Teacher Appreciation Gift-Caricature Notecards

Can we please get in our time machines and go back to June…you know the time of year you hand your kids’ teachers their gifts for all of their hard work?  Because that is when I made these and it’s now NOVEMBER (how is it NOVEMBER going on DECEMBER?).  I figured I’d still throw these up because sometimes parents are looking for teacher Holiday present ideas and these might come in handy for that.  So every time I have given my daughters pre-school teachers a gift, they’ve always responded back so graciously with a thank you card.  I though it might be cute to get them some personalized thank you card being that they have to write so many throughout the year.   I placed the notecards and envelopes in plastic baskets I found at Target. With each notecard set I included a pen (that also had the caricature on them) as well as a DVD that held the caricature images in case they wanted to make more notecards when they ran out.  I wrapped the whole thing both vertically and horizontally with some rainbow twine and voila…a fun gift and package all in one!   The teachers were all so excited to see these caricatures of themselves and it was a fun unique gift to be able to give them.

Jennifer Bishop Design Teacher Appreciation, Personalized Notecards, Caricature 2

Jennifer Bishop Design Teacher Appreciation, Personalized Notecards

Jennifer Bishop Design Teacher Appreciation, Personalized Notecards Rainbow Yarn

Jennifer Bishop Design Teacher Appreciation, Personalized Notecards, Caricature

CARCICATURE DESIGN-NOTECARDS & PENS: Vistaprint I also purchased the separate caricature file so I could print myself on my disc label.
PATTERNED SCRAPBOOK PAPER: I used the Moroccan Prints Digital Paper Pack from PrettifulDesigns on ETSY and printed it myself.
ENVELOPE:  I made my own by cutting an 8.5×11 sheet of cardstock and rounding the sides but you can purchase any type of envelope pocket at your craft store.
BASKETS: Room Essentials Storage Bin from Target.  I bought in the store and didn’t need to buy a set of 4 like it says online. 
YARN-TWINE or RIBBON: I used the Deborah Norville Serenity Garden Gems yarn.  I bought it at Joann Fabrics but don’t see it there anymore.
CD or DVD’s plus printable sticker labels for them
FULL SHEET STICKER PAPER: to print the caricatures on for the sticker to close the envelope.  You could also just print on circle labels.
CIRCLE PUNCHES: To cut out  stickers for envelope if you used full sheet sticker paper.
GEL DOTS: To hold the DVD to the paper. You stick them to the paper and them pop the DVD hole through them. I’m not sure where to find these.  My friend gave me a bunch that she had.

Design Board “The Turtle Shell”| SF Bay Area Interior Designer

I’ve  said if before and I’ll say it again, designing for older kids can be so much fun!  Especially when they are teenagers and are all into their funny inside jokes.  A couple requests for this room were that he wanted it to be called “The Turtle Shell” and he wanted ocean art because he surfs.  A really large scale wave canvas will sit over his bed in lieu of a headboard.  The walls will be painted in Sherwin Williams-Maxi Teal.  The room has a lot of light with window on 3 different walls so the room can totally withstand such a deep color.  To brighten it up, I’m using pops of white in the bedding and desk.  The ceiling will also stay white.  From the ceiling will hang one of his surfboards as decor.  Since we want this to be a cool hangout for him and his friends to enjoy, we’ve added this sofa that will also fold down into a bed for any overnight guests.  I’m pretty happy with the results and can’t wait to get working on it!

Big Girl Room

So the problem with waiting too long on getting a design done is that your kid gets older…and gets opinionated!  You may remember back when we first moved into our apartment, that I was going to do the room around a certain Marimekko print?  She used to love it and would talk about it all the time.  Well times got busy and I never went through with the original  plans I had for the room.  In the mean time, my kid got a year and a half older and wiser apparently because “blue flowers are SOOO a year and a half ago Mom.  I want a rainbow flower room now!”  Well, my 3 1/2 year old didn’t say it just like that…but that’s how I heard it. The problem was, that I was so excited to use the extra wide black and white stripe and wasn’t ready to part with it.  I searched and searched for some multicolor floral bedding that had some black in it to tie in the stripe fabric.  Finally, I struck gold one day and found the Ayana Miranda Floral quilt by Cynthia Rowley on Ebay.  It had a rainbow of flowers to make my kid happy, and had sort of an Anthropologie look to it so I could go with an eclectic look like I wanted.

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For sheets, I found the Bazaar sheet from Land of Nod that I’m going to order soon.  I was going to just do white…but my kid said “no white!” so more floral motifs it is!

Another change from the original design is I’m changing the use for  the stripe fabric.  I’ll be using it on a custom corner headboard instead.

Premier Prints-Vertical Black/White


I fell in love with the concept after seeing it done for this bed by Designer: Annsley McAleer (Photo: Ben Gebo)

With talk of a second child in the mix, most of the pretty beds I had found were not going to be feasible with 2 kids in a room.  So I had to double dip with my furnishings and a bed/dresser combo was really the best choice. I chose a white platform bed with 6 drawers underneath it.  I’ll then do the corner headboard and I think it will be adorable!



While out shipping at Homegoods with my little one, she spotted this rattan head…cow…not sure?  Anyways, she wanted it.  At first I was laughing and then, after some thought, I thought “hey why not!”  It would add some texture to the space.  I can already see the future of the head in the room though.  Pretty sure I’ll be removing it from the wall after it scares her during the night.  But hey, we’ll try it out.  I think it will nice with the Bamboo shade I’m using.  I’m going to get it made with a blackout liner since the mini blinds let light blare on through so much.

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So there you have it.  My plans for the big girl room.  I’m waiting on the bed and new mattress to arrive and am getting antsy!  My kid has no interest in staying put in her room during bed time right now so I’m hoping this new space will bring her a reason to stay put!  I’ve been talking to her about her new room and trying to include her in some decisions her and there.  She told me that she wants to stay at Grandma’s and then I do her room and then she come back for the surprise.  Yes, she wants a grand reveal!  Definitely the daughter of a designer.


Valentine’s Day-Free Printables

My husband started buying our daughter these real mini finger skateboards to play with awhile back.  They came in sets where you could put the wheels on and choose the label to adhere to the board.  It’s a fun little tradition they have together.  When browsing the Target aisles for Valentine ideas, I ran across these little sets of finger skateboards or scooters as they call them that reminded me of the other boards.  I knew they would make the perfect Valentine for her to hand out to her Pre-School class.


I designed a page of cards that I could adhere each board to.  The top reads “Valentine…you’ve skated into my heart!”. For the bottom, I added some tire marks and a multicolored “LOVE Sydney”. I printed the page out on some textured cardstock and then glued those to another page of red cardstock for more support.  I used removable glue dots to adhere the boards with (3 total dots or there isn’t enough stick to keep them on).

Then for each of her Teachers, I bought a jar of jelly and changed the label to read “Spread the LOVE”.  xoxo Sydney”

I again used the glue dots to wrap the label around the jar. When they go to use the jelly, they can easily take the top label off.  The original label was left on underneath so they would know what it was.  I used some fabric I cut into circles with pinking shears so the fabric wouldn’t fray.  Then wrapped twine around the lid to hold them place.  They came out so cute and my daughter is very excited to pass out her Valentine’s to all of her little friends!

And I’m very excited to say that I made them both into Printables for you to download!  I’ve never done this before so let’s hope the downloads all work fine.  Both are left blank where the name is so you can write in your own.  Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day!

{click HERE to download your FREE copy of the Skateboard Valentine printable}

{click HERE to download your FREE copy of the Spread the Love printable}

A Christmas Party-Toddler Style

I’m sorry if you were all ready to move on to Valentine’s day…but I still have some Christmas and Winter Blogging to do so please bare with me!

Every year I host a Christmas party.  It started out as a cookie exchange many years back with some of my close friends from High School.  We started tiring of the cookie party…mainly because most of our cookies sucked!  So we decided to ditch the stressful late night baking and just get together for a Christmas gathering.  Over the years, we’ve grown and mainly in the kids department.  I wanted to set them up a special little place of their own and give them activities to keep them occupied.  Add 7 toddlers to the mix and well, that’s a party!  I truly wish I had taken an “after” shot of this tablescape.  It looked as if the Bumpuses hounds paid a visit to our party.

I scoured Pinterest for some fun ideas and I’ll share with you how I incorporated 5 different ideas I found on Pinterest plus one of my own to make this fun party.

REINDEER PB&Js::  I found this idea from the And Everything Sweet Blog.  Quick easy and was a fun main course for the kiddos.

CHEVRON BOWS::  Besides the fact that these chevron paper bows are adorable, they are offered as a free printable on the Ellinee Blog! Instead of using the included gift tag, I printed out a small photo of each child and attached with a small clothespin as their placecard.  This is the second time I used a printable from Ellinee.  I recently used their printable Holiday Petal Card for this years Teacher’s Gift.

SNOWMAN CUPS::  This was the cutest idea originally from the Blue Cricket Design Blog.  She used them to carry treats to her kids school, I added a straw for toddler drinks.

FELT CHRISTMAS TREE DECORATING:: From the Johnny in a Dress blog comes this felt tree idea.  I made two so that the kids weren’t trampling over one another trying to decorate them at the same time.  I also attached mine on foam core boards for portabilty since the party was taking place in my complexes clubhouse.

SUGAR CONE CHRISTMAS TREES:: From the Pigtails and Tutus blog comes this great idea to decorate sugar cones.  Much easier to do with younger kids than a whole gingerbread house.  I divvied out candies for each child to use which doubled as my table decor.

The party favor was a lollipop memory game I made.  To hold the sticks I used Sip-A-Mugs I found at Walmart.  That way when the game pieces wore down, the fun cups could still be used.


And here were a few of our guests enjoying the party.  This was before things really started getting rowdy and green and red sprinkles exploded in the room!  You think college kids are ragers…they got nothing on these little ones!

And there was no mistletoe in the room but that never stops my daughter for going in for some smooches.  This time her victim…Jennifer Skog’s daughter sweet baby Jane.  She didn’t seem to mind much.

Teacher Christmas Gift-Wood Theme

I actually thought ahead this year and did a little preparing early for Sydney’s teachers Christmas gifts so I wasn’t scrambling at the last minute.  Around the start of the school year the dollar bin at Target had some great wood grain and apple themed items.  I picked up some little notebooks and tags as well as a little burlap pencil pouch.  The thought stopped there and I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing with all of this.  Then recently, I ran across two more items that really completed the idea and made for a super cute Teacher’s gift!

The first item were some branch colored pencils that I found at Homegoods.  They have a cool story behind them too which I like too.  They are made from sustainable Tamarind Trees.  Tamarind Trees are farmed for their fruit and when trimmed, the branches are used to make branch pencils.  Pretty cool huh?  I did a search for them online and they are a little hard to find but I saw quite a few on ETSY.  Keep your eye out for them at discount stores…they are less expensive there than online.

My next great find was a free printable from the Elinee Journal.  Their Holiday Petal Cards were perfect holders for the small Target gift cards I also included with the gifts.  There are two version mine has a sweater background and the other has a tree grain print.  Wrapped the whole thing with a bow and my kid has her teacher presents to hand out when she goes to school today.


First Day of School and My Abstract Artist

I’ve been wanting to share a piece of art that my daughter did in her 2 year old Pre-school class last year.  I thought since so many kids are headed back to school, it was the perfect time to show you a cute and easy way you can display their school art in your house.  I also have two white magnetic boards from IKEA that hang outside her bedroom door.   I use those to rotate all of her newest art that comes home plus I use it to hold her school calendar and class photo of her with her friends.

So back to the budding artist.  Of course there is abstract art that goes for many many $$$$’s. There is also some, that looks like it came from your preschooler.  So if you have young kids, nieces, nephews or grand-kids…hand them a paint brush and tell them you need some new decor!  It’s a way to make them feel proud and it will be more sentimental than something you could buy.  Here on the shelf where I store all my business samples, I framed one of her little paintings and set it with 2 glass jars with iron succulent tops.   I found those at Pottery Barn in the Spring.  I should have taken a shot of the whole bookcase, but the cubbies next to it were a mess! We’ll have to save that for another time…

And here she is…the big 3 year old ready for her new classroom.  She loves to tell everyone “I’m fwee years old.”  Its the cutest!

Right after this nice cheesey closeup on the bench she tells me “Mom!  No more tictures!”  Yes she says tictures…tee hee.  So we head to school.  I just wanted one last photo inside her classroom so I could compare it to last years class photo (well actually January since she started mid year).  She would not smile or say cheese…only stare off like she wasn’t hearing me and give me the fish lips.  We’re talking “fwee” years old here.  Gotta take what you can get.

Happy B-Day to my 3 Year Old & Introducing A Dollhouse

You hear it time and time again…to enjoy your kids because before you know it…they’re all grown up.  I couldn’t agree more.  You don’t really understand this until one day, your traipsing around like a pregnant goddess in a field of weeds and the next day…your kid is THREE!  I know she is still only 3 but truly, it feels like just yesterday I was rocking her to sleep.

Zero Years Old…

Maternity & 1 Year old Photography:: Jennifer Skog

One & Two Years Old…

Three Years Old…

We didn’t have a party for her this year.  We did BIG birthday parties for her the last two years {1st Birthday :: 2nd Birthday} and I wanted to keep things a little simpler this year.  Plus we went to Disneyland back in April so considered that the big hoorah for the year.  In the Disney photos above to the Birthday photo on the right, you can literally see how much she grew in 3 short months!

One exciting gift for this birthday was a dollhouse given to her by my parents who pitched in together.  I had seen a blog post on the cutest little modern dollhouse awhile back and knew I wanted to do something similar.  I had a Barbie dollhouse growing up but never a realistic little house.  So I selfishly wanted one plus knew she would love it as much as me =)  My Dad had got her all the furniture for Christmas last year and I wanted to make her a cubby dollhouse, but after I saw that blog post, I was sold and the construction was underway.

It was more work than I had anticipated so I did not get everything I planned done.  We gave it to her yesterday and figured I can still work on it little by little.  Now it won’t be so hard hiding it!  I’ll post progress of the “renovation” as my husband teases me and we can do a big reveal at the end!

Little Bit Magazine Feature

I am so very excited to have not one but two designs included in Issue 4 of Little Bit Magazine.  Little Bit is a quarterly digital magazine filled with all things related to children’s design.  I read a lot of online magazines and this one is truly great!  Simple layouts, amazing photography and such inspirational ideas from all of the contributors.  It was extra exciting for me that Jennifer Skog was right there with me on the contributor’s page.  Anytime I can share in some success with my BFF it makes it all the better!  A big thanks to Aisha from Little Bit for including our work in this issue.

You can read it here {LITTLE BIT MAGAZINE :: Issue 4}

Sydney’s Yellow and Black Nursery on pages 46-50 & my Winnie the Pooh Shower design on pages 72-75.


Last Day of School

Today was the last day of Pre-school.  Although The Bean is still enrolled in the summer session, we still celebrated the last day with her class.  Some friends will still be there, some will move up a class and some will go off to other schools.

Since Sydney is staying with her same teachers over the summer session, I sort of debated whether or not to get them an end of the year present.  Yesterday, she brought home a binder her teachers made that was filled with artwork, photos of her during the school year and quotes she had said.  After that, I was sold…I needed to proceed with my present idea.  I just love her teachers so much and wanted to make sure they knew that.

I wanted get them some visa gift cards so that they could use them for whatever they wanted.  To dazzle them up a bit, I made a summer theme out of their gifts.  A sunset magazine with summer ideas was my background.  I found these cute lemon to do list tablets in the dollar bin at Target.  #1 “To Do” already printed was “Have a glass of lemonade.”  So adorable!  The bin also had a set of lemon magnets that I cut apart and used as a tag topper.


Colorful lemon notecards…also in the dollar bin.  I wrote a nice note to each teacher and placed their gift card inside.  I love how they turned out and I was so excited to give them their gifts.

I took so many adorable shots of Sydney and her school friends I wish I could share!  Here are a few of just her.  First “posing” on the bricks.  I had her lean up against the building on her {first day of school} and somehow she remembered it!  I didn’t even ask her to put up her leg she just did it.  This was her way of doing it…she is my funny girl!  At her potluck, I caught her helping herself to some fruit right out of the tray…yikes…we need to work on our manners ;-)

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