introducing “candy corn”

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We’ve been working on our new Candy Corn Halloween collection for weeks (along with several others) and sharing little peeks here and there. Well, I’m finally ready to show it all off! Just in case you didn’t see the peeks of the invitation and the cupcakes, here they are again.

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I started this project at the fabric store. I’m a huge fan of coordinating patterns, without all the matchy matchy. I selected a diamond pattern for the background and a polka dot for the table. You’ve not seen it yet, but the invitation back carries this same diamond pattern and if you look closely you’ll see a faint polka dot pattern on the front of the invitation along with a filigree pattern along the borders. Our inspiration for this collection was the desire to host a Halloween bash that is fun for the kids, but with a few semi-sophisticated elements for the adults. And since dessert tables are all the rage, we of course created one we thought was just boo-tiful. 

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We created dessert labels starring our little owl and offer them both pre-filled and blank so you can choose your own spooky treats. For the candy corn shown above, I picked up shallow round bowls and embellished them with candy corn ribbon. (The kids loved swinging by during the shoot to grab a piece or two!)

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And since my youngest has terrible food allergies, we just had to have gummy worms.

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To further bring the dessert table to life we created a flag banner using candy corn patterns, stripes and our ghost and owl designs.

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But I couldn’t leave it there. Nope! I loved the little ghost so much that we created a large one (available in the shoppe too) to hang over the dessert table. I used four of them!

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We also created cello toppers, and

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“thanks for dropping in” favor tags for the collection. I love the idea of using these to give the neighbor kids something special on Halloween night this year!

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Here’s a closer look at just the tag. (If you like the spider, you’ve got to see our Boo collection.)

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And you can’t have a complete dessert table without the beverages. We chose Stewart’s old fashioned soda drinks because they were the perfect orange to match our decor. Plus, the hubby loves them!

So you’ve seen a few glimpses of some fabulous cookies. Let me tell you, they are not only beautiful but they are the best butter cookies I’ve ever eaten. The very talented Sue at Sweet Tooth Cottage is the sugar artist behind these. I gave her my designs and she not only printed some on sugar paper and embellished them wtih these super fun dots, but she also made, yes made, cookie cutters to fit my designs and then hand iced each cookie. She’s not shipping cookies just yet, but I’m working on her! More to come on that, but until then, here are a few more shots of her lovely creations.

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 I have to point out that I made the holes in these cookies for the ribbon post-bake. Meaning these cookies were soft enough for a straw to go through them after they were iced. I swear they will melt in your mouth!

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Here’s a look at the ghost cookies. You already know how partial I am to him!

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And here’s a look at the sugar paper cookies. I love the cutouts, but I have to say there is something about seeing my designs on a cookie like this! And for those of you who are wondering about sugar paper, everyone at the shoot thought they were just as yummy as the cutouts.

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I have lots more pictures to share tomorrow of all the crafts (cake plate, witch hat, Halloween masks, dish towel child apron, crepe covered vase) we made for the shoot, but I thought I would leave you with the lollipops (above) and the kids having a blast telling knock knock jokes while they waited for us (below). As for the lollipops, I’m always looking for unique ways to use our printables, so I whipped up these lollipops with strips of crepe paper, double sided tape and our cupcake pick rounds. They were a huge hit and so very simple.

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Hop over to the shoppe to see all the details for this collection and more! More crafty details from the shoot to come tomorrow!

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FREE summer printables!

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Amy from Living Locurto asked me to guest blog for her this week, while she’s off on a Carnival Cruise {green with envy}, and she asked that I give a free printable away to her readers! So I thought since summer is starting to wind down… I know… it’s very hard for me to think that way too… I would give away the printables we created when we styled the backyard BBQ for the July-September issue of Mom magazine. I’ve already given them away here, but just in case you missed them, here’s another chance! (Oh, and if you’ve not seen it yet, here’s the full article.) 

The printables were created with our patriotic holidays in mind, but I chose a variety of patterns, all in primary colors, so they can be perfect all summer long!

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Here’s a closer shot of the straw slips I used, which can also be perfect as toothpick skewers in sandwiches, etc.,

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the napkin rings, and

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the placecards, which can also work great as favor tags.

Download the set now! And if you’re new here, please come join me on facebook, twitter, or sign up for offers (in the upper right corner) so you don’t miss out on future freebies!

Happy Monday everyone!

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peek at candy corn collection

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Happy Friday everyone! This has been a wonderful, but very long, week! We’ve got so much brewing right now I can barely keep up and one of the biggest things on this week’s “to do” list was to shoot our new Candy Corn collection (the invitation is already available in the shoppe for those who like to plan ahead). I’ll post the entire collection on Monday, but until then, here’s a little peek at what we’ve been up to!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and please stop back in Monday to see all the details, plus a few fun craft ideas to help complete the look!

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wordless Wednesday… sort of

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Okay, clearly I don’t know how to be “wordless,” but with Halloween on the brain and our new Candy Corn collection photo shoot still going on, I’ve been too swamped to say much (sorry for my absence yesterday), so I thought I would at least post a pre-photo shoot pic of our little ghost in sugar form. Don’t you think he was even adorable in the baker’s box?!

More to come later this week including the resource for these sweet little guys!

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new collection coming soon

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Our facebook fans got a peek at this little guy a few days ago, the invite for our newest collection, Candy Corn. I’m not sure which element I like more… the ghost or the owl! Hmmm… but the fact that our little ghost is losing his candy probably pushes me over the edge in his favor. {wink}

With the photo shoot for the decor and DIY printable collection (candy table tags, beverage wrappers, cello toppers, favor tags and more) only hours away, I’ve been scouring the shops for props, candy and cookies to decorate the table and I’ve found some goodies! I can’t wait to share it all with you!

(candy corn cookie image via Google, searched Etsy for shop but couldn’t locate; if you know the baker would love to give credit for this beautiful cookie!)

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just around the corner

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I know what you’re all thinking. It’s a little early to be talking about Halloween! Actually it’s not. For those of us in the stationery business we have to be way out in front of the upcoming holiday, and Halloween is what’s been on my brain now for weeks. I have to admit I’m getting a little giddy about sharing what’s coming. Since it’s not quite ready, I thought I would share a few hints for one of my “new favorite” Halloween collections. I’m hoping to share it on Facebook as early as this afternoon so make sure you join us if you’ve not already!

Stay tuned!!

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real parties: end of summer fun

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When I was browsing the web to find just the right images to pull together yesterday’s back to school party post, I stumbled across Brooke at Cheeky Kitchen and Jaimee at Sophistimom, two talented women who are also moms and friends. I was instantly inspired by their posts about an end of summer picnic they had with their children last year. The photography is beautiful, the recipes are yummy and their writing style is engaging. If you’ve not met them yet, you must meet them now!

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I’m absolutely in love with Brooke’s unique lunch pail (the kind of buckets you get when you go to your local orchard) idea. They’re simple and yet make such a statement in her beautiful photography. In Jaimee’s words “Within each basket was nestled a sandwich to satisfy the most ravenous sweet tooth, a vintage book, confetti corn, and a root beer.

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Don’t you just wish you had been invited along on this adventure?!

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And the food looks amazing! (There are many more photos that you must hop over and see on both blogs.)

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As you likely are, I’m inspired to plan a end of summer/back to school picnic for my boys. I hope we have as much fun as it appears these two families had! Happy Wednesday everyone!

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patriotic inspiration

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As we’re all gearing up for a fabulous long weekend, I thought I would share a few last minute ideas for desserts:

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And a few DIY decorating ideas:

Have a safe and fun holiday everyone!

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press: styled bbq for Mom mag

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The backyard BBQ article I styled at the request of the fabulous Natalie Klein of Hot Moms Club for Mom magazine is finally here!

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE PRINTABLES NOW!

The assignment had two parts. First, create a look that could be perfect for the upcoming July 4th holiday, as well as all summer long. My immediate thoughts went to mixing traditional patriotic patterns and colors with traditional summer colors, hence the pops of yellow and green! The second part of the assignment was to involve the kiddos.

My tips are in the blue boxes to the right on each page and here on the first page of the two-page spread. You can see my lemonade service and apron craft (the burgers belong to Chef Sam) in the images.

  • Lemonade service - mason jars are a charming way to bring the party outdoors and colorful straw slips are the perfect way to help your guests tell their beverages apart (get these FREE printables).
  • Flowers - I went with these beautiful sunflowers, the traditional yellow and a vibrant red (dyed by the florist), nestled in a bright blue tin vase to give the table a little pop.

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Here’s a closer look at the apron craft. I stopped in the craft store and picked up white, child-size aprons, fabric paint, stencils (you can find just about any shape and lettering) and sponge brushes. I set the boys up outside and placed wax paper (to contain any paint that may bleed though) between the apron and the table. They held the stencil in place with their hand, then using a round sponge brush dabbed the stencil on. It was really quite easy with quick clean up.

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And here on the second page you can see my ice cream service idea, my choice of primary dot plates and napkins from Inviting Company and the invitation craft.

  • Ice cream pails – For the ice cream I picked up some red and white mini pails and some clear plastic cups. I’m a big fan of pre-scooping your ice cream before your guests arrive and refreezing the scoops on wax paper. It just takes too much to scoop while they’re there; I’d rather be mingling myself! For serving, I arranged the pails on a tray, filled each about 1/3 way with ice, inserted the plastic cup and then popped in my cones. And if you have a variety of flavors you can take orders and use a cute little tag (get these fun tag/placecard printables FREE) so you don’t get your orders mixed up.
  • Invitation craft – since I own a custom invitation company my first reaction was to design something fabulous, but since the assignment was to make something the kids could help with, I went “old school” and used scrapbooking supplies (cardstock, vellum and ribbon) and a fun star tablecloth weight as a little favor.

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Make sure you pop over to my post from Monday to see closer shots of the printables I used to style this article!

Thanks again to Natalie and the wonderful ladies at Hot Moms Club for giving me this opportunity. And thanks to Jennifer Sbranti of Hostess With The Mostess for mentioning me to Natalie. I’m honored to be in these fabulous ladies company! And finally, thanks to my little boys for sitting still long enough for us to get these fabulous pictures of them. Of course the ice cream helped! {wink}

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As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake, create and celebrate!

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red, white & blue inspiration

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Today’s post is a bit of a prelude to the excitement around here. But before I tell you all about it, I want to share some true patriotic inspiration with you from the fabulous crafters and planners at Martha Stewart, a group of people that inspire me often and this latest issue didn’t disappoint. I was candidly taken aback at what they did with pop-ups. You know, those paper party pieces that are often thought of as inexpensive looking… well not when the Martha team puts them together, with a little added style that is. The ones above are the only ones I could locate on the site, but make sure you pick up this month’s issue for some truly super fun ideas that will have your July 4th table looking beautiful in no time.

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And then there are so many fabulous ideas from previous years. I fell in love with the star table runner idea and actually used a version of it on my own table last year. I also thought the sand & firework centerpieces were quite clever, as well as these festive utensil sleeves. Remember, everything doesn’t have to be matchy matchy. As a matter of fact, I’m a huge fan of mixing and matching patterns and fabrics when entertaining.

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 A few other craft musts to bring your table together are these patriotic pinwheels. You can find all of these ideas, and a ton of others, in one location on the Martha Stewart website. Make sure you scroll through the entire bunch!

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As for my big announcement, it’s actually tied to the upcoming patriotic celebration. I was asked back in April by the talented Natalie Klein of Hot Moms Club to style a backyard bbq bash for the summer issue of Mom magazine. The idea was to create something that could be perfect for the upcoming July 4th holiday, as well as all summer. The ice cream you see above was one of my favorite images to style. I picked up these sweet little pails from the craft store and some clear plastic cups. I filled the bucket 1/3 way with ice and inserted the plastic cup (because let’s face it, who knows about paint these days), then added my star sprinkled cones and served them on a red and white speckled tin tray. And since I love my readers so very much, I’ll be giving away the placecards you see attached to the serving bucket, as well as straw slips and napkin rings in tomorrow’s post when I share the entire article.

As always, I hope you’re inspired for your next celebration!

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