Happy Thanksgiving and… Happy Hanukkah! The last time the two holidays coincided was in the 19th century! And since it won’t happen again for another 80,000 years, those celebrating both should make the best of it this year. While Thanksgiving is a secular holiday, “both are holidays of gratitude after facing adversity.” Read more about what Thanksgiving and the Festival of Lights have in common.
On this momentous occasion, I could’t help but post these two adorable cards from Rifle Paper Co. (pictured above). I wish you all a happy holiday – which ever one you’re celebrating but especially if you’re celebrating both!
P.S. Meet Clove (pictured below). She’s the turkey my mom adopted on my behalf from Farm Sanctuary. Isn’t she pretty? She looks relieved.
If you are invited to someone’s home for Thanksgiving dinner, you’re likely to take a bottle of wine as a hostess gift (or maybe a sparkling cider). There are all kinds of ways to dress up a bottle of wine to make it feel more like a special gift. If you don’t have time to run to the store for a decorative bag, make your own wine bottle gift tag.
I wouldn’t buy a patterned paper pack just for this project, but it’s a great way to use up scraps and the sticker sheet that comes with most packs. Just measure the width and height of your bottle and cut a rectangle to the appropriate size (the tag should cover 1/3 to 1/2 of the height of the bottle). Make sure there’s enough to fold the tag so it hangs properly. Use a punch to cut a circle on the folded end.
Make a stack of decorative tags to take you through the holiday season of holiday parties and family celebrations.
Thanksgiving Day is less than a week away but there’s plenty of time to make one of these garlands for your mantle or table. Say “hello” to my five favorite DIY Thanksgiving garlands.
1. Vicky Barone | 2. Swoon Studio | 3. Make and Do Girl | 4. Lia Griffith | 5. Pretty Providence
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget
that the highest appreciation is not to utter words,
but to live by them. ~ John F. Kennedy
My day job is in communications at a public hospital. Annually we celebrate “Gratitude Month” as a way to build resilience for the doctors, nurses, and other staff who daily endure stressful situations as they provide medical care to others in crisis.
This year I wanted to do a little something for the group of staff who plan and implement gratitude month. I used this tutorial from Damask Love to make mini gratitude journals for each member of the committee.
The project was a lot of fun and I think they turned out pretty cute. I’m handing them out this week. I also was inspired by this trail mix recipe by Say Yes to Hoboken and put together little “thank you” goodie bags for my office. (I also made Rice Krispy Treats.)
Scientists tell us that expressing gratitude makes us happier. I know that when I make an effort to recognize what I have to be thankful for, it definitely improves my outlook. And, doing something unexpected for others is just plain fun!
How do you express gratitude? Do you keep a journal? Do you agree with President Kennedy’s suggestion that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them?
I’ve been a little grouchy about all the “it’s not even Thanksgiving but I’m decorating for Christmas” activity this year. However, there are two things you do need to plan in advance: holiday cards and advent calendars.
When I was growing up, we always had one of those pretty, glittery paper advent calendars. Every day my brother and I would take turns carefully opening one of the tiny windows to reveal a camel or a shepherd or an angel. On December 1st I would let my brother open the first window, but not because I was generous or patient. I figured out before he did that if he went first, I would get to open the baby Jesus window on Christmas Eve. He wised up after a few years. (I still feel a little guilty about that, actually.)
I love advent calendars. I always want to make one, but since I don’t have kids, it seems silly: I would already know what was behind each window! Some years I buy a calendar so I can have a little surprise every day. I spent some time on Pinterest the other day checking out what people are now doing for advent calendars. Boy, they can be elaborate! But I found several that were simple and unique, and a few use items you already have in your home.
Say “hello” to my five favorite advent calendars.
1. A gorgeous letterpress advent calendar (pictured above) from Tag & Tibby. (My favorite!)
2. This envelope advent calendar by Stylish Livable Spaces has a unique color palette.
3. A winter wonderland advent calendar from Willow Day. (She’s provided a PDF printable template.)
4. A woodland ornament advent calendar from Pepper Sprouts. You could buy this one ready to go, or make your own and fill the bags with anything (ornaments, legos, matchbox cars, lip gloss, candy….)
5. A clever muffin tin advent calendar from Dixie DIY.
“The invariable mark of wisdom
is to see the miraculous in the common.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
A few weeks ago I posted my five favorite gratitude quotes and this one by Emerson reminds me that I would be wise to spend time acknowledging everyday miracles. I think it’s a miracle that, in our busy lives, there’s always at least one person who does something that seems common, but it improves our day in some way. One of my new goals is to be more intentional about expressing genuine gratitude and that’s going to include lots of thank you notes. I’m gonna need a stash.
This week I made two square thank you cards using the same stamp technique but with different designs. The technique I used is heat embossing – using ink, embossing powder, and a heat gun to created a raised sentiment. I love the look and feel; it gives a card a little something special. I have to practice more because I was pressing too hard on my stamp and the words were spreading too much. (It’s worth it to test your technique in advance.) Here are some good directions on how to heat emboss, but there’s one thing they don’t mention: you need to rub an Embossing Magic bag across your card before you stamp for a nice, clean impression. What a difference it made!
For the card on the right, I used the Lilybee Design Autumn Spice paper pack. For the card on the left (my favorite of the two), I cut a triangle out of white card stock and used gold washi tape to create the stripes. I glued the triangle to one corner of the card then rounded the corners. I really like the colors.
I have a few other thank you card designs here, here, and here.
How do you show gratitude? Do you have a stash of thank you cards you keep on hand?
I was poking around the internet the other day looking for some autumnal greeting card inspiration and found some great sources. Say “hello” to five awesome designs for Thanksgiving Day cards.
1. Happy Thanksgiving card by My Paper Secret
I love the mixed media approach to this card. There’s just the right amount of stuff going on in this design without it being too busy. I think it’s the great use of white space that makes it interesting and fresh.
2. Autumn card with a quote from Albert Camus
This is another card design that makes good use of white space. I like that some of the leaves are stamped directly on the card and some are cut out and adhered to the card. The tiny acorn charm is adorable.
3. Happy Autumn card from Courtney Lane
I really like the cutout overlay of the leaves, but what really makes the card for me is the use of blue in an autumn palette.
4. Give Thanks card designed by Smudge Design for Minted
This design is a Minted design challenge winner (pictured above). It has a similar layout as card #1 with the lovely leaf pattern acting as “white space” at the top of the card. I adore the use of type in this digital design.
5. Give Thanks print from Anavicky’s Etsy shop
This isn’t a card, it’s an 8 x 10 print. But it would make a lovely card. The colors are a perfect representation of a harvest. Plus, the detail in this painting is beautiful.
Every leaf speaks bliss to me fluttering
from the autumn trees.
~ Emily Bronte
We’re about half way through fall and the trees look amazing. I can see why Emily Bronte found the autumn trees blissful. This time of year is also when we traditionally focus on giving thanks. This “thank you” card is so simple to make – perfect for bulk cards if you have several people to thank.
I used VersaMark ink to stamp the tone-on-tone leaf pattern on kraft card stock. Then I used brown ink to stamp the sentiment on cream lined paper, and offset it with an orange chevron patterned paper. Three brass brads add a little dimension. A simple card to acknowledge someone’s kindness.
The deepest craving of human nature is
the need to be appreciated.
~ William James
It’s November – already! Autumn is my favorite time of the year, but October and November always seem to fly by. I don’t know if it’s due to less daylight or holiday preparations, but I find myself needing to be deliberate about taking time to enjoy the season.
For the past couple of years I’ve been more aware of November as a time to really focus on gratitude. Recently I’ve been going through quotes about gratitude to incorporate into a few projects I’m working on and I thought I would share five of my current favorites.
1. “The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
2. “In ordinary life, we hardly realize we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.”
~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
3. “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live them.”
~ John F. Kennedy
4. “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
~ Melody Beattie
5. “Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude.”
~ A. A. Milne
Do you have a favorite quote about gratitude?
Deep into that darkness peering,
long I stood there wondering, fearing,
doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal
ever dared to dream before.
~ Edgar Allen Poe
If you’ve been following along for the past few weeks, you know that I chose one pack of patterned paper – Happy Haunting from Carta Bella – to make all my Halloween cards this year (and gift tags, door hanger, cake plate bunting, candy bar wrappers, garland, etc.). Even when all you have left is a pile of scraps, you can still squeeze out a few more cards. Here are two options:
1. Use strips of paper to create your own pattern. The card below on the left is just a series of strips glued onto white card stock on the diagonal. It’s easy, uses up “left-overs,” and is just as cute as cards made from a full sheet of paper. You could also weave the strips together like a basket for a more abstract look.
2. Punch circles out of paper scraps and glue them onto card stock. I chose to make all the circles the same size and line them up evenly. Alternately, you could use different sized punches and randomly adhere them down for a more playful design. (I kinda wish I had done that, actually.)
Hope you had fun following along as I created my Halloween cards and decorations. And I hope you have a very Happy Halloween!
P.S. I would love to know which was your favorite card or project from this series.