about the rest) 99.9% of the time, the more expensive rice from Japan such as; "Kin-mai", "Nozomi", "koshihikari" taste better than "Kokuho" or "Botan". Although, my family breezes through one bag of rice (50 lbs.) so fast, that is the brand I buy. There are a few things you can do to improve the taste and texture of the rice.

1. I use my rice cooker to cook my rice. I add more water than it says in the instructions. For example, if I want to cook 4 cups of rice, I will make the water level 4 1/2 to almost 5.

2. It is better to let the water and rice sit for a while, rather than to cook right after you wash them.

3. Using a pressure cooker can improve the taste of the rice too.

4. My mother told me that the Shin-mai(newly harvested rice) tastes better than Ko-mai (year old or more).

So, I think it largely depends on which brand you buy, but I hope those tips will help you to eat better tasting sticky rice. :)

Ok, let's start the link party!

1. Please post something YOU made. It doesn't matter if it is crochet, quilt, clothing, anything would be fine. I want to see it! If you use someone's idea or patterns please give them the rightful credit.

2. Link to your specific post, that way it is easier for everybody to find and read it.

3. Please grab the "Tea Rose Home" grab button, and link back from your post. If you can mention the party in your post or place the button on your side bar, that would be great! I want more people to have a chance to come and show off their creation.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Bento 101

Food in the picture; right side above on the plate onigiri (rice ball), in the bento box: sautéed salmon, steamed asparagus, boiled egg, and rice with Furikake (flavor flakes).

Every now and then, people would ask questions like;

"What is Bento?" or "What is Bento Box?"

So, I decided to do a post about "bento" today. Basically, bento is a packed lunch in the box. When I hear "bento" the first thing come to my mind is the bento my mom packed for me. Kind of like the one in below;

Sticky rice with dried and flavored plum leaf flakes, kara-age (Japanese deep fried chicken), tamago-yaki/Japanese style omelet, sautéed broccoli, celery with small shrimp.

You can find bento everywhere in Japan. At airports, train stations, food courts, convenient stores, bento specialty stores... you can buy bento pretty much anywhere you go. There are many different kinds of bento. When you go to different cities, you can find bento that are made with famous items from that city. If you want to know more about the bento, you can go here to find out.

I started cooking with my mom from a very early age, and started packing my bento when I started going to high school. I pack bento for my family sometimes, but it takes a lot more preparation, and time.

So it happens only occasionally (hooray for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!). When we go to a family picnic, I try to pack bento, I want them to remember the look and the taste of the Japanese bento.

There are some things that I can share with you to make bento.

1. I always try to put a variety of things in the bento that are nutritious and pleasing to the eyes. For example: white rice for carbs, green veggies for vitamins and such, yellow egg dish for protein, and of course this will change with other ingredients too.

2. Pack the bento box tight. If it is loosely packed things will move around, and when you open, it may not be pretty.

3. For bento, it is best to make things that are tasty even without reheating.

4. The easiest way to prepare for the next morning’s bento making is, save some portions of dinner’s ingredients. That way, washing and cutting the vegetable part is already done, and it saves some time in the morning.

That's it. I really love bento. I feel like it is such a healthy way to eat a balanced meal during the day, rather than going through the drive-thru (don't get me wrong, I do that all the time, but I prefer bento when I have time to make it).

Oh, one more thing... about the bento box, I guess it is best to have it, because most of them are air tight and have a divider inside, so the food doesn't get mixed up. Although, I think you can use pretty much anything. The picture below is a bento I packed for the boys. I used sandwich cases I found at Target’s dollar section. I can't put anything liquidy, but for the things I made that day, it worked just fine.

I am pretty sure there are things I can put in from American style cooking too. Although, a bento is a meal packed in a box, to have fun and make it reply able to any cuisine, we just need to think outside the box. :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Link Love No 32!

Before I start link love post, let me tell you about this dessert I had tonight at a restaurant...

It is called "Chocolate Lava cake with hazelnut whipped cream". Mmmm... Writing the name out make me drool. It was SOOOO good! We were pretty stuffed, so we only order one cake. I thought to myself "Ah, I will just have a bite". I am sure that every one in my family thought that too. Wrong. After we had our first bite, the cake was gone in a second (we might have looked like vultures).

I need to know how to make it. Does anyone know a really good recipe for this? If you do, please email it to me!

Well, I need to get a hold of myself and start the link love post...

Chick Chick Sewing shared this very pretty rag wreath tutorial. I love how she put the fabric pieces on to the wreath.

Sarah from Welcome to the Good Life is known for her amazing repurposing skills. She shared some of her secrets on how she does it. It is very easy to understand, with lots of helpful hints!

Check this out! I am in love with this legging...ok, maybe not for me, but for my little girl. This Jcrew inspired legging tutorial was linked by Mama Says Sew. This is such an easy way to dress up simple leggings into one of a kind piece.

Oh, boy... Aren't they so beautiful? My Salvaged Treasures created these necklaces out of keys and vintage parts. I love how she combines things. Great work!

Leg cozy anyone? Shwin & Shwin created this cute leg cozy. This is such an easy, nice project to do. I bet it will make a great Christmas gift too!

Oh, my "Things to make" list gets longer and longer... do you guys have the same problem? Thank you so much to share your creations everyone, have a nice Sunday!
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