Tag Archives: tree

Hearts in a Tree


I made these hearts for Valentine’s Day and hung them up in the tree in front our apartment to surprise Rem.


The tree already looked pretty even before I added the hearts, covered in blossoms. It snows down white petals if you give a branch a little shake.


People driving by smiled and some waved or gave me a thumbs-up.



Rem thought I was out taking a walk in the neighborhood.

He was amazed when he saw all the hearts.


Here’s some of my favorite hearts:





Next January I’ll put up a post on how to make these hearts.

Thanks for stopping by.





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Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button?


Here are two cute projects that you can still put together before Christmas.  I had one of these little button snowmen for years and have made and given away quite a few. They are cheerful on a lapel or collar and super easy to make.

I’ve been cooking and crafting and taking pictures but I haven’t been very good about getting blogs written and published. It is always a challenge during the holidays for me to 1.) Find the time to blog and 2.) Not post anything that is a gift for someone until I’ve given it to them.

For these little snowmen pins, you need two white buttons with one slightly larger than the other, a pin-back, hot glue, scissors, felt, and maybe some pipe cleaner.


The pin-back needs to be long enough to back part of two buttons without showing above or below them. The silver ones in this picture, with the three holes, is 1 inch long and it works well for most snowmen.

Align the buttons, face down, on your work surface so the two holes on the top are horizontal for eyes and the two holes on the bottom button are vertical for buttons. Apply a small stripe of hot glue and quickly press the back of the pin-back into the glue. Remember that hot glue is very, very hot, so use care when adhering the pin-back. I glue the pin-back on so it is vertical with the clasp at the top.

The glue will likely squish out a bit, but the scarf will probably cover it up. Let the glue cool.  If you need to, remove any glue threads or blobs. Cut a thin strip of felt for the scarf, or use a length of pipe cleaner. Keeping the pin face down, open the clasp of the pin-back and  dot a drop of hot glue onto it, then quickly put the scarf down, a bit off-center.  Wrap it around to the front and use a little tiny bit of glue to keep it in place.


For a top hat, cut out a rectangle, making it a bit wider than the head. Once you have a good size, trim off two corners to make the hat shape, and glue to button head. A red triangle and white pom-pom make a cute hat with the point of the triangle glued forward.

If your buttons have four holes, you can align the button for the head so one hole is covered by the hat and the other holes make two eyes and a nose, like the one in the top photo with the lighter green scarf. A four-hole button body looks like your snowman has a double-breasted jacket.

With an extensive button collection or somewhere to buy a nice variety of buttons, here are ornaments you can make from them.


These are simply buttons stacked with a sturdy thread looped through them. For the snowman stack, I added a scarf made from felt and for the Christmas tree, a little star trims the top.

I hope your Christmas to-do list is nearly buttoned up.

Thanks for stopping  by.


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Half-Circle Christmas Tree (or Angel) Card

4 Half Circle Xmas Tree Cards

I’m happy to be sharing this Christmas card technique with you.  I’ve been busy and I’m sneaking away from other tasks (like decorating our real Christmas tree which Rem is doing right now) so I can show you this cute card.  Maybe some of you aren’t super-organized and didn’t make your cards in July (ha!).  If that’s the case, and you’re looking for a fairly easy card that turns out great, look no further.

You early-bird crafters who have everything created, bought, baked, decorated, knit, wrapped and under the tree can mark this for next July when you’re doing your cards for Christmas 2013.

I started with some fairly traditional Christmas colors for my paper.

Card Supplies

You need:

  • Card stock for the base of the card – one half sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 inches is what I use for these (and most) cards
  • Decorative paper for the background layer (3.75 x 5 inches works well)
  • Double-sided decorative paper for the tree
  • Embellishments as sparkly as stick-on crystals, pearls and glitter or as simple as a button are lovely to decorate your tree
  • Brown ribbon or brown scrap paper will form the trunk of the tree.
  • Pop-up adhesive dots to adhere the folds of the tree
  • Double-sided tape
  • Scissors
  • Bone Folder
  • Paper Trimmer (optional)

Use your favorite method for making a circle out of double-sided paper, whether it is a template, a Cricut or Sizzix machine.  Any circle-making tool you like will do.

Trace a Bowl

Mine is very old-school: I traced a bowl with a pencil.  For my tree cards I was making circles that were about 6.5 inches across.  So however you make your circle, this is the time to do that…and cut it out.

Paper Circle

Cut it in half.

Circle In Halves

Each half-circle will make one tree.

You’re going to have to experiment a bit but you want to make 4 folds, dividing the half-circle into 5 segments. Something like this (but don’t mark the lines with pencil, just use a bone folder or crease firmly with your fingers).

Template for Half Circle Tree

I sometimes fold it one way and then reverse the paper and fold it a second time so I can decide which way looks best.

Half Circle with Folds

This one has pencil marking the folds just to make them show even more.  Don’t do that.

When you fold the half circle into the finished triangle shape, you reverse the direction of each fold so both sides of your decorative paper show.  In other words, after making the first fold (I start with the smallest section), flip the circle over and make the next fold the other way.  In origami folding this is known as making a mountain fold followed by a valley fold, followed by a mountain fold and ending with a valley fold.

Once you’ve got your tree folded I think it looks best if you use pop-up adhesive dots to adhere the layers.  It adds some dimension to the tree.

Two Tree Cards

The tree on the left was glued down flat, the tree on the right has adhesive dots between the layers.  Either way works.

Fold your piece of card stock in half to make the card and layer a piece of paper onto the front. Cut a snippet of brown ribbon or brown scrap paper to form the trunk of the tree and stick it on.  Adhere the tree to the card front with the trunk showing at the bottom.

Rows of Tree Cards

Decorate the tree.  A simple red button is effective or go glam with rows of stick-on gems.

Add a greeting inside your card and a signature on the back and you’re done!

If you’d like to make an angel, start with a smaller circle so your finished triangular shape is a little smaller.  You need room for wings, the head and the halo!

Two Angels

Additional supplies for angel card:

  • Plain or printed vellum or other paper for the wings
  • Pink scrap of card stock for head
  • Metallic cord or other yarn or thread for hair
  • Gold pen to draw halo
  • Markers for facial details and wing embellishment
  • 1.5 inch Scalloped Circle Punch to punch out wings (optional)

Create a head for your angel and draw on a face.  I braided some metallic cord and adhered that to the head for hair.

Because of the thickness of the finished triangle (our angels gown), I adhered the head on a pop-up adhesive dot.

Wings were punched from printed vellum using a scalloped circle punch.  I folded them in half, added some embellishment with white gel pen and gold markers and adhered them behind the angels dress.


A gold marker makes the halo.  Angelic.

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you are finding time during this hectic season for doing the things that you love that make it feel like Christmas to you.


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Portland Wrap Up

Our last full day is Portland was relaxing and delicious: brunch at Mother’s Bistro and Bar was the first order of business.  But we had to wait  for a table

While Diana and Lisa held our place in line, Sarah and Julie (above) helped Rem and I search for a geocache but we were unsuccessful.

Mother’s interior is a contrast between rough brick walls and lots of gold-framed mirrors all lit with crystal chandeliers.

I like the attention to detail.

And the attitude.

The menu had a nice selection of traditional breakfast dishe and beverages like this Bloody Mary with practically a whole salad for a garnish.

They offer slow -cooked comfort food like meatloaf, pot roast and macaroni and cheese and local ingredients like Apple Crisp with at least 7 different types of heirloom apples.

A group sitting near us included a mother with her baby.

After brunch we strolled Hawthorne Avenue and visited fun and interesting shops including a branch of Powell’s book store.

This one was tiny compared to the main store, aka Powell’s City of Books, and was a home and garden shop with cookbooks, decorating and remodeling books, gardening books and yes, more craft books.

Like this gorgeous book on paper cutting.

In addition to all of these wonderful books there were also lovely cards, notebooks, candles and tools and utensils for home and garden.

An adjacent shop was equally enticing with beautifully displayed produce, pasta and other food items.

A drive took us around author Beverly Cleary‘s neighborhood and an elementary school named after her.  We saw Klickitat Street which appears in some of her books including my favorite, Beezus and Ramona.

We also met a gnome in a tree, a location that just calls for a geocache.

We ended the day with phenomenal ice cream at Salt & Straw a farm-to-cone ice cream shop.

This is one of those times when you just need to taste it and reading what I write about it will fall short.

The flavors are interesting and unique and tastes are offered so if you aren’t sure about Pear Blue Cheese, Brown Butter Popcorn with Pink Peppercorn, Coffee and Bourbon or Aquavit Beet Ice Cream, you can try it first.  I tried about six flavor and though I found all of them good, some were just not what I wanted in a cone.

The most strange one, Foie S’Mores, was from their Chef Series collaborations where they invite local chefs to work with them to develop special flavor I admit this flavor had me pretty skeptical and in the end I decided it wasn’t for me, but I’m glad I tasted it.

Husband and wife owners and chefs of Argentinian restaurant Ox, Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quinonez, created this flavor: Toasted foie gras marshmallows and smoked vanilla ice cream ribboned with veal chocolate sauce and hazelnut graham cracker crumble.  The first taste was of a not-too-sweet S’more with chocolate and vanilla flavors laced with other subtle notes of toasted marshmallow and nutty graham cracker.  I didn’t catch the smokiness that represents the campfire, then when I swallowed there was a distinct flavor of meat.  It was really kind of amazing and like something out of Willy Wonka!  It was also better than it sounds.

The one I decided on in the end, Malted Plum, was absolutely delicious: a rich plum ice cream flavored with amber malt from  FH Steinbart Co., a Portland homebrew shop.  I didn’t know what was in it besides plums when I ate it but it was a fantastic cone.

Lisa had the Malted Plum too.  She looks happy with her choice.

Our visit gave us a taste of some of the best Portland has to offer.  Just a taste, but it was delicious.

Thanks for your visit. Stop by soon for a taste of Seattle.

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Christmas Tree, Part II

From our home to yours: Wishing You a Very Warm and Wonderful Christmas!

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Christmas Tree, Part I

Rem and I had a great day Wednesday  We drove up to Petaluma to cut down our Christmas tree.

I put on red and green striped socks in the morning.

We listened to Nat King Cole in the car.

We wore our Santa hats.

We searched for the perfect tree.

We knew it when we found it.

We each had a turn as lumberjack.

Or lumberjill as the case may be.


Li’l Li’l Pup supervised the whole thing.

Some snow would have made this more scenic.  It was about 65 out and sunny.

The tree is tied to the roof and we’re heading home to get the tree in water and start the next stage: lights and decorations!

Thanks for stopping by.


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Art From The Heart

Felted Wool Chocolates

This and all of the following wonderful creations are Valentine projects that my sweetheart and I have crafted for each other. Rem came up with “Art From The Heart”  for a name to our ongoing project and it really is.  He got the idea 9 or 10 years ago after reading an article about a man (one of his coworkers at the time) who made clever Valentine projects for his wife.  Many were made from recycled materials and were created in a clever, whimsical style.

We decided to give it a try and a tradition was started.  Both of us have a lovely display on the wall by our bed, mine to him on his side and his to me on my side.  So here is a gallery of many of the items we have made for each other.  No instructions,  just some details on the various items.

You can click on the little pictures if you want to enlarge them.

Needle Felted Chocolates (above at top of post): This was fun to work on because I needed models to work from (of course).  I’m very pleased with the results.

Heart of the Tree: Rem picked up the piece of wood when we cut down our Christmas tree one year.  It is a slice from the bottom of the trunk and he sanded and polished it up, varnished it and added red glass pieces in the shape of a heart.

Music Box Heart

Music Box Heart: SCRAP in San Francisco is a wonderful nonprofit: a creative reuse center that receives materials from businesses that would otherwise go into landfill and makes them available to teachers, artists, organizations, etc.  I picked up this music box there and decoupaged and decorated it.

Recycled Spaceship

Recycled Spaceship: Parts from a plastic storage box, a milk jug and other bits and pieces came together with stickers and foil in this spaceship that Rem made.  The love story that accompanied this Valentine project made it even more special.

Home Is Where the Heart Is

Home Is Where The Heart Is: I made this small  cardboard and paper house one year for Rem, my happy homemaker. The brown house is covered in a patchwork made from Trader Joe’s grocery bags.  The red heart on the front of the house, and the blue shingles on the roof were made from pieces of boxed products we use around the house (cereal, Kleenex, pasta, tea, etc.)

Puppy Love

Puppy Love: Rem soldered this little puppy bookmark from found parts for me but it was a bit heavy for a bookmark.  It looks wonderful on the wall with the other Valentine projects. I love the little heart nose.

B mine

B mine: A letter B from Michaels is what I started with for this one and then painted it blue and added swirls, charms and letters to spell out “mine”. The B stands for both “be” and “Boo”, one of Rem’s nicknames.

Red wire heart on copper

Heart Wired: This one from Rem just knocked my socks off.  Copper and aluminum with soldered hearts on the corners and a big fat heart in the center made from bundles of red wire.  Tough materials transformed into a sweet token of love. Awww.

“Things I Love” Altoids Tin Closed





















Things I Love: I saw versions of this project online and had lots of fun making it: a little book that fits inside an Altoids tin then accordioned out with decorated pages about some of the “things I love” about Rem.


Heart in the Sand

Heart in the Sand: Rem did a photo project last year: a photo a day, every day, for the whole year!  In keeping with this enterprise he went to the beach, drew in the sand and took a picture of it for my Valentine.

Love Book






Love Book:  This little book was one of the first projects that Rem made.  He used scavenged HVAC metal, complete with little charms and a copper heart on the back.

Morse Code Valentine

Detail of Morse Code Valentine

Morse Code Valentine: I wanted to make something for Rem that included Morse code as he is into HAM radio (and uses Morse code for that).  I punched dots and dashes out of foil and included a foil-embossed design from a rubber stamp.

Altar di Amore

Altar di Amore: More scavenged metal parts (a CD cover and a cake tin) wired together by Rem to create a love altar.  I added little trinkets including a few from Folk Art Gallery in San Rafael and a heart-shaped piece of coral from a friend.

Kinetic Hearts

Kinectic Heart Close-Up

Kinetic Hearts: This is the Art From The Heart for 2011 from Rem and it was another one that really wowed me.  It is like a kind of a mobile but instead of hanging from the ceiling, it hangs from a bracket that comes out from the wall.  A strand of red wire is strung with three thin copper hearts that have a hammered texture.  Fishing line swivels are interspersed with the hearts along the wire so the hearts turn slowly as they are moved by air currents.  The hearts seem to float in front of the wall.

Carved Tree Trunk

Love Note

Tiny Love Letter

Heart Engraved Tree Trunk: My creation for 2011 is this tree trunk with our initials “carved” into the wood (crafted from cardboard, paper mache, paper, string, ink, glue and paint). Hidden under a knot on the lower left is a secret space for a tiny love letter.

I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at our creations.  Have you got your own “Art From The Heart”?  If so, please send me pictures so I can post them. If not, maybe these projects will inspire you to craft something special for someone you love.

Thanks for stopping by.  Your comments are welcomed and encouraged.


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