Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tacos, Burritos, Jarritos, Oh My!

My sister and I were thinking of baby shower ideas while our other sister was pregnant with her 2nd child. Since she already had a traditional baby shower while pregnant with Caden, we decided to do something a little different. We wanted to include men, children and everyone in between. In the end, we decided on a "Caden is going to be a big brother" party!

Caden was almost 3 years old and we thought it would be cute to put the focus on him and his last days of being an only child.

Everyone loves tacos, burritos and Jarritos, so we rented the El Tonayense taco truck! Luckily at that time my brother's family lived on a dead end street. Perfect place for the truck to park and have our guests gather around.

El Tonayense brought their separate catering truck and provided tortilla chips

Getting their orders in before a line forms

Here they come!

We set up a small jumper in the backyard that kept the kids entertain for a while

Personalized 1-inch buttons with Caden's picture, set on cardstock were the favors

The favors set out with a lovely framed drawing by the big brother himself

In the end, the party was a big success! Since the taco truck provided a majority of the food, we didn't have much prep to deal with or many dishes to wash after. We made sure to get a good parking space and set out folding chairs in front of the house and inside the garage. Renting the taco truck for the party was a fun experience and I highly recommend it! Thanks El Tonayense!

Hot Pot Party

My family uses any excuse to have a party with great food and even better company. My aunts and cousins prepared a Hot Pot party to celebrate all of the birthdays in January and February. Hot pot is a traditional Chinese meal where you sit around a boiling pot of broth with a variety of raw meats, vegetables and noodles that you cook at the table.

Portable butane burners are perfect to set up on tables. You can buy them for under $20 on or usually at Chinese kitchen supply stores

The veggies, mushrooms, meats and fish paste are all washed, cut and ready to go!

My favorite part is the selection of sauces. Soy sauce, ginger, scallions, oil, oyster sauce, ketchup and more! Everyone can make their own mixture of sauce and be happy.

Everyone places the food in the broth and scoops it out with little metal nets. Here's the kid's table enjoying some good hot pot!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Surprise Luau!

It's easier for me to be a host or a helper at a party instead of just a guest. I think it's because my family likes to have parties and we like to go all out. When my Hawaii loving dad turned 60, we had a surprise luau!

We rented the Mill Valley Golf Clubhouse. It had multiple rooms with plenty of space, a kitchen, a stage, and a bar area. We had the perfect cover to get my dad to come to the golf course for a "tournament" with his brothers.

We made the welcome sign by painting letters cut out of cardboard and stuck it onto some burlap from Joann's.

Downloaded a Hawaiian looking font, placed it on some fabric and stuck it into a simple, cheap Ikea frame

Here's a shot of some of the food. Ahi Poke, Spam Musubi and Hawaiian chips

Close up of the Poke garnished with slices of mango

We were able to cook and wrap the spam on-site to have it as fresh as possible when eaten. We added a little style to it by cutting it at an angle ;)

It's not a luau without shaved ice! Island Sno has THE softest shaved ice outside of Hawaii. They bring their own syrups and even add ice cream!

The bar was decorated with plastic backdrops from the party store, another burlap sign, and some birds of paradise flowers. We had an assortment of Hawaiian Sun drinks and helpful friends and cousins to man the bar!

We ordered the cake to be frosted plain because we added fresh orchids to the top

For favors, we filled clear plastic boxes with nori crackers and Li Hing gummy candies. Finished the boxes with green raffia and a little tag.

We set up a photo area complete with a blow up Hawaiian arch, cardboard surfboards/boogie boards, hula skirts, coconut bras, ukuleles, and other fun Hawaiian accessories.

For entertainment, we rented a Hawaiian band and a hula dancer. They really added to the Hawaiian feel and vibe of the entire day.

We love DIY projects because they are cheaper than pre-made items and we just like making things. It was a lot of work, but we were lucky to have a lot of help from our family and friends!

Friday, October 1, 2010

My Favorite Corner

I like having things neat and tidy, but I have to admit I can't keep it that way for long. I always think I'll clean it up later, but of course later turns into next week...or even longer. But there is one area of my craft room that always stays tidy. It also turns out to be one of my favorite parts of the room.

I initially bought the yellow pin board from Sally Shim on her etsy site to hold inspiration pictures. Once I received it in the mail, I thought the mustard linen was too great to hide with pictures, so I decided to keep it empty.

I love the texture of the 3 white vases from Ikea. I've thought about putting flowers in the vases, but I like the simplicity of them being empty.

The finishing touch is the little elephant my friend brought me back from her trip to Thailand. I think it's the cutest thing with it's trunk in the air and the little smile on its face.

It's a simple corner of a shelf, but I think it comes together well. I have to confess that my sister was the one who put the pieces in their place. I can't take credit for the arrangement, but I'm glad I get to be the one to enjoy looking at it!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Winter in July

July is coming to an end, but I think San Francisco is a little confused about the current season. We've had some sunny and even scorching hot days here and there, but for the most part it's been pretty cold. I'm not much of a jacket person but I like wearing scarves to keep warm. Scarves are perfect to wear in the office, running errands or adding a finishing touch to an outfit. I really like the look and ease of an infinity/eternity/circle scarf and decided to try and make my own.

I found a comfy material that feels like a soft t-shirt . I cut a piece 2 yards long and 18 inches wide. Next time I would make it longer and wider because I would have liked an even fuller look.

I just sewed the 2 ends together and didn't even bother to finish the edges. When you look closely, you can tell that I didn't cut straight and I also left the selvage edge on....but it doesn't bother me! Overall I'm happy with my new scarf and want to make more.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dont' run with (fabric) scissors!

I think it's worth it to have a good, sharp pair of fabric scissors. When I was younger, my mom had a pair of Gingher scissors which she stored in the box when not in use. She always told us to never cut paper with the scissors because they would get dull. I wasn't bold enough to do it, but it was always tempting to cut paper with the shiny scissors. Although my mom has passed, I try not to forget her words of wisdom, encouragement, and helpful tips. Over 15 years later, I finally understand where she was coming from with this helpful scissors tip!

I use my mom's Gingher scissors now and they are the best scissors ever. Ever. They are just as sharp as before and cut fabric so smoothly and easily. I've tried a couple times and bought my own scissors to set them aside for fabric only. But those lazy moments when I thought I could cut paper "just this one time" turned into multiple times, which eventually made the scissors dull and difficult to cut through fabric.

These scissors have never (that I know of) cut paper

So keep your fabric scissors sharp and try to resist when you are about to cut paper! If you do happen to cut paper with your fabric scissors, don't worry, just try not to do it again! Luckily Gingher offers sharpening and repair service for their brand scissors only.

Here are some tips for your fabric scissors:
1. Only use them to cut fabric!
2. Store your scissors in a fitted sheath or case.
3. Fasten pins outside the cutting area to avoid cutting through hard metal or plastic objects that might damage the scissors.
4. Periodically wipe the inside blade to keep them free of lint.

Monday, May 10, 2010


On a rainy Monday like today, looking up flowers made the day a little better.

Craspedia Billy Balls from

Billy Ball boutonniere by a florist in Chicago

I really like the simpleness of the Billy Balls/Billy Buttons.

Peonies via TasteDuds

Peonies via Twelve22

I don't know much about flowers, but peonies are one of my favorites. The petals are so delicate, yet the flower as a whole is so full.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Late Night Crafting

Here are a couple hair clips I put together last night for a cute, little girl.

I wish I had better cutting skills to make the M in a better font.

Felt and wool felt are nice to work with because you don't have to finish the edges and it won't fray. I still chose to stitch along the outer part of the clip because it was looking too plain. I used regular thread for these clips, but next time I think I'll stick to embroidery thread. Embroidery thread is thicker, bolder, and more visible. It also adds to the cute, little girl look.

Craft Room

I often use Google Images to look up craft rooms and craft studios for ideas and inspiration for my own space. I also look at the pictures and imagine what it would be like to craft in each room...yes, I really do! It seems only fair to post my craft room and show you where all the magic happens. I have been blessed to be able to devote an entire room to my crafts. The walls are white and it's not fancy in any way, but it's a room where I can come and get lost in creating things.

This is where I mainly work. Please don't mind my messy fabric stash and my sewing machine cover that I accidentally made too small. :)

The other side of the room has become my guest craft table because crafting is always more fun with company! I bought the round mirror to go above this desk. It was on clearance for $22 from the Home Goods store in Vacaville! I initially thought I would paint over the yellow, but I'm going to hang it up first and figure I can always paint it in the future.

I'm totally happy with my craft room, but it's got nothing against some of my favorites!

Of course Martha Stewart has an amazing space!

I cannot express in words how much I love Heather Bailey's room. The bookshelf, the chandelier, the vintage velvet chair, the working table in the center of the room, the organization. Let's just take a moment and drool over all the details in this gorgeous room.

I could really post many more pictures of craft rooms and studios for us to admire, but I'll hold myself back for now.

Happy crafting!

Random Acts of Crafting

Hi! I'm Val and I like to make things. I'm starting this blog to share my projects and show my passion for what I do. I hope to inspire you to DIY and someday practice random acts of crafting!