Screen Printed Holiday Wrapping Paper

By December 18, 2014 Design


The holiday season is upon us! Have you finished all of your shopping yet? While we love to shop locally and even D.I.Y. a lot of gifts, we wanted to add an even more personal touch to our gifts this year. We decided to screen print rolls of festive wrapping paper. We each designed a simple pattern – Katherine made the white snowflakes and doily pattern, and Tara made the silver tree print. Even though we screen printed our designs, you could easily achieve the same look by stamping on brown kraft paper.



Our process was pretty simple. We designed minimalistic, monochromatic patterns that would tile easily and then printed them on the roll of paper so we would have plenty. We love the way each doily and tree look slightly different!



For the rest of the wrapping, we used supplies we already had on hand like twine and various red ribbons. We love how each package is unique, but with a refined color palette they all fit into a beautiful system. To put your gift wrapping over the top, you can add some evergreen clippings and pine cones; just tie or tuck them under the twine to secure.



We’ve added yet another project to our collection of holiday screen prints! So what do you think? Are you making your own gift wrap this year? We would love to see your ideas!

Ceramic Snowflake Ornaments

By December 8, 2014 Decor, DIY

Snowflake Ornament - Christmas Tree

Happy holiday season! We’re almost finished with our fall semester and so excited to go home and celebrate the holidays. While we’re still here, we wanted to make the most of our resources and utilize the ceramics studio. Katherine has taken a few semesters of ceramics and had the base knowledge to help us with the project. We were inspired by the porcelain ornaments from this Etsy Shop and decided to try making little ceramic ornaments together. These make great gifts on their own or as a set.


-circle cookie cutters
-stamps (we used snowflake ones)
-pencil or some utensil to make a hole
-white glaze
-glaze brush
First, we took a large ball of clay and put it through the slab roller to make it flat (about 1/2 inch thick). Next, we took the cookie cutters and cut circles out of the clay. We pressed the stamps, experimenting with letter stamps and doilies, as well. After the decorating was complete, we used a pencil to create a hole where the ornament could be hung.


The ornaments were fired and became bisqueware. We then painted on white glaze to the front of the ornaments. Finally, they were glaze fired. We added twine to complete the earthy feel and then they were ready for the tree!



Snowflake Ornament - Christmas Tree

Featured Designer: Daniel Kagan

By November 28, 2014 Design

This week we are featuring our classmate and close friend, Daniel Kagan. Daniel is a senior at Virginia Tech studying Visual Communication Design and minoring in Business Leadership and Art History. He considers both Leesburg, VA and Orlando, FL his home.

Daniel Kagan

Here is Daniel’s take on what graphic design means to him: “To me, design is more than just what I do, it is who I am. I firmly believe that design is a lifestyle and isn’t something that you can turn on and off. I find inspiration everywhere, and work to discover clean, simple solutions to complex problems. I have been creating since I was old enough to hold a pencil, and bring a background in studio art to deliver design that often incorporates hand-done typography and illustration. I have a passion for branding, packaging, advertising, and other forms of print media.”

Finished Swipe
The project that he decided to share with us was for a Packaging class that we took last year. He created a shaving cream line with three scents, each with a corresponding animal and color palette. The product is targeted at younger men who want the luxurious feel of a clean shave. The illustrations and hand-done typographic logo emulate a more rustic feel, playing off the woodsy scents.


Swipe Logo Sketches

Swipe Logo

Wolf Sketch

Wolf Painting

Fox Progress

Fox Painting

Three Animals Painted

Finished Swipe

We love the way this project turned out! If you’d like to see more of Daniel’s work, please check out his website.

Happy Thanksgiving!

By November 21, 2014 Decor, Photography


“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” – G. K. Chesterton

An early Happy Thanksgiving, to everyone! We’d like to share how grateful we are to our family and friends. Thank you for supporting us and our blog! We hope that everyone has a lovely holiday next week, spent with their loved ones. Enjoy your food and feel free to share some of those delicious Thanksgiving recipes!

Homemade Chai Tea Latte

By November 14, 2014 Food


We’ve been on a tea craze and decided to try making our own Chai. This recipe makes a big batch that you can share with friends or put in the fridge and just heat up in the morning. It’s surprisingly quick and so delicious! All these ingredients cost around $5, so it’s super cost-effective to make your own. Plus, it will make your house smell amazing!



We used this recipe from Epicurious and adapted it a little. Here’s what you’ll need:
2-inch piece fresh ginger, cut into thin rounds
2 cinnamon sticks
1 1/2-2 teaspoons black peppercorns (depending on how spicy you like it)
10 whole cloves
6 cardamom pods
2 star anise* (plus more to garnish)
6 cups cold water
6 bags of black tea
2 cups almond milk*
1/2 cup honey*


“Combine first 6* ingredients in medium saucepan. Using mallet or the back of large spoon, lightly crush or bruise the spices. Add 6 cups water; bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover pan, and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add tea bags and steep 5 minutes. Discard tea bags. Add milk and honey*. Bring tea just to simmer over high heat, whisking the honey in. Strain chai into teapot and serve hot.”
* These are the changes that we made to the recipe. We added the star anise, and we replaced whole milk and brown sugar with almond milk and honey.

Chai Tea Latte

The Chai was creamy and, to our surprise, had a nice kick. We loved this quick recipe and will definitely be making it again. What’s you favorite winter beverage?

A Playlist for Cozy Days and Wool Socks

By November 7, 2014 Music


In preparation for the shorter days and lazy winter evenings we made this playlist. It’s best enjoyed with a cup of hot tea and a warm blanket. We hope you like it!