This weekend the tree at Rockefeller Center came down and so did the one at Love Jac Headquarters. Unlike the Rockefeller tree, our tree had to be taken apart piece by color coordinating piece and shoved back into its cardboard box. We know, it doesn’t sound like so much fun and it definitely isn’t the same feeling as when we decorated it, but we do believe there is something nostalgic about packing up Christmas.
It seems to be a reoccurring theme, but tradition is really important to us at Love Jac. We believe a lot of what made you happy in childhood can still make you happy today. Growing up we had an artificial tree with multicolor lights and although as an adult I briefly had a real tree for a couple years, I find myself with that same tree from my childhood as our daughter celebrates her first Christmas.
As you pack up your ornaments and decorations, it’s a good time to look back on your holiday memories and preserve them for years to come. What you pack your ornaments in can serve as a unique and functional keepsake. Many warm memories flood back as I wrap my Precious Moments Nativity Set in those same 80’s Christmas napkins my mom originally wrapped them in and snuggly fit them into my Rainbow Brite roller-skate box. I’m not sure if my mom knew she was making a time capsule when she packed it this way, but it is now a part of my Christmas nostalgia. I don’t know if my husband’s Nike shoebox will have the same effect in a couple years, but it’s what we are using for our ornaments now.
This year, we decided to start a tradition of our own. It came to me pretty randomly when I saw a pickle ornament at a holiday craft fair and couldn’t pass it up. Our 10 month old surprisingly loves pickles. There was no ornament more perfect. I decided every year we should buy or make an ornament that told a particular story for that year.
We then decided to take this one step further by creating a Family Ornament Scrapbook. It won’t be like every other scrapbook we try to start and never finish because we only have to make 1 or 2 pages a year! We won’t stress over these pages, we will just get the stories down on paper in one spot. We inserted blank pages in the rest of the book, so it will be ready to scrapbook for years to come. It will be packed with our ornaments so every year we can look back at it as we decorate the tree.
|Our latest find in photo printing (we apologize if every knows this already and we're the last to find out) is collage mini-prints! Many of the online photo providers have this as an option, but we’ve found CVS to be the easiest. At the kiosk in the store, select Prints>>Collages>>Mini-Prints. You can get two 3x4s printed on a regular 4x6 photo sheet and it costs the same as one photo. These are a lot easier to fit on a page if you are scrapbooking. Warning: don’t accidentally select one that fits on a 5x7 sheet. It’s significantly more expensive. Alright, we digress.|
|We took some photos of this year’s ornaments and got them printed along with some of us decorating the tree. Bought a red scrapbook and filled two pages with the stories behind the ornaments. Another ornament we featured is the “Queen Anne” one I made for my husband to honor his Grannie & her love for chocolate covered cherries. They were her favorite Christmas candy and he would buy her a box every year. We simply cut out two pictures from the box (one for the front, one for the back), hot glued them to a piece of felt, and attached a festive ribbon. This was the first year Grannie wasn’t with us and we wanted to make this ornament as a way for this fun Christmas Candy tradition to be remembered.|
|After all our decorations were packed we finally had time to write out our holiday cards. We know… the holidays are over, but we think it’s important to not let them stress you out. If that means sending out “New Years” cards instead, so be it. This is the second year this happened to us, so we can’t even blame the baby. Georgia did give us a great subject to center the card around. The card says, “We got caught up in all the holiday fun …and forgot to send our Christmas Cards” and is filled with photos from our holiday vacation.|
If you haven’t taken down your tree or sent out your holiday cards yet, don’t stress. When you do it is not important, just that you try to enjoy the process and not get overwhelmed. You may even create some lasting memories in the process. Have a great week and a wonderful start to 2012!
I will admit it. I love a New Year’s Resolution. Some people think they are pointless because no one ever sticks to them, but I love the sense of a new start. The chance to catch your breath and make a plan. (I also love a plan).
This year our resolution at Love Jac is to live more in the moment, save it as a memory, and keep things organized. We are going to do this with what we are calling our “To-Do Smash Book.” It’s a book where we will keep everything together. Our lists, our important dates, our calendar. The thing that makes this book better than your average agenda is that it is meant to be used Smash Book style. A catch-all for things that happen, quotes we hear, and ideas we have.
If you aren’t familiar with the Smash Book, it’s my latest obsession. It’s basically a scrapbook for someone who doesn’t have the time to organize and make every page perfect. The idea is to “smash” things that make you happy into the book. There are no rules. As long as these are things that make you smile…you will always enjoy looking at the book. K&Company have taken this idea and produced a book you can purchase, but many hardcore crafters make their own. I got the pink K&Company book for Christmas and can’t wait to use it. I would love to make my own pages but honestly don’t have the time. Plus, the pages designed by K&Company are beautiful and inspiring. Here is their marketing video I find myself watching on YouTube more often than I should be.
We are taking the Smash Book concept and making it a part of our daily lives. Here’s what we have got so far. We started with this dollar store notebook that was in my Christmas stocking. We love the craft paper/cardboard feel. Because we often can’t find something to write with, we decided to attach a pen to the book. To do this we hot glued a piece of elastic onto the side of the front cover to hold our pen. We bought one of those clicky 4 color pens so we will be able to color code things!!
Since we weren’t in love with the image on the front we glued a “While You Were Out” memo sheet to the front. Throughout the year we will add additional things we come across to the cover. We also bought some neon tabs to help us find certain pages more easily.
We hope you all find yourselves motivated and inspired to start the year off as organized or as smashed together as you want it to be.
Merry Christmas Everyone!
Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. Today was our daughter’s first Christmas and we wanted to share a little bit of our day with you. Because she is the first grandchild on both sides of our family, we decided to think “outside the box” so her Grandparents could still buy her all the gifts they wanted and we could create an everlasting memory.
Santa built a “Christmas Playland” made of almost all repurposed materials. Because some of Georgia’s favorite things to do are taking the trash out of the trashcan, spinning the toilet paper off the roll, and climbing up the bookshelf, we wanted her to be able to do these things without us having to say “no”. We also created a playhouse out of cardboard display boards and bought a pop-up tunnel. Family & friends donated boxes and paper towel cardboard. A friend gave us plastic playpen balls and we shopped at one of our favorite stores, Hobby Lobby, for tissue paper & other art supplies. Putting it all together took a couple hours, but it was fun to think of different activities that would evoke her curiosity. It was inexpensive and she absolutely loved it all. Since she’s only 10 months old and doesn’t really understand opening presents, playing with the different activities was a great way to spend the morning.
One of the other presents we enjoyed giving was personalized stationery for my mother-in-law, Bobbie, who is the best letter writer we know. We found an antique “Bobbie” cigar box at the Antique Show in Brimfield, MA a couple years ago. To make the stationery we scanned the box and used its images. We then embellished half of them with glitter and sewed the other half with contrasting thread. It was a fun, personal, and one-of-a-kind present.
We hope you all enjoyed your family and friends this holiday season and were able to use your creativity to make some lasting memories.
What an exciting and eventful week at Love Jac. Last Sunday, we showed at our first craft fair. We met some really nice people and received some great feedback on our cards. Monday was our presentation at the Brooklyn Public Library for the PowerUp! Competition. It went very well and we were given good business ideas for the future! The winner will be announced on January 10 at an award ceremony. Wish us luck!!
The rest of the week was spent working on two Custom Design orders. A thank you card for the incredible little baby, Buckminster, who stayed strong through open heart surgery on his 5th day of life. His parents wanted to send an extra special thank you to all the people who were there for them and sent good vibes their way.
We wanted the card to have a handcrafted feel and personify the “It takes a village” mentality. We sewed fun red & purple paper together in a patchwork pattern, taking inspiration from the quilts we had recently seen at the American Folk Art Museum. We hand stamped words that have deep meaning to Buck’s parents and sewed them on as well, along with a Brooklyn skyline and an abstract heart.
Buck is home now with his 3 older brothers & parents enjoying the good life. We hope when Buck is old enough, he will look back at this card & know how much love and strength he has brought his family from the very beginning.
||The second custom order was for our friend Kelly who has some awesome friends with some very unique names. She had seen our Hand Embossed Personalized Flat Note Cards and knew they would make a great gift for these ladies who have grown up not being able to find a keychain or a mug with their name on it. She ordered half with just their name and half with our “birds on a wire” stamp.|
Since the holiday season has begun, we have been lucky to spend the entire week with family and friends, enjoying New York at what we consider one if the best times of year.
|Yesterday, we were inspired by one of our friends, Rachel, who came over to use our sewing machine. She’s making her daughter’s Christmas stocking. It’s made of red, white, green, and grey felt and we think Simone is going to treasure it forever. For us, Christmas is all about traditions and the things from your childhood that just make your heart fill with happiness. Making something for someone you love is one of the best ways to enjoy the holidays!|
Finally, yesterday afternoon we had a get together with my old roommates and their families. Since we used to do Secret Santa when we lived together we wanted to bring the tradition back. Everyone lives in different cities now, so I wasn’t sure this would be possible, but I was able to find an online Secret Santa (www.elfster.com). It shuffled all our names (even allowing me to make sure I didn’t get my husband) then sent everyone an email. It worked out perfectly!
Because we like to bring the fun, I made a “Couples Christmas Challenge” game. Essentially it’s the Newleywed Game: Holiday Edition. If you want to play at your next party here’s how…
For 6 players with 6 questions each, you need 36 pieces of paper.– if you have more just multiply the number of people by the number of questions to know how much paper you need.
- Fold each piece paper in half (I used red printer paper, but white will also do the trick)
- To add some holiday flare, you can tape the fold with candy cane duct tape. (again this isn’t necessary, feel free to decorate the front anyway you would like, I happen to have this on hand cause I couldn’t not buy it when I saw it at the craft store)
- Write a question on the front of each folded piece of paper. There were 6 questions for the guys and 6 for the girls.
- Make a quick game sign and score board.
- When it is time to play the game, pass out the questions. Answer the them honestly and write your answer on the inside of the paper.
- Once everyone has filled in their answers, take turns holding up the cards and having your partner try to guess the answer written inside the card.
- One point for each match. Most points win.
The questions we used are below, but feel free to make up your own. It was an inexpensive way to have some fun, share a few laughs, and get to know a little more about each other.
Questions for the boys:
(girls write these answers down ahead of time)
1. Who’s a better Santa? Her mom or yours?
2. What’s her favorite holiday tradition?
3. When she is Santa, what cookie does she want you to leave for her?
4. Tinsel or no tinsel?
5. Gift bags or Wrapping Paper?
6. What did she get you on your first Christmas together?
Questions for the girls:
(boys write these answers town ahead of time)
1. What’s his favorite holiday candy?
2. Egg nog or spiced cider?
3. What’s his favorite Christmas ornament?
4. What’s his favorite holiday song?
5. How old was he when he stopped believing in Santa?
6. Where did you spend your first New Years together?
Tie Breaker: How many years total have all of us been together as couples.
We hope you can take something from our busy week. Whether it’s ideas for your own holiday games, inspiration for new traditions you can start or memories of ones that have been with you since you can remember. We want you to cherish the time you have with your friends and family, especially this time of year. Let us know what fills your heart with happiness. Tell us who has made your week great! Or even better, tell them! It’s the people who make you smile every day that keep life enjoyable. Make sure you let them know how much they mean to you!
What an exciting week! We are in the finals of Brooklyn Public Library's PowerUp Competition, we will be showing at our first craft fair, and we just launched the site. Things are really picking up momentum here.
Our blog will be your place to find out what is happening at Love Jac, get inspired to get creative, and find new ways to keep in touch with your friends. A new blog will be posted every Monday morning, so be sure to check back every week.
For now, check out our cards. We will be having our official launch in January. Sign up for our mailing list so you can be one of the firsts to know about it.
Thanks for being a part of Love Jac!!