Art Bar / Calling Cards

Art Bar / Calling Cards

I recently went to a blog party and realized a few days before the event that I had nothing to hand out to anyone. I have business cards for my other companies, but nothing for my new blog! I stayed up late one night (as usual) and came up with something acceptable. Not perfect, but good enough. I love beautiful papers, offset printing with Pantones, and everything letterpress. But for this card, I went fast and cheap. I used the European standard size business card and uploaded my design to Got Print. They were able to get my cards to me in 5 days! I added a little washi tape to the sides, and voila! New cards. I love them.

Favorite Back-to-school Books

Favorite Back-to-school Books

Tomorrow, my son will be starting first grade in a new school. He says he’s nervous. I told him, so am I. He was surprised I said this and asked me why? I said that I always feel butterflies on the first day back to school. But that it was more of a nervous excitement. Sometimes, I told him, excitement feels close to being nervous. He didn’t say much else after that, thinking about what I said. I’m hoping I changed his perception of the first day jitters…if even just a smidge.

At home, we pulled out our favorite (and well worn) back-to-school book, a Charlie and Lola classic, I am Too Absolutely Small for School. I like to read it with a British accent which gets the little guy giggling. There’s something about this book’s humor and wit that quells the nerves. Author Lauren Child is brilliant! Charlie has to convince Lola to give school a chance. Lola makes her points, like by saying “I don’t need to learn up to one hundred. I already know up to ten, and that is plenty”. Ever-patient Charlie works his magic, and persuades Lola that school is worthwhile. This book is lighthearted and I love that it doesn’t pander to a child’s anxiety, but instead changes their way of thinking. It’s re-affirming without being too sentimental. And with it’s ingenious ending, it literally made my son want to wake up the next the morning and go straight to school!

Here is a list of our other favorites for this year:

How I Spent my Summer Vacation / Mark Teague: A boy takes his teacher and fellow students on a Wild West adventure when he gives his school report on how he spent his summer vacation. We love that it rhymes!

Chrysanthemum / Kevin Henkes: With her hard-to-pronounce name, Chrysanthemum gets teased at school. Until she meets the new music teacher, who is named Delphinium. We love the way this expressive book, with its charming illustrations, shines a light on the affects of a loving teachers. Teachers rock!

Off to Class: Incredible and Unusual Schools Around the World / Susan Hughes:  In this book, readers will travel to dozens of countries to visit some incredible schools. Through personal interviews, we get to meet the students who attend them. Their stories aren’t just inspiring — they’ll also get kids to think about school and the world in a whole new way. All three of my kids are fascinated by this book. It’s a great way for us to talk about our differences, and of how grateful we are for what we have!

Kindergarten Kids / Stephanie Calmenson: This book of rhymes and riddles is so fun and celebratory, my son wanted me to read it to him twice! It really makes them feel that Kindergarten (and first grade, too!) is a special place. Reading this book will but a smile on your face and theirs, and it’s a great way to introduce them to poetry!

Wish me luck as I wave to my baby getting on the bus for the first time. We’ll both be brave.


Washi Tape Clothespins

Washi Tape Clothespins

Over here at out house, we are always hanging art on a line. I keep a jar of clothespins at arm’s reach. This week we were preparing for a neighborhood art show, so I decided to make the clothespins a little fancier.

This is very simple! Buy clothespins like these that art flat at the top (some have ridges). Then just cut a piece of washi tape the length of the clothespin. Tape it down and smooth it out. Trim if needed. Voila! A fancy clothespin that will add pizzazz to just about anything! I even used one to attach a postcard to my friend’s vegan birthday cookbook. Hmmm…the possibilities….

NYC Blogger Social

NYC Blogger Social

I attended my first blogger’s social last weekend! It was hosted by the lovely Rebecca of A Daily Something, and designer/stylist Michelle Edgemont, at the breezy M. Wild Studio. There was food, drinks, door prizes, goody bags…and lots of creative, talented people to meet. I talked with the guest of honor, lifestyle blogger Victoria Hudgins of A Subtle Revelry, who was very sweet and excited about her weekend in the city. She is my new idol, as she has made quite a nice business of blogging (in two short years). And she has 3-yr old twins!

I took some photos with my iPhone 4S (somehow missing a photo-op with Victoria). Here’s what I experienced:

The beautiful studio filled with equally beautiful people / Rebecca’s enticing name tag station / Yummy bites by Kumquat Cupcakery / Invitation by Laura at Red Table Stationery / Waiting for the train on Track 3 / Grapefruit Basil Lemonade by The Stand in Brooklyn (so delicious!) / Momtrepreneur Erin and her sweet baby from Knot & Bow / Rebecca’s birthday serenade / Making new cards for Art Bar / A mini craft kit by Rebecca, found in the goody bag / Wendy and her son from Doodads & Noodles do exquisite work / Vintage openers from Patina Vintage Rentals

This was such a fun event! I feel inspired and energized and ready for Fall. I hope I can see some of these cool ladies again soon!


Handmade Baby Shower Invitation

Handmade Baby Shower Invitation

This week I’d been given the distinct honor of creating a baby shower invitation for my SIL, the esteemed Marysue Rucci of Simon & Schuster. Lucky me! After hours of late night thinking and scouring, I finally decided on a theme: Shabby Chic. I have had an obsession lately with rubber stamping, flag bunting, and washi tape. Combining these elements was soooo much fun. I knew the mommy-to-be would be decorating her baby girl’s room in yellows with a touch of pink, so the color choices had been made. Planning and execution were my biggest hurdles.

Here’s how it went down (I’ve included the bunting template for you)…

The type on this invitation was created entirely with custom made rubber stamps. The invitation copy was one rubber stamp. The envelope front and back were each a rubber stamp. And I even made a rubber stamp of just my SIL’s name so that I could create thank-you notes for her as a gift.

I designed the yellow flower cards and sent them out to be printed. I then used pink ink and stamped each card individually. It was quite a bit of work, I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone. But I really wanted an authentic hand stamped look, and I’m a little bit crazy, so there you go!

To create the flags, I did some measuring. The card was 4.5″ wide, and the washi tape was 5/8″ wide, so I calculated fitting five flags across. I created a row of triangles, each triangle measuring the width of the tape. I used a faint line so that you wouldn’t see it if my cutting wasn’t up to snuff (hopefully you can see it in these photos!).

Next, I cut out the strips and laid them beneath the pre-cut pieces of string. (This photo above shows one, but I actually did several at a time).

Then I very carefully placed the tape over the paper, making sure that it fit perfectly over the triangle, and going over the top of the string. After I taped all five triangles, I pulled up the string from the table and flipped the tape over to the back.

IMPORTANT: When flipping the tape over the back, make sure that the string is secured just above the paper, not pushed over to the back. This will be crucial when cutting.

Time to cut the flags! This was really fun. I just followed the lines of the triangles underneath the tape. I clipped as close to the top edge as I could without cutting the string.

Next, I got out my exacto knife and a ruler. I made two teeny nicks on the edges of the card, using the ruler as a guide and a straight edge. This allowed me to slip in the string and hold it in place. I then tied the back, trimmed the string, and I was done!

Creating invitations by hand is one of my favorite things to do! Especially when it’s for someone I love so dearly.