Mini succulents garden

My son started a mini succulent garden at our friends‘ holiday party (terrarium and ornament-building stations for the kiddos = genius!), transferred to a Chris Levack olive dish it looks nice, doesn’t it? Concrete counter and tiles are by Eric Billig.


Blue Genie Art Bazaar!

The Blue Genie Art Bazaar is open today until 10pm and tomorrow Christmas Eve from 10am until 6pm for last-minute Santa-shopping in all price range. Give the gift of handmade (or to yourself!) and support local artists and craftspeople.

Admission is always free, plenty of free parking, bar and snacks on-site.
Marchesa Hall at Lincoln Village (6226 Middle Fiskville Rd)


Lego build tray project

I am making some DIY lego build trays, inspired by this tutorial I found via pinterest (my lego pinterest board is here.) Instead of building the wooden framed board in the tutorial, I ordered 2 plastic handled trays in white, 2 10″ x 10″ plates, and a set from BrikTek that are supposed to be cross compatible. Judging by the measurements given in the Amazon listing, both trays should fit within the framed area of our Ikea Latt kiddo table, and the plates should fit within the tray area. We’ll see how accurate their measurements are…

Edited 1/25/13: I bought additional pieces at the lego store and was going to glue the boards together when hubby took over the project (he had the liquid nails adhesive at his studio.)

He cut the green plates on the bandf saw before gluing, and some of the gray small plates I bought so the final configuration was:

Rebranding as Nakatsu by JNA Designs

I’ve rebranded as Nakatsu and can be found now at the url All of the stuff still works as I’m switching over, but I think the new name suits the range of what I do much better, and is a welcome fresh start. Thanks for sticking with me!
Happy holidays, and hope your 2013 rocks even harder than 2012 did.

Advent calendar tutorial links…

In my search for a just-right advent calendar, I have been bookmarking advent calendar links, and thought I’d share some that I liked with you:

On Twig and Thistle, a magnetic calendar using watch cases and magnets, very cute!

A last minute version using paper bags from Prudent Baby

A very inspiring, more longterm project house from Gingerbread Snowflakes

10 how-to ideas from Skip To My Lou (I like this one with collected hanging presents

Using a 24-pack of soda or beer, from the reluctant hippie

From Readymade, this countdown of fabric ornaments with pockets in back!

A cute bingo advent from under the red roof

Some good ones for kids here, and more links here

An advent with 25 wrapped holiday-themed books to read from Make and Takes

The paper chain tree we made last year from the parsimonious princess

Some origami advent calendars

From Easie Peasie, a DIY Advent Calendar

A matchbox DIY Nativity scene advent calendar from Digitprop

City In A Jar’s blog on advent calendars

Bold and Herbaceous’ tumblr blog post

DIY Advent Calendar
from Randomosity Blog

Free Printable DIY Advent Calendars from style-y Apartment Therapy

A collection of 50 Cool DIY Advent Calendars compiled by Shelterness

A Christmas Book & Activity Advent from Bella Dia

TeachingMOM’s Advent Calendar post and recs for an advent of seasonal books and movies

Dana MADE It’s Advent Calendar and list for getting started

Kiddley’s Activities Advent

A post about Unique, Unusual & Special Advent Calendar Toys for Children on

Christene’s squidoo lens for a Countdown to Christmas with some great tips on getting ready for Christmas and great suggestions for your own Advent Calender.

Advent Calendars from Martha Stewart

Craft stick Christmas tree advent calendar with “origami” boxes by the Crafty Nest

Centsational Girl’s Manzanita Advent Tree

Crafty Crow post 2011 Advent Calendar Ideas!

A Give Thanks- Fall Advent Calendar from Whateverdeedeewants

For those who want a special advent calendar with gifts to use all year there are further options:

A variety of Playmobile advent calendars available at around $18 USD for children from four-years-old with adult assemble required

…And I have more pinned to my Holiday craft ideas pinterest board, which I keep adding to…

Please enjoy, and happy holidays!
Jen A

Kiyoshi Kono Yoru (Silent Night)

Sung to the tune of Silent Night, the translation is a bit different than the usual English version, but this is the one we sang growing up:

“Kiyoshi kono yoru hoshi wa hikari
Sukui no miko wa mihaha no mune ni
Nemuritamaou yume yasuku

Kiyoshi kono yoru mitsuge ukeshi
Mikibitostachi wa mika no minae ni
Nukazukinu kashiko mite

Kiyoshi kono yoru miko no emi ni
Megumi no miyo no ashita no hikari
Kagayakeri hogaraka ni”

— Translation —

On this holy night

On this pure night the stars are shining
Child who will save us, sleep at your mother’s breast
Dreaming peacefully

On this pure night they receive a message
The shepherds bow respectfully
Before the Child

On this pure night the Child’s smile
Shines brightly with the light of tomorrow
In an age of grace

New holiday stockings! And Blue Genie opens!

Blue Genie Art Bazaar opened today at the Marchesa Event Center near Highland Mall after a well-attended preview night Tuesday. The show will be open every day until Christmas Eve from 10am to 10pm!

Come see my Nakatsu by JNA display in the big room near the counters. I also have some new Christmas stockings and embellished crowns in the group display in the back left corner. Check ’em out, I had fun making these!


New Craft Works podcast

Kevin of Blue Genie Art

Kevin of Blue Genie Art

Brian David Johnson has just started a new podcast, Craft Works, and interviews Kevin of Blue Genie Art in episode #2.

In Brian’s intro/episode #1 he interviews designer Eric Billig, who made our fabulous concrete kitchen counters. Enjoy!





My Pinterest Addiction…

Pinterest Logo

I have been enjoying Pinterest quite a bit and it’s very addictive, the links are double-curated so there are a lot of good pins! I mostly peruse the DIY/Crafty boards, and have a bunch of projects pinned to do with my kiddos. Currently we’re making jet packs from empty soda bottles. The 3 liter bottles are very nicely rounded and make excellent tanks!


See you there, and don’t say I didn’t warn you. I’m gradually copying over stuff from my delicious links too.
Follow me on pinterest

Blue Genie Holiday Art Bazaar 2012: November 27 through December 24

Blue Genie Holiday Art Bazaar

The Blue Genie Art Bazaar is an Austin tradition during the holiday shopping season (disclosure: I’ve been involved since it started 13 years ago, and hubby is a Genie.) The Blue Genie Art Bazaar features the handmade work of over 130 local area artists and craftspeople. It’s a great place to buy exceptional imaginative, quirky, and beautiful art and gifts (paintings, sculptures, jewelry, clothing, accessories, glassworks, ceramics, prints, photography, and plenty of items you can’t find anywhere else). I do most of our holiday shopping there and gift recipients have been thrilled. Open 7 days a week at 10:00am, the event runs from November 27th through the 24th and admission is always FREE!

And Blue Genie now has a retail space in the Oasis complex, open year-round and featuring a hand-picked selection of artists and craftspeople who have participated in the holiday bazaar. Last year the Oasis had a temporary ice skating rink, and visiting Santa and elves near the gallery.

Thanks for supporting local artists and craftspeople!