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Thursday, August 29

Hello friends!!
If you thought the Pretty Party Skewers I just recently launched are only for creating cute party kebabs...think again!!

I LOVE how beautiful they look as a CUPCAKE TOPPER on this Snickerdoodle Cupcake!
(delicious cupcake from Cupcake Delights)

Just tie on a little fabric (or not) and add some cute printable party flags (or just one).

The best part? Aside from how chic they look...
Pretty Party Skewers are REUSABLE!! 
No more throwing away the lollipop sticks you keep buying for cupcake toppers & cake bunting!

Create place settings too - just add a party flag with the name of your guest!!
I hope you love how these turned out!!
Can you tell I'm gearing up for Fall with my fabric and color scheme selection!?

If you missed it, I was fortunate enough to be published in this month's issue of All You Magazine as one of two of the bloggers selected to participate in this month's craft challenge!

I've received some WONDERFUL support with the voting so far...
but I'm STILL behind and would love it if you would take a minute to vote for me, if you haven't already.

Select the "Pick Your Fave" tab at the top. (It will appear if you have "Liked" the All You Fan Page).
Once you click on that you'll be directed to the "Take This, Make That" page where you'll find me and the "VOTE" button! *wink*

Thank You! Thank You! I so appreciate those of you who've already voted!
And I'm sending advance thanks to those of you who are heading there right now!!

THE PASTRY PEDESTAL | Little Star Baby Shower

Wednesday, August 28

I'm minutes away from being able to announce the pre-sales for The Pastry Pedestal Platforms!!
(a base created to hold and display The Pastry Pedestals). 
I'm only waiting on one more email from the manufacturer which will give me the green light.
I will be CELEBRATING when I can finally make that announcement.

In the meantime, I wanted to share with you a beautiful "Little Star" baby shower dessert table
created by a super sweet customer named Koral!!

Koral reached out to me inquiring about the highly anticipated platforms and after providing her with some of the background information on the reason behind the delay, she was sweet enough to send along the photo above showcasing how she used The Pastry Pedestals!!

First of all, I LOVE the theme!
Second...did you see all of the darling details?

Here's what I love most:
- Neutral grey, yellow and white color scheme. (perfect for boy OR girl baby showers)
- Adorable yellow banner with the white scalloped edging at the top.
- Curly ribbon used for a splash of color on top of the boxes The Pastry Pedestals are displayed in.
- Strips of yellow and grey paper added to the cupcake display boxes wrapped in white paper.
- Onesie cutouts added to the paper medallions.
- The "fanned" display of customized candy bars at the foot of the centerpiece - these double as party favors.

I sincerely appreciate Koral's love for The Pastry Pedestals.
Like so many of you, Koral has been eyeing the platforms for some time now...awaiting the opportunity to purchase them!

Instead of being met by frustration when I explained the delay with manufacturing, Koral's patience and understanding blew me away when she sent this response via email:

Hi Jessica,

Thanks so much for your response!  I, along with many of your other customers, appreciate you taking the time to pay attention to detail and quality to make sure the product you ultimately make available is as fantastic as the Pedestals themselves.  I wish you luck that the manufacturing process works out to your satisfaction.  I always get the best feedback whenever I use your product.  I've attached a picture of a dessert table where I included your "babies." 

I look forward to hearing about the release for the Platforms when they're ready.  Thank you for creating such a wonderful product, and congratulations on expanding your line!

 Your loyal customer, 

Needless to say I was so grateful for her kindness and for her genuine excitement about my product!!
Thank you Koral!!

I appreciate so many of you for being here every day and journeying along with me!!
Stay tuned for the announcement for pre-sales for this little pretty...

The Pastry Pedestal Platform

Biting my fingernails in anticipation of the release of the platforms.
You have no idea how hard I've been working behind the scenes to make sure these are affordable.
More on all of those details to come.

EMPOWER | Flipagram App

Tuesday, August 27

Sharing the latest fun app I've downloaded...

I discovered Flipagram when my friend Aedriel shared it on Instagram last week.
I love the idea of being able to create a quick video using photos from my Camera Roll OR my Instagram feed with the option of adding music from my personal Music Library! Yes!!
When you are done you can share it via Email, Facebook, YouTube OR directly to Instagram.

I shared my first Flipagram video via Instagram last week...want to see it?

I simply picked some of my favorite daily "She Said" inspirational art I've been creating and posting on my Instagram Feed and put the images to music. That's it! It was SO easy!

I've got to work on the timing of the music but hey...I think it turned out pretty cute as my first Flipagram video.

Here's how to do it...
1. Pick the photos you want to use (from Instagram OR your Camera Roll/Photo Library)
2. Rearrange them in the order you want.
3. Add music from your Music Library (optional)
4. Adjust speed (or just pick the automatic 15 second option for loading to Instagram)
5. Add a title (optional)
6. Save to Camera Roll (which automatically saves to your Flipagram Account too)
7. Post to Instagram, Facebook or YouTube or email it to someone!

I look forward to creating more fun videos and sharing them on my Instagram feed.
I hope you'll try it out too!

Here's what I like about the app:
- having the option to use photos from either my camera roll OR Instagram.
- knowing my videos are stored on my Flipagram Account so I can access them ANY time.
- being able to include photos I've already edited.
- knowing I can create a video and SAVE it for POSTING LATER - it doesn't have to be RIGHT THEN!
- the "Instant Preview" feature allows me to see the video before posting to make quick changes.

Things I would change about the app:
- I'd love to be able to pick the start place of the song when adding music.

If you are into the creative photo apps as much as I am...
here are some of the other apps I've shared here:

Hoping you are inspired to try them out!
Tag and follow me on Instagram using @pnpflowers & share your Flipagrams with me!
I'd LOVE to see them!

Some people view photo apps as distractions or time-wasters.
I really look at them as tools that push my creativity.
I DO have to be mindful of my time using them...
I can easily get lost in the creative process! *wink*

PRESS | All You Magazine

Monday, August 26

Good morning sweet friends...
I'm skipping "Recipe Radar" again this week in lieu of some exciting news...

I'm really grateful and excited to have been asked to participate in the "Take This - Make That" Challenge in the September issue of  +All You Magazine!

Remember the popsicle stick table runner I shared some weeks ago that was supposed to have appeared in All You a couple of issues back?  In that post, I explained this new "Take This - Make That" monthly segment features a craft challenge between two bloggers/crafters. The magazine selects an ordinary household item and issues a challenge to create something using the item for under $5 and in less than 5 steps.

The household item for this month's issue was a Cereal Box!
I hope you'll pick up a copy at your local grocery store to find out what I ended up making.
I would love for you to VOTE FOR ME on the All You Facebook Fan Page until September 13th.
Click on the "Pick your Fave" tab to see the "Take This - Make That" Challenge.

Or better yet...create your own fabulous cereal box craft and win yourself a $25 Gift Card to Michaels.
All you need to do is upload your photo to the All You FB Fan Page to enter.

Later this week I'll be posting the full tutorial to support the verbal instructions in the magazine.
I'll also be sharing the numerous ways to use these simple-to-make accents.

True Story...
I was working the concession stand at the High School football game on Friday night.
A woman I've come to know through the years of our kids attending school together was passing by.
She saw me and said, "Hey!! I saw you in All You Magazine! Did you know you were in there?"
I said, "Yes" and she said, "When I saw your picture I immediately recognized you but still wasn't believing it was really you until I read your name!! That's so exciting!! Congratulations!! We have a local celebrity!! I'm going to vote for you and I'm going to tell all of my friends to vote for you too!!"

I was totally beside myself. It made my night!!
If she happens to be reading this, Thank you Ms. Walker! Your support, encouragement and genuine excitement mean the world to me!"

I feel the same way about all of you too!
Thanks for being here with me everyday!!

I'm a little bummed about one aspect of the challenge.
I was told the printed side of the cereal box should NOT be covered or hidden so readers would be able to recognize it was from a cereal box.
I see the other crafter finished hers off with spray paint. *sigh*

Oh well. *frowny face*
I just feel like the end result was NOT a good representation of ME.
In fact, two women who voted for the other crafter left comments about how the other craft was more "classy". Ugh!!
Reading that felt like I'd been stabbed with scissors through my crafty little heart. *wink*
They may as well have said, "The craft by Pen N' Paperflowers is tacky".
I. Don't. Do. Tacky. *sniffle sniffle*

Regardless...I am really happy to have been able to participate!!
The editor I worked with at All You was great and the overall experience was such a positive one.
I'm elated to have been featured and after my experience with Ms. Walker the other night (see above) and the love and support from family, friends and you all here via emails,
I feel a tiny bit like a celebrity! Ha!! *wink*

Besides that, I get to "redeem" myself with the tutorial I'll be posting this week.
I'm excited to show you what I would've done had I been given permission to cover the cereal box print
and you'll also to get to see first hand some different, super cute ways to use the "fringe flowers".

SHOPPE | NEW Party Collections

Friday, August 23

I think people (including myself) automatically assume once kids go back to school there will be
more time for work-at-home moms to actually get things done.

It doesn't work that way. At least not at first. And at least not for me.
This week has eaten more of my time adjusting to new schedules, taxiing kids around and trying to figure out what routine will actually be the most productive. (for myself and the kids)
What looks good on paper doesn't actually always work in the real world.

At this point....I'm wondering if I'll ever get anything done around here! Ha!

I'm choosing to focus on the few wins I've had this week.
Take for instance finally loading some of the Signature Silhouettes into my shoppe.

Also, I'm happy to say I've also got a couple of new party collections available too!
Take a peek...

I designed this Giraffe themed invitation for one of my very favorite customers!! (Hi Toni!!)

A requested design from a diehard Football Fan family!

Fun in the Sun Party Collection - INVITATION (Customized)
Created at the request of Made by Morgan to coordinate with some cute towels 
and custom party favors she was making for a party...two years ago! Eeps!!

And yes...I know Summer is pretty much over so why bother posting the Fun in the Sun Collection at this point?

First because I couldn't stand to have another year pass without getting this in the shop.
Second, because it's still hot here in Florida so pool parties are still very much welcome.
Third, because I want you to benefit from my procrastination of making this collection available
by having a "Goodbye-Summer" SALE!!

Today through Sunday, enjoy 50% off the entire "Fun In the Sun Collection"...

Fun in the Sun Party Collection - INVITATION (Fill-In)

Fun in the Sun Party Collection - MINI PARTY PACK

Fun in the Sun Party Collection - DESIGNER PAPER PACK

Fun in the Sun Party Collection - PARTY XTRAS - Bundle 1

Fun in the Sun Party Collection - PARTY XTRAS - Bundle 2

I hope you love it.
I know the colors and mix of patterns in this collection totally make me happy!
I hope you're inspired to throw one last "Hoorah" as we get ready to welcome Fall!

If not...scoop up this collection NOW for some crazy savings and then save it for next year!
Or PIN IT for inspiration later!!

Enjoy the 50% OFF today through midnight on Sunday!

Will someone pull me out of this pot of molasses I seem to be swimming in!?
This is what my days feel like lately:
Work, interruption, work, distraction, one more interruption, work, distraction, distraction, distraction.
End of day: everything is 1/2 done or completely UNDONE!
This creative girl with a brain that doesn't stop has a hard time focusing as it is...
interruptions and distractions are not helping me out in the least!! *wink*

SHOPPE | Signature Silhouettes

Wednesday, August 21

Kids are back in school...
Silhouettes are in the shoppe! 
Yay!!! Finally!!!

I've designed a fair amount of silhouettes for my shoppe ever since I opened it a few years ago.
Remember when so many of you were encouraging me to OPEN the shoppe in the first place?
Fast-forward a few years and I've now found myself so busy creating invitations, party accessories and custom silhouettes there never seems to be enough time to actually load half of things I create into the shoppe.

When Etsy finally launched an "INSTANT DOWNLOAD" feature a couple of months or so ago...
I knew it was time to finally get the silhouettes loaded.

The "Signature Silhouettes" have been made available for the many of you who love designing your own invitations and party accessories. I've even had customers looking for silhouettes to use in conjunction with their Silhouette Cutting Machines as well as to create templates and stencils for making t-shirts and other creative art.

You can purchase these Signature Silhouettes for just a few bucks, download them instantly and create as many things as you want to FOR PERSONAL USE! You may not purchase them for creating invitations and other items to then resell as your own.

With that said, small business owners looking for the option to purchase silhouettes to create fun things for resale have other licensing options to choose from.

Take for instance one of my very favorite things to work on: "Exclusive Silhouettes".
"Exclusive Silhouettes" are custom designed silhouettes for designers looking to own the rights to the image - preventing me from reselling the image to anyone else.

Here are few of my favorites...

created for The TomKat Studio a few years ago

created for Sugar Plum Party

created for Sugar Plum Party

If you didn't know I designed silhouettes before today's you know. *wink*
And if you already knew...hopefully you've been inspired by the new selections in the shoppe...
and are now anticipating the others still needing to be loaded.

Expect new ones for the Fall and Winter Seasons fast approaching!!

Sometimes I end up loving the "Exclusive Silhouettes" so much...
I find it difficult to part ways with them!
I have found myself cringing and hesitating when pushing the "send" button to email the final image to a customer!
True story!!

LIFE | Where My Heart Is

Monday, August 19

This is where my heart is today!
Ella started Pre-K.
Ema started High School.
Clara is a Senior.

What a milestone year for each of my beautiful girls!

I'm proud of all of them.
They are SO very different from each other.
And they are also in very different places in their lives.

It's really easy to bundle my two older girls up together...
The three year age gap between them doesn't seem to be such a gap as they get older.
I have to remind myself that Clara has had THREE more years of growing up...
and that my sweet Ema has some catching up to do.
THREE years is a lot of stuff in the middle of this "growing up" business.

Now with Ella...
it's a completely different story.
I find I have to remind myself that even though I've done all of the "firsts" two times before...
with a ten year age gap between her and Ema - 13 years between her and Clara
Ella's "firsts" are just as important.
I really need to be intentional with taking my time to document and photograph her first moments too.

I love them all SO very much.
I'm grateful and blessed - despite the many frustrating moments as a mom.
I really am truly, truly blessed.

If you've sent your kids off to school this year...
I know you get this post...
and I know you get ME.

Thanks for listening today!!

Aside from the typical back-to-school photos we all take at the beginning of each school year, I also encourage you to photograph the fun things (school supplies, accessories, pens, pencils, glasses, etc.) that are playing a part in keeping your kids excited about the start of a new school year. I think it will be fun for them to look back on these things!  I know I wish I had a photo of some of my favorite metal lunch boxes from back in the day! I guess they'd be considered vintage or even collectibles today. Ha!

Although I REALLY had a lot of work to get done today...
including getting this post finished earlier than I did...
Making "Back-to-School" breakfasts...
and baking "Back-to-School" cookies for their return home this afternoon seemed so much more important than anything else today. *wink*

STYLE IT | Pretty Party Skewers - Cheese Tray

Thursday, August 15

I always get so excited when customers send in beautiful photos of the way they are using the products I've designed!

Take for instance this gorgeous photo from Amelia showcasing a lovely cheese tray she styled using the Pretty Party Skewers I recently launched! I love how she tied a charming piece of fabric/lace to skewers. It's such a simple detail but it really softens the entire display!

This goes to show that even though the celebration looks to have a "Rustic" vibe with the pretty peaches and wood party accents in the background, the clear lucite skewers blend beautifully and even bump the celebration up a knotch by adding a sweet elegance to it.

Want to see the other pretty details of this party? Visit The Celebration Shoppe for the full post!
Thanks for using the Pretty Party Skewers for your celebration Amelia - and for taking the time to share your beautiful photo with us!!

Have you gotten YOUR set of Pretty Party Skewers yet?
See more styling ideas and information RIGHT HERE!

This photo is totally making me excited for Fall and cooler weather.
The colors are so pretty!

And...I'm also completely ecstatic to know I'm just bits away
from launching The Pastry Pedestal Platforms! Eeeps!!!

CRAFT | Popsicle Stick Table Runner

Tuesday, August 13

Let's talk wooden popsicle sticks today...
in the form of a DIY Table Runner!!
Yep! The adorable wooden table runner you see here is a simple craft project 
taking less than 30 minutes to put together.

I was approached by one of the editorial directors of All You Magazine.
They were looking for crafty bloggers to participate in a new feature called 
"Take this, make that" in which two crafters would have to take an ordinary household item
and turn it into something useful and fabulous!!
I was given popsicle sticks and was asked to make a home decor item 
for under $5 - in less than 5 steps!

The step-by-step photos and instructions below will have you
enjoying your own table runner in no time!!

RECIPE RADAR | Flavored Popcorn

Monday, August 12

Today's "Recipe Radar" post may have you craving couch-time with your favorite movie...
or perhaps even motivate you to host a movie night with your family.
You may be SO inspired by this collection of delicious flavored popcorn recipes...
I'll go out on a limb and say you just might decide to host a popcorn themed party.
(or at least consider putting together a Popcorn Bar  for your next celebration)?

Sweet or Savory...
whatever you might be looking for...
I've got you covered with 20 MORE flavor selections to make your

SHARE | FREE Hand-Lettered Chalkboard Art Print on I Heart Naptime

Thursday, August 8

Hi everyone!!

After seeing some cute Anders Ruff printables on Instagram a few weeks back, (posted by Jamielyn from I Heart Naptime) I reached out to Jamielyn and told her to let me know if she ever wanted me to design something for her to share on her blog.  The next thing I know, she requested I design a cute Chalkboard Art Print for the kitchen. I got right to work sketching out some ideas. (the image above is the original sketch I came up with and posted on my Instagram Feed)

I came up with an original quote and then went to work on a hand-sketched and hand-lettered illustration... tweaked it a bit...and ended up with this...

I just LOVE the inspirational quote!!
Although I have a tendency to focus on the "baking" aspect of being in the kitchen...
and I originally went in that direction with the quote...
I ended up making sure the art print applies to bakers and cooks alike!! *wink*

I hope you love it as much as I love how it turned out!!
Head on over to I Heart Naptime to download the FREE 8x10 or 11x14 right now!

Don't print from your home printer and drain your print cartridge.
It costs pennies to have them printed at  +Staples+Office Depot, Inc. or your local printer of choice.
I printed one 8x10 and one 11x14 of the Kitchen Art Print and it cost me .58 cents total for both.
They were both printed onto white card stock too!!

For more Chalkboard Art Inspiration, check out THIS, THAT, THIS RIGHT HERE, THIS

You may recall me mentioning +Jamielyn Nye  before...
Remember those delicious Homemade Reeses Peanut Butter Cups I shared with you awhile ago - inspired by +Jamielyn Nye from +I Heart Nap Time? Yeh!! Those amazing morsels!!
I figured this Kitchen Art Print was a "Thank You" of sorts to Jamielyn for introducing me to a such
a delicious recipe I'll be using again and again!!

Besides that...I love hand-lettering and I'm thrilled the Chalkboard Art trend over the last couple of years has caused me to dive back into it again!! 

SUGAR | Rainbow Sprinkle Surprise Pops

Wednesday, August 7

I'm excited to announce I'm one of the newest members of the The TomKat Studio Design Team!!
I couldn't be more thrilled to be able to share fun, creative ideas using the darling party supplies in the TKS Shop.

I'm sharing my first official post today, Rainbow Sprinkle Surprise Pops, over on The TomKat Studio Blog.  

Join me there to find out what the surprise is hidden inside each of these adorable frozen treats and what you'll need to recreate these simple desserts!

I really love how the Rainbow Dot wood spoons I shared earlier really finish these off!

I'm happy about joining the TKS Team.
Not only have I been working with Kim in different capacities over the years from designing custom silhouettes,  hosting Pinterest Parties and contributing to her Holiday Gift Guide...

I've also been using the cute party products and craft supplies from Kim's shop for some time and I love sharing what I create with them. This new collaboration was a no-brainer for me. Ha!!

Here's a quick round-up of just a few of the other TKS Party Supplies and ideas I've shared here:
Cupcake Sprinkles
Hot Cocoa Bar Preparations
Styled Hot Cocoa Bar
Sweet Treats
Valentine's Day Inspiration
Mini Banana Pudding Dessert Shooters
Simple Shirley Temples
Game Day Banner
Cookie Exchange/Bake Sale

CRAFT | Rainbow Dot Mini Wood Spoons

Tuesday, August 6

I'm completely smitten with the wooden utensil trend that has taken over the party styling world.
What's not to love about an item that is eco-friendly...
completely versatile for just about every occasion...
and absolutely screams "get crafty and personalize me!"

I've been itching to do something creative with them, other than using Chalkboard Paint for creating the "plant marker" dessert spoons I created for the party I styled for Martha Stewart, and today I have a crazy simple painting idea to share with you. Something so simple you'll wonder why I even bothered to create a brief tutorial about it. *wink*

Rainbow Dot Mini Wood Spoons

Ever since my friend Kim created a Rainbow Heart party for her daughter Kate...
I'm convinced there has been a resurgence

LIFE | My search for the elusive Tendregris

Friday, August 2

I've just started the early steps towards making over our Master Bedroom.
It's been something I've been thinking about and putting off for a long-time.

My process for transforming this room started with selecting the wall color.
I pulled out the "Country French" magazine I've been keeping for years as a reference for a color
I've been searching for ever since I saw it mentioned in the pages.

"In France, the ubiquitous color called tendregris (soft grey) is everywhere. It morphs to a green or blue depending on the light and the season."

I decided THIS would be the color for the Master Bedroom.
The fact that it morphs into different colors depending on the light/season is perfect for my personality...I'm that person who tires of things quickly and is always rearranging furniture for a new look.

With about five different paint samples...
Ella and I began the process of elimination last week by putting up some swatches of color on all four of the existing "Viva Gold" walls in the Master Bedroom.

The paint colors I gravitate towards are typically very neutral.
So you can imagine the shock to my system when we walked into this home for the first time as potential buyers.
Not only was the outside of the home painted a "pumpkin" color...
almost every single wall in the interior of the home matched the exterior! *gasp*

Want proof?
Here are some of  the "before and after" photos I shared with you awhile back...

I much prefer the various "creamy white" colors I chose to paint over the gold, don't you?

So with the rest of the interior walls of the house painted...
our master bedroom has been the only room left to officially banish the viva gold from our home forever! It's been a painful wait, trust me!

After a few days of looking at the color swatches on all four of my walls...
I have made a decision!!

It's clean, fresh, soft, pretty and something different than my standard "creamy white".

Colors Swatches from Top to Bottom:
Sherwin Williams - Blue Hubbard - perfect - I'll take this one!!
Behr Ultra - Lime Light - really like this one too - a little less color than Blue Hubbard!
Behr Ultra - Pensive Sky - too blah!
Behr Ultra - Contemplation - too dark!
Behr Ultra - Light French Gray - too grey!

I almost went with the Lime Light until I remembered I had a paint sample in the garage from a previous paint project.  It was meant to be! It turned out to be just enough added color to bump the "Lime Light" out of the limelight! *wink*

The Blue Hubbard is a discontinued color by Sherwin Williams.
I'll be having Behr match the color and mix me up some Ultra!

My hopes are to get the room completely painted this weekend!!

I'm not sure that's going to happen though since my sweet Ella has been sick this week with the cold she caught from me.  I'm still not even 100% with a super annoying cough I can't seem to get rid of!!

Stay tuned for more details about the pillows I have found for my bed!!

Although I don't recommend getting a terrible cold and being confined to bed for 3-4 days as a way to really put thought into the color swatches on your walls before making your decision...
I do have to say it worked out pretty good for me. Ha!!

SHARE | Girly Music Birthday Party

Thursday, August 1

The adorable details from this girly music themed birthday party...
almost didn't happen!

Despite having to cancel the party due to a blizzard
and then having another snow storm on the rescheduled party date...
the party ROCKED on!
The darling little elements from this super simple 2nd birthday party
will have you running to glam up your guitar...
adding sparkle to your tambourine...
and drumming away on your glitzy pink drum set.

Party Host: Christie Cambio
Celebration Type: 2nd Birthday Party
Party Theme: Music
Inspiration: Guitar Themed Invitation from Pen N' Paperflowers
Color Palette: Pink, Orange and Gold
Party Style: Girly Glam

Girly Music 2nd Birthday Party 

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