No baked goods involved.
Just wanted to share another cute use for those fabulous little clear boxes from the folks at Garnish...my daughter just celebrated her thirty first birthday, so you can imagine how tickled I was to find this cup down in one of the booths at Camas Antiques one day.
I added a giftcard, and popped it in the box with a pretty bow. Her birthday present was ready to go.
The two newest grands spent some time together yesterday, and I couldn't stop myself from snapping some pictures (can you blame me?)
They are just beginning to notice one another, and are happy to share...well, everything apparently....so precious!
They reminded me so much of the first two grands about four years ago.
Ohmygosh. I could just eat them up.
I had been struggling with where I want to take my blog-etsy-crafty-junkin' business,which seems to be a long time struggle in my head, because, as I am doing one creative thing, additional ideas are popping into my mind, and I lose traction. (Do you do that?)
Yes, it's the condition commonly known as the so-many-ideas-so-little-time syndrome.
On this one particular morning, I popped over to my friend Carol's blog as I often do, to see what was new there. (I should share here that Carol and I have been long time internet friends, and she has always been an inspiration to me.)
By no coincidence, on this particular day, Carol was sharing a new venture herself, where she is now offering mentoring sessions, for like-minded girls like me, looking to get on a productive path with their bliss. I decided that day, right then and there, to invest in myself. (How could I not? Carol knew me. She understood how my head worked. We were already ahead of the game!)
She sent me a qustionare for direction, and I scheduled my first appointment with Carol.
I was so excited that I took the day off from my grown-up girl job. I gathered and carefully arranged my laptop, paper, pen, cell phone, and an ice cold Pepsi Max on the dining room table, ready for my 9:00 date with destiny.
What I thought was going to be an hour of clarifying whether to focus on my writing and blog, my paper goods on etsy, or my new teeny-tiny case at Camas Antiques, and which things to put on the back burner, turned out to be an over-the-top, inspirational call about adding one more item to my plate, and in doing so, actually bringing all of my other endevours together as different arms of one bigger picture.
As Carol pointed out, I had been on the path of event planning before my move up here, so why not go down that path again? It combines my passion for junking with my paper-crafting, and my need to make every day an event.
I've been busy girl all month, planning, and creating a new site, and while it is not quite complete, it is launching today, with the pages being built out more fully each day. (It all should be complete in a week or two!)
Mmm, hmm. TraceyBuxton.com
(Pretty easy to remember, right?)
I'll be handling vintage prop rentals, event planning, (in person, over the phone and via email....) paper goods, and providing inspiring ideas for all of life's special occasions.
(And, my daughters will both be helping me!)
After I brainstormed with Carol, I began to notice, everywhere, that the vintage prop rental idea, and vintage themed events are even bigger than I realized....a case in point...
Now, look past the word "weddings" here, and you'll see that this pertains to any sort of party. Birthdays, dinner parties, graduations, and showers.
A couple of weeks ago, when we were back in the biggest little city for a visit, I brainstormed further with the other Tracey, who, just a few months ago, coordinated a vintage themed wedding for her own daughter (Watch for it in an upcoming issue of Country Living magazine! I will keep you posted!) and that confirmed to me that Carol had me on the right path for my bliss.
I have my second mentoring call with Carol today, and I cannot wait to see what we come up with next! (I'll share more tomorrow!)
You see, when I bake cupcakes, I always make a few extras and pop them in a zip lock bag in the freezer, where I can pull them out as needed, for dessert, or for...well, little boxed prezzies for friends.
Today I went with a double papered look (the black cupcake paper is a bit larger than the white one I baked the cupcakes in) and decided to go with yellow and black.
I made a cute little tag with a birthday candle on it to accompany the usual Happy Birthday tag....a sweet, unexpected surprise.
I think she's gonna like it.
I have about three dozen or so of these votive candle holders. (They cost under a dollar if you shop around, and are even cheaper when you buy them in bulk online.)
Of course they are wonderful for their intended use, on a dining or coffee table, all lit up, a sea of glowing canlelight. Even better though, they are make fabulous little individual serving containers for appetizers, desserts, and treats.
I shared my sweet little m & m Valentines shooters a couple of weeks ago.
They also work great holding bite sized brownie sundaes, or mini banana puddings (how about topped with a nilla wafer and a sweet dollup of whipped cream?)
Votive holders are also perfect used as nut cups, and make a memorable impression when used to serve little tomato soup shooters, topped with a teeny tiny triangle wedge of a grilled cheese sandwich. (Can you picture that? Fabulous.)
I have to say that my current favorite way to use these great little containers is for veggies and ranch dressing (double dipping allowed, 'coz you don't have to share with anyone!)If you want to get really fancy, add a bit of jute or ribbon around the votive, as added adornment.
I bet there are a million ideas for votive holder uses that I haven't even thought of yet. (Have you got a use to share? Do tell!)
I got a sweet lil' write up in Woman's World magazine!
I was thrilled to be contacted by them one day out of the blue, and this past weekend, when the issue hit the newstands, I was thrilled once again.
Thank you, Jody, for giving me such a fabulous opportunity to share my work.
We spent last weekend in the biggest little city, seeing friends, my son and daughter-in-law,and those two precious grand babes! My daughter-in-law had the great idea to have me take some pictures of the family at a nearby park that has an old historic one room schoolhouse. That old schoolhouse turned out to be a perfect backdrop for our photo shoot.
Now, I do not claim to be any sort of expert on photographing people, but I think I do okay with posed shots. I have a Mac, and I use iPhoto to edit my pictures sometimes, or I use PicMonkey, which is a very easy to use free photo editing site.
Simple backgrounds are always best, I think. (see this simple stained door?)
If the backgound is too busy, it seems to take away from the main focus of the picture. The simple lines of the old doors on the schoolhouse and the white siding make for a perfect, calm backdrop, and my makes my subjects really stand out.
If I am not thrilled witht the backdrop, I can always crop the photo in really tight, and just get the subject, with virtually no bacground showing.
Speaking of cropping, the first thing I do with posed-people-pictures is crop them. I typically crop them to be 8 by 10 constraints, so if I want to get them printed (I always use Walgreens, because I can send them online and they are done in an hour, but you can use a home printer, or whatever...) they will fit nicely in a frame.
Once I crop the photo, I usually sharpen it up. Then, sometimes I change the finish. Here is the same photo from up top there, but in an antique finish.
I am putting this version in my new home office. (oh yes! I am in the midst of creating a wonderful space to work on all of my crafty-computer-y things...my bliss.)
Back to what I was talking about...photographing posed people.
Black and white is another nice way to go. I have ony black and white photos in my cubical at work, and I love the artsy look of them.
Lastly, I take a ton of photos when I am trying to capture something. More is more in this case. The beauty of digital cameras is that you can take 300 pictures, and while you may only end up with five good shots, you aren't out a dime. Just delete the bad shots and move on.
So, there you have it. Photo tips from someone that isn't a pro, but still manages to snag a few great shots.
My buddy's last name is Crawford, and when I found this vintage hanger, I grabbed it and put it away for a fun little Valentine's present.
I made the tag in my print program on my computer, and used a digi-stamp picture of a vintage hanger to carry out the theme.
I hope your Valentine's Day is anything but ordinary!
One of my friends at work had a birthday last weeka nd I wanted to do a little something special for her. I keep unfrosted cupcakes in the freezer, and so I pulled one out, along with some pink frosting I had frozen in a tub as well.
After frosting the sweet little cuppy-cake, I put it in one of my clear cube boxes, and to make it look more festive, (and to make it so the cupcake wouldn't move around in the box) I sprinkled Valentine (red, pink, white)candy corn around the bottom of the cube.
I added a big fat ribbon and a home made tag.....viola'!
We had our "Hearts And Crafts" Valentine party last Saturday,and I thought you might like to see a couple of the details that made the party fun. You can adapt these ideas for any event..birthdays, Christmas, Easter, or special dinner parties, or brunches.
Little details make everyone feel extra special. A simple name tag, done up in pretty colors, and tied to chair backs with multiple coordinating ribbons, makes a really bold (and fun!) impression on guests.
Likewise, a little surprise treat, like these m & m shooters, make a nice surprise at place settings. (I use simple votive candle holders for my shooters, by the way)
Taking it a step further, adding an oh-so-fun flag to your m & m shooter (Leave it to my four year old grandson to think of this..brilliant!)
Of course, I am a huge fan of banners...
,,,they always make your statement loud and clear.
It's kind of exciting though.
I went down to Camas Antiques a couple of weeks ago after work. You know, I have been feeling this creative stirring in my soul for a while now, and when I popped in the shop to visit with Clark one evening, it became clear that what I wanted...what I was longing for...was to get back into my vintage-booth-junkin' groove.
But not in a big-as-in-large way.
No. In a big-as-in-best-I-can-be way. I decided that what I might really-truly-maddly-deeply love was a small space.
So, a couple of days later, I headed back in to sweet lil' downtown Camas and talked with Joanne, the owner of Camas Antiques.
Be still my heart.
She gave me a fabulous built-in case along the wall.
My mind is absolutely reeling with ideas for displays and items, and junk, and all sorts of wonderfulness.
Somebody pinch me.
My Rock n' Roll Buddy says that Valentine's Day is the ultimate Halmark holiday. He doesn't like the idea, or the pressure, of feeling that we have to buy an item to show our undying feelings of affection for our special someone, on a certain day of the year.
And, I agree.
Still, I'd have to say that Valentine's Day is about my most favorite holiday. Put aside the every-kiss-begins-with-Kay jewelry, the long-stemmed-deep-red roses marked up double (or triple) for the occasion, and the heart shaped boxes of 1000 calorie chocolates. Look at what this sweet day represents.
What do you think?
They're all available in my etsy shop, where you can simply open them up from an email, print and cut them, and be ready to have yourself (and your sweetheart) a pretty fabulous (and romantic) Valentine's Day.
This year I'm having a party with some of my Grandsons. We're going to make some Valentines, and decorate some cookies and cupcakes, and we're going to have a very yummy supper filled with heart shaped goodies.
In preperation for the party, I made some fun paper decorations, and I set them up in my daughter's red kitchen as a practice run, so I could share pictures with you.
(What can I say? colored paper and pinking shears are my love language.)
Let's start with the sweet lil' invitation...
...and the Be Mine Banner...
....then I added some homemade flags. (So cute by everyone's place settings...
as well as loaded up in the vintage champagne bucket!)
I painted some nice big Hugs n' kisses letters (x's and o's.....) from the craft store..
In the meantime, I have created a couple new e-kits so you can make these sweet decorations for your own party. They're in my shop now, and will arrive right in your inbox, ready to go, if you like. (Find the banner here, and the flags are here.)
His Mama smooched him up and I took the photos.Pretty danged cute, if I do say so myself.
Valentines day is hot on the heels of Superbowl Sunday, and I've been busy working on some pretty little somethin' somethins' for the occasion.
Last night I started things off by baking a batch of my very-nearly-world-famous signature croutons.
They're so easy to make, and it's a great use of left over bread, burger buns, or dinner rolls. At Christmas time I sometimes use tiny star shaped cookie cutters, and for Valentines day I decided to make them hearts. (Of course, most of the year I just cube up my bread and make them that way....they still taste yummy!)
To make them, all I do is melt some butter (or margarine) and add some Italian season, garlic powder and grated parmesan cheese. Drizzle this mixture over your cut up bread in a bowl, and toss to coat.
Place coated bread on a sheet of aluminum foil on a cookie sheet and pop in a 425 degree oven until brown (around 13-15 minutes. Stir them around if you like mid-way through) Voila'!
If you don't eat them right off the cookie sheet hot out of the oven, that is.
Well, if you follow football, you now know that the 49ers and the Ravens will be facing off for Superbowl, and more interestingly, the Harbough brothers will be facing off as coaches.(I myself was born in San Francisco, and raised in the bay area, so you can guess where my loyalties will lie on game day.)
I've been busy crafting and creating lots of paper goodies for the big day, and I have them gathered into two printable kits in my etsy shop.
Let's start with the banner:I'm going to hang my banner across the porch on Superbowl Sunday, but
today I simply swagged it over the yard chairs so you could see how fun
I created some great printed trivia and quotes about football to place strategically around the party...I think they will look fabulous on the food table, the coffee table, and maybe even on the guest bathroom counter? (Simply print them and frame them in frames from the dollar store.)
Little flags add to the fun...
along with a tag I created and hung on the giant jar of small footballs.
How about Flip Score Cards to rate the commercials during Superbowl, as well as Beyonce's half-time show? Last, but not least, I designed cute little juice wrappers.... fun for kids and grown ups alike.You'll most definitely be ready for some football with all of these fun details!
if you're not having a whole slew of people over for Superbowl, you might still want
to curl up with your sweetie for a little sofa picnic while watching the
big game, and cute little details can make that special too. Now, for the decorations. I like to start with the front porch, and so far I have my blow up football that I got for last year's big game. So cute. (Find it here.)
Then, as long as you're on the Oriental trading site, go ahead and get yourself some football shaped paper plates, lanterns, and anything else that might work for you. (The football cups work great as individual popcorn "bowls" in case you were wondering what to do with 50 of them.)
I discovered some great treasures at the dollar store (A football shaped tray was my favorite find.) for our party, as well as the dollar section at Target. (kid-size footballs that will fill a huge glass apothocary jar on the buffet table.) I got my cardboard letters (XLVII) at Joann's Fabric Store and I still need to paint and glitter them up...more to follow on that in another post.
I've been working on my menu for the party. Of course we are keeping it easy with pizza and wings, but I am also considering pulled pork sliders (using the crock pot would make it so easy!) and of course we will break out the chocolate fountain, just because everybody loves that. Oh, and I got a huge bag of teeny-tiny snickers candy bars with all the NFL Teams logos on the wrappers. (I'm all over the cute factor for this shindig, in case you hadn't noticed.)
Now, if it were just going to be me and my Rock n' Roll Buddy, I'd totally do a sofa picnic, with the same foods, except that I'd do my halftime food spread right there on the coffee table. (How cozy and fun does that sound?)
So...I am wondering just how many of you out there in blogland have Superbowl parties, or go to one. If so, do you go all out with decorations, or keep it simple? What kinds of foods do you do for casual entertaining? I'd love to hear!
Christmas is over, and, if you enjoy football, you know what that means...
The Superbowl will be here before we know it, people.
I for one, am ready for it.
Even if the fabulous Seahawks won't be in it this year.
I know. There is no crying in football. But seriously, yesterday's game was so close.
Next year, guys.
Where was I?
Oh yes. Superbowl, and Superbowl parties.
Did you know that out of the 10 most-watched programs in U.S. television history, eight of them are Super Bowls. In fact, last year's Super Bowl tops the list with a whopping 111 million viewers. And in 2011, the top three most watched programs were the Super Bowl, followed by the FOX Super Bowl Kickoff show and the FOX Super Bowl postgame show.
That's reason enough to throw a party, right?
We're having a fairly small gathering for the big game, and so I made my invitations yesterday while watching...what else? Football. You can make your own invites, find some at any local card store, or look online.
My invites came out so cute that I ended up adding them to my etsy shop as a customizable printable.(Find them here.) I've made a few other items for the party as well, but I din't quite get around to photographing them yet, since we were pretty busy watching playoff games all weekend.
As you can tell, I am ready for some(more)football, and February third just can't get her soon enough for me.
We were picking up a pizza to take with us, so that started my inspiration. I got a pizza cutter, some new pot holders and an oven mit, a nice big pillar candle along with a match-light, some cold beer, and, a nice soft blanket throw for their sofa. Last but not least, I scooped the last of the homemade coconut ice cream into a cute to-go container for a late night snack for our friends.
It took me no time at all to assemble the items. I bought the throw and oven mitts, (gotta love Target!) but I had all the other items at home already, so it was really pretty easy.
I always use my plastic grocery sacks as filler to plump things up...
and then cover them with some shred.
Adding coordinating ribbons to items adds a nice touch...
and a sweet tag I whipped up on my computer pulls it all together....
It looked great, traveled well, and, it went great with the five meat pizza.