Merry and Bright

by Vi Nguyen


Happy holidays everyone!  As Christmas Eve is tomorrow, I am prepping some last minute holiday things - baking peppermint chocolate chip scones for tomorrow's family party and jotting some last minute Christmas cards.  I took a calligraphy class this past summer with my coworker and have been obsessed with making pretty cards and watercolor signs lately.  Here's a peek at what my loved ones have been receiving in their mailboxes.  

I hope your upcoming days are merry and bright with everyone you love.  


DIY: Autumn candle

by Vi Nguyen


I like candles for their scent but I love them especially when they are pleasing to the eye. My friend Rebecca recently asked me if I wanted to make a mason jar candle, an idea inspired by Spark & Chemistry. For some reason the idea at first didn't seem appealing to me (which was a surprise considering I like both mason jars and candles) and it wasn't until I was in the middle of gluing my leaves on was when I really started to get into the project. Maybe this was what I needed to start getting into the holiday spirit. The end result is an array of colorful fall foliage.

Materials:

  • Modge Podge
  • Mason Jar with no ridges (not the Ball Brand - you want your leaves to lay as close to the jar as possible and the ridges on the Ball brand prevent them from doing so)
  • Sponge Brush
  • Leaves - can be real or fake, preferably thin leaves as they work best 

Steps:

  1. First, strip off any leaves or spines if they are attached to your leaves.  You want your leaves to be as flat as possible as they will glue on the best.  I used fakes leaves from a local arts and crafts store.  
  2. Using your sponge brush, paint the Modge Podge around your jar and start laying leaves on while painting more Modge Podge over it.  You can either place the leaves next to each other or layer them.  I left some space between some of my leaves so some candle light can peek through.  Don't worry if some of the leaves don't lay flesh against the jar with the Modge Podge...you can fix the edges later.  Painting them seemed difficult at first as the leaves were sliding down on the glass.  It took some trial and error but I found that a little Modge Podge goes a long way.  Once you have your leaf positioned where you want it, let it be.  The Modge Podge may appear white against your leaves.  Don't worry as they will dry clear!  (This was my first time working with Modge Podge so I didn't know).  
  3. Give a couple hours for the leaves to completely dry on the glass jar.  I left mine alone for the rest of the day and revisited it the next day to a beautiful mason jar candle!  Some edges of the leaves were sticking out to which I added more glue.  Wrap some brown raffia around the mouth of the jar for a finishing touch (I am on the search for some!)  Place either a battery operated candle or tea light candle in the center of the jar and leaving the lid open enjoy your DIY!

This would look great as part of a Thanksgiving centerpiece on the dinner table.  I've been lighting mine the past couple nights and just enjoying the nice warm autumn glow.  You can even use this idea and create a winter candle and place snowflakes around the mason jar instead.  Thanks to my friend Rebecca, she has re-ignited the arts and crafts in me again!  Stay tuned for more posts... 

 


Scenes from the weekend: Party hard and run hard

by Vi Nguyen


Apologies for not posting in a month!  To be honest, I've sort of lost some inspiration and have been struggling to find my voice in my blog.  It's the perfectionist side of me that has this sort of vision of an awesome blog with beautiful photos and what is so good in my mind won't transfer online.  However, I am going to do my best to post whatever my heart desires, hence the blog title "Vi's Life" or La Vie de Vi in French.  All blogs have to start somewhere and I realize that it won't evolve unless I continue to devote time and commitment into it.  

Friday night I was invited to a family dinner party Halloween style.  All guests were encouraged to dress up so I decided to finally pull out a costume that I bought 2 years ago but never wore: my flapper costume!  And since H was accompanying me, he was dressed as a gangster.  The little kids at the party thought I was a musketeer (I'm assuming because of the feather in my hair) and one thought I was a magician because I also had a pink boa as an accessory!  

Saturday was my dad's birthday so my family decided to throw him a surprise dinner party (although we are 95% certain he already knew about the party beforehand).  I decided to make lasagna.  For those of you who personally know me you know that cooking is not my forte but this was pretty easy to make!  I had my family friend assist me and using her recipe that she found we were able to make a couple trays!  Lasagna is even better the next day or so, I think. 

Then on Sunday, my friend Carolyn and I participated in the Norcross Run the Bridge 10K run over the Ben Franklin Bridge.  It's our second year running and compared to last year's weather boy was it cold and windy this time around.  I haven't been running as much as last year because there are not any races that I'm training for so I came into Sunday's run with the mindset that I will have fun and just finish it.  Despite it being in the high 30s/low 40s with insane wind I was able to finish in 1:04 hours.  


With a busy but great weekend with family and friends, it let me start off the week on a high note.  As it's hump day today and we are approaching the weekend, I can't wait to greet it yet again!