Archive for ‘Love’

December 7, 2010

Good Things Coming!

{Image from 29BlackStreet}

Dearest Blog,

You have been so much fun and a great place to come to to post about work, design, and life! I enjoyed the time we spent, but it’s time to move on…there are things coming…really good things coming!

For one thing, I felt it was time to clear things up and simplify life. My freelance design company is Kori Clark Designs, which owns Paper & Pigtails. Kori Clark Designs works with a few select corporations on a regular basis, where as Paper & Pigtails is a stationary side of the business that creates party designs. This said, Kori Clark Designs simply doesn’t have the need for a blog to showcase my corporate work as those are a case by case basis, but Paper & Pigtails does need a blog to showcase designs and new products, so I have developed a new blog…that eventually will grow into a portfolio as well, so everything will be in one place. This will still be mainly a product blog, though I do like to share personal things from time to time. You can also still find all posts here on the new blog as well!

I made the choice to leave you now sweet blog, as there are A LOT of good things coming with the new year and I wanted to be prepared! I have new party designs lining up to get added to the shop, new photos to share, and a whole new product line to announce very soon!

Check out my new blog, www.paperandpigtailsparty.com and let me know what you think!! If you are subscribed to this blog, your subscription will be valid on the new blog. If you aren’t yet, you should be!!

I hope good things are coming to each and every one of you!!

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November 30, 2010

Mini Apple Mincemeat Pies

I usually only post design related things (and a little family too) but these Mini Pie Bites were too wonderful not to share!!

My husband’s family is British, and his grandmother has been making mincemeat pies all of his life. When we were visiting her last year, she made some just for him and I have to admit…I was a little nervous….I mean “meat” in a pie? Coming from Louisiana I am familiar with all foods being cooked together in one big pot and throwing everything into your cooking, so I tried one. Guess what, it’s not meat!! Yes, I am sure most of you know this already, but mincemeat DID have meat in it long ago, however today’s version is a tasty blend of pippin apples, raisins, and spices. Great Granny BWI {British West Indies} makes hers more like turnovers and I knew my hubby liked being able to pick them up and eat them. When he requested them for Thanksgiving (and Christmas) I decided to find a way to make them my own.

I wanted to add apples, so ran a search and came across this recipe on Gourmet Girl.It looks tasty, right? I loved the idea of essentially having an “apple pie” layered with a “mincemeat pie”. I decided to go a little Sandra Lee and use a pie crust mix, so my pies were “Semi Homemade”, but I didn’t have any complaints!  I made a few changes to the recipe Gourmet Girl posted based on what I had and fitting it to the mini pies….so here is what I came up with.

Pie Crust: 2 Boxes Jiffy Pie crust mix, if you prefer going all the way, see the Gourmet Girl Post for a recipe and instructions.

Apple Filling:

5 cups apples (Jonathan), peeled and sliced into smaller pieces
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon organic whole milk (or heavy cream)
1 (26-ounce) jar mincemeat (We use Crosse & Blackwell)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

For the pie crusts:

In a large bowl, prepare mix per directions.Use 2 disks when making this pie. Roll out dough on floured surface and use round cookie cutters to cut out small pie shells. You will need a larger circle for the bottom of the mini pies and a smaller one for the top. (NOTE: I used 2 cups instead, turning them upside down to cut out two different sized circles) Place the larger circles in the bottom of a muffin/cupcake tin with the edges running up the side to form the mini pie shells. Mine only came about half way up the muffin tin sides.
For the apple filling:

Combine the apples, butter and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat and cook for about 6 minutes. Cool slightly.

In a medium bowl combine the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and a pinch of salt. Add slightly cooled apples and mix well. Stir in vanilla and milk. Place a spoon of apple mixture into the bottom of each mini shell, spreading evenly.

Add a spoonful of the mincemeat on top of apple filling in each mini pie. Then use the smaller dough disk and adjust over each mini pie. Vent the tops and brush with melted butter and a sprinkle of sugar.

Bake for 15 minutes.

I hope you can find the time to make these this holiday season! My husband has already requested we have them for Christmas, to take in to his co-workers, and to wrap up with a Happy Holiday gift tag for friends….

SIDE NOTE: although we made these for Thanksgiving Dinner…we ended up eating them for Thanksgiving breakfast…and they are perfect with coffee! You can also easily adapt this recipe to allergy free with Gluten Free Pie Crust, subbing Rice milk for the milk, and omitting the butter on top.

November 19, 2010

This, That, and Thanksgiving

This year, I have a lot to be thankful for, like these loves of my life –

I had our family photos done a few weeks ago, and I wanted to share a few of them with you for several reasons

1) Um, what mom doesn’t want to whip out the wallet full of photos at every chance? Well…this is kinda my wallet!

2) My daughter’s dress and jacket, and my son’s tie were made by the AMAZING Georgia Grace Designs and YOU still have time to win a $50 credit to her shop for a few more hours…the cuteness is overwhelming! Go to this POST to enter…. Winner will be announced later today around 4:30pm EST!

3) I LOVE every opportunity to showcase the work of my dear friend and amazing artist – Courtney Vickers {Photography} We had so much fun spending the morning with her, and the photos prove it! What do you think??

Of course, my princess {3} is a fan of making the cheese face for photos! I love the “faces of C”

You may have also noticed that Thanksgiving is next week….and I don’t have Thanksgiving printables in the shop….. There are a few reasons for this as well….

1) I thought about it, and though it is my FAVORITE HOLIDAY, there are quite a few beautiful sets available, both free and for sale! There are several BEAUTIFUL sets free through Operation Shower that you can use for your holiday festivities and raise a few dollars to help a mom have an amazing baby shower!!!

2) If you all don’t know this about me, I do still work in freelance graphic design as well. I work for a number of Large hotels around the states and I have been busy working on holiday items for them, working on some branding packages for clients, as well as some TOP SECRET and AMAZING Paper & Pigtails projects!

So, something had to give, and it was the Thanksgiving set I planned. I am OK with it, I figure no one will go without printables just because of me {GASP}!! Now, I can move on to being Thankful… And I am so Thankful….for so much…and I am so thankful for all of the support I have received from all of you!

I hope you all have an amazing Friday and don’t forget to check back later today to see if you won!!

October 27, 2010

Nesting in Damask – {New} Printables Set


Recently, I had the pleasure of designing a custom set for a friend and incredibly sweet friend. When the shower hosts told me they wanted to do a nesting shower and use damask, I was so happy to oblige. We worked together to come up with a bird that had a vintage vibe and sweet look. I love to create patterns, especially damask, so that was fun of course!

This set is so perfect for both baby showers and wedding showers as both require a time to “nest”!  This would also be a sweet design for a get together with friends!

Check out the Nesting In Damask Set NOW AVAILABLE in the shop!

October 13, 2010

Operation Give Thanks – {FREE DOWNLOAD}

Alright Party Lovers, It’s time to {PARTY} for a great cause!!! That’s right, you throw a party using these {FREE} Party Printables and raise money for Operation Give Thanks, A Star is Born. I can’t think of a better reason to celebrate! Whether you use these printables to host a Shower, a dinner party for friends, or even a playdate, (I have included invites for a shower, or just a party) you can be a part of this amazing fund-raising effort!

If you don’t have time to party, you can still donate on the Operation Shower Website!  Here is the description of Operation Give Thanks from the source!

What Is Operation Give Thanks?
Operation Give Thanks is a nation-wide fund-raising party to help Operation Shower continue our mission to throw amazing baby showers for military families to ease the burden of deployment.
We are often asked how to best help Operation Shower.   We decided that since Operation Shower gives back to our military families through parties, so can YOU !
We are asking people across the nation to host a party between now and the end of the year to raise money for Operation Shower.  What a wonderful way to express your gratitude and thanks at this special time of year.
Our long-term goal is to reach every military base in the nation. Our short-term goal is to raise $50,000 through Operation Give Thanks to enable us to shower over 200 more moms-to-be ! That’s right, if you
raise $250 for Operation Shower, that enables us to throw a full amazing baby shower with gifts for a military mom to be whose spouse is deployed!

If you decide to host a party, please email us at lena@operationshower.org or amy@operationshower.org and we will help guide you as well and provide more information!

AND NOW….The FREE “A STAR IS BORN” Party Set

Included :

Invitations – Baby Shower or General Party

Party Circles

Tented Labels and/or Placecards

Straw Flags

Bottle Labels

2 Patterned Bunting Banner Pages

(alternate to create bunting)

Candy Bar Wrapper

2 Tented Table Signs

(For the Favor Table and Sweets Table)

Here are a few of the files you will see :

We ask that if you download this set, that you contribute to Operation Give Thanks in one of two ways

1) THROW A PARTY!!! – use these for a party to host a fundraiser and contact  lena@operationshower.org or amy@operationshower.org for more info and resources OR

2) Donate to the cause!!! – Make a donation for Operation Give Thanks, to help ensure that a mommy-to-be has the shower she deserves while waiting for her spouse to return from deployment. ANY AMOUNT counts!

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE PRINTABLE SET HERE

Any attention we can raise for this cause is a benefit, so if you have any ideas or can share how you are using your printables, I would love to hear about it!

Now, go check out the other amazing FREE sets created to benefit Operation Shower from some incredibly talented designing women: The TomKat Studio, Paper & Cake, Parties by Hardie and Hostess With The Mostess! Once you are finished….GO JOIN the online network being set up by Operation Shower to exchange ideas, photos, and fun!

October 5, 2010

Sneak Peek – Operation Shower Free Downloads

Last Friday I told you I had been working on some exciting events, and this is one I CAN. NOT. WAIT. to share with you!!! Here is the {SNEAK PEEK}

When I first heard of Operation Shower, I thought how beautiful and amazing the concept was. Operation Shower is non-profit organization that recognizes and honors the sacrifices military families make by producing and coordinating unit-wide baby showers and “showers in a box” for pregnant or expecting military families in a deployment or high stress situation.

Having had amazing showers when I had both of my children, I feel this is so important to making the new mom feel support and love for both herself and the baby she is soon to meet. I remember after my shower with my daughter thinking “WOW, people love this baby so much already…and she isn’t even here yet”. We should help every new mom to feel that way!

When Amy from Stem Parties, and Chief Event Organizer for Operation Shower reached out about creating a printables collection for upcoming fundraising event, I was honored and over joyed to jump on board! They have joined with March of Dimes to create this nationwide fundraiser titled ” Operation Give Thanks, A Star is Born” !!

This entire printable collection will be available very soon for FREE DOWNLOAD and you can get involved in supporting this amazing cause!!

There will also be sets available from some other amazing designers including; Hostess With the Mostess, The TomKat Studio, Paper and Cake, and Parties By Hardie. I hope you all will keep your eyes peeled and get involved!!

August 26, 2010

Free Printables for kids with Food Allergies

I realized with school starting back up, a lot of my mommy friends have to deal with sending their little ones off with food allergies and the concern they face because of it. After having a friend request things to help her daughter as she starts preschool, I talked with another friend whose son was going to kindergarten and she had the same concerns. Sitting down that evening to come up with some designs for them, I thought about an email I received from yet another friend just a few days ago stating that her daughter with egg allergies had now been found with severe peanut allergies as well. Thinking that I should create designs for her too, I remembered another friend whose son has food allergies and I realized…..THIS IS TOO COMMON!!!

No mom should have the fear that someone may unknowingly HURT their baby at school!  I wanted to do a little something to try to help, so I designed a few free downloads.

There are round circles that are meant to be made into stickers for items in your pantry. {Instructions and supply links below} This doesn’t mean that harmful foods should be left in the child’s reach, but is more to serve as a helpful way for a toddler or child to identify common foods that are safe OR unsafe!!  For older children, these stickers make it clear to them when items have ingredients that they shouldn’t have.

There are also printable cards, sized as business cards {how to make and/or where to order are below} that have important information – from a warning that the child has allergies, to the personal information you can write on the back. One friend plans on putting these in luggage tags to attach to her child’s lunchbox and backpack, but you can also give them out to teachers or parents to help spread awareness!!

Thank you so much to the sweet little ones that inspired this – Elle, Grady, Alexandrea, and Jack and to their mom’s for being so proactive in doing what we mom’s do best….protecting our babies with the strength of a mama lioness.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE ALLERGY SET

How to make the stickers – (two options)

1) You can purchase the Avery 2″ circles and use the Word Doc to print on them {the designs won’t be as clear as it’s a word doc, not a PDF file}

2) If you have a 2″ circle punch (if you don’t you should!! You can use this punch for SO MANY craft projects!) then this is the way to go!! The PDF file will print out so clearly, and can be printed on full label paper (LIKE THIS or THIS) then you simply cut on the lines (or right inside them as needed depending on your circle punch) and punch out each sticker.

How to create the cards – (two options)

1) It’s easy to create a nice two side card that can easily be filled out and placed in an important place (A hang tag from the back pack is a GREAT idea) or handed out to teachers, teacher aids, and other parents. I designed a card front and card back that are sized to the specifications of Vistaprint’s personal  business cards. These are business card size and come in sets of 25! Simply choose to upload the complete design, upload the front and back and order them!! Upon receiving them, fill out the information and you are done!

2) For those of you who are feeling craftier, there is a sheet with front and back designs that you can print from home on bright white cardstock and cut out!  You can glue the front and back together, laminate them together {GREAT IDEA – many office supply stores offer this in store} , or simply put them both into a clear hang tag.

As this school year starts, I hope that a few moms will be more at ease using these to help raise awareness for the little ones we try to always protect.

August 25, 2010

Moving Day is on it’s Way

Life has been full of adventure and excitement in the Clark home! Every time I turn around I bump into one of these…

Tired of a crazy commute, we listed our home on the market…and sold it to the first couple who came to see!! We decided that since we’d have to move quickly, we would rent until we had more time…then we found a dream home…and bought it! NOW, we are juggling two closings, the anxiety of making sure everything goes according to plan, and trying to move out of one home and move into a new home later the same day. Oh…while running a business, several  fabulous new projects, and enjoying every moment of time with my three year old and eight month old! To be perfectly honest…as crazy as it is, I wouldn’t have it any other way! We feel so blessed with how things have fallen into place.

Although I am scared to show too much, in case something goes wrong…I wanted to share a few favorite aspects of the new home!  One of my favorite places is the kitchen. I am such a fan of light, bright places and in addition to the bay window looking over the pool, and the over AND under cabinet lighting….there is actually a window between the cabinets and counter top!! I won’t be able to blame cooking mistakes on lack of lighting anymore!

Two of our other favorites have to do with water! The neighborhood boat docks at the end of the street, and our new pool….time for swimming lessons for the kids…ASAP!

I assure you I am FULL of emotional ups and downs, as this is very bittersweet for me. We are moving from our first home, where we came after our honeymoon and where we brought our two children home from the hospital. There are so many memories and so much love associated with this home. I have shed more than a couple of tears thinking of leaving, but I will take my amazing memories with me and I’m so thrilled for the new adventures and memories we will make in the years to come.

Now, back to these boxes…please excuse me if it seems to take a little extra time to respond to emails or convos…I may be lost in a sea of cardboard!

August 20, 2010

Easiest DIY Streamers EVER

As I am SURE you know, I love to be able to do things myself. There is certainly a sense of pride from creating something, even if (or ESPECIALLY if) you aren’t very crafty! This DIY spirit is the premise for Paper & Pigtails, all of the products can be made with a minimal amount of supplies and “craftiness”! I have had customers tell me they were “scared of DIY projects” then later tell me how much fun they had!

For my daughter’s Preppy Turtle Party, we made all of the designs, supplies, and planned out the tables…then sat back and decided we wanted more hanging than just the sheer curtains. I wanted something tall, to frame the table, that went with the theme, without distracting from the table or fabulous elements. Next was the real clincher….I didn’t want to spend another dime! I had to see what I had, and what I could do…

First, these came to mind and I loved them!!

{Image and AMAZING TUTORIAL here on Project Wedding}

Only I didn’t have a lot of the things needed for this project and like I said…I didn’t want to spend another dime. I also wanted a project I could have fun doing with my 3 year old! SO, here were my supplies

and here was what I ended up with

{Streamer Photos Courtesy of Courtney Vickers Photography}

For full details on how to make these SIMPLE TWO STEP party streamers, visit Pizzazzerie !

There is a sweet party feature and DIY Details!

August 16, 2010

Preppy Turtle {Real Party}

I can’t believe my little baby girl is three, it still seems like yesterday when we came home from the hospital with this tiny, wrinkly, brand new person. As she has grown, we have come to know her as a sweet and loving little girl, with one of her greatest loves being animals. Several months ago at the Miami Zoo, we were able to watch the tortoises being fed and she was enthralled. Immediately the Lilly Pulitzer Tort Partyware line came to mind, and she and I started planning her pool birthday party. Being a graphic designer, not a party planner, I had to look for a lot of inspiration from some unbelievable party planners {and their blogs} to figure it out.  We all ended up having an wonderful time and she had an incredibly amazing day!

I illustrated her “turtle” graphic first, wanting it to coordinate with the Lilly designs, but making sure it was still original and unique. {All Party Designs available in Paper & Pigtails Shop} Second, I had to decide how to display everything at a clubhouse pool party when I couldn’t use anything breakable!!! Yes, the cake stands, apothecary jars, and lovely glass containers I see in beautiful featured parties were forbidden. Instead, I made my own cupcake stands out of plastic trays and upside down cups, and scoured stores for pretty and modern BPA-free plastic serving pieces! How do you think it turned out?

How cute are these pink and green taffy wands from Kate Landers Events?

The donuts were a HUGE hit! The birthday party started at 10am {good toddler time} so having donuts and Cheerios in cupcake liners and snack cups was essential and greatly appreciated by sugar hungry toddlers.

The sweets table was modern, clean, bright and full of snacks for kids of all ages! The donuts and cherrios for earlier, the Taffy Wands {from Kate Landers Events} and Turtle Suckers {from Melville Candies} were take home treats, along with the gumballs that the kids put in little baggies to take home.

We love these old fashioned paper straws and had fun dressing them up with our DIY straw flags!

My daughter and I made these sweet streamers with extra party material and we had so much fun doing them together! I will post how later this week {easiest project ever!}.

Pinwheels set the stage for fun on the kids table! I made arrangements using the big Lilly Pulitzer Tort pinwheels and custom made amazing white pinwheels from Twirlie Whirlies that were set into the most “kid AND eco-friendly” vases – BlumeBoxes!

Each child had a lunch box customized with a sticker and filled with a sandwich, chips, and a green apple.

Of course, the biggest hit of the party was the pool and splash area, which we filled with these sweet turtle rafts! They were loved by not only the kids at the party, but also the kids enjoying the day at the club pool with their families!

As the cake came out, the kids started gathering around….

Could that fondant turtle be ANY CUTER? Custom made by Two Sugar Babies to match the invite. The birthday girl loved every moment.

{Stunning Photography Courtesy of Courtney Vickers Photography}

Seeing her face full of excitement and pride in front of her table, was my favorite moment of the day. Happy Birthday Baby Girl, I hope your party was everything that made you smile!

One of the best highlights of planning this party, was meeting and working with some truly AMAZING vendors who made this entire experience so much more. Huge thanks to the Amazing Help I had with this party!

Kate Landers Events – Taffy Wands {and party inspiration}

Custom White on White Pinwheels – Twirlie Whirlies

Fondant Cake and Cupcake Toppers – Two Sugar Babies

Sweet Turtle Sugar Cookies {even had a glittery flower}  –  Sugar and Flour

Custom Table Runner and Turtle Plushies – Georgia Grace Designs

Turtle Pops – Melville Candy Company

Lilly Pulitzer Plates, Napkins, and Paper Straws – Modern Lola

White Kids Vases – BlumeBox

Lunch Boxes – Bake it Pretty