October, 2011

last day for early bird special on holiday cards!

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just a reminder – today is the last day to place your order for holiday cards to get the early bird pricing! to place your order, all you have to do is email me and let me know how many cards you would like.  we’re real official around these parts.

happy halloween by the way!  we’re taking our little monkey (rush) and just hatched chick (rinne…if the costume fits) to the parade on our street.  i think i’m way more excited than they are :)

connor’s thomas the train 2nd birthday party

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ok, we all know how little people love things like elmo (example a), barney (example b) and thomas the train…

just a quick aside.  see how i used the word “things” in the above sentence?  i have a complex about using the word “thing(s)” given to me by my 10th grade english teacher, mr. blankenship.  he would give anyone an automatic F on a writing assignment if it contained the word “thing.”  he said it wasn’t descriptive enough and loathed the sight of it.  so all semester his students including yours truly would pain themselves to find ways around it…and breathe a sigh of relief when we were done with his class.  but really, what are thomas the train, elmo and barney…non-living, animate, fictional beings?  yes, that’s better…

alright, back to the matter at hand!  my friend from college andrea’s precious older son was turning 2, and he loves thomas the train.  she came up with the idea to do a train ticket as the invitation – how fun is that?!  you get all of the thomas-ness and train theme with none of the blue smiling face i know you can picture in your mind.  and maybe your sleep depending on if you have sons and how old they are.  we paired them with kraft paper envelopes and i swear you could mistake them for your own amtrak stub…

now for the party.  first of all, i have to let you know that andrea gave birth to her second son (his birth announcement to be featured soon!) in early september…approximately one month prior to this soiree.  that’s in the thick of it, people.  you’re getting no sleep and you’ve gotten no sleep for a month…you’re running after a wild toddler all day…you (well, if you’re normal) are still in full-fledged maternity duds…you get my drift.  i was just there!  i’m still there!  anyhow, i am convinced andrea is a superhuman being because she pulled off this party doing the preparation work herself – i bow down.  check out her amazing handiwork and give her a virtual round of applause.

ok, is this cake not unbelievable?!  i love me some fondant.

insert amazing view.  i wouldn’t mind enjoying a blue train cookie on this porch!

and look at this cute-as-pie birthday boy!!  i’d say from that smile he had a great time at his train fete…

happy birthday connor!!!


74 degrees and sunny

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the weather in georgia yesterday was a great excuse to put rinne in a little sunsuit i’ve been dying to get her in and have a picture party!  and, we had just come from our holiday card photograph mini-session so rush was out of his pajamas for a change (i kid…kinda).  

oh i just love these two!

and the little sweetpea pillow was handmade by the immensely talented merrell mcginness…isn’t it the cutest thing evah?!



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did i scare you with that boo?  if not, these cupcakes definitely will.  the spider wrappers are major spooky.

so i promise i’m not turning this into a food blog, but man – something about fall just makes me want to put on an apron, get the stand mixer going and BAKE.   i made real simple’s pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting the other night and golly gee, are they good.  i followed the recipe exactly, except instead of be lured into spending $5 on “pumpkin pie spice” (pshaw – i’d rather spend $5 on a pumpkin spice latte!  right?!), i just added pinches of nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and ginger.  oh and clearly i opted for black sprinkles that i had on hand instead of candy corn toppings.  oh and made them miniature.

now here is what’s really frightening….the reason i made them?  because i am one of the (don’t laugh) room moms for rush’s preschool class, and we had a class picnic yesterday.  i went for a walk with one of my dear friends from college the other day and was telling her this, and she exclaimed, wow.  we have really gotten old.

i would have to agree…but the cupcakes sure were good.

holiday cards + birth announcements

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attention all pregnant people: you know that if you’re due in the latter months of the year, the last thing you want to do is coordinate TWO large mailings, birth announcements and holiday cards, to all of your nearest and dearest. it just makes sense to combine the two!  we did this for several new parents last year and are already gearing up for many more this year…it’s fun because you have two roads you can go down.  you can do full on holiday card style with traditional festive touches and also announce the babe, or you can do a regular birth announcement and just tack on a simple holiday-ish greeting on the bottom…a good option if you plan on framing the announcement.  take a look.

these here fall into the first category – holiday card with bonus baby details.

isn’t red and cream such a fantastic color combo?  this card featured red flat printed ink, a fun snow and graham liner (which we do have some left if you’d like to snap it up) and wrap-around custom address labels that added a pop of color to the envelopes.

on this next one that we did, for my college roommate actually (hi erin!), we used the retro trees liner and matched the thermography ink to the moss green hue in the paper…and paired it with a snappy red envelope. perfect for a sweet little guy born in november!  and i just noticed he and drew, the little dude introduced above, have the same birthday.  what are the chances?

now for the other camp – a birth announcement with a festive look and holiday greeting…

on this letterpress announcement for a sweet little gal, we used primarily a pink and grey palette with a metallic envelope – because it is the holidays after all.

this little man had an aqua and clover green (matched his nursery!) letterpress announcement with a sweet “holiday blessings” added at the bottom.

whatever style you choose, the holiday card season is a great time to introduce your new little sugarplum!


being polite

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i think it’s high time we start some etiquette training around these parts for the teeny folks, so i brought home a little something yesterday.

i also brought home the tiny succulent to the left, but that was for me.

this is my favorite page.

but these pages served as a good motivator for my afternoon’s activity…
and isn’t that the truth?  
so i’m off to thank all of the sweet friends who have SO spoiled us these past few weeks with hot meals and adorable gifts for the little lady.
and speaking of etiquette, i need to have a chat with the 2 year old of the house about how rude it is to draw on people’s desks with pink permanent pens (see above picture 7 o’clock).  

pumpkin apple bread, side of ice cream optional.

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every once in awhile, i find a recipe that is too good not to share with you all.  yesterday i made pumpkin apple bread with walnuts on top and it is soooo delish, i had to walk away from the loaf pan last night so  there would be more than half left for today’s breakfast.  i had never had pumpkin apple bread before, but saw it in the bakery at whole foods and thought…i should make that.  so i found a suitable recipe online, tweaked it a bit and wah-la!  the best part is that it’s kind of healthy, which i categorize by the use of whole wheat flour, raw sugar and no butter.  err, one measly tablespoon of the yellow nectar as opposed to the usual two sticks.  might as well be none.

and to that i say, why not make it a smidge less healthy with the addition of some caramel sea salt ice cream on the side?  that’s what i’m talkin’ about.

pumpkin apple bread
makes 1 loaf

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup raw turbinado sugar
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. allspice
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup milk (i used 2% as that’s what i had on hand but i’m sure skim would be fine)
between 1/2 and 1/3 cup vegetable oil (as in, not a 1/2 or 1/3 but between the line…odd, right?  whatev, it works)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tbsp. red wine vinegar (i was out so i used raspberry vinegar – and can we talk about the randomness of this ingredient?)
1 apple diced and sauteed in 1 tbsp. butter over medium-low heat for 7 minutes
chopped walnuts to preference

preheat oven to 350 and butter/flour a loaf pan.  in a bowl, place the flours, sugar, baking soda, salt and spices.  mix thoroughly.  in a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, oil, milk, vanilla and vinegar.  make a well with the dry ingredients and add the wet to the middle.  mix very gently until all is incorporated.  fold in sauteed apples and pour into prepared pan.  sprinkle with walnuts.  bake for 50-60 minutes until a cake tester (i always use a fork or knife…do you think people own devices solely for cake testing?  i’ve always wondered that when reading recipes.) comes out clean.

then DIG IN.

holiday cards: designs

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there are so very many fantastic ways to spread holiday cheer via cards in december…here is a smattering of the cards we sent out into the world last yuletide season!  the nice thing about custom design is that you can tailor your cards to exactly what your taste and style is.  love that!

as i was getting warmed up yesterday, i threw together a few ideas with my main man as the photo placeholder…

all photographs above and below by melissa tuck photography.

getting excited over here!!!!!  email us to start your own custom holiday card design.
hope y’all have GREAT weekends!  we’re headed to the zoo tomorrow for a little family fun.  rush is still talking about the elephants that were booming (that’s the term we use instead of the p-double o-p word) from his last visit…


holiday cards 2011: pricing

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alright, let’s dive into holiday cards again today…and get down to the nitty gritty and talk dollars.

first things first…the BARGAIN.  i just love a good bargain and something tells me you do too. (i mean doesn’t everybody?  yes?)  so, if you place your holiday card order by the end of october, that’s october 31st people, you get a *free* 25 cards included in your order.  and it’s 25 free cards of whatever you order – lined envelopes, with a picture, etc. – no gimmicks.  i would never!  so keep that in mind – it pays to be an early bird.

a few notes about holiday cards:

format: all of the prices you see here are for flat printed, flat cards.  by “flat cards” i mean that there is no inside…picture and message all on one side.

additional printing methods: if you would like a price quote for either thermography (raised print) or letterpressed holiday cards, let me know how many you need and what extras you would like (photo, liner, etc.) and i’m happy to work up a price for you!  email me and we can get started.  also, the deadline for placing letterpress / thermography holiday card orders is november 10th…those printing methods need a little more lead time.

pictures: i offer photo printing and adhering for my clients…not because i don’t like the photo-printed-on-the-card thing, but because i believe calliespondence cards are a little more boutique-y and special, if you will.  and i think if you are going to invest in a more special card, it should look as high quality as possible…and in my opinion, a “real” picture looks nicer than a printed-on-the-card picture.  i’m old school, what can i say.

turnaround time: if you place your order by the end of october, you will receive your holiday cards in november.  if you place your holiday card order in november, you will receive your holiday cards by the end of the first week in december.  if you place your order in december, i will do everything i can to turn it around as quickly as i can!

how do i place an order? email me to place an order, or with any questions you may have!

also, to translate the price cards below…
– example of cardstock backer here.
– example of wrap-around ribbon detail here.
– example of wrap-around address label here.

if you need more than 200 cards, let us know and we’re happy to draw up a quote for you.
and with that, i may just put on some bing crosby holiday tune-age while i design some cards for a few early birds later today…

holiday cards 2011: envelope liners

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hey peeps.  sorry it’s taken me until wednesday to post – life with a newborn is nothing if not unpredictable!  however, i have been dying to show you the liners i’m offering this holiday card season…they are simply divine!!  i don’t know how i’m ever going to choose one for my own holiday card.  of course the last two years i haven’t been able to narrow it down to just one and have done two versions.  i like to make things difficult in case you haven’t caught on to that yet.

anyhow, without further ado, let me show you these festive patterns!  because who doesn’t want to get in the holiday spirit in early october?!  come on.

i’ll introduce them by vendor.  why do i feel like an emcee or something?

first up, SMOCK…and keep in mind these are double-sided, so there are two options featured in each picture.  score!





xmas tree:


holiday animals:
holiday typography:
silver winter berries:
retro trees:
red dots:
chartreuse dots:
pool dots:
red winter berries:


snow globes:






holiday lights:

candy boxes:

winter tweets:


white winterberries:



flame stitch:

12 days:


cable knit:

and there you have it, our 2011 holiday card envelope liner candidates!!  aren’t they fab?!  the color schemes and designs are dancing like sugarplums in my head already…

more to come on holiday cards – pricing and design examples tomorrow and friday!