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pencil love

February 12, 2016

Nora Ephron quote pleasure in simple things blog

I have a love for pencils. I can’t help it. I prefer old school notebook and pencil over a keyboard any day. And, I certainly wouldn’t give up my beautiful Kate Spade organizer for the electronic phone version! I love the aesthetics and the feel of a good organizer and I would never reduce all my painstakingly made plans to lifeless little boxes on the calendar of my android!

The pencil by Allan Ahlberg

Pencil inspiration for the next generation! The wonderful children’s book by Allan Ahlberg.

For today’s Friday field trip, I am sharing a little pencil love!

cool erasers from CW Pencil Enterprise in NYC

Some really cool erasers from CW Pencil Enterprise in New York City. A ‘must visit’ for any pencil lover!

I enjoy both using pencils and giving pencils! Some of my past pencil gifts have included some DIY fringed pencils that are perfect for Valentine’s Day (click here for the link),

fringed pencil diy pleasure in simple things blog

customized ‘beachy’ pencils (click here for diy),

beachy pencil gift pleasure in simple things blog

and personalized pencils for book lovers (click here for diy).

Book pencils pleasure in simple things blog

I love giving pencils with customized printing. They are so fun to create and it is a fun challenge to contain a message to a limited number of letters!

I hope I have inspired a little pencil love today! :)

Dalton Ghetti's pencil sculptures

Check out my Facebook page today to read more about these amazing carved pencil tip sculptures by artist Dalton Ghetti!

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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valentine’s day gift diy

February 9, 2016

stamping for Valentines Day pleasure in simple things

A rubber stamp is a great accessory for some Valentine’s Day fun!

A simple tag, brown paper, or muslin bag can transform a little something into a special valentine for someone you care about – all you need is a Valentine’s Day themed rubber stamp.

stamping fun for Valentines Day diy pleasure in simple things blog

If you don’t already own them, pick up a Valentine’s Day rubber stamp and a red ink pad in the dollar section of Target or in a local craft store. Choose a stamp with a simple line design – they work the best for this type of application.

valentine tags pleasure in simple things blog

A stamped muslin bag can be used to tuck some treats into a lunch box or to gift a ‘cup of tea’ (slip in a teabag) to a friend. I often find packages of these muslin bags, priced very inexpensively, at HomeGoods in the home utensil section – they are sold to make herb sachets. They can also be purchased at a craft or paper store.

using a valentine stamp for wrapping pleasure in simple things blog

Many other household materials can be used as Valentine’s Day wrapping. Brown bags are perfect to stamp and can be used as gift bags or wrapping paper. Tissue paper, fabric scraps, and dishtowels also work well.

diy valentine stamping pleasure in simple things blog

Any scrap cardboard can be cut, stamped, and used as a gift tag. I like making tags cut from paint sample swatches to stamp on as well. Wrap up a single cupcake or cookie and add a cute homemade tag!

a xo pleasure in simple things blog

I hope I have inspired you to have a little stamping fun this Valentine’s Day!

Thanks for stopping by! Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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olive you valentine

February 2, 2016

olive you valentine with martini glass pleasure in simple things blog

Aaah, yes. I still have a little more ‘pun’ up my sleeve for Valentine’s Day! Today, a valentine that appeals to the over 21 crowd!

My idea for ‘olive you’ was to incorporate a martini – seems logical when talking olives, right? I knew I wanted almonds coated in white chocolate, tinted green, with a red accent for the ‘pimento.’ I actually pitched the idea to a small, local candy store and they created some at my suggestion! So perfect for my valentine idea!

olive you candy valentine pleasure in simple things blog

Next, I created a topper with a martini glass and the ‘olive you.’ I love it!

olive you valentine packet gift pleasure in  simple things blog

There are certainly more ways to incorporate the martini theme using this idea. The completed candy almond packet could be tied onto a miniature (‘nip’) bottle of vodka! Or, the almonds could be wrapped in a martini glass with an ‘olive you’ card tied to the stem!

I hope you are inspired to use the ‘olive you’ theme for your valentine!

olive you martini glass valentine pleasure in simple things blog

Thanks for stopping by! Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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free candy valentine printables

January 26, 2016

valentine candy toppers pleasure in simple things blog

I promised some free valentine printables and I always follow through on my promises! Today, I am sharing two cute toppers I created for Valentine’s Day treats.

Printed on card stock, they can be cut out (four to a page), folded, and stapled to a cellophane bag filled with Valentine’s Day candy for a fun surprise gift!

free valentine printables pleasure in simple things blog

I created two designs. Both of my designs were inspired by the candy bar at Ikea! Have you seen the candy by the pound at your local store? I fell in love with the look (and taste) of the licorice candies that looked exactly like a piece of chalk – to me anyway! How perfect for a cute pun! So, I came up with these chalkboard looking toppers…

valentine candy packs with printables pleasure in simple things blog

Aren’t they perfect?  Click here to download the printable.

My second design inspiration came from the gummy lips at the Ikea candy bar. Of course, candy gummy lips just scream Valentine’s Day! For these, I used a “kisses” topper. With this topper, if you can’t find gummy lips, you can always use candy kisses.  Click here to download the printable. (As I often do, ir you prefer, you can substitute the staples for two punched holes and ribbon.)

candy lips printable pleasure in simple things blog

On both designs, I left room on the back to write a “to” and “from.”

front and back of lips print valentine pleasure in simple things blogI plan on creating one more design for a candy topper that is a little more “adult” ;) in theme – I will share that one next Tuesday.

I hope I have inspired you to create some candy Valentine’s Day gifts!

Thanks for stopping by. Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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abc valentine magnet gift

January 22, 2016

gum magnet valentine gift pleasure in simple things blog

For today’s Friday field trip, we are taking a trip into the archives to make gum magnets! They look just like pieces of chewed gum, but are actually magnets!

abc gum magnets pleasure in simple things blog

I originally came up with this idea as an April Fools’ Day gift, but they make a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift with a ‘stuck on you’ card attached! A cute, wrapped up set of gum magnets makes a great gift for a child or anyone with a good sense of humor! If you use these for messages, you may see some double takes when anyone walks past the refrigerator!

Click here for the original instructions to make gum magnets.

valentine gift pleasure in simple things blog

Have a wonderful weekend! Here in Connecticut, it looks like we may get our first significant snowfall…I am kind of looking forward to it!

Thanks for stopping by. Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

P.S. What is abc?  Already been chewed, of course!

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love you to pieces

January 19, 2016

diy valentine gift canvas pleasure in simple things blog

So far, the valentine ideas I have shared involved puns and treats. But, it is possible to be ‘punny’ with other types of gifts as well. Today, I am sharing a gift of a painted canvas.

I have made this gift for a new baby, but it can easily be made as a Valentine’s Day gift. It can be done with traditional Valentine’s Day colors of pink or red or with a color to match a specific décor.

In my case, I wanted to use lavender and gray to match the room of the gift recipient. I also decided to personalize the gift by adding the baby’s name.

painted a valentine canvas pleasure in simple things blog

I started with an 8” square canvas. I used acrylic paint in lavender and gray to paint the entire surface. After that was dry, I used a pencil – with a very light hand – to draw a heart and the writing I intended to add to use as a guide.

Next, I used an oil paint marker to add “love you to pieces” and the personalization I wanted, writing over the pencil marks.

diy valentine canvas pleasure in simple things blog

I used Mod Podge with a matte finish to add the “pieces.” I painted the penciled heart shape, and the places below the heart that I wanted the glitter to attach, with the Mod Podge. Then, I sprinkled gold glitter onto the painted areas. The main part of the heart got a thick coat of glitter while the bottom section was sprinkled lightly.

painted a valentine gift canvas pleasure in simple things blog

That’s it! Doesn’t it make an adorable little Valentine’s Day gift for someone special? I hope I have inspired you to make one!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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valentine pillow box diy

January 12, 2016

You rock valentine diy candy box

Yes, I am still making ‘punny’ valentines!  Today, I want to show you how easily you can make a pillow box to use for some Valentine’s Day treat boxes.  All you need is a cardboard tube and a paper cocktail napkin!  For my treat box, I am using napkins that have a graphic of river rocks that is very appropriate considering what I plan to put into the container – candy rocks!

napkin for gift box diy pleasure in simple things blog

If you don’t have a napkin with a pattern you like, you can use any wrapping paper or decorative paper you choose. By using a cardboard tube and a paper napkin I already had, I am creating my pillow box at no cost.

The first step is to cut a piece of napkin that will cover the tube.  Use spray adhesive to spray the wrong side of the napkin.  Roll the tube over the paper napkin to cover.  Once the cardboard is covered, flatten the tube.  At one end of the tube, push each side into the middle of the tube, one side at a time. (See photo below – bottom right.)  Fill the tube with your desired treats.  Fold the open end of the tube in the same manner you did for the closed end.  Simple, right?

pillow box diy pleasure in simple things blog

Such a fast and easy way to create a Valentine treat container!  You can decorate your container like I did with a chalkboard sticker and ribbon, or in any way you choose.  Now, you just need to come up with the corny pun to go with your treat! :)

pillow box with bow pleasure in simple things blog
Thanks so much for stopping by!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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valentine mini fish shortbreads

January 8, 2016

sweet Valentine package idea mini fish cookies pleasure in simple things blog

If you follow me on social media, you know my mini fish cookie cutter got a workout during the holidays! From using it to make the mini rosemary shortbreads that I make each Christmas to creating a baked brie pastry garnish, the poor little thing put in overtime!

Now that the holidays are over, the sweet little cookie cutter is still helping out – it gave me my first Valentine’s Day inspiration for 2016! Why not make some of the mini shortbreads for Valentine’s Day? A cute fish pun would be perfect to use in the packaging and the cookies can be made ahead since they store so well in the freezer!

mini rosemary shortbread fish pleasure in simple things blog
So, for today’s Friday field trip, I am sharing my first Valentine’s Day gift idea. Rosemary shortbreads are super easy to create – just add fresh rosemary to shortbread cookies. Voila! A sophisticated little cookie!

If you need a shortbread recipe, I included one here, but your favorite one would work just as well.

Rosemary mini shortbread fish recipe pleasure in simple things blog

For the Valentine’s message, I just created a quick and easy label using my home printer and a corny pun. Cute, right?

valentine package of mini fish shortbread cookies pleasure in simple things blog

I hope I have inspired you to create some fun Valentine’s Day treats! I have more Valentine treat packaging ideas to come and I will be sharing some printables in a future post for those of you that might not like creating your own labels.

Valentine's Day package of fish rosemary shortbreads pleasure in simple things

Have a fabulous weekend!

Thanks for stopping by!  Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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putting it all together

December 22, 2015

packages for coastal christmas pleasure in simple things blog

I have started to wrap gifts and I am having some real fun – using beach totes, wicker baskets, and wooden trays to package and display gifts for my sea glass themed holiday!  I thought I would take a few quick minutes to show you how I am incorporating the things I have been making and sharing with you.

using feathers in wrapping pleasure in simple things blog

Remember the crab on the gift tag from this post?  He is looking good with my sea glass colored dotted wrapping paper. :)  And, the feather I made in this post is looking great with it as well!

relabeling bottles pleasure in simple things blog

The bottle labels I shared in this post are exactly what I needed to make the wine bottles for my table – as well as the ones I am giving as gifts – look right on theme!

coastal bottle wrapping pleasure in simple things blog

You can see that the sea glass tags I shared in this post look great as well!

feather wrapping pleasure in simple things blog

That is how I used some of my creations!  I so do love a good theme – and, it is so fun when everything starts coming together!  I have plenty more to do as I continue with my wrapping!  I will try and share more photos to Instagram and Facebook as I continue.  How are you doing with your wrapping?

sea glass christmas pleasure in simple things blog

Thanks for stopping by!  Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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a few more gift tags

December 15, 2015

making a crab gift tag pleasure in simple things blog

It is time to start wrapping gifts! I am way behind on my planned Thanksgiving weekend wrapping session!

I have all the supplies together. I made the sea glass gift tags and the painted metallic feathers to adorn my packages…But, wait…shouldn’t I have a couple sea creatures to add to the mix?

sparkly crab gift tag pleasure in simple things blog

I decided to make a couple more quick gift tags and they are super simple to create in no time flat!

For the crab, I used a teeny, tiny rubber stamp I found at the craft store. The size alone makes it super cute! I added it to card stock using an aqua colored ink stamp pad. To add the holiday sparkle, I just used a cotton swab to add a few dabs of aqua sparkle craft paint. Super easy and super cute!

crab gift tag supplies pleasure in simple things blog

The starfish gift tag took even less supplies to create than the crab gift tag. I used a light gray watercolor marker to draw a quick, free hand outline of a starfish. To this too, I added a few dabs of acrylic metallic craft paint to give it a little more bling!

starfish gift tag pleasure in simple things blog

Now I am content with my collection of gift tags for my sea glass holiday themed packages!

crab gift tag pleasure in simple things blog

Thanks for stopping by! Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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