Archive | December, 2010

january giveaway

jan give

I wasn’t ready to start a new giveaway until Christmas was over, so here we are, a bit later than usual, but it’s a delightful collection of some of my favorite wintery-white things that I think you’ll enjoy.

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1 & 6. thank you note cards with glittered edges and envelopes lined with sheet music

2. cream sweater pillow  3. cream light-weight scarf  4. a sweet little white pitcher

5. almond scented hand cream   7. off-white silk medallion pin with beaded center

. . . . . . . .

A random winner will be selected on January 14th.

To enter the giveaway please click the button below:

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the sweetest little dollies you ever did see

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I made a few dolls for a few special little girls in my life.

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She is wearing a cable knit ruffle-front sweater {not the easiest material to sew, but oh so cute} with yellow dot bubble skirt.

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A little suit of jersey ruffles – sweet and simple.

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Sawyer is funky with a polka-dot top, floral bubble skirt and a teensy flower pin {sewn on, not pinned}

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The real Isabella is the best dressed little girl around, often sporting baby legs, so I decided to make a mini pair for this baby. 

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Surely not as cute as the real little girls, but I’m pretty happy with how they turned out.

{I used this pattern to make the dolls}

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if I had somewhere to go today

this is what I’d like to wear.

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{all from anthropologie}

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a white christmas was not made for our family

I love the idea of decorating for Christmas with a neutral palette of whites and grays, maybe some natural elements and definitely shiny metallics.

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{country living}

My six year old, however, does not.

“Christmas is not about white and brown,” he declares. “It is about red and green and silver :”

So as much as I would have loved to use the burlap stockings I made and an assortment of wintery white pillows layered on the couch, I had to go with my sweet boy’s wishes.

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red

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and green

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and silver.

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Because sometimes making a six-year-old’s Christmas feel magical is more important than indulging his momma’s love of white. Lesson learned.

Many blessings to you this Christmas. May you be filled with God’s overflowing love and grace as you celebrate His Son with your loved ones.

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holiday confections {the party}

I’ll keep this sort and sweet with lots of photos :

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{my sister’s cute house}

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{my favorite food group: appetizers}

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{toasted baguette with olive oil, cracked pepper, goat cheese & grapes : divine}

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{bags to take cookie packages home in}

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{yum}

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{a few of the sweetly packaged sweets}

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:  S O U R C E S  :

all packaging supplies were provided by GARNISH which has the most fabulous food-packaging

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glassine bags, white boxes, clear boxes, cellophane bags, loaf liners and more

They also have my favorite stripy straws

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these white containers that I want to use for something someday

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and simple lunch bags in white and brown

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take a peek at their selection {h e r e}

The ribbons are from my assorted collection of favorites. Most are from Midori, May Arts and Ribbon Connections

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The bakers twine is from Whisker Graphics

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The calligraphy was done by the talented Lindsay of Lindsay Letters

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The tags, stickers & labels were either created by me {and one by Rae} or came from the office store.

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download my collection {h e r e}

It was a wonderful party with delightful guests and I’m certainly hoping to do it again next year!

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holiday confections {invitations}

My sister hosted the most wonderful holiday party last night.

I wanted to do a ‘cookie swap’ party, but with a slight spin on it.  Rather than send the guests home with paper plates full of delicious treats, it seemed like a fun idea for the girls to package the sweets up with pretty ribbons and tags and boxes and bags.

My sister agreed to host it, she put together a guest list of some of her darling friends and the cookie exchange party idea came together.

My new blog-friend Lindsay used her amazing calligraphy talent to design the most perfectly clever invitations.

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I printed her artwork on heavy paper, rounded the corners, wrapped it in parchment paper and tied on a tag with bakers twine {purchased here}.

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Can you read the invite? So cute.

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The envelopes got some special treatment with a sweet banner as well.

Thank you to Lindsay for such beautiful work!

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If you are in need of calligraphy or design work, she’s your girl.

{photos of the party to come on monday :}

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feeling good

I’m feeling good about myself this morning :

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: our family christmas cards are ready to be put in the mail

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Since I make cards for a living, I always feel this self-induced pressure to send out my ‘best creation yet’ for our holiday card.

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But by the end of the season, I’m typically out of new ideas and our card doesn’t get the royal treatment. This year was no exception, but I did go to the extra effort to hand cut each one and I do love how they turned out.

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p.s. If you’re last name is Jamieson, Ostan, Coonrad or Allen : would you mind sending me your address?

: teacher gifts are finished and packaged.

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The boys’ beloved teachers are getting a set of gift tags with some string and a navy blue flower pin. 

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A little something out of the norm for their sweet teachers.

: while taking these photos, santa’s little helper found my stack of tissue.

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I think gift un-wrapping will be very exciting for her this year.

: but I’ll tell you what I’m not feeling good about :

Our christmas tree stand didn’t enjoy being moved {for the third time this season} and decided to fall over just minutes after admiring it in its new perfect spot. Oops. Only a few ornaments were injured in the fall, but we now have a tree with a broken stand leaning against the wall.

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We are hosting a big party here on Saturday, so I guess the good news is that it will be fixed by then. Don’t you love hosting parties for that very reason? All of the little tasks you’ve wanted to finish get done {and the bathrooms get cleaned as well}.

:

Now off I go to the mall to buy myself some boots. And maybe a skirt. Or two.

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advent calendar … 15 days late

I love the idea of a fancy advent calendar with sweet little numbered packages for each day as the children count down to Christmas. I dream of being organized enough to have one all ready to go by the time December 1st comes around.

But, unfortunately, I’m not quite that organized.

I saw this cute idea for an advent calendar using 25 Christmas books that you wrap up, then open and read each day. 

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I loved the idea so much I ran to the library {on November 30th}, checked out ever book I could find having to do with Christmas {and got a little desperate so I resorted to a few that just have something to do with winter or snow}, and planned on wrapping them up. But I never could get to it. So they are sitting in my bedroom and every night or so, I pull one out to read.  It actually has been great to have a new book about Christmas to read each day and hopefully next year I’ll make a point to wrap them.

Since we didn’t have a true advent calendar, I decided to throw a little something together during naptime to help with the countdown and make each day a bit more special.

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I’ll call it a ‘ten days ’til christmas candy cane countdown’. It is not my best work, but hey, it will do the job.

If you haven’t yet put together an advent calendar and would like to make your christmas count down more fun {and sweet}, here is what you’ll need:

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:: evergreen wreath {mine is as fake as can be from the craft store}

:: tags

:: number stamps & ink pad

:: candy canes

:: ribbon

STEP ONE: stamp each tag with a number {from 1 to 10}

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STEP TWO: punch a hole in the candy cane wrapper

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{ugh, sorry about the atrocious manicure.  I should really use lotion more often : and maybe paint my nails}

STEP THREE: thread the tag string through the hole

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My original plan was to use that red & white bakers twine {purchased here} instead of the plain white string that comes on the tags, but it was naptime and every momma knows how precious those minutes are and I just had too many things I wanted to accomplish to take the time to change out the ribbon. But if you have some extra time, I think it would be much cuter.

STEP FOUR: tie to branch on wreath

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I made one for each boy and hung from the back of the bar stools where they eat breakfast with an extra wide satin ribbon.

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Do you know this trick for cutting the tails of ribbon? Fold in half and snip diagonally. Unfold, and there you have it.

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The boys were excited when they saw the wreaths {or maybe it was the candy canes?!} and I’m glad I took the time to make a fill-in advent calendar.

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Even if it is 15 days late.

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it’s raining

In case you didn’t know, it rains in the Pacific Northwest.

A lot.

Particularly yesterday.

Ryan and I watched the news last night and the first 20 + minutes were dedicated to covering the crazy amount of rain we had, the flooding it caused and what the forecast looked like for the rest of the week.

In case you were wondering : it’s going to rain.

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But here’s the thing: rain brings with it the green grass and plentiful vegetation we enjoy as well as the clean air and full lakes, rivers and streams we play in every summer.

So while I don’t particularly enjoy a torrential downpour right before Christmas and I’d much rather be seeing soft white snowflakes, I will chose to be grateful for this day and appreciate the beauty that the rain brings with it : and also for a solid roof on our home and extra large umbrella.

Hope you are finding joy in your day as the big day approaches!

P.S. I really wish I kept the source of that image because I’d like to give credit. It is one of my faves. If you know where it came from, feel free to let me know and I will source it appropriately!

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my favorite baby hat

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I have a favorite baby hat. It is very swedish, but oh so darling.

I first had one with no. 3.

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He wore it all the time.

Audrey has a few too :

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Here she is at one day old wearing an embellished version.

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And at eight days old at my mom’s wedding. You know how you think your baby is the most precious and adorable thing ever? And then you see a photo months later and realize that maybe your vision was a little tinted by your utter love? She is so sweet, but maybe not quite as cute as I thought she was.

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There are two versions: a light-weight organic cotton {on the left} and a thicker weight {on right}.

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And as luck would have it, they are all on sale.

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Winter Pilot Cap $8 {regularly $24}

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organic cotton pilot cap $4 {regularly $10}

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on my mind

I bought a sandwich today for $9. It was really good, but seriously nine dollars?!!

In case you are wondering it was the Roberto Benigni from Pasta & Co. and if I were the calorie counting kind of girl I’m pretty sure I would be appalled by the amount contained in that perfectly grilled sandwich.

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. . . . . . .

Have you been watching the Sing Off? There are some amazing singers on that show.

. . . . . . .

This little boy learned to cross the monkey bars.

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This one has walking pneumonia.

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This one : what can I say. He’s spunky.  We were thinking about naming him Wyatt when he was still living in my belly and while we love him as a #3, he really would have been a great Wyatt.  It sounds like the name for a spunky little boy.

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And this sweetness learned to crawl. She is very happy to be mobile.

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She does not, however, enjoy being picked on by her big brother {remember the statement about him being spunky?}

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See? Not happy.

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. . . . . . .

For those of you who asked :

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. . . . . . .

Remember a while ago when I was complaining about all of my hair falling out post-pregnancy? Now look what’s happening on my head:

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some call those baby bangs : I just say they are crazy little hairs that don’t flatten. Oh the things we go through to birth our babies.

. . . . . . .

Have your ordered your Christmas cards yet? We are taking orders until friday december 10th

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click the image for more information.

. . . . . . .

My mom made these caramels the other day and they were the best thing I’ve ever tasted. I’m totally serious.

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I may or may not have consumed an embarrassing amount.

I’ll be making a batch or two for a party next week. If you are looking for a holiday treat to take to a party or give to a neighbor {or consume on your own} here is the recipe created by the ladies of Liddabit Sweets courtesy of O magazine.

Servings: Makes about 125 one-inch pieces

Sea Salt Caramels

  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Tbsp. coarse sea salt
  • Oil or cooking spray

Directions

Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring sugar, evaporated milk, and heavy cream to a boil over medium heat. Add corn syrup and continue cooking until mixture reaches 230°.
Add butter and vanilla; continue cooking, stirring constantly, until caramel reaches 240°. Remove from heat, stir in salt, and carefully pour into a lightly oiled 9″ x 13″ baking dish (parchment paper in the bottom of the pan is helpful).
Let cool at least 1 hour. Invert onto a cutting board covered with waxed or parchment paper and cut into 1-inch pieces with a sharp, lightly oiled knife. Caramels can be wrapped in waxed or parchment paper or cellophane. (To serve candy-store style, wrap individual pieces in parchment paper and secure the ends with a simple twist.) Store airtight at cool room temperature (around 65°) or in the refrigerator; will keep up to 3 weeks.

. . . . . . .

and that’s what’s on my mind.

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gift wrap love

Among other godly virtues like compassion and patience {you know, important things}, I’m pleased to see that my baby girl is also developing a passion for paper.

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So maybe she is more interested in gumming it, waving it aimlessly and tearing it to pieces, but if she is anything like her mama, she’ll carry that fascination with her for a long time {and maybe even amass a collection that I can come play with someday}.

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I like paper. I have drawers full of scrapbook paper, even though I don’t scrapbook. And I love this old rusty basket full of wrapping paper so much that it is hard for me to cut into it come gift-wrapping time.  But as I said a few days ago, I do love a fun package, so I remind myself that it is only paper and then I don’t feel so bad about using it for it’s intended purpose.

Anyway : that’s a lot of rambling.

What I really wanted to write about is where I get my paper. 

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If a gift is small enough, scrapbook paper is a perfect thing to use as wrap. With thousands of designs, a nice heavy-weight texture and at only $.60ish per piece, you can’t go wrong.

For larger gifts, I love solid paper.  These ones from Paper Source are my favorites as they are thick, come in great colors and are not too expensive.

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Of course, there is always classic kraft or white paper

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Click on the image for a link to Packaging Specialties, a Seattle-area store and perhaps my favorite store ever : it is a paper & ribbon lover’s paradise.

My mom buys kraft paper from IKEA. It is a little on the thin side, but you can’t beat the $.99 price.

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If you are looking for something a bit fancier, you could try this glitter paper from Paper Source.

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Or one of their glitter boxes. Just add a pretty ribbon and you are set!

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Last year I made a sweet little treasure box as a gift using the glitter box

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a few more fancy options:

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I could go on and on :

paper is good.

Have you started wrapping yet?

not me : I still need to write a shopping list :

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the bungalow

Remember the garage where I held my boutique last summer?

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Well, above it lies the most wonderful guest house {called the bungalow}.  We were lucky enough to be able to take a little family stay-cation this weekend to this space and it was just what we needed : quality time with the kids, a christmas movie, lots of bouncing off the walls and a bit of relaxation.

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The bungalow belongs to my sister’s husband’s sister & brother-in law {say that three times} who are the most gracious hosts and so generous with their beautifully done home.

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They’ve equipped it with a mini kitchen, the most fluffy bed, lots of movies : it’s better than a hotel room.

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I love how they built in the bed. We are trying to copy them in our upstairs bonus room with a cozy spot for the kids to snuggle up and cladding our walls with bead board might be in order.

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Everything is so pretty and fresh with green, aqua, black & white touches.

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Even the bathroom is luxurious and modern.

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We’re planning another stay {with just me & Ryan this time!} and I can’t wait.

Thanks Greg & Kristen for the most amazing time!

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december is a time to give

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and the winner of the december giveaway is  :

{“drumroll russ”}

* J I L L *

from

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{such a cute logo!}

Congratulations Jill! Please send a note to emily@jonesdesigncompany.com and I will send you the package of Christmas goodies.

::.

My darling friend Holly has an amazing giveaway going on right now

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We all have a room {or twelve} that could use some fluffing or rearranging or inspiration. Holly will come up with a design for a room in your home giving you ideas for fabrics, art, furniture, colors and accessories. She is passionate about great design and so enthusiastic about what she does : whoever is the lucky winner is lucky indeed!

Here are a few examples of Holly’s work:

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Simply leave a comment on Holly’s giveaway post to enter.

::..

I’ll announce the January giveaway next week. I’ve started compiling the collection and it is a cozy wintery one! I think you’ll like it :

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free printable holiday gift tags

My sister and her sister-in-law have a little holiday motto:

wrapped and done by december one

The amazing part about it is that they actually adhere to it!

{me, not so much}

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Perhaps, like my sister, you have found {or made} the perfect gifts and you are at the wrapping stage.  Or maybe you are more like me and you haven’t even written a gift list yet. Either way, when you do get to the wrapping part, you’ll need some cute gift tags, right?

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Because I love a creatively wrapped package, I’ve created a collection of gift tags to adorn presents this Christmas.

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And because I think you are the greatest reader-friends ever, I’d like to give the collection to you as an early {mini} Christmas gift.

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Simply download the pdf, print on cardstock, trim, punch a hole and tie onto your loved ones’ gifts.

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To receive these printable gift tags + more, please enter your email below


for-you



m e r r y   c h r i s t m a s

and happy wrapping

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