papereless post_reviving charm

Take Note: Bernard Maisner for Paperless Post

I am a traditionalist at heart and love to send and receive snail mail. I always make sure to have stationery on hand because you never know when you’ll need to send a note to someone special. My go-to stationer is Smythson (preferring their blank notecards) and I even posted about some of my purchases here. But I have to admit to secretly coveting the notecards designed by artist and master calligrapher Bernard Maisner. I remember first seeing his beautiful butterfly notecards at Gumps in San Francisco many, many years ago. I don’t think anyone who knows me would describe me as frugal but I couldn’t justify spending $145 for a set of 8 notecards that would sit in a drawer just waiting to be used. However, I will say that they are a wonderful splurge for a very special occasion. While expensive, the price tag is justifiable. Each notecard is beautifully hand painted with vibrant watercolors so no two are ever alike. Notecards also come packaged in a fabric covered box that makes me swoon because I am also a sucker for great packaging.

Here’s a look at some Bernard Maisner stationery. Keep reading…I can tell you how you can get Bernard Maisner for considerably less…

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Barnard Maisner, Artist and Calligrapher in his studio.

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In our digital age, there are options to physical paper stationery and Paperless Post provides a fabulous alternative by offering digital stationery that mimics the look of traditional paper goods. The online platform provides some of the most attractive digital designs and I was happy to learn that they offer many designs by Bernard Maisner, including the butterfly notecard I have loved for so long. If you love Bernard Maisner designs as much as I do, this is a much more affordable option. Here’s a look at a few of the Bernard Maisner digital designs available through Paperless Post. bernard maisner paperless post butterflies_reviving charm 1

bernard maisner_reviving charm_paperless post peacock notecardbernard maisner birthday card calligraphy_paperless post_reviving charmI really like that Paperless Post designs are so customizable. Many designs even allow you to upload your own picture.  

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It’s never too early to think about the holidays. In fact, I was just telling someone yesterday that after Labor Day it always feels like a fast forward to the holiday season.thanksgiving paperless post_reviving charmbernard maisner card calligraphy_paperless post_reviving charmbernard maisner_reviving charm_paperless post christmas card 2

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While Paperless Post is nothing new, it’s something I’ve haven’t tried until just recently. If you are on the fence about using digital stationery like I was, don’t be. Paperless Post provides a great alternative to physical paper by offering so many stylish designs, including those by Oscar de la Renta, John Derian and Jonathan Adler, just to name a few. Here’s what I like about Paperless Post:

  • The website and the app are so simple to use and very user-friendly. 
  • I absolutely love the fact that you can schedule cards to be delivered in the future. 
  • You can save your drafts to work on later.
  • A countless number of designs with style to suit almost everyone.
  • You are informed when cards are delivered and can see once they’ve been read.
  • Customization is simple and very intuitive.
  • You can even upload your own designs.

I now consider myself a fan of Paperless Post but one thing I don’t quite get is how they came up with their pricing system. “Coins” are the currency you use to pay for your digital products and you buy coins in bundles. For example, a series of 10 coins cost $5.00, 25 coins cost $10, 100 coins cost $20, and so on. I sent a card recently that cost me 7 coins. I absolutely hate math so I didn’t bother to actually figure out what the real cost to me was in dollars and cents. I don’t get the concept of coins and I prefer a traditional check-out than to have to buy coin packages. For me, this is the only downside I found and it’s not one that would ever deter me from using their products again in the future. I’ll just simply consider it a quirk. After all, don’t we all have a quirk or two of our own? I know I sure do…

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Easy Entertaining for Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is always a great excuse to gather a few friends over. Whether you’ve been planning a fiesta for a while or are more a spur-of-the-moment kind of person, here are a few easy, last minute ideas to help you plan your party. Happy weekend! CINCO DE MAYO 2018_reviving charm

  1. I love the idea of using pink and orange roses arranged in a terracotta pot for a festive, stylish centerpiece. (image via host_to_perfection)
  2. If you are hosting a sit-down event, use fresh limes as a place cards. They are inexpensive and readily available.  A white craft pen (available at most craft stores) can be used to write the name of your guests.
  3. I’ve always liked the idea of using food containers as planters (see this post). This is an easy way to highlight the theme of your event.
  4. The guacamole at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants also includes the following ingredients:  orange juice, finely shredded orange rind and pomegranate as garnish. It’s delicious and colorful.

It’s been a while since I’ve been in my studio painting, but I’ve picked up my paint brushes again and have been working away on some new paintings. The background image seen above is actually something I painted yesterday. I will venture to guess that you’ll be seeing more of my work here on the blog.

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Rabbit, Rabbit : Entertaining for Easter

I always wondered why Sarah Jessica Parker signs off some of her Instagram posts with “Rabbit, Rabbit”. It turns out that it is a greeting to be used on the first day of the month and is meant to wish someone good luck for that month ahead. An interesting article about this tradition/superstition can be found here. “Rabbit, Rabbit” will be particularly appropriate to use this Easter since it happens to fall on April 1 this year. If you are planning to host an Easter celebration why not greet your guests with “Rabbit, Rabbit” and accessorize your dining table with a few moss bunnies. I recently saw the following picture reposted on the Instagram account of one of my regular reads, Blue and White Home and it made me want to order a bunch of bunnies for the table!  (Thanks for the inspiration, Elizabeth!) If you want to add a few bunny rabbits to your own Easter table then keep reading because I have a few sources for you.

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Image via Style Me Pretty

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I love the idea of giving everyone their own bunny by placing these napkin rings at each table setting. They are currently on clearance for a steal of a price at Pier 1 Imports for $2.68 each. Because I can’t leave well enough alone, I’d be tempted to tie a loose bow of double-faced satin ribbon to help camouflage the spring. moss rabbit napking rings_reviving charm

Here’s a look at a table styled with the bunny napkin rings. moss rabbit napkin rings_reviving charm 1

If you are looking for a larger scale bunny, this one might do the trick. It measures 6″ x 12″ x 10″. Buy it herefrom Nordstrom.moss bunny rabbit nordstroms_reviving charm

You can also find small and large bunnies available through Ballard Designs. They look cute together as a group.
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This moss bunny planterfrom Save On Crafts is 100% cuteness and would look great filled with fresh seasonal flowers. Save On Crafts has been a great resource of mine for many, many years for all kinds of craft related items. Many of their other moss bunnies are already out of stock so buy early if you want one of your own. moss bunny rabbit planter_reviving charmThey also have a large bunny(12″x6″). This one really has some nice realistic detail to it. moss-covered bunny rabbit_reviving charmI just realized that I haven’t done a crafty type post in some time so I hope you enjoyed today’s Easter inspiration. All the best….

Inspire Your Heart With Art Day on Reviving Charm blog

INSPIRE YOUR HEART WITH ART

I like to joke that there is a “holiday” for everything. I am not sure how it came to be but today is considered “National Inspire Your Heart with Art Day”. I have a great respect for the arts after years of studying art and architecture throughout high school and college. I love visiting museums, although I don’t visit as often as I would like. Art presents itself in a variety of forms and is a subject that touches everyone differently and what moves me may not move you and vice versa. valentines heart gift tag 4_Reviving Charm

I use to sketch quite a bit while in college although my skills are extremely rusty. But every now and then I love to pick up the paintbrush and do a quick watercolor, usually something abstract in nature. This past weekend I thought I would pull out my watercolors to create some gift tags for Valentine’s Day. What better way to celebrate Inspire Your Heart with Art Day than sharing what I’ve created? Hopefully, this will inspire you to take time out to enjoy your own creative skills. (What creative thing do you enjoy doing most?)

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This project was simple and convenient since I had all the supplies already on hand. I trimmed my watercolor paper to size (approximately 2 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches) and created simple graphic images using watercolors. I punched a hole in the corner of each tag and attached matching satin cord. Easy peasy and Voilà… simple gift tags and miniature works of art for recipients to enjoy.  valentines heart gift tag 3_Reviving Charmart inspiration quote_Reviving Charmvalentines heart gift tag 2a_Reviving Charm

 

pine needle tassels featured on Reviving Charm

PINE NEEDLE TASSELS

We have many pine trees in our area, including several mature pines beyond our backyard wall. It’s easy to decorate with pinecones when there is an abundance of them and each Fall I try to find unique ways I can incorporate them into our seasonal decor. However, it wasn’t until recently when I came across the idea of making tassels constructed of the actual pine needles. Every now and then I love a good DIY and these are super easy to make. The pictures below show just how simple it is to create your own pine needle tassels. I’ll also share a few ideas on how you can actually use your tassels once they are completed. Happy crafting… pine needle tassels_Reviving Charm

All you need are pine needles, scissors, string or twine of your choice, hot glue gun, and acorn tops to cap off the tassel top (optional – see photo below).

DECOR. Once your tassels are made, there are a variety of ways that you can incorporate them into your holiday decor. Try adding them to garland and wreaths, like the examples below.pine needle tassels_Reviving Charm 1pine needle decoration_Reviving Charm 2

GIFT WRAP. I take gift wrapping seriously and I am always on the hunt for new ways to embellish gifts for friends and family. I might think about making a few tassels to add to Christmas gifts this year.pine needle tassels gift wrap_Reviving Charm

Ah, the scent of pine needles…now, that is the smell of Christmas.  –Reviving Charm

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ENTERTAINING. If you are looking for some tabletop inspiration, why not use a few pine needle tassels to add a bit of nature to your table. They are a great alternative to the traditional napkin ring. pine needle tassels tabletop_Reviving CharmYou can also create a few tassels to spruce up your beverages and appetizers. Attach them to skewers cut down to size and you’ve created custom cocktails stirrers or appetizer picks.  pine needle cocktail sticks_Reviving Charm

I know it is a busy time of year but if you manage to find some time to make a few pine needle tassels to embellish your holiday gifts and/or decor, I am sure you’re friends and family will appreciate you going the extra mile to make the holidays extra special for them.

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ENTERTAINING: Set the Table Neiman Marcus Style

One of my guilty pleasures when traveling to San Francisco is visiting Neiman Marcus in Union Square. I shop the store from top to bottom and last year during the Thanksgiving holiday I fell in love with a particular tabletop store display. The table decorations incorporate old book pages, quotes, and words of wisdom that can easily be recreated. I’ve seen similar book page table runners on Pinterest but I like the idea of incorporating quotes, phrases, definitions, and words of wisdom. Choose wording to fit your particular festivity and you’ve created something really unique.

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inspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 9inspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 3aTable Inspiration_Reviving Charminspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 7inspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 4cinspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 12Inspirational tabletop_Reviving Charminspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 14ainspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 6inspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 10Old book pages can also be cut and fashioned into a tag that to serve as a creative place card. Don’t forget to incorporate empty spice vials with a fun message contained inside. Your guests will love it. inspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 11

I love how camera focused in on the word “muzzle”. Is it trying to tell me something!!!??inspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 8

There were several mobiles hanging above the dining table displaying additional words of wisdom. If you are somewhat of a DIYer this could actually be fairly easy to make. It would be time-consuming, but easy. inspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 16

Words to live by…”Integrity…Live in such a way, that if someone spoke badly of you no one would believe it.”

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Reviving Charm Goes to Italy 

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Buon Giorno! I am very happy to announce that Mr. B and I are hopping on a jet plane and flying off to Italy today. I am over the moon excited because we have a deep love affair with Italy. It must have something to do with the fact that it’s in our DNA. We will be staying in a total of five cities but our trip begins and ends in Milan, one of the great cities of the world. It’s a very chic, urban, and cosmopolitan city. And because of these reasons, I happen to actually love Milano. However, I am always intrigued to learn how others feel about this great city. I have found that most people either love it or hate it. There’s usually no middle ground.

Even now I miss Italy dearly, I dream about it every night – Eila Hiltunen

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It’s hard for me to believe it’s been over ten years since I started creating the photo carousel project highlighted in this post. It is filled with nothing but pictures from our numerous trips to Italy dating back to 2004 and is still a work in progress. When Mr. B and I are back, rest assured that I will be adding more pages to it. But for now let’s flip through a few pages together, shall we…italy scrapbook Reviving Charm 2

So you can get a sense of scale, the smallest page is slightly little larger than a standard business card. I used a variety of items (glitter, stickers, ribbon, rubber stamps, rub-ons, etc.) to embellish each page. I pulled out all the stops by using metallic gold thread to sew a zig-zag stitch on one of the pages (see the first picture at the top of this post).

italy scrapbook Reviving Charm 5There are pictures of Mr. B and I scattered among the pages, but the project really focuses on details that capture a slice of Italian life. Coins, train tickets, portions of maps, and ticket stubs are also things I managed to include. For example, the linen pocket below holds business cards picked up at just a few of the wonderful places we’ve had an opportunity to visit over the years.  italy scrapbook Reviving Charm 1grand hotel et de milan Reviving Charm

italy scrapbook Reviving Charm 7 gypsiesgelato favorites Reviving Charmlake como reviving charm scrapbookitaly travel ATC Reviving CharmYou may have noticed how I like incorporating inspirational quotes into many of my blog posts. However, it wasn’t until this particular post that I realized that this was something I was already doing some 10 years ago when I started this project. reviving charm in italyI hope you enjoyed this glimpse at of one of my most prized possessions. Every time I flip through the pages it brings back very happy memories of our travels to a place we love dearly. Even though we are away,  I have still have posts planned for the website so don’t forget to check in.  I will also be posting on Instagram so be sure to follow me around. Ciao!  

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GLOBAL STYLE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of taking an advanced painting techniques class at Peinture Studios located in Costa Mesa, California. Peinture Studios is a boutique paint studio that sells a full range of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, offers painting workshops and provides inspiration on updating vintage furniture. I was hooked on chalk paint after taking only one class. If you have never used chalk paint, I highly recommend it. Little to no prep is needed, it is very forgiving to use and clean up is a breeze. What can be better than that? I’ve even shared a few of my projects and techniques here, here and here. But if you are located in California, I highly recommend taking a class at Peinture Studios.

The owner of Peinture Studios is Deborah Waltz and I was happy to discover pictures of her home in the current issue of Orange Coast Magazine. The design of her home was inspired by her travels to Morrocco.

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Deborah transformed her Southern California, three-story tract home into something uniquely her own, including stenciled walls featuring chalk paint colors available in her shop. By looking at these pictures you’d never know that Deborah started with a cookie-cutter blank slate. You can read more about her home heredebrorah-waltz-via-reviving-charm-1
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TUESDAY TIP #3: DECORATING WITH VINTAGE JEWELRY

Style and design are passions of mine so I particularly love, love, love when the worlds of fashion and interior design collide. With Christmas behind us, it’s time to starting thinking of the new year. If you plan to host a New Year’s Eve party and are short on decor, here is a quick and easy way to some sparkle and shine to your upcoming festivities.tuesday-tip-no-3-vintage-jewelry-to-decorate-via-revivingcharmfashion-and-interior-design-tuesday-tip-via-revivingcharm-1

I purchased a pair of silk diponi throw pillows from Restoration Hardware several years ago. They’ve moved with us from house to house and have even moved from room to room. They currently reside in the living room of our seaside ranch home. To add a bit of interest to a rather plain pillow, I added a grouping of three vintage brooches to add a touch of whimsy. I love the conversation it sparks when people actually take notice.

Whether you are using heirlooms or purchases found at flea markets and thrift shops, this is a great way to put your beautiful jewels on display to enjoy. It beats having them stored away in a drawer where they will most likely be forgotten. Just be aware that, depending on the fabric, you might be left with pin holes behind when you remove the brooches. Because of this, we opted to leave the brooches in place to adorn a pillow 365 days of the year. fashion-and-interior-design-via-revivingcharm-1

IT’S BETTER TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE

I am a firm believer in purchasing thoughtful gifts. So naturally, one of the things I enjoy the most about the season is the art of gift giving. From hunting down the perfect gift to meticulously wrapping it and ultimately presenting it to the recipient…I enjoy each aspect.

I always kick off my holiday shopping the day after Thanksgiving. Fortunately, this year I was able to get most of my shopping done over the long Thanksgiving weekend while vacationing in San Francisco. Shopping early is key for best selection plus it’s also a strategic move on my part so I can focus on other aspects of holiday preparations during the remaining weeks leading up to Christmas. Two birds, one stone….

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Christmas shopping this year at Gumps, San Francisco. November 25, 2016.

After purchasing gifts the next step is wrapping. I will admit to putting a lot of thought into wrapping and spending way too much a lot of time picking out “just the right” wrapping paper and all the decorative accouterments to coordinate with it. I usually pick a gift wrap theme each year. Past years have included color combinations such as black/white/red, red and gold,  fuchsia and silver, and blue and white, to name a few! This year I chose to use festive red, white and green gift wrap that I designed myself. This was the first year that I designed my own wrapping paper and it has been fun to see how people react when I mention that I created the pattern and had it custom printed. I find that people really do enjoy the thoughtfulness that goes into a beautifully wrapped gift. In case you missed it,  you can read about my gift wrap traditions and my bespoke gift wrap in this post. 

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Bespoke wrapping paper designed by Reviving Charm.

This year I will also be adding small gifts to our dinner table to be part of our Christmas tablescape. I love the idea of having a small unexpected gift at the dinner table so that everyone has a little something extra to take home. Hosting dinner on Christmas Eve for our family has become a new tradition since moving to our seaside ranch home almost four years ago.  When it came time to plan for decorating this year’s Christmas table I wasn’t looking for anything formal. In fact, this year I am going ultra casual with what I am calling a “Crafty Christmas”. I decided to place a small gift at each place setting and came up with the idea of filling miniature brown paper bags with individually wrapped snack packs of trail mix for a (semi)healthy treat.

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Treat bags all lined up like little soldiers.

I decorated each bag with a casual Christmas theme which includes a hand painted miniature clothespin, letterpress tag, ribbon and a fresh sprig of boxwood. The placecards are from a favorite Etsy shop of mine that I highlighted in this post.

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A little something for everyone!

Every year we also find a “little something” to pass out to our neighbors on Christmas day. It’s fun delivering gifts to our neighbors to spread an extra bit of Christmas cheer. This year we picked up splits of Italian prosecco.christmas-gift-ideas-via-revivingcharm_com

I added cotton ribbon from Studio Carta and a festive letterpress tag.  Voilà…instant gift!christmas-gift-ideas-revivingcharm_com

Giveaway alert…

The underlining theme of this post is all about the spirit of giving. Not only do I enjoy sharing gifts with close friends and loved ones, but I would like to share a little something with one lucky reader of my website. As a way of saying thank you for spending your time with me I am giving away one copy of a hardbound monthly journal featuring twelve different watercolor pagoda images. Each of the twelve images are beautifully illustrated by Edward Andrew Zega and Bernd H. Dams to enjoy throughout the new year. To learn more about the illustrators, check out their website.reviving-charm-giveawaypagoda-journal-giveaway-via-revivingcharmandrew zega and bernd h dams watercolor journal

–CONTEST HAS CLOSED–

ENTER: There are two steps to this: (1) You must be a current subscriber to this website. To be eligible, be sure to sign up; and (2) You must leave a comment in this post with your email. I want to learn more about you so please tell me what features about Reviving Charm interest you the most. You must complete both steps in order to be eligible to win. Please note that comments to this post will not be made public and are for my eye’s only.

The winner will be selected from those who have subscribed and commented by midnight (Pacific Standard Time) on January 1, 2017.  The winner will be announced by email.  Winner must be 18 years or older. You’ll be disqualified if you don’t follow the rules.

And remember…since sharing is caring…be sure to pass this along so your friends and family have a chance to win and enjoy some new reading material offered here at Reviving Charm! Good luck!