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]

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Critter and Spinney

Reggie went to a conference last week in Charlotte, NC and stayed around the corner from the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. He brought the boys back two little gifts from the gift shop: Critter and Spinney. You wind them up and they dance and spin around...

It looks like you can also find them on Amazon. They've been a hit at our house, and would make great stocking stuffers!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Tricks, Treats and Larry

Well, here it is Friday, and I've finally finished this post! Reggie and I hit the town last weekend, which just so happened to be Fest 9, a punk rock festival hosted here every year. Now, not to mislead you into thinking we are that hip to know about it beforehand: we had actually gone out with the intent of celebrating our friend and neighbor's birthday. The Fest was just an added bonus -- you never now what could be around the corner with something like that going on.

EXHIBIT A: Larry and His Flask. OK, first of all, that name makes me laugh every time I say it, see it, hear it. They also just happen to be tons of fun. And they were selling vinyls. Vinyls that had to have been created by someone with mad design skills. Let me show you:

How much do I love that it is red?

This is definitely not your average album! We play it on our dusty record player in the garage [aka the man cave]:

And here we are [the band is in the background. I also had to crop out Reggie a little because he was shooting a bird. Why? I don't know, he's just funny like that sometimes.]:

And for those of you who want to see our sweet little trick or treaters, here they are!

A Teenage "Newton" Ninja Turtle, Tinkerbell and Mario. Mario's stache gets me every time.

My sister is on her way down to save me from my current lone parenting status...can't wait until she gets here. You should see the state of my house right now!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Gifted, for real

A quick break from cards to tell you about a new online magazine for anyone who likes paper, creative people, fun tutorials, gift ideas and the like. It's called Gifted. Can we take a moment to digest that incredible note to Santa in the picture above?

A highlight for me was the studio tour of Rifle Paper:

Plus the DIY paper tutorials:

Oh, and the clever gift ideas [which have links that will take you directly to the item]:

Oh my Cavalier -- go check it out!

PS: I'm still working on that post from the weekend...hopefully, I can finish before next weekend...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Drawers and a Faucet

Thanks for all the feedback on our kitchen! I'll keep you posted on what I eventually decide [this may take a while, but when it happens, you guys will be the first to know!].

The other day, I was browsing Martha, looking for an article I remembered about her kitchen [one of them, at least], and I stumbled on these pictures of her drawers:

Holy Moses! She is one organized woman. If we were friends, I'd invite myself over all the time for tea and cakes. Then I'd sneak off to open all her drawers and cabinets, and enviously peer in on all that organized splendor. Because even if I spent hours making my drawers look half that good, all my work would be destroyed 1.17 seconds after the boys got home from school.

I also spotted this faucet [looks like similar, if not the same faucet in both]:

What do you think?

I've got more to share from the weekend, so stay tuned!

[All images belong to Martha]
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