December 24, 2010

Footprints Of Santa

I am reposting my most popular post ffrom 2009 "Footprints of Santa" Enjoy!

For those of you lucky enough to have little believers around, I thought of some clever ideas to keep Santa's footprints alive!

-Most of you do this but bake cookies for Santa and leave carrots for the reindeer, if Santa comes, there should only be crumbs left on Christmas morning!
-Sprinkle some of the ashes from the fireplace onto the carpet. Whoops Santa made a mess as he came down the chimney!
-Get some red or white polyfil and leave a little on the edge of the fireplace screen. Santa got caught on his way into the living room!
-Take one of Dad's largest shoes and make footprint in either snow or mud. Santa was walking around outside for a little break in between houses!
-Cut a sponge in the shape of a reindeer hoof. Dip it in some muddy water and create a little trail along the driveway or sidewalk. The reindeer must have been frolicking around while Santa was inside!
-Cut some extra ribbon and leave it anywhere around the house or yard, any trace of Santa will excite the little ones!

There are just a few of my ideas to keep your little believers believing!


December 23, 2010

Wedding Ornaments

In August I attended my cousin Lindsey's wedding. It was a beautful beach wedding and starfish was a theme in the decor. There were starfish everywhere, the bridesmaids even wore starfish necklaces! My aunt who is also very crafty decided to use starfish to hold up the place cards. She positioned the starfish popping out of the sand holding each guests name with their table number. It was really cute. I decided to save a few of the starfish to create something special for the bride and groom. I asked a few people at my table if I could have their starfish too. I carried four starfish home and kept them safe and sound for several months. I would make ornaments for the couple at Christmastime... I just had to make sure I didn't lose them! In December I found my four starfish so I got busy making my ornaments!
I hot glued metal hooks to the backs of each starfish. I tied black and turquoise ribbon to each one for hanging, they were Lindsey's wedding colors! Now I have a set of four pretty startfish ornaments to give my cousin this Christmas. The starfish were straight from her own wedding which makes them even more special. As you attend weddings of friends, think of things you can hold on to a make into ornaments next December. I can't wait to see them on the newlyweds' tree!


December 22, 2010

2011 Christmas Cards

Here are some of my Christmas cards this year!

November 30, 2010

Preppy Ornaments

I made these darling preppy ornaments based on inspiration I got from a Lilly Pulitzer designed Christmas tree. It was covered with lots of a adorable tiny Lilly shift ornaments and I thought it was the cutest thing I'd ever seen! I searched for the Lilly ornaments on the web and they were pretty pricey so I decided to make them on my own. I bought inexpensive scrap fabric from the craft store and sturdy craft wire to make the hangers. How darling are these!!! I'm not going to lie they were SUCH a pain to make, but so freakin' cute! They look even cuter on the tree!

Make Your Own Stocking

Christmas is a crafty girls dream. There is lots of beautiful inspiration around and many reasons to create meaningful gifts and festive decor. This year I decided to sew stockings to match my apartment. Since I've been on sewing kick I figured this would be the perfect Christmas project. I chose a winter plaid fabric that wasn't too typically Christmas. (no red in it) The stockings were so easy to make! I used a pencil to draw the shape of the stocking and then just hand sewed along the line. The hunter green grosgrain ribbon detail gives these stockings a nice touch! How pretty, I can't wait to fill them! I also created a mini version as an ornament. I mean could this be any cuter?!!


Pillows Galore

Have I been busy or what? To all of my readers out there I sincerely apologize for my absence these past fews weeks. While I haven't been blogging, I certainly have been crafting! Here are some comfy and pretty pillows I've made recently for friends and family. Pillows are the easiest place to start when teaching yourself how to sew. They are SO inexpensive to create yet tend to cost so much money in stores, how dare they! Trust me, they are easy as pie, (still thinking about my last post I guess!) and you don't need a machine to make them! The key is to measure really well and stitch really small so they are durable when you throw them around. My sister calls the pillows I made her "Winnie proof" as in Winnie her dog. For big pillows go with 20 inches squared and for smaller pillows 16 inches squared. I stuff mine with Polyfil which is very inexpensive from the craft store and hypoallergenic for those who are allergic to down like myself. Why not create a nice red holiday pillow to give your couch that festive look? When you realize how small the effort for how great the reward, you'll be making pillows galore!

October 17, 2010

Apple Pie

Last weekend I went apple picking in Vermont. It was such a fun activity! I mean I really can't remember the last time I felt so young. It was like being in Disney World haha! Anyway, I picked tons of apples, some big and some small but all northern spies as they are called. When I got back to the city I searched through a ton of apple pie recipes online. If I was going to take on a pie, which I usually consider too much work for the reward, I was going to choose the perfect recipe. Okay so here's the recipe I chose and it's definitely a keeper!
Vermont Caramel Apple Pie
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust deep dish pie (I used pillsbury, works great!)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
5 cups thinly sliced apples
2/3 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
20 caramels, halved
2 tablespoons milk

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees (that's farenheit people, no one in America cooks using celcius)
2) To Make Taffy: In a small bowl combine brown sugar, melted butter or margarine, and 1/3 cup flour. Mix well and set aside.
3) To Make Apple Filling: Place apples in a large bowl. Add white sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Toss until all ingredients are mixed well and apples are thoroughly coated.
4) Spoon half of apple filling into pastry-lined deep-dish pan. Top with half of caramels and half of taffy mixture. Repeat process with remaining apple filling, caramels and taffy mixture. Place top pastry over filling and seal well (this is very important--if edges are not sealed, caramel will leak out all over). Cut steam vents and brush top crust with milk or light cream.
5) Cover pie with foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil from pie and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, until crust is golden. 

The pie was beautiful and delicious!! I am used to shaving off a few minutes of baking time from most recipes to keep my baked goods moist, but this pie needed the full bake time listed in the recipe. Also I let mine sit overnight before cutting into it. I wanted the inside to set and not be runny when cut. Also I brushed my crust with milk and sprinkled some large sugar crystals on the top before baking it which is definitely a nice touch! It cut perfectly the next day and I warmed it in the microwave before serving each piece next to a scoop of vanilla ice cream! I'm not going to lie, it was a bit more work to make than your average cake, but definitely worth it. I am sure down the road it will be easier to make with time as is the case with most baked goods! Yummy, enjoy!


August 5, 2010

Pretty Curtains

Here are some pretty curtains I made for my friend Liz!
Here are some of my tips for designing curtains:

-If your windows are large and deep, try using a tension rod. Long panels can over power a room with large windows.
-Tension rods should sit half way between the distance between the window and the wall.
-If using a decorative rod, hang it higher above the window and wider than the window width to make the window appear larger.
-The length of a window valance should be no longer than 25% of the window length.
-When choosing fabric, hold it up to the light. Some fabrics are more transparent than they seem.
- Panels hung on the wall next to the window make a window feel much wider.
- Curtains are for decorative purposes only. Use separate sheers or blinds for privacy and light altering functions.
- Ribbons are an easy and inexpensive use for tie backs.
- If your walls are papered or painted with a pattern, choose a neutral fabric for curtains.
- White curtains are never a bad choice! When it doubt go white- it exudes cleanliness and enhances light.

Below are curtains I made for myself!


August 2, 2010

Cupcakes To Go!

No, I am NOT passing along my infamous cupcake recipies, hahaha! However I AM posting a picture of a porcelian cupcake stand that I own filled with my delicious vanilla cupcakes. How pretty is this piece for entertaining? Whenever I host a party, I make my cupcakes for dessert and display them as decoration on this delicate three tiered stand.

Behind the pretty cupcake display are little individual cupcake boxes. Each guest can take home a cupcake on their way out the door! Most people don't eat very much at cocktail parties and I always find that I have too much food at the end of the party. (It's always better to over estimate than under in my opinion) Giving guests the option to take home dessert is a great way to make your cupcake display serve another purpose!  Here is dessert, here is decoration and here is a cupcake to go!


August 1, 2010

"Your Turn!"

Here is an engagement card I just made for a friend.
The inside text reads: "Your Turn!"
I just love this card. I mean seriously, could this card be any cuter?!!
Congratulations to my dear friend Christine! xo

July 10, 2010

Write As If No One Is Reading

When I originally started this blog I was writing just for myself. I had recently shut down a cupcake catering business that became too difficult to run alone and I felt a creative void in my life. I started to fill my time with small art projects, random as many of them may seem, and I suddenly started writing about them...

I didn't publish my blog for 6 months after starting it because I was almost embarrassed about some of the subject matter. I didn't have plans to publish it until one day I starting talking about it to a friend. I realized that I had an urge to share my blog with others, not necessarily the subject matter in the posts, but share the happiness I found in all of it. I created a name for my blog and designed a template for the posts and suddenly I was running "Caroline's Pink Envelope". I honestly had no idea what I was doing when I started blogging (and I still don't). All I know is that I write about all of the things that I love the most and now the blog has slowly become a hodge podge of unconnected art projects, baking posts, craft ideas, decorating posts and lifestyle posts. By highlighting the smallest actions in my life that bring me joy, I am discovering my passion and I'm fulfilling a part of my life that I have made a priority.

Balance is the foundation behind me starting this blog. Many people may be surprised to know that I absolutely love my corporate job. I love to put on a suit in the morning, head to work, bust my butt and feel important in the workplace. Balance for me is coming home and sewing curtains for a friend because I am creative at heart and that side of me hasn't been fulfilled all day. Caroline's Pink Envelope helps me achieve balance and share it with others and for that reason it has changed my life.

They always say: dance as if no one is watching. To this day, I don't know who is reading. I know the number of hits I get per week (around 400), but I don't know the people behind those statistics. I have no idea what lives I am touching, if any, because I am still writing for myself. I just write as if no one is reading.

Whether you love art like me or whether it's something else that makes you "tick", Caroline's Pink Envelope is inspiration for everyone out there who is searching for a passionate, yet balanced life. Make whatever it is that fulfills you a priority, engage in whatever that is and do it as if no one is watching.

June 27, 2010

Decorating Open Shelves

I just had to share a photograph of my open shelving solution in my bathroom. Open shelves can easily bring clutter into a room so figure out a way to display attractive items while concealing unattractive items. Shelves can be a wonderful focal point in a room if items are arranged properly. Try using baskets to hide items or even create a little custom curtain as I have done using a small handmade valance and a simple tension rod. I used the leftover fabric to sew matching basket liners to pull the whole look together. I think the shelves came out great, don't you?!!


Just Add Trim

I recently made a trip to M and J Trimmings in New York City in search of special ribbon for invitations for a bridal shower I helped plan. This store has virtually every type of ribbon that you could possibly desire and they also carry hundreds of styles of trim for sewing projects. While I was purchasing the ribbon for the invitations, I came across some pretty white cotton ruffle trim. It was so pretty and such a good deal ($3 a yard) that I purchased a yard of it and figured I would eventually find a use for it in my apartment. Well, I did find a great place to use it! I sewed it onto my plain white hand towels to add a feminine touch. With the addition of the white ruffle trim, the hand towels are now quite pretty and fit in well with my bathroom decor. I am so happy I found use for the trim. What an easy and inexpensive way to make an ordinary towel extraordinary!
The picture below shows the before (left towel) and after (right towel).


June 13, 2010

A Savvy Woman's Treasure

I was out in East Hampton again this weekend and I couldn't help but stop by a yard sale at our neighbor's house. I went over a little late by yard sale standards (the early birds usually get all of the good stuff) but I scored with a silver tray that I snagged for only $1! The nice thing about going late to yard sales is that people are basically giving away their stuff at the end. The tray was in really, really bad shape but I figured I'd work at it and I could always toss it if I couldn't get the tarnish out. Well, I just worked at it for about an hour after arriving back in the city and already it looks great! I'll work at it again later (my arms are too tired to finish the project) but I wanted to post a picture because I'm so happy about it. This summer take advantage of the plentiful yard sales in your area because one woman's trash is another savvy woman's treasure!

June 11, 2010

The Deal Of The Century

I can't help myself from blogging about my new silver trays. I just love the look of pretty silver and antique pieces are my absolute favorite. I guess every girl has a little grandma in her, haha! I have been eyeing two gorgeous (and tarnished) sterling silver trays in an antique shop on my Upper East Side street. Last weekend I decided to make a move on them. After a weekend of bargaining, walking away from the store and then coming back with my tail between my legs because I really DID want the trays, I finally got the pieces home for what I perceived as a great deal. Oh my, I spent the ENTIRE evening on Monday polishing my silver. I think it was several hours but I just couldn't stop unveiling the beauty under the tarnish. I swear that I scored the deal of the century. Both trays were heavily tarnished and their value was overlooked by other antique shoppers. Lucky me with black hands and exhausted arms, I now have two gorgeous and valuable home decor pieces that I just HAD to blog about. Ladies, lessons to learn here:

1) Look closer for the hidden gems out there, pretty pieces are out there so bargain and buy!
2) Everything fabulous takes a little work but as long as you enjoy the work, it's worth it, so polish away!

Enjoy the pictures (they are much prettier in person). I am so thrilled I can't take it!


May 31, 2010

A Monogrammed Mirror

I spent a lovely Memorial Day in East Hampton and while I was in town, I passed by a cute little monogram shop with a variety of monogrammed items. In the window I noticed a monogrammed mirror that I knew I could replicate when I got home. I figured that my glass etching technique would work on a mirrored surface as well. I got to work right away after arriving back to the city. I cut out my initials using sticky vinyl and my Cricut paper cutter which is amazing by the way. After carefully applying the letter cut outs to a basic mirror, I generously applied etching solvent in the negative space. You can purchase paper cutters and etching solvent at any craft store. After waiting about 15 minutes for the solvent to set, I rinsed it off and cleaned the mirror really well. Yay, I did it! I was able to make the mirror I saw in that East Hampton shop! My one of a kind monogrammed mirror is now hanging in my entryway and I am so excited for myself!
I decided to place my monogram in the middle of the mirror because the etching is faint so it doesn't prevent the mirror from still serving its purpose. How pretty!!


May 27, 2010

May 9, 2010

Sew Easy!

Happy Mother's Day to all of the wonderful moms out there. This weekend I traveled home to spend time with my mother. Whenever I come home, I walk around our house and see if I notice any changes. I always find something new. This weekend, I decided to make my own changes to the house by sewing, yes sewing my mom some simple valances for the breakfast nook. We headed over to the fabric store and found a beautiful Waverly toile pattern that matched the french country kitchen decor. Measure twice and sew once! These simple pole pocket valances took me only a few hours to pin and hand stitch and they are so pretty aren't they? We hung each valance on two simple tension rods (I did two windows) and even dad exclaimed how nice they look. The fabric cost $24 because it was on sale and the tension rods cost about $12 because we each had a coupon. The whole project was less than $40! What a steal for a Mother's Day gift!
Even if you don't sew like me, making a curtain valance is a project you can try. The beauty of sewing curtains is that they aren't going to be worn or washed so the stitching just has to hold the fabric in place, not be incredibly durable. When choosing a fabric keep in mind how large the print will be, stand back a see how the fabric looks from the distance they will be hung. If you are making a smaller valance like mine (84 inches by 12 inches) make sure the pattern has room to repeat itself within the curtain. I wanted the valance to ruffle so I made it twice the width of the window. Remember that all you need is a simple needle, some matching thread, a little patience and some creativity and you will be on your way to making beautiful and inexpensive curtains. Happy Mother's Day mom, love you!

April 10, 2010

Pictures That Sparkle

In addition to my previous post on Chandelier Heaven, there's another way to bring the light of a chandelier into your space. I framed this photograph of a beautiful shabby chic chandelier from a decorating book I own. Hung above a sweet shelf, this picture actually sparkles! Framing light fixtures can give the illusion of more light in a room, try it!


Crisp White Antique Frames

While I was home for Easter, I rummaged through my parents' attic for antique wooden picture frames. I found a few that I painted a crisp white and when I got back to New York I assembled them on a large blank wall in my living room. I will eventually add more white frames to my wall and I'm hoping to find an oval shaped one at the antique flea market. Below is the result so far, simple and charming!
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