Friday, December 31

10 years

10 years ago today, my now hubby and I had our first date. Well it was not supposed to be a romantic date, but it turned into one, and into 10 years of love and joy. 

A very merry unanniversary to you! (and me)

My love is a geek, sometimes a nerd, occasionally a bear but mostly he is my best friend, my companion, the shoulder I like to lean my head on and last but not least the most wonderful dad. I'm ready for more... 

Giveaway winner - $40 CSN store giftcard

Last day of the year and what a great start to the new year than some shopping. I truly wish I had one gift card for each of you. But I promise there will be other giveaways in the near future. 

The randomizer has been consulted...

And the winner is 

*** Drum roll ***

Amie I will be sending you the code to redeem your gift card via email.

A good start for 2011

To live happy in a busy life, you need to stay organized. Not everybody has a fancy smartphone to keep track of everything. So here's the good old paper planner:

Grabbed from the dollar bin in a craft store

And there is how to glam it up a bit : 

Pull the plastic over and remove the stickers

Grab your glue

some cute scraps out of your stash

Glue the fabric to the cover

Use your rotary cutter to trim the excess fabric

Put the plastic cover back on

Ready to start the new year organized...

Thursday, December 30

Trading Post - A pretty bracelet

Yesterday, I had a "playdate" with Amie from Kitty Cats & Airplanes.  We met for the first time "in real life" and, even though we are both recovering from a nasty bug, it was a great experience! We had decided while planning our meeting that the goal was to exchange skills and I think we did achieve that quite well.

Amie makes lovely jewelry. Check out this fabulous necklace. The lady has some serious skills!

She was kind enough to bring her gear: it's all nicely organized in a wheeled tote (very cool) and she demonstrated jewelry 101 all the while designing a gorgeous necklace for me out of our combined bead supplies. With her simple explanations (and a trip to Hobby Lobby) I was even able to use some hoop beads I found last november at an estate sale to make myself a cute bracelet last night. 

Thanks for the idea Amie, it turned out awesome.

You can make your own by looking at her great tutorial here

2010 - A year to remember

Tomorrow is the last day of 2010! I still cannot believe how fast the past 6 months went by. Just about 6 months ago, Atelier Caroline was born as a way to get over a personal crisis. It now is thriving thanks to the great support of my readers, according to Google, almost 200... Err wait a minute, almost 200 (198 as I wrap up this post)!! That's huuuge. And 210 following the feed... Thank you, thank you and thank you again! You are all awesome and I'm looking forward to your comments on my future projects. I still try (I don't always succeed I'm afraid) to answer to all individually via email when possible.

My bloggy wishes for the coming year is to be able to continue creating and sharing crafts with you, to meet more wonderful crafters and learn yet more new skills. 

Here is a roundup of the most popular projects I published this year: 

I already have a long line up of projects for the coming weeks. Some are even already in various stages of completion. 
So here is to a happy and crafty 2011 for all of you.


Visit of a Kitty Cat

It's oh so very late. 1am and I'm finally heading to bed after a really great day. I had a great visitor today: Amie from Kitty Cats and Airplanes. As it turns out, after her move across the continent a few months ago, Amie is an almost neighbor, less than half an hour away. We have been talking about crafting together for the past couple of weeks and today we met at a mall nearby and headed to my house where we spend a few creative hours. We had decided that we were going to teach each other something new so Amie gave me a crash course in beading/jewelry making and then I showed her how to make a ruffled scarf. 

I had so much fun with the jewelry making that I played some more after Amie left. Way too much fun : I lost track of time completely... 1am !!  OK now I'm really going to bed. Tomorrow I will tell you more about our "skill trade" adventure. 

Good night !!

Wednesday, December 29

Christmas aftermath

The past 2 days have been quite busy reclaiming the house. A lot of cleaning, organizing, de-cluttering was on the menu with a side of shopping. The kitchen no longer looks like a candy/cookie factory. I also reorganized a few cabinets and rearranged the counter appliances. It makes sense to have the coffee close to the coffee machine and the mugs in the same area right ? OK there was a bit of OCD involved here. And then today I finally found the perfectly sized credenza for our tiny entrance hall. Even my hubby approved. Yay! I still plan on some repainting at some point. I love the shape and colors, not so much the floral design on it. I'm thinking olive branches...

The living rooms is mostly back to normal too. I haven't removed the Christmas decorations yet. I find it hard to taken everything down before Epiphany. In Provence, the celebration of the arrival of the Kings (January 6th) is also an important part of the celebration of the Nativity and I am going to try to bake the traditional brioche Gateau des Rois

Last but not least, the biggest undertaking was the family room/studio. The crafting frenzy started 50 days before Christmas. So imaging 50 days of sewing, crafting, gift wrapping and 50 days of kid playing with limited time for tidying. Piles of fabrics, gift wrap galore, a sea of toys and hiding under the furniture, frightening thread bunnies, fabric confetti, pins and beads. I should have taken a picture of the 'before' to better appreciate the 'after'. To spice things up, the whole family, including yours truly, was still recovering from a nasty cold. At least there was very little cooking involved. After all the feasting we were ready for a more simple fare. 

Only days until the New Year. We are now sliding quickly into my least favorite time of the year. I am trying very hard not to go into complete hibernation until the end of March. Good thing Amiefrom Kitty cats and Airplanes lives close by. We are going to meet for some crafty project. Something fun to look forward to!

Sunday, December 26

New toys!! And giveaway extended

I don't know about you but Santa must have decided I was a good girl this year because I found a lot of toys under the tree: new telephoto lens and other gadgets for my DSLR camera, a tripod that doubles as a monopod, fabrics and more craft goodies.

I've started playing with the new photo gear and loving it.

I took this picture with only the tree lights on, using the timer and my tripod
So cool

 All I need now is to finish my light box and I'll be all set. Yipee!!

On a side note, I realized a lot of my dear readers must have been either out of town or like me way too busy spending time with the family to think about blogworld so I decided to extend the CSN gift card giveaway until December 30th. You can still enter here

Friday, December 24

Last craft of Christmas: Paper angels

While I was clearing up my studio so I would have space to wrap presents I stumbled upon these adorable wood beads with a sweet smile. I remembered about the paper angels we made when I was a little girl -maybe 5 or 6 years old. No paper angel on my tree yet so I had to make a couple.

- Paper doilies
- Pipe cleaner
- Wood or paper bead for the head
- Piece of floral wire 
- Pliers
- Scissors
- Glue or tape

Bend the pipe cleaner into a U-shape
 Snip the doily in two
 Use the pliers to form a circle on on end of the floral wire
 Thread the pipe cleaner and the floral wire through the hole of the bead
Bend the other end of the floral wire into a hook
 Roll one half of the doily into a cone and tape or glue it over the frame formed by the floral wire and the pipe cleaner
 Fold the other half of the doily as shown below and glue or tape to the back
 I have paper angels on my tree now

Thursday, December 23

Warm wishes for Christmas

The family is here. Although it was quite the trip for my mother and father in law. Yesterday evening they called from Harrisburg, PA, about 95 miles away from here to let us know they were having car troubles and were waiting for a tow truck. The car was loaded on a platform truck and driven all the way to MD. This morning I was able to get the car to a local garage that promised they would look at the problem today and let us know what was the problem but they probably wouldn't be able to make repairs until Monday. This afternoon at 4pm they did call back... to let us know the car was all fixed and ready. Love the spirit of Christmas. 

All the cookies and truffles have been boxed and delivered, the cake for the Buche de Noel is baked. A few presents need to be wrapped still but I'm ready. Ready to take the time and remember about the important things.  

 In the end, it's all about simple things: being all together (albeit a bit sick) is certainly the best present for Christmas. 

I would like to take this occasion to thank all of you, readers, subscribers and for some now, friends for a wonderful 6 months. This craft blogging experience that helped me to find balance between family, work and life's curve balls. I love sharing my creations with you and love even more reading your comments.  

Wishing you and your loved ones a warm loving and

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 22

Not according to plan

I was all set for Christmas. One day to do the grocery shopping and straighten up the house -mostly the kitchen-, one day to relax before the family (my in-laws) arrives to visit. Well things did not go according to plan. At all. My poor little bug got sick on Monday and has been miserable since. And then both my husband and I also got sick. Ugh! So all of us are just dragging and using up the stock of tissues while sipping tea or warm milk. The grocery shopping did get done. The kitchen is clean but still cluttered. And I'm not feeling relaxed. Lets hope we all feel better for Christmas day.

Tuesday, December 21

A CSN gift card under the tree ? Extended until 12/30


Update: I realized a lot of you must have been out of town or too busy to think about blogland so I decided to extend this giveaway until December 30th (midnight EST) to give a chance to everyone to win.

Want to treat yourself to something special for Christmas? I'm very excited to announce one extra Christmas gift will be under one of my Reader's tree. 

One of my lucky reader will receive a gift $40 gift card to shop at any of the CSN Online Stores. Yes, for you, just for you!! 

CSN has 200+ online stores offering everything from coffee tables, to cookware, rugs, linens.. Speaking of linens, I've been thinking about a bedroom makeover for a while. Why not get a pretty new duvet cover? Check out  CSN's modern duvet covers, a great start to transform your master bedroom into a zen retreat. Don't you think ? 

How to enter: 
- Open to USA and Canada residents only (sorry!!!) 
- you must be a GFC (Google Friend Connect) follower 
- leave one comment to this post telling me what you would like to treat yourself with.
- BONUS entry: tell me what your favorite Atelier Caroline post was this year

The giveaway closes at midnight EST on Christmas day and the winner will be picked through and announced on Boxing Day (December 26th)
EXTENDED until December 30th  the winner will be picked through and announced on New Year's Eve (December 31st)

NOTA: Additional shipping charges may apply outside of the US

Vacation starts now

I'm on vacation.. until next year. Hmm OK that's only 2 weeks but I really really needed the time off not only to enjoy spending time with the family celebrating Christmas but also because I haven't had a break from work other than a couple of long weekends since... LAST CHRISTMAS. Yikes. The plan: 2 days for the final preparations for Christmas. Then of course the big family gatherings. After Christmas, I'm going to spend lots of time with Little Bug and lots of time in my studio. Lots of sleep and a few baths on the menu. Oh and I have a few books set aside to read. Heaven!

Sunday, December 19

What I've been up to this week

My studio has been very neglected this week. I only visited to wrap and label presents - no crafts. Instead, I want into baking overdrive. 15 dozens of sugar cookies, 250 chocolate Grand Marnier truffles, various other creations for Christmas parties. 

Lots and lots of cookies

I'm glad I am taking some vacation time starting Monday evening to rest up. This time of the year is always a bit stressful. There is so much to think of. The days were stretching from 6AM until 1 or 2AM.  The list kept being scary so I ended up crossing a couple of items off to keep my sanity:
- Christmas cards - done 
- Handmade gifts - done - removed from present list : the play tent 
- Handmade ornaments - done  - removed from the list : bunting and garlands
- Holiday baking - done - removed from the list : gingerbread
- Photo album - Postponed 
- Holiday shopping - Mostly done - I have 2 more days next week to finish since I refuse to brave the weekend crowds at the mall
Still on the list: 
- Plan Christmas eve menu and grocery shopping for the family visiting
- Cook and bake some more

Unexpected items: 
- Straighten up the family room that is cluttered due to the water heater almost disaster
- Paint the baseboard that my hubby suddenly decided to replace (I'm still wondering about this one...)

Added item: 
- Take a long hot tub or 2 since the new water heater provides unlimited hot water on demand
- My letter to Santa : can I have time for a nap please ?

How's your Christmas list coming along ? 

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