Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Leaving Town...

We will be leaving town on December 28th for our Annual Family Trip. We'll be back January 7th 2009 ready to share with all of you our China Adventure.
Until then, big, creative hugs!
Clara & Marcela

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas with a Chinese twist!

If you follow our blog you know that I have been patiently waiting to see Clara's 2008 Christmas Dinner place cards, and to my surprise, we (you, the reader and I) don't have to wait until Christmas Eve, she allowed me to take pictures and blog about them, Yes! ....let me explain first that she made these cuties inspired in our upcoming and very exciting trip to China...Here they are: Clara's Fortune Boxes:

She used clear 2" tall Chinese boxes, (Michael's) half filled with uncooked rice to add weight and keep them in place and a Fortune Cookie.

Clara decorated the front of the box with pretty red and green papers, the Chinese symbol of the guest's Chinese zodiac and the English translation, in this case, Rooster. I love this idea because having this instead of the guest name, becomes an instant conversation piece, a total ice breaker...not that we need one in our family: as typical Argentinians, we all talk at the same time and at the same volume.... (yes, loud)
A red satin ribbon in a delicate bow and a little card reading Shen Dan Kuai Le (Merry Christmas in Chinese) finish her adorable creation.

Remember this project if you are having friends over for Chinese food. Keep in mind that even something simple and casual can become a memorable Martha says, it's all in the details: dedicate a couple of hours to make Clara's Fortune Boxes, get rid of the take out containers, lit a couple of candles and you got yourself a magical night!

You can find the complete list of the Chinese zodiac at this site and the Chinese translation to any phrase: Happy Birthday, Love you, Have a good trip....etc here.

On Christmas Eve I'll bring home my own Fortune Box, it will remind me of my Sister's creativity and dedication to our family, it will remind me of another magical Christmas, a night when we loudly love each person in the room and silently miss those far, far away....

Monday, December 8, 2008

Place Cards Tutorial

When thinking of magical Childhood Christmas, Clara and I always remember the ones spent in Argentina, during hot summer nights, around a very long table full of aunts, uncles and cousins. The dinner table was always the center of the celebration, lots and lots of food kept the family entertained until midnight, time when every year Santa showed up (yes, we had a real Santa)carrying very small but memorable gifts. Those memories move us every year to set a beautiful table, a table for the 9 of us to gather around, laugh and wait anxiously until midnight!

It's on the table that we find the first gift of the night, a small token of handmade love used as a place card and meant to be trasured forever....

These are the beautiful, nostalgic ornaments that Clara made in 2007 (she will not show me yet what she's doing for this year!) for each guest and that ,of course, I'm displaying in my Christmas tree.
She used black and white copies of old protographs of each guest mounted on festive papers and cardstock and glammed with a clear glitter. With a metallic marker she wrote the year, added a ribbon to hang it from and finished them with a touching Christmas thought on the back:

"The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other."

She picked baby blue and silver for the boys and shabby pink and taupe for the girls....This is my now 17 year old when he was only one...

And this is my sweet 14 year old when she was just a baby...

Since I can't remember what I did last year, I guess it wasn't memorable enough, I'm sharing how to make the place cards I'm using for our 2008 Christmas Day Lunch. You will need:

Floral Wire (22 gauge), Wooden star (Michael's $0.25 each), Glitter, Monogram stickers, Crepe Paper, Glue, Glue gun, Cardstock, Small pliers

I start by cutting the wire in an approx. 13" piece. I wrap it around my glue container (it's just the perfect size) working the wire in a base, the rest of the wire is then wraped around a pencil and the end is finished in a little curl using small pliers.

I cover the star in german silver glitter, leaving the center clean of it.

I add crepe paper ruffle to a 1" cardstock circle. Trim the crepe paper and add the Monogram sticker with the initial of each guest.

I glue it to the center of the star.

And then I glue the star, using a glue gun, to the curl on the wire top. Once dried, you might have to play with the wire until your star is in perfect balance to stand all by itself.

Voila!! I'm making them a few weeks ahead because I like the tarnish look they get with time...I promise that I'll post Clara's as soon as she lets me...I know it will be fab...I'm the older Sister, I taught her everything she knows!!!...just kidding!....LOL

"Big sisters are the crab grass in the lawn of life."

~Charles M. Schulz~

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

One more place to find us...

Just in case you didn't have enough of us, we have just opened our Lolli-shop!

If you haven't visited this new marketplace, don't miss it! Lots of very cute stuff, very frou-frou, very chic, very whimsical and totally us!!! It's brand new, it was officially launched last Saturday and merchants are listing new merchandise daily.

We are offering there some new creations that we have not shown yet in our own site. We are sure that you will love our handmade chic linen ribbons,

at a very low price 0f $5.95 for 3 Yards (including shipping), they are the perfect finishing touch to a special gift, a great addition to craft projects and even a wonderful Christmas Stocking Stuffer. Many designs to choose from: crowns, birds, love and many more...Yes, we are taking special orders...your name, a special phrase...let your imagination go wild!

So grab your coffee and come along for some inexpensive (LOVE that word these days!)shopping....

Visit us at our new exciting adventure:

See you at the Lollies"!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas cheer!

Last Saturday was our Annual Puttin' on the Glitz event and what a fun, fun night it turned out to be! As you probably know, our little "Spanish Village by the Sea", hosts this event every Saturday after Thanksgiving. Stores stay open late offering drinks and cookies, Christmas
Carolers perform and for all the little ones the night is never over until Santa comes down Ave Del Mar waving from the firetruck!
Our wonderful street gets decorated every year, this is how it looked before the festivities started and vehicles were removed to make room for the thousands of visitors:

Clara and I enjoy participating every year. It's a busy night where we get to see most of our customers and friends...but this year was even more special to us because even though the economy's a little uncertain and everybody is feeling it, people came to the party to support us and the rest of the San Clemente Merchants...They all showed their best Holiday Spirit, were very cheerful and had a great disposition to help the little stores like ours....

The Ladies had a great time shopping for ornaments, jewelry, cards, candles, signs and even furniture! When the cookies were gone, and the candles out, at about 10:30 pm, we went home feeling very blessed to have such wonderful support. Thank you!!!



...the Saturday after Thanksgiving...

... Ave Del Mar, San Clemente...

don't miss it!!!

"I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month."

~Harlan Miller~