Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2011 In Review

It has been a crazy, amazing year of change for me and Simply KellyB!  Thank you to all of you who have enjoyed the journey with me.  Since we are in the last week of 2011, I thought I would share a little recap of my favorite posts from this year. 
Gratitude Chain
Christmas Countdowns
Halloween Countdowns
Book Page Decor
Handmade Cake Toppers
Vintage Cowboys

A Delightful Bunch of Carrots
The Circus Comes to Town
Love Note Board

"Kleenex Caddies"
A Classic Valentine
Sticky Note Tutorial
I am looking forward to a wonderful 2012 to come!  Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Confections

In 2003, my friends and I began making Christmas chocolates for family and friends. Now, eight years later, "Chocolateering" is a much beloved three-day Christmas tradition.

We begin on Thursday evening with shopping and making centers.  Friday night includes rolling and forming centers, prepping toppings and chopping chocolate.  Saturday is all about dipping.  We start early and dip into the late evening hours.  At the end of the day, we have created over 600 candies and lots of funny memories.  I am so grateful to have wonderful friends to share delicious traditions with!
Thanks to our new purchase (A Chocolate Temperer! Hooray!), this years chocolates were almost too pretty to eat!
Peanut Butter Cup
Mint Chocolate Truffle
Peanut Butter Fondant
Oreo Truffle (2011 Special Edition)
White Chocolate Macadamia Truffle
Vanilla Fondant
Milk Chocolate Dipped Caramel
Milk Chocolate Truffle
Cashew Chocolate Caramel

Rolled Caramel
Chocolate Caramel Oreo
Toffee Truffle
Speculoos Fondant (2011 Special Edition)
Of course, you can't spend three days making confections and then not put them in adorable packaging!  This year, I finally created a "Chocolate Key" and seal...something I have wanted to do for years.
I used parchment paper in each ruby red box.  I then wrapped the parchment with a strip of brown cardstock and topped with a seal
A chocolate "key" in each box tells recipients which treat they will be enjoying.
Now the trick is to get them out and delivered to all my loved ones!  Hope you are enjoying your hustling and bustling!  Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Easy Christmas Tag

I have been scouring the web for the perfect vintage image for my Christmas candy tags.  I found this darling tag all ready to go and I thought I would share it with you.
You can save this image to your computer and print it out in a variety of sizes, or you can download my pre-sized tag pdf.  Just print the pdf on cardstock, cut tags apart, and punch a hole for attaching to gifts.

Merry Christmas Wrapping!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas in New York

Christmastime in New York, what a treat!  Last weekend I tagged along with my friend who had a conference in the heart of Manhattan.  Amazingly, it was my first trip to the city and it was MAGICAL!  The shopping, food and shows were delightful!  We also got ALOT of walking in (so I justified all the eating!)

Here are a few of my favorites from the weekend trip...
Speculoos Waffles from "Waffels and Dinges".  Wow!  So yummy!  These Belgium waffles are cooked with sugar that caramelizes!  The waffle is then topped with Speculoos (a gingerbread flavored spread) and topped with whipped cream. These delightful creations changed my life! No wonder they won a "throwdown" with Bobby Flay.
Because this was my first trip to NY, I had to visit the classic sights.  The Met, The Statue of Liberty, Central Park and Ground Zero were all on my list.
There was a lot of eating!  Enough said.
Fantastic windows on 5th Avenue.  Bergdorf Goodman, you put me to shame!
It turns out there are a lot of cupcake shops in New York.  Of course, we had to sample each one.
Broadway was a blast!  We had tickets for a show each night.  Thursday was NYC Ballet's Nutcracker, Friday brought Harry Connick Jr in "On a Clear Day" and Friday we celebrated Christmas with the Rockettes!
The Chelsea Market was just what I imagined it to be.  I loved this eclectic market from the time I approached the old brick warehouse building.  It was filled with delightful food shops and tasty treat boutiques.  There was also a vintage holiday boutique that I really enjoyed. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

2012 Calendar Pages

I have had a few requests to update the calendar that will fit in this kit from last year.  If you purchased this kit and would like a new 2012 calendar, you can purchase and download it now! The 2012 calendar will fit perfectly into the same spot as the 2012. Just print it on white cardstock, trim the edges, and you are all set.
2012 Calendar File $3.00
(file will be emailed to you within 24 hours)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Gift Trimmings on Studio 5

The month of December is filled with trimming our trees and decking our halls.  Today on Studio 5, I showed a few ideas for "Trimming" a holiday gift.  I love embellishing my presents to make them extra exciting for the recipient.  These quick and easy little trimmings will take your present wrapping to the next level and delight your friends and family.

A Gift Can Never Have Enough Accessories!
I love an accessory!  Purses, scarves, jewelry, hats....I just love them.  And, it turns out, accessories make great little gift trimmings.  Adding an accessory to your packaging is a great way to wet the palette of your gift's recipient.  It gives them just a little taste of the wonderful gift inside.  Try using headbands, flowers, necklaces, scarves, broaches or belts to spice up your wrapping.
A hand crocheted headband ties easily around a package to create a band.  I topped this package off with a simple round gift tag hanging from the headband.
These clip or pin on accessory flowers make great wrapping decor!  Simply clip your flower onto a ribbon that had been secured around the package.  The recipient can use the flower, ribbon and whatever waits inside the box!
This cute little resin necklace is clasped onto the ribbon that is tied around a simple cardboard box.  I love the simplicity of this package that really makes a statement.
Handmade Paper Bows
Putting a handmade touch on a gift says "You are Special to ME!"  These fun handmade bows can be created from any double sided patterned paper and are a great way to trim a gift.
To create a handmade paper bow of your own, you will need:
Eight 6X1" strips, Four 5x1" strips, One 4x1" strip cut from double sided patterned paper, one long brad *Hint-bows are much easier to manipulate with lighter weight paper
1. Hole punch each strip at the top and bottom as shown above.
2. Start threading strips onto the brad, beginning with the 4X1 strip.  Make this strip a loop (overlapping holes) and place through brad.
2. Start threading the 5" strips.  Place one hole through the brad and then twist the other side around and place the hole through the brad as shown. Continue with all four 5" strips. *Hint-pay attention to the direction that you place strips on the brad.  You can alternate backs and fronts for a multi-patterned bow if you would like.
3. Begin threading with the 6" strips and continue until all eight strips are on the brad.
4. Open up brad clasps to secure strips in place. 
5. Add a pop dot or strong glue dot to adhere the completed bow to your package.
You can also make a mini bow (about 2" finished) using smaller strips.  Follow the directions above, but use the following sizes of strips: Eight 1/2x2 1/2", Five 1/2x2" (four for first layer and one for center). 
Vintage Postcards
I love the idea of using an adorable vintage image to dress up a package.  There are so many sweet little Christmas vignettes available online for free!  All you have to do is type "Vintage Christmas" into your search engine and you will have an abundant supply of fabulous images to choose from.  Here is one of the vintage images that I used on my packages today:
If search engines aren't your cup of tea, try The Graphics Fairy, one of my favorite places to pick up vintage prints. 

Once you find a print you love, save it to your computer, print it out on cardstock, punch a hole and attach it to your gift.

Vintage images are perfect for creating a themed tag as well.  You can modify  your search to include a theme such as "Vintage Christmas Cookies" or "Vintage Hawaiian Christmas."  This is a simple solution for "trimming" your neighbor gifts.

FREE Christmas Tag Downloads
How about trimming up a gift with a simple tag?  Did you know there are hundreds of FREE printable Christmas tag patterns available online.  Just type "FREE PRINTABLE CHRISTMAS TAGS" into your search engine and you will have your pick of darling tags, waiting to be printed.
Once you download the tag patterns, print them onto heavy cardstock and cut them out. Punch a hole and tie them into your packages as desired.

Just incase you don't see a tag you love in your searches, here are some of my favorite free tag finds:
A Fanciful Twist (pink and red mushroom and tree tags), Living Locurto(bright owl pictured above)

I hope you enjoy trimming your gifts with creativity!  Have fun and let your imagination go to work and you will create a wrapping masterpiece!