creative projects for life's celebrations

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Getting Creative At Work – Culture Awards

Seelio Culture Awards 3

Seelio Culture Awards 2

Seelio Culture Awards 1

I love to be creative. Fortunately, being in a marketing communications role I get to tap into that passion quite a bit already in my day job. But one of my favorite creative activities brings no monetary gain (at least not yet…). So, when I get a chance to merge the two worlds you can color me excited.

Within the last six months I’ve started working remotely and, about a month ago, I had a chance to go back to the home office for some company-wide events. A colleague and I started brainstorming to see if there was anything fun and out of the ordinary we could do to celebrate the many characters that make our team so fun. After a lot of fun ideas, we landed on something semi-inspired by The Dundies (any Office fans out there?).

One of our best office comedians would be the honorary Michael Scott and I would create our version of the Dundies– coasters emblazoned with one of the 10 Seelio Superlatives we concocted. These were pretty off the wall, y’all. Anything from Champion Titler of Meetings (for the guy who makes even the lamest meeting sound a little bit funny) to the Let Me Meme That For You (for the gal who no matter what you post in the company chat feed can find a hilarious related meme before you can blink). Because coaster packs at Target only come in quantities of 4 per package, there were 2 extra that got a treatment of our company logo which we sent back to our parent company as a little token of our appreciation for their support.

All 10 Superlatives:

  • Building for the Future
  • Best Looking Pies
  • Champion of Emoji
  • Office Pied Piper
  • Hot Potato
  • The Handiest
  • Fairy Godmother of the Office
  • Best Phone Voice
  • Champion Titler of Meetings
  • Let Me Meme That for You

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Wild Rumpus – DIY “Where the Wild Things Are” Birthday Gifts

Wild Rumpus Shirt

Oh my goodness, somehow I haven’t posted about two straight years of Where the Wild Things Are themed gifts for my cute little nephew, Max. Never too late, right?

For his first birthday, I knew that with a cute name like Max I had to do something including Where the Wild Things Are, a book I absolutely loved growing up. Okay forgive me, we’re going to take a quick detour here for one of my favorite quotes by Maurice Sendak that he once shared in an interview with NPR’s Terry Gross:

“Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.”

Maybe that gives you a sense of why I love this story and its author so much, or maybe you’re just completely puzzled. In either case we’re going to get back on track soon so have no fear!

For this little sailor’s first birthday (his nursery had a super cute nautical theme), I went to Etsy and found a darling print and framed it and cut out some nautical shapes to make a garland:

2013-06-29 20.06.15

If you’ve ever had a chance to meet sweet little Max, you’ll know that the phrase just works perfectly :)

When birthday #2 rolled around I was still stuck on Where the Wild Things Are and this time went for a custom shirt. All it took was a few searches on Pinterest to find an image I liked then I took a screenshot and uploaded the image to trace in my Silhouette Studio Software (find more details on this process in my recent Lego DIY shirt post!). With that I had a stencil and created a shirt to “Let the Wild Rumpus Begin!”

I also found this cute little elephant gift box which ended up being way too small to be practical but was definitely cute enough to make me not care.

I know that pretty soon he’ll be old enough to start asking me for things other than Wild Rumpus shirts and Wild Thing prints, but until them I’ll just eat them up I love them so! :)

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Everything is Awesome – DIY Lego Birthday

While it may have taken me a year to catch up to the hype and finally watch The Lego Movie, my nephew was one of the first in theaters. Together we’ve played Lego Star Wars, built lego creations and I’ve seen the awesome projects he’s created both solo and with his Lego-loving dad. So, when his 7th birthday was rolling around it was pretty easy to know what to do: LEGO!

Along with everyone else who watched The Lego Move, #everythingisawesome became part of our everyday vernacular. (Everything is cool when you’re part of a team!) << once you start, you have to finish.

So clearly Everything is Awesome had to be a part of this special guy’s 7th birthday. The best way I could think about incorporating it was with a custom shirt that I created with my Silhouette Cameo. Here’s how it went down:

To get started, I did a Google search of “Everything is Awesome” (definitely fun, you should try it!), and found this:

Everything is Awesome

Link to Random Italian Website As Original Source

I uploaded the image to my Silhouette Studio software and adjusted filters to do a trace of the image. Basically, fiddle with the high pass and low pass filters until it seems like most of the lines on the image will be clear. If you mess up, just CTRL + Z and try, try again! Soon enough, you’ll have a shape to cut:

Next, I loaded a sheet of vinyl into my Silhouette Cameo and cut out the shape (after adding a square around it to help create a stencil). If I’d been smart I would have then used transfer paper to pick up the vinyl stencil and make it easier to apply it to the shirt, but I just went for it and did my best to position it on the navy shirt I picked up from Target. In all honesty, the transfer paper is a worthwhile step and I recommend it. But things will work out if you don’t have it. The shirt will have more of that handmade feel! :)

Then, after a few dabs of white fabric paint and a few moments to dry, the process is complete and you have one Everything is Awesome shirt for a very special Lego-loving nephew.



Of course, a copy of The Lego Movie had to accompany the shirt for the full effect.

Hopefully it’s a combo that will make for an awesome 7th year!


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Graduation Decorations – Hail Yes Maize & Blue

About a year ago, I created this blog as a way to share inspiration for the creative ways you can celebrate the people and occasions in your life. Most of the time, I’m finding fun ways to celebrate our friends and family members, but this time, I got to pour all of my creativity into a day for someone who I think is pretty awesome– my husband, Matt.

Two years ago we picked up our life in DC and transplanted to Ann Arbor, Michigan, for Matt to start the MBA program at the Ross School of Business. He quickly got back into the school groove:

Matt's first third day of school

Matt’s first third day of school

And before we knew it, it was time to start thinking about how to celebrate this newly minted MBA. It didn’t take long to land on a theme: Hail Yes! Things started out with a subtle tribute to Maize and Blue, with a laurel wreath that would later be picked up in other celebration items like wall decals and table cards. With a little trial and error I combined photos, fonts, and logos in Photoshop to create an announcement to mark the big occasion:

Matt Grad Announcement

After that, it was time to think about what could be done around the apartment to make things a little more festive.


On the Walls

After a little searching, I found a graduation card in the Silhouette Online Store that I could modify for some wall decals. I picked up a few sheets of scrapbook paper in maize and blue, and used the Cameo to cut out circles with different shapes– including the laurel wreath and the graduation cap. If you’d like the laurel wreath and the Ross MBA decals, you’ll find free downloads below!

Wall Decorations

On the Table

As usual, Pinterest was a source of inspiration. That’s where I found this fun graduation cap cupcake idea. I thought about buying some fun new fabric for a table cloth and runner, but then I found an easier option at Target and ordered this nice navy crosshatch table cloth.

Graduation Cap Cupcakes

Grad Night Spread

My sweet mother-in-law found amazing bakeries for graduation cookies and a custom cake so fortunately I was off the hook for most of the treats. Since the sweets were covered, I thought an assortment of cheeses would be nice (plus anyone who knows me, knows that a party isn’t a party without an ample amount of cheese). To help folks tell the cheeses apart, I created some table cards with a laurel wreath cut out.

Table Cards


Being grad students, we’re in a cozy one bedroom apartment which means that there’s limited space for entertaining. Fortunately, the celebration was a family affair so everyone was up for huddling together in our family room. I thought it would be fun to add a little flair to the room with a photo wall where the backdrop is actually a disposable Mara + Mi tablecloth from Target that I grabbed from a clearance bin earlier in the year.

Family Room Decorations

My mom created that super cute Go Blue bunting for us last fall to make sure we were ready for football weekends and it was the perfect way to bring a little class to my tablecloth backdrop. The Hail Yes print to the right was inspired by this card I saw at Rock Paper Scissors in Ann Arbor. I spent a morning of trial and error in Photoshop to try to design something that looked similar and then used it in a few different ways including some takeaway treat jars that I filled with lemon drops.

Hail Yes Treats to Go


The day wouldn’t have been complete without a gift for the graduate, so I took the Hail Yes theme one step further with a custom shirt for Matt to wear to celebrate his most recent accomplishment. From moving from DC to Ann Arbor, to getting back into the swing of school, to all-night case competitions and some almost all night MBA fun activities, to a summer in San Francisco at SunRun, and all the way to graduation, Hail Yes just really sums it up.

Congrats, love!

Hail Yes Shirt

Matt at Ross


Free Downloads:

A little note on sharing:

These downloads are free strictly for personal use, not for commercial use. I’d love for you to share these photos on Pinterest as long as you credit and link back to Please do not distribute my downloads from your site and, as a courtesy, please do not link directly to the downloads above- Instead, please link back to this post.

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Simple Easter Decorations

As much as I want to buy a beautiful Easter wreath for my front door, like this beautiful thing from Etsy:

Easter Wreath

Now is not the time to buy more things to potentially have to schlep across the country in a few short weeks. So, I got creative and poked around the Silhouette Online Store to see what I could use to create some Easter decorations on the cheap.

I found some great options but my favorite was this easter soiree kit. Just one download later and I was on my way to creating these three sets of decorations for our apartment:

Now, they might not rival some of the beautiful wreaths out on the market but they certainly serve the purpose of bringing the Lenten season top of mind as we look forward to Easter Sunday!

If you’re looking for a few other options, consider giving these a try:

Have you repurposed things you have on hand for seasonal decorations? Show it off in the comments!

Embellished Canvas Totes [Birthday for Her]

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Earlier this summer I was looking for a little extra something for some birthday gifts I was creating for some special ladies. I saw some cute tote bags at Rock Paper Scissors in downtown Ann Arbor and thought that I’d try making my own.

I picked up a set of medium canvas tote bags from Michaels. Then I thought about what images in my Silhouette library would look best and decided on a leaf wreath for “I’d Rather Be Up North” and a floral print for “Be Cheerful”. I expanded both images to be as big as possible for a 12×12 sheet of vinyl, and picked my favorite script fonts for the phrases for each bag. Then, with a simple peel and stick, I used the vinyl cutouts as stencils for the canvas totes.

Now to think about what designs will be next…


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DIY Housewarming Gift

Do you know someone who just moved and now you’re looking for a nice way to commemorate their new home? Here’s a project I made last year for our parents:


Step one: Find a nice glass pitcher (TJ Maxx, Home Goods, etc are always good hunting grounds for me)

Step two: Create a design that you can etch onto the glass. I love using my Silhouette Cameo and for this project I used a lovely font similar to Wisdom and a fancy wreath similar to this from the online store.

Step Three: Cut the design onto vinyl and then place the relief of the cut onto the glassware.

Step Four: Apply some glass etching cream over the design and wait for a few minutes.

Step Five: Remove the cream and the vinyl adhesive and rinse away any excess. Voila!

housewarming card

Extra: If you want to make a card to go along with it, consider using this pocket design like the one I used in the photo above. To make it a little more housewarming-centric, I mocked up my own house shape and added  “Home Sweet Home” in the center.