Christmas gifts 2016: Mr&Mrs. First Christmas

Next up is a Christmas gift that I’ve given multiple times over the years. It’s usually a hit with the couple because it contains something so special.

Inside of the ornament is the couple’s wedding invitation. This one pictured is particularly unique because it’s mine and Khang’s.

Big cheesy smile on my face right now.

I was finally able to make us one for our very first Christmas as Mr. & Mrs. Pham.

This gift idea was originally assigned for Thursday’s post but I’m missing Khang a tad bit more today. He’s been away on business so I did it to cheer myself up. And it worked!

A simple yet sentimental gift that’s sure to make it on the Christmas tree for years and years to come. 

 

“Our first Christmas 2016”

I remember opening up the box with our wedding invitations back in April. One look and I excitedly called my sister Jill and found myself crying my eyes out. They were so beautiful. 

Jill designed our wedding invitations. She designed everything. The lettering is hers, envelope liner is hers, all of it…hers. It was a looong but fun process that was totally worth it in the end. She’s oh so talented and still to this day I can’t believe how lucky Khang and I were to have her take part in such a big way. So honored. Truly.

To see our invitation in all of its glory and many more beautiful pieces, here’s her business website OhMai! Art Creations

Isn’t it starting to feel a little more like Christmas, 

with me

Jules?

Christmas gifts 2016: Hand-lettered macaroon jewelry boxes

When you really start getting comfortable and find your hand lettering “style”, you’ll soon find yourself thinking differently. You’ll think of any and every excuse to personalize an item while causally strolling through Hobby Lobby. 

A huge light bulb went off when I saw these adorably tiny macaroon jewelry boxes the other day.

This one was harder to take photos of. It says “and i will hold what’s near and dear <3”. 

I wish you could see them in person especially the gold paint ink I used for the lettering. Oh, just think of all the things you could write! Excited to finish and wrap them up in a bow for my loved ones.

Hope you stop by tomorrow to check out more gifts,

with me,

Jules.

Handletteringwithjules: Calligraphy Font Tutorial


First things first, I am an amateur. This is not a professional tutorial. 

If anyone has ever seen my handwriting then you’ve noticed it’s a mix of print + cursive. I love cursive. Mainly because I get to curl and loop my letters. So of course I’m in love with this beautiful trend of “calligraphy font” lettering that’s super popular right now. Fingers crossed that it’s here to stay. 

With that said, this past year I learned how to use a calligraphy pen. Like legit with ink and all. My goal was to personally address all my wedding invitations. I proudly did it with this lovely copper ink on hunter green envelopes (more on that another time).

The awesome thing about learning how to use a calligraphy pen is you also learn which lines need to be thick and thin. Once you’re knowledgeable about this then it’ll open doors to so so many possibilities. I’m sharing a few of those possibilities every day this week with my Christmas-inspired gifts, but I thought some of y’all would first like to know how to achieve that modern calligraphy font. 

It’s really simple. But it takes practice, practice, practice. The more you do than the better you’ll be off. To start, all you need are three things: Pencil, paper, and a sharpener. 

I purposely used these simple to use (and find) supplies so you’d see how easy it is to start learning. Did it work? I really hope so.

Begin with the foundations, write all the letters in the alphabet in cursive. Start with lowercase. It’s easier and less intimidating. Your cursive style may be different from mine and that’s totally fine. Write what feels comfortable and natural to you. 

Once your happy with your letters then it’s time to “connect” them.

Here comes the tricky part: Learning which lines need to be thicker. I learned by using a calligraphy pen, but I know y’all probably don’t have one laying around and it can be more difficult to learn right away. The best way I can explain this is that when you’re writing in a downward motion then that line will need to be thicker. To make it a little easier, I made red arrows of the lines that should be thicker. Hope it’s helpful.

Here are a few examples closer up.

Now really practice this.

Get comfortable with each letter because the fun part comes next when you’re able to start practicing on words. 

So there you have it, a crash course on hand lettering simple modern calligraphy font! Excited?! I sure was and still am!

Another reason we used only pencil and paper is because it’s cheap to practice with. You’re very welcome.

Drop on by at noon everyday this week to see what I’m hand lettering this year for Christmas gifts.

Thanks for reading and following along,

with me

Jules.

 

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DIYwithjules: Sweater Weather

A few Christmases ago, I tried to convince my four sisters to do this awesome DIY elbow patch tutorial together. Cute right?! Well not everyone was feeling it (surprise surprise) so it didn’t happen. I was pretty bummed out, but kept telling myself I would do it anyways.

I finally did it. 

And I can’t wait to wear it to one of my many holiday events this winter-ish season! Now, I just have to control myself from placing elbow patches on all my (and Khang’s) sweaters. 

Step One: Picking out a sweater (hardest part) and gathering rest of supplies (Hobby Lobby FTW)

1. Sweater (mine contained rayon+polyester)

2. Felting needle or similar 

3. Dense foam pad  (cut to size)

4. Wool roving (a little goes a long way)

5. Any cookie cutter shape to your liking or stencil or draw out your own!

6. Iron

Step two: Mark elbow with tape

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It’s important to try on your sweater and not just guessing it. Trust me. Remove tape after you place foam pad underneath marked spot. 

Step three: Position your “shape guide” and evenly place wool roving.

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Step four: (Slowly) Stab away m’dears. Stay VERTICAL or the needle will break. Trust me again.

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I agree with Erica about starting at the outer edges and working your way in. Don’t worry about the “holes”-that’s what the iron is for. Feel free to add more roving where needed. I like to remove the “shape guide” after getting an even surface to really refine the edges. 

Step five: Slowly remove patch from pad. Spritz water and iron on wool setting to smooth surface.

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Confession: I do not iron. Honestly, the iron pictured is brand-spanking new. I bought it for this tutorial. Judge my wrinkly clothes all you want.

Slowly pull patch from pad. You may need to use felting needle again to secure loose roving. 

Step six: Admire your lovely elbow patches. Always admire, y’all.

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Step seven: Ask a sweet friend to take photos of you…you cute little thing you… because it’ll be hard to do by yourself. Again, trust me. Plus, I really want to see too!

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Depending on the fabric, if you mess up then you might be able to pull off the roving and start over. I practiced on old sweaters just in case I messed up, which I did a lot. So please feel free to ask questions if you run into a problem. 

This also inspired me for my dental office’s “Ugly sweater contest” in a few weeks. Here’s a sneak peak. Did I mention that I’m a dental hygienist? Shout-out to all my UMMC girls!

Thanks for following and reading along,

with me

Jules.

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Gardeningwithjules: Just keep growing


Some people dream about owning a dog or a designer handbag.

Me?

“Garden” has been at the top of my list for the longest time along with a sewing machine and chicken coop.

I’ve been living my “garden dreams” for over 2 months now and being a total amateur hasn’t slowed me down. A great amount of time and effort goes into it(more on that later) but having the pleasure of seeing my greenies grow from seedlings to full grown edible vegetables is and has been one of the most rewarding experiences.

My goal is simple: Garden-to-Table. The idea of eating a prepared meal that includes freshly picked greens from our personal garden is something I’m proud to do and hope to continue when we start growing our family. For now, Khang, my brother-in-law Nam and cousin-in-law Phuong get to be my guinea pigs. Hah!

Here are weekly growth photos from the Southside. Accidentally forgot Week 4. I blame Ngoc and Greg’s wedding.

Week 1

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Week 2

Week 3

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Views from the Northside. If you look closely front and center, you’ll see my swiss chards. At one point they started to wilt (I thought they were deaddeaddead) but I kept faith, continued to nurse them, and with some garden magic they came back to life!

Week 6 

Week 9

Look how fresh and green they were the other night for spring rolls! Khang can testify that I was bouncing off the walls with excitement!

And with that I’d like to thank our good friend Francis for offering his truck to transport our truckload of soil and to Nam for being super cool with me basically taking over his backyard for my ambitious “garden dreams”.  I hope to make your tummies full and happy when we harvest.

Are you growing any fall veggies? Please share!

Thanks for reading along

with me,

Jules

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