We’re beyond excited to share that the Paper Muse Press product site is now open for business. It’s a soft launch, meaning we’re going to be continually adding new products as the weeks go by, so please check back often. We’re also offering the above discount code for $5.00 off to our family, friends, and followers who have been so supportive throughout our journey. Please take a look at the site, and feel free to send any feedback. We hope you’ll try out Paper Muse Press, and love our stuff as much as we’ve loved designing and creating it!
High fives all around. We’re so excited to be in New York City once again for the National Stationary Show. Rowena and Sarah attended last year (see posts about their trip here), and this year I was also invited to join in. I can’t wait to explore the city, it’s my first time in the Big Apple. I’m also looking forward to being inspired by great stationary trends, the designers at Surtex, and also all the amazing pieces at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair. I’ll be posting updates all week as we travel and learn, so read along and join our adventure!
I recently threw a shower for the newest addition to the family, my cousin’s daughter Charlotte. It was co-hosted by my best friend Claudia, and it wasn’t any ordinary shower. Since this is their second baby we decided to do a sip and see. What’s a sip and see you may ask (as many people did). It’s an event hosted after the baby is born so people can come SEE the baby and SIP and snack at the same time. Charlotte’s nursery is owl themed, in a palette of purples, pinks, greys, and whites, so we decided to match it for her party. We served all kinds of apps, and baked up custom heart and letter C cookies, and the fun owl cake above. Baking these treats was one of my favorite parts of the shower prep. (I found the owl cake in the Better Homes and Gardens Cakes! special issue. It was super easy to make from a 9×12 inch cake pan).
The invitations we sent out had grey chevron on them, so we added this element in with the linens, and also had chevron straws for the drinks. We punched out paper flowers in purples and pinks, and spread them all around the house on all the tables.
The centerpiece was made up of bright purple hyacinths. They were so fragrant! We found the little pink owls at a local craft store, and had a few around the house nestled amongst the decor. Flynn even got into the theme with a big pink ribbon bow.
I saw this fun thumbprint guest book over on White Table Style, and with an owl themed shower, it was too perfect. We added the little owls from the invites to the tree. Each guest added their thumbprint and signed their name, and then at the end of the shower we put it in a frame as a gift. When guests entered the front door they were greeted by a giant, colorfully painted C. Can you believe it was Claudia’s first craft painting project. She did a great job!
Opening gifts was especially fun. There were lots of adorable matching outfits for Charlotte and her big sister Emma. Major advantage of having two little girls. I also introduced Emma to the chalkboard wall in our newly remodeled kitchen. Needless to say, it was a big hit.
We found these purple polka dot favor bags online at Wishy Washi Tape. I also loved the grey pattern tape that said “With Love”, and we purchased our pink chevron drinking straws there as well. If you’re looking for cute party decor items I suggest you check them out. Inside the favor bags were candy, and these cute owl notecard sets.
All in all the shower was a success. Everyone enjoyed getting a chance to meet Charlotte, here she is with my co-hostess Claudia and her grandma. Such a sweet girl! Hope you enjoyed checking out our owl themed baby shower as much as we loved putting it together and hosting it!
If there’s one thing I enjoy about making creative cocktails, it’s the experimentation. We just celebrated Cinco de Mayo and I’ve been craving a margarita ever since. Making a margarita from scratch is pretty darn easy. However we also just got a new juicer and I wanted to try out adding fresh squeezed strawberry to a classic margarita recipe. I won’t lie, my first try was a bit funky. Salt + fresh squeezed strawberry for some reason just doesn’t mix. So instead I tweeked the recipe a bit to come up with flavors that compliment each other. That’s the fun of mixology right, tasting and sampling til it’s perfect!
Here’s that you’ll need for this cocktail:
Strawberries if you have a juicer. If not you’ll want to get some frozen strawberry puree.
Tequila (100% agave tequila if you can).
White crystal sugar (optional for the rim).
rocks or high ball glass
Wet the rim of your glass and dip in sugar so you get a thin layer around the top edge, like salt on a traditional margarita. You can also skip this step if you’d prefer. In a cocktail shaker add a bit of ice, then juice of 2 1/2 limes, 1 1/2 ounces tequila, 1/2 ounce Cointreau, 2 tbsp. strawberry puree, or if you’re using fresh juice that’s 1 ounce juice. Shake well in cocktail mixer, then pour over ice. You can also add simple syrup or agave nectar to sweeten, but I’d recommend giving it a taste first. Since the glass is rimmed with sugar you might not feel you need it, but if you like sweet drinks you can add it in. I wouldn’t use more than 1 ounce simple syrup, or one tablespoon agave. Garnish with a slice of lime and strawberry. Fresh and delicious (and you can brag you made it from scratch)! Hope you’ll enjoy this fresh strawberry margarita recipe.
Mothers Day is a perfect occasion to put together a simple brunch. It’s on a Sunday, and it’s in spring, a perfectly brunch worthy combo in my book. Something else that’s great is it’s super easy to host, since breakfast food is simple to prepare and cook (or may not require any cooking at all). For this little inspiration shoot I used the fun hostess serving sets I had purchased awhile ago as a starting point. I’m an avid milk glass collector, and I love the colorful, graphic leaf pattern on each plate and cup. I’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to use them.
This was also an opportunity to use my ceramic creamer from Target. I love that it’s shaped like a milk carton (and I used milk inside instead of cream).
The arrangements were full of white peonies, pink wax flower, and poppy pods that I couldn’t resist grabbing at the local grocery store. To make them a little extra special I submerged some photos of my mom and I, and my husband, his brother, and his mom from our wedding day. Use photos that have actually been printed and processed professionally. Ink jet printed photos will just run and smear. It’s a great way to personalize a simple flower arrangement for a shower, birthday party, or any special occasion, and the water magnifies and makes the photos so crisp and clear.
As I said, a brunch menu is easy to plan and prepare. These sweet rolls are from McClain’s Bakery, a local Kansas City favorite, and fruit was purchased at the grocery store. For an actual brunch I’d also throw in a pre-prepared egg casserole of some kind. One of my favorites is this Kale and Sausage Breakfast Strata from The Pioneer Woman. So delicious and you can make it the day before and heat it up. Not into cooking? Go to the store and buy some pre-made quiches to serve, or even better mini quiche!
Thanks so much for checking out my Mothers Day Brunch. I hope it inspires you to do something special for your mom this weekend!
Working on inspiration shoots is one of my very favorite things to work on as a floral designer. Doing a shoot/event with friends is even more fun. When Ellen and Jamie of White Table Style asked me to collaborate with them on a table for DIFFA’s Dining by Design event, I couldn’t have been more excited. The theme for 2013 was “April in Paris” and designers could choose to create a table around the theme, or just do any design they wanted to. With a love for all thinks French we decided to go with the Paris theme. A French floral market seemed like the perfect choice, but we decided to do a stylized, modern take on the idea. Our table was beautifully captured by Allison Marie Photography.
The drink flags were made by Ellen out of bamboo skewers and glitter tape purchased from a local craft store.
We used lots of colorful flowers in jewel tones, and painted galvanized steel buckets gold to give them a modern twist. Fun chalkboard signs had flower names and prices on them to give the centerpiece another floral market touch.
What would a french themed table be with out macarons? We sent our inspiration board to Au Bon Macaron, and they created beautiful, bright colored (and super tasty) treats for our table.
Ellen had this lantern from West Elm, and we thought it would be the perfect focal point for the table, filled with flowers and candles. Gorgeous lilacs are a staple flower of spring and gave our display a beautiful aroma.
We used beautiful pink depression glass goblets, and plates from Crate and Barrel at each place setting. To give the silverware an extra special touch we hand glittered all the handles with gold. Merci take away cards with gold and white washi tape were placed around the table. We decided to use the black and white striped runner because we felt it was reminiscent of the awnings outside many of the little shops in Paris.
Overall I think our table turned out beautifully. So colorful and fun. We hope our guests had a great time dining at it. Here’s a list of lovely vendors who participated and what they did to help make our table a success:
Wow, one whole year already! It’s hard to believe that it’s already been that long since we started writing the Paper Muse Press blog. To celebrate one year I’m sharing some of my favorite posts from 2013. It’s so fun taking a look back through all our content. It makes me, and the team feel good about what we’re creating here on the blog, and we hope that it will continue to be a source of fun, and inspiration for our readers!
One of our most viewed posts, our kitchen remodel was kind of a big deal for us back in January. Seeing it all finished and the wonderful reaction we got was awesome! Thanks to everyone who came to the site and checked out our space.
I shared one of my very favorite comfort food recipes, baked spinach and rosemary manicotti. This is a go to for us, and definitely a dish that I love serving up for dinner parties with family or friends.
We started wishing for spring a little bit early this year (with how cold it stayed all the way through April), but with this modern wedding inspiration shoot it was tough to resist. I got to work once again with some amazing wedding professionals to create a gorgeous dream wedding.
Sage Dawson is not only an amazing artist, she’s also a good friend, so I was thrilled to share her beautiful prints and paintings on the blog for one of our Art + Design posts. Please make sure to check out her work!
I can’t think of a better way to celebrate St.Patrick’s Day than with a beer tasting party. We had a bunch of friends over, and sampled lots of delicious brews, along with mini reubens, and stuffed red potatoes. Yum!
I love flowers, which is a good thing given my chosen profession as a floral designer. Spring is one of the most amazing times of year for beautiful blooms, and a hand painted wood container only enhances their gorgeousness.
Summer is quickly approaching, and you know what that means. Backyard bbq’s galore. A favorite dish I like to bring to a pot luck gathering is this caprese salad bruschetta. Fresh, colorful, and delicious, it’s a go to recipe for any summer event!
Fresh herbs, I’m kind of obsessed with them. As I said, the spring has come late here in the midwest, so I decided to start growing my own herb garden indoors. Decorated with washi tape it’s not only functional, but decorative as well.
One of my favorite DIY projects to date. This heart string art was a fun, and simple way to decorate our mantel and use some of the existing pieces (the letters) I already had around the house.
Thanks so much for taking a walk down memory lane with me. Again I’m so very happy to be part of the Paper Muse Press team, and I hope that you, our readers, love the things that we’re creating!
April just FLEW by. I know I probably say that every month, but the beginning of spring was packed with events, both personal, and professional. It’s been a bit dreary this month here in the midwest, so I’m ready for May to brighten things up as we move into summer. Here’s a peek at some of the fun things I’ve been up to!
I’ve been working away on a fun collection of accessories for weddings, and other events. This is one of my favorite pieces, bright blue teal feathers and lots of jewels! Find all my pieces in my Etsy shop.
Made a trip to one of my favorite cities, Chicago, to visit my friends, Claudia and James, but also to attend the Sage Wedding Pros, the Simple Plan workshop. It was a totally eye opening experience and I can’t say enough good things about it.
I also made a trip to BHLDN while I was in Chi-town. It was just as beautiful as I expected. My only critique would be I wish the store was bigger so I could look at more beautiful things!
Returned home and got right to work, collaborating on a great event with the ladies of White Table Style. We worked together to create a fresh, stylized french floral market themed table for the DIFFA Dining by Design event. The theme was April in Paris, so we went pretty literal with the inspiration. It was such a fun and refreshing design to work on, especially since it was with my friends.
Our first wedding of the season for Brian and Fiona. Coral and emerald green, with lots of fun texture, and poppies, which Fiona really wanted for her bouquet.
Next came the owl themed sip and see shower for my new niece, Charlotte Jane. Her nursery is decorated with owls, so we really went for it with the theme (I’ll be sharing more on the blog next week). A great chance to meet the new little girl, and spend time with family and friends. One of my favorite details was the polka dot favor bags, and “With Love” washi tape, from Wishy Washi Tape.
And last but not least I spent most of the past two days working on an open house, and inspiration shoot at one of my favorite venues, River Market Event Place. Our theme was neutral, and gold with fun pops of neon. I can’t wait to see all the lovely pictures by Cornerstone Photography. Thanks for checking out my adventures, hope you’re having a fun (and less dreary) start of spring.
Whenever I get a little restless with my decor one of my first go to spots for re-decorating is my mantel, for multiple reasons. One, it’s one of the first things people see when they walk in our home. Two it’s easy to change up (partly thanks to the fact that it’s a chalkboard). Three, it’s one of the most charming features of our home, with the old built in glass cabinets on either side, mini windows, and beautiful crown molding. Such a nice focal point. I’ve had this large plastic M that I found at a flea market for awhile. I hoped to turn it upside down and use it as a W, but none of my friends were fooled. Fortunately my husbands name starts with an M, so I grabbed a paper mache E, and decided to create a fun piece of heart string art to go between the two. It was super easy, and I even was able to use supplies I already had around the house.
Here’s what you’ll need:
A piece of plywood. Mine was a 24×48 that I had cut in half at Home Depot awhile ago to make a 24×24 square.
Pen or pencil for marking
Nails. I used these fun copper slate nails that I found. I liked their large heads and of course their color. The larger heads are nice for string art, as it keeps the strings from sliding off as you work.
String or twine. I used some red twine that I purchased at Joann Arts and Crafts or another project. Yarn would work as well.
I began by drawing a heart onto my wood with my pencil. I measured 2 inches in on all sides, then found the center of each side to use as guide points to make my heart nice and even. I free handed it from there. If you are afraid to draw your own heart I’d suggest finding a template to print and trace. After I was satisfied with my heart outline I began adding my nails. They’re space about an inch and a half apart, but you don’t have to be exact.
Once the nails were all securely hammered into my plywood it was time to start stringing. I tied the twine to one nail, making sure to triple knot it for security. First I went all the way around my heart with the twine, weaving in and out. I did that a few times just to get an outline to start with. Then I began to randomly wrap the twine nail to nail, going across, diagonal, etc.
This creates a fun, random, geometric pattern, and fills in the shape of your heart with some nice color. I continued to wrap back and forth until I felt that my heart was filled in enough. After awhile you just start duplicating your patterns over and over, so I found that as an indicator of a good stopping point. I wrapped the twine three times around the very bottom nail at the point of the heart, and then tied it tightly, again triple knotting for security. I left the tail a bit long, and wove it into the outline of my heart.
I placed it on the mantel with my E and M, and added some of my other favorite elements for additional styling (including my DIY Handmade Arrows). Hope you guys enjoyed my string art tutorial. Keep in mind that you can use your imagination to create any shape that you want with your nails and string. It would also make a perfect addition to wedding decor, and you can add it to your home later! Have fun, and if you give it a try be sure to send me links to your projects, I’d love to see them.