Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Card Storage Box - Organize Your Greeting Cards

I have a four level cheapy shelf in my storage closet at home.  It's pretty hideous, but since it's tucked away and mighty helpful, I use it to organize the masses of junk in there.  This includes medicines, bedding, books, craft supplies, iron and ironing board, etc.  Yeah...that closet
I know you have one.  And yours might look a little more organized than mine.  I had all of my cards scattered on one of the shelves.  This led to cards sliding off and slipping all over when I wanted to send one.  Hey, at least they were all in one place!
A few weeks ago, I was looking around the edges of Hobby Lobby for clearance finds, and came across this adorable vintage floral print photo box.  At less than two dollars, I couldn't pass it up, but needed a use in mind for it.  MY CARDS!  I took it home and immediately gave my mess of cards an organized resting place. 

First, I sorted them in to occasions:  Thank You, Congrats, Hello, etc.  Then I placed them in my lovely box!  Now, all of my cards sit nicely organized on my ugly shelf.  Next time you see a photo box on sale, snatch it up!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Tassel Garland - Easy At Home!

After decorating for fall this year with my usual goods, I decided I needed a little more.  The house needed an extra oomph.  And since I don't particularly like the house we're renting right now, I though it deserved a project to pretty it up a bit. 
I've been crushing on tassel garlands lately.  I love the look when they're hung over a bed, an old buffet, for birthday parties or showers, pretty much anywhere.  We have two massive windows in our living room that have no curtains, and those ugly 50¢ curtain rods that our landlord's "contractor" so beautifully installed over the GIGANTIC holes in the wall from when the previous owner clearly ripped their curtain rods out of the wall. You can see I'm really happy about this...I digress.
I decided to make a yarn garland to add some color to the space and make me a bit happier.  I did a quick search and used THIS post as a guide.  You can also make garlands from strips of fabric or tissue paper as well.  For storage, price, and longevity, I chose to use yarn. 
A quick trip to Hobby Lobby and I picked up some yarn on sale, obviously.  I purchased four bundles total and have PLENTY left over.  I am going to buy a different color around Christmas time and swap out some of the tassels.  How's that for a transitioning piece?!
This project took a little bit of time and patience, but requires hardly any supplies and is very satisfying to finish!
::You'll Need::
Yarn (or fabric strips, or tissue paper)
Something to wrap yarn around
Ruler (optional)
Choose an object to wrap around that is the length you will want your tassels.  I chose this cardboard envelope that I received my awesome Snail Mail Designs cards in.  I believe it was about nine inches across.  The size will depend on the space you will be hanging your tassels in. 

Begin with one end of your yarn at an edge and then wrap a determined amount of times until your tassel is the thickness you would like it.  I wrapped each of mine 35 times.  Remember to start and end your wrapping at the same edge and cut your yarn when you are finished wrapping.

Gently slide your whole bundle off of your wrapping object.  Cut a small piece of yarn and tie it four times around the top end of your tassel.  This must be the end opposite of your loose ends (where you started and ended wrapping).

Then CUT your bundle on the end opposite of where you just tied.  Again, this should be the end with your loose strings. 

Trim your tails from your knot at the top of the tassel.

Flip knot inside of your tassel.  Basically, fold your tassel in half.

Take another small string and tie four knots around the top of your tassel.  Making a bulb-like shape at the top of your tassel. 

Trim your ends on that tie as well.  Turn over your tassel so the little knot is at the back.

TA-DAH!  You've made your first tassel!

Repeat until you have the appropriate amount of tassels for your space. 

Then thread the garland string through the top of all of your tassels.  I used a citrus scorer to pull the yarn through.  Depending upon the material you are using, this could be easy or difficult.  Make sure to leave enough space in your "bulb" to pull through your hanging string. 

And HANG!!

Again, my house has HORRIBLE lighting, excuse the drab pictures. 

I absolutely LOVE this garland.  I plan to swap out the orange color for green when it gets closer to Christmas time.  I did this project slowly over a weekend, but it shouldn't take you too long to finish.

It is also something you could work on with kids.  Just have them wrap the yarn, and you can help with tying the knots and using the scissors.  They can even make one for their own room!

Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Fall Sweet & Salty Snack Mix

I do not like candy corn.  Pure sugar, grainy, super sweet.  Never been a fan of it.  Mike loves it, of course.  Hah!  If you were at our wedding, you know our eating habits positively compliment each other (I like white meat, he likes dark meat, for example). 
About two years ago, my mom introduced me to a wonderful fall snack mix.  It had candy corn in it.  I avoided it all together...but eventually couldn't hold myself back from a treat.  Alone, the items included are nothing special.  But a pretzel with a candy corn for some reason tastes delicious.  And we all know that chocolate and anything is 100% enjoyable. 
I had a few ladies over for some wine last week and with the addition of some homemade fall d├ęcor (posts to come soon), I wanted some fall treats as well.  And I remembered this delicious mix of awesomeness. 
1 12.6 ounce bag of M&Ms (I used chocolate, but you could be adventurous on this)
1 canister of peanuts (I used unsalted)
1 bag of pretzels (I used twists)
1 bag of candy corn
Add to festive bowl.  STIR!
**I eyeballed my ingredients when dumping them in to the bowl.  I ended up using the whole bag of M&Ms, about 1/3 canister of peanuts, half the candy corn, and 1/3 bag of pretzels.  Essentially, you can make the mix heavy on whichever ingredient you prefer.  My mix made a large glass bowl that after the fact fit into three to four sandwich bags.  And I had lots of the separate ingredients left over, save the M&Ms.   
We each took a bag to work the next day.  I pulled out this lovely glass dish I got from my grandma and set it on my desk with a little gift tag (found at Target).  I also sent a bag full to one of my coworkers who said she loved this stuff!  She managed to make it last two days.  Meanwhile, coworkers who often walk by my desk were very happy to have a little treat to indulge on!

It made me feel great to share a little love.  Have you tried this mix before?  I highly recommend it.  Delicious and very cheap!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Love Notes Board - At Home Dry Erase Board

Remember a few weeks ago when I told you about my little project, my Memory Book?  I use it as a way to jot down the fun little adventures we have together.  It will be fun to look back at it years from now. 

Another fun thing we do for each other is our Love Notes Board.  This was a genius wedding gift given to us by my cousin, Aria.  She also made us to "To Do" board.  Super useful and easy to make.  Plus, who doesn't love a handmade wedding gift?!  We have this hung in our bedroom and like to leave each other little notes to make each other smile.  Sometimes they are silly, sometimes they are heartfelt.  Sometimes it's just "I love you!".

You can make one for yourself or for a friend in a matter of minutes.  Buy any 8x10 frame (it can be simple or elaborate) and fill the frame with scrapbook paper. You can buy single sheets of paper at places like Michael's.  Pick a fun pattern, or make it the colors of their wedding/favorite colors. 

Then, add stickers/draw your specific title on the paper.  You could use things like:  To Do, I Love You Because, Chores, Word of the Day, Grocery List, etc.  This could easily be a project to do with kids, and serve as a gift for a younger child.  And it might even be FREE if you have these simple items laying around. 

If you're feeling helpful, be sure to include dry erase markers to be used on the glass.  You could even include a small square of felt to be used as an eraser.  The possibilities are endless, as you can see!  Try adding pictures, a calendar backdrop, or fun bullet points.  Let me know what you come up with!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Snail Mail Designs - Etsy Interview

My mom is that obnoxious person that likes to send cards for every little occasion.  And guess what?

I'm turning in to my mother.  It happens to the best of us, right? 

I started getting in to mailing cards after my mom gave me a few card kits.  She does a monthly card club and thought it would be fun for me to make some.  It was.  I always love crafts that tell me exactly what to do :) 

So then I had over 20 cards to send, and started to be the person who just sent a little cheer-you-up card at random times.  One fact you can take throughout life:  PEOPLE LOVE GETTING MAIL.  Mail that is not bills, mail that has a little love tucked in, mail that has a hand written signature.  Even if it just says, "Hey, I'm thinking of you!", it will always brighten someone's day

Since moving to Texas, I have been sending even more mail to keep in touch with friends.  I want them to know that I'm thinking about them.  I also hosted my own SNAIL MAIL BIRTHDAY PARTY when I turned 25 in April.  What the heck is that?!  I made it up.  Since it was a big birthday, and I was not able to celebrate with anyone {but my lovely husband}, I asked my friends to send me birthday cards.  The most heartfelt, and the funniest card each got a gift sent back to them from Texas.  Fun, right?!

You may have noticed that "letter writing" is starting to come back into popularity.  It was listed number one on this list of "Things Everyone Should Start Making Time for Again" on Thought Catalog.  People, I'm telling you, I'm ahead of the curve on this one

And so are Beth & Britta, the sister owners of Snail Mail Designs.  They design paper products of all kinds to be shipped world wide and then sent to lucky mailboxes to garner smiles. 

Found Here
The idea started three years ago when older sister Britta asked Beth  "Do you want to start an Etsy shop where we design and sell paper goods?”  Beth responded with “Hmm, why not!”  With a mutual love to create, a few weeks of pondering led to the Snail Mail Designs brand.  Several years down the road, the company and sisterhood has been filled with a lot of fun, a lot of work, a lot of lessons learned, and a lot of personal and company growth!

(Excuse my horrible home lighting)
Let's meet the ladies!  Beth is the younger sister who loves anything outdoors; biking, running, rollerblading, etc.  She also enjoyed her first attempt at gardening this year (jealous!).  Britta loves reading, cooking, photography & playing outside with her daughter.  My creative interview question was "If you could hop in an envelope and send yourself anywhere, where would you go?"  Surprisingly, they both answered with the same destination.  Australia.  They said they have had the opportunity to work with several brides in Australia and every time they ship off their invitation orders, they consider hand-delivering them. The ocean, the accents, the people…  Britta and her husband have also talked about traveling to New Zealand as well.  With so much gorgeous scenery...I would love to go there as well!

I asked them, "What's it like working with your sister?".  They said that working with each other is probably one of the best parts of their small business. They live in different cities, and it is great to always have a reason to call or text each other– even if it is just to check on the envelope stock. They say their family might get annoyed when they get caught up in “Snail Mailing” when they're together, but their families have been very supportive along the way. They mentioned it is helpful to have someone to bounce ideas off of, and to work through the accounting side of the business with. Since they both work full-time jobs as well, it is also great to have help when it comes to fulfilling orders and preparing for craft shows.

Found Here
Where do the ideas and work come from?  With a love for pattern and text, and eyes always on blogs, magazines, Instagram, and family and friends, they come up with new ideas often.  They are also pushed to be extra creative when custom orders come in.  Oh, yeah... THEY DO CUSTOM ORDERS!  You can have them design invites or cards for baby/bridal showers, weddings, birthday parties, notecards, etc.  They mentioned one of their favorite parts is that "It is really fun to think about being a small part of other people’s life celebrations – whether that is a happy dance at the mailbox when you receive a note from a friend, or a bride envisioning the joy of her wedding day as she sends out her invitations." 

Found Here - Set of 8
How awesome is that?!  They really love what they do and enjoy connecting with customers through exciting life events.  These wonderful ladies spend their nights and weekends behind a computer creating exceptional paper products to be "snail mailed" full of good news.  You can feel their whimsy in the colorful, dainty designs, and the products offered.  They even have recipe cards and prints to share or keep for yourself!  And they are also avid fans of washi tape.  Love!  The cards are high quality and come with cute envelopes as well.  The products are top-notch and made with love.  What more can you ask for?!

They have offered readers a 15% DISCOUNT on orders with the code BLOGLOVEFALL2014 which expires November 30th.  Let's show these talented ladies some love by checking out their Etsy shop.  Their cards and prints would make an excellent gift for a girlfriend, aunt, grandmother, etc.  Personally, I always like to have Thank You and Thinking of You cards available for my use at any time as well.  Now I'm all stocked up!  If you have any events coming up, consider Snail Mail Designs for your invites, thank yous, or party favors. 

One last thing I think many readers would love, their Memory Verse Cards.  See them here!

Connect with Britta & Beth!

Etsy | Facebook | Beth Instagram | Britta Instagram

**Though I received these products for free, all opinions are my own.  Photography by Snail Mail Designs and myself.**