Archive | November, 2012

vintage book gift tags (for christmas!)

the past week home in the u.s. has been amazing.

nothing compares to this time of year in the midwest. the cool temperatures and endless community spirit are infectious (infectious in a very good way). it’s going to be hard to head home to the warmth, but knowing that a smiling man with a big mustache (full fledged movember) is waiting for me in oz – makes the trip back to australia a welcome one.

in typical american tradition, my mom and i put up the tree and household decor this past weekend (anything prior to thanksgiving would be a sin). now that the tree and decorations are up, the wrapping can begin.

last year i bought some great handmade tags and bows on etsy, and this year i decided to make my own. i knew that i wanted to incorporate a little recycling + a bit of nostalgia, so i went looking on ebay for supplies. i picked up a few little golden book christmas stories. 2 of the 4 books i purchased i actually had as a child (twas the night before christmas and the biggest most beautiful christmas tree). since i’d already decided on kraft wrapping paper, vintage inspired ribbon and christmas rice tape for the packaging – the books were purchased to make some nostalgic gift giving tags. using the book pages paired with a few supplies (including some super cute stamps from michael’s $1 section), i whipped up these little creations.


my handmade vintage children’s book christmas gift tags

make your own vintage book tags this christmas (or for any upcoming holiday)…

what you’ll need: scissors, hole punch, self sticking hole reinforcements, glue stick, cardstock and books that you are happy to repurpose – optional: stamps & stamp pad

christmas-gift- tag-supplies

supplies you’ll need to make vintage book gift tags this christmas

happy thanksgiving, my fellow americans

i hope that everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving this week. to those of you in the rest of the world, i hope it was an amazing thursday – however you spent it.

i’m back in the us for a visit. this was my first t-day holiday back home since 2007. being home for my favorite holiday of the year has been amazing. catching up with friends and family, stuffing myself with a turkey dinner, shopping till i dropped – and getting all my christmas supplies together. tomorrow night i have dinner #2 with my dad and extended family – and then sunday will be spent decorating the tree, watching a christmas movie or two – and starting on making some DIY christmas items (to be seen later…).

so this week i’m taking a bit of a blogging siesta to spend as much time as possible with those i love, but don’t see enough of.

i leave you with this… this thanksgiving, i’m thankful for you – my readers. thank you for allowing me to share my words, likes and creations with you. whether i reach 1 or 100 people, it puts a smile on my face that you visit and keep coming back for a read.

happy holidays howd.i.y.ans.

handmade find friday! (the yard ink d.i.y. reindeers)

last weekend i shared tales of my afternoon at the bowerbird bazaar here in adelaide. today i’ll bring you one of my favorite finds of the day…

the find: after i’d done a few laps of the retail floor, i stumbled upon a booth filled with some of the cutest christmas decor – reindeer & christmas trees galore. amongst all the colorful designs, i noticed plain cardboard peeking through. the booth: the yard ink, an offshoot of mitousa – a creative agency based here in adelaide. the product: cardboard christmas designs, some of their own signature designs and also plain diy decor.

the yard ink booth at bowerbird bazaar

i had a chat with one of the designers at the booth. she mentioned that this was their first market and the introduction of their product line. i was pretty excited to be one of the first people to pick up their kitschy creations – so much, that i decided to pick up two at $25 a pop. one for me and one to send to a faithful howd.i.y. reader and my favorite crafting buddy back in the usa.

last saturday night i stayed in and crafted with my cardboard creation. here is the the transformation from cut-outs to reindeer – glue-on eyes, a pom-pon nose, a handkerchief, a little old english to give the deer a warm winter glow and some button covered white snow. i love this little guy!

the process of creating my reindeer

my d.i.y. reindeer

if you’d like to pick up your very own cardboard reindeer or christmas tree, you can contact the gang at the yard ink by visiting their website for contact information OR email them at

secret boards on pinterest!!!

while the weekend was already off to a great start, it got even better saturday morning when i had an email from pinterest announcing the launch of secret boards. i was home alone, but i’m pretty sure i let out a big “ohhhh, hell yeah!” with excitement.

i’ve been waiting for this option since i joined the site in early 2011. i can’t tell you how many times i refrain from pinning something in hopes to keep a find just mine for a little while. when planning my wedding, i even resorted to browser bookmarking (i know, soooo old fashioned). though i did have a semi-secret board called “love”, but eventually people caught on and the jig was up.

while the feature is still in “testing” mode, each pinner gets 3 secret boards – perfect for curating your christmas list, planning an upcoming event or simply for hiding those extra special finds you aren’t yet ready to share with the world.

the folks from pinterest explain more in this blog post

handmade find friday! (bowerbird bazaar)

back for another installment of handmade find friday! well… i must confess, it’s saturday here – but considering over 50% of you readers reside in the US – it’s still friday for most of you.  i conciously held this week’s post off a bit because i wanted to highlight this amazing handmade fair that only happens a few times a year here in sunny ol’ Adelaide.

the bowerbird bazaar brings in fashion, jewelry and all different types of craft designers from around Australia for 3 days of indulgence in the the name of handmade. the event has gotten so big over the past couple of years that the local au etsy team makes the trek down for the event (where they even offer etsy shop consultations). though only about a 1/3 of the size, it’s very reminiscent of Chicago’s renegade craft fair (now a worldwide affair) – great shopping, great food, great fun.


bowerbird bazaar – november 2012 – adelaide, sa

here you’ll find my purchases for the day… actually, this is not ALL my purchases, but i don’t want to give away any surprise gifts that i purchased for a couple of my faithful readers.


my market purchases (minus a few secret christmas gifts)

if you are wondering what’s in the cardboard boxes… stay tuned this week for special DIY post revealing that fun find.

have a great weekend!

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