Saturday, May 31, 2008

Our First Giveaway!

Well, I've done it! I've actually perfected the spinning pinwheel cupcake toppers! (In my opinion, they are just too cute! Yes, I realize that I might be just slightly biased.) To view mini video clips of these adorable little guys spinning away, please click here.

In honor of my excitement over the above new product launch, I'm hosting my first ever giveaway! A giveaway of a dozen of these Spinning Pinwheels. The lucky winner can choose their preferred paper from my stock and I will hand create a set of these pinwheels just for them. My current stock features papers that will go perfectly with birthday parties, BBQs, or even the 4th of July.

To enter to win, just leave a message at this blog entry by Sunday, June 8th at midnight. (All messages will be entered - no need to leave a creative message - any will do! Even first time visitors or message leavers are welcome to enter!) The winner will be randomly drawn and announced on this blog on Monday, June 9th.

If your name is not drawn, never fear, we are selling these unique pinwheel cupcake toppers at our Etsy shop. Don't see a current paper theme you like at our Etsy shop, we can custom make something for you. :-)

Best of luck to all!

And have a happy rest of your weekend!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Patriotic Pinwheel Products

Happy Summer everyone! I know, I know, summer doesn't officially start until June 21st, but like most I've always considered summer to start on Memorial Day and end on Labor Day. And guess what - warmer weather has finally arrived as well! They are predicting a high of 84 today here in Indianapolis. Very wonderful news as I don't believe we've even hit 80 yet this season. :-)

With all of these thoughts of summer, my mind moves to the biggest holiday during the summer months - 4th of July. I love this holiday and everything it entails - fireworks, BBQs, sparklers, American flags, lots of wonderfully fattening foods, etc. I love entertaining on this day too! (Surprise, Surprise.) Although I haven't hosted a 4th of July BBQ in several years, when I have, it's always been one of my favorite events to host. This year, I decided to begin putting together some 4th of July themed party products early. Of course these products combine red,white and blue - and pinwheels. Pinwheels always remind me of summer. I've kept back some of the below patriotic pinwheel products for my own BBQ, but I've also placed some of them for sale at my Etsy shop.
Of course I instantly fell in love with this red and blue paper. Why? Because it's damask, one of my two favorite patterns!

Although white is missing from this paper, I think it could easily slide by for a 4th of July event, especially when it's positioned on a star themed pinwheel such as the one above.

Any of these pinwheels would work well as party favors. In the past I've also stuck similar pinwheels in the pot in the center of my patio table and also in the planters/pots in my yard. Very festive!
Here's another set that contains vintage inspired patriotic paper. It features red, cream, aqua blue, and light blue stripes with scattered stars.

Too cute!

These pinwheels are the perfect handheld size - 8" tall by 4" wide.

Isn't the aged appearance of this paper wonderful?!

I also created matching cupcake pick toppers. If you're like me and very handicapped at decorating cupcakes, these cupcake picks are perfect. They look wonderful on even messily iced cupcakes.
Back view of the cupcake toppers. Please ignore the horribly iced cupcakes. :)

Yet another variation of the handheld handcrafted pinwheels. These pinwheels feature a red background with cream swirls (that almost look like fireworks) and faded stripes of blue.

I used more faux aged paper to create these pinwheels.
Once again this paper is subtly patriotic, but sometimes I think the more subtle the theme is, the better.
Wonderful swirl pattern on the back of the pinwheels.
I also created matching swirl cupcake pick toppers to match the above pinwheels.

And look how perfectly the striped star papers and swirl papers match. They coordinate perfectly and thus both the handheld pinwheels and cupcake toppers could be mixed and matched on a patio or picnic table filled with goodies.

Some more patriotic pinwheels. These are a bit larger at 14" tall and 6" wide. These have been assembled and placed on plastic handles.
Matching pinwheel cupcake pick toppers have also been created to match the above handheld pinwheels.
I'm still in the process of finishing a few matching items - including pinwheel napkin rings to coordinate with the above damask pinwheels. I hope to have these, and other items, added to my Etsy shop by the end of the weekend. In addition, I've also been working on perfecting pinwheel cupcake toppers that will actually spin - easily! Wish me luck! If I can perfect them, they will be really cool and will look very awesome on cupcake stationed outdoors. They will be able to sit there all afternoon and just spin away in the breeze. Talk about a Wow at your event! :-)
Well, I must be running some errands.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone. Enjoy the 'first' weekend of Summer!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

June Beach Themed Tablescape

Ta-da! I'm very happy that it's now warm enough to feature my tablescapes outdoors. Thinking of warmth always makes me think of the beach and thus my June tablescape is none other than Beach themed. It features the refreshing colors of sand and water - aka - khaki brown and robins egg blue. These two happen to be my favorite color combination of the season.
This tablescape utilizes a khaki colored linen tablecloth and linen napkins that I already had on hand in my linen supply. (If you don't have these colors on hand already, I'd certainly recommend purchasing as they will give you a great neutral starting point for almost all future settings.) To add some dimension - and fun - to the tabletop I've strewn a cream colored fishnet over the top (if you can find a blue fishnet, this would also work wonderfully) and I've added decorative river rocks to the top of this setting as well. Not only do these rocks add dimension, they also work wonderfully to weigh down the tablecloth on a windy day. To make this tablescape even more 'beachy', just scatter assorted sizes and shapes of seashells.

For the focal point of the table, the centerpiece, I utilized a clear and large footed vase. It's difficult to tell from this photo but tiny shell vase filler fills the bottom few inches of the vase. This filler gives off a beautifully irredescent shine when the sun hits the tiny pieces. If you are uanble to locate this type of filler, sand vase filler will work equally as well. I've placed another tulip shaped vase filled with a blue candle a top the filler. I originally decided to utilize two vases inside of each other as I was going to fill the large vase with water and add in live tropical fish - in wonderful shades of blue and purple. I even went to my local pet shop to purchase the fish when I decided that I just couldn't go through with it. It would have created a great effect and would have been a huge wow factor, but I didn't know what to do with the fish after the fact. I just knew that if I purchased fish, mine would be the ones that lived forever and being that I'm not a fish person and being that I couldn't bear flushing the fish after the fact, I decided against the purchase. But, if you or your kids would love fish as pets for awhile, I'd certainly recommend adding fish to this centerpiece. :-)

Above is the beach themed placesetting. I used creamish colored outdoor charger plates. (Believe it or not, these are plastic although they look like they are painted tin!) I love the shabby chic look of these chargers. Linen napkins were placed atop the chargers and these lovely blue starfish not only help integrate the blue color of the table, but they also serve a few more purposes. They help weigh down the napkin in case of wind, they can serve as a guest favor, and by adding a white card, they also serve as a placecard for the evening's seating assignments.

I also integrated the starfish blue color into the centerpiece.

Isn't this blue color lovely? It makes me long for the ocean!

Above is a full view of the centerpiece. I found creamish shades of drift wood, stood them up, and tied them to the vase with a ribbon featuring the colors of blue, brown, and cream. While creating this, I thought it was perhaps a bit too unique, but the more I looked at it, the more I loved it. It adds a great amount of height, plus you could hang all sorts of lovelies of the branches.
I hung some starfish off my driftwood branches, but you can just as easily hang seashells, sand dollars, flowers, or even tiny lights off of these pieces. I've even seen pieces of your night's menu hanging off of similar branches. How cool would it be to hang sea shell shaped cookies off of these branches or even decadent chocolates or fruits?

It's difficult to tell from this photo, but the above napkin fold is perfect for holding this starfish in place as the 4 uplifted points elevate both the starfish and placecard wonderfully. And even the name of this napkin fold works perfectly with our beach and water theme - Water Lily.

Below are the directions:
- This design requires a well-starched napkin.
1. Fold the corners of the napkin into the center and press flat.
2. Repeat the same process a second time - the napkin should be much smaller at this point.
3. Holding the center points together, carefully turn the napkin over.
4. Fold the four corners into the centre again - this time do not press.
5. Holding the center firmly, partly pull out the previous folds from under each corner and gently pull them upwards to make the petals.
6. Pull out the corners from underneath between the petals, to form the base leaves of the lilly.
If you are a visual person and need to visually see how to create this napkin fold, please visit this link. They use a paper napkin to create their fold, but you can just as easily use a cloth napkin. They also leave their lilly a bit higher than my folded napkin, but it will give you the idea.

I've created a slideshow with more and closer views of this beach themed tablescape.
To view them all, just click here.

Tablescape Ingredients:
Linen Tablecloth - Online or at Home Stores
Linen Napkins - Home Stores
Decorative Fish Net - Online or at Garden Ridge
Decorative River Rocks -Michaels or other craft store
Starfish Favors - Crossroads Cottage, Online, or at Garden Ridge
Shabby Chic Outdoor Chargers - Garden Ridge
Tall Footed Vase - Online or at Garden Ridge
Smaller Tulip Vase - Online or at Garden Ridge
Irredescent Shall Vase Filler - Purchased at Garden Ridge in their candle section.
Driftwood Branches - Available at most craft stores. Mine were purchased at Garden Ridge
Placecard Tags - Available at most craft stores. Mine were purchased at Jo Ann Fabrics
Blue Pillar Candle - Available at most home stores. I purchased mine at Wal-Mart

Other possible additions to a beach/nautical tablescape:
Chocolate Starfish Favors: Available online
Seagrass Placemats: Available online
Coral Placemat & Napkin: Available online
Seaside Awning Stripes Tablecloth: Available online
Rope Coil Placemat: Available online
Twig Tablerunner: Available online
Bamboo Placemat: Available online
Coco twig Runner: Available online
Spring Vines Placemat: Available online
Starfish Teacups & Saucers: Available online
Twig Salad Server Set: Available online
Seafare Condiment Serving Set: Available online
Seafare Oyster Serving Set: Available online
Assorted Seashells: Available online

We've also added many outdoor, nautical, and beach themed event items to our site including:
To view all event items available at Crossroads Cottage, just click here.
Above view of tablescape!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Potpourri of Projects

A newly bloomed Aster in our hanging planters.

Hello fellow friends. Sorry I've been MIA all week - again. Thanks for all those who voted on my balcony cushion dilemma. I'm certainly going to take all of your fabulous advice and keep the Damask cushions. Yay! I really did love them, but with my love for all things Damask, I was beginning to doubt my decision as I am a bit biased in loving the pattern so much. Thanks to all of you who've helped persuade me to keep them. :-) Yippee! I know that I'll enjoy them all summer long!
My week was filled with a potpourri of projects. The biggest of which was a custom pinwheel order for a client through my Etsy shop. Above is just a portion of her order for an upcoming birthday party.
Isn't the above pinwheel paper just too cute and summery?!
For those of you who haven't visited my site in sometime, I've also added some more fun and fabulous party products. Most all of the products (including event favors, place cards, and centerpiece items) are summer, beach, or outdoor themed. They are just too cool - and best of all most can serve dual purposes as both favors and place cards which can certainly help with an event budget.