my work



custom calendar

I am a plan maker. I love to make plans - vacations, events, celebrations, meals.

Trips are my favorite. Sometimes they're last minute. Most of the time, they're far off in the future. Because of my fourth grader's year-round school schedule, it's useful to know when his three-week breaks occur so I can plan ahead. In these cases, I've always wished for a year-at-a-glance calendar to refer to. I don't like wall calendars, my iPhone calendar or my computer's calendar because I have to physically flip or click through each month. For quick reference, it's not a very quick method.

So I created my own.

When I'm researching online, I conveniently glance up. Each month is displayed with cardstock and washi tape. All the school breaks are called out, including holidays and staff work days. For a custom touch, the kids' birthdays and our anniversary are highlighted.

Now that is quick.




For Bao's Halloween class party (a.k.a. "Fall Fun Day"), the kids enjoyed rotating between four stations: craft, photobooth, game and a breakfast buffet.

At the craft station, the kids read a "Time For Kids" article about different cultures that eat bugs and insects, and made "dirt worm cakes" with chocolate muffins, chocolate buttercream, crushed graham crackers and gummy worms.

At the photobooth station with a homemade backdrop, the kids took pictures individually, with Mrs. Dyer and with groups of friends. As they waited for their photo op, they decorated satsuma tangerines with glitter glue and sharpies.

At the game station, they played Candy Corn Bingo.

At the breakfast station, they enjoyed a healthy breakfast of bagels, pumpkin muffins, fruit, oj, and personalized water bottles labeled "Have a Dyer-ific Halloween."

There were extra muffins, so DD and I build some dirt worm cakes, wrapped, tagged and passed them out as Halloween goodies bags to his preschool buddies. 

Though, I'm not sure the moms and dads appreciated it as much as his three year-old classmates did...

Happy Halloween!



wrap 004

To wrap this year's plethora of Christmas gifts, I wanted to use up some of the oversized plotting paper that's been sitting in our closet for the last few years. After wrapping, I printed and placed onto each gift a personalized, wrap-around gift label sticker, forgoing the usual gift tag for something more simple.

With my handy craft punch tools, I punched out these colorful stickers - also printed on label stock - to decorate the wrap. The circle ones are for decorating the birthday gifts, and the "Ho Ho Ho" scalloped ones are for the Christmas ones.

The white wrapping paper was like a blank canvas and it was fun to come up with different patterns and designs with the stickers.

The boys enjoyed helping out, too, and liked knowing that no matter what they did, they couldn't mess up.

You can download this for the plain circles, and this for the holiday circles. All you need are full sheet label stock and a 1.5" craft punch. Enjoy!



recipe card

For Bao's Thanksgiving class party, the kids made a turkey recipe holder that featured the most delicious recipe: Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cakes by Paula Deen.

The recipe card was designed and then printed on sticky label paper on my laserjet printer. For a little pizazz, I purchased a pack of patterned card stock at Michael's and adhered the recipe to the card stock for a double-sided effect. The cards were laminated for durability.

A craft station was set up for the kids with materials to build their own holder: mini terracotta pots stuffed with styrofoam squares, popsicle sticks, silk leaves, glue dots, clothespins, and premade paper turkeys.

I baked a batch of the butter cakes and brought them along so the kids could taste them.

They were a hit!

Click here for a downloadable pdf of the recipe card. I highly recommend making these instead of pumpkin pie this holiday season for something a little different. They will not disappoint. Enjoy!



birthday cards

For my oldest son's birthday present, I thought I'd try something different. He always asks about my job - "making cards for other people" - so for his seventh, I made some special ones just for him.

I designed a set of four cards, sandwiched them in between two sheets of Japanese washi paper, and enclosed them in a kraft box that I recycled from a previous gift.

When he opened his present, it looked something like this:

Tickets to Les Mis and a week's worth of iPad time - two presents for the price of one! Sort of. (Not counting the 99¢ apps...)

I wanted to make sure he knows how proud we are of him, of all that he's become. So included is a card that literally shows who he is; a card that he can read on his own:

Afterwards, he said it was his favorite present.

For me, it was so worth the extra effort.