Category Archives: Paper Crafts

thankyoubox2

The month of May kicks off a flood of gift gifting occasions in our house.  Technically, it begins April 30th (happy b-day Kristen!) and stretches right into July.  I try to plan ahead to avoid that last-minute card choosing panic.  You know that feeling where you’ve read every card in the store 3 times and can’t find a thing.

This morning I was looking for some gift giving inspiration and found this project in my archives.  I made this shadow box thank you note for some colleagues out of an empty jewelry gift box.  (These pictures are several years old now, and what can I say – I think my photography has improved.  This top photo makes me laugh since the lens cap for the camera is in the background.  Oops.)

thankyoubox

I think these little gift boxes might be more fun than a store-bought card.  Hallmark has been letting me down these days.  I don’t want to pay $6 and have the card light up and sing songs.  I think there is a conspiracy to make the regular cards less and less funny to drive you over into the premium section.  No?

thankyoubox3

Maybe I will start a boycott and make some shadow box cards instead.  What about you?  Do you make your own cards?

Last-Minute Thanksgiving Decor

Thanksgiving_runner

Is anyone else having trouble coming to terms with the fact that Thanksgiving is next week?!

This year, we are going to be hosting my parents. (Hi Mom and Dad!) We are really excited. They will be our first Seattle guests. Actually, they will be our first real overnight-guests, ever. Isn’t it nice when family lets you practice on them?

I do have some jobs to finish up before the inn is officially open if you know what I mean. Something about how they will require a bed to sleep in. And maybe I should finish unpacking the guest bath? We have one bigger home renovation project we want to finish this weekend, but I’m going to leave that one a mystery for now. I think the “before” pictures might scare Mom and Dad away, and we do actually want them to come.

When I wrote up this list of last minute cleaning ideas for Homemade Simple, I was not expecting guests. Who knew I was going to need my own tips so badly?! Although I have to say that “vacuuming window treatments” will be a piece of cake since we don’t actually have any of those.

Thanksgiving_pc

Although we have promised the parents that we are not going to to make a fuss over the Thanksgiving meal, I couldn’t help but look through some photos of Thanksgivings past.  These photos are from one of my favorite (and simplest) years ever. I bought a Thanksgiving scrapbook kit that included place cards, leaf decorations, and paper napkin rings, and then had fun embellishing them with stickers.

I made a Mayflower ship out of extra scrapbook paper and a wooden dowel inserted into an upside down cup.  I covered the cup/support system with a generous supply of Hershey’s kisses (because we all need extra sweets on the table, right?).

Mayflower-ship

For some of you, this is about where this whole decor scheme is going to go off the rails, but what can I say? It was a whimsical Thanksgiving that year.

I decided that even with all that candy, the table still felt a bit empty.  Who was going to steer the ship?  Who was going to join the pilgrims for their first Thanksgiving feast?  The answer was so obvious: squirrels.

I dressed up these squirrel placecard holders with some fancy headdresses and pilgrim hats, and we were all set.

Thanksgiving_sq I’m sure this is just exactly what you would do, too.

Anyway, if you’re in a Thanksgiving decoration pinch like I am, may I recommend the scrapbook aisle of your local craft store? Stickers and paper can be a great, last-minute solution when the fancy chargers and special napkins you want are too pricey or you’re out of time.  Just peel and stick.

Filed under Friends & Family, House & Home, Paper Crafts. Tagged with , , , .

Book Announcement: Handmade Hostess

HandmadeHostess_cover

I am so excited to FINALLY tell you. I wrote a book!

Handmade Hostess: 12 Imaginative Party Ideas for Unforgettable Entertaining will come out next March from Stash Books (an imprint of C+T Publishing). I have to pinch myself each time I see it up there on Amazon where it’s available for pre-order!

Keeping this secret has been one of the most challenging parts of this process. After my first trip to Quilt Market, I came home really wanting to write a book. I knew it had to be about my favorite topics — sewing and decorating for holidays, birthday parties, and special events.

However, the book really came to life when I called up my sister, Rebecca Soder, and asked her to do it with me. Every page of this book is a family affair.

The craft books that I am always pulling back down from the shelf are the ones with a ton of eye candy and a wide variety of projects. I want to be inspired and feel like I can use them again and again. I was thrilled to work with such a great publisher and that they were open to my idea of including fabric and sewing projects alongside other crafts, decorating, and baking.  They sum it up best:

In this book, Kelly and Rebecca have captured the heart of social gatherings for special occasions—expressing your love for family and friends in the DIY spirit of decorating, baking, and sewing. Discover how easy it can be to plan and create stylishly themed parties for all ages without breaking the bank. Have fun stitching and crafting creative décor projects along with matching party favors for your guests…plus, each party theme comes with its own signature dessert recipe. Dozens of sewing and no-sew projects for all skill levels, ranging from chic and elegant to festive and whimsical.

I am really proud to say that we held nothing back. We wanted you to have our very best ideas– all 160 pages of them!

I look forward to sharing more about the book as we get closer to launch! Thanks so much for sticking by me during those mysterious deadlines and the occasional disappearance. There’s a good chance I was at a photo shoot in a park somewhere — probably holding a giant sheet over my head trying to keep the sun off of one of Rebecca’s desserts. Every step has been an adventure.

Filed under Fabric & Sewing, I Made This, Paper Crafts, Site News. Tagged with , , , , , .

Minding My Manners

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You might remember a few months ago I asked everyone to name their favorite Storybook Lane character?  Well, it turns out Alice won.  (Just barely!  All four of our leading ladies are quite popular.  I have a theory that it depends entirely on what color hair your daughter/granddaughter/niece/special child has.  Am I right?)

Anyway, I made a little thank you note featuring Miss Prim + Proper herself and shared it with my mailing list subscribers.

Would you like one too? It’s not to late.  Just add your name to the box on the right, and I’ll send it to you.

Filed under I Made This, Paper Crafts, Tutorials & Downloads. Tagged with , , .

The 11th Hour

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Thank you for all of the Autumn flavor ideas!  I was really getting in the mood and then heard that we’re supposed to be getting some more hot weather this weekend.  I am looking forward to taking the entire weekend off and am going to do my best not to think of a single, productive thing at all.

To tell you the truth, I think I may have kicked that off a bit early today.  I am getting ready to head out to Holly Becker’s book signing for her book, Decorate.  I’m really looking forward to it, but first I have to cut out my business cards.  Oh yeah, I’m one of those people who tend to wait until the 11th hour on these things.

This happened to me a couple of years ago, and I discovered in a total stroke of luck that Paper Source’s Luxe Paper (210 G) makes the nicest business cards.  Yes, it does take forever to cut them out, and probably ends up costing more in the long run, but they feel good in your hand.

Businesscards

I just went with a simple one color design and although I do want to update these with my blog logo, I think they’ll do just fine for today.  I know I’m not the only one improvising (Kalani, I’m looking at you), so I feel that I will be in good company.

I’m going to take the camera so I’ll be back next week with a full report.  Wish me luck.  I always feel like the paparazzi when I bring out the big camera bag.   Have a wonderful weekend!

Filed under Paper Crafts, Travels Near & Far. Tagged with , , .

Shadow Box Cards

thankyoubox2

The month of May kicks off a flood of gift gifting occasions in our house.  Technically, it begins April 30th (happy b-day Kristen!) and stretches right into July.  I try to plan ahead to avoid that last-minute card choosing panic.  You know that feeling where you’ve read every card in the store 3 times and can’t find a thing.

This morning I was looking for some gift giving inspiration and found this project in my archives.  I made this shadow box thank you note for some colleagues out of an empty jewelry gift box.  (These pictures are several years old now, and what can I say – I think my photography has improved.  This top photo makes me laugh since the lens cap for the camera is in the background.  Oops.)

thankyoubox

I think these little gift boxes might be more fun than a store-bought card.  Hallmark has been letting me down these days.  I don’t want to pay $6 and have the card light up and sing songs.  I think there is a conspiracy to make the regular cards less and less funny to drive you over into the premium section.  No?

thankyoubox3

Maybe I will start a boycott and make some shadow box cards instead.  What about you?  Do you make your own cards?

Filed under I Made This, Paper Crafts. Tagged with , .