November Means the Holidays Are Here! And New Christmassy Things in the Shop.

The beginning of November is always the most exciting time for me because it means pulling out my Christmas decor and spicing things up for the holidays. I LOVE the holiday season, and I love making everything in my house festive and cheerful. This November is even more special for me because in a few short weeks my wee babe should be making his appearance in our lives, and I can’t wait to bring him home to a beautifully decorated house.

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This year I’ve got a whole new collection of Christmassy items in the shop. Christmas decor and ornaments are probably my favorite things ever to make. Christmas is such a happy time of year, and I love the possibility of helping people achieve that with handmade decor!

For this season, I have created a new line of book-inspired Christmas ornaments, because books are ❤ and deserve a special spot on your tree. Right now, I’ve got a number of titles including Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, and Macbeth by William Shakespeare, among many others. I will keep adding more as I make them, and I’m thinking about giving them a permanent, year-round spot in the shop. These ornaments compliment my classic book cover tapestries.

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I’m also really excited to be offering fully customizable Christmas stockings, complete with a pocket displaying a hand-painted shelf of your favorite books. Obviously, books are a big part of my life and I love including them in my Christmas festivities. I made a stocking for my husband, one for myself, and one for the baby – who doesn’t have a name yet, so I’ll be adding on his name after he’s born!

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I hope the beginning of your holiday season is amazing, and please consider shopping small this Christmas! Etsy is a great resource for any number of handmade goods, and supporting small businesses is what makes our world go round. Remember to order your handmade decor and gifts far in advanced so they ship to you in time!

Great Gifts for the Grad

Last week, a customer contacted me asking if I could make a graduation gift for her book-loving grad. Being so removed from the world of schooling, I had forgotten about graduation gifts and parties and celebrations (odd, I know, considering my husband is a high school teacher). Nevertheless, it got me thinking about my own graduations and the types of things I would have loved to receive in celebration of my matriculation.

I’ll be focusing on nerdy gifts for the grad as, duh!, I’m a massive nerd. Everything is also from Etsy, of course. Enjoy!

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For the General Studies Major:
1. Pray Continually Embroidery Hoop by Mattson Made Shop on Etsy, $20.
2. Oak Table Light by Solen Studios on Etsy, $120.
3. The World is Your Oyster Hand-Lettered Globe by Wild and Free Designs on Etsy, $230.

For the Science or Math Major:
4. Dinosaur Fossil Necklace by Xuanqi Rabbit on Etsy, $18.
5. Hand-Embroidered Geometry Notebook by Fabulous Cat Papers on Etsy, $26.
6. Science Girl Pillow Cover by Pai and Pear on Etsy, $32.

For the English Major:
7. Gone With the Wind Phone Case by Chick Lit Designs on Etsy, $29.
8. Poe Fo Sho Sweatshirt by Little Literary on Etsy, $34.

For the Creative Writing Major:
9. Recycled Newspaper Pencil Set by Social Goods Co on Etsy, $12.
10. Write Necklace by Laurel and Lime on Etsy, $30.

For the Education Major:
11. Teacher Coffee Mug by The Coffee Corner, $15.
12. Grammar Police T-Shirt by Alphonnsine on Etsy, $26.

Most of these gifts would be great for the high school or the college graduate! Congrats Class of 2015!

Spring Has Sprung! Spring Inspiration and a Giveaway

IMG_2627It’s April!!! It’s spring!!!!

It isn’t hard for me to get in the mood for spring, what with this gorgeous weather and the budding trees and the grass turning green again. People around here say this is very odd weather for end of March/beginning of April and that it doesn’t necessarily bode well for our summer, but I think it is simply fantastic.

Spring is just cropping up everywhere, including one of my favorite places ever – Etsy. It is a time of inspiration, so I have put together a collection of Etsy items perfect for welcoming Spring with a bang.

inspiration for spring on etsy copy1. Find Joy in the Ordinary Print by Katievas on Etsy, $14. Spring demands bright colors and happy sayings. I love this particular saying because it rings so true in the spring – blooming flowers seem ordinary on the surface, but there is something deliciously miraculous about them as well.

2. Hand-Painted Wooden Bobby Pins by Jill Makes on Etsy, $20. Welcome spring in style with these adorable hand-painted bobby pins. With the weather getting warm, it’s absolutely necessary to have something to keep your hair out of your face – might as well use something colorful and handmade.

3. Lavender Fish Eye Pillow by Alia Grace Dolls on Etsy, $36. I’m obsessed with this fish eye pillow right now. With the days getting longer, it’s essential to get your beauty sleep. This soothing eye pillow is filled with lavender – perfect!

4. Tropical Banana Ottoman by Square Fox Design on Etsy, $90.  Brighten up your home for spring with this sassy banana ottoman. I would LOVE this in my living room!

5. Patterned Paint Roller by Patterned Paint Rollers on Etsy, $19. Spring is the perfect time for freshening up your home decor. This gorgeous paint roller would make a lovely pattern in a kitchen or small room. Can also be used for smaller projects, like furniture. Patterned table, anyone?

6. Matisse Removable Wallpaper by Kate Zaremba Company on Etsy, $27. If you are renting or hesitant about the permanentness of paint but still want a fresh look for your home for spring, this removable wall paper is the perfect option! I love the colors and pattern of this design – very springish.

7. Pineapple Pocket Notebook by Modern Botanic Shop on Etsy, $8.50. It’s always a good idea to keep a notebook handy to record your spring adventures. This journal bears such a cute pineapple pattern that it’s just irresistible.

8. Abstract Acrylic Painting by Wild Humm on Etsy, $40. I love the happy spring colors of this abstract painting. A great cheer-me-up for any mantel or desk.

9. Hand-Dyed Silk Scarf by Caroline Sallen on Etsy, $28. Spring is the perfect time to don one of these lightweight, hand-dyed silk scarves. The colors just scream spring!

10. Rose Quilt Pattern PDF by Flowers N Butterflies on Etsy, $10. What could be a better time to pick up a new hobby than spring? This gorgeous rose quilt pattern is almost enough to get me quilting. I would LOVE to have this blanket on my bed right now.

IMG_2623I hope you enjoyed my Spring Inspiration list! Be sure to visit my Instagram page today, tomorrow, or Friday for a chance to win my new Spring Has Sprung Wall Flag. It will also be available in my shop soon. Cheers!

DIY Notebook Paper Gift Pouches For Small Gifts

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Cute packaging for small gifts is really easy to come by, and doesn’t require the purchase of special materials. In fact, it’s as easy as a piece of notebook paper, a sewing machine, and some string.

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I don’t know about you, but Grant and I have a ton of notebook paper left over from our college days. We don’t really have much of a use for it anymore, so it’s just been taking up space in our already over-crowded desk. You can make gift packages using this same method with any type of paper, really – scrapbook paper, craft paper, newspaper, etc. But I like the idea of using notebook paper for a couple of reasons: 1). It saves space in my desk. 2). There’s something whimsical and nostalgic about a wrapping a gift in notebook paper. It makes me think of my school days, and I kinda like that.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • notebook paper (one sheet per small gift)
  • scissors
  • washi tape or small brads
  • string
  • sewing machine

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First, fold the paper in half, and make a mark for where you want to trim it down. You’ll want a little bit of seam allowance for sewing, and also a little bit of space once your gift is in the package. If it is too tight, you’ll risk tearing your paper. For a guide, mark where you plan on sewing. (I normally just eyeball it, but do whatever feels most comfortable to you.)

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Now it’s time for the sewing. Sew along the lines you marked. After you are finished with this, trim the extra thread and edges.

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There are many different ways of dealing with the flap of your pouch to make it unique. One way is cutting a pattern on the top of the paper and folding it down once, securing the sides of the pouch with washi tap so the pattern is visible.

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Another way is folding the flap over and over and pinning it down with two brads on the edges of the pouch. This is my favorite way of securing the pouch closed.

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Yet another way is folding the flap down once, and then simply placing washi tape down to secure it.

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And I of course always like to adorn my pouches with ribbon or string and a homemade tag (using one of these awesome Uchida paper punches). It’s fun to get creative with gift packaging! There are a plethora of customizations you could do to make your gift really stand out in its packaging. If you try your hand at this packaging DIY, don’t forget to instagram it and tag @peelsandposies!

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Click here for the Gone with the Wind bookmark pictured above, available in my Etsy shop. And my marvelous Peels and Posies stamp is from Paper Sushi on Etsy.