Wednesday, August 31, 2011

In the Studio: Wedding Tags

I've been working on a slew of fall weddings. Here are a few of my favorites that went out last week:

I changed up my border tags a bit for this bride, and I really like the way her color combination works with the clean, modern font.

You can never go wrong with simple black and white favor tags.

And these heart tags are for a fun barn-style country wedding. 
Love the choice of a natural kraft paper to fit right into the feel of her wedding.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The First Day

I meant to post these pictures yesterday, but we were kind of caught up in the first day of school excitement.
The new morning schedule is going to be a bit of an adjustment. But I think we all handled it quite well yesterday.

Hudson picked out his first day of school outfit--his favorite color, red, won out. As an added bonus, the shirt has a skull on it, so the other kids know not to mess with him. ;)

He practically ran all the way from the car to the classroom. His excitement helped me hold it together. And I'm proud to say that I didn't cry once. Which is nothing short of a miracle. You see Charlotte in the middle of everything? She had to take her backpack, too, of course.

And I just like this one because you can see his missing tooth. Hope you're all having a great back-to-school season.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Simple Pleasures

I remember doing this as a kid. Hudson's buddies were over yesterday, and it was so much fun to watch them enjoy the same activity I loved as a kid. Although, their creations became lassos and snakes and whips, rather than necklaces, of course ;) 

The last few days of summer vacation are here. We're trying to get everything in order before the big day. Kindergarden starts on Monday. He's so excited, but I did get a little misty-eyed today as we walked into his classroom to meet his teacher. Can't believe he's this big. 

Hope I can hold it together as I drop him off on Monday. Why, oh why do I have to be pregnant every time he starts a new school? The tears are on the brink at all times. It's not fair that I was the blubbering idiot on the first day of preschool; and now I'm headed in the same direction for Kindergarden. I blame pregnancy. Because if I weren't pregnant, I'd totally hold it together. Right?

Oh, and if you've got a picky eater on your hands like I do, hop over to good tots today for my updated placemat download.

Have a great day!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Counting Caterpillar

Charlotte wants to introduce you to her friend, the Counting Caterpillar. If you missed this easy activity a  while back on good tots, it's fresh today over at Honest to Nod.

P.S. I got this idea from my dear friend Addi, way back when Hudson was a toddler. Thanks, Addi!


Monday, August 22, 2011


Sometimes I feel like the only things I've accomplished all summer are printing napkins and filling up water balloons. And I've done thousands of each. Here's a little peek at a napkin order that went out this morning.
The design is by Orange Beautiful. My customer bought the customized design, then turned it over to me for printing. Since gocco supplies are so expensive and scarce, it was high time I come up with a new solution for napkin printing. And thanks to my patient family, I finally experimented till I got it just right. After weeks of having screen printing gear strewn all over the house, I've got a solution so custom napkins are a reality again. Hooray! And the best part...the ink is waterproof, so when you wipe up a spill, the design doesn't go with it. :)


Thursday, August 18, 2011


Pardon my absence yesterday. I got a little side tracked. Let me explain:

Remember Mr. Raccoon? Well, he found a nice young lady, and wooed her over some pie. They fell in love and started a life together. The happy couple welcomed their first young'un to the world yesterday. In our garbage can. Seriously.

Side note: Have you ever heard two raccoons talk to one another? They sound an awful lot like Perry the Platypus, if you ask me. And don't be fooled by their cuteness. They're pretty scary. And let's just say that I was the recipient of some pretty malicious hissing yesterday.

To make a long story short, you know it's gonna be a good day when you have to call animal control before 7 am. And just in case you're worried that I'm a home wrecker, I learned that they do release the animals back into the wild. Hopefully a wild that's not so close to our house, though.

Now let's turn our attentions to a some animals that are a little more cute and playful. The kids and I are fishing over at good tots today. Come join us!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Canvas Silhouette Updates

Remember those canvas silhouettes of my kids I made last year? The plan was to update them once a year to keep track of how the kids are changing. I love how Charlotte went from a little no-neck baldy to a wild-haired darlin' in just one year's time.

Here's a list of supplies you'll need:

Here's the step-by-step:

1. Paint the canvas white. 
2. Take photos of your subject(s) in profile. 
3. Use Photoshop or any photo-editing program to re-size the photos to fit the canvas.
4. Print the photos on regular paper
5. Trace a "cut-line" around the profile with a Sharpie.
6. Cut along the black line

Then I used the templates I made from the photos to trace onto the back of a vinyl sheet (see above & below). 

The extra step of tracing onto vinyl really saved me a lot of stress when it came to painting the profiles onto the canvas. Last year, I used a label sheet; but the label shifted around a bit when I started painting, and didn't leave the fine details as defined as I wanted them. The vinyl is the perfect solution. It stuck firmly to the canvas, didn't allow paint underneath, and removed cleanly when I was done painting.

Next, simply stick the vinyl cut-out to the center of the canvas. Paint over it with your desired paint color and a foam brush (or a foam roller, if you don't like brush-strokes). Two or three coats of paint may be necessary. After the paint dries, remove the vinyl and your silhouette is done!

Pardon all the smudges on my kids silhouettes. They found the finished products on the table one morning, and carried them around the house all day. Now I'm off to touch-up the dirty spots, and then these silhouettes will grace our entryway for the next year.

P.S. If you need a little more in-depth info, check out last year's tutorial.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Happy Friday

I'm popping in with an afternoon post today to wish you all a happy weekend.
Here's a little collection of things that I can still love everyday, despite my expanding waistline. :)

  • You know what a sucker I am for big rings. This one is especially fantastic.
  • I love all Capri Blue candles; this one smells especially summery and cheerful.
  • I've been seeing shiny, springy bracelets like this one everywhere lately. And you can never go wrong with Stella & Dot
  • I'm a lip gloss girl. Always have been. Always will be. No lipstick for me, thank you very much.
  • I've always been a fan of my Anastasia tweezers. I equally adore the Beauty Express Brow kit. Want more info? Here's a little video about how to use it. And I love that all the products are now available at all Sephora stores in the US. Hooray!
  • And who doesn't love a clean, tingly scalp? One of my favorite shampoos ever is also one of my favorite ways to wake up in the morning.

Even though a girl's well on her way to a super-sized belly, at least she can still look and feel good, too.

A confession: I broke my cardinal rule of pregnancy this week. No public exercise while pregnant. I attended my first Zumba class and loved it. I'm planning on breaking my "rule" again over the weekend. I may even break out my maternity swim suit and break another of my pregnancy rules while I'm feeling rebellious. :)

What are your plans for the weekend?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

State Games

Hudson's interest in the States (as in the United States) began several months back when we started his coin collection. He's got this awesome board with a map, and a spot for each state's quarter. (Thanks, Mom and Dad). We look at the map every night before bed. And we've since discovered several other fun state-related games that are pretty cool, too.

The Scrambled States of America is a silly story about what happens when the States decide to change places. We especially love the jigsaw puzzle, too.

Stack the States. Quite possibly my favorite kids' app ever. It's really fun to play, and makes learning really fun. Some of the questions can be tricky for the pre-K crowd, so Hudson and I like to play together.

I love that he knows the name of each state and where they're located. It's the best thing ever when learning is disguised as a game. What are your favorite educational games and stories?


Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Here are some photos of our recent fishing trip to accompany my narrative about what's been going on around here lately.

I'm so excited for my sister and her husband. Yesterday they welcomed their first baby to the world. I was on pins and needles all morning, wondering and waiting to hear how everything went. I'm so happy to know that everyone is safe and healthy. And I'm so excited that my new little niece has a full head of hair. I'm going hair clip shopping the first chance I get. Congratulations, Sis! I'm so proud of you, and so excited for you, T, and little Baby A.

Don't you just love Hudson's special "fish-locator goggles?" We found them in Daddy's tackle bag, and were sure they'd help us find all the fish to catch. They didn't. Although, maybe I should have pulled them out to help me endure the worst migraine of my life. I've been nearly incapacitated for the last three days as I've suffered through this one.

Excuse me for a moment as I climb up on my soap box: I can't stand it when people use the term migraine to mean "really bad headache." If you've ever experienced one, a migraine is a completely different phenomenon. Well-meaning friends always suggest some OTC remedy or another, meaning they have no idea what a real migraine feels like. Mine always starts as a dull pain behind my left eye. About this time, I begin seeing floating black spots. The pain gradually increases, radiates through the entire left side of my head and face, down the back of my neck and into my left shoulder and arm. Which results in really sore muscles and numbness in my arm. This time, I heard a soft pop in my left ear and normal sounds immediately became unbearable. I can't focus through my left eye, any light becomes blinding and I lose my appetite because of the nausea. This, my friends, is not just a "really bad headache." OK, that's my pet peeve for the week. Pardon my ranting.

I am so happy to feel good as new this morning, and to return to the world of fully-functioning adults. Today brings a play date with friends, some school shopping (kindergarden starts in two weeks...EEK!), and lots, and lots of printing projects. The only thing I'm lacking is the chance to hold my sweet new niece. I'll have to send lots of presents to make up for my absence. :)

Hope you've had a good week so far.


Monday, August 8, 2011


I attended the San Francisco International Gift Fair over the weekend. Not only was it a wonderful day out of the house without kids (my first in nine months!) but I came away so inspired and having found so many great brands and products.

I think my very favorite company at the fair was Denmark-based Maileg. All of their items are sweet and simple with a really classic and homemade feel. I imagine these toys being loved and passed down in families for generations. You can check out their website to find retailers that carry the items I've shown here:

Wooden box with rattles 

clown, small, stripe

Brother & Sister Mouse
Cakes in a box

Ribbon Box, Blue

Ribbon Box

My Buttons Box
If I could create my dream playroom for the kids, this would be right where I would start. I love it all.
Hope you had a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Back-to-School Hobbies

Remember that wiggly tooth I mentioned a while back? Well, Sunday was the big day. The missing tooth combined with the fact that it's now August, reminds me that school is just around the corner. Kindergarden begins in three weeks. I thought I would be sad, but he's so excited I can't help but be happy for him. And with another baby on the way, a little structure to our schedule might be just what we need.

Starting school at 8:00 every morning is definitely going to throw a wrench into the lazy mornings I've become accustomed to. Although, as I think about the time he's at school, I'm determined to make it productive. Maybe I'll get all my design work done in the mornings. I've been planning on expanding my recipe card collection, and adding some new card sets. Maybe this is the perfect time. Or maybe I could run my errands without taking ALL the kids with me. And I have a huge list of jewelry I've been meaning to make. Or maybe I'll start exercising regularly.

Or maybe I'll pick up a new hobby. I loved trying pottery. Maybe it's time for something else. Needlepoint? Knitting? Learn a language? Work on my photography? Who knows? But I'm definitely going to make the most of it.

What are your plans for back-to-school? How are you going to take advantage of the time the kids are out of the house?

P.S. Have you seen Betterfly yet? Thier motto is, "Find people to help you look, learn and feel better." You can search locally for teachers and instructors in just about any area you'd like. Nutrition, crafts, fitness, music,'s pretty great. Or if you're really good at something, you can sign up to be a teacher for free. You set the terms and the price. Check it out.

I also write for good tots and Honest to Nod. Check out a few of my recent posts:
fingerprint artwork
Road Trip Bingo
Counting Caterpillar