Wednesday, December 31, 2008

{ ciao 2008... }


I'm enjoying the last of our holiday sparkle before welcoming in the New Year. I wanted to pop in and wish you all a wonderful New Year's eve. May 2009 be filled with joyful discoveries, new adventures, and love. I look forward to returning with regular posts next week and sharing the New Year and all its promise together. xo ~Suzanne

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

{ happy holidays }

To my dear, dear readers,

May you all have the opportunity to experience the magic of the season as a kid again...even just for a bit. My little one enthusiastically, unabashedly believes and I plan to soak in every bit of that over the next few days. Thank you so much for your visits, comments, and inspiration over the last year--you've all been a huge part of my 2008.

I look forward to returning here Monday, January 5th rejuvenated, refreshed, and bursting with new ideas and inspiration for you all. Until then...Happy, Happy Holidays!!!

Love, Suzanne

P.S. To fabulous and fun aunt, godmother, and first sleepover: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

{ wrapping things up }

Whew! Most of my holiday to-dos are checked off the list and I'm actually able to enojoy a bit of the holiday magic amidst the holiday rush. Today, I'm off to find a few stocking stuffers and will then put the finishing touches on my gift wrapping. I opted for a super simple look this year--brown paper packaging with red and white accents. I do, however, love theses wraps-- courtesy of some flickr and blogging friends. Perhaps next year...

Wrapping gifts by Chez Larsson.
red and white via Benita

Ez's darling repurposed Charley Harper puzzle piece gift tags

Cindy's feathers

CafeMom Holiday Home Tour by O!Rachew!.
Rachel's pom poms

Heather's fabulous gift card boxes {free how-to here}

How about you? Do you have the holidays all wrapped-up yet?

Friday, December 19, 2008

{ holidazed...}

Hi everyone. Boy have I missed you all. It's been a crazy week! I would share all of the lively details with you, but I don't think you would find a post on "How to Create Felt Donkey Ears for this Weekend's Christmas Pageant" all that compelling. Instead, I will share this bit of winter magic with you all...

all from this photographer via Lolita {one of my new favorite places to visit}. 

I hope to visit your corners of the world and catch up with you all this weekend. Have a lovely one!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

{ click, print, give... }

I was feeling discouraged earlier this week by the fact that I hadn't made as many gifts as I had planned to this holiday season.  Then, I did a little online window shopping and discovered that there is still time to add a handmade, personalized touch to the holidays thanks to digital downloads that can be printed at home AND some fabulous--and simple--DIY tutorials.

Here is a roundup of my favorite click, print, and give ideas...


Printable Giftables 2009 Calendar-Nature
printable 2009 Calendar {Nature} $5 via bluetricycle

Print and Give - 2009 Printable Calendar
Printable calendar $5 via little brown pen {I ordered & received this yesterday--it's adorable!}

Book Lover's Printable Kit

Danielle's kitschy book lover's kit available here

Gift Tags

Printable Holiday Gift Tags - Just Add Paper

printable gift tags - simplicity
gift tags from  sunny and seventy


free gift tags via design, wash, rinse, repeat

Dazzling DIY projects
I just love Livy's tutorial for creating a little handmade sparkle around your home. {Wouldn't this garland make a wonderful hostess gift too?}

complete instructions available here

And finally, hot off the presses from the always inspiring, and oh-so-talented Ez...

Ez's idea of wrapping these up and presenting them with some tea lights or taper candles is so cute! Full instructions here. { Don't miss Ez's other DIY freebies

Hope you, too, are inspired...I'm off to give it a go!

Monday, December 15, 2008

{ curb your enthusiasm }

Happy Monday everyone. Better late then never-that's what I say! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and am so thrilled you all enjoyed the interview with Katie . It was also nice to *meet* some of her friends--thanks for stopping by.

We spent the weekend decorating our tree-so fun! I just have a few corners of our home left to fill with some sparkle, including our front porch. I'm loving these relatively simple ideas for creating some holiday curb appeal...

via domino

use scrapbooking punches and paper bags to create luminaries {via bhg}


via better homes and gardens


I love the idea of using natural elements and some lighting on our entry bench




How about you...have you finished all of your holiday decorating?

Friday, December 12, 2008

{ my place or yours...savannah, georgia with katie runnels }

Today's guest on My Place or Yours is the lovely, creative, and always inspiring Katie Runnels. I adore this lady--she's become one of my favorite artists and bloggers to follow. She designs the most beautiful, handmade wreaths and charming dioramas and...ask anyone who knows her and they'll tell you how nice, kind, generous, and genuine Katie is. 

Hello, hello vintage bird assemblage
one of Katie's darling bell jar creations

Peace on Earth Yarn Wreath
one of the amazing wreaths available in Katie's shop

As one of the original founders and creators of the amazing shopSCAD, Katie has a keen eye for great design and up and coming artists. I always find something new and drool worthy when I pop over to her blog and I really admire her for the support and encouragement she offers to other artists. Today Katie is treating us to a tour of one of her favorite spots--Savannah, Georgia--a place she still calls home, though she no longer lives there. After reading Katie's interview, it's easy to see why one would be forever drawn to this charming little town. 

Are you ready? Let's go...
Please tell us a little about yourself
I'm not originally from there and its been two years since I've moved away, however Savannah, Georgia still feels like home to me. I moved there in 2001 to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design for graduate school and then worked for the college-co-creating shopSCAD after graduation. I was looking for a small art school to attend after having a miserable time living in Boston. I'm originally from Fayetteville, Arkansas, which isn't that small anymore-but I definitely thrive in a smaller and warmer community-which is what I found at SCAD in Savannah. I lived in cozy little apartments all over the historic district while I went to school and was lucky enough to later purchase a sweet little cottage in Ardsley Park.

Three words that best describe Savannah
Quirky, Historic, Artistic

-Favorite discovery
I used to love heading out to Tybee Island Beach on the weekends. The North Beach Grill located next to the black and white lighthouse on Tybee is great for plodding over in your sandy feet for great beach drinks! Be sure to order the chips and/or plantains and salsa which are incredible!

Who is/are your favorite artist(s) (can be local or not) ? And why?
My favorite artists who are actually located in Savannah are
Tiffani Taylor, Sara Neuburger of The Small Object and Marcus Kenney 

stocking stuffer by Sara Neuburger

What is/are your favorite local shop(s)?
shopSCAD, of course!  -original artwork and designs by student, faculty and alumni of the Savannah College of Art and Design!

Picture 96


images by Chia Chong

@home  Vintage and vintage inspired housewares and gifts-fantastic ribbon, paper, and millinery selection.


The Paris Market and Brocante  Always inspiring range of antiques and vintage inspired housewares, furniture, and curiousities from around the world. 

Pic98 by you.
image via The Paris Market and Brocante

Primary Art Supply -supplies SCAD students with everything they could possibly need!

Wild Fibre  -Delightful shop with an always bountiful selection of yarns and supplies for knitting, weaving, crochet and felting.

-Best kept local secret
Sweet Potatoes restaurant on the southside of Savannah. Its a bit of a drive to get out there but their amazing southern style cooking is well worth it!

-An ideal spot to linger over lunch:
I adore
Soho South Cafe on Liberty street. Soho is part art gallery, bookshop and restaurant. Order everything on the menu!


images via caanc75

When visiting Savannah, don't miss:
I just don't understand the cattle-call that lines the street everyday at one very popular southern-style restaurant. I recommend getting your southern food fix at the quaint
Mrs. Wilkes Boardinghouse restaurant on Jones Street. Then continue shopping along Whitaker Street-Madame Chrysanthemum, One Fish, Two Fish, and Circa Lighting, Arcanum and La Paperie. 

image via Circa Lighting design portfolio

Don't miss Back in the Day Bakery for their yummy lunches and incredible homestyle sweet treats! 



I get homesick for Savannah when I think about...
My friends and the food! I always get a cozy and nostalgic feeling when I drive back into the downtown under the canopy of Spanish Moss. I miss the big-city feel of the relatively small and charming historic district.

If you had an opportunity to live anywhere else in the world, where would we find you?
I would love to live in a small village in England, France, or Italy for a few months out of the year. I think I'd enjoy tending to a cottage and farm like that of Beatrix Potter.

Tweeny Little Home
image by Katie

Don't you all want to hop on the next plane, train, or automobile and visit Savannah for yourself? Me too!!! Thank you Katie for offering us a true insider's view of the lovely and charming place you call home. I hope you have the opportunity to return there someday if that's your desire. xo ~Suzanne

Quick Links:
The Constant Gatherer blog
The Constant Gatherer shop

Thursday, December 11, 2008

{ visions of sugar plums... }

little one and I snuck off to a matinee performance of the Nutcracker ballet today. 

snow and tiptoes by thomas hawk
*sigh*'s just as magical as ever. Oh, and the music? I could listen to it and nothing else throughout the holiday season.

This first song gets me everytime... {it takes about 10 or so seconds to start, but it's worth it}

Be sure to join me Friday for a very special guest on 
My Place or Yours--you'll love it!

MixwitMixwit make a mixtapeMixwit mixtapes

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

{ a sweet celebration: bella turns 8! }

my 12 days of Christmas plates from rosanna, inc.

After much mother & daughter brainstorming, Bella and I decided to build the theme of her birthday party around a holiday sweets concept. We thought it would be fun for the kids to decorate gingerbread houses and to host the party in her clubhouse, which we would transform into a holiday sweet shoppe for the day. Even at 8 years old, my daughter is a list maker...with our action plan outlined, we went to work.


I created the invites at home using an inexpensive stock image illustration and some blank card stock purchased at a local stationery store.


I hunted places like the Dollar Store and Target's Dollar Spot for charming, yet inexpensive, decorations that would tie in with our holiday sweet shoppe theme and help to keep costs to a minimum. I was also able to reuse many items from last year's Winter Wonderland party.

P1010274 by you.

Each of the tables were covered in wrapping paper and adorned with candy mom's idea and handiwork. Aren't they cute? You can find a similar DIY here

candy bouquets
These would also look great if you plan to do a kid's holiday table.


Hanging from the ceiling were glittery snowflakes, real candy canes, and candy ornaments. White twinkle lights and bunches of pink tulle added to the sparkle.

Visions of sugar plums...

I originlly envisioned a candy table using this as inspiration, but really didn't have the space for it in the room. Instead, I freshened up a cubby storage shelf that was in our garage and filled it with a mix of candy and jars--it worked great!



To save some time and effort, I purchased gingerbread house kits and preassembled all of the houses ahead of time, so that the kids could concentrate on decorating them.

Ready for decorating


Thanks to Joanna's fun tip, we created a quick, makeshift photo booth in the backyard. The kids were really too excited {read: hyper} to stand still for many photos. 

Make shift photo booth for the kiddos

However, we did manage to snag each little guest as they completed their gingerbread house and took a photo of them with their masterpiece. Each photo will go on a 5x7 photo cards {12 for $1} that little one will use to write her thank you notes. 

P1010163_1 by you.

At the end of the day, each party guest was invited to fill a goody bag with treats from the holiday sweet shoppe and also received a personalized set of stationery I created using Nichole's adorable designs. She and her hubby created these on the fly for me {thanks again Nichole!}.

party favors

The designs and files are just wonderful and I plan to use them throughout the holiday season. Check her shop for availability.  Each set was wrapped with red tulle and a holiday cookie cutter. 
Custom homes ;)

If I'm being completely honest, it was an exhausting day, but so worth it once I saw how much Bella and her guests enjoyed all the effort. Many, many thanks to my little elf know who you are! What would I have done without you?

I apologize if you've noticed multiple updates with this post...I was having a terrible time with my pics disappearing due to flickr issues. I think all is straightened out now. Thanks for your understanding. :)

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