Thursday, December 31, 2009

A New Year is Unfolding ...

A New Year is Unfolding
like a blossom with petals curled tightly
concealing the beauty within.
The unfolding year of 2010 is bound to bring many changes to my personal and professional life and I cannot wait to see the beauty unveil.
In my personal life
Roger and I will be welcoming a little one (our first)
in early April of 2010.
In my professional life
the birth of little baby Dreher this Spring will allow me to stay home to raise him/her and also put more effort into my pinwhirls business. Something I've been wanting to do for over 2 years.
In the early part of this year I also plan to unveil quite a few exciting new products and product enhancements including
1. More DIY Pinwheel Kit Options
2. Pinwheels with 'Dressed Up' Handles
3. Another Place Card Flag Option
3. Traditional Wooden Pinwheels
4. Customizable Party Cones
5. More varieties and sizes of Party Hats
We invite you to 'Follow Us' at the link to the right so you to can keep updated as the petals unfold.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Introducing ...

our Pinwhirl Peonies Pinwheels!
The newest design in our pinwheel collection.
They resemble the foil pinwheels we all remember from our childhood
only less gawdy
and these babies are way too long in the making.
It was my original intention to release similar designs about a year ago - late 2008.
I started the design process and into it realized that the actual reproduction
of double pinwheels would be way too time consuming.
I would either have to charge way too much for these precious pinwheels meaning that very few people would purchase them
I would have to practically give them away meanwhile not making a profit after my time invested in tracing my designs and cutting them by hand.
I took several months to think about it
business got busy with my traditional personalized pinwheels
leaving me no time to ponder
then business slowed down later this summer into early this fall
and I finally had the time to investigate more creative options for replicating these pinwheels.
And I ran across some very exciting options which did not involve me having to
hand trace and hand cut
every ... single ... intricate ... detail ... of these pinwheels.
What I found means that I can finally offer these lovelies to my customers at reasonable prices.
They still cost more than my traditional four quadrant pinwheels as double the paper is involved
(plus there was quite a hefty investment in equipment)
they are also more complicated and thus more time consuming to assemble
but they are still more readily affordable to most.
And the Best News Of All
We now offer
DIY Pinwheel Peony Kits for these both these newly released pinwheels
plus our Traditional Pinwhirls.
These complete kits include instructions, all items needed to assemble pinwheels, and yes even the pre-cut pinwheel heads
All papers from this link are available
Anyone with the time and love for crafting can now create our Pinwhirls on a shoe string budget!
Or, if you are not a crafty crafter, we still offer pre-assembled pinwheels
to browse all of our current Pinwheel Peonies and traditional Pinwheel offerings just click here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Where I Live ...

Okay, I don't really live in this room, but sometimes it feels like I spend the majority of my at-home-time in this office. This little ol' room is where I run the majority of the pinwhirls/crossroads cottage business including responding to messages, web updates, printing papers, etc. (And yes, it's decorated for Xmas in these photos - since I spend so much time in here I thought it needed some Christmas spirit too!)
This room used to look quite different (to see a couple of photos click here) until I decided mid-summer that the old set-up just wasn't working. So, I invested in ...

some more furniture with lots of storage. The piece pictured in the above and below photos is actually intended for use as a media center - i.e. there is supposed to be a fancy flat screen television in the center. But, it houses my two printers perfectly.
In addition to lots of cubbies that house baskets to store bags, shipping supplies, inks, etc. it also has the perfect amount of closed door space to hide away my stores of papers, pinwheel handles, etc. etc. You know all of that stuff that one just needs to run a business, but is just horribly ugly to have out and in the open.

The room is now quite cramped and not as elegantly cozy as it used to be, but it is so much better organized and a much better work set-up for me and the business.

I also purchased the above table to house our scanner, cutting machine (that it about to be replaced with a much better alternative), and scale for weighing all of my shipments.

And here is the desk. Still kind of messy - sadly it's the cleanest it's been in months. This is where I spend the majority of my time - right in front of this computer. Even though I invested in a laptop last year (and Roger purchased this new PC), the machines have actually reversed. I spend 99% of my time on his computer and he spends 99% of his time on my laptop. Funny how that works.
I just realized that I forgot to take photos of the office closet although you probably aren't missing out on much. It contains two filing cabinets to file all of my orders and business paperwork and way too many plastic tubs to house all of the pre-assembled pinwheels we have in stock. It's a tight space. Almost like a puzzle trying to get everything back in it's correct spot after an order is placed.
This room is still a bit tiny for assembling the pinwheels so most of the assembly work is done in our sun room. Maybe one day, I'll have my own large studio, but for now the above works just fine and dandy. :)
Hope you enjoyed the tour...

Kelly & Liam: Beautiful Blue Beach Wedding

Just as this past summer was nearing an end, I was contacted by Eclatante Design to provide pinwheels for Kelly & Liam's (pictured above) September beach wedding. Their colors - blue (very close to tiffany), tan, and white - just perfect for a beach wedding.

Seating cards were attached to the pinwheels which were appropriately propped into beach sand - love those clear class containers! To view a close-up of the pinwheels, please click here.
To view more beautiful photos from this beach wedding please visit Eclatante's blog entries here and here.
Above photos courtesy of Amy Deputy Photography.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Indira & Nevin: Contagiously Cheery Wedding

I began working with Indie in early 2009 for her May wedding. Based on our correspondence I just new that this was going to be one unforgettably fun wedding. And sure enough, when she forwarded me a link to her photos, the amount of fun she and her guests had radiated from all of the still photos. AND - just look at the colors - so bright and cheery.
I created wedding pinwheels for her young guests. (By the way, isn't this one a doll? I'm envious of her curly locks! And the headband - CUTE!) The pinwheels were made with a line of paper called Jacks - of course you can't tell from the black and white photo but the paper features little toy Jacks in all sorts of bright colors.

We also created coordinating table number signs. And isn't this centerpiece - unique? Unique in only the best of ways! In a million years I would have never thought of incorporating a garden troll into a wedding centerpiece, but just like all of the other details of her wedding, someone it just works - in a big way!

Ohhh, and the cupcakes. Yum-mmmmmmyyyyy. I'm drooling even though I just finished dessert with my dinner.

Another view of the table number signs.
To view more photos from their big day just click here.
Thanks Indie and Nevin for allowing us to feature your wedding on our site.
I'm sure the photos will bring much cheer to viewers.
Thanks as well to Karin Von Voigtlander photography for not only capturing such wonderful images but allowing for us to share them.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Jessica & Jason: Wedding Pinwheels Featured on 100 Layer Cake

Earlier this summer I had the pleasure of working with Jessica, a Canadian bride, on pinwheels for her August wedding which took place at a chateau just outside of Montreal. I just learned that their wedding was featured on 100 Layer Cake. Which isn't surprising considering that every single detail was perfect for this sophisticated event with a family style flair.

Our pinwheel place cards are featured in the above photo. I love the simpleness of this place setting - just our pinwheel placed on a white place setting but it somehow looks so elegant. And, aren't those paper placemats to die for?
To view more photos from their wedding please click here. And yes, you'll actually get to see the gorgeous Jessica, and of course her hubby too, who is hiding behind the fan above.
Photos courtesy of Davina + Daniel.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Come One Come All

In early June, I helped my sister plan a birthday party for two of her kids (Emma who was turning 6 and Anthony who was turning 8). Since their birthdays fall only two weeks apart she decided to host the parties together and throw one large gender-neutral bash. The theme - if you haven't guessed it already - the Circus! Since around 30 kids were to be in attendance it had to be an outdoor party. Thank goodness the weather was nice as we didn't have a Big Top. :)
I designed and printed the above pinwheel carnival invitations. The color scheme for the party - red, blue, yellow, and green primary colors, of course.

The above party banner welcomed guests.

And so did spinning yard pinwheels ...

They twirled perfectly in the wind the entire day ...

A large clothespin pinwheel (and balloons) were attached to the mailbox ...

The dessert, cupcakes with carnival themed pinwheel cupcake toppers.

Assorted sizes of handheld pinwheels were also stuck into tin buckets filled with sand and placed around the party zone.

Additional banners - featuring the Birthday Boy and Birthday girl's names.

And some coordinating party pennants.

Carnival themed games were played outside including bean bag toss and pin the nose on the clown. And what party would be complete without a magician (who happened to be named Roger!)?

Treats were served including assorted popcorn, mini corn dogs, animal crackers, peanuts ...

Each child also received a party hat (with the birthday boy and girl receiving a pinwheel party hat) .... AND

Goody bags (filled with all sorts of loot) were kept closed with pinwheel clothespin attachers.

If you would like to throw your own Carnival or Circus themed party, we've designed the below papers that coordinate perfectly with the theme. And all of the above products are available for purchase in our shop.
Just let us know which papers your prefer, or we can always just use an assortment of all of the below papers. :)

Circus Yellow Stripes

Circus Mini Dots

Circus Small Yellow Dots

Circus Small Green Dots

Circus Small Blue Dots

Circus Red Stripes

Circus Large Red Dots

Circus Large Dots

Circus Green Stripes

Circus Small Dots

Circus Diamonds

Circus Blue Stripes

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sally & Dominic - The Perfect English Wedding

Earlier this summer I had the pleasure of working with Sally & Dominic (actually, mostly Sally) on creating pinwheels for her perfect English wedding. When the original color palette was forwarded I must admit that I was a little concerned, but the more I began working to create these papers, the more I fell in love. How could one not? The color palette is just so fresh and fun! And I must admit that these are probably one of my favorite custom pinwheel creations ever! I did do some major sweating over the shipment of these fragile items all the way to England - I tend to worry about shipments arriving safely, and thankfully these did!
I was super ecstatic when I received a message from Sally (pictured above with her new hubby Dominic) earlier this October with links to her wedding and specific links to the pinwheels. Not only do I love seeing how my pinwheels are used, call me nosey, but after working for brides for such great lengths of time, I also love to see how all of their other wedding details. And of course, finally getting to put a face to a name is also nice. :)

Sally chose to use the pinwheels as place cards as well. I love her silver tins and it appears that the sand filler worked perfectly.

Pinwheels spin, spin, spinning away. Love it!

And also loving the building in the background. So reminiscent of the English countryside.

Thanks so much Sally for sharing your pinwheels and wedding day with me.
It was a wonderful pleasure working with you.
Photos courtesy of Helen Maybanks Photography.