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Almost the New Year

I'm on a little bit of a break...relaxing by the fire...back to blogging soon...

A Gift to Last After the Holidays

While walking through the grocery store I spotted the cutest little pine, Norfolk Island Pine to be exact, and I thought it would make a great addition to our table or as a host(ess) gift. I'm going to plant it in a larger pot eventually when I get my act together and get some soil and new pot but until then the cheesy foil wrap it came with just wouldn't do.

I actually pulled this together with things I had laying around (how Martha am I?): a clear vase, pine cones I picked off the ground last year and ribbon. I placed the tree in it's little pot, put the cones in, tied a bow and voila!

Other ideas I have, depending on the size of the vase, would be to put mini ball ornaments or palettes in for a little sparkle. All of the materials are available at craft stores like Michael's or JoAnns. Happy DIYing!

DIY Chocolate Rum Treats, Deeeelicious!

Holiday party season is still swinging and if you like bringing a personalized host(ess) gift, give these no bake treats a whirl! I've adapted this from two different recipes for Rum Balls. Instead of using vanilla wafers which the traditional recipe calls for, I've discovered that chocolate graham crackers are beyond amazingly, decadently good. Actually, this is such a simple recipe you can use almost any sort of cookie as a base and different toppings such as melted chocolate and chopped nuts.

When I cook I'm not so precise with things...something I need to work on for baking but luckily this is no mess-up recipe.

~1 cup confectioners sugar and a bit extra for coating
~2 cups crushed chocolate graham crackers
2 tablespoons cocoa powder (I've been using Hershey's)
1 tablespoon corn syrup...maybe just a tad extra
1/4 rum (at least)

Combine all the ingredients, mix well, chill in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes to make the mix easier to roll. Once the mix is chilled, roll small dabbles into one-inch pieces then roll that in the confectioners sugar. Place in air tight container and keep refrigerated until snack time. To fit more pieces in containers I've used a bit of wax paper to separate the layers and keep them looking good. You may have to re-sugar them after they've been in the fridge for a bit.

This first time I made this I had to tinker and add a little more rum but then I realized it was a little too much rum (!) so I added some graham crackers and sugar until I got the right consistency. For a recent party I attended, I individually packaged up the treats for a festive presentation. It only took 10-15 minutes but if you don't have that extra time bringing them on a pretty little plate will do just fine. Have a ball with these treats!

Pass the Envelope Please

Greetings and happy Monday! No weekend edition this past weekend because holiday party season is in full swing. The last, littlest detail to share from my wedding invitations was the reply envelope which is fitting for today...you're invited to a week of festive holiday-themed posts. DIY gifts, decorations, drinks...it's a gonna' be a fun week! In the meantime feast your eyes on my most favorite envelopes:

Guide to Fun

To cap off everyone's boxed invitations I included a guide to Boulder that I made myself. We don't live right in Boulder so I wanted to make getting to our house as easy as possible for the Friday night bash! (And Sunday too...) I also wanted to suggest some of my favorite things around the city. I turned to one of my favorite papers: vellum. I love texture so this was another way to add a rich, warm feeling to the invites. One side had the guide, compiled and written by me, and each location had a corresponding letter or number so that when you flipped to the other side you could easily find that location. In between the those two sheets was an iridescent green piece of paper and it was all held together by coordinating colored staples. Swoon!

Another late-night workspace: printing the guides and maps, cutting them (they are not letter sized), stamping, assembling and stapling:

Map it!

Once people found their way to beautiful Boulder I wanted getting around the city to be a snap. Downtown Boulder does a fantastic job highlighting what's available and I was lucky enough to find this map to include for guests. Thankfully the colors were in tune with what I had in mind for the day. (Yes, I did consider Photoshopping the whole thing green and blue.) Of course I couldn't just fold the map up and put it in the box, I couldn't resist packaging them in a cute little paper sleeve.

I love a production line. Folding, folding:

Sleeves printed and trimmed ready to be wrapped and glued:

Piles of maps so fun!

Et Cetera

Though our wedding wasn't in a foreign country it was definitely a destination wedding with the majority of people coming from out of town. I wanted to make getting here and around as easy as possible. It was a fun to create pieces that had all the information needed and looked good and all tied together. The "ETC." card had the transportation information, I'm quite quite to say many people didn't even rent a car. As I was stamping the cards I didn't realize this had the C backwards but I like how perfectly imperfect it is.


Happy Monday! What better way to start the week than with a festive mood? Picking up from where we left off last Thurday, it's wedding time again! The next surprise people found in their boxes was an invitation to a casually elegant pre-party the night before the wedding at our house.

It was a grand affair catered by Laudisio. I. LOVE. LAUDISIO. And their mobile pizza oven...perfection! This card just needed a little but of information and it had to look fun too...it was a party after all!

DIY Weekend Edition: Light My Fire Contest!

Sometimes I become obsessed with an idea and get the urge to just make things. My obsession with lighter nights has been established and what goes with candles better than matches? I have a collection of matchbooks out on the table (in a vintage bowl of course) to compliment the candles and they're a fun reminder of past travels. I was in the $1 Store and spotted a package of tiny, cute matchbooks. I thought, I HAVE to do something with those...custom matchbook covers. Another DIY project! Materials:

First thing to do is measure and cut your pieces of paper. I left room for one side to be used to strike the match. I've seen some DIY matchbook covers where the entire box is covered...how do you light the match? It's got to be functional. Step two: I decided to stamp them all with some favorite pyromaniac lyrics:

Step three: glue it all together. I prefer spray glue because it's so quick and easy to use.

And tah-dah:

I made ten covers, ten different snippets of lyrics too:

Strike another match, go start anew
As the fire burns on and the smoke drifts
Let it burn, burn, burn, burn on a night like this
Tryin' to set the night on fire
Almost ablaze, still you don't feel the heat
Cause when we kiss, oh, fire
I fell into a burning ring of fire
Her eyes were on fire
Let me stand next to your fire
Light my fire

BONUS: the first person/people to post the title of a/the song(s) I used wins something! I was going to say guess but really it's probably Google...still. What are the songs?!?!? C'mon baby...

Répondez S'il Vous Plaît

Next up, the RSVP...please say yes! Another late night assembly line...

...leads to another unique piece.

The RSVP cards didn't take quite as long as the invitation because I decide to back the RSVP cards with just the green to keep things dynamic. I wanted each piece to feel different and special but fit together. I loved, loved getting these back in the mail with all the notes and comments and well wishes. They are all in the memory box.

RSVP for tomorrow because it's another Fashion Friday hat day. Next week I'll reveal more of the special pieces to this wedding invitation suite.

Time to Open!

I thought a box would be the perfect way to package all the precious things I planned to make! First up in the box o' delights was the actual invitation. I used a silver shimmer paper, green shimmer paper, a high quality textured white paper then stamped all with the S & W that we used on the outside of the box. Phew!

The design was all about proportion and placement and I liked the idea of creating something that felt classic (woodblock stamps) and modern at the same time (Futura sans-serif font). I have to say I do loooovvvve an assembly line and there were a lot for this...first I had to get the layout design just right on the computer, test print, print them all, stamp them all, glue the top to the green backing and then the white backing...tah dah!

My workspace, working on the layout with my cutouts...sometimes I just prefer having the paper cut up to rearrange rather than use the computer but I still need my baby Mac:

Stacks and stacks of things to assemble:

It's all about the texture, you just can't get this feeling from printing on modern printers:

Packaged up all pretty:

The invite:

Little Boxes, Little Boxes

So glad you could all Save the Date for this! As a designer, making my own invitations was a bit intimidating. Planning a wedding is both exhilarating and exhausting especially in this day in age when there is so much information out there. So many decisions! I decided to go with my gut and make something that just felt right. I wanted people to get an invitation like they had never seen before. My starting point was peacock blue satin ribbon, green shimmer paper and some crosshatch patterned paper.

Will and I decided to have a small, intimate affair that afforded me the opportunity to go over the top with invitations. It's all about priorities in wedding planning and paper made the top three (along with the music and open bar...I'm of Irish decent and cocktails for guests were a must, and yes I did play some River Dance at the wedding too!).

I wanted each guest to feel how special they were to us and what better way to do that then send a package? I wanted everyone to have that little thrill you get when something unexpected arrives in the mail. Plus, a box could fit everything and anything guests needed to plan their trip. Everything was handmade and constructed by me, I wanted people to feel the love. Starting out I added a strip of silver shimmer paper, it's all about the layers:

Then green:

Then hand stamped everything, first up was S:

Then &:

Then W:

What could be inside?!?! A large part of the blog in the coming weeks, yes probably weeks, will be sharing my designs for this wedding and sprinkled in will be some other fun tidbits, coming Friday: fashion fate.

Special Delivery!

Guess what's in the mail! Well, they were in the mail months ago but now they are making their internet delivery...wedding invitations!

Weekend Edition: Sunday Sweet Treat

Had a craving for chocolate cookies and decided to make a chocolate cookie pie (just put all the batter in a pie dish) and as it was cooling a bear must have picked up the scent!

Feather Thy Cap

It's no secret I love a good chapeau. How about the feathers in this cap? Rock and roll I do believe.