Monday, September 29, 2008


{please excuse the blur, it's a very overcast day - not great for crisp shots}

ETA: Template now available for download here!

Do you remember the cootie catchers (also known as fortune tellers) that you used to make and pass to your friends under desks in class? Well, this preteen classic is making a comeback! (or maybe it never left?) Fortune tellers are becoming increasingly popular as party favors, additions to gift bags and hotel bags and as a way to announce donations to charity in lieu of favors at weddings and other events.

I have found them to be especially fun in birthday favor bags for the 30-something set. It's like a giant leap back in time, only this time, there are cocktails! And because I can't toss a stone without hitting a milestone birthday of a friend or loved one this year (including my own!), I have decided to give you all a gift. I have created a pdf file of the birthday cootie catcher shown and will email it to anyone who wants it! (I wanted to have it available for download, but can't seem to figure that out. I'll keep working on it.) Simply email me your request or leave your email address in the comments and I will send it along. Once you have the file, you can print it out as many times as you like. Then all you have to do is trim the paper and fold.

Have a particular event in mind? Ask nicely and I'll even customize it for you before emailing. Just let me know if you'd like to replace "FRIEND" with a name or add custom fortunes to the center and I'll be happy to do it for you. This service will be available until I become overwhelmed with requests. I'll let you know when/if that happens.

Completely custom cootie catchers for weddings and other events will be added to my shoppe sometime next week. Want to inquire before then, just drop me a line ( and I'll be happy to work with you! 

A note about printing: fortune tellers look and hold up best when printed on a crisp paper like parchment paper.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


I have a confession to make: I don't go ga-ga over Amy Butler. Now don't get me wrong, her designs are fantastic, beautiful colors, wonderful patterns; it's just that her stuff is everywhere. I dare you to click more than five times on Etsy without seeing something made with her fabric. And there's a reason for that, I know, but I've just grown a little weary of amy, amy, amy.

But this, THIS just cannot be ignored. Amy Butler has released a new line of dinnerware that is make-you-want-to-host-thanksgiving-and-new-year's-and-president's-day beautiful. Suffice to say, I am in love!

Friday, September 26, 2008


OK I know it's late, but it's still Friday right? Earlier today, Peanut and I put every commenter's name in her butterfly backpack and Peanut drew the winner of the Personalized Silhouette Print. Each person was only entered once, despite the number of times they commented. And now, without further ado, the winner is......................Becky!!!!!

Becky's comment was: "I like the ice skater, simply because it's the closest you have to a ballerina. Please do a ballerina next. My daughter would love it." Well Becky, as you can see, I did create a ballerina, but you are free to choose any print you would like. So email me with your information and your choice and I will send your winnings right out to you.

Congratulations Becky!!!!

P.S. I do have photos of the drawing that I will post for all those interested. I just need to wait for my camera batteries to recharge.

P.P.S. For those of you who did not win, be sure to take advantage of the introductory price of $16 available until next Friday!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


{photo courtesy of}

So is everyone watching Top Design? I really like this season so far and the contestants are a fun, eclectic group with some serious credentials, but what really strikes me this season is Todd Oldham's role as mentor. Did you notice how he quietly slips into the rooms and gently gives the most perfectly appropriate and brilliant advice ever?  I have visions of him paying me a visit during my daily routine, just when I'm getting frazzled and starting to feel overwhelmed, and saying:

"Jo-Ann, you're doing great. Hmmm, I see Petunia has cheerleading practice again tonight. Why don't you think about sending Pumpkin to a friends house after school so he won't be bored at the practice and have Peanut run laps around the house for ten minutes just before you leave so she won't have the energy to climb out of her carriage and will just sit and drink her milk. Think about that, I think it may work."


"OK, you're making chicken for dinner again. How about instead of grilling it this time, put it in a pan with those potatoes and carrots you have to use up, add some fresh herbs that look neglected in your garden and broil the whole thing in one pan for an easy fall dinner."

Who doesn't need a Todd Oldham in their life! Do you think he makes house calls?

So tell me - are you watching? What are your impressions? What advice would Todd Oldham give you if he slipped into your house in the middle of the day? Come on, I want to hear it - the good, the bad and the ugly!

P.S. Enter giveaway here. Deadline tonight at 10 pm eastern time.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Thank you all so much for all of your input and requests. I have added some new designs based on your suggestions and will be adding a couple more before the end of the week. Here are the requested ballerina, gymnast, football player and hockey player.

I have also added a new feature to the sidebar of my shop showing the newest items. This will obviously change frequently as I get the shop up and running, but it's a quick way to see the newest designs added. 

Thank you again for all of your input, it is truly appreciated! And if you haven't already, don't forget to enter the giveaway by browsing through my shop and then coming back here to tell me your favorite design. Entries will be accepted until 10pm eastern time on Thursday with a winner being announced on Friday!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Update: The Modern Hockey Silhouette has been added here. The Classic Reading Girl Silhouettes have been added here. There are two to choose from (I use them both for bookplates so I had them ready to go). Just click on the right arrow to see the second design. Still to come, football, soccer and quite possibly a cyclist.

Thanks so much for the ideas! I truly appreciate your input. ♥

So here's the big news! Well, big to me because I've been working my bu...let's just say I've been working hard. I am finally ready for a soft opening of the new
Pumpkin Petunia website. So, I guess it's soft news -  umm, no I've had too many late nights for that. I'm still going to go with BIG. (I'm sleep deprived, don't judge). And what makes this news even more exciting is that I'm also introducing something new - Prints! While I have always done silhouettes for invites and party goods, these have almost always been custom silhouettes created for a very specific purpose (like this). Now I have put together oodles of stock designs ready and waiting to be personalized to suit every customers whim and fancy!

So about these prints. First the technical stuff: each design is printed on beautiful 100 lb. linen cardstock (ask me how long I spent in the paper warehouse choosing just the right weight and finish. nevermind, don't ask; the warehouse manager - hi Roger! - is already trying to have me committed. or at least banned. although I believe peanut is welcome any time.)  They are printed using archival inks, size 8X10 on 8.5 X 11 paper with the perfect border for framing. Frames will also be available in the shop for an additional charge.

There are two design categories: modern and traditional and I just can't decide which I love more! It totally depends on the recipient, of course. The more traditional designs are pictured above and the more modern designs are below. (note: i have uploaded these a gazillion times at different resolutions and they still look a little wonky. refer to the photos on my website for nice, crisp images).

Don't you just love the guitar hero? LOVE it! As you select a product in the shop and arrow through the pictures, you will see even more design and color options and I will be adding even more over the next couple of days. I have already had a request for football and soccer (boy and girl) so I'm working on those now. The prints are available for a limited time at the introductory price of $16, so shop now before the price goes up!

I will of course still be offering my custom silhouette service where you send a photo and I create a custom silhouette to be framed or printed on invites, notecards, etc. I absolutely love doing those and would never dream of stopping. Now, you just have more options to suit all of your needs.

Now for the fun part. It's GIVEAWAY time! All you have to do is check out the designs in my shop and let me know which you like best. Comment by Thursday at 10 PM eastern time and I will announce a winner on Friday. The winner will receive the print of their choice (it does not need to be the one chosen as your fave) personalized to their specifications of color, font, etc. So spread the word, because it's almost holiday time and this would make a great gift!

P.S. Holiday 2008 will debut on October 1st. There I said it, now it has to be true.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Happy first day.

Tomorrow - a big announcement (and quite possibly a fun giveaway)!

Friday, September 19, 2008


I've been working especially hard finalizing the Holiday '08 line of cards and gifts for the big relaunch of the Pumpkin Petunia website. Since I haven't had time to blog, I thought I'd give you a sneak peek of what I'll be posting about on Monday. I am so excited to show you what I've been working on!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


keep these appointments. {via dsharp}

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


That's right! Free to the first one million readers of my blog who have paper in their printer and know how to fold!  OK, so it's made out of paper, but still. How stinking cute is this?!?? Just go to the Hermes website and click on "travel the world of Hermes" to print out these adorable bag templates. There are seven styles to choose from (I like the red balloons best) and there's even a blank to decorate any way your heart desires. I definitely see some glitter in this Kelly's future. So fun to do as a party craft or just on a rainy afternoon with your little girl. 

But beyond the obvious, how about using these as the base for party invitations for a bachelorette party, bridesmaids lunch or girl's night out? You could even plan a girl's night in with this bag as the main event. A couple of bottles of wine, some paper, a printer...what could be more fun? Once everyone is finished with their designs, you could display the bags boutique style, call in some expert judges and award prizes based on various categories: most creative, most outrageous, best design, etc.  Or, you could just drink more wine. ; ) End the night with little treats for the girls to put in their Kellys as they leave - I'm thinking chocolate, but I'm always thinking chocolate - and your girl's night is complete, favor and all!

This is just too fun. I may have to throw myself a birthday party this year just to get my girls together for some design time. Let me know what you do with yours!


When my vast readership speaks, I listen. How could I not? With all these people crowding around here trying to get a peek at what I have to say, there's liable to be a riot if I don't respond. So when one fifth of my readership (one person) requested a hairclip tutorial, I just had to oblige. Kat, this one's for you!

Since I have never written a tutorial before (and since my to-do list is 20 miles long), I decided to keep it simple and go out into the vast resource that is blogland and find a tutorial that uses the same technique that I use to create the hairclips. Why reinvent the wheel when your children need clean underwear and holiday card season is fast approaching? So basically, I'm cheating. But you still get the info, so we all win!

So before we head over to the borrowed tutorial, there are some instructions that I need to give here first. 

Supplies for one clip:
Alligator hair clip (these are the pinchy kind that you press the end and they open up)
Grosgrain ribbon (3/8" width)
Glue gun and glue sticks (I have tried other glue trying to be fancy, but hot glue works best)
Felt in three coordinating colors
One Button
Embroidery thread in coordinating color
A square of wax or parchment paper (this is used to pinch between the clip so when you're gluing the glue doesn't stick the clip closed)

To create the felt flower, simply cut out three different flower shapes out of three coordinating colored felt. The largest should be about 2" in diameter, the middle 1 1/2" and the smallest about 1". Once they are cut out, stack them on top of each other, center a button on top of the stack and sew on the button in a contrasting piece of embroidery thread. Then you can embellish with the thread if you want to. It only takes a minute to make a few stitches and add a little detail. 

Now put the flower aside and head on over to The Green Wife for her ribbon covered hairclip tutorial but stop before she adds the ribbon bow. You won't need the ribbon bow, you have that adorable flower that you just created. 

Oh, and after you glue the first side (see above photo), insert the square of wax paper between the clip prongs so that you don't glue the clip shut. You'll thank me later. OK, then come back here!

Now your clip should look like this, only it should still have your little square of wax paper between the clips. Now all you have to do is glue on your felt flower, let that dry a minute, remove the wax paper and you're done!

Then your little angel can stuff a cupcake in her mouth like she hasn't eaten in weeks and she'll still look cute doing it! No one will even notice that she was so ravenous that she didn't even bother to remove the doggie cupcake pick. They'll be too busy oohing and aahing over the adorable felt hairclip. See - it's multi-purpose!

Thank you The Green Wife for creating a wonderful tutorial so that I didn't have to.♥

Sunday, September 14, 2008


When it comes to photos of my children, I have always been drawn to black and white photography. There was something about the quirky expressions and creamy skin of a newborn captured in black and white that made my heart skip a beat. But lately, I find myself drawn to the other side. No, not the dark side, the bright and fun side of full-color photography.

This change has been reflected in my professional life as well. Where I once designed photo cards almost exclusively in black and white, I am finding myself creating designs around color photographs more and more. There was a time in the very recent past where I would create a group of prototypes around a client's photo that included just one, obligatory design based on a color photo. Now, I am finding myself designing around full-color photos more and more. This change has come about mostly due to client preference and client request. At first I resisted, wishing they would choose my favorite designs that seemed to always focus on black and whites. 

But now, I'm wondering if my signature style is evolving into one that embraces the vibrancy of color photography. I have a feeling that Holiday 2008 will feature a record number of  full-color photo selections as I see the preferences of my clients evolve. Where they once considered black and white photography "something different", the sweeping popularity of b&w has caused the tide to turn and full-color designs are quickly becoming the new something different.

As for my own personal preference, the jury is still out. I have to admit that I still almost immediately convert my favorite photos to black and white. The difference now is that, once the photo is cropped and edited, I am sure to save a copy in full-color as well. Looking at them side by side, I'm still torn and am not sure which way my heart is leaning.

So what do you think? Do you prefer the color or the b&w photo of each of my girls? And in general, is it black and white or color photography that has your heart? I'd love to hear!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Ez and Melissa at the beautiful blog Creature Comforts have a running challenge called Cheap Chic. The challenge is to put together a budget minded outfit that reflects your personal style. The theme for the current challenge is Shopping with the Girls! This challenge was just too fun to resist, so I just had to put my mile-long to do list aside for just a moment to put this together. 

I decided to take the challenge a couple of steps further so that it would realistically fit into my life. I would never, ever go from store to store putting together an outfit, so I decided to make one stop shopping part of my challenge. And because I absolutely LOVE a bargain, I decided to shop at a store that is not necessarily known for it's "cheap chic."  Consider it my little way of sticking it to the man ; ) So my cheap chic outfit to wear shopping with the girls is entirely from J. Crew and it is absolutely (for better or worse) something that I would definitely wear. As a matter of fact, I do own many of the pieces shown.

Here is the breakdown! (note: some things sold out while I was posting, so I was unable to create a link)

Ruffle Collar Pique Henley: $19.99
Petite City Fit Chino (petite on sale - woot!): $19.99
Mendocino Jacket: $19.99 (no, that's not a typo!)
Soiree Laminated-canvas Bag (so practical!): $49.99

GRAND TOTAL: $199.94!

Ok, now I admit that I would consider the bag moderately priced - not necessarily cheap. And the necklace? Even though it's on sale, it would be a total splurge for me. But I did so well on the other pieces, I just had to finish off the outfit with something great and that necklace just had to be included.  So I could have done better with the accessories had I gone to Old Navy or Target, but I would never shop that way. I just do not have the time or the inclination to go running around town. And you have to admit, a complete outfit from J.Crew for under $200 is pretty fantastic!

Monday, September 8, 2008


I'm not sure if you've noticed the sign over there on the sidebar ==>
but we're having a sale over at Wish Upon a Necklace! Our first sale ever and it's a really big one. We're selling off all of our sterling silver wish necklaces for only $20 each (that's a saving of $8!!!!) to make room for a whole new line of wish necklaces to be introduced this fall! That's right, after four years, we're going to shake things up a bit at Wish Upon a Necklace. The new line will coincide with an exciting new redesign of our online shop! Big doings here at corporate headquarters. ; )

So if you've been meaning to buy a starfish, shamrock, flower, heart, ballet slipper, cheerleader megaphone or Hope wish necklace but just haven't gotten around to it, you better act fast. Because once they're gone, they're gone! Except for the shamrock, those are sold out already but my friend wants one and I couldn't stand the begging and pleading any longer so I said that I'd make it for her. Her name is Colleen - how do you tell Colleen that she can't have a shamrock? Seriously. Anyway, since I'm making one for her, I'm happy to make one for you too. Just let me know by comment or email that you want to ride on the coattails of Colleen and get a last-minute shamrock wish necklace. Then go ahead to the Wish Upon a Necklace website and make your purchase and I will make it for you right away. But after I make up this batch of shamrocks - that's it! (and this time I mean it).

Friday, September 5, 2008


Have you ever looked at something simple and thought: "Oh my gosh, that is genius!"? (confit set courtesy of  Bailey's.) My mother's birthday party (not until June - it's a milestone, I won't say which milestone) is now being planned around this little bit of brilliance. And you know I'm totally serious. Why didn't I think to bend a spoon like that?

Thursday, September 4, 2008


There's a lot going on here at Pumpkin Petunia, including a good dose of wedding fever! In the midst of party guy painting our entire downstairs, I am diligently working on designs for several weddings. So I thought I'd give you a peek at what I've been doing while woefully neglecting my blog. 

Here are some samples for a breathtakingly beautiful wedding that I am working on with a very formal, uptown vibe. The exclamation point on this design is a beautiful silhouette of the bride and groom used very sparingly on just the right accents for maximum effect. (names and dates have been changed to protect the innocent). Isn't the bride lovely in silhouette? She is lovely in person too, but her silhouette - classic beauty.  (I'll post more on silhouettes and how I create them sometime next week, so keep checking back.)

The silhouette will be coupled with some lovely monograms on the table names, escort cards and other details throughout the ceremony and reception.

Every time I get a call from an excited bride, the first thing I do is ask her about names: her name, her fiance's name and the name they will share or the individual names they will be keeping. As she gives me the rundown, I am  picturing the flow of the names and initials in various typefaces and scrolling monograms. (dork - I know! but I can't help it). 

Often brides will use a combination of monograms to tie together several events taking place over the course of the weekend. They may use a more casual monogram for hotel bags and luncheons while saving the more formal designs for the ceremony and reception. I love it when I can pass on my obsessions to an unsuspecting client. 

I looooove creating monograms for brides. Really, I'm obsessed with it. Sometimes, even after they have chosen their designs, I keep creating just because their names are beautifully balanced or the last name has just the right letter combination. It's a sickness, I know. But if I'm wrong, I don't wanna right! ; )

Monday, September 1, 2008


A sweet little party for a sweet little girl with matching invitations (not pictured), custom cupcake toppers, personalized water bottles and adorable hairclip party favors. 

And we can't forget the coordinating thank you notes. This is girly-girl style at its absolute best - sweet and fun!