diy // tissue carnation ampersand.

diy // paper carnation ampersand.

A simple Spring prop for a quick Spring family photoshoot. That's how I roll. (Last-minute DIYers UNITE!) Initially, I had planned to get fancy with the paper flowers. Dahlias. Roses. Peonies. Daisies. Poppies. All of it. Upon making the first of many paper flowers, I've come to realize -- 'I'm running out of time already!!' -- and just stuck with the easiness of paper carnations. In a mere 15 minutes I was done making paper flowers and quickly filling up the Ampersand. (Lazy DIYers UNITE!)

So. It's not all bad changing up the game plan. Less time DIYing, more time playing outdoors. Yeah?

Besides, Spring has finally sprung!

diy // paper carnation ampersand.
diy // paper carnation ampersand.

Materials // Paper Mache Ampersand. X-Acto Knife. Gold Spray Paint. Tissue Paper. String. Scissors. Newspaper.

diy // paper carnation ampersand.
diy // paper carnation ampersand.
diy // paper carnation ampersand.
diy // paper carnation ampersand.

How-To // 1. Using the X-Acto knife, cut out the front part of the Ampersand. // 2. Take out the 'stuffing' found inside the Ampersand. // 3. Go outside. Lay down a few newspaper sheets, plop the Ampersand on top (with the open-side facing the ground) and spray paint away. One layer of spray paint is enough. // 4. As the spray paint dries, make some simple paper carnations! Don't know how? Go here for an uber simple tutorial. I kinda just eyeballed the sizes of the paper flowers until I was satisfied. // 5. Fill the inside of you Ampersand with paper carnations.

diy // paper carnation ampersand.
diy // paper carnation ampersand.

besos ... jin.

love weekend recap.

valentine's 2014.

It's not every year Love Day falls on a Friday and extends it's glorious self right into the weekend. As if that weren't enough good juju already, throw in perfect weather, spontaneous plans, c'est la vie attitude - and life couldn't be better! Seriously, I'm more than convinced that something (love? =P) must be in the air this past weekend. So why was it so awesome? Our Love Day version consisted of cheesy traditions of homemade heart-shaped eats (every year, more challenging!), a morning run with the dog around Lady Bird Lake, an insane 1.5 day foodie adventure spear-headed by an old high school friend and his Houston residency buddies (somewhere in there the Hubster and I went rogue for a bit - a nap, a massage, an intimate dindin at Cafe Josie, another nap - all made it's way into the epic trail-blazin' food coma marathon), and a Jin-made Valentine's card sesh for all my best girlfriends before Monday rolled around.

Whew. Best. Weekend. Ever.

Low-key, adventurous, memorable. Can't every day be like this?

besos ... jin.

diy // l-o-v-e ombre yarn letters.

diy // l-o-v-e yarn letters.

One evening, a hubster's help and a lil vino will get ya through this deceivingly easy DIY. That's right. Deceivingly easy. I must admit, at first glance the thought of constantly wrapping and weaving seemed a little intimidating, thinking it would take forevers. But I went for it anyways 'cause I'm irrational like that. Oh the things we do to have that certain unique decor that just clicks with your own aesthestic style, no matter how time-consuming it seems. 4 hours later and ... I'm done??

(I'm sure switching out the B and S of the original planned B-E-S-O with L and V might have something to do with cutting the time in half.) But hey, what a pleasant surprise to find a 'challenging' project to be notsobad. Even more of a reason to L-O-V-E this project. Huzzah.

diy // l-o-v-e yarn letters.
diy // l-o-v-e yarn letters.

Materials // Paper Mache Letters. Yarn. Scissors. Mod Podge.

How To // My Sister's Suitcase Love Yarn Letters Tutorial.

Note: Besides the obvious use of different yarn colors from the tutorial, I've opted to use Mod Podge instead of a glue gun. It's been almost a week since finishing this yarn project and so far so good with the Mod Podge.

diy // l-o-v-e yarn letters.
diy // l-o-v-e yarn letters.
diy // l-o-v-e yarn letters.

besos ... jin.

diy // l-o-v-e glitter cake toppers.

diy // L-O-V-E glitter cake toppers.

I have a love affair with cake toppers. Particularly the handmade, simple ones. Often times I don't care what the cake flavor is. (That's a lie. Red Velvet or Lemon or Green Tea or any of my top 30 flavors all the way.) But as long as it's unique, fun, pretty - with a touch of whimsy - yah, I guess I really don't care what flavor it is!

diy // L-O-V-E glitter cake toppers.

Materials // Glitter paper. Skewers. Pencil. Scissors. Tape.

How To // 1. Take the glitter paper and turn it over to the backside. This is where you free-hand the L-O-V-E letters. Make them any size, and as wonky, as you like. The more imperfect, the better. Be sure to pencil in the letters backwards! // 2. Cut out the letters. // 3. Tape the skewers onto the backside of the letters. // 4. Go make some cakes/cupcakes pretty!

diy // L-O-V-E glitter cake toppers.
diy // L-O-V-E glitter cake toppers.
diy // L-O-V-E glitter cake toppers.

A much more affordable and temporary version than these BHLDN lovelies, innit?

besos ... jin.

diy // thread heart wall art.

diy // thread heart wall art.

For some reason this DIY project had looked better in my head than in real life. Maybe it's the poorly executed DIYness or misjudged placement above the (oh so green) couch, but these hearts needed a better styled vignette to give it justice. Fa sho. (In hindsight the space between the living room and the kitchen, underneath the branch art, is suddenly looking more of an appropriate spot.) Nevertheless, it needed minimal materials and anything that needs so little to make must be uber easy! (It was.)

diy // thread heart wall art.

Materials // Yarn. Push pins. Scissors.

The hardest part was actually deciding where to place the push pins. *Cue in major OCD* There was a lot of eye-balling and semi-measuring and re-adjusting. Many minutes (and tiny holes) later, came the fun part. Yarn crazy! I circled the heart about 3 times before zigzaging aimlessly all across. My only regret: it obviously needed more yarn. Thicker the better, I've came to realize, to really make the wall art stand out as a bold statement.

diy // thread heart wall art.
diy // thread heart wall art.

Next time, changing things up. Ombre, perhaps. (Always in hindsight. D'oh.) And a better vignette! (Again, this hindsight thing.)

Hope y'alls came out better! 

besos ... jin.

diy // gold glitter xo.

diy // gold glitter xo

Starting off the slew of Valentine DIYs with something so easy, it doesn't even need directions. (Mod Podge first then glitter away, if you're really that clueless!) So that way, I'll really blow your socks off when Valentine DIY decor #3478539 makes it's blog debut next week. Like what I did there? Eh? Eh? Oh the power of teasers!

diy // gold glitter xo

Materials // XO Wood Letters. Mod Podge. Paintbrush. Glitter.

diy // gold glitter xo
diy // gold glitter xo

It never ceases to amaze me how something so insanely simple to make can instantly change the home mood. Oh yes. Things are starting to feel very swoon festive around here!

besos ... jin.

diy // feather garland.

diy // feather garland.

Think it maaay be time to finally take down those Christmas decorations still bedazzling my humble condo abode. Didn't realize we're nearing the end of January! Seriously. 2014 is already blurring by too fast! (No? Just me?) So in an effort to move forward into this new year on the right foot, I've spent the weekend slowly taking down the Christmas Past while oh-so-slowly brainstorming Valentine decor. Good news: I've replaced my DIY Gold Pine Cone Garland that's been making my living room window look good with another DIY garland. Valentine's related. Woot. Impressed that I've got something Valentine's up this early? Think I've impressed myself!

But because it's so freakin' easy to make, it kinda feels like I've cheated a little bit. So easy, I'm not even gonna bother writing up the how-to!

diy // feather garland.

Materials // Feathers. String. Mini Clothespins. 

diy // feather garland.
diy // feather garland.

With these feathers up, feels like Spring is just around the corner. 'Cause, Winter. I'm so over you.

besos ... jin.

diy // gold pine cone garland.

diy // christmas pinecone wreath.

Another Christmas project that was supposed to be done last Christmas (waited too late, of course) aaand here we are a whole year later. Trying again. At the last minute. Of course. ;-) But I was determined to actually get it done this year, being our first Christmas in Austin and all, and so the Monday before Christmas I got busy. Check it out!

diy // christmas pinecone wreath.

Materials // Pine cones. Gold Metallic Spray PaintScrew Eyes (any reasonable size will do). Newspaper. Drill (not pictured). String. Scissors. Plyers (not pictured). Glue gun (optional / not pictured).

How to // 1. Lay some newspapers down outside, plop your pine cones down and spray paint away! // 2. Let paint dry. // 3. I ain't gonna lie. It's so much easier to drill a tiny hole in the pine cone first before applying the screw eyes. But if you can do it by hand, go for it. Use plyers for better grippage when getting those screw eyes in! // 4. Thread the string (of your choice) through the screw eyes. You can tie a knot at each screw eye as you go, but I'm OCD and I like my pine cones evenly spaced. To get that even-ess, skip the tying knot part, lay garland-in-process out on the floor, and shift pine cones up and down the string. Once satisfied with the spacing, bust out the glue gun and glue string to screw eye. // 5. Find a good place to show off that pine cone garland snazzyness!

diy // christmas pinecone wreath.
diy // christmas pinecone wreath.
diy // christmas pinecone wreath.
diy // christmas pinecone wreath.
diy // christmas pinecone wreath.

At one point I wanted to gild gold leaves onto the pine cones. Why not? Had some sheets left over from the Terra Cotta Pot project. But that would've taken a lot longer than need be (no bueno for last minute projects, you see) and besides, the gold metallic spray paint stills gives a nice pretty sheen. Now my tiny little living room window looks all festive and wintery and shiny and new for Christmas and New Year's! 

besos ... jin.

holiday 2013 featurette on sainsbury's.

My Mustache Straw DIY got featured on Sainsbury's!

Hi, lovelies! Just spent the past few glorious days in Jamaica for one of my bestie's wedding.

Yah, mon.

Long story short, everything about KF + Jeff's wedding was fun and laid-back and fun and intimate and FUN. But more on that later! The reason why I'm posting: 1) It's been a week since I've poked my head around here. Let's face it. I've been slacking. Aaaaand 2) One of my DIY tutorials got featured on a Holiday 2013 article by Sainsbury's! Eee! Now I don't normally blog about things like these, although getting featured as creative/photographic inspiration on various social media and blogs over the past few years has been an honor and a blessing (MUCHO THANKS for the support, everyone!!), but this blog is from UK! Whoa! International, baby! Ch-ch-check it out! There are some pretty amazing holiday tutorials featured alongside my dinky Mustache Straw DIY. Specifically the gold-tipped feather tutorial. I've been meaning to do a similar tutorial, but looks like somebody beat me to it! (Long-distance high five, Copenhaven!)

besos ... jin.

pumpkin tree branches.

mini pumpkins on a branch.
mini pumpkins on a branch.
mini pumpkins on a branch.
mini pumpkins on a branch.
mini pumpkins on a branch.
mini pumpkins on a branch.
mini pumpkins on a branch.
mini pumpkins on a branch.
mini pumpkins on a branch.

I saw these pumpkin branch lovelies at Whole Foods and immediately picked up a 'bouquet' without hesitation. Anything with an unexpected twist - I'm on it! Actually, those aren't really mini pumpkins on a stick. They're really ornamental eggplants, or edible eggplants, if ya bravely curious enough to stir-fry away. Def gonna give that a go one day! But purely on the ornamental side, I'm in love with how these branches are utterly simple, yet adds a quiet whimsical-fall-foliage-in-the-forest statement piece in a classy way. Stick them in wine and Perrier bottles. Boom. Good to go. Festive autumn merriments, à la country chic meets city coffee shop, in just a couple of steps. Happy Friday!

besos ... jin.

diy // tissue tassel balloons.

diy // tissue tassel.

I love it when something so ordinary can be transformed into a whimsical beauty in a matter of minutes. Especially one that only needs a simple, insanely easy AND cheap twist to it's facade, such as these gold + mint tassels hanging off my otherwise ho-hum birthday balloons a few weeks ago. Now that's a vast transformation. It kinda makes birthdays fun again, if you're in your 30s (like me) and dreads getting older (like me). =/ Anyways, got 30 minutes? Here's how!

diy // tissue tassel.

Materials // Tissue paper, balloons (picked up from Party City), and scissors. (That twine in there is for the DIY tissue tassel garland, if ya ever wanna go that route. I kinda played with the idea after sprucing up my balloons.)

How to // Now I'd be lying if I said you don't need a step-by-step pictoral spread. Of course you need step-by-step pix! I didn't realize this until after the fact, as I sit here, attempting to list off written directions, thinking, 'This is confusing ish, man!' World's worse DIY tissue tassel directions ever, I know. But too lazy to go back and take step-by-step pix, here's the DIY tutorial from Designs by Nicolina that I based my tassels on. I didn't have a cutter on hand and used scissors instead, which is probably a much longer process. I also didn't cut the last piece all the way through. After the rolling process, I simply wrapped the rolled-up piece around the knotted end of the balloon and twisted away to secure. 1 or 2 tassels per balloon is the max before gravity takes over.

The easy way out on the directions, I'm sure, but honestly, I just really, really wanted to take pictures of the finished product. My favorite step in any DIY! And something I would rather do on my birthday anyways, getting inexplicably lost in the moment, snapping away at pretty things. All day long if I had a choice. Here are a few selects for your viewing pleasure.

diy // tissue tassel.
diy // tissue tassel.
diy // tissue tassel.
diy // tissue tassel.
diy // tissue tassel.
diy // tissue tassel.

I would love to deck out a giant balloon with tons of tassels like these lovely Geronimo! creations, (an idea for a photoshoot that I've been meaning to do for, like, years) but this DIY was a last minute thing and had to settle with easily attainable materials in a hurry. So last minute, I've actually started and finished the project on my birthday! Queen of last-minute projects right here!

besos ... jin.