Sunday, June 29, 2014

5 Minute DIY iPhone Case

I've been sorta obsessed with this Kate Spade polka dot iphone case and similar versions of it for years now. Yes I am aware I could afford to buy it, but $40 for a piece of plastic sounds crazy to me. Leave it to me and my diy copycat skills to find the perfect solution! As you may know, I am a Pinterest addict. I could easily spend hours days on that thing (my bf just says it's porn for crafty people...I admit, he's probably right). I came across this awesome idea one day and decided today would be the day to try it out. Besides, who likes to go outside on a hot summer day? =P

Anyways, if you wanna try it out, here's what you need:

  • Clear iPhone case (mine is from Tech21 and has a removable clear backing)
  • Paper (scrapbook, origami, photos, magazines, etc.)
  • Pencil or pen
  • Exacto knife or scissors
  • Self-healing rotary mat (only if using exacto knife)

Easy peasy steps:

1. Place your iphone case on your chosen paper and trace around it. 

2. Use exacto knife or scissors to cut it out. (Yes that paper is CHEAP compared to a new case)

3. Insert into iphone case and admire your hard work! :)

Now wasn't that easy? Not to mention, super inexpensive! For the first four I used scrapbook paper. I found some glittery letter stickers to spell my name on the striped one. The fifth one is a photo I found on the internet (shh don't tell!) and the last one is my favorite picture of my dog. Isn't he just the cutest squirrel?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year everyone!!! I cannot believe it is now 2014 and 2013 has come to the end. Apparently the last half of 2013 was really crazy as I just realized I haven't posted anything since MAY!! So what happened the last half of the year you ask? 


  • Moved to another apartment in Dublin because our other one was too $$$ (we're not even in the city for goodness sake!). Richard's parents helped us move into our new place. We were so grateful for their help. I 'm sure it would have taken us two months on our own even though the move was like 2 miles. haha

The goodWe're now living in Downtown Dublin ('cuz we're so hip like that), which means we're in a 1 mile radius to everything we could possibly need: Target, JoAnn, 99 Ranch, Stoneridge Mall. Don't be jealous. JK. The best part is we can actually walk to our favorite Korean restaurant, Tofu House now! nom nom nom. 

The bad: Even though our place was renovated a few years ago, they still failed in many areas. For example, the light switches in the bedrooms and staircase don't work, meaning we literally have to physically turn on each lamp. In case you're wondering, this is a fun and slightly dangerous staircase exercise when it's pitch black and I'm half asleep before my 6am shifts. We are no longer walking distance to Frankie's dog park, but there is a nice field that people bring their dogs to nearby. Just wish Frankie would get along with this dog named Kurt. He growls at him every time. (Frankie thinks he is so ferocious. lol) 

The WTF ugly: Our washing machine broke after a month and it took 3 weeks, countless phone calls and 6 careless visits from Pacific Sales to get our new one. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT use Pacific Sales (part of Best Buy) to buy appliances EVER...unless in fact you don't mind when they forget parts over and over and over and over again. 


  • We celebrated Richard's birthday by spending a long weekend in Monterey exploring the beach and fitting in a game of golf (Richard golfs, I drive the golf cart, Frankie tries not to disturb the wildlife). This was Frankie's first trip to the beach and he loved it. Dog lovers - this is one of the best beaches to bring your pup to. The beach is huge and beautiful, dog-friendly and protected from the roads.
Carmel Beach
Pacific Grove golf course (Yes they let us bring Frankie!)

  • I also made Frankie a squirrel costume for Halloween and entered him in the Petco and PetSmart facebook photo contests. We didn't win those, but did win our local Petco costume contest. My dad thinks I should make a dog clothing business...sure sounds like more fun than my job right now! 

Mr. Squirrel
Frankie won FIRST PLACE!

  • Went to Vegas with a few friends. Saw the Michael Jackson was totes amaze!! (YES! Finally got to use this phrase!)
  • Attended a friend's wedding in Stockton. It was a really sweet ceremony at Morris Chapel at the University of the Pacific with a very filling dinner at China Palace. Richard's not pictured since he left to work his graveyard shift. boo

  • We came back to Stockton again (we love this place) to attend my fraternity's annual Christgiving (Thanksgiving/Christmas) dinner. It made me feel a little nostalgic of my days at UOP and being surrounded by friends all the time. Thanks to all the brothers who made us feel so welcome! 

My family line :)


  • This month really flew by and it sure involved a lot of shopping, gift wrapping and baking. Boy did my bank account take a hit! I planned a Secret Santa gift exchange at work not knowing how much drama it would cause :( and baked some sugar cookies for our potluck. The sugar cookies were a real success and I found some coworkers sneaking a few cookies to take home! I'm still looking for the perfect icing recipe as mine took a while to dry and was still a little bubbly. Let me know if you guys have any recommendations. 

Festive sugar cookies (Recipe)
Secret Santa gift I wrapped
  • On the down side, Frankie snapped his dew claw while playing ruff (pun intended) at the dog park. We ended up taking him to the Vet ER where he got sedated and got his nails trimmed. This was one expensive paw-dicure! I know... the picture below looks worse than it is. But isn't he cute? (or stoned? haha) Does anyone use a nail grinder for their dog? I'm trying to find him a good one since he HATES the nail clipper. 

  • On Christmas eve, we went to Downtown Pleasanton and ate at Nonni's Bistro, a Scandinavian restaurant that we discovered on a whim last December. They have a cute outdoor dining area complete with blankets and the staff is really attentive. We had their unique and tasty Christmas meal that included Yule Glogg, a delicious warm, spiced drink made from dried fruits. We're not sure what kind of alcohol is added to it but man is it good. We even bought a bottle to take home with us! This was our second annual Christmas dinner there and we're planning on coming back again next year. Any takers? 
  • After this, we went to Alameda's Thompson Avenue, famous for their street-wide holiday lights display. We strolled along with hundreds of other families, snapping pictures of all the decked-out houses. Here are a few of our favorites...

  • On Christmas day, we opened our gifts, spent the day baking a lemon-rosemary cake (will post about this later) and went to my aunt's house for Christmas dinner. T'was a good day and I was just thankful I got the day off...finally.
Frankie before he opened his gifts
Our first full size Christmas tree (literally rolled home in a shopping cart from the garden center nearby)
See, I've been busy and not just vegetating on my couch watching HGTV...although I admit I did do a fair amount of this too. >_< Wishing you all a Happy New Year and I hope this year is a great one! What are your new year resolutions? I'm still working on mine and dude, the list is already loooong.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Kate Spade Inspired Canvas Tote Bag

When my coworker/friend suggested we do a craft day, I scoured pinterest trying to get inspired by others' diy projects. There were lots of cool things, but nothing practical for my lifestyle needs. When my friend suggested painting canvas bags, I knew this was perfect as I was looking for a cute large tote bag I could bring to the pool or the beach. I found this picture of Kate Spade's "South of the Border" canvas bon shopper, I knew this would be an easy DIY project. 

Kate Spade "South of the Border" Bon Shopper

We bought large canvas bags from Joann (3 for $11 after my 40% off coupon!). Before painting, I sketched out my design consisting of my favorite shave ice (as you call it in Hawaii) flavors and shave ice cones. I used fabric paints I already had to create the colors I needed, carefully blending colors to match the flavors. The best part about this design is that it's okay if the lettering is uneven and imperfect. It's supposed to be that way! I'm super pleased with the end result. What do you guys think?

My DIY version

Here are some other painted canvas bags that I think are totally DIY-able:

Pink striped ombre tote
Kate Spade bag: Could be done with letter stencils!
Here's a DIY: Kate Spade inspired tote

A bag revealing it's contents :)
Chevron and monogrammed bag

For the ambitious...
Watercolor floral tote
Diamond printed tote

Hopefully this will inspire someone to go paint crazy on a simple canvas bag! I think it would make a cute and inexpensive gift for mother's day or a friend's birthday...or as we found out, a fun craft project to do with a friend. Happy Thursday everyone! Yay, it's almost the weekend...although weekends are almost meaningless when you work in a hospital that sometimes requires you to to be at work at 6am on a Sunday. Just makes me appreciate "sleeping in" that much more. 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Frankie's Raincoat

As promised a while ago, here's my tutorial for the raincoat I made Frankie (my dog) for Christmas. I made the raincoat using this juniors windbreaker vest I found at Goodwill. I saw it and knew it would be a perfect raincoat for Frankie, especially with the little pocket on the store treats, poop baggies?! :) I knew I wanted to line his raincoat to keep his little body warm, so I chose a black and white plaid fleece from JoAnn Fabrics.

Body: First I laid one of Frankie's coats on the back of the vest. I traced around the body of the coat using a water-soluble marking pen and cut around it leaving a 1/2 inch border to accommodate a seam. Next, I cut out the fleece lining of the coat.

Hood: I trimmed off the existing hood from the remains of the vest and placed it on Frankie's head to figure out how much I had to trim off (Obviously he is enjoying this process. He pretty much sat there while Mommy folded and pinned his hood.) I made sure to leave 1 1/2 inch around the opening of the hood to allow for the seam later. I also put his green coat over the raincoat hood and drew a line where the hood should meet the coat. I cut 1/2 inch below the line I drew.

Keeping the hood folded in half, I cut out the fleece lining adding 3/8 inch to the rounded part of the hood. I also trimmed the opening part of the hood by 1 1/2 inch(not shown). I placed the right sides of the fleece together and sewed a 3/8 inch seam allowance along the rounded middle part of the hood. I then folded and pinned the edges of the hood opening down 1/2 inch and then over the fleece 1 inch (see second and third picture below). To secure, I top stitched close to the edge of the yellow fabric (where pins are placed in picture 3).

Velcro straps: I cut two rectangles each of the lining and raincoat material just 1" longer and wider than the straps on the green raincoat. I placed the right side of the yellow fabric to the right side of the fleece and sewed with a 1/2 inch seam allowance on 3 sides. After that I flipped them out and top stitched around the edges. I also sewed two strips of velcro to each strap (two to the yellow side, two to the plaid side)

Almost there! I pinned and sewed the hood and velcro straps to the yellow coat. Then I pinned the fleece lining to the coat right sides together, making sure the hood and straps are inside (Frankie photo-bombed this pic!). I sewed all around the coat with a 1/2 inch seam allowance, leaving a 6 inch opening at the bottom of the coat. 

I flipped the coat right side out through the opening and poked the corners with chopsticks. I top stitched all the way around the whole coat to create a more polished finish. I also added velcro to the neck closure and a button hole at the back of the neck for Frankie's leash. 

On Christmas day, Frankie got his new yellow raincoat and squeaky bunny. Luckily, he doesn't mind wearing clothes! We've had a few rainy days where this coat came in handy. It is seriously the most precious thing watching him waddle through the puddles in the raincoat I made him (If I only had a video!). I'm just glad he doesn't come back soaking and shivering after our walks in the rain. 

I hope this inspires someone to make a raincoat for their dog. There's something incredibly special about handmade gifts. You can use an existing garment like I did or you can make one from other fun fabrics. The options are really limitless (with hood, without hood, with fleece lining, with cotton lining, with pocket, etc). Whatever you decide to do, your pup will be the only one on the block rocking your personalized creation. :)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Crafty Updates

It's basically the middle of January and I'm finally getting back into blogging! Where have I been? Just recovering from my crazy work schedule and shopping/crafting/shipping gifts for the holidays. Here's a look at my projects from the last few months...

1. Fall/Winter Wreath: I made this wreath using a cheapy wreath from Goodwill and spruced (pun not intended!) it up with gold branches and ribbon from the Dollar Tree. Total cost was $6. With the lemons and apples, I think this wreath will also pass for spring or summer...maybe changing out the bow for a cute gingham print? 

2. Twinkies Cupcakes: Devastated that Twinkies were no more, I was inspired to make Twinkie cupcakes using this recipe. Friends who tried it agreed, they indeed did taste like real Twinkies! I'm definitely saving this in my recipe archives. Anyone know who bought the official recipe?

3. Cupcake Pin Cushions: A few months ago I went to a quilt and craft fair and found a pattern for these felt pin cushions. I made the one on my left for my mom (resembles Mary Engelbreit stuff, which she loves) and the one on the right for my grandma (she loves purple). Little did I know that Frankie (my dog) would be obsessed with the fake felt cherries and would frequently steal them when I wasn't looking. Luckily I was able to retrieve them from him. I was not so lucky with some of the small felt circles I cut earlier! When my mom and grandma opened their gifts on Christmas day, they decided that these would be too pretty to put pins in and instead will buy acrylic boxes to display them in (still not sure if I am happy about this...)

4. Embroidered sweaters: Not knowing what to give my grandmothers for Christmas, I found these Karen Scott waffle knit sweaters from Macy's and thought they did have a grandmotherly quality. They were pretty simple to begin with, so I decided it was time to break out the embroidery feature on my Brother SE400 sewing/embroidery machine. I chose the purple violet pattern for grandma #1 (the purple loving one) and the floral topiary pattern for grandma #2. I was impressed with the ease of the embroidery process. At times I just hit the go button and went to do some chores while my machine embroidered a particular color of the design. 

5. Christmas Card Picture:  In the spirit of the holidays, we got a pink flocked tree (yes, it's real!) and decorated our fireplace. Since we didn't have many ornaments, I bought some simple silver and white ornaments from the Target and the Dollar Tree. I also shoved some of our small stuffed animals in there just for fun. The "Holly" sign was actually part of a Hollywood sign I used for a formal a few years back (I couldn't think of any other holiday words that I could make with "Hollywood". Please let me know if you think of any, so I can use them next year!) The O is actually our clock I decked out in leftover silver, glittery snowflake ornaments. I hot-glued them, but discovered, they can easily be removed from the plastic clock! 

6. Frankie's Raincoat: This is Frankie in the raincoat I made him for Christmas. When I failed to find an affordable, fleece-lined, perfect-fit raincoat for Frankie, I took matters into my own hands and decided I would MAKE him a raincoat. I happened to find a women's hoodie vest with a pocket in the back and thought "this would be the perfect raincoat for Frankie!" I basically cut up the vest and used one of his existing coats (yes people, my dog is stylish and does have a coat wardrobe. I promise they are all functional...) as a template and voila, here he is sitting all pretty on Christmas day with his new squeaky bunny toy. After making this raincoat, I almost convinced myself that I could be a doggy fashion designer. Then I realized this probably would not be as profitable as my current job. Also, I probably would not be very successful unless I knew of more than two famous dogs (Currently, I can only think of Boo and Bo)

7. SF Ballet's Nutcracker: I realize this is not a craft project, but I do love the red and white tree in the back. We finally got around to seeing the San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker Production. I've been dying to go for years, but could not afford the high ticket prices. We had seats in the dress circle which were significantly better (no binoculars required) than our second to the last row seats when we saw Swan Lake a few years back. I was really impressed by the whole show, especially the snow scene where the dancers literally were being snowed on! If you have never gone, please go if you have the opportunity to! However, I'd like to warn you in advance that there are a surprising number of little kids running around there (apparently some people are just super rich and can afford to pay hundreds for their toddlers to watch...errr climb seats...during the show). Being in the audience and watching the dancers made me realize how much I miss ballet and performing. I hope to start taking classes in the new year! 

8. Snowflake cupcakes: For my fellow co-workers who worked on Christmas eve and day, I made these Funfetti snowflake cupcakes. For the snowflakes, I piped vanilla Wilton's candy melts on to wax paper and let them harden in the fridge before placing them on top the cupcakes. I really liked how they turned out and will definitely try this technique again...maybe hearts for Valentine's day? 

Hope you liked my craft projects. Look for a doggy raincoat tutorial in the near future. I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday season. Have a happy new year and be inspired to craft away! :D