Thursday, February 26, 2009

Friday Favors..."to mushroom"

This mushroom risotto recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser...anything with the words mushroom and risotto has to be fabulous*.

Even your non-vegetarian friends won't be looking for meat. Now, put these hand sculpted, one of a kind mushrooms in a line down the center of your table. At the end of the evening, send everyone home with one and your decor becomes the favor.

recipe and photo from Jamie Oliver

artist mushrooms available from sea & jae

*yes, mushrooms and risotto have to be fabulous, but click here for the other reason

glamour and pamper

The other day I showed a photo that included my glass and sterling cheese shaker. I like to use items for something other than their initial purpose. Pair the cheese shaker with a favorite body powder and you have just put together an elegant spa-like gift for a friend who deserves some glamour and pamper. Or maybe it is the gift that becomes the most sophisticated item on the baby changing table. You can always give it the way it was intended, too. I don't know any household that doesn't use magic* cheese. Either way, how can you go wrong with a gift that can go from the dinner table to the bathroom so efficiently?

*magic cheese - otherwise known as parmesan cheese. Too many years ago, as a toddler, my nephew started calling it magic cheese since it disappears on your food.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Self Portrait

Yesterday my self portrait was featured over at the ever inspiring blog, The Red Otter. No, not the kind of self portrait you are thinking. This one was a very interesting exercise in showing who you are by the objects in your home. The idea is to pick 10 or so items (not people or animals) that represent you. The things you have carried with you everywhere you have traveled or lived. The things that would express your style, personality and interests without saying a word. Think about this a little.....what would you pick? You can see mine and read about the items I picked here.

While you are there, don't miss seeing Julia's handmade journals and albums in her etsy shop. You know how I feel about journals.....never can have enough.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

One hundred and très uses...part 2

Remember this? Here's another idea. Include the "extras" if you want to take it up a notch. It could be the essentials shown here or the markers shown here or the.....oh, wait....haven't shown those yet. More ideas to come...

Find the tray here

Monday, February 23, 2009

Gift of Gab....

The book I'm reading inspired this quote. Gather knowledge and inspiration from those who have done it before. It could be a couple of literary classics like Oliver Twist or Moby Dick, cd's of Beethoven's 5th symphony or a concerto by Mozart. Maybe it's one of the many publications by MOMA or a book on the masters. Gathering together one or many of these is a gift of the world's greatest inspirational and creative resources. As always, put the quote on the tag.

Photo credits here, here, and here.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Favors...and the oscar goes to....

You...for throwing an oscar party complete with everyone's favorite pick.

If you need help putting a template together, email me.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

One hundred and trés uses

I gravitate to items that have many uses. Since this tray is one of those items, I'm working on some new photos to capture that point.

Available here

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Introducing Ohad

Just added this whimsical bird to the etsy account. Her birds are always quick to go.....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

a green gift?

Yesterday, I had to polish my sterling silver compote. I use this in the bathroom as a soap dish and was needing to photograph it for something. As I was polishing it, I thought I should show you how I polish silver. Then I thought that really isn't a gift idea....well, then I discussed it with myself and decided if you squint, stand on one leg, and hold your breath it could maybe be a green gift to you. Anyway, we try to avoid just about all chemicals in our house which means no silver polish. So, here's what I do and let me just say, it works. All you have to do is boil a big pan of water. Once it comes to a boil, drop in a piece of aluminum foil and pour in a tablespoon or two of baking soda. The amount just depends on how big of pan you have and how much silver you are polishing. Place your silver in with tongs. You may need to change out the piece of foil and add more baking soda. When the foil gets dark, just replace it. When you pull out the silver, rinse it and polish it with a dry cloth to remove the residue. Of course, be sure to thoroughly wash the pan when you are done.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Gift of Gab

If these moustache soaps weren't already great enough, they are also vegan and contain no nasty chemicals. Don't forget to put the quote on the tag.
Available here.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Friday's Fabulous* Favors....balancing sweet & snarky

Here are a couple of ideas for Valentine's favors using the artwork Sea created as hang tags. The ones with the bookmarks, I put together for Lily to give her friends and classmates. The bookmarks were made by printing some artwork on card stock paper and then laminating them. The other is an alternative idea that would be a hit with any age this weekend.

For those who want to have Valentine's with a bit of snarky thrown in, this made me laugh!

Find it here.

*For the reason they aren't just Friday Favors, but Fabulous Favors click here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The red cross

I have always had a thing for the first aid symbol. Maybe it is the many years of life guarding. There is a sense of comfort connected to that symbol. I like the idea of good design mixed with practical when it comes to giving these days. Therefore, this idea was almost too easy. Fill the box with all the essentials. It works for a new home, but a less obvious idea would be to give it to the friend who just found out she's pregnant.
& for the tag.......for all the boo boos.
Since it's red, I figured it could be a part of Valentine's week. Available here.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

can hold a candle to you

I want to plan a wine tasting party around these. Just imagine adding them to the table as the night progresses and as the bottles empty. I really think everyone would get into making them as well. Some bottles could even have more than one arm. I'm not sure what the holders are, but I know I could spend some time at home depot and find something. Clean, simple, and functional never fails.

Or just buy them here and bring them to the next party.

Valentine's idea

I wanted to come up with a gift idea that was romantic, but not over the top. I wanted it to be available at all price points. I wanted it to be simple to put together. I wanted it to show thought and creativity. I also wanted it to have longevity. I was thinking about a custom crossword puzzle, but as fun as that would be, I knew it would go in the drawer or even be tossed eventually. Crosswords had me thinking of words.....words had me thinking of meanings.....meanings led me to dictionaries. Now, I know I posted about giving a dictionary before and I really like that idea for a wedding. However, I think a twist on this idea would fit all the above for Valentine's, too. Here's my thought, pick out a dictionary at the price you want to spend. It could be a pocket dictionary that they can carry in their briefcase, a really nice hard cover one that becomes a staple on the bookshelf, or even an old one for a book collector. Go through it and circle words with a red pen that mean something to you (choose one that doesn't soak through the pages.....or use a colored pencil). The obvious ones would be love, marriage, anniversary, valentine, and friend but also think of things that are special to just the two of you. That might be travel, books, comedy, get the idea. Wrap it up in some red paper with a big red bow and put on the tag....
"Discover all that you mean to me."

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Gift of Gab.....Valentine's Download No. 2

Today's Gift of Gab is actually a gift for you. The second download for Valentine's Day. This one was made with the kids in mind, but I feel there are many ways to use these.
  • print on white 110lb card stock, have the kids write on the back and hand them out to their friends
  • print on white 110lb card stock, cut them out, punch a hole, tie a ribbon and use as a hang tag on a cello bag filled with Valentine's treats
  • print on white 110lb card stock, cut them out, punch a hole, tie a ribbon and use as a hang tag on a package
  • print on sticker paper and add to plain wrapping paper
  • print on sticker paper and stick to the side of the box you are shipping for Valentine's
  • print on white 110lb card stock and put a surprise Valentine in your little sweetie's .....or big sweetie's, I guess, too.......lunch box each day this week
  • or come up with your own idea....just remember this please

The fine print: You may print as many as you like, but sea and jae retains all rights. For personal use only. May not under any circumstances be used for commercial purposes or by a commercial enterprise.

Download here

Friday, February 6, 2009

hey set my heart on fire

It's time for Friday favors and what could be better than a heart shaped sparkler in time for Valentine's? At only $5 each, you either need to have a party or go get yourself some extra sweeties.
Next week there will be several free designs of Valentine's card downloads for the kids to hand out to their friends and classmates. Since Monday is Gift of Gab, I'll post them Tuesday.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Free Valentine's Day Card Download

I asked Carolyn, the "sea" in sea and jae, to come up with a Valentine's gift from us to you. This Valentine's Day Card is free to download. We suggest printing it on 110 lb. card stock. Fold at 4.25 inches. Use it as is without words, hand write a message, or typeset the words using something like photoshop or illustrator. Here are some ideas for how to use this download.
  • print it on 110 lb. card stock and use as a card
  • print it on 110 lb. card stock and cut it into a postcard
  • print it on 110 lb. card stock and make it into a hang tag for favors or little Valentine's gifts
  • print it on sticker paper and make a label for a jar filled with candy hearts
  • use any other way your heart desires.....after all it is yours now
If you want to add some words other than "Happy Valentine's Day", here are some other suggestions:
  • I gathered all my love for you
  • You have all my love
  • From a bird's eye view, you have my heart
The all important fine print: You may print as many as you like, but sea and jae retains all rights. For personal use only. May not under any circumstances be used for commercial purposes or by a commercial enterprise.

P.S. I like the free downloads and have decided to start making them a regular feature.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

see the forest through the trees

I featured these in the gift guide as a corporate gift, but I like their versatility. I suggested you give them to a client and thank them for choosing you from a forest of choices. Write the same thing on the tag and wrap them in red paper and you have yourself a very clever and certainly not run of the mill, Valentine's gift. You could even go as far as attaching a real pine cone to the top of the package.
ceramic pine cones available here.
P.S. I'll have a Valentine's surprise for you either tomorrow or Friday.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Full Disclosure

Please close this window immediately if you do not want to think less of me. I am disclosing the truth about myself this morning. goes.......I am not always organized. Now, first let me say, when it comes to our orders and our customers, I am extremely on top of things. HOWEVER, when it comes to all the little thoughts and ideas that never stop in my mind, I. am. not. I have so many ideas for the business and for this blog, but when I'm busy keeping up with the day to day things, I just can't get to them......especially when my notes for things are everywhere. You see, I have discovered a habit. As soon as creative genius enters my mind, I grab the nearest piece of scrap paper and write it down. Later, when I want to take another look and decide whether or not it really was creative genius, I can't find where I wrote it. I can visualize the piece of paper, but can't find it. Too many small pieces of scrap papers pile up on one side of my desk until something like an avalanche occurs. Then I have to spend an entire day going through all the notes and rewrite them into a journal that I have just for these kind of thoughts. Yes, that was my Sunday....complete waste of time and a Sunday. The sensible person would probably be asking why doesn't she just write them down in the journal to begin with. No idea what so ever. Anyway, all this leads me to a point. I picked up a book yesterday that my artist friend recommended called The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp. The first review on the back of the book sold me. I appreciate that they acknowledge that it won't be anything you don't already know.
"An entertaining 'how to' guide. The Creative Habit isn't about getting the lightning bolt of inspiration, but rather the artistic necessity of old-fashioned virtues such as discipline, preparation and routine."
-Cathleen McGuigan, Newsweek
I also liked a page I opened to that said...
Creativity is not just for artists. It's for business people looking for a new way to close a sale; it's for engineers trying to solve a problem; it's for parents who want their children to see the world in more than one way.
Have any of you read this? Since I was brave enough for full disclosure here, what habit is getting in the way of your creative life?

I couldn't help but think of the work of Marisa Haedike of Creative Thursday. If you don't know her story, she started by setting aside Thursday as her creative day. To see more of her work go here.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Gift of Gab....

I usually make my own cards for Valentine's Day. I don't pretend to think they are as amazing as something from all you talented artists out there. However, I think that Valentine's is one of those times when you can get away with it and I like the idea of making something from the heart (no pun intended there). I made this while playing around with wire. I am going to print the above quote on a card and attach the heart. The husband loves to read, so I think I'll remove it after and tie a ribbon so he can use it as a bookmark.

We all know this holiday is thought of as commercial. No matter what you give your sweetheart, adding something handmade makes it more meaningful.