Saturday, December 6, 2014

Marsala: Pantone's 2015 Color of the Year

Pantone has announced Marsala as the 2015 Color of the Year! Pantone has been inspiring the world as the standard for color communication and inspiration since 1963. Every year, their Color of the Year is highly anticipated, with Radiant Orchid reigning supreme in 2014! 

We've created this fun infographic to show the chosen colors since Pantone began this tradition in 2000. Many of these shades helped to inspire our color palette, and we've listed some of these colors at the bottom of the chart. Which Color of the Year is your favorite?

Pantone describes Marsala as a "naturally robust and earthy wine red."  Marsala has been met with a wide range of responses (both adoration, and criticism) as it comes across as earthy and muted compared to the vibrant, more optimistic shades in years past. We think that the shift to a more muted tone was bold and refreshing.

Inspired by Marsala, we're so pleased to share that our newest color offering is "Cranberry Marsala". Our Cranberry Marsala is a little bit less chalky than Pantone's Marsala, with raspberry undertones. We think it's so lovely with Champagne PinkTangerine, or Platinum Grey! 

Above, we've created a mood board with csme of our favorite color pairings for Marsala (above). 


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Behind the camera

Spoiler alert: the flowers aren't fresh-cut. 

But really, who doesn't love an idyllic little scene like this? A bright corner, flowers, and color-coordinated and thoughtfully-arranged desk accessories that are symbols of productivity. But as I was looking at these shots the other day, I felt compelled to share some of the things that too often we choose to edit out or omit altogether before we post or share with the world.

As a creative person, it's natural to want to share the beauty. But I also want to share the chaos in the beauty, and the stories behind what we do that make them more rich, more meaningful, and more human. I don't want to edit out the crazy, and often imperfect details of my everyday.

So yes, I will share shots that look like this:


...and this:


But I'll also share shots like this:

That's my one-year-old in his footie PJs. In the afternoon. He is determined to get to the boxes that mom worked on while watching Shark Tank re-runs the night before. Note the exercise ball in the background, which has not been used for anything exercise-related for quite some time (unless, of course, you count playing "catch" with a toddler exercise). 

Lest you think that I'm supermom and am able to run a successful business while caring for two active boys, I should disclose that we're blessed to have the most fabulous caregivers watch our littlest guy three days a week while his big bro is at school. He gets loved on and played with, and we get work done. I am also grateful for Mark, my fabulous husband and business partner, who helps me in countless ways and keeps our house (and our business) humming along. 

While the boys are at school and the house is empty, I'm not busy making batches of home-made yogurt or laundry detergent. I am not tending to live chickens, or planning the upcoming week's meals, or stirring the pot of home-made soup on the stove, or exercising (as I probably should). I'm sending e-mails, setting up photo shoots in our dining room, scheduling calls with our distributor, replying to Etsy convos, sketching in my notepad, meeting with our shipping manager, editing photos, listing products, posting on our social media channels, and basically squeezing in as much "heart and hustle" as I can for the business between 9 and 5 so that when my boys get home, I can be present for them. It doesn't always work out that way, and more often than not that means speed-dialing take-out, or a family dinner at IKEA down the road. And I'm usually picking up where I left off after the last story has been read and the final good-night kiss has been given.

 Above: Here is the same busy toddler next to the lines of boxes that stretch from our front entry and into our kitchen. To me, these boxes are a reminder of the shortage of space in our home-based studio. To this little guy, they're just a slam dunk waiting to happen. When each box of shipping supplies arrives, I open and inspect it in our kitchen before the items are stored. You wouldn't believe the things I find he's squirreled away in these boxes. A particular pair of Spiderman underpants comes to mind.

Too often these days, I find myself looking around and pining for more space. Wishing that my desktop always looked neat and orderly and photogenic. Longing for a warehouse to store all of the boxes coming in and out of our space. Heck, I'd just appreciate a buffer of space between work and home life from time to time. But I'm reminded to look at these sweet days and just savor them. To try not to compare my beginning to someone else's middle. And to thank God for the daily blessings that He gives rather than to wish for more (or less) than I have right now, in this moment.

Even on good days, our life is chaotic. But there's a beauty in that chaos, and I wouldn't trade this life we have for anything else.

Thank-you so much for joining us on this journey!


P.S. Click here to follow the beautiful chaos on Instagram (@inklingspaperie).

Monday, October 27, 2014

10 ways to enjoy scratch-off cards at a bridal or baby shower!

Every now and then, someone contacts us and says "These are SO cute! How do they work?" The answer is that there are countless ways to enjoy our scratch-off cards. We thought we'd share some of our favorites here on the blog!

1. Door Prizes
Hand a card to each guest as they arrive as a fun way to give away a door prize as an icebreaker! Be sure that the number of winning cards you hand out matches the number of prizes that you purchase. Winning cards come packaged separately for you to shuffle in, and we can include any number of winning cards with your order so you have exactly what you need!=

2. Virtual Shower Game / Pre-Shower Game
Include a scratch-off card with each invitation for guests to scratch ahead of time to give them a taste of the fun they'll have at the shower. Those with the winning card can bring it to the shower to redeem their prize! Or if you will be hosting a virtual shower (online), this is a great game to play with guests who may be scattered all over the country! Mail cards out to each guest and instruct winners to snap a shot of their winning card on their camera phone and text the picture to you in order to claim a virtual gift card or prize!

3. Diaper or Wine Raffle
In the invitation, invite guests to bring a pack of diapers (for a baby shower) or a bottle of wine (for a bridal shower) in addition to their gift to be entered into a raffle. Each guest receives a scratch-off ticket, with one winner to receive a grand prize!

4. Play with Gift Bingo
If you are playing Bingo during the gift opening, hand out scratch-off cards to bingo-callers in lieu of prizes for a chance to win a grand prize. It's like a game within a game, and is a great way to keep the fun going during the entire gift opening without the need to purchase dozens of prizes. Find our coordinating bingo cards here.

5. Set The Timer
Set a timer to go off randomly while the guest of honor is opening her gifts. The person whose gift is being opened when the buzzer goes off is given a scratch-off to open. This is a great budget-conscious idea for those who have a large shower with lots of guests. Our cards are available in sets of 12 of 24, which is a perfect quantity for this game. This is another great way to hold the attention of guests during gift opening, and guests will be all the more aware of who gave each gift!

6. Under the Seat Surprise
Tape scratch-off cards under each seat (or under select seats, if you're on a budget) with one winning card in the room. Guests must scratch to see if they've got a winning ticket!

7. Large Shower Budget Savers
Want to play lots of games, but don't have a huge budget for prizes to give each winner? Control your prizes by handing out a scratch-off ticket to each game winner for a chance to win a grand prize at the end of the shower. To keep the suspense, instruct guests to refrain from scratching until the last game has been played. Then all at once, allow each card holder to scratch to reveal the winner overall. Consider having smaller consolation prizes on hand for the other card holders.

8. Beat the Line
Place a card under each plate, and instruct each guest to scratch their card. Randomly distribute winners throughout each table. The table with the most number of winning cards gets to be first in line for cake! Or if you would prefer, award the table with a shareable prize (a bag of M&M's, mini hand sanitizers for each guest, or a bowl of snack-sized candies to share).

9. Centerpiece Prizes
If you have guests seated around tables, lay a card at each placesetting with one winning card at each table. The person with the winning card gets to take the centerpiece after the shower is over! They're a fun way to add color to the table and kick off the fun! Mix and match our cards (available in a variety of colors and styles) to create a look that's all your own!

10. Favor / Goodie Bags
Place a scratch-off in each favor bag for guests to scratch before they leave. The winning card holder can receive a prize on the way out!

We hope you have so much fun with these cards! Browse our entire collection here!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Party for a Prince!

Every now and then, a customer blows us away with their creativity and this is no exception! Pearl, the mother of this cute little one-year-old, contacted us all the way from South Africa to commission this great design for her handsome little guy! We illustrated a custom cameo of her son from a photo she sent, and then customized our Princess Party Collection to a more princely palette with our Jeweler Blue and Gold Glitter.

With the help of the party planners at Supakidz, some jaw-dropping cakes, and our printable collection (which her event planners used to create these custom-printed plates and cups), the royal bash was ready!

Pearl enlisted the help of an event planner for a lot of the extras to pull off this great look, however don't be discouraged... you can achieve a look that's equally adorable with one of our printable collections, a home printer (or a local print shop if you wish), and a few basic supplies to cut and assemble your goodies. You can browse all of our printable collections here.

The photography below is by Picharazzi. Additional credits are listed at the bottom of the page.


Photography by Picharazzi
Event planning by Supakidz
Customized printable collection by Inklings Paperie
Cakes by Annika's

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

monkey business!

September's here, and with it comes new classmates and birthday party invitations! We're bananas about this brand new printable collection in our shop... introducing our Monkey Party Collection! This is so much fun for safari-themed parties or baby showers! We've included oodles of extras with this set, including cute monkey ear party hats, photo props, gift favor tags, and so much more! Below, you can see it in Pool Blue and Lemon Yellow. The collection will also be available in Blush Pink and Lemon later this month, so stay tuned!

In our next post, we'll also reveal the matching scratch-off cards that go with this collection. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Inklings on Food52!

The future looks yummy!

Earlier this month, we were surprised and delighted when Food52 contacted us about our Scratch-off Lunchbox Notes. Food52 is the highly acclaimed site that is packed with incredible recipes, aspirational food photography, and a vibrant community of cooks, chefs, and foodies.

Their beautiful shop, Provisions by Food52, launched last year and has been featured by Design Sponge, Bon Appétit, Fast Company, Dwell, Cool Hunting, and more. Pretty much all of my favorite websites are talking about this place. Featuring a highly curated collection of beautiful home and kitchen goods, the team at Provisions seems as obsessed with the details as we are.

We're delighted to share that today, our notes launched as part of their Back to School Collection! You can see our notes here.

In the interest of full disclosure, I do not claim to be a good cook. I often joke that my creativity ends when I enter the kitchen. If it's on paper, I can create anything and it turns out. But somehow, I enter the kitchen and my mind is blocked. How lovely then, that there is still a place for my little creations in the kitchen. I will not however vouch for how they taste. Nevertheless, all of us at Inklings are tickled to be part of this wonderful community.

Food52, thanks for the love! We can't wait for what's in store. Or in kitchen.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Princess Party Collection!

Calling all royalty... our Princess Party Collection, as featured on Kara's Party Ideas, is now up in the shop! This printable collection offers a fresh take on this classic party theme, with clean lines, crowns, cameos, castles, and our oh-so-sweet Champagne Pink and Gold Glitter combination that we're loving so much right now!

For an extra special touch, we can also customize this collection with a custom cameo of your princess or prince (upgrade required). Just send us a profile photo of the guest of honor, and we'll illustrate his or her likeness and customize this collection so it becomes a special keepsake! 

Above are some examples of custom cameos we've done with this collection so far. "Prince Curtis" hosted a Royal Prince Bash, with a winning color combination of our Jeweler Blue and Gold!

But before you can have a party, you need some royal guests! We're pleased to share that due to popular demand we will soon be offering customizable invitations (sold separately) to go with some of our best selling collections including this one! These invitations will be offered as instant downloads. Just open in Adobe Acrobat Reader, highlight the text, type in your own words, and print!

We hope you love this new collection as much as we do!


Monday, August 4, 2014

Inklings + Freshly Picked Giveaway!


It's giveaway time!

We're so excited to be teaming up with Freshly Picked for this awesome giveaway, valued at over $100! One lucky winner will receive a pair of Freshly Picked baby moccs in the color and size of their choice ($60 value) as well as a customized 120-card Inklings Quote Keeper ($45 value) in any combination of our seven adorable colors.

No purchase is necessary to participate. The winner cannot have won a pair of Freshly Picked moccasins within the last 60 days.

Enter below, and good luck!

P.S. If you haven't done so already, check out our Freshly Picked Moccasins review here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, July 28, 2014

Product Review: Freshly Picked

Introducing Freshly Picked!
If you're not familiar with Susan Petersen of Freshly Picked, get ready to meet an incredible force of nature! Susan is the hard-working mama and entrepreneur behind the brand Freshly Picked who started making baby moccasins in 2009. When I saw her on Shark Tank earlier this year, her story immediately resonated with me. She worked at her kitchen table, she persisted, she hustled, and she grew her business from its humble beginnings to what is now an extremely successful and focused brand and line of products that people have come to know and love... myself included!

Earlier this spring, I was so honored to be asked to review these beautiful moccs. In full disclosure, I did receive a complimentary pair of moccasins to test for the review, but was not compensated in any other way to write this post. All of the opinions expressed below are mine. And Ethan's, too. After all, he's the one who's worn these around the clock for the past two months! ;-)

Be sure to scroll down to the bottom for giveaway details ... one lucky reader will win a FREE pair of moccs in the color and size of their choice! Our "Inklings + Freshly Picked" Giveaway will launch this Friday, so stay tuned for more details!

Review Time!
Our one-year-old was pleased to volunteer his services by wearing a pair of Freshly Picked soft-soled moccasins, and after two months of good old-fashioned wear-and-tear I'm writing this review.

The moccs arrived in the cutest little reusable drawstring bag, complete with a button. I love me some green, eco-friendly packaging that you can re-use:

Elastic Openings
If you're like me, one of the most stressful experiences with young kids is simply getting them out the door. These soft-soled leather moccs feature a unique elastic opening which allows you to simply stretch the shoe opening to slip it on those chubby bare feet easily, which makes leaving the house just a little easier. Better yet, they give a nice snug fit around the ankle that keeps the shoe on when you're out and about with your babe, and the elastic is concealed by leather so there are no rough or exposed edges. They're easy to take off as well. The other day, we got home really late after a week at the cottage. I transferred Ethan to bed, praying that he wouldn't wake up. I was able to slip these off his feet without him waking. Win!

Cute Factor
Maybe this shouldn't be a category, but let me put it this way: every time we go out in these shoes, someone stops to comment on how cute they are. Every. Single. Time. Now Ethan is a second child, which means that most of the clothes he wears are hand-me-downs or mismatched outfits. Fair enough. But with shoes this cute, what does it matter? No-one notices that the pants he's wearing are actually PJ bottoms, or that his onesie is tighter than Beyoncé's body suit in the "Single Ladies" music video. Over time, the fringe has started to curl up a little, which just makes them even more cute in my books... and the soles of the shoes feature a unique FP stamped imprint to show that they're the real thing. These shoes are available in a host of cute colors, including their Neon Pink and Heirloom moccs (cream with gold dots). Gah!

The moccs are made from 100% genuine leather, which makes them super soft and durable. As I write this, we've used ours for over two months, and they're holding up beautifully. The color is vivid, aside from a few little scuff marks due to our turbo-crawler dragging his feet across the floor. In the past, we've gone through shoes in a matter of months in our household with two busy boys, so the prospect of having one of our littles actually outgrow a pair of shoes before they break down to a pile of rubber and fabric in our front entryway is attractive.

Made in the USA
Each item that Freshly Picked sells is made in the USA. As an American made company ourselves that is focused on building and supporting our local economy, this is something that I really appreciate.

Now let's talk money. These moccs are unapologetically priced at $60. At first, I felt that this was a little steep for a pair of baby shoes (heck, that's more than I typically spend on my own shoes) but here's the thing: these are a premium product. The materials are beautiful, they're made with care, and they're built to last. And one of the intangible benefits that I'm looking forward to is the footprint wear pattern that others report seeing on the bottoms of the soles after many months of use. We haven't been wearing them long enough to see an imprint, but once our little guy starts walking more I'm sure we'll see it. What a cute way to capture your little one's tiny footprint for years to come!

If you're frugal like me, consider ordering a size larger to get a longer use out of a single pair. I ordered their limted edition Aruba moccs one size larger than our little guy's current foot size (he's 14 months, and I ordered a size 5). While they're just a little loose on him, they do stay on well with the elastic closure. This way, I'll (hopefully) get a good deal of use out of them depending on how fast those toes grow!

Wrapping Up
Would I recommend these for a friend? Absolutely. Would I buy them for a friend? Yes, if I really, really love her. Would I like them in my size? Heck, yes. But I don't think they'd look quite as cute on my size 9 monster feet. ;-)

Want a free pair for yourself?
This FRIDAY we're hosting a giveaway valued at over $100! Win a free pair of Freshly Picked moccasins (view all available colors here) in the color and size of your choice, and a custom Inklings Quote Keeper filled with 120 cards in any combination of colors from our shop! See the sneak peek below. More details are to come, so be sure to follow our Instagram feed and our Facebook page to get a jump start on the giveaway:

Wishing you happy little ones with happy feet,

Disclosure: I did receive a complimentary pair of moccasins to test for the review, but was not compensated in any other way to write this post. All of the opinions expressed above are mine. And Ethan's, too. After all, he's the one who's worn these around the clock for the past two months! ;-)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

ethan's first birthday party!

Dear Ethan,

You're one! Getting to know you this past year has brought me the greatest joy, so I thought I'd write this little post to you. 

A little about you right now: You love your big brother, and you love to drum. The other day, the dryer was going and thumping out a beat. I turned to see you bopping in time. Every time music plays (or any type of beat, for that matter), you bop your head and move around and bring smiles to everyone nearby. So it's pretty appropriate that most of the gifts you received for your birthday were musical. You pound those drums with the biggest, most toothy smile!

You hardly ever cry. Except when you're hangry, or when a tooth is bothering you. And you drool. Boy, can you ever drool. So we keep these fabulous little BibbyBubby bandana bibs on hand, and pretty much soak through five bibs a day. We do loads of laundry just for bibs these days. 

You're not too mobile yet, and up until this point you've just been pretty content to let the action come to you. And believe me, there's a lot of that around our house. So you roll places, and usually find yourself in sticky situations. 

Your nicknames right now are Monchichi, Loverton, Lovenut, Droolerson, and E-fin (thanks to your big brother).

This weekend was Mother's Day, but we also celebrated your birthday with family members and a few close friends. It was a fun, beautiful, simple day and you were surrounded with those who love you most. You attacked the cake with enthusiasm, and enjoyed opening gifts with the assistance of your big bro. Here are some snapshots from the day.

My hope and prayer for you? That you will grow up to love and honor God with your life. That you will love others genuinely, and with a servant's heart. That a deep and lasting friendship will form between you and your big brother. That you will discover your true passion, and that you'll find satisfaction in it. You know... little things like that.

Love you to the moon and back!


Noisemakers by Oh Joy from Target. Printable cupcake toppers by Inklings Paperie.