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Love is in the mail {DIY Valentines}

7 Feb

With Valentine’s Day a week away, there’s still time to get those handmade valentines in the mail to your special someones! I recently jumped on the seemingly endless mason jar craze after making a post-work Paper Source run for some new stamps. Here are some of my favorites after playing around a bit with my new stamps and other supplies I already had on-hand. I really wish I could bottle up my love and send it across the miles this Valentine’s Day. Enjoy!

vday5

vday

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Birthday Celebration {Navy & Lime Party Palette}

14 Aug

Time for yet another long overdue post! I recently had the absolute pleasure of planning a fun party with my two lovely sisters. And that party just happened to be a joint birthday celebration for our two lovely parents! Both parents turn 60 this year, and we wanted to do something special to mark the occasion.  We settled on a wine and chocolate theme pretty quickly and then started planning!

We thought a navy and lime color palette would be perfect for summer and added in a little teal for some fun accents. Here are some of our favorite details from the party!

First things first, the invitations set the tone long before a single guest arrives! Stay tuned for more details on how these were made using one of my favorite rubber stamping techniques: heat embossing!

We were thrilled with how the finishing touches came together the day of the party even though much of our planning had been done across hundreds of miles!

The centerpieces were made at little cost with simple cylinder vases from Michaels, bulk corks from ebay, and fresh limes. We upcycled tin cans by wrapping them in navy paper and lime green baker’s twine. Green hydrangeas from my mother’s garden completed the look perfectly {thanks for providing the decor at your own party, Mom!}.

And what kind of a chocolate party would it be without a big, chocolate cake?!? This delicious cake was made by Debbie Seats over at Udderly Sweets in Mocksville, NC. We topped it off with a custom, DIY banner and couldn’t believe how perfectly our banner matched the decorative ribbon Debbie used!

At the end of a fabulous evening of catching up with SO many dear family friends, we sent the guests away with beautiful cake pops from Katie’s Cake Pops. Katie did such a wonderful job with them and, believe it or not, they were even tastier than they were adorable … YUM!

Of course, the party would not have been complete without the ever-youthful guests of honor and my precious sisters! It was our pleasure planning this celebration, and we hope it shows in some small part how grateful we are for all our parents have done for us over the years! Happy 60th!

A First Communion and a First Commission {DIY First Communion Favors}

9 Aug

I am so excited to finally {and I mean FINALLY even more than when I did when I first started writing this post} share a project with you that has been a long time in the making! It all started a few months back when I made some favors for the baby shower I co-hosted for a friend. A neighbor happened by after the shower and my husband, ever the marketer, showed her one of the leftover storybook favors. She mentioned that she may have a need for something crafty for her son’s upcoming first communion and decided to stop by later to talk about some ideas with me.

She basically wanted a gift box to hold the rosary she planned to give each child in her son’s catechism class, and was hoping it could also be something they could keep to commemorate the day. I decided to use a simple DIY favor box as my base, and then began searching online for the perfect embellishment to finish it off. I saw this first communion invitation over on tiny prints and really liked the idea of having a cross with text behind it.

So anyway, here’s what I came up with. The box itself is 4″ x 4″ x 2″, and was made using cover weight paper from Paper Source in Paper Bag and Night.  I then cut cross images out of Paper Bag paper using my Silhouette digital cutting tool and used these to form a little pocket that could hold a keepsake card. The pocket is held together by one of my favorite crafting  accessories: washi tape from cutetape.com.

{Side note: My husband gave me the Silhouette as a wedding gift, and you can really do some amazing things with it! It connects to your computer using a USB and basically looks like a little printer … BUT instead of printing, it cuts out the images you buy or design yourself! Pretty cool, right? If you’re interested in seeing one in person, Paper Source often has one in the store that can be used for demonstrations.}

I decided to go with Luke 22:19-20 for the front of the keepsake card; and when I first slipped it inside the pocket, much to my excitement, the “do this in remembrance” line was perfectly in view!

I made a more personal version of the card for my neighbor so that it truly could be kept to commemorate her son’s first communion, but here is a look at the generic version.

I also made some standalone pockets/cards for members of the family so that they could have a keepsake even though they weren’t getting the favor boxes.

I am so happy with the way these came out and, more importantly, I think my neighbor loved them too!

Happy Arbor Day! {A Few of My Favorite Tree Crafts}

27 Apr

Anyone who knows me, also knows that I absolutely love trees and using them in my crafts and home decor. There is just something about the quiet majesty of trees that inspires a sense of calm and wonder in me. So on this Arbor Day, I will salute one of my favorite things in nature by sharing a few of my favorite projects past involving trees.

Adam and I were married in a beautiful grove, which is situated on the grounds of an old estate in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Woodend Sanctuary is now owned by the Audubon Naturalist Society, and if you have a wedding there, it is pretty difficult to NOT feature trees prominently.

Rebekah Girvan Photography

So with that venue, of course, just about everything associated with our wedding also had trees {or birds} somewhere on it! From the save the dates …

… to the invitations …

… to the programs …

Rebekah Girvan Photography

… to the favors {more birds, but they are on a branch!} …

Rebekah Girvan Photography

… and, oh yes, the escort cards not only featured a tiny branch, they were also displayed on a TREE …

Rebekah Girvan Photography

Our wedding wasn’t the only time I’ve gotten a little wrapped up in the whole tree motif. You may remember the invitations from our recent Storybook Baby Shower

Trees were also incorporated into our holiday decor, not only with a Christmas tree, but  also with these pine cones as a little winter woodland scene {and a tree made out of a magazine behind it}…

So hopefully on this Arbor Day, we can all take a minute to think about all the ways nature inspires us and is reflected in our everyday lives … and maybe even plant a tree or support one of so many organizations doing great work to protect and enrich the beauty and biodiversity of our natural world {shameless plug}.

Wednesday Wish List {Reusable To Do List}

25 Apr

This week’s wish list item comes as a direct result of that blue feeling I sometimes get as I’m crawling into bed on Sunday night … not so much because of the imminent start of the workweek {although that doesn’t help}, but more so because I often realize that I haven’t accomplished any of the things I set out to do at the start of the weekend.

I’m not talking about the major things that really have to get done – I’m usually okay with knocking those out – it’s more the little things that aren’t imperative, but need to get done eventually. Things like cleaning out a closet, going through a pile of mail, or doing some work on that wedding album I’ve been putting off for a year and a half!

I recognize this stash of baby shower to do lists ... guessing they never made it out of my work bag!

I often jot things like this that come to mind on a post-it note before leaving work on Friday, only to find said note still in my work bag as I’m packing it up Sunday night – clearly, not a good system! As an extremely visual person and avid list-maker, I realized that I need a new way to keep these little tasks on my mind and hold myself accountable for completing them.

I’ve seen a few ideas on Pinterest that I love, and I’m thinking I’ll try to make a version for work and for home. The work version will be much like this one I spotted over on Cornflower Blue Studio’s blog {only I’d like to add a splash of color with some of the new washi tape I just got from www.cutetape.com – have I plugged that site enough lately :) }. This DIY Rotating Goal List, as pictured below, would be the perfect way to keep track of those little tasks at work that so easily fall through the cracks!

As for the home version, I have a few ideas bouncing around in my head right now. I’d like this one to go in the kitchen and double as a message board so that we can keep track of the little shopping list items that pop up throughout the week. Here are some of the ideas that inspire me!

With this DIY dry erase board from Little Birdies over at Make and Takes, the possibilities are endless AND it looks so easy to pull off. I also love that you can just swap out the paper if you ever tire of it, or if the color scheme in the room changes!

I also like the idea of using chalkboard paint to create a message board. There is an endless number of tutorials online for sprucing up old frames with a bright coat of paint and a chalkboard center, but I like the idea of a chalkboard inside a cabinet door spotted over on Coupon Connections. This chalkboard is accessible enough to be a great reminder for you, but keeps the kitchen clutter out of sight when guests are around.

I also love Real Simple for organization and household tips. Here’s a link to a whole page of new uses for memo boards, but my favorite for this project is the cast iron skillet – so perfect for a kitchen! By the way, a close second on Real Simple’s list, in my book, is the xylophone memo board – so darling!

This project is exactly the kind of thing I would put on my new memo board, so hopefully I can get it done without the benefit of this great new system and I’ll have something to share very soon! I know how great I feel when I start the workweek feeling refreshed and accomplished, so I’m hoping that this will help me strike that balance between relaxation and staying on task!

How do you keep yourself accountable for those little goals that can so often slip through the cracks?

Storybook Baby Shower – Part 3 {Finishing Touches}

4 Apr

So, I know you’ve all been on pins and needles, waiting for the finishing touches of our Storybook Baby Shower :) ; but I’ve been a little distracted the last couple of weeks! My brother-in-law and his fiancee not only set their wedding date since my last post, but they also got married in that span of time … for those of you doing the math, that’s right … their entire wedding was planned in less than two weeks! And it was one of the most amazing and memorable weddings I’ve ever been a part of! So, while it wasn’t me planning this whirlwind wedding, it was still all I could think about for the last two weeks or so!

So all that being said, I am still so excited to bring you more of my favorite details from our recent baby shower, and I’m sorry it has taken so long to get my thoughts together! So far, you’ve learned a little more about our invitations and our menu, and here’s the rest!

I made this garland using paper left over from the favors {keep reading for those!}, old book pages, yellow raffia, and my absolute fave crafting item right now – mini-clothes pins!

I knew if I saved these tin cans long enough, I would finally use them! I simply upcycled a few cans by wrapping them with a band of paper and yellow raffia {bonus that they coordinated with the gift table because I used the odds and ends of the paper left over from wrapping my gifts}! Simple baby’s breath and yellow daisies from the grocery store divided among them completed the look at very little cost!

I jazzed up these navy and white straws with yellow gingham fabric tape {both from www.cutetape.com}. I used mine to give my Hush-a-Bye Bellini a little stir :)

The great thing about knowing the gender of the baby ahead of time … everyone’s gift wrap just kind of naturally falls in line with the color scheme!

Finally, we wanted to carry our storybook theme all the way through to the end by thanking our guests for coming with favors made to look like little books {filled with chocolate}. The basic design is just a variation on the DIY favor boxes I featured awhile back, with a few changes to accommodate the “cover” of the book. The best part of these favors, is that it gave me another excuse to have a crafternoon {thanks, Adam, for that clever new word} with some of my favorite ladies :)

Of course you can have all of the crafty decorations you want, but it was the people there who really made this shower! My absolute favorite part was bringing together so many lovely people to celebrate a new life!

What's a baby shower without the cute mom- and dad-to-be {and, of course, baby's first graphic tee}

I had so much fun planning this storybook baby shower, and I hope you’ve enjoyed taking a peek at some of my favorite details!

Storybook Baby Shower – Part 2 {The Menu}

19 Mar

In case you missed my last post, I recently co-hosted a storybook-themed baby shower for a dear friend. Last time, I told you a little bit about the invitations we sent to set our storybook scene.

A lot of my inspiration came from this darling baby shower featured on Martha Stewart. After looking through her pictures, I decided that another fun way to weave in the storybook theme would be through cute, children’s book-themed menu items. I tried to fight the temptation to let this drive the menu too much, so that we would still end up with a balanced and appetizing spread. Here’s what we settled on:

  • The Little Quiches that Could {Vegetarian Mini-Quiches}
  • Peter Cottontail Pastry Puffs {Savory Mini-Choux Puffs}
  • Mad Hatter’s Tea Sandwiches {Salmon and Cucumber Sandwiches}
  • Jack Jump over the Carrot Sticks {Vegetable Platter}
  • Green Eggs and “Ham” {Avocado Deviled Eggs with Turkey Bacon}
  • If You Give a Mouse a Cookie {Lemon Blossoms}
  • Ring around the Rose Petal Pound Cake {stay tuned for this recipe in a later post!}
  • Velveteen Cupcakes {Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting}
  • Hush-a-Bye Bellinis {Prosecco with Peach Puree}
  • Paddington’s Perfect Punch {Cranberry Juice and Ginger Ale}

Of course, another reason I was excited to have a themed menu was that it meant making menu cards! The beauty of these little cards is that they were made using only items already on hand: scrap paper for the dark blue circle bases, pages from an old dictionary headed for the recycle bin, mini-clothes pins left over from a wedding project, and one sheet of cream paper left over from the invitations. They came together using a circle punch, scalloped circle punch, and glue dots! I realize not everyone has mini-clothes pins on hand, but the point is, it’s fun to see what you can do using just the things you have around the house!

Next time I’ll wrap up this little series with some pictures of the finishing touches that brought it all together. Enjoy!