I really do love this time of year, although it always comes sooner than I realize and sometimes I don’t soak it all in before it’s gone. Looking forward to some baking, crafting, picture-taking, and hanging out with friends and family.

On Sunday, my siblings and cousins came over for the day. We packed ourselves into 3 cars and headed to Discovery Green to ice skate—for most of them, their first time on the ice. Lots of other Houstonians had the same idea (you should see how excited our city gets when it actually snows) so the rink was roughly as crowded and chaotic as a livestock pen, but it was fun nonetheless. Afterward we all went back to our place, ate shepherd’s pie and candy, rediscovered the charms of Home Alone, before ending the night in a quest for frozen yogurt. I hope these all form part of a new family tradition. The thing about having multiple sides of your giant extended family in one area is that traditions don’t always have a chance to emerge and stick; one year, you go to one aunt’s, the next year maybe you’re at your uncle’s on the other side.

I have an endless supply of kraft paper at work and, since I gave away all my wrapping paper during the Great Moving Purge of 2011, I thought I would try making my own with the help of these stamps from Yellow Owl Workshop. BJ was let down a bit that our freakishly odorless fraser fir didn’t fill the air with those signature evergreen smells that mark the arrival of the holidays. His words. I grew up with the plastic trees, so I really didn’t get what I was missing out on. But it made sense after he band-aided the problem with a “Christmas wreath” candle that has our place smelling recognizably Christmas-y. In winterless Houston, these measures are necessary. For decorations, I’ve been working on Confetti System-inspired ornaments after seeing it on esb’s pinterest. I have a soft spot for soothingly repetitive crafts (beading, papercutting, the like) and this falls right into that category. Plus, I think they’ll work well as year-round decor, right?


Tinsel icicles and watercolor bunny

  • Les Givral’s nest of 2×4’s. BJ and I were craving their bbq pork & pâté banh mi .
  • Barney’s Co-op is closing their Houston store. I bought one Richard Chai LOVE hooded parka for my sister Thuy and one for me. The drape and details are nice with plenty of room for layering. Plus you can’t beat a deal that is almost 90% off!
  • The weather is finally feeling like winter! I think the decorations will have to stay up a little longer.
  • Tinsel icicles on clearance + washi tape = a Confetti System-inspired project.
  • This watercolor portrait of Baby Bunny is a present from Julia made with the Christmas presents we gave her. I love her background!

confetti system


CS_streamers-533x400hat tip: wrenhandmade

I was already looking forward to see Beach House for Trang’s birthday, but now I’m even more excited because Confetti System will be designing the set for the band’s tour. Their use of  simple, everyday objects create ethereal sites, bring us back to the past, and make us long for a little bit more fun(sparkle) in our lives. I like how one writer described what CS created as “a moment that’s at once tangible and fleeting.”

A great behind the scenes piece by Sight Unseen here.