Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Free Fun Friday... On Wednesday! - Christmas Gift Tags and Shop Shipping Update

Happy Friday peeps!

Is it really the week before Christmas? For real? I am ‘sort of’ ready to party,  just need some odds and ends and then to wrap everything. First things first-If you still need holiday cards to send to your loved ones I have a few sets left in the shop! See them all here and get them sleigh-fast delivery! (but, order by tomorrow to ensure Xmas Day delivery)

Now, on to  today’s post. I was looking for free printable tags on the interwebs to use on my packages. I have zero time or money to make gift tags this year, so I am going to find something to use from my friends on Pintrest. There are so many great ideas and freebies on Pintrest-are you following me there? If not, click over and let’s be friends!

In addition to finding some great gift tags for myself I found a few others to share with you lovely readers. To use them all you need to do is print them at home (or go to a copy shop and print them on heavier paper). You could also add a little extra-glitter, etc. As always if you decide to download them be sure to leave a comment on their blog! Bloggers share freebies like this with us and love to hear back from readers who enjoy them!

I’ll share a few here, but I found a bunch more. Click over to my Freebies board or Christmas board to see them.
These from Yellow Bliss Road are so glam! 

This set from Sass & Peril has a mix of Christmas and Hanukkah tags! 

This set created by Maiko Nagao are so simple, but perfect. And I love the idea of black & Whie wrapping!
Black, white, pink and yellow.  The Lovely Drawer gets me.....I LOVE these!

Now, dear blog readers, I have a request. I need the perfect side dish to take my uncles house for Christmas! I need something that will travel well, feed a bunch. Bonus points if it has at least a few healthly ingrediants. What should I make? Leave me a comment! 

Have a holly jolly day,

Monday, November 10, 2014

Shop Talk: Christmas Cards Now For Sale (and a giveaway!)

Happy Monday, y'all!

Sorry for the blog silence the past two weeks, but I promise, I had a good reason......I turned my condo into a Christmas Card factory!

If you follow me on Instagram you know that I have been celebrating a little known holiday......#Hallowxmas. It's what you do when you are furiously trying to prepare for Christmas season while respecting one of the greatest holidays of the year, Halloween. How do you celebrate #Hallowxmas? Well, it looks a lot like making Christmas cards while watching classic movies like Halloween and catching up on the Walking Dead. And sip your favorite apple cider.

It's quite a celebration.

But, that's last month peeps. This month-I am going ALL IN on the December holidays! This morning my 2014 Christmas cards went live in my Etsy shop! Today I thought I would share a few peeks so you can get an idea of what I have to offer!

Owl Pals- hand stamped and colored, these little cuties I imagine are singing a few carols, maybe thinking about what they will ask for from Santa? Available in sets of 5 and as individual cards! 

Do you love Buddy the Elf? This movie is a must watch for me every year and I have never seen cards like this in the store, so I decided to make some myself! (spoiler alert-if you are on my Xmas card list.......; ) ). I pulled together a random assortment of papers, so each card set or individual card is a true one of a kind! 

 If you are looking for something a little more traditional or classic? I made this set inspired by stores like Pottery Barn. The pictures here do not do them justice, really. The inks I used are vibrant and smooth and the combination of gold, taupe and red is so beautiful. Also available in sets or singles.

This year I am thrilled to offer 4 sets of cards by my good friend Alicia! Her style is modern, but with a nod to traditional, featuring hand painted images reflecting her religious background. They are perfect, in my opinion- she even created a gorgeous set of Thanksgiving cards! 


 To celebrate #HALLOWXMAS for 2014 I want to give one lucky winner a set of 3 single cards and a stocking to keep them in. All created in the Hot Wheels factory. For a chance to win- tell me how you would celebrate #Hallowxmas (wrapping presents while eating candy corn? singing carols in your Halloween costume? Really, the possibilities are endless...). Make sure to include your email address (in the form, not shared with readers) and I will pick a winner next Monday (Nov. 17th)

Make sure to check out ALLLLLLL the holiday fun in the shop HERE.

May you have all the spookiness and glad tidings of this wonderful time of year!


Friday, October 24, 2014

Making a Mini Album from a Thrifted Book

Make a Mini Album from Hardy Boys Book

Hello! Today I wanted to share Modern Memory Keeping Idea #2- Repurpose a Thrifted Book. This is the second installment in a series of posts sharing ideas for modern, fresh ways to get your pictures off your cellphone and out to enjoy! (You can see the first post here) Like I said last time I am a big believer in printing pictures and writing down your story. I also u nderstand that making a shelf full of scrapbooks is not for everyone. A project like this can be completed with minimal supplies and in a few hours (plus time to print out pictures!).

Here's the back story: I have mentioned here a few times that I have a set of twin nephews, Carson and Connor. They are pretty awesome, active, smart, funny little boys! The year they were three (they are five now) I found a pile of Hardy Boys books at a thirft store and had a lightbulb moment.......why not create a little photo album out of the book? I figured the Hardy Boys were too perfect for my little boys, right? I found a bunch of Hardy Boys books online here. This particular series worked well for a few reasons: two boys on the cover (duh), pages that were in good condition, but could be ripped out as needed, and the line illustrations were really sweet (although I ended up covering many of them up). You could also look for books like: Eloise, Babar, Nancy Drew, etc, etc.

I bought he book and then starting collecting a group of pictures of C&C from the last year. I printed them all out 4 x 4, which fit perfectly on the page. I didn't have much of a plan for the pages, but I did have a few things I wanted to make sure to include-like samples of their handwriting. I pulled out some random bits and pieces from my stash. I could link you up to what I used, but truly, this project is less about the 'stuff' and more about adding pictures and arranging the pages to tell the story I wanted to capture. I decided to go crazy and stamp/paint/tape/sew alllll over the pages. However, you could simply add pictures and write in the margins and I think that would be equally cool!
I added their initial in sticker form to the cover (with a little liquid adhesive to make sure they stayed).

Every 10-20 pages I pulled out a handful of pages. When you add pictures you need the extra space! Then I took the pages around the space made and stitched them together. (you can see that in the page on the right above).

That picture on the right is one of my all time favorites-I still have it hanging on my wall.

Some of the pages I covered in thick white paint, then either doodled/stamped over. Because I could. I also added a few journaling cards, like that 'Hello', and let it stick out the top. You can see its a little bent, because little hands have looked thru it. Totally awesome!

Carson was big into drawing and writing at this age. Connor, not so I love that I got this little piece of art to remember!

I have had these blank library cards for years-it worked perfectly inside the front cover (even if I never got around to filling it in-I have to get on that!)

I hope this inspires you to create a little mini book. This would be a great gift idea, or just as a creative exercise for yourself. Thanks for stopping by-leave a comment if you have any questions!

Monday, October 20, 2014

If You Want To Do October Right...

You will enjoy your eyeball tree

You will enjoy a few Angry Orchard Apple Ciders

You will visit Hillcrest Avenue (at least, if you are in Louisville)

You will try being a red head for a while

You will go to your High School Reunion and have a really, surprisingly great time

You will enjoy lots of hot coffee and a few pumpkin muffins

You will do this while burning Pumpkin Caramel Latte Candle because.......Fall.

You will go to see Gone Girl in the theatre and watch a few Halloween movies at home with friends

You will appreciate how ridiculously beautiful Kentucky is

You will dust off your crock pot to make chili and this Chicken Tortilla Soup

You will fight the dry skin fight with an overpriced night cream ; )

You will wait anxiously for the newest episode of Serial, Sleepy Hollow
,How to Get Away With Murder  and Gotham

You will paint your nails moody, fall colors like this

You will wear all your scarves in rotation, with your collection of fuzzy socks. And your favorite boots,

You will send your friends Halloween cards, because this holiday is not just for kids.

You will resist the urge to think ahead to Christmas (well, not too much)

You will swoon over cute pictures of your new niece-Madison

At least, this is how you do October right in my opinion.

Happy Monday, y'all!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How to Alter a Photo Book

Hey y'all! Today I have something very fun to share with you. Last few months I have been brainstorming ideas for things I want to share here on the old bloggity-blog. In addition to some easy gift ideas to get you ready for Christmas I have come up with a few unique ways to preserve your memories. I'll talk more about this in a later post, but I am a big believer in printing out your pictures. In this digital world, where we Instagram every meal and share way too many pictures on Facebook, I think there is something really great about having some physical pictures. Using them to decorate your home  or hold in your hands to share with your family. 

Today I am sharing Modern Memory Keeping Idea #1: Photo Books.

Have you ever made a photo book before? Now, I am a make-your-own scrapbook kinda girl, obviously. And, I know many people don't have the want/desire to spend hours pushing paper around and creating great big books of 12 x 12 pages, but a few years ago I scanned my parent's wedding photos and made books for each of my siblings. They loved them! Photo books are so popular now, my friend makes one every few months with pictures of her daughter. She loves how easy it is to design online. She picks out all sorts of layouts, colors and themes and the book shows up on her doorstep a few days later. 

However, what to do if you want to make your photo book truly personal? What if you have memorabilia you want to save? Ticket stubs, maps, etc. There isn't a great way to add them to a photo book...or is there? 

A few years ago my friend Tiffany and I made a little trip to Europe. She never printed any of the pictures she took (silly girl). I thought it would be fun to print a photo book online, and further customize at home, with some elegent touches right from my own studio!

This will be a birthday gift (shh, don't tell, ok?) and I think she'll love it! 

If you haven't ordered a photo book from Shutterfly their website is really easy to navigate. You can make the pages as simple or fancy as you like. I decided to order an 8x8 soft cover book with one photo per page. I edited my favorite 20 pictures in the Studio app on my iPad, then uploaded them to Shutterfly into the Modern White template. It was exactly what I wanted-just the pictures, printed in beautiful bright color. My book arrived days later and I got to work!
I have a drawer in my work room that holds a random group of travel related ephemera and I pulled it out. Luckily I still had a few things I collected during our trip! I also grabbed a few favorite stamps, some washi tape and my favorite pen that writes perfectly on slick pages-the Sharpie pen. (I linked a few products I used below in case you want to find them for yourself!)

I left the front cover blank, then printed out my own 3x3 photo and glued it down with a frame. I love the little bit of dimension this gives it. Inside the front cover I adhered an envelope that held a few bits and pieces from the trip. I use this trick alot in mini books and it's a really easy way to hold things like that. On that right page I added the 'I'd Rather Be' in the Studio app and the 'In Europe in these letter stickers. Adding letter stickers is a really easy addition to a photo book. You could use them to denote location, add chapter headings or identify family members!
Some pages were pretty enough as is.
The funny thing is- I remember each of these meals- cuz' that's how I travel.
Here you can see how I used my stamps and Black Staz On ink
to add a special, but subtle touch to the page. I really love have I can combine stamps to make a custom look. There's those letter stickers again.
For this page I just used my Sharpie pen to write some thoughts directly onto the photo. Some people might be scared to write directly on a photo book, but not me. I am not in love with my handwriting and I am not an especially great writer, but, I love reading other people's handwritten notes. I think it's something so personal. Plus, by adding it after the book is printed meant I didn't have commit to what I wanted to say until the last minute ; )
Washi tape might be one of my favorite paper products ever. On afew of the pages I used the tape as a border. I love the subtle bit of color and texture it gives. On that right side I also stapled a small tag I found. And, now you know what our feet look like,lol.
This last page was a pretty genius idea. I had an old map of Paris that I cut down and used this dry adhesive to add directly to the last page.  I added one of my all time favorite stamps to the corner.

There you go! I wanted to share my favorite pages, but if you want to see the rest of the book click the collage below to go to the full online album! I hope this inspires you to further personalize some special memories of your own. You don't have to wait for a special occassion or a vacation.This idea would be a great way to document your favorite Instagram pictures, or maybe a book about your house and neighborhood? There's a million different 'occasions' that are begging to be remembered.

Please let me know if you have any questions-thanks for stopping by!  xoxo Michelle

Click the collage to see the whole album!

Products Used
For More Info about the Studio photo app click here >>

Monday, September 22, 2014

Easy Gift Idea-Baby Album

Hey y'all! 

Did you know it's only 13 weeks till Christmas? Whattttt.....that's crazy. That also means that things are about to get busy, busy in the Hot Wheels shop. I already have a few orders for Christmas gifts, from smart people who plan early (please note: I am not that prepared.ever. I am often finishing my own Christmas gifts at 11:00 on the 23rd).

I thought it would be fun to share with you a few ideas for easy handmade gifts. Last year I shared a Holiday Wall Decoration I have made a dozen times.  All the ideas I will share over the next few weeks have been made multiple times by me and are really pretty easy with a few skills (everything can be done by beginners-pinky swear). If you have any questions-leave me a comment and I'll get back to you.

 Of course, if you don't have the time or desire to DIY, you can order one made by me in my shop
OK, so the idea is simple: one page per month. A clean and simple layout- space for one 4x6 picture and a card for jotting down all those little memories. Easy for mom or dad to stick one picture in and write a few words(or just throw the picture on there until you get more than 2 hours sleep, lol).

Parents LOVE these- it takes the pressure off of them to create the perfect baby book. It allows them to document a little bit of this really special time without alot of fuss. Remember those fill in baby books your mom (tried, but failed) to fill in for you? These books are MUCH easier.
 I like to make each page a little special by adding a few embellishments-usually whatever I have in my stash that fits the colors I am using. I overlap the card and the embellishments over the photo mat (sized 4.5" x 6.5") slightly, so when they slip the picture in it looks a little more finished-like they assembled it themselves! I noticed that alot of baby books you find at retail stores would have generic layouts, very cookie cutter. I think mine keep it simple but are full of personality

 For this little girl book I used digital papers and cards I bought at I just resized them and printed them out. Super easy and I LOVE the pink and orange together!

Check out this boy version I sent out to a customer last week:

One the cover page I usually add a larger photo mat (sized for a 5x7 photo- so it's 5.5" x 7.5") and the baby's name. Sometimes I use stamps and sometimes I use letter stickers
I mean, how cute is Nicholas? If you can take your eyes off of him you can also see for this book I made the photo mat more of a polaroid style. That gave me the white space to embellish and add the month.
OK, I only had one picture of little Nicholas, but come on.......its a winner. I wanted to show you a few of the months so you can see how I changed up a few things to make it look unique.

In each book I also include some kind of pocket so you can keep cards, hospital bracelets, teeny-tiny socks....Instead of a plastic pocket for this one I decided to stitch my own. I love these papers from Studio Calico and I think they really made this book so awesome!
So, there you go- and easy baby gift idea that is a guaranteed hit! Easy to customize- you could make it bigger/smaller, add space for two pictures a month, or even document one photo a year! When I give this as a gift I usually add an acid free pen and a roll on adhesive-again. You could also include a gift card to Shutterfly so they don't have to think to hard to get their pictures developed. The idea is to make easy for mom or dad to use it! Like I said earlier, I tend to shop my stash for things to include in these albums (unless it is a custom order), but I did link up to the products I have used to make it easier for you! See below

I have these listed in my shop and currently have a one week turn around, but I am sure I will get much busier the closer it gets to December. Don't be a Nancy-Come-Lately- just order it now ; )

Thanks for stopping by and make sure to check out all my Etsy listings here. Have a great week!



Products Used:

8x8 Photo Album
Wood Veneer
Project Life Baby Products (the cards and paper I love)
Roll On Adhesive
Really Great Pens

Shutterfly Photo Books 600x90