Monday, November 8, 2010

Simplify - Easy Wraps for Holiday Hostess Gifts

I cannot believe the holidays are rapidly approaching. Where did the year go? If you are like me, your life is already packed full of carpooling, sporting events, demanding clients, homework headaches, etc. During the holidays, things get kicked into overdrive. I need simple solutions for all of the additional demands of the season.

I often grab a bottle of wine to take to the many engagements of the holidays as a hostess gift. A nice way to personalize it is with a festive wrap that includes a handwritten note. I have just designed a few for this holiday season. They are now available in our Etsy shop. They are quick to order, easy to print and can be printed as often as you like, which makes them extremely affordable.

I am always looking for ways to simplify. I'd love to hear your ideas!

Check out our new Holiday Wine Wraps!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Congratulations to our Winners!

Congratulations to the winners of our Sweet and Spicy Halloween Giveaway.

Cherly Sousan who entered via Facebook


gift_girl who is now following us on Twitter

The winners will receive Spicy Wee Tidings, as well as a $25 Godiva Gift card.

Thank you to everyone who entered! Look for additional giveaways and offers in the near future.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sweet Halloween Giveaway

Halloween is just around the corner. It's time for tricks, and more importantly sweet treats! Become a part of the Blue Finch Studio family on Facebook or Twitter. Just go to our Facebook page and click on the "Like" button or choose to "follow" us on Twitter. You will be automatically entered to win a jar of Spicy Wee Tidings, as well as a $25 Godiva Chocolatier gift card. The perfect combination of spicy and sweet.

Just follow the link below and click on the "Like" button for your chance to win!!/pages/Blue-Finch-Studios/126110354081232

Or choose to "Follow" us on Twitter!

A winner will be chosen from each group and announced on our blog, Facebook and Twitter on October 31, 2010.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Adding that Personal Touch for your Wedding VIPs

Bridesmaids and groomsmen are very likely some of the most important people in your life. Show your appreciation for them by giving them a well-chosen gift.

Recently, my cousin asked me to help her create a gift basket for her friend's wedding attendants. She knew she wanted include a nice bottle of champagne. My suggestion was a custom label on which she should include a thank you message. Below is the final product...

Bridesmaid gifts run the gamut in terms of price, style, and individuality. Some brides spend hundreds of dollars, while others chose to spend only a few. The budget for each of these baskets was approximately $100. Some people think that the cost of bridesmaid gifts should correlate with your wedding budget. Others say that the more time your friends helped you with wedding planning, the more you should spend on a bridesmaid gift for them. There's no right or wrong answer - do what feels best to you.

For additional options of customizable wine labels, visit the Blue Finch Studios' etsy site.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

And the winners are....

Bridgette Woosley
Meg Elsner Weber
Jessica Lance Christian
Heather Klein Emans
Victoria Koustrup West

Thanks to these five blog readers for adding us as business they "like" on Facebook. Each of you gets to choose a product, either a Wee Tidings jar or a downloadable file that you can print over and over, as your free gift. We will be contacting you through Facebook shortly. Congrats!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Welcome June!

If you have kids, they are either already out of school for the summer or will be very, very soon. Here is a short list of activities to keep them, and you, busy this month!

  1. Plan a Picnic
    You don't have to travel far to have a picnic. In fact, you don't have to travel any farther than your own backyard. The fun isn't only in the picnic alone, but in the planning of it. It is a perfect way to create some cheap summer fun.

  2. Plant a Garden
    Gardens offer kids a perfect opportunity for learning about plant life. If you start early enough in the season, you can start the garden from seeds. That is the ideal way to start a garden since the kids can watch the garden grow from the very beginning sprouts. However you start too late in the season to plant seeds, you can buy a few seedlings from just about anywhere, including many grocery stores. The kids can still watch the plants grow. Have them keep a chart of the growth every day or two. They can even draw pictures of the plants as they grow. And be sure that your child waters the plants and gets rid of the weeds.

  3. Visit the Library for Summer Fun
    Libraries are wonderful sources of free fun for gifted kids. For one thing, libraries often have free programs for children. But it's not just the programs that make libraries fun for gifted kids. It's the books the libraries hold that gifted kids will also find fun and exciting.

  4. Plan Some Family Fun Nights
    Families don't need to go on vacations or spend lots of money to enjoy some time together. All they need to do is plan some fun activities to share. Among the possibilities are watching movies or playing games together. Family nights can provide summer fun anytime, but especially on those rainy days when the kids can't play outdoors.

  5. Camp in the Backyard
    You don't need to travel any farther than your own backyard to plan a camping trip. Part of the fun is in the planning, so take your time to find the right spot to pitch a tent and decide on activities the whole family can enjoy.

  6. Create a Backyard Waterpark
    A waterpark in the backyard? Absolutely! If you already have a playset, all you have to do is get a hose (or two) and prop them up to spray water on it. If you don't, this might be the time to get one. You may have to spend money on one, but it will still be cheaper than what you'd pay for a family vacation. If you don't want to go with a playset, get a small backyard pool. Again, all you have to do is set up some hoses to spray either over the pool or around it. You're limited only by your imagination!

  7. Plan a Scavenger Hunt
    You can encourage your children to explore nature with a nature scavenger hunt which could include items as simple as different shaped stones and leaves. Or you can hide objects of your own around the yard and give your children clues that will help them find them!

  8. Make Music
    You can create music with just about anything that makes a sound. You can buy cheap kazoos or make your own by covering a comb with waxpaper (a clean comb!) Pots can serve as drums and lids can be cymbals. Empty jugs can be used, too, to make "music." It's easy to kids to get carried away with just making noise, so be sure to make this activity a musical one. Help your kids learn about music, while having fun.

  9. Have a Yard Sale
    This activity can have several goals. You can get your house cleaned of clutter, give your kids something to do, and make a little money! You can also take the opportunity to teach your children a little about economics!

  10. Make a Map of the Neighborhood
    This activity can provide a little exercise, too, since children have to walk around the neighborhood to make notes of what they see and determine what belongs where on a map. You should set boundaries so your children don't go farther than you want them to go. For areas farther from your house than you would like your children to go and for children who are too young to walk around the neighborhood on their own, you can go with them and get a little exercise yourself!

  11. Conduct Simple Experiments
    Most of us don't have a handy list of easy experiments to draw from, but libraries have plenty of books with experiments for children. Plan a trip to the library (another great activity) and find a book or two with experiments.

  12. Put on a Play
    This activity can be as simple or as complex as your children would like it to be. The simplest way to put on a play is to act out a familiar story (like Little Red Riding Hood), using whatever you can find around the house for costumes. The more complex methods of play production would start with the children making up their own story, writing a script, planning the costumes (that mom and others might help make), rehearsing, creating a flyer, and making tickets.
List from

Friday, May 28, 2010

Cloud Nine

One of the many perks of being a design professional is having the opportunity to work with so many gifted and creative individuals. One such individual I have had the pleasure to work with is the multi-talented Ariana Broerman. Ariana's skills as a print and web designer are amazing. However, in recent years she has taken her penchant for design and applied it to a line of environmentally friendly products and textiles including pillows, lighting and apparel.

In 2005, Ariana, and her designer husband Matt, launched Paper Cloud. All of their creations are printed exclusively with water-based inks, on natural, eco-friendly fabrics, such as 100% linen and 100% certified organic cotton. The company has grown from their original offering of whimsical, hand screened pillows to now include incredible pendant lighting and apparel. Also, I have it on good authority that they will be adding some new, fabulous product to their line within the next few months.

So, if you enjoy finding truly unique products for your home, be sure to visit Paper Cloud....great product, hand-crafted by even better people!


Monday, May 24, 2010

FREE: Wedding Shower water bottle labels

Susan designed the blog header for the Brides Buddy Blog and at that same time, provided this wonderful freebie to the Brides Buddy readers.

Today, we are sharing these water bottle wraps with you.There are two versions provided on each easy to print at home, sheet.
You can print them on regular copy paper and attach with double sided tape or you can print directly onto a sheet of label paper. (Download includes crop marks to indicate where to cut).

Either way, these will wow your guests! :: DOWNLOAD HERE::.

If you like this, please leave us a comment. Would you like to see invitations or thank you notes that you can download at home to coordinate with this theme? Or cupcake decor? Let us know!

Don't forget to join our Facebook page for updates and giveaways. Right now when you join, you are entered to win a free Wee Tidings of your choice!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Facebook Friend Giveaway

Become a part of the Blue Finch Studio family on Facebook. Just go to our page and click on the "Like" button. You will be automatically entered to win one of many Blue Finch Studio products to be given away. On June 1st, 2010, five (5) Blue Finch Facebook followers will be randomly chosen to select a product from the Blue Finch product line. You will have a choice of a Wee Tidings jar of cards - any variety or any downloadable file from the Blue Finch Etsy site, including the Alpha Birdies and Counting Birdies artwork for kids! Just follow the link below and click on the "Like" button for your chance to win!

Friday, May 21, 2010

making the most of that candid shot

Nine years ago, my son Jack came bursting on the scene with a loud roar. One of the most surprising things that I have learn since becoming a mother is the fact that much of who our children are can be contributed to nature rather than nurture. Jack, weighing in at a hefty 11 lbs., 13 oz. was a BIG boy with a BIG personality at birth. He is, and always has been, a super creative, very busy and yes, a sometimes mischievous little boy.

A funny phenomenon has occurred with Jack. Very often when he awakens in the morning he dons perfect little "hair horns". It seems so appropriate for my favorite little devil. One morning I decided to capture his ironically fitting hair-do.

It was such a funny shot, albeit not perfect. I felt I needed to share with others. And in that moment the idea for that my 2006 holiday card was born.

First, I needed to enhance the quality of the image. A little Photoshop magic and I was ready to go. Next, I needed a creative headline for the card. The solution was quite apparent, “Have you been naughty, or nice?” My daughter Ava took on the role of angel. A few clever footnotes added to their photos and it was ready to print and mail.

So, the next time you have that “classic” shot, think of a creative way to share it with others. Who knows, you may just put a smile on someone's face.



Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sometimes It's OK to Think INSIDE the Box

Whenever I get the chance and the budget to think outside the box for a client, my creative juices get flowing. As a designer, clients with a healthy budget allow for creative splurges that would be considered cost prohibitive to most. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use a version of the idea to create a unique mailer or invite that goes beyond the traditional envelope.

One of my favorite clients has a big 4th of July celebration each year at their ranch in Wyoming. Rather than send out a traditional A-7 sized, standard invite, I try to develop something a little more unique because their budget allows it. Over the years I have developed a variety of 3-dimensional mailers for the party’s VIP guest list. The first year I designed a “Wanted” Poster and sent it out in a tube mailer.

The next time around I sent out a chocolate brown box and tucked inside was a bandanna and the invitation tied to a steel horseshoe. I found the bandannas at a local craft store and the horseshoes at a local tack shop. Both items were very affordable. I designed an over-sized mailing label that also acted as a seal for the box.

I just sent out the invitations for the latest celebration. Again it was a boxed mailer. This year I enclosed a very nice red aluminum water bottle with a label that said, "Quench your thirst for adventure... join us for a week long stay at the ranch.”

Mailer boxes like the ones I used can be used on a smaller scale and are ideal to give your invitation a little extra punch. I recently designed an invitation for a 60th birthday celebration. The invitation was rather extensive, so I thought enclosing it in a mailer box was a nice finishing touch for the piece.

So the next time you have a special event that needs a fantastic invitation, consider thinking inside the box.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

coordinating colors

I am always amazed by the cool color combinations found in magazines, websites, homegoods, stationery etc. Just how do designers come up with such lovely combos, especially the splash of the unexpected that highlights things just brilliantly?
One tool is the Kuler Adobe website.

This combination is called "A Lullaby". I love it. You can spend loads of time clicking around on the Kuler site to see what people have submitted or even submit your own palette.
Another great feature is that you can search by color. Orange + Grey resulted in the above mix. Love it.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon

Susan, the super talented designer of Blue Finch Studios, competed in yesterday's Flying Pig Marathon Relay. Wow, I am so impressed. It rained cats and dogs yesterday adding a little bit more to the atmosphere. All that rain could not dampen the spirits of these two though:
This couple got engaged at the finish line!

What did you do this weekend?

Friday, April 30, 2010

FREE May Computer Desktops and IPhone Wallpaper

May Iphone Wallpaper

As a free gift for our readers, Susan has designed two desktop versions and an Iphone wallpaper for the month of May. I know you will agree these are beautiful and will brighten your day each time they appear on either your computer or phone.

Computer desktops available in 1280x800 or 1024x760. All three files are available for DOWNLOAD HERE. Please leave a comment if you download. We'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Printable Wine Labels

One of our most popular items, is the printable wine label. Blue Finch Studios carries a varied selection of options making this your go to item for hostess gifts...and more.
The very best part? You purchase these products only once, and then print as many times as you'd like. Awesome, huh?! So if your gang of friends is hitting the 40 mark at a pace so fast it makes your head spin, you can buy once and be ready for gift giving at a moment's notice. And we nearly guarantee, your gift will be the hit of the party.

Our labels include a spot for you to write a personal message as well, making this the ultimate in personalized gift giving. Ordering is easy at our ETSY SHOP.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

picking up where we left off...

Let's just say so much time has not passed and let's pick up where this blog last left off...which was the start of a school year. Mysteriously, that school year has nearly ended and it is now time to plan for Teacher Appreciation Week!

Both our Text Talk and Fresh Wee Tidings would make a stylish gift for your child's teacher.

Each jar is filled with unique, expertly designed, mini cards. To view the cards up close and to place an order, visit the Blue Finch Studios website or our etsy shop.

Put us back on your blog reader, new products and ideas are coming soon. And freebies!