Browsing Tag



Halloween Party Favor Bags: To Buy or To Do It Yourself

halloween linen bags

halloween linen bags
photo credits: Vicki Lynn Photography at HGTV  – available at The TomKat Studio Shop $9.99 USD for 6

If you throw an Halloween, Halloween party favor bags are a must. One option is to print, draw, stencil, stamp or embroider an illustration on a paper bag or a muslin bag. The other is to buy handmade bags. Either way, you will get something that stands out from the crowd.

halloween treat bags
sourcing: Luchador Spider Treat Bags by Maple & Belmont $3.50 USD for 5

Handcrafted Paper Bags

halloween treat bags
sourcing: Happy Halloween goodie bags by Maple & Belmont $3.50 USD for 5

These cheerful 2-color models are produced by a husband and wife team from Norfolk,Virginia. Their treat bags are available on their Website Maple & Belmont.

halloween card collection
sourcing: Halloween card collection by Maple & Belmont $18 for set of 5 cards

While you are shopping at Maple & Belmont, have a look at their Halloween card collection.

sourcing: spooky Halloween gift bags by momentinthesun $24 CAD for 12 bags

My next suggestion are these spooky Halloween gift bags with scary skeletons, wicked witches and poison labels. These little shopping bags feature an handle. They are made by Tracey of momentinthesun, a girl from Vancouver.

halloween ghostly popcorn bags diy

Better Homes & Gardens teaches us how to transform a plain vellum bag into a ghostly popcorn or candy bag in 3 simple steps.  First, curve the top edge with scissors. Make the eyes by glueing two wiggle eyes to the front. For take-out bags, I would punch holes on both sides to close the bag with a tied bow.

Spider treat bags diy
photo credits: Pillowhead Designs on Flickr

The next DIY idea uses leftovers. You create your own spider treat bags by sewing pieces of paper grocery bags. For the spiders, Angela of Pillowhead Designs use felt, a black marker and googly eyes.

Fabric Gift Bags for Halloween

If you are looking for a reusable option, then, fabric party bags are the way to go.

Party Favor Bags for a gothic halloween party

For a Gothic Halloween party, add a touch of glam with Swarovski rhinestones.  $12 USD for 6 by kathyjacobson on Etsy.

halloween boo candy bags

You only need to supply the treats with the next set. It includes 20 Halloween trick or treat organic muslin cotton treat bags and 20 Boo kraft gift tags. $34 USD for 20 by JennifersCookies. Note that Jennifer has many more drawings to choose from.


Mini Illustrated Chalkboard | Etsy Find

chalkboard illustrated mary kate mcdevitt

I don’t know about you, but those cheesy “inspirational” posters found in offices haven’t ever helped in the motivation department. I’d much rather use one of these charming Mini Goal Chalkboards to capture all of my “must dos” and “want to dos”.

chalkboard illustrated mary kate mcdevitt

Each chalkboard is made from real slate and whimsically decorated with bright hand painted lettering and illustrations by Portland-based artist Mary Kate McDevitt. They come ready to hang with personalized packaging, mini goals chalk and a mini goals eraser for about $45 USD.

mini chalkboard illustrated mary kay mcdevitt

I particularly like the combination chalkboard/clock to help keep you on track to meeting your goal – or in the case of the one shown below, celebrating a job well done.

mini chalkboard clock illustrated mary kay mcdevitt

Check out Mary Kay McDevitt’s for more designs or to order a custom piece.

+ Mary Kate McDevitt Etsy Shop

ALL occasions GIFT IDEAS

Get organized to make handmade gifts

free printable project list designed by heart heather

free printable project list designed by heart heather

A few years ago, faced with a too-small holiday shopping budget and gift list that included ten nieces and nephews, parents, siblings, friends and colleagues, I made the decision to put my crafting, sewing and baking skills to good use and make all of my intended gifts.

Of course, my plan didn’t seem so great when I still had unfinished projects on December 24th.

Like any DIY project, organization is essential to ensure your gifts are completed in time to actually be given. It takes a bit of planning and more than one list, but the results are worth it. Here are a few tips that can help you stay on track as the holidays approach and your to-do list grows longer.

Start with a list. Craft stores are a wonderful place to find project inspiration. But aimlessly wandering the aisles can easily steer you off course from your gifting goal, cutting into valuable making time. Once you’ve determined the recipients, your projects and the quantity you need to make, write a list of necessary supplies and make one trip to stock up. You’ll avoid countless additional shopping trips (save for that unavoidable last-minute glitter run).

Use what you have. Holiday projects are a great opportunity to make the most of your craft stash. Take inventory and find gift projects that allow you to use those supplies. A simple online search can help you track down the perfect project.

Make multiples. If you have a long list of loved ones you intend to gift, work in assembly line fashion to speed up the creation of your gifts. Don’t be afraid to make more than one of the same project – after all, you can customize the details for each recipient. I once created stationery sets for multiple children and, while the elements were the same for each, notecards and stickers were personalized with each child’s name and favorite color for a custom feel.

Schedule it! Just as you have to fit shopping into your busy holiday schedule, dedicate a similar block of time to work on your gift projects.

To help you (and me!) organize holiday projects and supplies, I created this free printable. Here’s to happy, handmade holidays!

+ Handmade Holiday Project List from Heart Heather


Awesome Environment-friendly Wood Cutting Boards by Gray Works Design

farm market cutting board by gray works design

farm market cutting board by gray works design

I cannot resist the beautiful rustic charm of reclaimed wood cutting boards. They make awesome serving trays or plates. They transform a simple soup and sandwich meal into a delightful affair.

Bistro Look

cafe cutting board :: bistro plate

Although serving food in wooden café plates is an expensive option, I feel that it is worth every penny. As long as they are roughly of the same size, they do not have to be identical. It’s definitively something to put on your Holidays wish list. It’s on mine!

The Most Practical Size

sunday sustainably harvested wood cutting board by gray works design

My favorite one, due to its versatility, has to be the Sunday Styles Cutting Board. A 22 inch long, this wooden board works perfectly as serving ware on a buffet table, to serve antipastos at your dinner table, as a cheese plate or to eat your breakfast on weekends.

Gray Works Design produces one-of-a-kind, handmade footed cutting boards, bistro plates and bowls in their small studio located in Woodstock, NY. The collection varies from small to extra-large formats, depending of the products. Made with locally and sustainably harvested or salvaged American hardwoods, the  are protected with natural, organic, food safe finishes. Gray Works Design’s products are all available on Etsy.

+ Rustic Cutting Board in Hand Planed Rock Maple by Gray Works Design $70 USD on Etsy
+ Cafe Cutting Board in Salvaged Cherry $56
+ Sunday Styles Cutting Board in Sustainably Harvested Walnut $95
+ via Fonetik


Wedzu: A Marketplace for Indie and Handmade Weddings

wedding photo props

dirty laudry guest book kit

I love Etsy but let’s face it, it is so huge now that it could be time-consuming to find what you are looking for.  This is why we see an emergence of curated marketplaces. The latest addition is Wedzu, a marketplace for indie and handmade weddings. Some items would add fun to a baby shower, a birthday party or a club reunion.

I picked some of my favorite handmade items to make your party more memorable.

Photo Props

wedding photo props

Photo shoots require props. The mustache and lips photo shoot has become a trend. The sexy red lips and bold English handlebar mustaches are available in sets of 2 or sets of 5. I featured before vintage silverware recycled as garden and herbs markers. Monkeys Always Look transformed them into wedding photo props. It comes in a set of 3 spoons with the words: I Love You, XOXO and Kiss Me.

Favor Boxes

cake slice favor boxes

Each cake favor box is tied by a pretty ribbon on the side. I also like it for baby and bridal showers.

please deliver to stamp

If you ship your invite in a box, you might like to get one of these Please Deliver To Wooden Stamp to print on your shipping labels.

Funny Guest Book

clothesline guest book

The Dirty Laundry Guest Book Kit provides a creative twist. Guests can write their funny stories or wishes on note cards cut as t-shirts, tank tops, pants and skirts. The kit includes mini wooden clothespins, clothesline and a coordinating label that encourages guest’s to write notes to affix on a detergent bottle.

+ The Sassy Couple Photo Props by Whisker Works $20 for set of 2
+ Wedding Photo Prop Stamped Silverware Markers by Monkeys Always Look $17 for 3 assorted spoons
+ Chocolate Cake with Blue Flowers Favor Boxes by Imeon Design $32 for 12
+ Red Paper Fortune Cookie by Imeon Design $3
+ Please Deliver To Wooden Stamp by Paper Pastries $25
+ Dirty Laundry Guest Book Kit by Mélangerie Inc. $35


Sweet Lucie’s Organic Ice Cream Cart

sweet lucie's vintage ice cream cart

sweet lucie's vintage ice cream cart

Sweet Lucie’s is another cute story born from the desire of parents-to-be to eat organic food. The idea emerged from the ice cream craving of Geri. This explained why owners Geri and Mike Czako named business after their little girl.

I was sold when I first laid my eyes on their charming 1950’s ice cream truck and their vintage ice cream cart. From the reviews I read online, their organic ice cream is supposed to be divine. I say “Bravo!” for developing such a superb concept.

Serving Southern California

sweet lucie's organic ice cream vintage cart and truck

If I was hosting a wedding, a birthday party, a bar/bat mitzvah or a special private party in the Southern California area, I would give them a call. Sweet Lucie’s can cater up to 600 guests per event but you do not have to host a huge party like that go with this party rental service. I know that they were hired for a 40th birthday party, kids birthdays, weddings and a golf tournament. Sweet Lucie’s will work with you to tailor the ice cream flavors to your taste and party theme. They can also serve a sunday bar.

sweet lucie's mint lemonade sorbet recipe

As far as I know they did not start yet, but they should bring their ice cream to the streets of Southern California in a near future. For the rest of us who live too far to enjoy their tasty ice cream, we can prepare their Simple At-Home Organic Mint Lemonade Sorbet Recipe.

+ Sweet Lucie’s
+ Sweet Lucie’s at The Knot event – photo by Duke Photography Inc.
+ Simple At-Home Organic Mint Lemonade Sorbet Recipe on Tastespotting’s blog


Handmade Wool Pillows and Decorations from PLYtextiles | Etsy Finds

PLYtextiles felt cushion, doily and cube ottoman

PLYtextiles felt cushion, doily and cube ottoman

There’s something about “wool” and “pillows” that doesn’t quite scream comfort – at it’s worst, wool can be rough, scratchy and irritating to the skin. But these cushions from PLYtextiles are more objet d’art than just a place to rest your head.

The handmade cushions created from recycled wool sweaters feature bold, graphic and geometric patterns in modern colour combinations. I love the Octagon Tiles pillow – it has a contemporary quilted style and looks like it was inspired by vintage tile flooring.

PLYtextiles also has a limited selection of home decor items. The Modern Doily and table runners can be customized in any colourway to add a boost to a side table or credenza.

Felt Christmas Decorations

PLYtextiles felt holiday decorations :: christmas

And if you’re already on the lookout for contemporary holiday decor with a handmade aesthetic, keep an eye on this shop. They’ve previously offered wreaths, adorable needle felted snowmen and penguins, and needle felted and yarn wrapped trees.

+ Octagon Tiles Felt Pillow $109 USD by PLYtextiles on Etsy
+ Felt Modern Doily $42
Cube Ottoman $279
Tree Family $27
+ Anna the Penguin $29


Hand Stenciled Table Linens

emersonmade eat linen napkins

emersonmade eat linen napkins

I like the casual, easy living quality of the hand stenciled pure linen napkins and table runners produced by Emersonmade. They will custom print your choice of 1 to 3 upper case letters in black print.

emersonmade hand stenciled initials on linen napkins

The couple who runs Emersonmade are fun to watch through the pictures they put on their blog. We can see here posing for a Scrabble photo shot.

emersonmade table linens

+ Print Your Own Initials Table Linens $52 USD for 4


Artisanal Ice Pop Shops in New York and Los Angeles

gourmet ice pops in a range of innovative flavors at the popshop

popGelato, popSorbetto and popYogourt at popbar in New York

It was only a matter of time before people reinvent another childhood classic with gourmet ice pops. Ice pop molds have entered our houses a while ago but it tool longer to see artisanal shops that make handmade ice pops. Spring 2010 has brought his share of the gourmet ice pop shops, at least in New York City. An article of The New York Times listed four newly opened ice pop shops across New York City.

fruit and herb frozen pops by people\'s pops

You get a variety of flavors from the classic fruit and herb ice pops up to an Italian pop version made with gelato, sorbetto or yogourt. People’s Pops like to experiment with flavors. Past flavors included Spiced Rhubarb ice pops, Blackberry & Lemon Verbena ice pops, or Rhubarb-Jasmine ice pops.

gourmet ice pops in a range of innovative flavors at the popshop

If you do not count your calories, you can add toppings and a chocolate coating to your Popbar. I could be tempted by the Pistachio dizzle which is a Pistacho popGelato covered in chopped pistachios and drizzled with premium dark chocolate. Otherwise, I would try the  lighter Strawberry Lemon popSorbetto. Popbar is the first American shop launched by an Italian artisanal gelato maker called Stick House. They adapted their concept to the American market.

I wanted to know if the concept has made it outside New York City. I browsed the Web to see what is happening elsewhere. I found that there is at least one artisanal pop shop in Los Angeles. According to their Facebook page, The Popshop was founded in 2008. They sell their products at several venues including the Studio City Farmers Market during summer. Flavors at The Popshop vary weekly. With choices like Blueberry Lemonade, Chili Chocolate, Cucumber Lime, Lavender Lemon, Lemon Basil, Lime Mint Mojito, Meyer Lemon Ginger, Pomegranate Orange, Spiced Cider, Strawberry Lemonade, and Watermelon Lime, we are far away from the mass-market Popsicles.

And before these newcomers, Paleteria Fernandez offered forty flavors of paletas de fruta (frozen fruit pops) and paletas de leche (milk pops) at their Port Chester shop. I spotted a review on The Wesfoodie’s that dated from 2006.

You will look to be in the know if you serve your own handmade ice pops at parties this summer. I particularly like the idea of making yours with gelato instead of frozen fruit juices.

+ Popbar $3.99 to $4.99 USD – shop located at 5 Carmine Street (at 6th Avenue), NYC
+ People’s Pops $3.50 USD – shop located at Chelsea Market, 75 Ninth Avenue (at 15th Street), NYC
+ The Popshop – with selected retailers across LA – photography by Renee Anjanette as seen on LAist


Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

silhouette family portraits and handmade soaps as mother's day gift ideas on etsy

silhouette family portraits and handmade soaps as mother\'s day gift ideas on etsy

Think about family portraits and little things that give her time for herself for this Mother’s Day. They might be the most original gift ideas but you are certain that it will please her. On those categories, I suggest:

terry bath scrubber and mitt for a mother\'s day gift ideas

+ Custom Personalized Family Silhouette Print that you will take the time to frame $22 USD by Nella Designs on etsy
+ Moroccan Mint Square-Glycerin and Goat’s Milk Soap $4 USD by KcSoapsNmore on etsy
+  Terry Bath Scrubber and Bath Mitt $15 USD and $9 at Pottery Barn


Organic Blanket and Throw by Heather Heron

hand knotted beach blanket from environment by heather heron

hand knotted beach blanket from environment by heather heron

Canadian-born, LA-based designer Heather Heron proposes exquisite blankets that will sustain a day or night at the beach. Developed with the surf culture in mind, her Environment by Heather Heron collection is luxurious in look and feel.

organic Fringe Throw :: environment by heather heron - lifestyle collection

You want to to snuggle under her organic throw and blanket. The Fringe Throw is made from organic hemp and flax woven together to create this beautiful homespun pinwheel pattern. The Hand Knotted Beach Blanket revives an age-old craft of hand knotting that is rarely done these days in the United States. They are not cheap but with proper care, they can last a lifetime.

About the Collection

She collaborated with Environment Furniture to produce her lifestyle collection. Heather described it in those words:

I designed a collection for Environment Furniture to celebrate the art of living … spirit filled, minimal + adventurous … whether it’s island living or city living …

Heather Heron stayed true to her signature materiel, hemp. She specializes in handcrafted bags and scarfs made with organic hemp textiles, reclaimed vintage U.S. Military textiles, surplus Japanese denim. The products of Environment collection are handcrafted in California.

Her lifestyle collection is available at Provide in Vancouver and at her online store.

+ Organic Fringe Throw $295
+ Hand Knotted Beach Blanket $395