Thursday, January 31, 2013

ahhh, simplicity

hello there!  today i'm excited to share this card set with you.  it's all packaged up neatly in a muslin bag and i'll tell you about that, too.  i used the Fourteen collection by Crate Paper and a couple of other common products to give this set a cohesive look.  sometimes, simplicity reigns supreme.  in this case, instead of going with a complicated design and many different elements, i focused on layering and color to give the cards a punch.  

i started with a kraft card stock base and added a white doily.  then i made tags out of different patterned papers from Fourteen.  i chose papers and embellishments that showcased red and yellow, another new favorite combo of mine.  it's a bit of a twist on the traditional Valentine's Day color scheme but i've been drawn to it for the last year or two.  and these cards, while made from a Valentine's Day paper line, aren't necessarily for Valentine's Day.  they can be given for any occasion.

a mini clothespin, round metal rim tag, and small strung white tag are common elements.  i added a sentiment along with a few stickers, punches or die cuts to dress up each tag.  on this card it's a heart punched from the yellow paper (the reverse side of the tag cuts) and a red label sticker.    

the last touch was a little bow of red baker's twine.  don't you love it when projects come together quickly?  

here's a yellow tag with some pink and teal but it still has a pop of red from the twine.  

i distressed the edges of each tag for some texture and stapled the string of the small white tag.  never underestimate the power of a well-placed office supply!  they're inexpensive but add a surprising amount of interest to a project.  the metal rim and white tags also came from the office supply store.    

this last card might be my favorite of the trio.  it's mostly all red and yellow and i love the contrast between those two colors.  the red hearts of the "Sweetheart" paper are incredibly vibrant and, when paired with the trimmed yellow die cut tag, i think they make a bold and beautiful pair!

i wanted to give this card set special packaging and from the start, i had these muslin bags in mind.  (you'll probably be seeing me using them quite a bit from now on.)  you can see they are stitched with red thread and have a yellow yarn drawstring so it really is the perfect thing for these cards.  i made another little tag from the yellow paper--also stitched with red thread--and added a pink chipboard heart and typed "dear friend" sentiment.  

i stamped the scalloped frame onto the bag and then spelled out my sister's name (she's my dearest friend, after all!) with "Fantastic" Glitter Thickers.  {tip:  although the thickers are adhesive-backed, i used Fabri-tac to secure them to the bag, just to make sure they stayed put.}  this set will make a sweet gift and the best part is that it didn't take me hours to put it all together.

thanks for stopping by today; i'll chat with you again soon!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


good morning!  how was your weekend?  around here, we started to get into Baby Ramp-up mode.  we have about 6 weeks until the arrival of Little #2 and i'm into the nesting phase so i'm VERY ready to get organized!  Hoss, on the other hand, is not exactly feeling the same so it's taking a little push from me to get him there.  we actually have quite a bit we need to accomplish in 6 weeks but the tasks seem so daunting that it's kind of like, where do we start?!

one major overhaul in the works is that i'm losing my craft studio :(  we're a little scattered in our house and poor Mr. Bagubian, up until now, did not really have a bedroom.  he sleeps in my craft room, his clothes are in our bedroom, and all of his toys are in the family room.  he's about to make the switch from a crib into a toddler bed and it's agreed that he can't be free to move around the office as he likes because there are too many things in there that he could destroy or hurt himself with.  and with the addition of Little #2, it's just time for them both to have an actual bedroom.  

that means that while my fledgling business is starting to grow, i'm actually downsizing my space and moving into "community" office space with Hoss and my father-in-law (we live with my in-laws, if i've never mentioned that before).  that will be very interesting!  i'll keep you posted...there are a lot of other factors and plans involved in all of this moving around and as things progress, i'll share them with you.

for today, i wanted to show you a few things i recently listed in my Etsy shop.  the first is a Valentine mini kit for treat packaging.  it features super-cute washi tags, glassine bags, and heart-stamped mini clothespins.  it's a really easy way to package up some goodies.

and i have some Valentine-inspired washi clothespin sets, too...

i am loving this light pink and gold color combination right now.  it is so sweet and i have been working it into a few different projects i'm working on, which i'll be sharing in the coming weeks.

you can't do Valentines without hearts!  isn't the red and aqua heart set perfect for this holiday?   

purple and red...(love, love, love that purple lace washi!)

Valentine mom was saying the other day how pretty Valentine crafts are and she's absolutely right.  the mix of colors and hearts and sweetness is so beautiful--you can see examples all over the blogging/crafting world and Pinterest.  it's incredibly inspiring!

a couple of other short notes before i leave you...

speaking of Etsy, i also want to make mention that the USPS has significantly raised their international shipping rates--by a shocking amount.  that means i also had to raise my shipping prices in my Etsy shop for customers outside the United States.  i have had some of my best customers coming from Australia, the UK, and Canada and i feel terribly sad about having to charge so much to ship items there now.  i wish it didn't have to be this way!

 for the new year, i've decided to try a more open approach to blogging.  there are certain blogs i follow and i know that, for me, i enjoy "getting to know" the ladies i visit everyday through personal stories on their blogs.  it definitely makes them more real to me and i appreciate that they want to share their stories with their audience.  so i'd like to start opening up a bit, too.  i have a couple of upcoming segments planned that will help you get to know me a little better.

coming up tomorrow...i will finally have some cards to show you!   until then, have a terrific Wednesday! 

Friday, January 25, 2013

valentine kit & packaging, part 2

as promised, i've returned today with more packaging and Valentine kit samples.  

first though, i have to make mention of this wood cigar was a gift from my folks at Christmastime and i absolutely love it!  there are a bunch of crafty bits i'd like to store inside, but it's been working so well as a photography prop that i may have to keep it as that for awhile.

and now back to the Valentine can see the entire ensemble here...doilies, tags, clothespins,'s very similar to the contents of the red and pink kit, but there are a few different items.  as i mentioned in yesterday's post, while this does have clear Valentine elements to it, i also think that most of the items will work for decorating packages on any occasion.

just like the red and pink kit, all items here come packaged in a stamped 5 x 7 muslin bag.  i've included the glassine bags, mini stamped clothespins, and large heart flags, though with different patterned papers.  but instead of the strung washi tags, this kit includes yarn-wrapped kraft tags.  i have been a fan of them for awhile and sometimes like to dress them up a bit.

here i took a couple of the bitty tags, a washi covered clothespin, and confetti bag to give it a more festive look.  it would be easy to clip to a gift bag, a wrapped present, or even to one of the glassine bags that comes with the kit.

besides the glassine bags, there are also 5 kraft bags for the safe-keeping of yummy treats!

here's one decorated with a doily, a large heart flag, and two tags.  so easy to assemble and even more fun to give! 

tags, flags, and confetti...the bitty punched tags come in two styles and have coordinating patterns on the back--so actually, you're getting four styles!  and, there are ten total in each kit so you can mix and match several times.

this is a small box of chocolates wrapped in a doily and brown baker's twine.  it features the smaller heart toothpick flag and the sweet "with love" strung tag.

washi covered clothespins and baker's twine...definite staples in my crafting/wrapping/packaging life!  i use both of these things so often--especially in gift wrapping because they are inexpensive but pack a big punch.  there are 20 yards of each of the red and brown twine and 6 small clothespins decorated with red and brown washi tapes.   

this package features items from the red and pink kit, but i included it in this post, also, because you can replicate the look with a couple of substitutions from the red and brown kit.

i'll be listing both kits in my Etsy shop a little later today and will post links here after they've gone up.  feel free to contact me if you have any questions.  i had so much fun assembling these kits and wrapping up my little gifts...i hope you got some good ideas!
{edited to add Etsy links:  red and brown kit; red and pink kit}

on a personal note...i very happily accepted an invitation from Crate Paper to stay on their Design Team for 2013!  i still can't believe it and am so excited for the year ahead.  they've been introducing all of the talented ladies on their blog this week so be sure to check it out!

have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

valentine kit & packaging, part 1

hi all!  i got the chance to take a lot of photos yesterday and so i'll have quite a bit to show you in the next few posts.  i'm pretty excited to share these things with you, especially since i've been such an absentee blogger lately.

i've been putting together a few Valentine kits and i'll show you the first one today.  i even had a chance to photograph them in use so you'll get to see how you can use the different pieces of each ensemble, too.  i don't know about you, but i have such a fondness for packaging and these kinds of kits--especially when other people put them together and show examples of their presentations.  it really helps tie everything together and i'm hoping that my kit and packaging inspire you the same way i've been inspired by others. 

two of my kits are very similar in nature.  both are inspired by Valentine's Day, but i also think most of the pieces work for any occasion.  the first kit features a red and pink color scheme while the second (which i'll show you tomorrow) features red and brown.  i included my usual accessories--doilies, twine, small clothespins, tags, etc--making these kits great for everyday treats and perfect for Valentines!

the contents of each kit come packaged in a 5 x 7 muslin bag which i am kind of obsessed with right now!  i've had them for a couple of months and have only just now gotten around to using them.  on this one, i stamped the scalloped frame image and then the {be my valentine} sentiment.  i used regular dye inks with both clear and rubber stamps and they turned out just fine. i made sure to put a piece of thin cardboard inside the bag first, though, so that the stamping didn't bleed to the backside of the bag.

i stamped a row of red hearts onto some mini wood clothespins--aren't they darling?!  again here i used dye ink and a clear stamp.  i will say that this ink was Stampin' Up! Real Red and the images came out pretty clear.  however, i also tried a Memento ink and the image seemed okay at first but when i looked at it several minutes later, it had bled.  i suggest doing a few tests if you want to try this for yourself.  {*the pink ink on the muslin bag is Memento Rosebud and it worked well there.}  

i have been making a lot of toothpick flags lately and included some here.  above are small heart flags and below are larger ones.


the washi strung tags are more of my recent favorites, too.  although they're perfect for Valentine's Day, i also think they'd be great to attach to a gift for a friend's, sister's, daughter's, or mother's birthday.  

more tags...simple bitty punched tags and small strung tags with a couple of mini hearts on them--perfect for writing the recipient's name.  and how about the pink and red confetti envelopes?  i could make those all day long, seriously!

lastly, the red and pink twine--twenty yards each.  that will go a long way!  and, of course, 6 small clothespins in pink and red washi patterns.  i cannot get enough of that heart tape.  you could definitely say i am smitten!

and now for some wrapping ideas...i love small boxes--especially small kraft boxes--all bundled up like this, don't you?  they're truly eye candy for me and i pin photos like this to my Pinterest Wrap A Gift board whenever i see one.  for this box i trimmed a piece off of one of the doilies {hint: this is a great way to extend the life of the kit!} and laid it on top of a piece of torn washi tape (not included).  then i wrapped some of the pink baker's twine around the box and used one of the mini heart clothespins to secure the small white tag to the package.


here is one of the glassine envelopes with a few candy treats inside.  again here i used just a piece of the doily--they'll go far if you use snippets like these.  i clipped a bitty tag to the package with a small washi clothespin.

another doily paired this time with the red baker's twine, a small heart toothpick flag, and a small white tag.  i also tucked a bag of the confetti in there.

for this little box, i slipped a washi tag behind some pink beaded bracelets (not included).  so simple, but really cute--this would be a wonderful way to wrap up a small gift for one of my nieces.

i'll be listing this kit in the Etsy shop by the end of the week.  in the meantime, please come back here tomorrow because i'll be showing you the red and brown kit contents, as well as a few more ways to use the kits for packaging up treats.
{edited to add Etsy links:  red and pink kit; red and brown kit}

have a happy Thursday, folks!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

sweet valentine

hi everyone!  i'm so happy to be back with a post for the second time this seems like ages since i've had two in one week.  the holidays are behind us, though, and i have no classes this semester so that has freed up some of my time.  it feels a little strange to be done with school for now, but it has been so nice!  i can't help thinking, though, that in 7-8 weeks, we'll have a new baby who will be much more demanding and time-consuming than school!

i wanted to share one of the cards i made with Crate Paper's new Fourteen line.  have you seen the collection yet?  it's truly delightful!  it's full of beautiful colors, vintage images, and enough sweet hearts to leave you itching to create something LOVE-ly.

yellow and red has been a color combination i've been drawn to for Valentine's Day the last couple of years.  i love the bold contrast between the two.  when i received the Fourteen collection, the image of the little boy and girl holding the big red heart against the rich yellow background caught my eye right away.  i knew it would be one of the first pieces i used.    

it really is "sweet as can be," isn't it?  

i paired it with a red and pink tag and a floral die cut, adding a bit of glitter, stitching, and a cream vintage button for an extra touch.  

the card certainly has an old-time feel to it.  i tried to use several vintage-inspired embellishments from the collection, as well as from my own stash--like the aqua seam binding and 5-inch doily--to produce that feeling.  

i have more Fourteen cards, but you'll have to wait until next week to see those.  before then, though, i hope to be back with an Etsy shop update.  i'm putting a couple little packaging kits together and adding a few new supplies.  think pink, red, blue...very fun stuff!

do you have big weekend plans?  since we've stayed in the last two weekends because of illnesses, our goal is just to make it out of the house!  wish us luck...