Have you started holiday shopping yet? I envy those folks who plan far, far in advance. You know the types. The ones who come across an interesting craftsperson in June and clap their hands with glee, “oh, Aunt Bernice will love this sweet little birch basket for Christmas!” Wow, I’m lucky if I have a present for my husband’s August birthday bought by July.
If you still have some shopping to do, I am here to help—not only with a gift idea, but a personalized gift idea. I am extremely touched when I receive a handmade gift. My friend Amoreena makes beautiful homemade pillows, thoughtfully choosing fabrics for each recipient. I treasure each one she has given me. But unfortunately not everyone has the time nor inclination to craft holiday presents.
Here’s a clever compromise: customized recipe platters. You can create this unique gift for a friend or family member with little time commitment. Through a company called customsepia.com, you can have recipes, photos, or really any .jpg file permanently transferred to a platter or plate. These custom-printed platters make a beautiful display and are functional too; food safe they may be used like any other dish.
Janet Reeves, the owner of Custom Sepia, will work with you to create your own design. You can scan a family-favorite recipe card (water stains and all!) and she’ll transfer the file as is. You’ll be creating a family heirloom and preserving family history—that recipe will have a better chance of surviving if saved in more than one place.
I had one of my all-time favorite calligraphers Nancy Howell illustrate my great-grandmother’s doughnut recipe.
While the doughnut-recipe platter resides on a display shelf, it’s a durable piece and I certainly don’t hesitate to use it. I keep a stash of plate hangers on hand too and usually include one when I gift a plate.
While Custom Sepia’s FAQ states a ten-day turnaround, Janet says to allow three weeks (including delivery) this time of year. She is lovely to work with and responds promptly to questions. Prices vary according to size, from a five-inch round for $25 to a ten-inch square plate for $65.
Good luck with your holiday shopping and please let me know if you have any thoughtful, personalized gift ideas.
Will you be in the Woodstock-Saugerties, NY area on Saturday, May 12? If so, please join me for a crafts class at the very cool FiberFlame studio. It’ll be a fun afternoon of creating and recipe sharing.
We’ll be making a John-Derian–like collage plate or recipe box. The finished piece makes a wonderful Mother’s Day gift.
If you can’t make the class, please stop by for a sweet treat from 4 to 6 pm—a book signing and dessert tasting will follow.
And, you should stop by FiberFlame at some point regardless. This expertly-run crafts studio offers classes and individual instruction. You can even just drop in and start creating. The quality materials range from wool and wax to precious stones and metals. No pre-made plaster Disney forms here, this place is the real deal. Kids and adults alike can design and experiment in an artist’s milieu.
Hope to see you on May 12!
How many real, true letters do you receive on personalized stationery each year? A handful? Fewer? Maybe just one? I’m not accusing you of being unpopular, I promise. I’ve just seen a huge drop-off in those letters written on monogrammed cards that used to arrive in my mailbox (maybe I’m the one who’s not so popular!).
Last week though I received a stunning 8″ x 6″ bright white postcard with charming red letterpress illustrations by Nancy Howell, one of my favorite calligraphers and illustrators.
Even though the card was a sales piece of sorts, the luxurious feel of the heavy card stock and the sweet designs pressed in the soft paper made me hold on to it for a few minutes. Even my kids swooned over the touch and feel of the card—and the fact that it highlighted Doggie Dental Month (they’re very concerned we should be brushing our dog Tess’ teeth more often!).
This card is a keeper, I added it to my inspiration folder.
And while I never considered ordering letterpress Valentine’s before (they don’t exactly fall in everyone’s budget), I did realize letterpress need not be reserved for wedding invitations. Consider having letterpress recipe cards or postcards designed.
Most high-end stationery stores offer letterpress, and the number of online retailers are growing (I’ve used Dauphine in the past). Working with an individual or small press versus a large company though allows for greater creative freedom by you when designing your piece.
Be a part of the small press movement and make a lasting impression (no pun intended) with a custom letterpress piece. There’s no better month than now—the recipient will undoubtedly feel the love.
Hello all! I am thrilled to be a part of the lifestyle blogging community. There are so many sites I read regularly—see my favorites to the right—and I find more I like every day. Keeping up with blogs can be overwhelming though, so I’m sure you’re wondering why start another?
A writer and stylist specializing in entertaining, I work in many homes and experience different living styles. I feel fortunate that I’m able to do this professionally—I love meeting people and being in their houses—and want to share the inspiration I find with you.
I have to say though, there’s nothing I love more than being at home with my own family!
I strive to create a sweet home for my family through food, crafts, activities, hang out time, and festivities. We’re big believers in celebrating, from birthdays and anniversaries, to summer’s first lightning bug and fall’s apple harvest.
Celebratory events deserve celebratory measures: we decorate, don hats, eat delicious food, and more. Birthday breakfasts may end with a doughnut tower alighted with candles. Not just one, but two, three, or four desserts usually deck the table after a holiday dinner. Snow cream is whisked up during the first snowfall. It’s these experiences, big and small, that I look forward to sharing with you—ideas and thoughts for spending time at home with family—and hoping to further inspire your nurturing ways.
Thanks for stopping by—and I hope to hear from you in the future.