Friday, December 30, 2011

Raspberry, White Chocolate, and Almond Trifle



Its a HIT every year! Ive been making this every Christmas since 2009 and without fail the desert gets raving reviews, its SO easy to assemble.

Makes 16 servings
Active time: 45 minutes
Total time: 5 hours 45 minutes (includes chilling time)

Ingredients
3 1/2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
12 ounces high-quality white chocolate
1 1/4 teaspoons almond extract, divided
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
7 ounces Boudoirs or Champagne biscuits
1 cup raspberry jam, melted, divided
1 1/2 12-ounce packages frozen unsweetened raspberries, partially thawed, divided
2 6-ounce containers fresh raspberries
3/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Preparation:
Bring 1 cup cream to simmer in medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add white chocolate; whisk until smooth. Cool to barely lukewarm, about 10 minutes. Beat 2 1/2 cups cream and 1/2 teaspoon extract in large bowl to soft peaks. Fold in white chocolate mixture.

Stir sugar and 1/2 cup water in small saucepan over medium heat until sugar melts. Mix in 3/4 teaspoon extract; remove syrup from heat. Quickly submerge 1 biscuit in syrup; shake excess back into pan. Place dipped biscuit in bottom of 14-cup trifle dish. Repeat with enough biscuits to cover bottom of dish.

Spread 1/3 of melted jam over biscuits in dish. Top with 1/3 of partially thawed berries with juices. Spread 1/3 of whipped chocolate cream over. Repeat layering with dipped biscuits, melted jam, partially thawed berries, and whipped chocolate cream 2 more times. Mound fresh berries in center of trifle. Sprinkle almonds around edge. Cover and chill at least 5 hours and up to 24 hours.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Nutcracker Tea Party

Lauren from Lulu Events with Style in Texas is a talented event planner, she is passionate about what she does and therefor her creativity is driven - she never ceases to amaze me with her beautiful themes and ideas - so when she calls on me for paper goods - I am only too pleased to help out however I can!


Lauren works closely with Shane & Jennifer Willard of Jennifer Willard Photography. They certainly make magic out of their photography capturing family, weddings and events.

I absolutely adore nutcrackers - they are so whimsical and awkward at the same time - but alas the only reason I don't have a tremendous collection of them is because I am not keen on the traditional reds - for Christmas 2011 I really wanted to create a nutcracker in silver and white. I love the little character I created and hope to get to use him over and over again.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Homemade Gifts: Fleur De Sel Caramels

Christmas 2011 I decided to make all those near and dear to me my favorite candy in the world - Salted Caramels! I have hung onto this recipe for a very long time, shopped for my specialty salt and have simply been waiting for the opportune time to bake and share [otherwise Id be afraid, if I had that many in my home I would EAT THEM ALL!]

Below are the easy steps on how to make your own!
Ingredients:
1 cup golden syrup (i.e. Roger’s or Lyle’s can be found at World Market or most British shops)
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
2 cups whipping (heavy) cream
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
fleur de sel or flaky sea salt 
(Sur La Table has an amazing selection)

Method:
  1. Line the bottom and sides of a 9″x9″ baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease the foil.
  2. Combine the syrup, sugar and salt in a heavy saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves completely and the mixture begins to simmer around the edges. 
  3. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes. 
  4. Attach a candy thermometer to the pan, without letting it touch the bottom of the pan, and cook uncovered, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 305°F. 
  5. Meanwhile, bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan ; turn off the heat and set aside.
  6. When the sugar mixture reaches 305°F, turn off the heat and stir in the butter. Gradually stir in the hot cream; it will bubble up and steam dramatically, so be careful. Turn the burner back on and adjust it so that the mixture boils energetically but not violently. 
  7. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally at the beginning to more frequently at the end, until the mixture reaches 260°F for soft, chewy caramels or 265°F for firmer, chewy caramels.
  8. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract, if using it. Pour the caramel into the lined pan. Let set for an hour or so, until slightly firm but still tacky. 

  1. Sprinkle the surface lightly with flaky salt, pressing gently to help it adhere if you need to. Leave for another 3-4 hours, or until firm.
  2. Invert the sheet of caramel onto a dry cutting board or sheet of parchment paper. Peel off the foil, sprinkle the other side with more salt. Cut the caramels with a large, sharp knife. Wrap each caramel individually in wax paper or cellophane.

Vintage Photo Christmas Card


This gorgeous black and white photo was taken in 1946.
The young lady portraying Mary is my clients beautiful grandmother. What an honor to be asked to create a Christmas card using such a special piece of history and so close to ones heart. I wanted to create a design that would show off this photo and not compete with it - my client wanted to keep muted tones with hints of gold - nothing too busy. I have seen my clients home and her style is very lush and unique with allow of attention to detail. It was with this in mind that I wanted to follow suite with the card.
The cards were printed on a off white, recycled, textured cover stock adding to the feel of the aged content.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Blushing Bride

ETSY Treasury Feature
Thank you Lexie from Scissorhands for featuring my pink Missoni style invitations on your ETSY Treasury list - and to be amongst such beautiful items too - I feel so special!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Children's Gift Guide



Booya!
Thank you so much to JPwithLove for mentioning my holiday straw flags in your ETSY Treasury! What an honor!


JPwithLove has the most adorable little goodies - great for stocking stuffers pretty much in any color you can imagine! I have a set of the teal earrings on my polyvore page with jeans a white tank and a cute teal purse - quite cute if I don't say so myself!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Props for the woodland party theme!

Thank you so much to the Childrens Party Network for featuring my Woodland Themed party printables on your front page! I'll have you know...this was where my business inspiration started - I created these designs for my daughters first birthday!
SO THANKS AGAIN!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cookie Swap

Photo Courtesy of Andrea Ritchie
Do you need a GREAT Recipe for your cookie exchange? I just went to my first cookie swap {so much fun!} and was clueless on what to bring. I LOVE salted caramel - so it was a good risk to take. I made these bad boys and they were a hit!
Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies
Prep Time: 30 min  |  Cook Time: 12 min  |  Ready Time: 90 min  |  Yield: 6 dozen cookies
Ingredients
1 (17.5 oz.) package Pillsbury® Sugar Cookie Mix
2 tablespoons Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup butter, softened*
1 large egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 egg whites, beaten until foamy
1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans
2/3 cup Smucker's® Caramel Flavored Topping
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse sea salt or kosher salt

Preparation Directions
HEAT oven to 350°F. 

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper, if desired.
COMBINE cookie mix, flour, softened butter, egg and almond extract in medium bowl. 

Mix with spoon until soft dough is formed.
USE level measuring teaspoon of dough to make 3/4-inch balls. 

Dip into egg whites, then roll in pecans. 
Place on prepared cookie sheet. 
Make a rounded indentation in the center of each cookie.
BAKE 10 minutes. Remake rounded indentation in cookie. 

Fill with scant 1/2 teaspoon caramel topping. 
Bake an additional 2 minutes or until lightly browned. 
Sprinkle caramel with a pinch of coarse salt. 
Cool on cookie sheet 5 minutes. Transfer to wire rack. Cool completely.
TIP *
To soften butter: Heat unwrapped butter in microwave 10 to 15 seconds.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Festive Straw flags

Festive Straw Flags


I am so excited about these cute little party decor touches I couldn't decide what color theme to do - So I did them all, I created 5 different kinds!
• North Pole Wood
• Festive Chevron
• Candy Cane
• Nutcracker
• Red Damask

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Tree Lighting In SEH

Photo Courtesy of Ed Philbrick
December 4, 2011
Once upon a time, in the cute little town of San Elijo Hills, there was a great gathering of neighbors, big and small, short and tall they came from over the hill, beside the brook, above the pizza parlor and next to the creek - they all came in unison to celebrate the lighting of the village center "Charlie Brown Christmas tree.
It was a festive occasion as all expected, the children played in the dewy grass while the Christmas Carolers sung like larks but best of all! Calculated Whisk made the most delicious cupcakes and Splendid Paper+Goods got to "dress" them for the grand occasion!
It sure is most wonderful time of the year!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Candy Cane Cocktail!

Festive Jar Label
One of my super cute customers is making Candy Cane Cocktails in a mason/ball jar and sticking MY labels on the outside! What a fun and festive welcome drink at your holiday party or cookie swap party!
Wanna give it a try? 

Ingredients
1 shot vanilla rum
1 shot white chocolate liqueur (recommended: Godiva)
1 shot peppermint schnapps
Candy cane, garnish

Directions
Add all liquid ingredients to cocktail shaker filled with ice. 
Shake well and strain into martini glass. 
Garnish with candy cane.

Just A Touch of Damask



Thank you so much for featuring my pink damask straws on your Etsy treasury Ahavah Mebust - I always have such a fun time putting these together - they are great for baby showers, bridal showers or girly get togethers!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cozy Little Gifts Under $25 - Shhhhh nobody will know

Perfect gifts for the family and all under $25
I don't know about you but I LOVE giving gifts - problem is the economy doesn't allow me to go crazy like I used - but why should that stop me from getting the same quality, unexpected handcrafted items as I've always enjoyed giving at Christmas time? 


Etsy is amazing for unique and special little things and nobody would guess how affordable they are! I have collected a handful from some of my favorite items that will go the distance for mom, dad, sister, baby, girlfriend, neighbor, niece, husband and aunty!


Thank you to the following shops for your items so merry and bright!
Frosted Willow - Owl bracelet
Jacquie - Vintage Blue Mason Jar
JP with Love - Burgundy Felt Bow
Oh Koey - Chevron Ipad Case
Collars By Design - Doggie Collar
Crosses&Crowns - Vintage turquoise rosary necklace
On A Roll - Cozy Cup holder
Piece & love Pie Co. - Handmade Salted Caramel
Beautiful Details - Cast Iron Bunny
Sweet Little Luxuries - Leg Warmers
Danbury Lane - Blue Tutu
Tookies - Jar Cookie
Minnies Sweet Temptations - Tiffany Cakepops
Knotty Baby Wear - Onesie and matching legwarmers

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Letters To/From Santa

ETSY Treasury List


I am pleased as punch to have my "Letter To Santa" added to another ETSY treasury list! Check it out! So cute! Thank you Miranda Konieczny

Shop Small Saturday - Holiday Photo cards!

Design #1 of 5 in Festive Chevron Featuring the Sherman Family

American Express started this fantastic idea of "Shop Small Saturday". They are encouraging people to make purchases from the little people to pump up the economy. So look out for the first saturday after "black Friday"every year! Why not start with ETSY - there are so many beautiful, unique items that are often hand crafted that male perfect gifts! 


In lieu of this fantastic day I have created a plethora of Holiday Photo card templates in  Splendid Paper+Goods etsy shop the color choices are, festive chevron, merry berry, kelly green, you are my sunshine, black & coal - take a look see if any peek your interest!Remember 


I am always happy to customize!

Let the holidays begin!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Treasury! Treasury!

ETSY TREASURY
Thank you so much A Little Treasure for featuring my grey and pink damask baby shower bunting in your adorable little pink treasury!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Christmas at Work Under 25

ETSY Treasury
What a great and useful idea for those looking for affordable little gifts! Thank you so very much Real Faery for adding my canning labels to this treasury!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Branded!



There is GREAT excitement in the studio tonight! I just picked up Splendid's business cards from Hudson Printing! Bring on the holiday boutiques I am ready!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Creamy Marinara Sauce

Labels custom designed by Splendid Paper+Goods


Ingredients:
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, good quality and organic if possible
1 1/2 cloves fresh garlic , minced
2 -2 1/2 large tomatoes, fresh frozen, skinned and chopped up (keep the juice!)
1 1/2 tablespoons heavy Cream
1/8 cup chopped fresh basil (use a variety of flavored basils, especially lemon if you have it)
1/4 cup chopped roasted red pepper (optional)
pinch sugar, to taste
pinch of salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
cooked pasta, of your choice (8 to 10 servings worth)
grated parmesan cheese, for garnish fresh basil leaf, for garnish

Directions:
Fresh frozen tomatoes: pick juicy tomatoes, make sure they are clean and dry, then pop them in a Ziploc bag, single layer; label your bag with date and put flat into freezer; when ready to use, just take out as many as you need and run them under hot water (or put then in a bowl of hot water) and after a minute or two the skins will peel right off, then just chop and use; use these instead of canned tomatoes.
In a hot sauce pan or small wok, put in olive oil and fresh garlic; stir and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes together with their juice and let simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in the cream, basil, salt and pepper, and roasted peppers (if using), and bring to a simmer them it through.
Serve over cooked pasta, garnish with parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves.
Also good over baked halibut, grilled shrimp, chicken, or grilled vegetables.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Letter to Santa


Custom designed by Splendid Paper+Goods


Its time to sit your "boo" down with his or her crayon - to write their little list to Santa. I designed gender specific letters for that extra oomph! These letters come complete with Official North Pole stamp and notes and instructions from the elves themselves - crafty little ones!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Little Lucy cupcake toppers and wraps

Custom designed by Splendid Paper+Goods


Inspired by Anthropologie and a sweet little girl named Lucy - who is "not a princess type, she is more the adventuring personality", I created these little birdies with a heart doodle design in blues, plum and eggplant.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Faintest Blush

Splendid Paper+Goods Missoni inspired design on ETSY Treasury list


Woohooo! I am very proud - my blush chevron and Missoni inspired party printables was added to Queen Ann's Lace Etsy Treasury!


Monday, November 14, 2011

Crush for Blush

Customizable designs by Splendid Paper+Goods


I was so excited about the Blush Missoni inspired invitation I designed, I decided to followup with coordinating items:

  • Straw flags
  • Buffet and Desert Table tent card signs
  • cupcake toppers
VISIT MY ETSY SHOP

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Drunken Fig Jam

Labels custom designed by Splendid Paper+Goods


Makes about six 1/2-pint jars
Brandy adds a little kick to this jam. Spread on toast or serve with a cheese plate.

ingredients
2 lemons
4 pounds ripe fresh figs (preferably black), stemmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 9 cups)
4 cups sugar
3/4 cup brandy or Cognac
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Method
Using vegetable peeler, remove peel from lemons (yellow part only) in long strips. Cut peel into matchstick-size strips (about 3 tablespoons).

Combine lemon peel, figs, sugar, brandy, and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt in heavy large deep saucepan; let stand at room temperature 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Bring fig mixture to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium; continue to boil until jam thickens and is reduced to 6 cups, stirring frequently and occasionally mashing mixture with potato masher to crush large fig pieces, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from heat.

Ladle mixture into 6 hot clean 1/2-pint glass canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch space at top of jars. Remove any air bubbles. Wipe jar threads and rims with clean damp cloth. Cover with hot lids; apply screw bands. Process jars in pot of boiling water 10 minutes. Cool jars completely. Store in cool dark place up to 1 year

Blush Missoni inspired Invitation

Missoni Inspired, Cotton Candy Chevron Invitation by Splendid Paper+Goods


A while back I created a color-fun chevron Missoni inspired design baby shower invitation, and although my designs can be customized to any event, I have a new crush...Blush.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Identify Yourself - Jewelry Designer

Custom small business branding kit
I have added another service and package to my ETSY shop - Branding!
This one in particular is for a jewelry designers business. Branding is imperative to getting noticed. I urge you - get professional. :-)


I had a great time designing the above pictured branding kit for Jeweler Crosses & Crowns.


For only $150 you get a complete Identity kit. 
This listing includes the following digital PDF designs:
• Custom designed logo - includes 3 ideas to choose from
• Facebook profile design
• Etsy Banner, profile design and reserved listing design
• Design for jewelry box sticker 
• Thank you tag design (2" x 2")
• Business card design 
• Earring card


Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Teal and Damask engagement Party


Damask is such a timeless patter, so pretty but not overly feminine. Congratulations Kimberly from Arizona on your engagement!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thank you ♥

Featured: "Lucy" Cupcake toppers and wraps

Honored!
One of my items was featured on the Childrens Party Network {again} Im blushing!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

First Birthday Party Photo Banners

Custom Photo Banner by Splendid Paper+Goods

I love creating these - it is amazing {and sometimes sad} how quickly babies grow! Its beautiful to see a line of photos displaying their maturity on their big birthday ~ THE BIG ONE ~
Its an honor for my clients to send me their babies pictures to create this custom art. I treasure every set that comes in.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Featured!



I couldn't believe my eyes! My woodland cupcake toppers were featured on The Children's Network! Thank you so much!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wild for Giraffe Print!

Giraffe Print Birthday Invitation


Every birthday should be celebrated with a party in my opinion.
I designed a sweet baby Giraffe birth announcement not that long ago, and felt compelled to create a sweet invitation too. The Giraffe is such a lovely animal and loved by children of all ages. This invitation could be edit for any age group and of course the colors could be amended to suit a boy too.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Let's Celebrate! Baby Shower Invitation


I'm a sucker for anything vintage or shabby chic. I wanted to create a party package including invitations that would be a little different from the usual slick items you see around. If you enjoy more of that crafty tactile feel - this shower invitation and party package is for you!

Colors can be edited to your taste. If its for a girl - of course we would change up the wording.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Let's Celebrate! Baby Shower Party Decor

Gift Tags, Straw flags, Buffet Signs and Cake Bunting


I absolutely loved working with my shabby chic invitations for a baby shower using dots and stripes - so much so I created an entire party decor line to match!


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Labels custom designed by Splendid Paper+Goods


Ingredients:
4 oz unflavored vodka
1 1/2 vanilla beans, split

Method:

Combine ingredients in a 4 ounce bottle and let steep for 8 weeks.  As you use the extract, fill the bottle up with more vodka and you will have extract forever.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wild over Pink!

Event Styling by: Savvy Selebrations

Its always rewarding to be able to work with like-minded creatives in the party planning world. Savvy Selebrations in Baltimore MD specializes in marketing, event design and execution with great attention to details. I had the pleasure of designing the Giraffe print paper pieces for this fun event. Go ahead become a fan on their facebook page and keep "in the know"

Contact Savvy:

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sweet Little Giraffe - Birth Announcement

Custom designed Birth Announcement by Splendid Paper+Goods
I will work with your photographer or directly with you, its up to you, to create a customized birth announcement, we could do just a single picture or as many as three. The little giraffe is my daughters favorite lovey that is what inspired this design. Of course colors can be edited according to your preference.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Go Team!

Roll Lynx! Cake Toppers and straw flags
What a FUN addition to your homecoming party! The sweet young lady that was in charge up planning the homecoming celebration, sent me her logo and I designed the straw flags to match! What do you think!?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New Kid on the Block Party



The new concept of having a party to meet the baby - opposed to the baby shower is a brilliant idea! Not only does it save you from the constant dribble of visitors, but there is so much excitement in the air seeing that baby for the first time and everyone sharing in the joy together! I designed the invitation for the sip and see about a month ago.


Little Luke arrived and so his gammy and gampa along with his parents and big brother hosted a celebration in his honor. Lollichix supplied the scrumptious desserts and Splendid Paper+Goods created the dessert item signs and flag banner. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness



Hometown Realty in San Marcos hosted an education event in lieu of breast Cancer Awareness month. This is a cause very near and dear to my heart. Nikki at Calculated Whisk made the delicious desserts and I created pinwheel cupcake toppers as well as cupcake topper disks with Hometown's logo and dessert tent card signs in shades of pink on my Missoni inspired design.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Chevron Missoni Inspired Invitations

Chevron Missoni Inspired Invitations


Are you hosting a baby or bridal shower for a friend who loves fashion?
These unique custom Missoni Chevron Zig Zag inspired cards in yellow blue and pink are not only pretty but fun and chic too!
Registry card and chevron envelope inserts as well as party decor available too.VISIT MY ETSY SHOP

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fluff Cupcakes Signs


Fluff Cupcakery in Salinas has the most unique little cupcakes and the cutest little logo, it was an honor to create signs describing the deliciousness of her confections. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Announcing the little one


Turquoise is one of my favorite colors to use - its simply timeless. This textured announcement has three pictures and space for the babes weight, length, date of birth and names of parents and sibling(2) The beauty of this simple design is its not gender specific, if you like the styling I'd be more than happy to change the color scheme.


The beautiful pictures taken is this announcement were captured by Joie de Vivre Photography

Sunday, September 11, 2011

New Kid on the Block Invitation


When Little Luke arrives his gammy and gampa along with his parents and big brother will host a celebration in his honor. This sort of celebration is call a "sip and see"It is a party to meet the baby after he/she is born - opposed to the baby shower before birth.

Not only does it save you from the constant dribble of visitors, but there is so much excitement in the air seeing that baby for the first time and everyone sharing in the joy together!