January 29, 2010

Why be standard when you can be giant?

Earlier this week, it seemed as though a friend of mine needed a pick-me-up. 

Being the jokey-jokester that I am, of course I couldn't just surprise her with something *normal* like cookies or offering to grab a delicious hot coffee.  Instead, I opted to give her a giant gummy bear on a stick. 

I wasn't even sure if she liked gummy bears, but I couldn't resist presenting any item that's proudly touted as "90 times the size of a standard gummy bear."  Who knew there were standards?  As if someone on an esteemed International Gummy Bear Council has power over what is deemed an appropriately sized gummy bear.

Let's say there was a Gummy Bear Council.  Would there be other councils, too? Would there be industry rumors swirling saying, "I hear the worms are down in size by 25% and contain 10% less gummy..."?

(Image source: vat19.com)

January 28, 2010

Free printable: Valentine's Day pillow box

For the record, I've already single-handedly plowed through nearly an entire bag of conversation hearts. My teeth are probably going to rot right out of my head, but at least it can be considered a tasty demise.

Today's craft I particularly like because it's a Valentine's Day pillow box.  I really love the squishy flexiblity of a pillow box, don't you?  Plus, it's pretty simple to assemble.  Let's get started!

After you print the PDF on a heavy cardstock, trim around the solid line with scissors.  Then, using a bone fold or butter knife, score along the dotted lines (I used a ruler for the straight lines, but you could probably freehand it, too):

Next, gently bend in where you just scored the lines:

It's at this point prior to taping that I highly recommend you fill in the "to/from" lines.  It will be easier to accomplish while the box is still flat.  Take my word for it:

Use double-sided tape to adhere on the lower tab (below the Good Gravy! logo) and join it to the opposite side of the box.  Then, tuck in the sides and your pillow box is just about done!

Finally, fill the box with gift cards and/or goodies, and you have a perfectly assembled pillow box that's great for instant gift-giving.

Enjoy while I bust into bag #2 of those little hearts...hello, sugar!


January 27, 2010

Bachelorette party invitation

Some Good Gravy! clients have all the fun.  Take this bachelorette getaway invitation I recently designed: poolside sun and drinks in Orlando among other great events.  

Groom, what groom?

Personal information has been modified for privacy.


January 26, 2010


Dear local medical professionals,

Hi, it's me.  You know, the woman who visits so often that you ask me each time if I work in your network?  I knew that would jog your memory. 

Well, it's been a whopping 30 days since our last visit so it was only a matter of time before we crossed paths again.  As you know, my family likes alternate monthly injuries and illnesses.  In October, I paid a pricey ER visit for an ocular migraine.  In November, we needed your help removing a deer tick tucked behind Griffin's ear (yuck, yuck and yuck).  Then in December, Wavey had pneumonia, and now here we are: January. 

Griffin decided we needed to bust into that shiny new medical deductible to kickoff the new year, and he did it with style by falling down five steps face-first.  One second: walking upright.  The next second: face on the hardwood.  It's horrifically true what they say about turning your attention away for a split second right before something goes wrong. 

I'm thankful you assessed the tumble as not being too serious despite his bumps, continual nose bleeds and what will most likely result in two black eyes.  My little bruiser.

I continue to stand by my suggestion that you should offer a "frequent patient card," where every fifth visit earns me a free sub, or something along those lines. Come on, kids...mommy loves turkey and swiss! 

Medical staff, I hope not to see you soon.



January 25, 2010

My sewing days are numbered

I had put off my Project Linus quilt to make room for several wedding invitation orders, but with the looming deadline to get the quilt in, I had to get cranking. 

When I last left off, I had neatly set down all my squares in the sequence they were to be stiched.  About an hour after walking out of the room, the Gravy Kids rolled through and played tornado with the squares.  Great. 

This weekend, I reassembled the order and got to sewing.  Let's just say that the bobbin was out to get me.  It jammed.  Jammed again.  Then the needle unthreaded.  And unthreaded.  And unthreaded itself again.  Cursing abound.  Frustrated and lacking focus, I found myself sewing together the incorrect sides of the squares a few times:

Finally, I had my rows and pressed out the seams.  And that's about as far as I've come. I couldn't handle the finickiness of my machine anymore (like how I'm blaming the machine and not me?  Classic diversion).  I'll return to the project later this week.
Please try to contain your envy for my ugly green factory-issued iron board cover. One day, I'll buy one of these.


January 22, 2010

Walking to school...in the snow...uphill...both ways

Can we talk about this a second?


Aside from the hoopla about children handling smartphones (this photo clearly sharing which side of the fence I'm on, but I respect those who disagree), one thing dawned on me: the things I experienced growing up are already so archaic to my kids.  

For example:
  • The TV as they know it has always been able to pause live television and record shows.  It would seem so foreign to them to comprehend how I made my little sister serve as the remote control for our remote control-less TV.  
  • Standing in line to use the pay phone was just something we did if we wanted to talk to our friends or call mom for a ride. 
  • Sometimes we had to purchase paper maps (gasp!) because there wasn't a talking machine on the dashboard telling us where to take turns.
  • In college, I took a course - a real credited course! - called "All About the Internet: Search Engines."  I mean, a whole four hours each week dedicated entirely on how to use an online search engine!  I think I passed with a "B."  But I digress...

All in all, they will find many ways to laugh at me the same way I laugh at my dad for using terms like, "portable computer" when he's referring to a laptop, or when I ask him if he thinks we live in the 1800s after he refers to the living room as "the parlor."

And for the record, Wav adores the "Single Ladies" song, as seen above.  Only she calls it the "sing-a-ling" song.  I won't correct her out of little kid vocabulary just yet.



January 21, 2010

DIY Valentine's Day package

I mentioned earlier this week that I'm always wholly unprepared for Valentine's Day despite any faux ramp-up, and this year is not unlike any other.  I'm already saying to myself, "Yeah, I have about three weeks.  Plenty of time to be ready for Valentine's Day this year!"

Don't let my love for chalky little conversation hearts fool you. 

But, to get you in the craft mood, I'm pleased to offer another Valentine's Day DIY printable: a little gift package!  Okay, so it's loosely based on a French fries box.  But really, it's adorable and I promise your friends will be thrilled by your craftiness and it'll only take between five and 10 minutes to cut and assemble.

Print the file on heavy white paper and cut along the edges:

Use a bone fold or butter knife to create a crease along the edges where the bright and soft pink colors meet:

Gently fold along creased lines:

Bend the back of the box upward:

Secure the wrap around flaps with adhesive (I used double-sided tape):


January 20, 2010

I like it wild

I talk often about my lofty dreams, such as perfecting my baking skills or being really organized (just one day, please!), but I'm not alone in my loftiness.  Wavey has one lofty goal that she expresses often: to have straight hair. 

Her Auntie Emily - being one of the best aunties ever, of course - granted Wav her wish (albeit temporarily) and busted out the straightening iron:

I'll admit, I was a little freaked out by the results.  My curly-headed pip was flaunting around her choppy straight hairdo with such pride.  I was feverishly hoping that the curls would come back once she took a bath, which they did. 

All was right again.


January 19, 2010

Free printable gift tags

I always have these lofty dreams around this time of year that I'll make all kinds of special edible goodies for Valentine's Day, but I usually fall short.  On the evening before, I find myself either baking no-brainer slice-and-bake cookies or being really desperate and running to the market about 10 minutes before closing to buy sad, tasteless mini cupcakes.  You know, those cheapy one-biters?  There's always a million left on the shelves because folks know better than to eat them. Sigh...

But if you're a better planner than me (and you probably are), I've designed print-your-own Valentine's Day gift tags to top off your little homemade goodies.  What's more, they're offered in three different tiers based on your level of affection: 

+ Nothing beats true love
+ Let's hold hands
+ We're more like brother and sister (a personal favorite)

For example, you probably don't hold the same level of affection for that guy Bob over in Accounting as you do your spouse, and it's in nobody's best interest for Bob to get the wrong idea with an "I choo-choo-choose you" gift tag.  I'm just trying to help.


PS: Be sure to enter the Thirty Handmade Days giveaway of Good Gravy! stationery.  Contest ends Thursday.  Good luck!

January 18, 2010

New wrap around address labels...and more!

This past weekend was rather uneventful - a rare occurrence here at the homestead, but a welcome one.  The quiet gave me the chance to finally introduce a new series of new custom wrap around address labels in the shop. 

I really like this style where the return address wraps around the left of an envelope, leaving the front with a pretty design to write in your addressee.  A little funky, purposely off-center, and yet perfectly dresses up your correspondence.

What's that you say?  You're interested in winning a some of these fresh-out-of-the-oven custom labels AND custom flat cards AND free shipping?  Fine, you drive a hard bargain.  Head on over to Thirty Handmade Days right now to enter (giveaway starts at 9:00 a.m. EST)!

January 15, 2010

My little bunny paperweight

I have a real affinity for good packaging.  To buy something - especially handmade - and to receive it well-packaged is like getting a birthday present when it's not your birthday.  I appreciate the time and thoughtfulness behind the effort. 

Being the nerdy office supply person that I am, it should be no surprise that I recently purchased a lovely paperweight just because.  When my little item from Paper Flowers Boutique arrived in the mail, I fell in love with how it was so carefully packaged with vintage ribbon and wallpaper, and enclosed in a sweet little organza bag.  Again: happy un-birthday to me. 

And check out these serious details:

It's the little things that make us happy, isn't it?


January 14, 2010

Caution: mowing ahead


Guess whose daddy didn't check the clipper settings before commencing a monthly haircut?

There was no way I could allow that super-low setting to go all around Griffin's head, so we have to live with this crazy, single stripe for another 4-6 weeks.


January 13, 2010

Maple bars win!

A big thanks to everyone who participated in our first Good Gravy! Giveaway.  I'm pleased to announce that lucky #6 won the prize! 

That's you, Amanda!  Email me at hello{at}goodgravydesigns.com to claim your stationery!  Isn't her plan to write a love note to her husband sweet? 

And I'm a big maple bar fan, too.  Oh, who am I kidding?  I love all donuts.  Thanks to everyone who indulged me.  :) 


January 12, 2010

Everyday conversation

If you were a fly on the wall in my house, you'd hear a bevy of weird comments that are puzzling, regardless of understanding the context in which they were spoken.  For example, I casually said this to my husband as I walked out of a room the kids were playing in:

"Hey, keep an eye on the corner over there.  Barbie is using silly putty for a pillow so don't let Griffin eat it."

And he didn't bat an eye.