Friday, September 30, 2011

Adirondack Balloon Festival - Image Inspiration

I am often asked where the ideas for the images for Hampton Paper come from so I thought I would share some background on the hot air balloon. This image, as with many, comes for a nostalgic childhood experience.

As you may know, I grew up in Glens Falls, NY (for the most part) and one of the big celebrations every fall was the Adirondack Balloon Festival. We went every year and if you have never been, I suggest you add it to your bucket list! There is something so beautiful and peaceful about getting up early (I mean really early like 5:00 am- balloons launch around 6:30 am) and watching those huge balloons fill with air and rise so gracefully to the sky. We were rewarded with breakfast after the festival, usually, cider and donuts from Sutton's (back when Sutton's was a small farmer's market/bakery!)

This year they celebrated their 36th anniversary. (doing the math these photos must have been around the 8th year)

This is the invitation sample from our retail store binders. I lived in Bedford Close on Lantern Hill Road. While I may provide the idea for the image, the amazing interpretation is all from our artist,Lucy. The details and colors on our hot air balloon image are bright, vibrant and fun. I love these two kids peaking out of the basket. This image is often used on our sketchpads/travel journals for kids.

My friend Kristi, me and my mom. Don't you love our CB Jackets? A total "must have" of the time. I think this photo is from 1983ish.... Do you see Rachel Ray in the background? I don't but maybe she was there too!!!

Balloons filling up

Air born

This blue and gold one was always my favorite. I went to Queensbury and those were our school colors.

PS. When I say Glens Falls, NY the typical response is "where is that?" so if you too are wondering, it's about 4 hours north of NYC - an hour north of the Albany, the capital.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

October Baby Shower

I just received a request from an Etsy shopper to use the pumpkins image on Hershey Kiss Stickers, Place Cards and Personalized Round Dot Stickers for a baby shower in October. This idea is adorable so I thought I would share it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Best Back to School Party Ever"- Revealed!

Our Back to School Party was a huge success. I heard from one little girl as she was leaving say "Best Party Ever!". Mission Accomplished!

The Bell Has Run, Don't Be Late, School Has Started, Let's Celebrate! Fine invitations always set the stage for a great party your friends won't want to miss. We used Hampton Paper correspondence cards printed vertically for the invitations and you can too!

I set up a supplies table for the kids so they could get all the staples they need for school!

I used the school bus, pen & pencils and pencils images pulling in these colors for the theme.

I found these baskets at Michael's and they were great to showcase and display the items.

Colored Pencils and and Colored Markers anchored each side of the table. The labels are HPD large and I added a yellow ribbon.

I was thrilled to find these composition notebooks in yellow/gold. They matched perfectly. I used a large sticker to cover the wording. My boys have been using them to write stories about what happens at school each day. (very insightful!)

Nothing says Back to School more than a #2 pencil...

and a pink pearl eraser! I purchased these jars at Michael's' and created the label with HPD large square solid stickers.

I know ipads and e-readers are all the rage but I for one still love holding a book and I think most kids do too! I hope these bookmarks encourage them to read a bit more. They had 3 options to choose from, Bus, Pen & Pencil or Pencils.

I wrapped a bunch of books with brown paper from Michael's. It was a nice way to give both tables height and worked easily into my theme. I was able to draw on my many years of experience wrapping my text books with brown paper bags - I recall it was the only option in the 80s.

Love the gold tassels on this one!

These large gable boxes were the perfect size to hold the kid's supplies.

The Host, Thomas.

Thomas with his supply box.

Lily loads her supplies....

I had to include this photo since Lily is sporting from head to toe the much coveted Missoni line from Target.

Thomas, Jackson and I greet our guests at the door. I printed "Welcome Students" and "Please Come In!" on glossy lined school sentence paper from Staples. Just like the invitations, I wanted guests to know as soon as they arrive they are in for a special treat!

I created a pathway with ABC Cards also from Staples. Follow the ABC's to the best Back to School Party ever!

Framed Print of the School Bus created a great centerpiece on our candy table.

Jackson holds the Hershey bar from the candy table with great patience. It was opened seconds after the photo!

I used Chinese to go containers for the candy bar. I printed the kids names on a small square solid sticker so there wasn't any confusion on who's was who's. HPD will now be offering the containers and stickers as a set so you can purchase both from one place.

Ta Da! The colors and them came together beautifully on this candy table. We featured Twizzlers and Sweedish Fish, Starbursts, M&Ms, Skittles, Lollipops and Hershey's Bars and Kisses.

Lollipops are a must for my candy tables. I have a reputation to live up to! These are from Hammond's Candies.

I had 3 jars of Hershey's Kisses (almost 7.5 lbs yikes). I used a 3 inch round punch to create orange background from scrapbook paper and then added HPD Large Round Stickers and ribbon to make the labels.

Close up of the Kisses with the stickers. I used the pencils, pen & pencil and school bus kiss stickers. (yes, this took forever to do!)

It took two of the gigantic M&M bags to create this jar with only red, yellow and orange. Note to self to create a party theme with all the colors next time!

Skittles. Ditto on the sorting- there was a lot of discarded purple and green!

These were the first to go.

Twizzlers are always a big hit.

Sweedish Fish - My fav.

I had so much fun planning this amazing party. My goal was for the kids and parents to have an opportunity to meet and get to know eachother at the beginning of the year and I think we succeeded!

The kids played Legos, worked on a fun "about me " project and watched a movie.

I spent well over a month planning this party and it was worth it. I will detail out for you next week how to make the candy and supply tables. I know it looks like I spent a fortune, but between you and me, I really didnt!

Vendor Supply List


Invitations 24 for $40.00

Sq Solid Personalized Stickers and Chinese To Go Containers 27 for $38.00

Kiss Stickers 1 sheet/ 108 stickers 12.00 (each add'l sheet $6.00)

Round Stickers (for candy table) 24 for $18.00

Large Framed Prints $60.00

Large Sq Stickers on Supply Table 18 for $18.00

Small Sq Stickers on Supply Table 27 for $18.00

Hershey Bars and Wrappers 25 for $75.00 (personalized wrappers 25 for $31.25)

Bookmarks with Tassels $2.50 each (can be personalized at no add'l charge)

Lollipop Stickers Medium Round 30 for $12.00

School Supplies

Candy Jars

Candy for Candy Table



Glass Containers on Supply Table

Brown Paper on Books

Table Cloths

Fabric Back Drops


Learning Line Sentences

ABC Cards

Monday, September 26, 2011

On My Bookshelf

I have such a hard time starting a new book upon completion of one that I loved. Such is the case with Lionel Shriver's We Need to Talk About Kevin. Although I have turned the last page, I have not detached myself from the characters and find myself still thinking about them.
Lionel Shriver writes with such real emotion I was shocked to learn she doesn't have children (reminds me a bit of Memoirs of a Geisha .....I was shocked at the end to realize it was written by a man) and that no one wanted to publish the book in which the main character was such a "cold fish". As for me, I loved that her character was so real and so honest about her flaws.

Here's what's new on my bookshelf.

My dad just sent me this book, The Princessa. A friend of his said it's a must read for women in business. I just started reading this but must admit that the words in this book have changed the course of my life and after all, isn't that the whole point of reading?

Just started reading The American Heiress and love it so far. Takes place in the late 1800 in the Newport and tells the tale of a young debutant who's mom wishes her to marry English royalty.

Hoping this Lionel Shriver book, The Post-Birthday World measures up to the first one I read. I dont like to read books by the same author back to back - I appreciate them more when there is a transition book in between.

The 3 Weissmann's of Westport by Cathleen Schine looks like a fun, light read.

I also purchased Jonathan Franzen's new book Freedom and Sarah's Key.

Halloween Tote

In preparing for Halloween I just realized this amazing custom image wasnt on our web site! Lucy painted this for the 2012 Calendar for The Elegant Setting. We just received an order from the store for more calendars. Its going to be a busy weekened.

Image Lucy painted for the month of October. I really like the idea of the tote with an image. I think we should add a few more. Do you agree? What image would you like to see on a tote?

Inspiration came from items from the store - skull and crossbones

Inspiration -brown canvas tote also from The Elegant Setting.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pool Side Cafe

Our 2 navy umbrellas arrived last week. I scrambled to take a few photos before the rain. Didn't I say once the pool was complete it would rain everyday? So my luck. Its been the rainiest Sept in like 10 years in DC! Anyway, with the purchase of the furniture complete, I thought I would share with you the photos.

I am not sure why finding great outdoor furniture is such a challenge (or why its all so expensive!) I purchased everything from Home Escapes in Reston, VA. I cant say enough great things about the store and their extensive portfolio of outdoor furniture. I choose the Volterra line from Wintson and couldn't be more pleased with the style and quality.
Dining table and 6 side chairs. I was able to choose the color of the metal as well as the cushions. I love the dark gunmetal gray - it looks great with the gray and white of the deck and I think the blue cushions tie everything together with the pool.

Overlooking the pool.

Love this umbrella. Great coverage and so easy to put up or take down. We are still waiting for the grass to grow back in and to get the landscaping done.

I made raspberry lemonade for the kids and rimmed the glasses with sugar. A nice summer treat. This tray is from The Nest Egg. (Thanks to my next door neighbor for letting me borrow the sugar)

These pillows are from Pottery Barn. I am going to have some custom ones made next year. I found some great options on Etsy.

These lounge chairs, also by Winston, are so comfortable and a great weight. Heavy enough to not blow in the wind but light enough to easily move around the pool. (I follow the sun!)

My friend Kim bought me this Hermes towel. I love it!

I purchased this basket for the towels from Pottery Barn. Its a easy way to carry them down to the pool and keep them poolside for the day for the family and our guests. The towels are from Lands End.

Now that the pool is ready, I need to finish our pool side cafe menus. There were so many color and texutre options to choose from for the menu cover. I narrowed it down to 2 and then opted for the dark navy blue as it will complement so many images. I just received them in the mail today! I am going to use the anchor image for our menus. I will have this new product on Etsy and our web site soon!