diy // photo valentine card.

diy // homemade valentine cards to the girlfriends.

Because nobody does these anymore. Well, I'm reviving and bringing it back, baby. Here's a good ol' fashion homemade Valentine's card made with love coming your way. Sealed, stamped and delivered. (Seriously, who does that anymore??) You know that means a ton of something special if somebody is mailing a handwritten card to ya. Viva La Snail Mail!

diy // homemade valentine cards to the girlfriends.

Materials // Photos. Washi tape. Brown card stock. Double-sided tape or Glue Dots.

diy // homemade valentine cards to the girlfriends.
diy // homemade valentine cards to the girlfriends.

Other than V, the only other 'loves' of my life are my bestest best girlfriends. My confidantes, my backbones, my fellow daydreamers. Sisters from another mother and father. Each and every one of these girls are the complete opposites of me. Why would I want besties exactly like me? That would be boring. And weirdly predictable. But opposites do attract and these rainbow of personalities complement all facets of me. I love you, gals! Y'all inspire me to do this - dreaming and concocting and writing and mailing ... to you! 

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.

{kitchen de ferrer} heart-shaped valentine noms.

What started off as a fun twist to our homemade Valentine's Day dinner about 6ish years ago has become a yearly tradition for me + V. We really turned this heart-shaped foodie thayng into a sport, with each year more ambitious than the last. This heart-shaped challenge is the reason why Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays of the year! Straight from our kitchen, here are Jincent's heart-shaped foodie noms of 2013:

valentine lunch 2013.
valentine lunch 2013.
valentine lunch 2013.

1 -- Mini Red Velvet Cupcakes with Arrow. 

I love this cupid's arrow concept from the original cakepopster genius, herself, Miss Bakerella!  A few changes from the Bakerella tutorial were made, like using skewers instead of lollipop sticks, as well as using a heart craft punch for the bigger hearts. The little hearts were quickly hand-drafted, then cut out. A gold sharpie to draw in the feather lines, tape to adhere the hearts to the skewers andVoila!

From simple to spruced up cuppycake in minutes!

valentine lunch 2013.

2 -- Heart-Shaped Strawberry Kabob. 

These need no explaining. They really do look that easy!

valentine lunch 2013.
valentine lunch 2013.

3 -- Angel Sweet Tomato Hearts. 

Another heart idea that needs no explaining. The 'recipe' by Eye Candy originally called for Cherry tomatoes, but our local grocery store didn't have any on hand. So we went with the next best thing. Still worked out! Looks like Cherry tomatoes, anyways!

valentine lunch 2013.
valentine lunch 2013.

4 -- Heart-Shaped Carrots. 

So my carrot hearts didn't come out as nicely as Sophistimom's.  But that's ok. I like my wonky geometric hearts. They kinda look like V's. V for Vince. ;-)

valentine lunch 2013.
valentine lunch 2013.

5 -- Heart-Shaped Beef Pinwheels. (With Heart-Shaped Quinoa.)

This was all V. He was inspired by a heart-shaped cinnamon roll that I had stumbled upon and wanted to do a savory version. Shallot + Chive cheese, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, plank steak. All rolled into a heart-shaped pinwheel. Held together with toothpicks. A little ambitious for me, but like the aspiring gourmet chef that V is, he made it look easy. And it turned out ... well, let's just say I heart it. ;-)

Hope this inspires your own homemade Valentine's meal in the future! Keep it fun + heartilicious, my peoples!

besos ... jin.

{kitchen de ferrer} ombre valentine cake push pops.

ombre valentine cake push pops.
ombre valentine cake push pops.
ombre valentine cake push pops.
ombre valentine cake push pops.
ombre valentine cake push pops.
ombre valentine cake push pops.

It's no secret I would rather take pictures of my food (and eat them!) than bake/cook them. And it's no secret I take even more pics when I actually do bake/cook. Hard work can do that to ya. In this case (if you couldn't already tell from the multitude of aftermath visuals), I worked hard! And pretty dang proud of it. =D

The making of a cake push pop, it seems, is pretty straightforward. Bake a sheet cake, level it off, cut circles out with push pop container, pipe in cream cheese icing in between cake layers. Sounds easy enough! The Jin version is slightly different. Bake mini cupcakes using a mini muffin pan instead! Once cooled, cut off the cupcake tops, leaving the bottom portions (perfect height and width!) to be squeezed into the push pop containers. No need to level off!

As for the ombre part, I opted for various Duncan Hines cake flavors. Red velvet, strawberry and yellow cake. Half the yellow cake batter I added food coloring (red, orange + yellow) to get that nice bright red color.

Aaand construct away! Cake, icing, cake, icing, etc. Top off with lip sprinkles. Perhaps take the decor step further with some washi tape fun. Makes for 'derrricious-looking' (as Hanh puts it) and 'what the hell these push pops are delicious' (as Eric puts it) Valentine treats for Jincent's closest Austin friends!

besos ... jin.

united way for greater austin photo feature.

Photo collage from United Way of Greater Austin. Top left pic by Jin Chu Ferrer.

Last 'press + news' mention for the week. I promise. =)

So my photo of me + V got featured in a Valentine's Day post by United Way for Greater Austin! Check out the post of our pic + quote here and here.

Top left pic, that's us! Talk about a nice Valentine's surprise!

besos ... jin.

3 days, 3 DIY projects.

Took a break from all the pic editing to do a few uber simple DIY projects in some of my favorite color combos. Got red, pink + gold hues on my mind!

DIY: february 2013 paint chip calender.

1 -- DIY February 2013 Paint Chip Calendar.

Other than using them as various gift tags, I finally found another use for all those extra paint chips I've collected. So diggin' this idea. It's simple (took 5 minutes), inexpensive (free!) and adds a pop of color to my inspiration mood board (pow!). Now if only they were Pantone! Le sigh!

Tip: It's all about the Glue Dots. Double-sided tape won't cut it!

DIY: valentine cards.
DIY: valentine cards.

2 -- DIY Valentine Cards.

For my closest gal pals in my life. =) This is what loads of brown cards, extra glittery gold birds from my wedding, leftover pink acrylic paint, a wine cork and a lil Mod Podge can do. It's as easy and straightforward as it looks!

DIY: birthday gift wrapping.

3 -- DIY Birthday Gift Wrapping.

I love the idea of buying a roll of brown paper (which has lasted me for years and shows no sign of running out anytime soon) and creating any design for any occasion at any time. For Liz's Birthday, an empty tube of toilet paper and pink acrylic paint was all I needed to guzzy up this brown paper. Red ombre nylon string to finish it off and voila! Only 10 minutes of my life came and went. =)

Til next DIY adventure, crafting homies!

besos ... jin.

{Pictures by Jin Chu Ferrer of Contradiction of Sorts.}