Finding your native tongue

There’s been a lot of discussion in media lately about the sustainability of blogging as a profession. I will be the first to admit that DIY blogging takes an enormous amount of time, effort, and passion to get right. I have found an enormous help – finding and resting in my own blogging voice.

There seems to be a lot less burn-out when I am doing what I love – like making monster donuts! Finding and learning the art of functioning in your own voice is a challenge all artists face – from bloggers to voice creators. I love this clip from the Boxtrolls and how it gives a small glimpse into the collaboration and coordination of two artists finding that perfect voice for their project.

Perhaps you can relate. You’ve been trying to re-create that amazing Pinterest project, and the results are so bad you feel like reporting yourself to one of those Pinterest Fail Blogs. The biggest problem – that is someone else’s project, and you aren’t allowing your own voice to find it’s place in your project. Perhaps my color scheme would never look good in your house, but navy blue certainly would. Perhaps you would never use my shapes for your sugar cookies – have you tried using shapes and colors that represent your own voice?

We all shine when we are able to find our own voice. No matter what inspires you, no matter what DIY you are using; find a way to let your own voice in. That is what will bring about projects and recipes that will be loved. Projects that actually work for us. That is where true stability in this crazy blogging world, or really any artistic world, will be found.

See more of this fun Boxtroll language in the new Boxtroll movie, in theatres tomorrow… buy your tickets right here.

This post is done in promotional partnership with the Imagination Foundation and Focus. 

Posted September 25, 2014 0 Comments
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monster donuts

Monster Donuts

I sat in on the kindergarten class party planning committee this week. We planned out the kid’s Halloween party, which is going to be monster themed! This quickly led me to day dreaming of fun monster sweets – then the most amazing idea struck.

Monster donuts!!! Of course!!!

And I quickly became obsessed with these awesome guys. Even though we are not quite into October yet, I couldn’t resist sharing the monster donuts with you. Right now! Because you definitely need to know about them. Right now.

Monster Donuts

Monster Donuts

Monster Donuts

Monster Donuts

The monster donuts are super fun. The kids went crazy for them! And they took only a few moments to put together. In my excitement for the idea, I found this simple tutorial – it was a major fail for me… So I added a necessary step, and altered it to work. The result is an awesome dose of sweet Halloween fun.  

Posted September 25, 2014 2 Comments
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the family that parties together


As a part of my partnership with Focus and the Imagination Foundation, I will be sharing little snippets of things I like about the upcoming Boxtrolls movie this week – in theatres this Friday! One of the themes I adore about the movie are the awesome family dynamics. I love the idea that the value of family rests not just in blood lines, but also in the love and care that is shared for one another.

My big Italian family has always put a huge emphasis on celebrating well together. The way we celebrate with each other has been a huge blessing to me. Whether it was our wedding day with everyone there dancing all night long, or when the twins were born; the love just didn’t stop pouring in. Even now when this blog gets featured in a magazine, it is usually an aunt that I hear from first (quickly followed by my mom) – saying way to go, let us cheer with you! It’s an important part of what makes up a family to me. It is such a cool theme to see played out in this movie.

You can buy your Boxtrolls movie tickets, right here.

This post is done in promotional partnership with the Imagination Foundation and Focus. 

(Throwback family photo taken by Chelsea Robbins).

Posted September 25, 2014 0 Comments
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letter decal balloon banner

Letter decal party balloons

Making a banner out of balloons is a great way to say Happy Birthday! Using large 6 inch letter boat decals – it’s a breeze to turn everyday balloons into an amazing party backdrop. Use the idea to make your typography balloons that say anything you can imagine; from a birthday wish, to congratulations, to a simple “have a good day!”

Letter decal party balloons

Letter decal party balloons

I love the versatility of this idea, and that creating it is as simple as applying a sticker! Plus, you can change up the balloon colors to make it work for whatever you might be celebrating this time of year.

Typography Balloons

Happy Birthday Balloons

Letter decal balloons

Balloon letter decal

To create the decal birthday balloon banner – blow up balloons, or buy a bunch from the party store to make it even easier on yourself. Grab a pack of 6 inch boat decals from your local hardware store, or buy them online here.

Take the sticker off the sheet and gently stick it on the balloon, smoothing out creases as you go. Done! Hang the balloons on the wall and stand back to acknowledge how awesome you are, and how much you just rocked that party set-up in no time at all.

Letter decal balloons

Birthday Balloon banner

Just a small note with these stickers: you get one stick – so make it a good one. Be prepared for a giant balloon pop if you try to remove the stickers. I bought an extra pack just in case I needed them. Which is good since this might be my new backdrop for every party I host ever! Boo. Merry Christmas. I love you. Why these balloons could keep talking all year long!

(Photography by Jocelyn Noel for A Subtle Revelry)

Posted September 24, 2014 3 Comments
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festive folded leaf garland

Folded Leaf Garland

You guys… today it is officially fall! I am celebrating by planning and plotting for a fun season of pumpkins, costumes and spooky sweets! But first, one of my favorite fall elements. The iconic leaf.

Folded leaf garland makes an awesome welcome to the season. Liven up a party, or brighten a corner at home with these beauties… It will be just like you have a seasonal tree inside – minus the mess, minus the bugs, and with an added burst of festive color.

Folded Leaf Garland

Folded Leaf Garland

To make the strand of festive fall leaves, draw a basic leaf to use as a template or download our maple leaf template right here. Trace the template onto a piece of scrapbook paper – I love how the bright fall colors look alongside a simple blush vellum.

Cut out the traced leaves and use an accordion fold along each the leaf. An accordion fold is a back and forth fold along the paper, see more about this type of paper folding right here.

The accordion folding of the leaves gives nice texture to the garland, allowing it to catch the light and pop right off the wall.

Folded Leaf Garland

Folded Leaf Garland

Folded Fall Leafs

Folded Leaf Garland

The leaf accents can be used throughout your house or party space. You can never have too many leaves during fall! Place settings are a great way to use them, a mobile would be sweet, stacked in a bowl – maybe even topping a cake! Whatever you do with these leaves, they’ll help us welcome fall (A.K.A. my favorite season) in festive, fun style.

See the full gallery of fall projects here.

(Photography by Erin Holland for A Subtle Revelry).

Posted September 23, 2014 6 Comments
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milk carton lanterns

Milk Carton Lanterns

Now that we are weeks into fall, our after school routine could use a bit of a pick me up. We normally come home, have a snack, drink a glass of milk, and bring out the homework (yes, even my kindergartners have homework this year!). To bring some fun into our routine last week, I surprised the kids with a simple after school craft project.

We used pretty wrapping paper to transform milk cartons into tea light lanterns. It was an easy project that the whole family took part in. The kid’s were super excited for the festive change up and the lanterns are a great accent for chilly early fall evenings outside.

How to make a milk carton lantern

Festive lanterns made from milk cartons

To make the lanterns, I saved up a selection of milk cartons – we drink plenty of milk so this only took a couple of weeks. Instead of buying my milk in our normal plastic gallons, I opted for various size cartons and we were set. I also collected wrapping paper for the project. The brown kraft paper version is my favorite to work with since it’s thick and has an awesome graphic design (found it in the dollar section at Target).  

Posted September 22, 2014 0 Comments
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