Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Big SC

Not so much for the littlest one:

Merry, merry to you and yours!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A-gift-wrapping I will go...

The next two days are going to be filled with gift-wrapping for me, and I'm actually looking forward to it as long as it involves these 3 things: a little Love Actually, a glass of wine and kids in bed. When it comes to the actual trimmings, I usually operate under the Sound of Music philosophy: brown paper packages tied up with string. And then I top it off with the all-important tag!

I can't seem to get enough of large manila shipping tags. You can buy a 100 pack of these babies at Office Depot for about $6. I had thought about using double sided tape to stick the business card size enclosures I made to the tags, but then I remembered this little machine I've had sitting in the corner collecting dust. About 3 years ago, Reginald D. bought me a Xyron sticker machine, and I have yet to get the thing out of it's box. I think the "machine" part of the name intimidates me. If it just said "Xyron double sided tape dispenser" it probably would've been out of the box a while ago. But last week, I finally got the thing out:

Can I just tell you how addictive it is? It's so easy, and the adhesive is incredibly strong. Before you know it, everything in my house is going to be Xyron-ed!

Some other fantastic tag ideas I've seen around lately:

[left, The Haystack Needle Japanese Tape Tags; right, Sweet Paul]

[left, Eat Drink Chic downloadable tags; right, Ruffled -- These wooden discs would look great if you drilled a hole in them and strung some twine through it]

And a fun article in LMNOP:

How about you? Do you like to wrap gifts or would you rather pay someone to do it? Are you a wrapping paper junkie? Tag junkie? Ribbon junkie? All of the above junkie?

Monday, December 20, 2010

From the Studio

I'm about to head to the printer and pick up the last batch of this year's holiday cards! It has been such a fun season, and I'm so thankful to all my clients for having cute kids, dogs and generally just being cool people. To my regulars, it is an absolute joy to see your pictures every year and be a part of your life in this way. And to the new folks, thank you for choosing to do you cards with me this year -- it has been a true pleasure working with each of you. Thank you!! I hope that your cards put a smile on the face of each and every person who receives one.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Book Art for Kids

A while back, I saw this book [above] on Two Straight Lines, and was so inspired. I know my boys would love something like this, especially with all the Lego figures they create. It's just the whole time thing, you know? As in, when in the world am I supposed to get this done?? The boys are out of school for the next two weeks, and I'm thinking it may be the perfect time to try this out. It also just so happens that the latest issue of LMNOP has a perfectly timed tutorial on making books with your kids:

You can download the full issue here. These could also make fun grandparent gifts. Have any of you ever tried something like this? Any tips?

I'll be sure to post pictures when/if we get out act together. It may be just too much fun to laze about the next two weeks!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Getting Hitched Challenge

Alright, friends -- voting has begun for the latest challenge on Minted! This time around it was for Save-the-Dates. Below are the two that I submitted:

[Hold the Date]

[The Perfect Match]

If you have a moment, please click over and vote!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Window Dressing

A fascinating look at the making of Bergdorf's window displays is in the latest issue of Lonny. Be sure to watch the video, too -- fantastic videography and a perfect song to go along.

I love a good behind-the-scenes!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Shaggy Chic

Further proof that beautiful, vintage tile floors and a white shag rug make even plastic toys look chic. Oh, and old world windows and a chandelier don't hurt either.

[Image from Design Sponge]

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Meet this Mintie...

...over on Minted! "Meet a Mintie" is a fun way to get to know the designers behind the cards a little more, and this time around, the featured designer is yours truly. It's another way that the folks at Minted show the love to their designers.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Because I firmly believe that it's impossible to have too many note pads and lists, especially of different shapes and purposes, this one will probably find it's way to my studio soon...

[Poketo Desk-It, $8]

Monday, December 6, 2010

If I were a cake topper...

...this is the one I'd want to be.

[Flutter Glass Photography via Elizabeth Anne Designs]

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Counting Down the Days

My boys have been counting down the days until Christmas for some time now. Last year, they had Lego advent calendars that they loved. I had a hard time finding them this year, though, so I'm on the lookout for something else. And yes, I realize that it is already December 2nd, but they aren't really at the age where they would care too much about missing a few days.

I think I'd like the way this canvas one [above] from Kikki K canvas advent calendar looked better than they would. Unless I filled those pockets with lots of goodies!

Another canvas one [left] from Pilosale. Same deal here -- I like the white, clean lines, while they would probably want something bright and full of treats. If you check out her site, be sure to look at the super cool car bingo set

And I love the Nouveau Design Brooklyn and Amsterdam calendars:

Unfortunately, only a limited number were produced of each. And again, I'd probably like it more than they would. Which leaves me with what? Probably another trip to the store to see if there any toy or candy ones lurking on the shelves!

I have grand visions of making my own, but time seems to go by so quickly this time of year...

I'm going to try and make myself start on this project early for next year. If I can just plan + shop ahead a little it would be fun for the kids. [I don't know the source of the left image -- do you?; right from Country Living]

Do you have a fun advent or "counting down" tradition?

Monday, November 29, 2010


Full of thanks, love and yummy food. We just got back from a perfectly timed visit to our hometowns, and now I feel ready to jump back into this busy card season. Sometimes you just need to get away for a little bit, you know?

I hope that you found plenty of thanks, love and yummy food however you spent your Thanksgiving holiday!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Happys

A quick post this week to say Happy Thanksgiving! I'm wrapping up orders before the holiday, but wanted to quickly share some T-day inspiration:

That table is so perfect, and that name card? How hilarious is that? I would laugh my bootie off [in a good way] if I walked in and saw that on a table. [Images from Country Living]

Those stools are amazing, and how cute are those little gumball name place things? [Left image from Country Living, Rightie from Martha]

If only our leftovers looked that chic! [Images from Country Living]

And this Thanksgiving party is adorable. Oh, owls. They get me every time.

I can't wait for some down time this week. No packing lunches, homework, studying for tests. And hopefully no drama, know what I mean? I sincerely hope that yours is a happy one!

PS: I know some of you out there have toddler girl gift ideas -- send them on!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

For the Little Girl

Calling all mothers, grandmothers and aunts of girls out there -- I need some gift ideas for Maggie's Christmas. What are your favorite gifts for little girls? She'll be about 15 months on Christmas, and since she is not at the age where she can tell me what she wants, I need some suggestions in a variety of price ranges.

If I were to give a suggestion, I would say an Anywhere Chair from Pottery Barn Kids [above]. She got one of these for her birthday and absolutely loves it. The boys love it so much, too, that they are each getting one for Christmas!

Don't tell M, but her Aunt Weez is getting her these super cool nesting birds:

I think I may be more excited about them than she will be! OK, I'm all ears!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

2011 Calendars

Have you seen Minted's new calendars? I love how they have elevated the photo calendar. I'm trying to decide between these three: Billboard by Potts Design, Talk Bubbles by Jody Wody and Banner Year by yours truly, b.wise papers. Check out the full line here. They'd make fantastic grandparent gifts, especially at only $29 for the standard size.

For my office, I'm loving the CATS LET NOTHING DARKEN THEIR ROAR calendar:

James' neurons are furry? Really?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Tooth Fairy

Sunday night marked the first trip by the Tooth Fairy to our house!

We were getting everyone in the bath that evening, and we heard Henry call from his room "My tooth fell out!" I ran in and he seemed a little anxious? nervous? I wasn't sure what was going on because he had been waiting and wiggling for days now, and I didn't understand why he was ecstatic. The truth came out in the bath tub:

ME: So, were you just standing there and it just fell out?

H: Yeah. Well, no, I was sitting.

ME: And you just opened your mouth and it fell out? [starting to clue in that he was up to something]

H: [squirming a little] Well, not really.

ME: [clued in now] Were you eating candy when it came out?

H: Um, yes [nervously nodding his head]. I was eating a Starburst.

No wonder he was so edgy! All I could do was laugh. I was honestly glad that he had taken matters into his own hands and gotten the darn tooth out.

When he came running in Monday morning with his money, I remembered that amazing feeling of wonder. There's nothing quite so magical as waking up to money under your pillow. And thinking that a magical little person cared enough about your tooth to come to your house and give it to you.

Some questions for you other "Tooth Fairies" out there:

1. How much does the Tooth Fairy bring to your house? Henry came home saying kids at school were getting $10 -- WHAT!!! That's one rich TF. I told him that their parents must have supplemented the Tooth Fairy's income.

2. What do you do with the teeth? Is it weird/gross that I want to keep this one? I'm thinking I might just keep their first to fall out?

In other mouth news, wild woman over here is sporting her latest wound:

I think we may get her a face mask for Christmas.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cowboys and Indians

I'm blown away by this party -- the setting, the costumes, the colors, the photography. It's spectacular.

[Found via Party Perfect; Find full blog posts on it here and here; Photography by Pelayo Lacazette]

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Evolution of a Design

I thought it would be fun to share a little about my design process. For me, I always start out with a sketch. I usually have so many ideas swirling around in my head that this is the quickest way for me to get a rough idea of what I want to try and create. Sometimes a finished design will look very similar to the sketch:

and sometimes it will look very different:

My original vision for the NOEL design [available at Minted] was colored Christmas lights [the biggish bulb ones that used to hang around my grandparents' door and in their boxwoods] with the letters of Noel hanging down -- bright colors and fun lettering. I worked on those darn lights for hours and could not get them to look anything but bizarre and cheesy:

See what I mean? Oh, it makes me cringe to put those up here, but I'm being honest because if you can't laugh at yourself through this, you'll become a big, overly serious, stress ball. I was so frustrated at one point that I hid all the layers containing my unfortunate strings of lights and my hanging, pseudo-lighted letters. Then I typed out a gigantic NOEL, like "take that Illustrator!" And AHA! It was at once clean, colorful and festive. So, the color and placement of the letters were inspired by vintage twinkle lights. Who knew? It's not the road I had set out on, but I love where that road led.

Something I've found to be true over and over: you may have to abandon your original vision -- even when you've spent hours on it. It just may not be working -- at least not right now. And if you let the process flow, who knows what will come out of it.

[NOEL holiday card available at Minted right here]

[b. full of glee holiday card available at b.wise papers right here]

One of the most freeing things I've read was in the book Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. She's talking about writing, but I think it applies to most things that require original thought and creativity. I'm a firm believer in what she calls "a shitty first draft." That idea that you have to just get out of you and no one will ever see it so it doesn't matter exactly whay it looks like but you just have to get it out. Then, when it's out of your system, you can either keep refining or abandon it if it turns into a shitty second, third, fourth and fifth draft! But if you don't get it out, it could impede other things that could actually be beautiful and wonderful.

So there it is. Cheers to shitty first drafts! May they always lead to the beautiful and unexpected...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Take Note

These personalized notepads by Pinhole Press would make a fantastic holiday present -- sisters, friends, grandparents, as a hostess gift -- really for anyone who likes pretty paper. I've got my eye on this skinny one:

And these would be a perfect gift for a budding artist:

Feterie Drawing Pad

I'll let you know if I end up getting one...or BOTH!

[All images from the links provided above]
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