Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I know I said no more Valentines, but I couldn't resist. I was asked to make a fortune teller (a/k/a cootie catcher. I never know what to call these. I always referred to them as fortune teller, but it seems cootie catcher is the more common term) template for a little girl's Valentine's Day Birthday, and it turned out so cute that I just had to modify it for a Valentine. Just click on the image to enlarge and drag to your desktop. Once it's printed, trim to a 7X7 square and fold.

For more printable, last-minute Valentines, check out these great freebies:
Owl Valentines from Living Locurto.
Fun and Colorful Valentines from Secret Agent Josephine
Lollipop Holder Valentines from Tricia Rennea
Snail Valentines from Zakka Life
Beautiful Je T'aime Valentines from none other than The Black Apple

All ready to print so noone will ever know that you were a last-minute Suzy. So go ahead, spread the love!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


With all the First Communion photos that I'm starting to see posting to Facebook, I'm getting a little nostalgic for my beautiful Petunia's First Communion (and looking forward to Peanut's which is still a couple of years away) so I thought I'd repost the pretty little silhouette theme that we did for her, in purple, per her request!

This was a big day for her, so she was sure to be very specific about what she wanted for her party. It was requested that I do a silhouette of her with her hair in a bun (yes, she was that specific) and she would also wear her hair in a bun on the day of the communion. Oh, and the color scheme had to be purple.

We carried the use of silhouette into the party decor and added doilies to the banners to give them that extra girly touch.

And a party wouldn't be a party around here without a few tissue poms!

Unfortunately, I did not get a good shot of the cake, but it featured the same silhouette done in fondant (shown above), placed on the cake cameo style. I cut the silhouette out of the fondant myself and delivered it to the bakery for them to place on the cake. I had a premonition that if I brought in a template of the silhouette and asked them to create it for me, I would be promptly escorted from the premises and banned for life. I didn't want to risk it.

The highlight of the party turned out to be the candy bar that we set up for do-it-yourself party favors. I made up little bags for each guest to fill to their heart's content and everyone loved it - adults and children alike.

I had intended to fill the candy bar with all purple and white candy; however, when the time came, it just didn't make sense to spend the extra money on candy that perfectly matched the theme. Even now, it's hard for me to say that, but purple and white candy would have cost 10 times as much as the pastel display shown above. Yes, you read that correctly - 10X!! To be honest, as I was filling the jars I was a bit disappointed that I hadn't spent the extra money, but once I added the ribbons and labels to the jars I was really happy with how it looked. And of course, none of the guests even noticed. So my little budget lesson for the day: purple candy was absolutely not worth the cost for a small family party like this. Now, if it were a wedding or shower...

Speaking of showers, the classic style of the silhouette used for this party would be perfect for a bridal shower, birthday party (I'm thinking Sweet 16!) or graduation. Just change the color palette to match the style and sophistication of your event; the base decor is all very simple, classic and easily adaptable to suit whatever type of party you are planning.

For us, it was a First Communion and there's no denying that the girl of honor was thrilled with how it all turned out.

Edited to add: Photo Thank You Note

Thursday, April 5, 2012



Did you know that children on the autism spectrum experience color more intensely than we do?

With 1 in every 88 children today diagnosed with Autism, I am sure that all of us have been TOUCHED and INSPIRED by a child on the Autism spectrum. I am thrilled and honored to
be able to help Autism Speaks with the gorgeous, limited edition Shine Bracelet ( Who knew supporting a great cause could be so pretty?! Stella & Dot has designed the Shine Bracelet to reflect the vibrant rainbow of colors that make up an autistic child's world. (oh my gosh, the symbolism of that is enough to bring anyone to tears!)

Pleas help shine the light on Autism by supporting Autism Research & Awareness, ­20% of the proceeds from the sale of the Shine bracelet. Additionally, to be sure that we are able to make as great of a contribution possible, 20% of the proceeds of the Sole, Revival and Toujours bracelets will be donated as well! I am sure you know plenty of people who would just love one of these gorgeous bracelets for their birthday, mother's day or just because they are so cute and supporting an incredibly worthy cause. Each bracelet arrives in less than a week and is beautifully packaged and ready to give. Just add a bow to the gorgeous box and you're done!

In October, together we raised $140,000 for the BCRF. I have no doubt that we can outSHINE those numbers for Autism Speaks.

My personal goal is to sell 100 bracelets. Please message me or go directly to if you would like to make this the perfect gift for someone - or you!!

Want to make an even greater impact and score some FREE jewels?!

* Order (or collect orders for) 5 or more bracelets and you'll be gifted a piece from Stella & Dot's new summer capsule collection!

* Order (or collect orders for) 10 or more bracelets and go on a $75 Stella & Dot shopping spree on us!

Here's the giveaway:
For every bracelet you order, you will be entered to win a piece from Stella & Dot's gorgeous new Summer capsule collection to be debut on April 10th. Can't show you yet, but trust me, it's gorgeous!! Share this post on your FB page, twitter or blog and you'll receive additional entries for each.

Let's get together and show our support for this wonderful cause - and look great doing it!!!

Monday, April 2, 2012


As promised, I am back with a free template download for Easter! I love offering templates here, mostly because of the incredible response that I get from all of you. I cannot thank you enough for your kind comments, emails and notes of thanks each time I post a template.

So as an extra little thanks, I have made this Easter template multi-purposed! These fun little Easter-themed punch outs can be used as little favor or gift tags, cupcake picks or labels. I have done them in three colors for a bit of fun and to match all of your Easter needs. Simply download the template here and print! The template is designed for use with a 2.5 inch circle punch for perfect circles every time. And do you know the little trick when using punches? I'm sure you do, but just in case: flip your circle punch over and use it upside down. That way, you can line the circle up perfectly with the design before you punch. (see photo below)

Print the template on label sheets to make stickers for favors or gifts...

or on cardstock for tags and cupcakes picks...

Note: I did not photograph the actual Bunny Cupcake pick because I did not have a cupcake handy today. The photo above is very similar, but saved me the embarrassment of buying and eating a cupcake just for the photo. (not that I didn't consider it, believe me!)

If you have trouble with the download, please feel free to email me here. I'd love to hear how you're using the template, so drop me a line and let me know. Enjoy!

Monday, March 5, 2012


Living in the Boston area, St. Patrick's Day is a pretty big deal, so we always like to do a little something special to celebrate the day. An all-time favorite of ours since the preschool years (keep in mind that Pumpkin is now ten!) has been to hand out lucky pennies! This is honestly the simplest classroom handout you will ever do, but the kids get so excited that you would think you just handed them a nugget of gold.

The first step is to go to the bank and get some shiny new pennies. Over the years, my luck with the banks in my area have been mixed. Some years it's no problem at all, other years I have been told that they do not have any new pennies. No new pennies?!?!! How is this possible? I'm not sure, but if this happens to you as well, you can take the alternate route of cleaning some pennies yourself (go here for penny cleaning formula). If you clean them yourself, they will not be as shiny as if they were new, but the kids do not notice at all, so not to worry.

Once you have the pennies, you have already completed the most time-consuming part of this project! Simply download the design template here, print on the cardstock of your choice and cut as indicated. (Hint: the cards are 3X3 squares) Then attach the pennies to the cards using glue or double-sided tape and you're done! We usually put the cards in small glassine or cellophane envelopes to hand them out, but only because I tend to have those types of supplies on hand. The cards are perfectly fine to hand out as is.

Everyone can use a little extra luck now and again, so have fun with this quick and easy project and maybe as you're spreading some cheer, you'll find yourself a bit o' gold at the end of the rainbow this St. Patrick's Day.

Oh, and no shenanigans! OK, maybe a little...

Thursday, August 11, 2011


After a very busy Day One with the printing press project, I decided to go with a more laid back approach for day two. As Petunia reminded me - "Not everyone is used to your pace!" Ha! Out of the mouths of babes. So I decided to use some less ambitious "filler" projects I had in mind, link them with a common theme and enjoy a slower-paced day with the girls.

The first project we took on was a butterfly suncatcher. I did not get a great shot of these but you can see the girls holding them in the pic above. We had talked a bit the day before about how nothing in nature is perfect (as the girls stressed about free-handing their sea creatures), so I took the opportunity to link that discussion to the butterflies. While nothing in nature is perfect, some things are symmetrical! The girls were encouraged to paint their suncatchers in a symmetrical pattern although, it was not mandatory as I did not want to stifle anyone's creativity. It is summer, after all!

We then used the same gel paint with it's beautiful iridescent quality to paint one-half of a butterfly free-hand. We folded a large paper in half, using the middle seam as the middle of the butterfly body and the girls painted the butterfly however they wished. I realized that children must not do a lot of free-hand drawing and painting in school because they were very intimidated to just put paint brush to paper. I was happy to encourage them to just go for it because the results were magnificent! Once they completed half the butterfly, they unfolded the paper and folded it over again to make an impression of the paint on the other side. The girls were thrilled when they pulled back the paper and saw the results!

These two projects brought us right to lunch time so after lunch, I thought we'd have a little fun! I brought out a huge bucket of chalk, had the girls line up down the driveway and team up to trace each other. The idea was that the silhouettes of themselves loosely followed the symmetry theme (remember, this was a laid back fun day!) and I really wanted to encourage more drawing as the girls seemed so intimidated by it. Chalk is not permanent so I thought they'd be more free with their creations.

The girls really had a lot of fun with this and planned out exactly how they wanted to be traced to create the drawing that they had in mind. We had everything from mermaids...

to models walking the runway...and just about everything in between. We then had a quick minute to get started on a project that will be completed on day four. So you'll have to wait until then to see it.

Tomorrow, break's over! We're back at it with some beautiful nature printing and bookbinding!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Another summer means another year of Art Camp, one of my favorite weeks of the year!!! This year we went all out with a larger group and some awesome projects that we have never done before!

Because we had more girls, I had much less time to take pictures so you'll have to fill in some gaps with your imagination. The theme for Day One was Printmaking and I absolutely adored this project. We started the day by covering some artist canvas with sand. The sanded canvases would be the base to display our prints. While we were at it, we covered some little treasure boxes with sand as well just for an extra little bonus. We were making a mess with sand anyway, why not?

Then each girl was given a rectangle of fun foam and told to free hand a drawing of any sea creature and cut it out. The details of the creature did not matter, it was the shape itself that we were going for. We had whales, dolphins, star fish, squid, the variety that the girls came up with was tremendous!

After each girl cut out her sea creature, I attached each one to a mailing cylinder that I had on hand with hot glue making our own, homemade printing press! So cool, right?! We then rolled out long sheets of paper down the driveway, "inked" up the press with paint and rolled the press along the paper, stopping to re-ink as needed. This created a beautiful repeating pattern of all of the sea creatures. I have to admit that the girls thought this was a lot of trouble to go through to get a print when they could have just inked up their one creature and printed it on to paper but once they saw the beautiful result, I think they were on board. After all, anyone can use a stamp - we made a printing press!!

After the was dry, we studied the prints that were made and each girl chose a section of the print that included the sea creature that they had created. We then mounted the print to the sanded canvas and embellished with shells! The results were really beautiful. While we were at it, we also embellished the little treasure boxes with shells for an additional little keepsake.

So that was it, Art Camp day one! Here is a shot of the printing press after we had used it and little Peanut with her completed project. She's so proud to keep up with the big girls!

Come back tomorrow to find out what we did on Day Two! (I'll give you a hint, the topic was symmetry).