Today I am so excited to share with you the awesome swag bag + contributors we had for FriendsGIVING! To me, this day was suposed to be all about GIVING- so I wanted to be able to give my guest the best swag bag I could! AND like I said before, I can not believe how amazing these bags were! I am so happy that I can finally share with you what was in them!
[PSST! : Stay tuned for swag bag giveaways that Kayla and I will be offering on our Instagrams later this week!]
The actual 'Don't Dull My Sparkle' bag I screen printed myself. I ordered the blank pink bags online and then figured out a super easy way to screen print it on my own. I will be sharing the D.I.Y. for that with you later on. It is a screen printing method that I would use with my students, so it should be easy enough for even a novice to do!
The Friendsgiving invitations, coffee mug, 'But First, Glitter!' note pad, 'MFC Friendsgiving' Rustic Feathers notebook, and the 'My Friend Court est. 2013' pillow were all customized/ordered through Tiny Prints®. I could not be happier with the way they all turned out! The pillow + mug are something that I will always treasure as a keepsake mommento to my first big blogger event! : )
Once I knew that I was going to be including the notebook + note pad in the swag bags, I felt like I needed to include some pens too. I started thinking about my favorite types a pens to use, and knew that if I could choose any type of pen, it would be a Gelly Roll® gel pen. They were a childhood favorite of mine. I remember beggging my mom to buy me just one at a time, when I was little- as she had a hard time justifiying spending that much money on a pack of pens for a 8 year old! But even now, in my adult life- they are my go to favorites!
Since I am a 'go big, or go home' kinda gal, I decided to e-mail Sakura Of America®, let them know what we were up to with Friendsgiving- and see if they were interested in contributing to the swag bags. No harm, no foul if not- it never hurts to asks for the things you want though! Luckily, they were more than happy to contribute AND even offered to send 12 color sets of their Cray-Pas® Junior Artist oil pastels for us to include in the boxes that we were packing up for the kids! Unbelievable right!?
Sakura® sent us a sampling of different types of pens and even packeaged them up in these adorable little pencil pouches too. Heres what they included in each pack for us :
· 1 Soufflé® dimensional, opaque ink pen
· 1 Glaze® glossy dimensional ink pen
· 1 Pigma Micron® 05 pen in black
· 1 Gelly Roll Moonlight® 06 (fine point pen). These come in bright, neon colors
· 1 Gelly Roll® white pen (great for use on dark, matte paper)
· 1 Pentouch® valve type paint marker
· 1 Sakura® pencil pouch + product brochures
A couple months ago, at the Maiedae Mixer, I met the lovely Liz from the Pretty Sweet Life blog + shop. When I checked out her shop and saw this 'So Fetch' print- I knew it would be perfect for our swag bag. As it goes along with my #OnWednesdayWeWearArt inspiration from Mean Girls [ "On Wednesdays we wear pink!" ]. I told Liz what we were up to, and she was more than happy send one for us to include in each bag! So great :)
At the Maiedae Mixer I also met Chelcey, who is an amazing photographer, has the cutest print shop and is a blogger as well! When I came across her 'Follow Your Heart' arrow print I knew it would fit right in with our 'Neon Pilgrims + Indians' theme with all the colors + arrows. And 'Follow Your Heart'......that is something that I have been doing a lot of lately, and highly recommend to everyone to do! Chelcey was sweet enough to package up one for everyone and send them all the way from Kentucky!
My friend Christen Strang, who I met through my internship with Hilary Rushford this past summer [she was also an intern at the time] was so kind to send everyone a 'Merry Everything' holiday card + temporary metallic tattoos from her shop! This gal is aaaamazing! She works full time by day and freelances nights + weekends running a print shop + taking commissioned clients AND was recently nominated for Martha Stewart's American Made finalist!
Additionally, Kayla & I's friend from high school, Brad- works a company called Lions Thread out of Uganda. 'Lion’s Thread seeks to empower female artisans in the Iganga and Nabikabala regions of Eastern Uganda by providing an avenue through which they can showcase their incredible talents to the rest of the world. Lion’s Thread isn’t about aid. It’s about access. These skillful women deserve the chance to have their talents both premiered and sought after.'
You can read all about their story here. But just know that Lion's Thread prides itself on two features:
Kayla was telling her close family friend [who happens to be an author]- Ms. Judi, about FriendsGIVING and what all we were doing. She had two questions for Kayla, 1. Could she come and 2. Could she contribute to the swag bag by offering everyone a download to her book Front Porch Lemonade?! Which just so happens to be about a group of girlfriends! How sweet?! Check it out on Amazon here!
This brings us to who provided beverages + food for the event!
My college friend Melanie [who I also told you about here] provided us with two jugs of here Oak-Aged Kombucha Tea. We had the Vanilla Chai Tea + the Apple Ginger Spice Tea. The Apple Ginger Spice was my favorite. This was my first time ever trying Kombucha tea, but some of the guest were ranting that it was the best + most refreshing they have ever tried. Follow Golda on Facebook + see where Melanie will be at next!
Lastly, our friends over at GreenBox Worldwide [ran by our wonderful Kayla] were so kind to sponor the event by paying for our food & beverages!
Let me tell you a little bit more about GreenBox.
GreenBox Worldwide knows growing and maintaining an online presence for a small business.
Do you have the idea, but don’t know how to put it into words your followers/readers can relate with?
Want to have a greater impact on social media?
Need website renovations or a new site from scratch? ....Give yourself a break and let GreenBox tackle these.
Some of the services that GreenBox offers are:
GreenBox Worldwide loves to connect with bloggers and build digital communities.
They LOVE bloggers and their sweet creative spirits, and thats why GreenBox jumped at the opportunity to support the MFC FriendsGiving by providing food!
Go follow GreenBox Worldwide on Twitter: @GreenBoxww
Also, follow GreenBox Worldwide on Facebook!
Lastly, that brings me to how many boxes we were able to pack + how many blankets we collected. Total we were able to collect 25 blankets and pack 22 boxes. I am soo happy/proud of us gals!
We had such a great time crafting + socializing all the while giving back + spreading love + joy this holiday season- I LOVE it!
This day truly wouldn't have been as specail if it wren't for all theses wonderful brands coming together to make the day/swag bag as great as it was! So from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU- because I couldn't have done it without you!
Photography by : Chris Burden
So I may be a day late and a dollar short, but here is the post that was supposed to go up yesterday! Chris and I were playing around in Photoshop to get the final image I imagined in my head, so it took a little longer than expected. But it was worth the wait, because we are both so happy with the end result! We were so inspired by our artist, and came up with many more ideas- there just wasn't enough time to do them all, SO do not be surprised when we visit this artist again!
This weeks inspiration is artist Rene Magritte. He is considered to be a surrealist artist and one of my favorites. Surrealism is my favorite art movement because it plays with the mind, making your eyes transcend between reality and a dream, challenging any preconceived perceptions. Our artist, Rene Magritte- was a master at playing 'tricks' on your eyes/mind, causing you to look more closely at what your actually seeing.
Rene Magritte was a Belgian artist, best know for being a leader in surrealism. BUT he was also very influential in the transformation into the pop art movement. As he often would use ordinary objects + figures that he would re-arrange, and multiply in strange ways to cause his viewer to take a deeper look at his work. A lot of Magritte's work was similar, in the sense that they depicted similar scenes and had reoccurring themes. I once read that he would sit down and paint a new painting every day! If you are a painter, you know how AMAZING that is. His style of painting is not easy to do, by any means!
Above is a silly photograph of our serious artist and below are a couple of his other paintings that I really love.
I love his rich use of color and the playful- yet very serious, thought provoking content of his art work. You can't help but let your mind wander while viewing his art work, searching for understanding/meaning in what you are seeing. OR just trying to figure out what the heck he was thinking about when he was creating the work.
Every year I do a lesson with my students about Rene Magritte. He is an iconic artist, that I still very relevant in todays world. If you really think about it, you have probably seen some type of appropriation of his work before.Here is where artist Jeff Koons teamed up with Harper Bazaar to create some Rene Magritte inspired work. Below is the book that I read to my kids to introduce Rene Magritte to the kids. This is one of the coolest chrilderns books I've read. Its great for teaching the kids about Magritte + surrealism because it also has clear pages that plays 'tricks' on your eyes, and allows Magrittes hat to hop around from page to page.
OH and I used watercolor paints to create the sky background and then scanned it into Photoshop for Chris to help me create the photo college. Like I said, were both super inspired + happy about our end results and will probably be revisiting Rene Magritte again! BUT let us know what you think- about him, his work + our take on Rene Magritte!
So I am still exhausted as I write this post now- but on Sunday was my Friendsgiving soirée! It was alot of work and I had A LOT of fun planning + making it all happen! AND the actual event was the best!
I have a tendency to over think things, and friendsgiving was one of those things I started to over think. I was way worried about what the gals were going to do, if it was going to be awkward, if I needed to be the 'entertainment'. Chris kept reassuring me there would be so many ladies present, that the event would just run its course. AND it did. I suppose I'm just used to being an elementary school teacher and having 20+ kids look at me like 'now what?!' every 2 seconds. Luckily though, being that most of the gals are bloggers/entrepreneurs of some sort, everyone was super out going and ready to get their craft on!
Below are some of the pictures from the event that Chris snapped for me. I will be honest and say that I am a little sad that I didn't take more pictures- I took like 2 pictures the whole time, and they were blurry. : ( I was too busy talking my head off with everyone! I wasn't able to set up a little photo booth area or anything either, as we had Friendsgiving in my super tiny loft and it was already a tight fit. Thankfully, it wasn't too cold and we were able to prop the back door open and use the fire pit out back to make s'mores!
I really couldn't be more happy with how Friendsgiving turned out, and DEFINITELY think I will be doing this again next year! Here are some pictures from the event, and later this week I will be sharing with you the swag bags + vendors + how many blankets/boxes of toys we were able to donate, as this event was really about [new] FRIENDS gathering together to GIVE back this holiday season! AND I am SOOO proud of how much we were able to give this year!
The set up : view from my lofted bedroom [See we weren't working with alot of space- it was cozy though!]
Swag bags + area for toys & blankets!
We basically just moved our living room outside [as we just use beach chairs typically, b/c we only have my lemon table out there currently- until we buy patio furniture.]
I just love love love my Tiny Prints pillow- so fun! [You can customize them to say anything you want!]
My sister + my bestfriend helping me put the Operation Christmas Child boxes together!
Getting our craft on! For the few weeks leading up to the event- I collected sticks while walking the dogs. I used/painted some as table decor + saved the rest for the gals to use to make their own wall hangings/dream catcher thingy-ma'bobs! I wasn't sure how everyone was going to feel out stick decorating- BUT it was a hit! Usually the simplest of things are.
I literally used sticks + leaves as my main decorations and then threw some candles + twinkle lights + a few feathers into the mix as well. I once had a professor that told us that a good artist can make great art work- with the best of materials. BUT that a GREAT artist can make GREAT art work with even the worst of materials. AKA be resourceful, everything doesn't have to cost a lot of money to be great!
Making my speech, which- much to my surprise didn't go awful and I didn't black out [hehe- really though]. I don't like talking in front of grown folks typically [actually hate it]. I even hate having to speak in front of everyone at staff meetings. Its so different than teaching. Maybe it was adrenaline from everything, but I really wasn't that nervous. I wasn't sure what I was going to say so I may have stumbled a bit & I did drop the swag bag [awkward] but it was all okay- and will make next time that much easier!
New friends helping each other craft! I LOVE it : )
We each wrote a letter to include in our Operation Christmas Child box using the pens that Sakura of America sent us + our Tiny Prints 'But First, Glitter!' note pads!
Sparklers + s'mores : ) Always a huge hit at parties! [BTW- this is a GAS fire pit. All I have to do is push a button to turn it on/off- HOW great?!]
Group shot- well about half the group. This was at the very end and many girls had already left. Something we will remember to do next year before everyone leaves!
We naturally ended the party by making it rain confetti!!! This literally was so fun/funny. I have never seen soooo much confetti all over the place in my life. I am still finding it e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e! All I can say is, God love Chris for being such a good man and hanging with all us gals all day- with all of our sparkles, confetti and silliness! #Girlsjustwanttohavefun
I had to make a salad bowl full of confetti for this moment!
The next few pictures after all the confetti fell were the best. Every ones faces were so shocked! I LOVE it :)
Paint with me :
Let's be Friends!
D.I.Y. : Eyeball Clutch
#OWWWA : Frank Stella
Currently on the Gram :