As soon as Christmas ended, I moved right onto Valentine's Day cards and so did the buyers! I am very impressed with all the early birds out there.
I was a bit thin on monsters in my Valentine category so I picked up a stamp set from Taylored Expressions and started stamping.
I call these my googly eyed monsters. I decided to go in different colors than the traditional Valentine red for all of today's mini cards just to add a bit of variety to the shop. This same monster was stamped in an indigo blue as well as a deep orange. I thought those made good monster colors. They come in at a fun 4 x 2.25 inches size.
My one eyed monster had such long eyelashes, I made her a girl monster and went with a purple and pink color scheme. She's in style this season coming in similar to the Pantone color of the year, radiant orchid.
My last guy was this heart antennae monster. I found this funky sentiment is my pile of unmounted stamps and thought it was a fun design for kids valentines.
Looking to stamp up some cards yourself? These items were created with stamps (mostly) from Taylored Expressions.
I have to say that December has flown by. Of course it hasn't been helped by the fact that I got my traditional Christmas season cold right on schedule. The last week and a half have been a bit dicey but I'm determined to send this cold on it's way! Since I haven't blogged much (um, actually hardly at all) this month, I'm playing a bit of catch up during this holiday week while I'm busy with celebrating with family.
December came and so did the advent calendar, a staple in our house every year.
One of the first activities always is to decorate the Christmas tree.
First things first, separate out the ornaments. Every year the kids make some along with others that have their names so they've collected quite a few along the way.
A rare serious moment....
Another serious moment..... they really were much sillier than this, I just didn't seem to catch it on film.
Oh look, a smile!
He's checking it all out although I have to say, except for a few sniffs, he leaves the tree alone. (But he does like to sleep under it on the tree skirt.)
I had great plans for December and here it is, already the 10th. My lack of production is actually the perfect lead-in to today's topic: the Christmas card. Every year I try to juggle creating the family Christmas card with everything else going on in our world. This year was particularly busy with the shop but I'm adamant in keeping with the tradition of making my own Christmas cards to send so I needed a compromise.
This year, because of the craziness, I employed the strategy of semi-handmade. After taking 10,000 pictures for the card and not liking any of them, I chose the best of the bunch and then headed on over to Persnickety Prints. Rather than going to the card templates, they have a blank card section where you can design your own. I added the photos the way I wanted with a background color and left everything else blank. This is what I ended up with:
I knew I wanted to mat these so I left borders around each side that I could crop down. The entire card was cropped 1/4" both vertically and horizontally and matted with Gina K cherry red card stock, an awesome color, by the way.
I then grabbed some Stampin' Up wasabi card stock and stamped a Papertrey sentiment in the cherry red ink, layering everything. Here's the finished product:
I'm really happy with how these turned out. I saved time by digitally designing the photo portion but did so with an eye to how to finish them off by hand. Of course I'm still scrambling to get them done but with the time I saved by delegating some of the work, I'm feeling less stressed about getting them finished and am able to enjoy the process rather than it being a chore to finish.
Next time you are strapped for time, try out the semi-handmade method. It's an awesome time saver and stress reliever!
On this Thanksgiving Day, there are lots of things I can list as being thankful for and have in the past. Today, I'm paying homage to my fluffy friend who is with me every day.
Whether I'm working in my studio or at the computer, he follows me around just to keep me company. All he asks for is a quick pat or snuggle now and again.
If anyone in the house is upset, he is the first one to climb into their lap and just offer comfort and doggie kisses.
He puts up with the kids antics, even putting a jacket on him for Christmas photo pictures.
I try to stretch every day and every.single.time. I get to the floor, he's there for stretches of his own, kisses and if I hold a stretch longer than 15 seconds, he lays on my neck or head, thinking it's time to rest for a while.
And he's just so cute, that he's always good for a smile or a laugh every single day. So I'm thankful for having my furry buddy as part of our family.
This month leading up to Thanksgiving, I've been busy creating table decor items that help add a little extra touch to your holiday table.
This year, I really drew from outdoor images to create my place cards. Popular this year were acorns. This first set of place cards leaned towards the simple.
Since clients were interested in wine charms this season, this one is an easy one to match. Because the image is fairly small, I was able to recreate it on the charm for a matched look, leaving plenty of room for someone to write their name.
I also used acorns in a bit more rustic look that appealed to many people.
What I really like about these is the addition of the words. In essence, each place card is expressing gratitude for the person listed on it.
My ever popular tukeys were harder to match for wine glass charms. Instead of matching the image, I took a shape from the image (scallop of the feathers) and used a pine cone image with the same sort of design.
The last set I've created this year used the wheat image, another image that screams fall and harvest to me.
Planning on adding some holiday decor of your own? Here are some ideas from a recent article in the Huffington Post on Decorating Your Thanksgiving Table.
1) Gather items from nature to add to your table.
2) Add some interest with height from elevated serving dishes.
3) Keep candles small so as not to compete with floral arrangements.
4) Layer your plates and mix your colors.
5) Add to the rustic look by bundling your silverware and napkin with twine. Another plus is that this can be done ahead of time, leaving you more time for other preparations.
Taking a quick break from stamping turkeys for a blog post drive by. This week I discovered two new foods that I thought I'd share.
First, the almond milk yogurt. I admit it. I don't like yogurt. Never have. After going vegan, I tried the coconut milk yogurt (just okay) and rice milk yogurt (sour), neither of which got me eating yogurt. This week I noticed this little gem at Whole Foods. All I can say is, yummy! I added some flaxseed for extra fiber and had a nice little meal. I think I want to add some chopped roasted almonds next time.
As for the granola bars, another tasty choice. When at home, I usually try to eat fresh foods. I leave items like this for when I'm on the road. This Sunday Meg had a lax tournament and this turned out to be the perfect choice when I needed a little snack during the long day.
You would have to b e a coconut fan to enjoy the taste of either of these but if you are, I suggest you head on over to Whole Foods and check them out!
I seem to have taken a bit of an unscheduled blog break for the last few weeks. I can say I was working hard though and I have some new products to show for it. In honor of Veteran's Day today, I'm showing tags that celebrate the colors red, white and blue.
This first set of tags celebrates the Christmas holidays in a simple but elegant way.
I've always loved simple red and white combinations. I find it very elegant.
You can tell I like it as a wrapping combo because I pinned this photo from Better Homes and Garden four times!
These next tags keep the same long mini shape but replace the words for something that can be used for any December holiday as well as other times of the year but with a nice navy blue and white color combo.
And finally, I moved away from the mini look but kept the blue and white combo for this last set.
I want to make these in pink and white too. I ♥ the look of pink snowflakes!
Looking to stamp up some tags yourself? These items were created with
stamps from Papertrey Ink, My Favorite Things and Gina K.
This month I've been working on Thanksgiving cards and other items as the holiday fast approaches. Cards are nice this time of year as a thank you for your dinner host but also for those family members you may not see over the holiday. I know it warms my heart when others send me even a quick note letting me know that I'm in their thoughts.
I love using wheat images for Thanksgiving cards. For me it symbolizes the season of thanks so you may notice I tend to use it a lot. The espresso brown ink is one of my favorites to use and I like it in start contrast to the neutral color.
I stayed with the wheat theme but changed the color slightly from a deep brown to a paprika kind of color.
Again the simple color combo with the contrast of the light and the dark.
Finally, I wanted to pay homage to the falling leaves in my area with this final design.
This is the most complicated of the three but I still stayed true to my clean and simple aesthetic. I purposely created this design in a monarch sized card just to change things up a bit. My goal for 2014 is to play around with shapes and sizes, especially sizes. And see what I can do with different sized "canvases".
I am still working with autumn colors and Thanksgiving but am feeling the Christmas holiday pull. I'm pulling out the stamps and inks and getting ready to spread some holiday cheer in my studio.
Looking to stamp up some cards yourself? These items were created with stamps from Amuse Arts and Stampin' Up.