Showing posts from January, 2011

Springtime "library" cards and a reader contest!

Groundhog Day is just around the corner and I am woefully wishing for an early spring. I have started to think of winter as a bad library customer who has loaned springtime for way too long. I realize there is still a lot of time between now and March 20 but I would like springtime back ASAP. This feeling led me to an idea for some new cards . . .

Thanks to my husband and his school, I am the lucky recipient of a box of vintage library cards. Using my stamps and a calligraphy pen, I turned these blank library cards into decorative note cards with my winter/spring idea. In my cards, "springtime" is a book title written by four different authors: Persephone, Mr. Robin, Mrs. Crocus, and Peter Rabbit (all things I think about when I think of spring). The book has been taken out by "winter" and is due back ASAP. Each library card has been glued to a folded, blank white card. I photographed these cards in my backyard, in the snow.

Now for the contest information:
I made …

Crafts for your weekend: Valentine ornaments made with yarn and wire

While out shopping in Manayunk recently, I saw a lovely window display of yarn and wire hearts in the window of Green Street Consignment Shop. I thought those hearts would look pretty in my windows too so I set out to make my own. With yarn from Hardy Supply Co, pipe cleaners, and a wire clothing hanger, I did just that. Directions and photographs are below.

colorful yarn

masking tape


wire clothing hanger (big heart)

pipe cleaner (small heart)

needle nose pliers (or something to maneuver the rigid wire hanger)

1. Start by prying apart the wire hanger. Do not use your bare hands as you will probably cut yourself. Use needle nose pliers for a good grip as well as some gloves to protect your skin.

2. Once the wire hanger is no longer connected, bend it into the shape of a heart. Use your pliers again to twist the ends of the hanger together at the bottom of the heart. For an extra seal, wrap a strip of masking tape around the bonded ends of the hanger.

3. Tie the y…

Happy birthday to me with a new Pantone set

Okay, so it was my birthday this week but this was more of a business expense. Still, I feel like it is a lovely treat to finally have my own set of Pantone color guides. I receive emails from How Design and this was one of the recent deals from the Pantone shop. Granted, these are 2010 colors but considering I was working with 2004 colors this is a pretty big upgrade. Not to mention the super nice storage case in which the guides are packed. Now I have the confidence to help my clients find the perfect shade of spring green for their wedding invitations or the softest pink for their new baby announcements. Color me happy!

Vintage jewelry mold as a wax seal

On a recent trip to Lambertville, New Jersey, I found a cute little shop with an assortment of antique jewelry molds. As I am somewhat addicted to buying interesting and crafty antiques (even though sometimes I don't have a clue as to what I will do with them), I had to buy one. Turns out, jewelry molds also make very nice wax seal stamps!

Hand-stitched floral keepsake

Remember the flower illustrations I did for the blog On The Tudor Trail? Well, my talented sister-in-law Estefi used my pattern to create a hand-stitched keepsake for me. I love that it's a delicate and lovely addition to my home decor as well as a personalized creation from my own drawing. You can view more of Estefi's work at her Etsy shop, ArtE Handmade.

Valentine's Day Fabrics from Spoonflower

Now that I own a sewing machine, I am so inspired to start some new fabric projects. In preparation for Valentine's Day, I was on a search for heart-themed fabrics at the online fabric shop, Spoonflower.  Here are a few of my favorites. What I love about Spoonflower is that if you can't find what you are looking for, they will also print your own designs!

Make your own outdoor ice sculptures

I posted this last year but a little too close to springtime. Now that we are in the dead of winter, especially with all of the recent snow, this is a more fitting project. Now go play outside this weekend and beautify your yard! Click here for more photos and the very simple instructions.

New Etsy Listing: Custom Illustrated "Book Stack" Notecards

I'm excited to introduce my first custom stationery listing on Etsy. My illustrated book stack notecards make a truly unique gift or addition to your personal stationery collection. Pick 10 of your favorite book titles and I will turn them into art! As a former book designer for Random House, I adore anything to do with book design. This year, Ran and I gave these cards as Christmas gifts to some of our family members. They were such a huge hit that I wanted to share the idea with you too! Click here to visit Etsy for ordering information.

Valentine Wood Block Cards

I've added new Valentine's Day cards to my shop. I printed these cards by hand with bright pink ink and my hand-carved hearts. Click here to see my technique. These cards are blank inside so you can send them to any of the loved ones in your life. $8.00 for 4 cards with matching light pink envelopes. Click here to buy!

Pantone Colors for Spring 2011: An Exotic Journey

With colors like honeysuckle, blue curacao, and silver peony, I can't help but get excited for the upcoming spring season of Pantone colors. Visit to download a complete PDF of the color forecast. Now to just get through the winter...

Wood Type Keepsakes

My nephews, Will and Matt, love pirates. For Christmas gifts, I purchased wood type letters of their first initials and, on the back each letter, painted a pirate treasure map in the shape of their initial. This is a good keepsake gift idea for anyone. You can find wood type letters at many antique stores. I prepared the painting surface with a couple layers of white Gesso before applying the artwork with acrylic paints.

Christmas in Connecticut

From my living room window as I write, I can look out across the front lawn of our farm like a lovely picture postcard of wintry New England. In my wood stove, the good cedar logs are burning and crackling. I just started a new quilt on my Singer sewing machine while my husband and father gather more wood to keep us warm.

If any one else out there loves the movie "Christmas in Connecticut" as much as I do you will know where I pulled some of the above paragraph from. You will also get the joke that, like Elizabeth Lane, I do not have a farm nor do I know anything about sewing a quilt. I am, however, super excited about my new sewing machine that my parents gave me as a Christmas gift. It's also true that we were in Connecticut and that, to prepare for the coming storm, my dad and Ran gathered more logs for the fire while I was stayed warm and cozy in the kitchen with my new toy. I can't wait to start sewing all sorts of things!