Bright and Cheery Dessert Party Inspiration from Dena Designs

This is a guest post from our featured artist Dena Designs. Shop her stationery and paper product collection including address labels, notepads and invitations on Expressionery.com dena1


Summer is all about outdoor entertaining and what better way to do it than with color! Even something as simple as lemonade paired with delicious desserts can make for a great fete. Just add flowers, some colorful accessories, and paper decor to really make your party pop!

Table decorations are so important for a stand-out summer party. To make your décor unique, use vintage tins as vases. Tip: Put the flowers in a juice glass filled with water and then hide the juice glass in the tin. This prevents any leakage or rust.
Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 4.28.01 PM
Place cards are also a simple way to make your guests feel special. Take a look around your home to see what you might be able to repurpose for a party. For example, bamboo skewers (also great for summer barbecues!) can be made into cupcake picks with just a little creativity. Those pictured here are made from office tags and leftover craft ribbons Just place the skewer into the center of a cupcake and voila! This is a fun way to make goodies stand out on a table. Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 4.27.57 PM

Overhead party decorations bring partygoers’ eyes up and make the space really festive. For this party, bowls were hung and filled with fresh flowers.
Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 4.27.44 PM
Bring the comfort of the indoors outside and make your guests cozy with some throw pillows. You can mix and match shapes, sizes, and textures to add even more color to your party.

Serving trays are also a nice touch and so useful for an outdoor party. This vintage tray was transformed into something new by adding a piece of custom cut glass. You could even decorate a tray with patterned fabric or paper to customize it to fit your own style. On this tray there is even a little stitched applique for a final sweet touch.
Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 4.28.05 PM
Now on to food! These hand-painted sugar cookies are so easy to create and delicious. To make your own cookie “paints,” follow this simple recipe:

Put 1 tsp corn syrup and 1/4 tsp water into a small cup. Tint with food coloring and stir well. Paint the unbaked cookies before baking using a small paintbrush. Bake according to the cookie recipe. Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 4.27.41 PM
Now you’ll want a bright drink to match your colorful cookies and pink lemonade is the perfect beverage for a dessert party. It’s so refreshing on a hot summer day. Mix up some of your favorite lemonade or put your own twist on this recipe:
Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 4.27.53 PM Ingredients:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice, plus 4 lemons, thinly sliced crosswise, for garnish
  • 1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
  • 2 cups cranberry juice
Directions: Bring granulated sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a pan over high heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. Add lemon juice, superfine sugar, cranberry juice, and 1 1/2 quarts water to a serving container. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 1 day. To serve, add ice cubes to fill and garnish with lemon slices or edible flowers.

Invite your friends or family over to enjoy, there are so many ways to make a summer soiree bright for everyone!

4 reasons stationery will never go out of style

Image

In today’s digital world, where all communication seems to happen by email, texting and telephone conversations, there doesn’t seem to be a place for stationery. But high-quality stationery is still in demand and very much welcomed by people. Here are four reasons why:

  1. The sense of care
  2. The use of stationery speaks to a greater amount of care and thoughtfulness than a simple email, which can be fired off quickly. With stationery, you’re deliberately choosing the style and considering both your own tastes and what any recipients of your cards or letters might like as well. You’re taking just little bit more time crafting something unique.

  3. It speaks to a slower, more thoughtful pace
  4. When the pace of life is set to high-speed and there are dozens of things to do every day, stationery gives you a chance to slow down a little – to pause, reflect, and be more considerate. Communication doesn’t always have to take place at a frenetic, instantaneous pace.

  5. It’s aesthetically pleasing
  6. High-quality stationery is an artistic product. It’s made with care and with a feeling for beauty and aesthetic pleasure. This gives people enjoyment and calm, not to mention a greater appreciation for what’s lovely in their life.

  7. The indulgence in a bit of nostalgia
  8. If you enjoy some of the habits and pleasures of time gone by, then writing on stationery can be a treat. Pour yourself a cup of tea or coffee, and put your thoughts to paper at a more relaxed pace.

This doesn’t mean that digital communication is bad. In fact, you can easily use the Internet to customize your own stationery, such as making greeting cards with your photo on them. Still, stationery is special in its own right. Don’t hesitate to contact us then, to ask for advice on what stationery to use on different occasions and how to better incorporate the use of stationery in your own life.

Laura Kelly Giveaway

Me & My Peeps Stationery by Laura Kelly

From coast to coast the Me and My Peeps characters are capturing the hearts of people everywhere. On their most recent excursion, these fun design-your-own-family characters, created by artist Laura Kelly, visited the team of U-Create in Anaheim, California at the Winter Craft & Hobby Association Show. Now, we are bringing Me and My Peeps to you with a special giveaway on the U-Create blog.

Click the link, www.u-createcrafts.com, to find out how you could win great Me and My Peeps prizes!

To create stationery with the Peeps, visit us at www.expressionery.com

Simon + Kabuki – Featured Artists

simon and kabuki

Simon + Kabuki creates their signature line of “sassy and modern” designs with the mission of helping people live inspired lives. The founders, Erin Sarpa and Ilene Guy, are firm believers that you do not have to be a designer to be stylish at home, work and play. Their hip, fun, fashion-forward collections reflect their “love your style, design your life” philosophy.

Based in Silicon Valley, Erin and Ilene each bring more than 20 years of proven design experience including time spent working with fast-paced technology clients including Google and Apple Computer. They know good design and—better yet— they understand what happens during the design implementation stage of product manufacturing and how design impacts consumer purchasing decisions. This expertise allows Erin and Ilene to help their manufacturing and retail partners create products that consumers crave. This powerhouse team has generated more than $10 million in sales and their licensed designs are featured on a wide mix of products. Their sassy and modern designs can be found on stationery, school supplies, notebooks, party supplies, home decor and fabric at retailers across the U.S., Canada and Europe including Target, Staples and KodakGallery.com, to name a few.

Simon + Kabuki offers a full range of on-trend, posh designs for lifestyle categories including: bedding and home décor accessories; stationery (note cards, calendars, journals); crafts (scrapbooking); apparel and accessories; home décor (rugs, artwork, photo frames); office supplies; tabletop; kitchen textiles; fabric; partyware (napkins, plates, cups); and gift wrap and gift bags.

Erin and Ilene originally met in design school and discovered that they share a mutual appreciation for chic design, a modern color palette and fresh typography. This launched a friendship and shortly after graduation, they launched a design firm. Since then, they have been working to make the world a more stylish place one fabulous design at a time.

They are also “mom-preneurs” who find inspiration from their children who know everything about what’s cool in the world. This playful, charming point of view shines through in their designs and even helped them to select a name for their firm. “Simon + Kabuki” pays homage to the artists’ first childhood pets, Erin’s cat (“Simon”) and Ilene’s rat (“Kabuki”)

Monica Lee – Featured Artist

Monica Lee for Expressionery

Monica Lee has a passion for people, creativity and business. As an illustrator and licensed artist she has crossed paths with many creative women over the years. She has managed to combine these passions into a web TV show called Smart Creative Women.

“As much as I enjoy making art, I found it to be a bit isolating,” says Monica. “I ended up combining my gift for gab and my genuine interest in how women run their businesses. I love how women carve their own paths on their own terms. This is how Smart Creative Women was born.”

Smart Creative Women is a web show where Monica Lee interviews today’s most inspiring and creative women. “I found myself introducing people to people all the time and sharing other people’s success stories.”

“I would say to a girlfriend who was going through a rough patch, ‘Hey, check out what this gal is doing! She’s rockin’ it, and so can you!’ I finally developed a platform where I could share stories and encourage other women to be bold and believe in themselves. And I do not have to repeat myself, you can just hit replay!” laughs Monica.

The web show is not only for artists but for any woman who wants to use her creative talents to their maximum potential. “I am intentionally bringing on a mixture of creative guests.”

There are resources and interviews that advise women how to think differently about themselves and what they have to offer. “I am thrilled about how quickly the show has grown and how well-received the interviews have been.”

Monica was a shy young girl whose military father moved every three years. “I had no choice but to make friends constantly. I have always been a visual person, and I lived in a house of extroverts. I never even considered myself that outgoing until I entered college.”

After college, Monica became a flight attendant, which enabled her to travel and enjoy people’s stories even more. She eventually started freelancing in illustration and licensing her artwork.

“My art was keeping me busy enough to stop flying, but I was surprised at how much I missed people energizing me. I found myself constantly looking forward to industry events and conferences so I could talk to other creative women!”

She has found her perfect sweet spot now, mixing art and being the host of Smart Creative Women. “I adore an energetic crowd of women and hope to do some speaking in the near future, but I also like to tuck back into the quiet of my studio and pull out my paintbrushes. It’s the perfect mix for me.”

Monica Lee Stationery