party

Introducing… Peacock Parties!

I’ve finally decided to start photographing and offering many of the items that I do as custom projects through Peacock Printing. I have tried to keep Peacock Printing mainly wedding focused, but I find that as my sales grow and my brides start having babies… and then birthday parties… I am asked more and more often to make new types of items. So I’ve launched a second Etsy Shop, Peacock Parties.

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I thought it might be less confusing for you shoppers out there to separate the weddings out a bit from the parties. I will also be updating my logo shortly, and have a different one for each shop. Here are a few new items to keep an eye out for:

  • Cupcake toppers
  • Cake banners
  • Baby shower invitations
  • Graduation invitations
  • Christening invitations
  • Paper banners
  • Stickers
  • Dyed clothespins

A note on the dyed clothespins – this is a project we took on for my sister’s wedding, and they turned out amazing! Check out these photos!

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I love how the woodgrain shows through a bit, making each one take on color a little bit differently. These are great for hanging up banners, photos, or anything else that will add to the decor of your next party! With over 500 colors available, you can match almost any color scheme!

Speaking of banners, they have been flying off the shelves lately – and I’m happy to see that, as they are SO much fun to create! I use 3 layers of cardstock to make them ultra sturdy, and use coordinating ribbon to tie it all together – pun intended. There are also some DIY options for you crafty folks out there.

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NEW! PARTY IN A BOX:  Another item that I have been thinking about a lot lately, and have finally decided to offer in my shop, is a Party in a Box. Perfect for birthday parties, graduation parties, surprise parties, or really any other type of gathering, these will be offered in three different sizes: Small, Medium and Large. Small is built around 12 guests, Medium around 24, and Large around 36. Of course each can be customized to your number of attendees, but these are some basic packages. They include:

  • invitations
  • cupcake toppers and/or cake banner (depending on your package)
  • custom hanging banner (like the one in the photo above)
  • favor tags or stickers
  • an 8 x 10 sign to put on your door or on your mailbox to let your guests know they’ve arrived at the correct destination

Purchasing all of these items together will save 20% on the price of each item! And it will cut down on the time you have to spend coordinating items from different places (not to mention that you’ll get something handmade, completely custom, and not from a big box generic store)!

Many more photos to come once I get around to all the photography that I need to catch up on.

***ALSO***

It’s official! Letterpress is now available! I did my first letterpress job last week and COULD NOT be happier with the way they came out. A BIG shout out to Boxcar Press in Syracuse, NY for making my letterpress dreams come true. See below for some photos of these amazing barn invitations (I’m telling you, they are thick and dreamy in person)!

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Anyway that’s about all for now – I’ll have some new photos soon so keep checking back!

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Kupcake wednesday.

My cousin Kristy started a blog about cupcakes. You can find it HERE. This amazes me for a number of reasons:

1. I remember when Kristy was BORN. So the fact that she’s even literate is weird to me – her sister and my sister were born 6 months apart, so they were thick as thieves, and as a result Kristy and I used to hang out at all the family functions even though she’s much younger than me. As a result I feel a certain connection to Kristy that I don’t have with many of my other cousins on the other side of my family. I think she’ll probably always be that little kid to me in some way.

2. Kristy is a grad student at Rutgers University, she goes to a lot of concerts, has a flourishing social life. How does she have time to blog about cupcakes? She must REALLY love cupcakes.

3. I had no idea that she loved cupcakes enough to blog bout them. Of course, who doesn’t love cupcakes, but how many people take the time to blog about them? (actually, a quick wordpress search led me to 180,298 results for “cupcake,” so it seems that lots of people are blogging about them.

4. She is also the cutest little thing – I’m shocked that she ever eats at all, let alone chows down on cupcakes. If I even LOOK at a cupcake I gain a little weight. Some people have all the luck.

All of this led me to ask myself how many other people are obsessed with cupcakes. So today, in honor of my cousin Kristy, I present to you my Kupcake Wednesday post, which will be full of cute cupcake things, a couple recipes, and other baking related items that are sure to revitalize your love for cupcakes as well! Please click the links at the end of this post for more info on these amazing finds.

CLICK HERE for lots of cupcake decorating ideas from Wilton!

l.o.v.e.

 

Yummm!!

Coconut Cupcakes with Seven Minute Frosting and Coconut Flakes
from Martha Stewart, queen of the cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup packed sweetened shredded coconut
  • 6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, plus 2 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Seven-Minute Frosting (click HERE for recipe)
  • 1 1/3 cups large-flake unsweetened coconut

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk dry ingredients (including sweetened coconut) in a large bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy.
  2. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.
  3. Reduce speed to low. Mix any remaining wet ingredients in a bowl if needed. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with wet ingredients and ending with dry. Scrape sides of bowl. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.
  4. Bake cupcakes until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks. Cupcakes will keep, covered, for up to 3 days, unless otherwise noted.
  5. Once cupcakes are cool, mound frosting on tops. Sprinkle with unsweetened coconut. Serve immediately.

I hope this post has made you hungry, or better yet inspired you to do some baking (or shopping)! Please remember to check out Kristy’s blog from time to time for new and exciting cupcake news.

Featured Images:
Cupcake False Eyelashes from EyelashJewelry on Etsy

Lace Cupcake Wrappers by SundayRabbit on Etsy

Happily Ever After Cupcake Flags by GoAgainstTheGrain on Etsy

Will Run for Cupcakes Charm by JessicasGifts on Etsy

Custom Birthday Cupcake Stand by vesselsandwares on Etsy

Sexy Cupcake Apron by ApronsByVittoria

Coconut Cupcakes from Martha Stewart

Fondant Moustaches by parkersflourpatch on Etsy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pinterest – DO IT!

I’ll try to keep this one short and sweet. Just a few words about Pinterest.

For those of you who have been living under a rock, Pinterest is this new website (well, maybe not entirely new anymore, but still kind of exclusive – you need to be invited to join (this sounds a lot more hoity-toity than it really is – if you need an invite, just ask)) where you can keep collections of items you find anywhere online. You post these items onto a “pinboard” – sort of like an old-fashioned cork board you used to have in your bedroom growing up (mine had a gold star chart, probably pictures of unicorns and all things sparkly, and the random Highlights magazine article).  Let me explain how it works:

So you’re obsessed with, say, giraffes. You’re cruising the internet highway in search of the perfect giraffe tattoo. When lo and behold, you come upon this:

 

It’s perfect. It’s just the tattoo you’ve always talked about since you were a little girl (when connect the dots was the epitome of “art”). But before you commit to it, you see this one:

This one suits your adult personality a lot better and you think it would go over a lot better at work and with your parents. Plus you wouldn’t have to worry about your kids drawing all over your legs while you’re asleep. Well with Pinterest, you can not only store them together in one place (thereby not cluttering precious hard drive space with scattered giraffe images), but you can also share those images with others – and FIND images from others who share your interests. Hence – Pinterest.

This is a PERFECT resource for someone planning a wedding and trying to organize the various themes they’re considering. Or a place to gather inspiration if they are feeling overwhelmed or stressed out. It’s also perfect when you’re thinking about reorganization, crafting, redecorating, traveling, or if you just like art, fashion, cool stuff, photography, animals… which I would hope covers most people. If you don’t find yourself included in any of those categories, then you may as well stop reading right now and crawl back under that rock.

So how it works is this: you sign up (email, password, the usual). Then you can link your twitter and Facebook accounts and find your friends. Then you and all your friends can “follow” each other’s pinboards (and the boards of anyone else whose collection you come upon and notice that they have the same exquisite taste in giraffes as you do). You can create as many boards as you’d like. You can pin as many things to each board as you’d like. You can re-pin things that others have pinned. Plus, each time you log in, you are brought to a homepage where you can see what your friends and those you are following have recently pinned. I’m not going to go into further detail because I’m assuming that by now you’re either a) already signed up or b) in the process of sending me an email requesting an invite.

You can follow me by clicking on this link. I have a bunch of boards dedicated to wedding stuff (and peacocks) because those are the things that I find myself obsessed about the most. I’ve also started a cross promotion with the EtsyWeddingTeam where a new theme is featured each week (this week it’s Vintage Weddings) so if you follow me (or any of us) you may find yourself inspired by a variety of items that would work for your wedding or someone you know.

Happy pinning!

It’s time for my honeymoon.

But before I get into that, though, I’d like to say a few other things.

First and foremost, let me just say this: December was a tough month for me, business-wise. It always is – people saving for the holidays, putting their wedding planning on hold, etc. I’m going to come up with a plan for this next year, so that I can start offering holiday cards, stationery sets, and other gifts that can be given to friends and family. There are so many ways I want to advance my business, but I’m just not finding the time to do so. I will MAKE time for 2012!

Second – a shout out to my friend Jess, of Seven Layer Designs. Her blog is a constant source of inspiration to me. I’m not sure if she knows that – I’ve told her, but I’m not sure she REALLY knows it.  In fact, I probably wouldn’t be taking the time today to write this if I hadn’t read her post last night.  Jess makes beautiful handmade stationery which she offers from her website or her Etsy shop.  I’m going to try to find some ways for us to collaborate a little.  She wants to branch into weddings/parties, and I want to branch into stationery. So it seems like a perfect meeting of the minds.

It’s been a LONG time since I’ve posted on my blog, and even longer since I’ve updated my website. These are the drawbacks of leading a double life. Allow me to express myself via math equation: 

((Day Job x Small Business) + Holidays) / Personal Life = Lack of Blogging.

I thought that with the ringing in of 2012 and Peacock Printing’s 2 year anniversary coming up in March, I would make a resolution to be more… well, just MORE. So here’s a short list to remind myself of my goals:

  • Improve at keeping up with technology – blog, websiteetsy shop
  • Bulk up my Facebook followers – find me and follow me and there’s a coupon code in it for you (if you’re already following me, jut ask and I’ll give it to you)!
  • Pinterest! If you need an invite to join, let me know. Then follow me! I’m collaborating with the EtsyWeddingTeam to post a new item from each member every week – spreads the word, gives inspiration to brides and crafters, and is just plain all-around fun.
  • Get some new designs in the shop! I’ve done a ton of custom work that I really should get out there.
  • Expand my inventory. I want to really start highlighting the extras – place cards, menus, programs, etc.
  • Save more, spend less. I’m such an impulse shopper.
  • Quit my job and do weddings full-time! This is a long-term goal, I am nowhere NEAR being able to do this yet – but it’s on the horizon. Exciting!

In the meantime, I’m going on my honeymoon.

I’ve been so spoiled with my travels lately – this is NOT normal!  I’ll be working til the beginning of February, and then I’m off to the Dominican Republic til Valentine’s. And then I probably won’t be going anywhere else for a while =) So I hope it’s worth it!

I’m going to be running some specials in March in honor of my 2 year business anniversary (and then probably again in June in honor of my 2 year wedding anniversary). Maybe a contest or two. While I’m gone I’m hoping that I can sketch out some new designs, using the tropics as an inspiration – so many bright colors, beautiful beaches, serene landscapes… and hopefully I’ll be back armed with a whole new inventory!

My Winter Vacation – aka – South Florida is the Greatest!

Hello my faithful followers – I have been absent lately due to a few things:

a) I contracted what I’m fairly certain was the black plague. I rarely get sick, and even MORE rarely does it keep me in bed for 5 days. Ok, 4 days. On day 5 I tried to go back in to the office. They promptly sent me home.

b) a whirlwind trip to South Florida in early November for my dear friend Kate’s wedding. This seems to have been the year of weddings for me – this one was the last for at least a couple years til my sister gets married. BUT, being a destination wedding in the Florida Keys, who could say no. And it was AMAZING!!!

I promised pictures – be prepared, there are many.

 

We arrived on Tuesday, November 8th to a beautiful afternoon in West Palm Beach. Drove to Kate’s house in Delray Beach to spend the night before making the trek the next morning.

From there we left to pick up my sister and her fiance at the airport in Miami, and then it was off to the Keys! It’s a beautiful drive down and I would recommend it to anyone. Although, full disclosure, parts of it along the way are quite strip mall-ish and dirty, touristy, etc – there is a billboard for the Sandal Outlet every 5 minutes the entire 3 1/2 hour drive, but also other interesting roadside things to see, such as a sign for Crocodile Crossing (I hadn’t known that Crocodiles were indigenous to the US, but apparently they are in South Florida!), Key Deer crossing (a mysterious endangered creature I hadn’t even heard of), and a bunch of kitchy little souvenir shops and mom and pop restaurants that probably have the best food you’ll have on the trip.

And then there was our hotel room.  We stayed at the Parrot Key Resort right on Rte 1.  We had reserved a 3 bedroom cottage, but the hotel had undergone some renovations and had called me a few months back to let me know that they had instead switched us to a 2 bedroom and a 1 bedroom as they were phasing out a lot of their 3 bedrooms. They offered a $200 food voucher to make up for the switcheroo. I asked if that could be increased at all, and they doubled it!  The rooms were large and comfortable (all had a patio or balcony), the beds were heavenly, and the grounds themselves were great – 4 saltwater pools, interesting artwork all over the place, super friendly staff, and we even saw a 4 foot iguana in a tree! It felt very neighborhoodish, and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay there (plus it was very affordable compared to a lot of other places, although this was largely due to the number of people we were traveling with – I’m not sure what a single room would run if you were just going on a quick getaway. There was only one open air bar, which is located at the main pool and closes at 7pm (this was kind of a bummer), but it was decorated nicely and was very comfortable. These were hanging all over the ceilings:

Parrot Key is located nextdoor to a Walgreens, which we ended up going to on a daily basis for a variety of reasons (the biggest being they sold wine and beer after 7 pm, unlike the bar, which was closed). We developed a little obsession with Walgreens as a result and made a point to stop at every one we saw (more on this later).

Then the wedding prep began:

And the SHOES!

After a little snafu with the suits (which caused a little pre-wedding chaos), we were off to the beach for an amazing wedding!

This is Fort Zachary Taylor Beach, where the wedding ceremony took place. Gorgeous. We didn’t have a chance to get over to the fort, but I’ve heard it’s awesome whether or not you’re a history buff.

The ceremony was gorgeous! Beautiful light, beautiful waves, and a beautiful bride! My friend Kate is so incredible, and her husband is a lucky, lucky man to have her.

I mean, seriously, how hot is this girl?!

Here is my friend CL, the maid of honor. This picture exemplifies her personality =)

And then I was graced with a nice picture of my husband and I together – I have very few of these outside of our wedding pictures. Usually he is making a weird face or not looking at the camera – and he almost NEVER smiles in pictures, so this is about as good as it gets:

And where else would you have a reception in Key West?

Kate and Andy rented out the whole restaurant, so we had a lot of margaritas, good food, and got a little crazy:

This is me and my sister:

It was so nice being on this vacation with my sister!!

One of the nice things about this wedding weekend extravaganza is that the wedding was the day after everyone arrived (on a Thursday) so we had the rest of the weekend to explore the island and check out all the sites.

This is a marina right near the Conch Republic Seafood Restaurant.

Everyone drove these little scooters everywhere. I tried, and was petrified. The boys (and CL) got a huge kick out of them. I preferred the cabs, myself. $4 anywhere you want to go on the island. And no fear of skinned knees and elbows.

Unfortunately this place was closed, because I REALLY wanted to have a drink in there with the 4 people that would fit in there with me. Sidenote, in Key West the open container law is pretty much ignored unless you’re causing a huge scene, in which case if the Smallest Bar got too crowded, you could just finish your drink on your walk to the Garden of Eden, Key West’s clothing optional bar. I don’t have pictures – cameras aren’t allowed. However they do have hula hoops you can use. And I’m not making that up.

This guy was just hangin out on the street. I’m pretty sure he belonged to someone – I don’t think parrots roam free in Key West, but he was very pretty. And I’m afraid of birds, so that’s saying something.

We visited Ernest Hemingway’s house, where you are not allowed to pick up any of the 44 cats that live there. Interesting fact: all the cats that live there are descendents of the Hemingway’s original six toed cat, Snowball. Oh, and guys, guys, there’s also a full basement – which apparently is very rare in the Keys.

One of the more amusing things I saw while I was there was a bride on a bike. She was alone – no groom in sight! It was weird!

If you’ve never been to Key West before, this will be something you’re not expecting. There are roosters running around everywhere the way that squirrels run around in Upstate New York. Once I heard that there were wild roosters, I expected to see more chickens than roosters. And I did see one guiding her little chicks across the street (insert your favorite “why did the chicken cross the road” joke here). But overall, it was mostly roosters. Oh, and they start crowing at 3:30 in the morning. I know this because that was usually about the time I was going to bed.

So here we are, the girls, friends since high school (well, the others have been friends since age 4, I just didn’t meet them til I was 14). There are 2 more of us who couldn’t make it for this wedding and we missed them dearly!!! But we’re pretty much inseparable when we all get together.

There were some real perks to waking up in Key West. For example, this was breakfast one day:

Yup. A fresh coconut with a straw in it. It was delicious.

But then it was Sunday, and we had to leave the Keys for a few days in Miami Beach! There really aren’t too many beachy areas in Key West, so I was definitely craving some lay-in-a-chair time. BUT, before we left – one last Key Lime Mimosa!

Finally! The beach!!

And I am now very happy to be laying in the sun doing absolutely nothing. 

In Miami we stayed at the Colony Hotel, a South Beach landmark (in fact it is the prominent hotel in most pictures of the South Beach Strip). The room was small (and crowded – five of us ended up sleeping there the first night), but modern and certainly a good value. I booked it with credit card points and got 3 nights for $14!

We basically spent those three days laying in the sun. It was great! Kate and Andy drove down for the afternoon and had a beach day with us, then we had a huge crab dinner with them at Joe’s Stone Crab.  We wandered around and found a great little area at the Lincoln Mall (which is not a mall at all – more like a giant street that is blocked off to traffic, and there are a ton of outdoor restaurants, shops, etc). I had been there before, but forgot that it even existed! This is what it looks like at night:

So we stopped here for dinner, and you’ll never guess who I met!

Charlie the Lemur! Yep, held a lemur. Have YOU ever held a lemur? I didn’t think so.  This was a scam of the worst kind – Charlie had a cataract that needed surgery, so his owner was asking for $20 donations for the surgery. Of course poor Charlie will probably never have the surgery, because then dude will have to stop asking for $20 donations from every sucker like me who wants to hold the lemur. But knowing all this, I couldn’t pass up holding him. I would have paid him to let me hold him even if he didn’t have a bad eye.

This is interesting because not only is it one of about 5 or 6 different Walgreens that we stopped at (and took a picture of), but within 10 minutes of taking this photo something really funny happened. We ran into Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino of MTV’s curiously popular reality show The Jersey Shore (which I’ve never seen, because it’s stupid), racking up $300 worth of acne medication, women’s foundation, and some US Weekly magazines, among other assorted items, and while I was chatting it up with his buddy/brother/whoever, not having any CLUE who he was (literally, one of my questions was “so where are you from?”), his credit card got declined. We saw him later at a Wells Fargo ATM ($100k ferrari parked out front, license plate “SITCH1”), assumedly transferring some stuff around so that he could cover the large makeup purchase he had just made.

And finally it was time to leave Miami and head back home. =(

Side note – I wasn’t really as red as this picture is making my shoulders look!

To make matters worse, look what I had to come home to!!!

But what an amazing time we had! It was so nice to be with so many of our friends on an incredible vacation and to see our best friend Kate have such a beautiful wedding and a truly happy start to her new married life.

Moustache Thursday

I spend a good deal of time on Etsy, making changes to my shop, browsing around for fun things I wish I could afford to buy for myself, or just looking for inspiration for upcoming projects.

A few months ago I created an Etsy Treasury featuring the moustache (if you don’t regularly check out the Treasury section, you should. It’s incredible. Of course, it may lead to all sorts of unplanned purchases). I think many people find the moustache to be creepy (ok, I sort of do too – probably too many episodes of “To Catch a Predator“), and I wanted to showcase the moustache in its non-creepy form. I think when moustaches are something other than a random tuft of hair growing on the middle of your face, they actually have the potential to be cute, vintage, and in many cases, quite comedic. For example:

This is Jeffrey Moustache, who won the silver medal in last year’s English Moustache competition. (photo by Jeffrey Moustache himself, taken from www.worldbeardchampionships.com).

This year, The World Beard and Moustache Championships will be held October 8th in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I am not making this up, I’m taking this directly from their website:

“Beard Team USA, which represents the United States at the World Beard and Moustache Championships, is thrilled to be holding the championships in Amish Country, where the local Amish farmers have been growing beards for America for over 200 years.  As part of the festivities, contestants, their friends, and fans will have the opportunity to attend Amish Camp, where they can live with and like the Amish for 24 hours.”

Competitors can enter into eight different moustache categories. EIGHT. That doesn’t even count the goatee or the “Full Beard with Stylized Moustache” categories.

I’m still waiting for the day when someone asks me to make a moustache wedding invitation for them. And I certainly will be thrilled to do it! Lots of people use moustaches in their photo booths at their wedding, but you can easily integrate them into your post-wedding life!

moustache ring by Isette

golden moustache necklace by kerenasaf

chocolate moustache lollipops by FiveSisterz

moustache travel mug by LennyMud

moustache decal by kathwren

MOONSTACHE, get it?
moonstache print by ilovedoodle

moustache keychain by DeeHewitt

I Moustache You a Question” painting by abandonedstache

moustache scarf by piprobins

Boy met Girl Wedding Invitation by vicentine

So, yeah, it can be creepy and weird (not to mention pedophilic), but I say if we embrace it into our lives, the moustache can be pretty fun.

Monday

 

Well, I hope everyone had a fab weekend. Here’s what I did:

Threw a Jack and Jill bridal shower for my friend Katie who’s getting married in Key West in November! We had a great time, the weather was awesome, the food was amazing (and the beer pong was fun too!).

I’ve decided to showcase her theme here today (which was chic BBQ), since I don’t really have all that much else to talk about. Besides, even though summer is (almost) over, you can still throw together a great BBQ at the last minute in the fall.

Honey BBQ Smoked Beef Jerky by BulkBeefJerky

Cloth Gingham Napkins by PeppermintPinwheels

S’mores Y’all hang tag by misspicklespress

Hairpiece by motifcaprice

BBQ Invitation by OliveandStar

Custom Beer Pong Table by ChippewaFive

Firepits are great if you live in an urban area but still want to roast marshmallows! They are available almost everywhere (I recently purchased one in a high-end grocery store), and range anywhere from $35 – $500 depending on the model.

Popcorn Machines are so cool. First of all, everyone loves popcorn. Second, They give a retro vibe to your party. And popcorn is a healthy snack! I’ve seen these everywhere, at Target/WalMart/Sears/amazon.com plus they can be rented from a variety of party supply places if you don’t want to have to find a place to store it in your kitchen!

BBQ Bottle Tag Favors by TieThatBindsParties

Throw in a few of your favorite lawn games to get people moving around – ladder golf, bocce, Kan Jam – and you have a great party even when the weather cools down!