Tag Archives: Martha Stewart

XOXOXO Take #1

Valentine’s Day is top dog, head honcho when it comes to writing and sharing cards. For me, the true essence of the day is for one to express their love in any form of writing…create a hand-made, eye-popping elaborate, magazine-size card, buy a shiny, single love note at the corner store, or simply cut a solo heart out of red construction paper. You really can’t go wrong however you acknowledge your loved ones. And although it’s about the written words of love, why stop there when the options are endless for Valentine’s Day correspondence!


My favorite design I’ve seen this season is from Georgia-based Brown Parcel Press. Inspired by the sweet Valentine’s handed out as a grade schooler, the founder, Megan, created this unique Pillow Talk Valentine’s Card Set so one can easily tie a chocolate, caramel or flower on top of the gorgeous letterpress card. So clever yet so traditional.


Imogen + Willie are all about the sense of touch with this one from People I’ve Loved.


Quill & Fox puts the romance right back into the 14th with this Made For Each Other card.


Assortments are perfect to touch everyone in your life – Leave it to Rifle Paper Co.


And don’t forget to check out Brown Ink’s line up of XOXO goods!

Thousands of DIY Valentine projects are floating on the internet but only a few are pulling my heart strings this season…


We all know Martha makes everything look simple, however, this accordion Love Note is completely doable thanks to a few templates, colorful paper and supplies you can find at home!


These Paper Airplane Valentines from No Biggie are perfect for getting kids involved.


Print off one of these cleverly sweet Conversation Heart Envelopes from this heart of mine and fill with all the sweet things your sidekick adores!


Or create something literally sweet with these Flavored Sugar Valentines…complete with recipes and classic, printable tags from talented Amy Christie via Design Mom.


Finally, it’s time to treat yourself to a surprise each month with an Olive Box full of hand-picked paper & lifestyle products starting with this Valentine’s Day themed card box! Perfect timing.

More Valentine’s ideas later this weekend! There is never enough love to share with others!! xoxo

It’s A Good Thing

Martha Stewart mailed out her holiday cards yesterday. It’s true (she also weight trained at some point in the day, such the ambitious woman). And as I read this in the beautiful December issue of Living, instead of feeling anxious, agitated and downright pissed off, I grinned and took a deep breath. Not because I had already sent mine out weeks ago. Oh, no. I smiled because I made the decision not to send holiday cards out this year. Repeat, THIS YEAR.

Earlier on today I shared this bit of news with my best friend Kari while we toasted nuts, fed Bea and caught up on our lives. Knowing me as well she does, her mouth hit the floor. “You’re not?!” she cried. Another good friend, Ellen, felt it was against what I stand for (and not great for business) to forgo mailing out a holiday greeting. And I get it. I am all about mailing words and images of peace, love and cute babies. But here’s the deal, one thing had to go this year and it happens to be the annual card. I think everyone needs a break every so often, and this was my year. And when I made this decision, I felt relief and joy because I knew this gave me more time to play with the kids, listen to holiday tunes, bake, write in my journal and gaze at the tree while the fire burns. No guilt involved.

However, one thing I have learned from owning a paper goods store over the past few months is a trend I was afraid to confirm. The general public is not purchasing the simple holiday card. Although I have sold sets here and there, they are usually purchased for teachers, bosses or people who you might not be as close to. These days everyone is all about designing their holiday picture card online. And why not when you look at the fabulous selections and deals?

You have minted, tinyprints, Shutterfly, Pinhole Press, polka dot Design, and pear tree greetings to just name a few. Thousands of designs, all with great deals of course.

Photo Christmas Cards  -- Photo Paper Ombre Greeting

Graphic Glee - Flat Holiday Greeting Cards - Robyn Miller - White : Front

Image of Thin Modern

Vintage Christmas - Christmas Cards - Sarah Hawkins Designs - Scarlet - Red : Front

The one thing I do miss with these pictures is the personal touch. The written name, the quick update, the personal wishes from one family to another. Of course I love seeing the changes with children over the years which can only be seen in the pictures. But something has been lost in today’s holiday card. And I’m not sure if we’ll be going back.

Joyeux Noel Set

One thing I have decided, instead of sending out our annual family photo, I will be using a few of the holiday cards from Brown Ink Paper Goods, adding a picture from instagram and mailing out a handwritten letter to a small group of friends and family who I haven’t connected with in awhile. And I can do all of this in a few hours, sitting beside the tree with Johnny Mathis in the background. However you reach out to your loved ones, Martha would feel it’s a good thing.


You can smell it in the air. A mix of excitement for people joining together, breathing in the seasonal air and letting out a big Ahhhhh while reminding one another all there is to appreciate in life.Easy Fall Arrangement

Last year I began the tradition of asking our guests to fill out a card with a thankful thought from the past year. As people reflected on the year, conversations brewed over all that had taken place and all that we hold dear to our hearts. Tomorrow they will have a chance to reflect again on what they have felt appreciative for over last year. 

If you have time to stop by Paper Source you can grab these cards or just make them up at home with colored paper. Daily Candy knocked off my idea (yeah right) with their own version, a gratitude jar, which again creates a time to reflect. That does not happen often enough these days.

What other ways can you spice up the table with a personal handwriting touch? Handwritten place cards are wonderful gesture to make your guests feel important. Tonight the plan is for the boys to sit down with festive stamps and leaves at hand and let loose on the place cards. But if you are looking for a more personal, adult touch and have a sewing machine handy…

…these stitched place cards are pretty spectacular! Or even grab a bunch of lemons to use as place card holders and add a scripted Aunt Lucy to bring a burst of color to the table.


Trivia on Thanksgiving? That’s a way to keep the converstaion going with Uncle Frank who would rather chat about his hunting adventures this fall. Our reliable Martha Stewart even created a template to download to make it easy to create even this evening.

The Thankful Tree

This Thankful Free can welcome the guests with autumn colors and a perfect way for one to express what they are grateful for in their lives.

These I Am Thankful printables could be used for decorations, a napkin ring or another conversation piece on all there is to appreciate.

But we must think about the kiddos, right?

Simple Lovely created a great idea to keep the kids busy during the meal and also scribble out a a few thoughts of their own.

You can never go wrong with crayons and paper at the kids table! Make it simple. Or…

Bring out the rainbow of colors for celebration like the folks at Design Sponge are all about. Over the top for some, perfect for others.

Where ever you do find yourself tomorrow, we hope you find a few of those Ahhhhh moments when you squeeze that person beside you and remember that even in the midst of the unknown we truly do have so much about which to be grateful.

Spooky Scribbles

The ghosts and goblins are arriving in just one week but you still have a chance to invite the gang over for a last minute Halloween Party. And with these free Halloween downloads from Design Mom Gabrielle Blair, sending out invitations is a snip snap.


 Martha Stewart skeleton invitation will scare the skin off your guests


Nothing like a toe tag invite from blush printables

Or if you simply want to send a few spooky scribbles out to those you love…

…head to Paper Source where you can find all sorts of creepy stationery and stamps. It was a great excuse for Emmett to practice writing out his friends’ names too!

Don’t forget to make the envelope extra memorable with one of these scary stamps (only two day delivery). After much discussion, the boys decided on the Happy Halloween postage for their cards.

Before I begin my next project (stay tuned for more on the postcard swap!) let’s hear it for our guest bloggers by the way!! Thanks Alecia and Jenni. Way to get people to grab a pen.

Mum’s the Word

Mother’s Day is just over a week away. And there are plenty of resources out there to make a mother, grandmother, sister, or anyone who represents a mother figure in your life, smile. Always good to start with a greeting.

Emmett noticed this card from Man vs. George as he was looking over my shoulder and thought his Nonni (whose partner is from Oz) would love this kangaroo image. Always nice to find a unique greeting for the individual.



 A library and book themed card is particularly perfect for Grandma Sally who is a lover of the library. This uses an authentic removable library card – it’s even tucked into a book card pocket.


Since dahlias are my favorite flower, (aside from gardenias, or course), I’m hoping my boys might point their dad in this direction.


Although this one symbolizes my life even more these days, sad but true!!

For all of you Twin Citians, there are a few events with Mother’s Day themes going on…

Lunalux’s monthly Stationery Saturday theme has Moms in mind by providing card options with orange flowers, red apples, and teal medallions printed with letterpress on cotton monarch flats.  Tomorrow (Saturday May 5) between 11-6 you can personalize stationery the old fashioned way and present a gift to your mother which you actually had a part in making. You could even call it homemade. Or get your husband down to Lunalux and have him do it. (See Nick in action below. An extra workout for the day.)


If you’d rather be creating a journal check out the gift making studio at eeCee bb. If you check back to a previous post of mine, making journals is quite the collaboration.

 eeCee bb 

Mother’s DAY
Gift Making Studios for parent and child
on offer now for your favorite sweet mama.
Make a unique artful present with
eeCee bb Collaborative Design
…with your child for YOUR mom,
or your child for his or her mom.
(that last bit is your cue dads…)

Since this is all top secret 
phone or email eeCee bb for more information
and to arrange a time for your special studio.
See you soon for lots of goodness and fun for MOM…

Of course, leave it to Martha to push the Make-Your-Own journal for Mother’s Day.

For those of you with less time on your hands…

The Just Between Us journal from Paper Source was created from a mother-and-daughter team who had been journaling together since Sophie was 9 years-old. Especially with life as busy as it can be, I believe journaling together is ideal for keeping a relationship as honest and sacred as possible.

 Last year for Mother’s Day I gave my mom this journal from Paper Source.

Although this was a gift to her, in many ways it’s a gift for myself and my kids. The interview-styled book asks questions like, “Who are the people you admire the most? What do you remember about the birth of your children? What music did you grow up listening to?”.  All those questions you wish you had asked your mom over the years, and even if you did, this journal documents the wonderful details of her life and can be shared for years to come.

That’s what it’s all about. Giving life to the parts of our lives which we value the most and honoring those with us today or with us in spirit.