Archive for November 2016 | Monthly archive page

Making holiday card writing meaningful and memorable

Sending and receiving holiday cards is such a cherished tradition. Taking the time to express a heartfelt wish in a card is an act of caring that reminds the recipient of their special place in our lives.

A wonderful way to connect with loved ones, writing holiday cards can also create memorable moments of togetherness at home. All you need is a little advance planning to make this a fun and festive activity for the whole family.

Begin by organizing different stations with everything you’ll need: the cards and envelopes, stamps and labels, a list of addresses, pens and markers, and any embellishments you’d like to add. You can designate roles — card writer, addresser, stamper and stuffer, list-checker, etc. — to get everyone involved.

To create a festive scene, put on your favorite holiday music or movies, and have a mix of no-fuss seasonal snacks and drinks on hand.

When it comes to signing each card, remember even a few, hand-written words of kindness, love and appreciation can create a moment of heartwarming connection with the recipient. To personalize even more, consider including a family photo or short letter sharing news of the year (download our free newsletter template to get you started), adding a touch of humor by writing from the perspective of the family pet or baby, or decorating each envelope with baker’s twine and a cute accent.

We all love receiving a little holiday cheer in the mail, and this makes sending it a true shared joy! Click here to shop our new holiday boxed cards.

When you say thank you, you affirm your appreciation. When you express gratitude, you are saying out loud to the world: “I love this and want more of this in my life.”

What are you grateful for? Your beating heart? Your dog’s wagging tail when you walk in the door? The juicy delicious apples that grow on trees? The snowstorm that let you stay home and snuggle under a blanket? The handwritten note you received in the mail? The airline voucher that invites you to travel to see friends?

Have you ever heard that “gratitude” is a state of being? Ever wondered how to travel to that state of happiness and bliss? Here is a simple practice to take you there any time, anywhere.

Easy Steps to Express Gratitude
Shift your awareness to all the good stuff, instead of focusing on anything that went wrong today.
Grab your favorite journal and make a list of at least 10 things you are grateful for, no matter how small. If you have more than 10 items, keep writing until your list feels complete.
After you finish writing, take a deep breath and read over all the items on your list.
Connect with any feelings of warmth or happiness, and invite them to grow and spread throughout your entire body. Allow the feelings to spread into the room around you, until you are completely filled with and surrounded by gratitude.
Breathe and smile. Beautiful! You are now in a state of gratitude.

 

Contributor: Erin Owen, mother of 2 boys, author of Refuel, Recharge, and Re-energize: Your Guide to Taking Back Control of Your Time and Energy, is a Transformational Life Coach for Leaders. Learn more at ErinOwen.com.

Make a one-of-a-kind advent calendar with fabric from the Kathy Davis® collection

Advent calendars are a wonderful, practical way to keep a holiday countdown while getting the whole family in a festive spirit! We crafted ours using natural elements, a few sewing supplies and a beautiful mix of fabrics from the Kathy Davis® holiday collection.

Inspired by the cards we send and receive during the holidays, this “calendar” features 25 envelopes that you can fill with inspiring quotes, devotions or festive notes to your loved ones.

Stop by your local Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store for supplies and to shop the entire Kathy Davis® fabric collection

 

SUPPLIES:

3-4 yards Kathy Davis® holiday collection fabric
Downloadable cards
Fabric glue
13-16 felt sheets (9”x12”)
Buttons or snaps
Needle and thread
Yarn
Gift tags
Twine
Two branches of similar dimensions
Measuring tape
Utility knife
Scissors

 

PART ONE: Making the envelopes

1. Cut a 6”x6” square of felt and a 7×7” square of fabric for a 4×4” envelope. Use fabric glue, needle and thread, or any kind of fabric-safe adhesive to adhere your fabric square to the felt, centering the felt on the fabric, leaving 1/4-1/2 inch of fabric around the sides.

2. Take your fabric edges, fold over the felt, and stitch or adhere to create your clean edge. If using liquid stitch or any type of liquid adhesive, make sure to allow adequate drying time before moving onto the next step.

3. Next, fold in opposite points of your square to meet in the center. Then, take an adjacent corner and fold to meet the other corners in the center, slightly overlapping the sides. Apply adhesive here or stitch your sides together to create the pocket.

4. Press and allow adequate drying time if using a liquid adhesive.

5. Using a needle and thread, sew a button or snap onto the top corner of your bottom fold.

6. Next, use scissors or a utility knife to cut a slit slightly smaller than the width of your button, onto the corner of the top fold of your envelope. Start out with a smaller slit, measure against the button, and slowly cut the slit wider, to avoid making it too big to hold the button. *Remember, you will stretch out the slit slightly as you button and unbutton, so it’s better to err on the smaller side.

7. To hang the envelopes we decided to use an embroidery needle and a thin yarn to thread through the top right corner. This way it can hang on an angle. Next, we attached a numbered gift tag. These steps should be repeated for the rest of your advent envelopes.

 

PART TWO: Assembling your branches

1.Take two, slightly long branches (approx. 36-42 inches in length) and arrange on a large surface to reflect how far apart you want them to hang on the wall. (We found that about 12 inches in distance ensured adequate space for the envelopes.) Taking twine or rope, wrap around one end of your bottom branch multiple times, tie a very secure knot, and pull up to the top branch, repeating the same step.

3. Measure how far you want your branches to be from your point of hanging. Next, bring your twine up to that point and back down to the other side of the top branch, creating a triangular shape. (You may want to enlist the help of a family member or friend to hold down that top point to ensure a taut and even shape.) String your twine around the top branch, and then the bottom branch, repeating step one. Make sure you measure every time you tie the twine so that the branches are level.

 

PART THREE: Final assembly and hanging

Tie your envelopes to your branches. Then find a stud in the wall to hammer a metal hook where you will hang your beautiful new advent calendar.

Fill with your favorite treats, or use our downloadable cards for writing down a daily devotional, inspirational quote, or family activity idea to countdown to Christmas!

Featuring our New Kathy Davis® Holiday Collection

Looking for a fun and easy way to dress up your holiday gifts? Just a few decorative accents and some scraps from our latest fabric collection are all you need for this DIY project. Follow along with our step-by-step tutorials, and in a few minutes you can turn a simply wrapped box into a beautiful holiday present!

Stop by your local Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store for supplies and to shop the entire Kathy Davis® fabric collection

SUPPLIES:

1-2 yards Kathy Davis® holiday fabric
Wrapping paper
Ribbon of various styles and sizes
Wired garland
Gift tags
Wood letters
Festive “picks” or “swags” to garnish packages
Double-sided tape
Scissors

 

Technique #1: Add a Message

1. Take two complementary fabrics, cut to the length and width desired, leaving 1/2 inch on either side, and fold under the raw edges to create a seam (you can use double-sided tape or liquid stitch to secure the fold). Next, wrap around two separate boxes.

2. Wrap ribbon around each box, following the same line as the fabric. Adhere ribbons with double-sided tape.

3. Wrap wired garland around the smaller of the two boxes and tape. Stack boxes and wrap with an additional piece of the garland.

4. Tuck wooden letters under twine.

 

Technique #2: Statement Bow

1. Wrap ribbon around box and secure with double-sided tape.

2. In the opposite direction of the ribbon, tie a very long strip of fabric. Fabric should be long enough to wrap once around your box with enough left over to create a large bow. Next, tie a bow with the fabric.

3. Tuck any extra pieces under, and smooth out any lumps.

4. Play with bow until you reach your desired size and look.

 

Technique #3: Wintery Accents

1. Using the same idea as Technique #1, wrap fabric around a box and secure into place.

2. Take your ribbon and center it on the fabric. Wrap ribbon around box then tie a double knot at the top.

4.Take your foliage (pine cones, cranberries, sprigs of juniper, etc.) and arrange them how you see fit on the box. Then tuck the foliage under the ribbon to ensure it’s stable and secure.

5. Add a tag, and attach to ribbon or foliage with twine.

 

Six steps for turning your guest room into a festive oasis

The holidays are such a beautiful time for sharing the joys of the season with the ones we love. When friends and family come to visit, what better way to make them feel cozy and cared for than with a thoughtfully decorated guest room.

Follow these simple steps to set the mood for a festive oasis.

1.    Choose holiday-themed bedding to serve as the focal point and brighten
       up the room.
2.    Pair fresh flowers with a small bedside treat to create an instantly
        inviting atmosphere.
3.    Set out fresh linens and toiletries for easy convenience.
4.    Create a small reading station with a collection of your favorite books
        and magazines.
5.    Set out no-fuss snacks and teas to add another layer of warm welcome.
       (To delight even more, aim for a seasonal palette!)
6.    Include a card or note letting your guests know how happy you are to
       have them with you.

Shop the collection here.

It’s amazing how expressing gratitude – or simply finding something to feel grateful for – can give our moods a little boost! This month’s new Kathy Davis™ wallpaper freebies gently remind us to appreciate the special people and the many gifts that brighten our lives every day.

Desktop wallpapers are available with or without a calendar; smart phone wallpapers include the art along with a quote.

Click any of the links below to download the wallpaper size that works best for you. Once the image pops up in a new window, simply right click and save.

iPhone wallpaper:

iPhone 5 | iPhone 6 | iPhone 6 Plus | iPhone 7

Desktop wallpaper with calendar:

1280 x 800 | 1440 x 900 | 1680 x 1050 | 2560 x 1440



Desktop wallpaper without calendar:

1280 x 800 | 1440 x 900 | 1680 x 1050 | 2560 x 1440

Questions or having trouble downloading? Contact [email protected]