Wednesday, December 31, 2008

About Time

Some would say the end is here,
Today I say, the beginning is near.

For tomorrow will be a brand new start,
A goal or a dream is not just art.

Begin a new challenge and push yourself to the limits,
Because time won't wait for the passive.


~Dream your dream~

~Follow your heart~

~Accomplish your goals~



HAPPY 2009!
Here's to you!

Holiday Jam

I only call it Holiday Jam because I make it once a year during the Holidays. Last year I managed to get this out to my friends & family before Christmas. This year, the jam had to wait until after.

This year I made Strawberry Jam.

Now you can too...
2 Quarts of fresh (or frozen) Strawberries, hulled
1 box (1 3/4 oz) package powdered pectin
1/2 tsp. butter
7 cups sugar
1. Crush 1 cup of berries in a big pot. Continue adding berries and crushing till you have about 5 cups crushed berries. Stir in pectin and butter. Heat on high, stirring constantly, till mixture comes to a full rolling boil. Add sugar all at once. Return to boiling; boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; skim off foam.
2. Ladle into hot, sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch from top. Wipe jar rims, adjust lids onto jar and screw on tightly. Place upside down on a flat surface.
{tip #1: I wash my jars in hot water and once clean and just before mixture is ready, I soak jars in the sink in hot water until Ready for each one.}
{tip #2: Turning the assembled hot jars upside down seals the lids super tight and jars can be stored for longer than normal. But trust me - this jam is too good to store for long periods of time.}

Friday, December 26, 2008

It's a Merry Christmas to all


to all my friends (old & new) who stop by and visit the swanky paper blog I wish you all a Happy Christmas season and continue those warm wishes for a Happy New Year!
XOXO, Heather!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Reindeer Food

We always remember to leave cookies or other treats for dear ol' Santa, but let's not forget the Reindeer this year. Easy as pie to make and the kiddos will have a ball!





Take some oats





and some glitter

mix the two together and Voila!

Don't forget to sprinkle your Reindeer food on the lawn or the roof. The glitter will help all the reindeer find your home.



{glitter image via flickr}

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Toasty Toes

I got these from a friend in a gift exchange and have worn them everynight since. {i wear socks to bed}
on sale here at BR

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

sweet & simple

... and affordable too.
I am generally one of those people who see something is a store and says to myself, "I'll just make it rather than buy it." I said that about a gorgeous cobalt blue blouse from Anthro... I even took a picture of it (tsk..tsk) think that I'd actually make it.... it is still just an idea. Yes. I know I should have purchased it. So what's my point....
I have been seeing those darling scrabble tile necklaces around, I say to myself, "I'll just make one myself." Then I started looking for the materials ... check out Etsy! Someone HAS to be selling supplies for these...

Then I found Home Studio on Etsy.
Why make it when I can buy it?!

I bought this.

















and I am currently eyeing this one




{all images via HomeStudio}

Monday, December 15, 2008

my new accessory

Remember this post? Well my wristlet arrived from Modern Myrtle about a week ago and

I. LOVE. IT.
It is my favorite accessory and I love the fabric choices.




It makes carrying around diapers and wipes SO CHIC. And on those quick errands I have to go on, in addition to holding my wipes case, a diaper or two, I can even fit my cash, credit cards, cell phone and lip gloss. No more bulky purses.

Thanks so much Joni for my wristlet!

{p.s.} I just saw on Joni's blog that she has aprons in stock and ready to ship just in time for Christmas.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

merry & bright

My sister asked me to design something different for her Christmas card this year. And well, since she is my sister and I'd do anything for her, I did!

She wanted something with bold colors but not too busy.

I was not completely confident in what I came up with but sent it to her anyway ... both she and her husband LOVED it. YAY!!

So with her permission I can share it with all-y'all.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Attacked

I fell victim to that nasty virus circulating Facebook! Fortunately it did not damage our files but it royally destroyed our Internet. Yeah...not so much a good thing during the holiday rush of orders.
There was a silver lining on all of this ...
I got a new computer.
be back soon ... there is much to catch up on

Friday, December 5, 2008

for the person who has everything

What do you give to the person who has everything, or the person can just as easily get anything? AND without breaking the bank??

We got the gift issue of this catalog last week and I can not stop flipping through the pages. There are a ton of great gift ideas to give to say my dad, father-in-law or really don't need anything. Something like this for my dad might be fun. Or this for my mom {and since you are reading this, mom, I am getting you something entirely different}. And no doubt my nephew would dig these ...would his mom?

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

swanky christmas cards

I realize that I am waaaaay behind on several things - This being one of them. I almost scrapped the idea this year because I had done absolutely ZERO advertising for this, but after several darling friends & family asked if I was offering any this year I decided to make them available.

I am not out to make a lot of money on these, but rather offering them because quite frankly, I enjoy it. All photo cards come in 5x7 and are printed on Fujicolor Crystal Archive in a lustre finish. In addition, each photo comes with foil lined white envelopes. There are no pre-determined sets. You let me know how many. The prices will range from .65 to .80 each. Yes, that is right! Nothing over $1.00!!


Winter Wonderland

Wrapped in Red

Joyful Holiday

Pure Joy

Green Dream

Deck the Halls Modern

Deck the Halls Classic

Candy Buttons

Decco Holiday



Please email me at heather(at) gmail (dot)com with any requests, photos or questions. After working out the details I will send you an invoice via PayPal. Gotta love PayPal!!


p.s. so...anyone want to take a guess at which one I am sending out?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Station

By Robert J. Hastings

Tucked away in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision in which we see ourselves on a long journey that spans an entire continent. We're traveling by train and, from the windows, we drink in the passing scenes of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at crossings, of cattle grazing in distant pastures, of smoke pouring from power plants, of row upon row upon row of cotton and corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of city skylines and village halls.

But uppermost in our conscious minds is our final destination--for at a certain hour and on a given day, our train will finally pull into the Station with bells ringing, flags waving, and bands playing. And once that day comes, so many wonderful dreams will come true. So restlessly, we pace the aisles and count the miles, peering ahead, waiting, waiting, waiting for the Station.

"Yes, when we reach the Station, that will be it!" we promise ourselves. "When we're eighteen. . . win that promotion. . . put the last kid through college. . . buy that 450SL Mercedes-Benz. . . have a nest egg for retirement!"From that day on we will all live happily ever after.

Sooner or later, however, we must realize there is no Station in this life, no one earthly place to arrive at once and for all. The journey is the joy. The Station is an illusion--it constantly outdistances us. Yesterday's a memory, tomorrow's a dream. Yesterday belongs to a history, tomorrow belongs to God. Yesterday's a fading sunset, tomorrow's a faint sunrise. Only today is there light enough to love and live.

So, gently close the door on yesterday and throw the key away. It isn't the burdens of today that drive men mad, but rather the regret over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who would rob us of today."Relish the moment" is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24, "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."

So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, swim more rivers, climb more mountains, kiss more babies, count more stars. Laugh more and cry less. Go barefoot oftener. Eat more ice cream. Ride more merry-go-rounds. Watch more sunsets. Life must be lived as we go along. The Station will come soon enough.


I hear the saying, "Life is a journey. Enjoy the Ride" quite often. I truly believe that it is. If you are not enjoying this journey called LIFE, what is the point?! It is up to me (and you) to make time for the little joys in life. I find joy in playing with my boys, eating ice cream, laughing babies, my husband, summer nights, playing at the park, creating & designing, talking with my sisters, laughing with my friends, crying over a good book. Yesterday is a memory, tomorrow is a dream. LIVE your dream.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I have a small problem

You see this chair? I have two of them. Exactly the same. Minus the rips and tears ... those are unique to each other. My neighbor was parting with these and offered them for free - of course they are free - would you look at the mess they are in!! Anyway, I accepted them because upon sitting my little fanny in the cushion I did not want to get out. To put it plainly these are comfy over sized chairs.

I have been searching fabrics to get them re-upholstered and nothing has suited my fancy.... until I stumbled upon THIS site. Oh. Me. Oh. My!!

Now my problem is that I just can't decide on a fabric. There are so many choices. Currently I am loving THIS collection from Michael Miller. But then again THIS would be a little more practical.

I'll have to narrow down my selections and then maybe have YOU decide!

Monday, November 24, 2008



I have been following Tip Junkie for a few months now ... ever stop into Tip Junkie?

There are always seasonal ideas for the crafter, cute boutiques to browse though and I am loving the tips featuring Moms! We all lead incredibly busy lives, and it is nice to see what other creative Moms are doing in ALL of their FREE time. ;-)


You'll have to check out her Mom-preneur Shop-a-thon! Laurie had a brilliant idea and has offered her readers the opportunity to buy from creative Women this holiday season. Any why not? Swanky Paper is one of the fabulous features shops!


Friday, November 21, 2008

charming boutique

Ever heard of Modern Myrtle?

Darling!


Darling!


Darling!

I must have been living under a rock because I have only recently found out about Modern Myrtle and the darling items listed here. Joni offers Quilts, Aprons, Handbags, adorable onesies, and more.

I found this site through a friend's referral and I am so excited about my custom order. I ordered this, however I asked Joni to make it a little bit larger so that I can use my wristlet to hold my wipes case and a few diapers.

The best part about her custom bags is that you can mix and match from any of her fantastic fabric choices.

I can't wait to see the lovely wristlet that Joni is whipping up for me!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

California Baby

I am a creature of habit when it comes to my daily skincare regime. I have not altered it for years simply because it works for me. I have sensitive skin so I am fearful of putting anything on my face that it is not familiar with.
This is not the case with my youngest son. I have tried numerous products on his skin. He developed a mild case of eczema on his knees and ankles a few months ago. Recommendations from friends didn't seem to help much. That is until this last Sunday. A friend noticed my son's little patchy redness and asked if that was eczema. She then recommended a product called California Baby.


I had never heard of it and was willing to give another recommendation a try seeing as how nothing really helped much. I bought the Calendula Cream, Nature's First-Aid.

I have been using it since Monday and there is a noticeable difference where his little patches are. They have lightened up and I don't see my little one scratching as much.

California Baby also has a line of products strictly for Eczema, however I am going to continue the Calendula Cream since it seems to be working.

California Baby offers a whole line of organic products and they are not just for babies ... check it out!
I give this product 2 thumbs up!

Monday, November 17, 2008

jammies


I love Old Navy for this time of year. They generally stock up on some fun and very comfortable PJ's. I picked up these little comfy pants over the weekend... and a cute green tee to match. My favorite color!






{*If I'd only known they were a couple buck cheaper online..}

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

craft'in mama: Rag Quilts

My boys needed some new blankets and I have a niece with an adorable rag quilt that I wanted to mimic. They didn't appear difficult to make but I wanted to make sure I did it right. I searched the web for a tutorial for making these, but could not find one. I must not be searching the right venues because I am quite certain tutorials are out there somewhere. So I was left to my own devices. I borrowed the quilt from my niece and figured it out. Really, don't give me any credit because this is seriously an easy project. time consuming, yes. but easy!

First, cut out fabric squares - however you want to cut and how ever many you want in order to make the size of quilt you desire. Fold the fabric in half so that you are cutting two squares at a time. Keep the two squares together. You'll be sewing them together later.
To cut, I used what you see here.
Between you and me ... I can't cut a straight line, so I cheat!)









After you have all your squares, make sure they are in pairs and sew each pair together to form strips. I sewed mine together at 5/8. Depending on the end result you want, feel free to sew more or less than that.













Once the strips are sewn, you'll then sew each strip together forming the quilt.













Once all the strips are sewn together you'll have a quilt with a smooth side and a side with stitched ends.

Here comes the tedious part. Take a pair of scissors and cut tiny incisions along each of the stitched ends. I cut mine about 1/4 to 1/2 inch apart. Honestly, you don't need to be precise. Just be sure to stop the incision before cutting into your stitching.












After all the cuts are made, throw your quilt into the washer and dryer. This will fray the cut ends giving it the rag look.

My handsome little 3 year old is into Pirates. Naturally he choose this fabric.

And since my 16th month old Prince can't give me his opinion yet (well he can't verbalize it anyway!), I chose the blue, orange, green, & white for him.







Happy Sewing!

Monday, November 10, 2008

latest addition

Hooray for Bookplates!




My latest addition to the Swanky shop are these totally cute Bookplates!



in Cotton Candy
(sneak preview. not yet added to the shop)



Sunday, November 9, 2008

M-I-A



Our life has become a little bumpy road lately with quite a few ups and downs, that contributing to this blog had to take a back seat for a while. If there is still an audience, I thank you for your patience.

There is much to come and more to be added in the shop. I have been busy with custom orders and a few non-Swanky Paper projects that I can't wait to share.

stay tuned...



image via flickr

Monday, October 13, 2008

i love the central coast

We took a lovely little vacay to the central coast. I love this place for many reasons. In particular, the weather. It is usually in the 70's year round and the nice coastal breeze is great. We go a few times a year ... I can't get enough of it!



This trip we went to a charming little place called Avila Valley Barn. A perfect for kids. They had a petting zoo where my boys fed the goats, pigs, cows, and miniature horses (not sure if they were Shetland ponies).

There was a funny looking cow ... with huge eyes that were reminiscent of what you'd find in Disney movie.



We hoped on a tractor and drove out to the fields where we picked our own apples. They were SO yummy.




It was nice to be away from home (and the responsibilities of my everyday routine) for a few days.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Oxford

I love this oxford heel.

The Swanky Newsletter

I started a Newsletter for all my Swanky customers. Just a little fun, monthly publication that will touch on all things ... not just stationery (after all, there is only so much talk of paper a girl can do!)

If you want to sign up for the newsletter either leave a comment with your email or send an email to me heather (at) swankypaper (dot) com

This month was all about Gifts. Giving & Receiving. Here is a little teaser:

How to Receive a Bad Gift Graciously
by: www.ehow.com

It's the worst gift in the world, but you have to be polite. It would be rude to tell the giver what you really think of the gift, even if the giver has really bad taste. It's time to beef up your acting skills and show your appreciation for every gift you get and make it look real.

1. Pretend that the gift is the best you've ever been given. Be enthusiastic about the gift, not just polite. The giver must never suspect that you really hate it. (WARNING: Don't praise the gift too effusively or the giver might get you something similar for your next birthday.)

2. Think of an adjective to describe the gift without offending the giver. Words like "unique" or "unusual" are good choices. No one will know that you plan to hide the gift in a dark corner when you get home. (WARNING: If the gift is not unusual, substitute an appropriate adjective, such as colorful or stunning.)

3. Ask the giver where they got the gift. This is a good way to slyly discover where to return it, if the receipt is not included.

4. Smile as you think of an equally bad gift to give to them. Planning your revenge is the best way to receive a bad gift while maintaining a polite and gracious smile.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

In the Press

I recently had the opportunity to be interviewed over at Dane Carlson's Business Opportunities Weblog. You can read the full interview HERE.

Here is an excerpt:

What was the most rewarding part of starting Swanky Paper?
The most rewarding aspect about starting Swanky Paper is the feeling of success. You never know what will become of an idea, even when that idea is researched and developed into a business. The fear of failure is strong. For me, the fact that only a year ago I was finalizing what paper products to use and getting ready to reveal my designs to others. Having built my business this far gives me a great sense of achievement. You can only imagine how thrilled I was when I finally showed off my designs and complete strangers loved them! They were a hit! That alone gave me the confidence to continue and I am certainly glad I did.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sunday Tradition



We started a tradition a while back and it has become one of my favorites. After church on Sundays we make Buttermilk Waffles. I look forward to them and now you can too. Here is the recipe:

4 Eggs beat until lite
2 Cups of Flour
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Baking Powder
2 Cups Buttermilk
1 Cup Cooking Oil (or 1/2 cup oil & 1/2 cup butter)

Mix together and pour into a waffle maker (preferably a Belgian Waffle maker)

Top with your favorite topping. My personal favorite is peanut butter and syrup.
Mmmm! I think I may have to make some this morning for breakfast now.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

That's Swell

I ended up at a bookstore not too long ago. This was a different sort of bookstore. It only sold used books and everything was a dollar.

Yes. ONE DOLLAR.

I knew I'd find something in there.




Cynthia Rowley & Ilene Rosenzweig co-authored a silly little book called Swell: A Girl's Guide to the Good Life

I am living vicariously through their stories.

This book is now on my book shelf as my go to guide for hosting parties, style, emergency quick fixes and living life with flair... should the need ever arise.

"It's a little bit Audrey, a little Lucy and Ethel, and everything your mother would have taught you - if she'd gone to charm school in Vegas!"


Monday, September 22, 2008

on the agenda

it's not too early to start thinking about what's on next years agenda....




Etsy sellers are so creative!
I love the grey and chartreuse combo that misseskwittys used on this agenda cover.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Secret Diamonds

I just got a tip in my inbox from daily candy ... Secret deodrant is holding a HUGE giveaway which includes diamonds - a flawless $15,000 diamond to be exact.




All you have to do to enter is to wear deodrant. Piece of cake!

(there are other prizes too!)

{image via Secret.com}

Monday, September 15, 2008

they've arrived

So...remember this post? and how excited I was to share the latest goodies from Swanky Paper? Well my paper supplier discontinued the paper I had originally used for the first few invitation orders I had. So I researched other suppliers and a few weeks later (and several samples later) I found it at last!

I admit with pride that I love paper ~ all paper. Mohawk's via satin is no exception! I love the look and feel of this paper and I know you will to.

So without further ado....again! Check out the new Swanky Invitations!