Holiday Postcards // New Designs


Holiday Postcards // New Designs

I have added three new designs to the website. Visit Late Night Cake to order your postcards for the holidays (and make your friends jealous because sending a postcard is way easier than stuffing envelopes).

And while you’re busy getting Christmassy and fixing up your house this weekend, listen to these Holiday Playlists from me to you.

Thanks, friends!

 

Homemade Wrapping Paper


Homemade Wrapping Paper

My mind is racing these days. How could it not? It’s THE HOLIDAYS, which in theory are supposed to be warm and cozy and a time to give and share with family. Don’t get me wrong, I was actually one of those kids growing up who forced her parents to buy a big tree when they just wanted a mini with less mess. And I would decorate the life out of that sucker with as much handmade goodness as I could fit. I have always loved Christmas. But it’s just not simple anymore. Gifts to buy, gifts to make, when to fit in Christmas with all of the different relatives, what food to cook, recitals, teacher conferences. What am I forgetting? Christmas cards, stocking stuffers, decorate the house. I have not yet perfected ‘planning ahead’, so late nights are my December standard.

What this means is that I have to channel my inner child. The one who just wants everyone to be happy, and who can’t wait to share stuff she’s made. I can do it! And not only that – you can, too!

You might think it’s crazy to make your own wrapping paper during this time of stress (there, I said it). But for me, I still have at least one child who would spend all day making these papers, so it’s actually not any work for me at all. And I get to wrap all of the teacher gifts with this beautiful art, which always makes them smile.

Here’s how to do it: Buy a roll of white paper. Put out sharpies, watercolor, markers, rubber stamps…whatever you have around. Clear the dining room table, and create! Circles, stripes, flowers, patterns…it’s that simple. The bubble wrap printing is a little more involved, I wrote about that here. Perhaps save that for another time.

Here is a link for the cute teacher gift tags.

May the force be with you…and keep smiling, it really does help the mood. ♡

 

Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade


Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade

Every year, we are lucky enough to see the Macy’s parade from my dad’s apartment. It is a complete and utter luxury that we try not to take for granted. A slice of Americana that is so festive and unique. Our favorite part by far is watching the marching bands. Top bands from all over the country are invited to represent their state. This year they came from High Schools and Colleges from Tennessee, Ohio, Florida, Texas. The NYPD marching band is always there, and this year the US Air Force band marched. Listening and watching these bands always gives us goose bumps.

A little back history on how the parade got started: In 1924, Macy’s was already a leading department store in Manhattan. As a way for its immigrant workers to celebrate their new American culture, Macy’s organized their first parade. That first year there were no oversized balloons marching down the sidewalks. Instead, live animals were borrowed from the Central Park Zoo. For various reasons, including the safety issues of parading live animals, the parade began to feature balloons in 1927. Goodyear Rubber and Tire made the balloons, the first of which was Felix the Cat. Balloons are inflated the night before the parade outside of the Museum of Natural History, and the public is invited to watch (another fun parade event).

If you aren’t one of the lucky few who has a friend or relative living along the parade route, Time Out New York has some great tips on the best spots to view the parade.

Oh, and another of our favorite parts…the cheers that errupt for the pooper-scooper men who follow behind the horses!

Let the holidays begin.

 

Holiday Gift Guide 2012


Holiday Gift Guide 2012

As you all may know by now, I’m not as much into “stuff” as I am into “make”. But I thought I would share my own holiday wish list for my kids. Santa always brings books, that is a given. Clothes are necessary for growing kids – why not make them cute? Art supplies are a must (after food, shelter, clothing & books). And games are a healthy addition to the playroom and good for the brain.

So here we go. Let’s start with books! (To read a short review on each book, visit my Pinterest board.)

Read:

Stuck – Oliver Jeffers / The Frank Show – David Mackintosh / My Travelin’ Eye – Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw / I’ve Lost My Hippopotamus – Jack Prelutsky / Marshall Armstrong is New to Our School – David Mackintosh / Same, Same but Different – Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw / The Night I Followed the Dog – Nina Laden / For Just One Day – Marc Boutavant / I Know Here – Laurel Croza / The Hair of Zoe Fleefenbacher Goes to School – Laurie Halse Anderson

{A little side note on picture books: My kids are 6, 10 and 12 (soon to be a teen!)…but I still read picture books aloud to them all. It makes them better writers!}

Some of these toys & games may be on the expensive side. I believe in buying one good toy that will last through all of the childhood years, rather than 5 or 6 toys that will break or lose their interest.

Play + Wear:

1. Colorful Magnet Game  $32 good for the brain  2. Wooden Doll Pram $110 made in Denmark  3. Cursive Magna Tab $19 sensory reinforced practice  4. Oeuf NYC Polka Dot Hat $48 for kid or teen  5. Organic Anorak Hoodie $62 for boy or girl  6. Little French Suitcase $38 pretty storage  7. Cotton/Lambswool Turtle $84 stripes for boy or girl  8. Artists Blocks $25 create 6 different paintings  9. Boiled Wool Slippers $44 warm + cute and last forever  10. Polka Dot PJ’s $52 little or big girl  11. Boy’s Red T $39 will be his fave  12. Tegu Magnetic Blocks $70 innovative  13. Faces Memory Game $14 everyone is different  14. Sled & Helmut $39 outdoor winter fun  15. Orange Jump Rope $32 from nautical rope  16. Alphabet Blocks $20 beautiful

My favorite way to inspire creativity is to simply put out a medium (paint, pencils, collage…) and some plain paper and let the kids explore. But sometimes it’s nice to have a pre-packaged craft, especially during the holidays.

Create:

1. Learn to Knit Kit $62 merino wool + patterns  2. Japanese Washi Tape $18 so many possibilities  3. Neon Twine $12 bracelets galore  4. Sketchbook $12 everyone needs one  5. Marled Yarn $8 pom-poms are calling  6. Le Pen $2 each doodling + writing thank you notes  7. Liquid Water Colors $30 vibrant + gorgeous  8. Chalkboard Laptop $52 iLove this  9. Table Top Paper Holder $34 for big drawing  10. Multi Ink Pad $17 stamp the day away  11. Alphabet Stamp Kit $35 words as art  12. Button Factory $19 rainy day activity  13. Watercolor Pencils $37 make cards  14. Kraft Paper Roll $26 d.i.y. wrap

Phew! That was fun.

Happy Shopping ♡

 

 

Owl Collage // Recycled


Owl Collage // Recycled

Sometimes I wonder who is having more fun making stuff…me or the kids? I love collage! Come to think of it, as a graphic designer and quilter, I am constantly collaging. And existentially speaking, isn’t life just one giant collage of accumulated experiences? Some pieces are way in the back, hard to make out, while others are the focal point – bright and clear. It’s all about layering.

This project has many steps, but don’t be turned off. Once you have accumulated all of your collage bits, and have cut out the owls, you’re home free.

Supplies:

Cardboard (I used cereal boxes)

Metallic Tempura Paint

Pencil and Scissors (for tracing and trimming owls)

Owl template

Collage bits (old painting, old holiday cards…)

Round labels (eyes)

Elmer’s glue

First, we painted the cardboard (painting on the dull inside of the cereal boxes, not the shiny outside, so the paint would absorb and dry faster). When dry, I traced the owls and cut them out. Next I used my paper cutter to cut the old paintings and cards into squares and strips. I cut triangles for noses, and we used round labels for the eyes. I had the kids glue on their collage bits first, then put the eyes and nose on top at the end.

The kids didn’t want to stop making these. In fact, we have left this project out for more than a week and they are still making collages!

I hope you jump in and try collaging. I swear it’s not only fun, but strangely cathartic (in an existential way ♡).

{Best for ages 5 and up. Using the paper cutter is for adults only.}