Happy Cyber Monday! Yeah, apparently that’s a thing. I know I should be more enthusiastic about the retail surge this weekend but I just can’t bring myself to do it! If there’s one thing I’ve learned this year, it’s that “it’s just stuff.” (And definitely not worth pepper spraying your fellow shopper over! Seriously lady?!?)
However, I was excited about being given the opportunity to put together a beautiful little gift set for a fellow etsian. She wanted two of each of my botanically themed cards in different colors. I had most of the designs already printed in a couple different colors, but I did get to put in several hours on my press this weekend. The results are quite lovely if I do say so myself!
It seems that whenever I work on a custom project these days, the stars align, the humidity and ink consistency and pressure are all just right and I can’t help but print everything in sight. This weekend was no different, so while I was all inked up, I worked on a couple projects I’ve had swirling around in my head for a while. Turns out, they all looked good in purple!
So your turkey is brining, pies are in the oven… now it’s time to decide what to do with the rest of your week. If you’re like me, you stay at home on Black Friday. Sure, I could get a great deal on a new TV, but I’d also have to get up at 4am and risk getting trampled to death by my fellow bargain hunters. Uhhh… no thanks.
However, this year several shop local movements are tempting me to brave the traffic and push thru my day-after-Thanksgiving food hangover. I’m still not waking up at 4am though. You’re going to have to give me a lot more than a discount to get me out of bed at that hour.
Plaid Friday—the obvious alternative to Black Friday—is simply encouraging shoppers to swap the lines and crowds at your local big box shop for a more pleasant experience at an independent retailer. Not only do you eliminate the risk of a fight breaking out in aisle 87, you might actually get some decent customer service out of the deal and find goods that no one else will have. Plus, no need to be an early bird. Have I mentioned cutting your REM sleep to three hours to go shopping is insane?
If you simply must get your Black Friday rush, Small Business Saturday is for you. Same idea as Plaid Friday: support your local economy and celebrate what makes your town different from thousands of other mall-ridden cities. Take advantage of these opportunities to show your support for small businesses!
When it comes to Thanksgiving, I’m a traditionalist. I want my turkey, stuffing and pecan pie the way they’ve always been, thank you very much. I actually get a little bummed out when the holiday is held anywhere but my parents’ house, as obviously my mom whips up the best spread around.
However, if Aunt Gertrude is bringing her famous pumpkin pie and your favorite niece Lucy is trying her hand at her first pecan… I suppose there’s a little room for creativity at the dessert table.
First up, a classic caramel apple makes a perfect addition to your autumnal spread. I like the variety offered by Kaitlin & Kylie’s, but I’m sure you can purchase them locally in any area of the country this time of year!
Everyone loves cupcakes. They’re perfectly portioned, and you get an ample amount of frosting with every bite. My favorite flavor at the moment? Salted caramel. It’s the perfect addition to your holiday spread, just as the tartness of the apple contrasts the sweet caramel above, the saltiness of this recipe cuts through what might otherwise be overly sweet sugary flavor. Plus the salted caramel sugar art on the top makes these a real showpiece!
And the piece de resistance? A pumkin-shaped pumkin cake of course. Read about the trials and tribulations of making that lovely Burnt Orange Silk Miringue Buttercream here, then go out and buy yourself a jar of frosting, ad a few drops of orange flavoring and viola! It’s ok to be lazy, you’ve got a turkey to worry about.
It probably seems a little much to totally transform your home for Thanksgiving. You’ve got some serious cooking to do, right? On the other hand, a few simple touches can go a long way and elevate an everyday family dinner to a special event.
Infuse your table with the colors (and scent!) of fall with this ombre apple centerpiece found in styled. magazine. I love the beautiful array of tones of apples available this time of year and the way they mixed and matched the napkins on this table as well—no need to go out an buy three new sets just so everyone’s is the same! (By the way—I love fabric napkins. A) They’re much prettier than paper ones. B) They make even a Tuesday night dinner feel special, restaurant-worthy even. C) That whole eco-friendly thing. Wash and re-use, people!)
Speaking of mixing and matching, are you lacking enough flatware for all your guests? Take this idea from Creature Comforts: Buy a cheap assortment of forks, spoons and knives from your local resale shop, spray paint the ends with colors that match the rest of your table and you have a funky set of silverware for any guest who comes along! I might add looking into some sort of varnish that will stick to both the paint and metal to seal the handles, as spray paint will sometimes flake off onto your hands. Best yet, send your guests home with a little something special (caramel corn perhaps?) in these easy-to-make favor bags. Simply make a tube out of paper and sew the ends in perpendicular directions. If you plan ahead and print your guests’ names on each bag, you can place one at each setting and they’ll do double duty as place cards as well!
A few weeks ago, I finished a print I’ve been working on for several months now. Bike Race is a limited edition of 10 prints featuring my bike illustration in five cheery colors. I love this print and plan to frame one for my own home, the rest can make great gifts for your favorite cyclist or anyone who enjoys a leisurely ride.
I also printed up a new batch of one of my most popular cards. I switched the orientation this time around and I love the way the design fits on the horizontal layout. This card is available here, enjoy!