let the countdown begin!

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Today starts the countdown {surge of excitement… and two little boys… running through my house this morning}! And although my advent calendar is all set to go, I just couldn’t resist sharing a few of my favorite ones from some super crafty ladies. There’s still time!

I’m just completely in LOVE with this first idea from The Painter Family (via Tip Junkie). It will take a little time finding the right boxes and measuring to make sure everything fits, but how lovely the outcome is. I’m saving this idea for next November!

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And Infarrantly Creative thought up this little treasure! Wow what you can do with a few items from the dollar store and a drill. My only fear… I would find all the buckets empty and little ones with tummy aches. If we make one of these fun calendars I’ll have to fill one bucket at a time. {smirk}

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DIY glitter trees & download

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The super talented sisters at the eighteen25 blog have whipped up a little Christmas bling that we can all have on our mantels this year. It doesn’t get an easier, prettier, or inexpensive than these beautiful glitter trees! The ladies give a list of all the items you need (from the dollar store) and a step-by-step tutorial with lots of pictures. There is no way to go wrong!

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And what’s more, they also designed this lovely subway art mat and banner that you can download for FREE! Make sure you hop over and get all the details! Thanks so much ladies!

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30% off for Cyber Monday

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We’ve been busy over the past few weeks! We’ve launching two new holiday collections: Mod Candy Cane and BELIEVE, forged a sweet partnership with the fabulous Sweet Tooth Cottage cookie company, and had two wonderful press opportunities: honored as a Martha Stewart Dreamer Into Doer and had our Science birthday collection featured in Columbus Parent Magazine.

And now I’m very happy to announce that we’re having our best sale ever! Today through noon tomorrow we’re offering 30% off any custom invitation order (code INVT30) and 30% off any printable collection (marked)!

So plan those January birthdays, host a wow-worthy holiday cookie decorating party with the kids or a sophisticated cocktail party for the adults, and surprise your mom-to-be or bride-to-be girlfriends with the perfect shower!

If you’ve not already, make sure and sign up for offers in the box at the top of the page. Like us on facebook and follow us on twitter!

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Christmas advent calendar craft

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I love crafting with my kids and Christmas is my absolute favorite season, everything from the giggles of excitement that waft through the house (the kids and mine) to whipping up new treats to share with neighbors and friends.

So last week while we were wrapping up our final Christmas collection photo shoot, I took a little time to plan this fun and easy Christmas tree advent calendar craft. Make it over the Thanksgiving holiday and be all set to count down the days to December 25 by decorating a mini Christmas tree each day!

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 24 Christmas trees (8 to a sheet of regular scrapbook paper)
  • 9′ of ribbon to hang, another 3′ for push pin bows
  • 24 mini clothes pins (wood working section of your craft store)
  • 24 stars
  • sheet of number stickers
  • ornaments (aka hole punches out of coordinating scrapbook paper)
  • 1 sheet of vellum (for the mini envelope)
  • 6 push pins
  • glue (to attach your vellum pocket and for the kids to decorate with)

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And here’s how you pull it all together:

  1. Cut out 24 trees, stars and vellum rectangles.
  2. Punch out lots and lots of ornaments (a regular office hole punch works just fine).
  3. Using stickers, number each of the stars 1 to 24.
  4. Attach the stars to the tops of the trees and then flip the trees over.
  5. Sprinkle some ornaments in the center of each tree, pipe three lines of glue (Elmer’s glue or a glue stick) leaving the top open, attach the vellum rectangle over the ornaments and allow the trees to dry for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Hang three 3′ sections of ribbon with push pins. (Optional: Tie bows in coordinating ribbon to the push pins to help hide them.)
  7. Attach the trees on the ribbon using mini clothes pins.

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Now, starting on December 1, let your little ones take down a tree each day and decorate it using the hole punch ornaments from the little vellum envelope in back. As you can see, we’ve got a jump start! As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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introducing BELIEVE

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I’m so very proud to introduce BELIEVE as our 57th collection! BELIEVE offers an elegant palette for cookie parties, cocktail parties, family gatherings and even charitable events. In addition to the custom invitations and thank you cards, and silver square dinner and dessert plates, this collection has several printable components as well. Above you can see our 8×10 “BELIEVE!” mat, which we used on our dessert table flanked by two silver serving trays topped with shimmering Christmas trees and our “BELIEVE!” tag, perfect for favors or even Christmas presents from Santa!  

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Our beverage wrappers are not only great for wrapping wine and water bottles, they are also perfect for embellishing your centerpieces. We chose silver branches from the craft store to give the table a little pop. We also designed beverage markers so you won’t lose your glass of wine and beautiful placecards to help your guests’ find their seats.  

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Who said favors had to be expensive to be dazzling?! I chose a simple ornament favor idea to showcase our square “Thank You” favor tags for this collection: silver and red glitter ornaments tied with beautiful shimmering ribbon.

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And if you’re a hostess that likes to have an activity or two up her sleeve, my “Fondest Christmas Memory” printable kit (includes 5×7 mat, the square BELIEVE favor tags and blank snowflake cards) will help get all your guests in the spirit. The idea is that everyone writes down their fondest memory, places it in the jar and then later in the evening you can read them aloud and let everyone guess who wrote the memory. Mine is from the Christmas just before I turned nine. My brother and I sat at the kitchen table for hours coloring pictures from a coloring book. Then we cut them all out and hung them on the tree as ornaments. They clashed a little with all of my mom’s lovely ornaments, but in true mom style she left them on the tree for the entire holiday season and still has a few of them in her holiday “happy boxes” as she calls them. 

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And what dinner party is complete without a dessert bar?! Our collection offers a “Warm Up” beverage mat perfect when you’re serving hot cocoa or even a warm toddy, dessert labels (six pre-filled plus a blank sheet so that you can overprint your own desserts), and cello toppers embellished with “Thank You” so you can send your guests home with a few sweet treats, like the yummy hand-iced melt-in-your-mouth butter cookies from our partners at Sweet Tooth Cottage. You’ll find these lovely cookies with the rest of the collection in our shoppe. (Read more about cookie sizes, ingredients, shipping and packaging on our About Us page.)

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And it just wouldn’t be complete without cupcake picks and wrappers! Look for the entire collection in the shoppe with 50% off the printable collection original price through Cyber Monday! As always, I hope you’re inspired.

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crepe-paper bell craft

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With Christmas decorations about to come out, this weekend I decided to relax for a few hours and look through some old Christmas ideas. This little crepe-paper bell treasure was from the Martha Stewart Living December 2008 issue.  I love how simple, yet completely beautiful this is, especially as shown on the candle. I could even see making larger (using layers of crepe) versions of these for decorations on a mantle or stairwell. Hop over to MarthaStewart.com for all the how-to details!

And by the way, a little organization tip: Keeping magazines can quickly become cumbersome and messy. Tear out your favorite ideas and file them away under categories that mean something to you, like Christmas crafts, spring decorating. This practice will help you reduce clutter AND make it easier for you to find great ideas when it’s project time!

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science birthday party crafts

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In mid-September I held my oldest son’s science birthday party (part I, part II, feature in Columbus Parent Magazine) and mentioned that I would share a few of the crafts: paper mache books for the book shelves on the dessert table, hand scanner for entry to our top secret lab and “Alex’s Lab This Way” sign.

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For the paper mache books, I simply purchased the books from the craft store, painted them with craft paint (absorbs quickly), stenciled on “Biology,” “Chemistry,” and “Astronomy” and then sealed them with a spray (also available at the craft store). The books actually open and can be used for storage so they ended up being little gifts for my son after the party and he uses them to store his collections… aka dried leaves, rocks, bugs (in mini specimen jars!). 

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The second craft was my son’s favorite. He had been planning a hand scanner for his lab in the basement so I thought it only appropriate to make one for his party. Mine wasn’t functional of course (he plans on his actually working and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if it actually does), but it was fun. First I painted the board white and allowed it to dry. Next I painted his hand (yes, that is my baby’s little hand) and we stamped it in the middle of the sign. And finally I stenciled on the letters (cut out using a Cricut).

Unfortunately I didn’t get a great shot of the “Alex’s Lab This Way” sign that pointed everyone to the lab entrance, but it was accomplished in much the same way, paint and stencils.

Have a fabulous weekend everyone and stop back next week to see our new BELIEVE collection and a very fun and easy DIY Christmas advent calendar idea.

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knocking off the chill

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It’s just the thing to knock the chill off of a cold wintry day and I’m totally smitten! This beautiful Christmas Icon Dinnerware Collection and classic porcelain hot chocolate pot from William Sonoma are simply perfect additions to my kitchen. I can just envision my kiddos sitting around the kitchen island sipping hot chocolate brimming over with marshmallows and giggling while I bake gingerbread cookies. Ahhh! Is it Christmas yet?!

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fresh Christmas wreath ideas

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I love fresh wreaths at Christmas, especially cedar with cinnamon sticks woven in. I can just smell Christmas writing about it! There are so many wonderful and creative ideas out there, and some not so very traditional. Each of these wreath ideas is from Sunset magazine, from left to right.

  1. Bay and Rosemary
  2. Cedar snowflake 
  3. Douglas fir snowflakes
  4. Red carnations
  5. Eucalyptus
  6. Spanish moss, canella berries, and pincushion proteas

I believe I may just have to try those cedar snowflakes this year. I’m sure I can position a cinnamon stick or two in the center. {wink} As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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sneak peek at BELIEVE

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Those who were around last year might recall the BELIEVE cupcake picks and wrappers that we gave away in December. Well this new collection is an extension of that design and I couldn’t be more proud of how beautiful it turned out. I received such sweet notes from so many of you last year, because of course BELIEVE doesn’t just have to refer to believing in Santa. It can be more profound. Believing in yourself, believing in His grace.

With the season of giving upon us, I urge all of us to reach out and do something kind, no matter how small, for those around us. A can of food, an outgrown coat, monetary donations if you have it. No matter the gift, give with your heart and BELIEVE!

Much more to come on this collection shortly!

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