Squarespace Website Design for Single Thread Boutique Blog

I recently finished up another website design project; this one was the fashion & style blog for a great little boutique in Indiana - Single Thread Boutique. Read the details about this project on my work website!

Squarespace Website Design for Single Thead Boutique Blog - by jwilliamscommunications.com

Decorating for Fall

Fall is my favorite season, and I'm always ready to break out fall colors and decorations in August. This is even more comical since I've been living in Arizona for 10+ years, and fall weather begins sometime around....November. So I hold off until around late September and inevitably decide that I'm not waiting for a change in weather to change some things around the house. I don't do anything that takes tons of time or money, but I love the results when I add some little touches of fall.

First off, I pick up small pumpkins in orange and white and place them here and there. I like mixing the real ones with the rustic brown ones that I bought at Michael's years ago.

This year I balanced a few of the white pumpkins on candlesticks in front of Maggie's little abstract art canvas. I remembered that I had this black tassel garland left over from a birthday party, and threw that up on the wall since it looks sort of Halloweeny. 

My assistants wasted no time stretching fake spider webs anywhere they could. I let them have fun with it.

I also put out the canvas trick-or-treating art that Maggie made a few years ago, along with this little candy dish that my grandmother made for me when she was taking ceramics classes years ago. Still makes me smile when I look at it.

After Halloween, I'll take down the spider webs and jack-o-lanterns, leaving the pumpkins and fall leaves for Thanksgiving.

For more simple decorating ideas, seasonal or otherwise, check out The Nester's series on vignettes. I love to use her ideas - like incorporating some simple kid-made art and sentimental items - when I change things up. How do you decorate for fall? 

Joining the linkup at www.roubinek.net! Stop over and check out the ideas over there.

Stitch Fix Review #4

Stitch Fix Review #4

Stitch Fix did it again with a box of clothes that were just what I wanted! This time I asked for pieces that would help me transition from summer to fall. Tucson's weather will continue to feel like summer for quite some time, but I knew I'd be tired of the tank tops, shorts, and flip flops that we seem to wear for so many months here. I was nervous when I read the initial note on my style card that explained that the stylist I'd had for my previous fixes had left, and someone new had done this one, but Carli did a great job of fulfilling my requests. Not familiar with Stitch Fix? Read more here!

First up was the Pixley Harriet Chevron Print Detail Dress, a comfortable, lightweight, and flattering dress that can definitely be dressed up or down. I love the slightly high waistline and a-line cut that is flattering without being too flared. This is cute with heels and jewelry for a dressy night out, or with sandals for a casual look. It's perfectly comfortable in the Tucson heat but can also be worn in cooler weather with a cardigan or jacket. 

Next was the Pixley Edmond Chevron Print Henley Shirt - I had pinned this shirt in a different color on my Pinterest style board, and my stylist mentioned that in her notes. This is a simple, cotton top that is very comfortable. I think it looks better for casual wear, although my style card included an option pairing it with a pencil skirt and boots. 

My favorite item in this fix was the Kut From the Kloth Kate Distressed Boyfriend Jean, shown in the photo above with the Pixley top. Jeans are so tricky for me, and this is the second time I've requested a specific fit and the second time Stitch Fix has nailed it - I don't have nearly that good of a track record when combing the mall for hours looking for new jeans. I'll take this approach over that torture any day. Several of my previous Stitch Fix style cards included boyfriend jeans with the outfits, and I didn't have any of my own that quite had that look. I saw JoAnn mention receiving boyfriend jeans in this Stitch Fix review and liked them. I wanted some that were comfortable and that I'd be able to wear in a lot of different ways. I absolutely love these - they may be my favorite item in all of my fixes to date. I've already worn these tons - they've become my weekend uniform. 

My jewelry piece in this fix was Jill Michael Montgomery Beaded Hoop Earrings, in the matte gold finish that I love. These are simple and pretty and I will get plenty of use out of them.

The piece that I was a little on the fence about in this fix was the 41Hawthron Bryan Short-Sleeve Open-Front Cardigan. It's white and simple in a t-shirt material. This item makes sense as a fall transition piece for the weather in Tucson, as it adds a lightweight layer. With it being white, it will match plenty of things. It was just not terribly exciting, but with the 5-item discount (you get 25% off your entire purchase if you keep all five pieces in a Stitch Fix) it paid to keep it rather than send it back. One note - my stylist mentioned I could pair this with the chevron dress, but this bright white cardi and the slightly off-white chevron stripe on the dress didn't match - oh well! I think it will work better with some casual jeans or shorts.

I'm happy that Stitch Fix has continued to be a great source of new clothes and accessories for me, and the items that I receive have become some of my favorites. It's really helped me to get out of my style rut, and I highly recommend trying it out - you can use my referral link here and you'll get a code of your own to share with friends for credit! And if you like any of these pieces, you can specifically request them in your style profile. Check out my other Stitch Fix Reviews for even more information.

I'll receive my next Fix in November. I requested a cute but comfortable top to wear to our casual family Thanksgiving gathering, and something a little dressier to wear to holiday parties. Can't wait to see what they come up with!

Easy and Budget-Friendly Lavender Chevron Birthday Party Theme

My daughter's birthday was in August, and this year she requested a small family birthday party, which was just fine with me! That gave me an opportunity to focus on some cute details without stressing over a big, expensive bash. 

girls'  chevron maxi dress

Maggie's favorite color is lavender, so we used that as our starting point. She asked to get a comfortable maxi dress to wear for the party, and when I came across this dress on Lolly Wolly Doodle, we decided to purchase it and use a chevron print in the decor too.  If you're looking for cute girls' clothes, whether for a party or not, I recommend checking out Lolly Wolly Doodle's website and Facebook page - I love supporting another mom-owned business, and they have a fantastic success story about how they grew their business! They'll monogram their items very inexpensively, so that adds a cute personalized touch.

I designed a simple invitation that we emailed to the family - similar to this chevron invitation I'm now carrying in my Etsy shop - I'm able to customize it for whatever color scheme my clients need, so it's a really versatile design.

We set up a little drink and snack station within easy reach for all of the little cousins, and decorated with some inexpensive and cute tissue paper flowers, crepe paper streamers, and a banner I designed to coordinate with the theme:

I got the chevron paper drinking straws from this Etsy shop - I loved that it was another Etsy seller from Arizona, and she has tons of color options and other cute items (treat bags, washi tape, twine) that are perfect for parties.

Rather than ice cream, Maggie wanted a make-your-own sundae bar like Luke had for his birthday party earlier this year. 

It was a very relaxed get-together and we all had a great time - and I had a happy eight (!!) year old.


New Squarespace website design for Seventh & Stone

Barbara Stellmach, the owner of the store Seventh & Stone, contacted me about working on her website design. A fellow Etsy seller, Barb creates beautiful and unique handmade jewelry – she incorporates Lake Superior stones into many of the designs, which are inspired by her gorgeous surroundings on the north shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota. Along with her own designs, Barb carries a carefully curated selection of handmade goods, crafted by artisans – many of them from her area. 

She wanted a website that was clean and well-organized, showcasing the products with links to the individual artists – such a great way to convey the wide array of talent that goes into creating these items. Our collaboration resulted in a lovely, functional site design and its corresponding mobile version. Barb has been a pleasure to work with, and I'm so excited about the final product! You must click over and check it out (and there's a link to her Etsy shop in the navigation!) - and if you're lucky enough to live nearby, stop in and see her at Seventh and Stone!

Stitch Fix Review #3

stitch fix review #3

My third Stitch Fix came in the thick of our typical long, hot Tucson summer. I specifically asked for lightweight clothing, preferably not in synthetic material that is just miserable when you're trying to function in this heat  – and thankfully, they delivered! (What in the world is Stitch Fix? Read more here!)

First up was this Ellison Josie cut-out embroidery detail cotton tank. I loved the detail on this top, and it is lightweight and flowy – it's cute for casual wear with denim shorts, or dressed up with jewelry and a skirt. I've already worn it a lot. They also sent it with a simple white cami to go underneath, and the cami wasn't one of the five pieces for the fix. I thought that was a nice touch – this definitely needs something under it, and although I already had a white cami I can always use another!

Next was the Pomelo Downing striped knit shirt. Again, it is a loose and flowy fit in a perfect lightweight cotton, and it's become a summer staple for me. I didn't have much orange in my wardrobe, so these two pieces have been a nice change.

My jewelry piece in this fix was the Pixley Brandi enamel drops statement necklace. I LOVE this necklace. It's a little different from something I would have picked out for myself, but I seem to constantly find things to wear it with and I get compliments on it every time I wear it. 

My stylist Samantha continued to feed my dress addiction with the Andrew Marc Daire sleeveless fit & flare dress. I love the white lace (crochet?) overlay and it's a cotton/linen blend that is super comfortable. I wore it for the 4th of July paired with a denim vest and really liked it.

The last piece in this fix was the only fail – and sadly, that may be more the fault of my thighs than a problem on my stylist's part. The Margaret M Duboce straight leg jeans would have been perfect - I loved the idea of the stretchy, wide waistband (like maternity! but not!) and I love white jeans, but these were WAY, WAY too tight. I sincerely hope that these run extremely small, or I better do some serious scaling back on the summer treats. These went back.

I think this was my favorite fix to date, which is in keeping with their theory that they get better at styling for you over time. Try it out yourself with my referral link here and you'll get a code of your own to share with friends for credit! Check out my other Stitch Fix Reviews for even more information.

I'm going to link up to the other reviews at Whimsicle. Let me know if you check it out!

Origami Yoda Birthday Party

origami yoda birthday party ideas

For my son's 10th birthday, he wanted to have his first sleepover. We agreed to a small gathering of just a few of his friends, and decided on an Origami Yoda theme, since that book series was one of his current favorites and the boys love anything Star-Wars related, so we had a lot of options for this one! 

I gathered all of his Origami Yoda books for inspiration for the invitation and decor. Using the black background and lime green as an accent color, this was the invitation design:

Origami Yoda Birthday Party Invitation
Origami Yoda Birthday Party decor

 

If you have a 10-year-old boy in your life, you can imagine how much he cares about party decor ("seriously, Mom, centerpieces?!") - Luke really just wanted a fun time with his friends, but I couldn't help but do a little something to make it fun and festive. And even he admitted it was "cool." I didn't fuss too much, but I got my assistant to create some tissue paper pom-poms in the black and lime green color scheme. I set up a (short-lived) display with the Origami Yoda books and another book Luke had, so that the boys would have them for some activities...

origami yoda birthday party
origami yoda birthday party decor

 

With Luke's birthday falling right after Christmas, I always luck out with decor if I can work green or red into the theme. I picked up these sparkly clusters of plasticky fake leaves, completely unsure of what I was going to do with them. I threw them into little vases with pebbles and bunched up foil tissue paper from Dollar Tree, and in about 10 seconds I had some fun centerpieces - I also ran metallic wrapping paper across the dining room table, which was where the boys would be hanging out. Fun and functional, as it protected the table from the coming mayhem.

origami yoda birthday party decor

Because we agreed that this would be a very small gathering, I was able to purchase nicer favors than I can when we have a big crowd, and in this case, the favors were going to double as the evening's activities as well, I got each boy (and of course Luke's little sister!) a pack of this origami paper from amazon.com. Make sure you shop around for this kind of thing - I had seen it for double the price at Michael's and was so glad I checked Amazon! I also got each guest a fine-tip black Sharpie, a silver Sharpie, and a roll of fun colored washi tape - some of Luke's favorite origami tools. You can get the Sharpies and washi tape at any discount store, office supply store, or Michael's, but also check Etsy for some really cute, fun washi tape patterns. We put the goodies in a white lunch bag with stickers I designed, along with some origami folding instructions we got from the Origami Yoda website. The boys went to town, making all kinds of fun and crazy creations. Evidence of the fun:

We concluded the crafty part of the evening with an epic (their word!) paper airplane making contest, and then moved on to pizza and make-your-own ice cream sundaes. The boys then wound down with a showing of Star Wars and happily crashed for the night. This was such a fun party, and I love how intent the boys were on their projects – it kept them busy and content for hours – hooray! If you have a child who is around this age, check out the Origami Yoda book series - a big hit for them!

Linking up here - click the image below to link to lots of great ideas and inspiration!

The Idea Room

Logo and branding design projects

Logo and branding design projects have kept me busy over the past few months – check out some of the brand boards I've created here, and you can see more details over at www.jwilliamscommunications.com/blog. I have worked with some great people, and I love helping these business owners bring their vision to life.

Color for warm weather months {decorating the living room}

coral ombre throw and floral pillows for summer

I'm a big fan of light, bright neutral palettes for home decor, and I have an official fear of color  -partly because I'm afraid I'll get tired of it. The up side to having a neutral backdrop is that I can work in little pops of color that can be easily changed out, so I jumped in and did just that this summer. I'm loving these bright patterned pillows and coral ombre throw that I picked up from Marshall's for this summer, and I can tuck them away when fall comes and I'm ready for warm earth tones.