Wine Special all September!

The dastardly heat and humidity of summer is finally breaking. I’m feeling Fall on my morning walks and dinners have moved back to the screened porch.

Ahhhh, my screened porch! Truly my favorite room “in” the house. Yes, it’s a room complete with area rug, comfy furniture, table lamps, wall art and even wispy curtains to frame the view. This is also our favorite spot for friends to gather, casual and comfortable. Frequently for something as simple as whatever wine is on hand and a game around the table, whether that be dominoes, cards or our newest fave, Bananagrams! Haven’t tried it? You must!!!!

To celebrate this subtle shift in weather and activities, I am declaring September as wine month for South House Boutique. With the purchase of any wine-related item (bottle bags, stemware cozies, wine tote) you will receive FREE (and don’t we all love free?) a PDF file for my wine tasting scorecards based on pop culture. Print off as many as you need and gather the gang for a wine-tasting that promises to be lively and fun, if slightly irreverent.


Sharing a passion for creation

Christmas stockings

This is such a great week for South House Designs! In a few days, my Christmas stockings will be highlighted in the special holiday edition of Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

And the local newspaper, Maryville Daily Forum, published a wonderfully flattering feature in today’s issue! The entire feature is available in the print edition or online for those who subscribe to the e-version.

Please make sure you check back often to my blog. It still has that new car smell as I work out the kinks, links and other things that will make this a great spot to help your creative juices flow.

Looking for another way to stay connected? Then join me on the South House Designs’ Facebook fan page!

Mark the Occasion with Personalized Bookmarks

Personalized Bookmarks

People often ask where I get ideas for new projects. It’s easy! They often come from family and friends who inspire and motivate me.

One of my favorite projects was inspired by my sister, Linda, as a tribute to our not-so-artistic father. Dad collected stamps, drawn to the thrill of the hunt for something new or unique. Upon the first anniversary of his death, Linda presented each member of the family with a personalized bookmark she created using stamps from Dad’s collection.

Each bookmark was crafted using stamps with a theme personalized to the family member. One grandson’s was about sports and dinosaurs. Our oldest brother’s featured skiing and the mountains.

This is crafting at its finest. Taking a simple idea and turning it into something heart-felt and treasured. Sorting through Dad’s collection, matching family members with different stamps, recalling times we spent with him. The experience was therapeutic for Linda and years later still generates smiles and warm memories for each of us.

And remember – this is a great way to honor family and friends in a variety of ways, not just as a memorial. Bookmarks are a fun way to celebrate a milestone birthday or anniversary, an upcoming retirement or family reunion.

How to make a personalized bookmark…..

1. Pinpoint something you identify with the honoree. Did she like music or movies? Was he a world traveler? What does she like to collect? What is his favorite book?

2. Creatively connect that special something to each family member. For instance, if Grandma liked to bake, create a grandson’s bookmark using a picture of Grandma baking and a copy of a well-worn recipe card of his favorite pie she always made for him.

3. Choose a style of decorative paper. Create individual bookmarks by cutting the paper into 2 to 4 strips. On the back, type or handwrite a note about the occasion. For example, Happy Retirement! or Celebrating 50 years of wedded bliss.

4. Reducing to fit, make color copies of specially selected artwork, photographs, tiles, etc. Cut, arrange and paste the decorative elements to the front side of the bookmark.

5. Laminate. If you do not have a laminator, use self-adhesive laminate purchased from department or stationary stores. Also, many office supply stores and small mailing centers offer laminating services. Trim the laminate leaving 1/8 inch around all edges. Optionally, punch a hole and add ribbon or cording.

NOTE: To honor my wonderful in-laws on their 60th anniversary, I created just one special bookmark, trimmed and had the local mega copy store make 2-sided color copies (3 per page), then laminated and trimmed them. 21 copies total, one for each family member, and they were easy to mail to those who could not be with us as we gathered to celebrate.

Hello world!

Hi world! Yes, I’m finally joining the blog community as a way to further support my South House Boutique customers. And, I hope this South House Blog will also serve as encouragement to all to tap into their own creativity. We will be posting many tips, techniques and tutorials to help you celebrate family, friends and life in general through creativity.

Think of this as my pulpit to spread the gospel of creativity!