Monday, December 12, 2011

Tutorial: Ripped Fabric Curtain

Happy Monday!
So, as you may recall, my very first styled photoshoot featured the Gender Reveal Honeybee Collection  and was showcased on Hostess with the Mostess {insert squeal!}. Well, I received so many wonderful emails and messages about the little details involved in styling the shoot,  specifically the ripped fabric backdrop.  I decided to share the tutorial that I created for Project Nursery so that you can create your own ripped fabric masterpiece for your next party or even to add texture to a window or room in your house.

The full tutorial featured on Project Nursery can be found here

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

GIVEAWAY: Printables & Craft Punches

So, if you are crafty and a DIY mama, chances are you have heard of or visited tatertots & jello.
It seems like Jen, the creative mastermind behind this darling site, has her finger on the pulse of the crafting community.  I know this is my go-to site when I need a new and fresh idea, a tutorial or just something to get me out of a crafting brain freeze {that's a technical term, if you are wondering}.

So when I had the chance to sponsor a giveaway on tatertots&jello I immediately knew this was the perfect site to showcase Libby Lane Press.  So, go ahead and mosey on over to tatertots&jello, enter the giveaway that offers not only Libby Lane Press printables but also EK Craft Punches {LLP fave}.

Then stay awhile and get to see first hand what the hype is all about. I promise it's worth it!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Yarn Turkey Craft {as promised}

So, last week I stumbled upon the cutest craft on Pinterest and decided that was going to be the next project, in addition to the no-sew ruffled tablecloth which is next on the list.
Anyway, off to Hobby Lobby we went and after a few tantrums and bathroom trips we made it home safely with a styrofoam ball, yarn, craft sticks, and felt in tow. So, if you feel inspired on this rainy day {or atleast it is here in the DC suburbs} try this little craft, you can find the instructions here.   My assistant was extra helpful and cannot wait to see the feathers added to this little guy on Thursday.  We wrote the sentence starter: 'I am thankful for'  to make it as easy as possible for guests to grab a feather, feel thankful and decorate our turkey. We even added coordinating fall themed scrapbook paper to really dress him up for the holiday.
So, as you decorate your own turkey in preparation for Thanksgiving keep in mind that no matter what,  there is always something to be thankful for.

Disclaimer: Please excuse my photography- it has been raining for days so I am not the best 'fauxtographer' without natural light. 
Head and Body 

Hint: my turkey's head was a little heavy so he has feet to keep him from wobbling. Easy fix- just added 2 extra craft sticks and covered with remaining felt from the beak

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Spicy Korean Pork {for the night you want to skip nuggets or grilled cheese}

So, after the success of the Cheeseburger Meatloaf last week Danielle has decided to spice it up a bit. Wait until you see the pictures.. the 'fauxtography' is rather impressive, I must say. So, if you decide to give this recipe a whirl, please leave a comment. I would love to know your take on this dinner with a little bite.

I love spicy ethnic food!  Unfortunately my food preferences do not mesh with that of my family.  However, my husband and I both have found that we LOVE Korean food.  A Korean BBQ restaurant was recommended to us by a friend that we both thoroughly enjoyed.  Since then I have been trying to recreate the experience at home.  Fortunately once you have the ingredients for a Korean recipe on hand many of them are actually very simple and fast.  My friend passed along several good recipes that she prepares for her family that I plan to try and share soon.
For this particular recipe you do need to make a trip to an Asian grocery store.  Luckily for me, there are several in my area.  Don’t let the Asian market intimidate you.  Once you have gone you may decide to do most of your shopping there.  The produce is amazing and you can find all your standard groceries plus many others you may have difficulty finding.  The pork shoulder was readily available at the market and ALREADY thinly sliced.  At first I assumed red pepper powder was cayenne pepper.  I made the smart decision to verify this with my friend.  She explained that it is different, used in many Korean recipes and also available at the Asian grocery store.  It was not hard to find this ingredient in the store.  In fact they sell it  in so many different size packages it took up almost an entire isle.  The remaining ingredients should be readily available at your average grocery store.  
I decided to serve the pork with lettuce for wraps.  This is what they do at the Korean restaurant and it really does work well.  I also made an easy and QUICK cucumber kimchi instead of Korean kimchi.  This can be served on top of the pork or on the side.  It doesn’t have the pickled taste of regular kimchi, but is very good.  
(Addisyn had a grilled cheese tonight because we can’t always eat like a 2 year old.)

Spicy Marinated Pork

(Dwaeji Bulgogi)
Serving Size: 2  (I doubled this recipe for guests)
14 oz. pork shoulder, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp. red pepper powder
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. Asian Sesame Oil
1Tbsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. mirin
pinch of black powder
Put all the ingredients except the pork in a bowl and stir to mix well.  Add the pork to the mixture, making sure the sauce is evenly applied to the slices.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it marinate in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before cooking.  Stir-fry until fully cooked.
For the Quick Cucumber “kimchi”
I like using English cucumbers or Japanese cucumbers – the skin is thinner and they have less seeds. If you have a julienne slicer I think this works great and is even nicer then the thin slices.
1 large English cucumber (or 2 Japanese cucumbers), sliced very thinly
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon finely minced fresh chili pepper (or more depending on your tastes)
generous pinch of salt
Mix together all ingredients. You can make this a few hours in advance and store in refrigerator, however the longer it sits, the less “crunch” you’ll have. I like making this cucumber pickle 1 hour prior, storing in refrigerator, and serving it cold for texture and temperature contrast.

spicy pork

Spicy marinated pork in a lettuce wrap

Cucumber Kimchi

Monday, November 14, 2011

What's YOUR font?

My name is Nicolle, Libby Lane Press designer, wife and mother, and self proclaimed font addict.  I could honestly look at fonts for hours on end. I love curly, swirly, swashes and swoops. The more the better. However, I love them paired with a nice upstanding not too thin, not too pudgy printed font as well. Yep, I am also particular.  I can look through the ads in the paper on Sundays and identify the fonts used by name. I was over the moon when I noticed that Pier One has been using the lovely Lady Rene, which I own and adore.  So, today I decided to share a few with you.  All of the fonts I have selected are FREE from by searching the name below, however please read the terms of use prior to to downloading.
So, all I want in return is for you to tell me about your favorite font.. you never know.. you may have one that this font addict has yet to swoon over.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Guest Blogger: Look what's cooking!

So, I have this wonderful friend that always has the best ideas in the kitchen.  She is creative {former teacher like yours truly}, a planner {girl of my own heart}, and then something I am not: a natural in the kitchen.  Now, don't get me wrong.. I like to bake with the best of them but real cooking.. Still trying to perfect that. In the meantime, once  a week Danielle will be dishing about her latest meals and hoping that they add a little spice to your menu as well. Enjoy!
Cheeseburger Meatloaf
actual finished product!

I am always looking for easy kid friendly recipes that the entire family will enjoy and this one fit the bill.  Rachael Ray’s magazine even showed pictures of a child making the meatloaf.  I enlisted my two year olds help for this one but she decided she would rather paint today using a carrot as a paint brush. What I loved about it is the veggies are chopped very small in the food processor so even my very picky eater may get a serving of something good for her tonight.  
The meatloaf only took about 10 minutes to prepare and turned out scrumptious.
I have always loved to cook and that did not change when my daughter was born.  When she was very young my husband, trying to be supportive, would offer to put together dinner so I could take care of the baby.  I very graciously explained to him that I have spent all day with our darling daughter and I would love to take a break.  It was actually relaxing for me to spend the time alone in the kitchen while she was in his capable hands.  I need to be honest though.  The types of food I make and the time I have to prepare them have changed dramatically now that she has entered toddlerhood.  When Addisyn was a infant she would eat anything I gave her now she barely tries anything!!  It is very frustrating to me but I keep cooking and keep offering her my creations.  I put a little of whatever I make for us on her plate each night and just hope she eats.  I always try to have a side dish of something that I know she will eat so that she does not go to bed hungry but I really, really try not to be a short order cook.  
People ask me all the time how I have the time to cook with my husband at work and a 2 year old demanding my attention.  I do have a couple tricks up my sleeve.  
1. The first is the learning tower.  This wooden platform has been my savior so many times.  Addisyn loves to be at the same level as me and “helping” whenever she can.  I try to give her small things to do whenever she wants to help.  I have been told that if children participate in the cooking they are more likely to eat.  It hasn’t worked for me yet but she is having fun none the less and we are spending time together doing something I want to do.  
2. My daughter also LOVES to paint.  If I need a significant amount a time to prepare a meal I give her some water color paints on the kitchen table with huge paper and let her go to town.   
3. I’m not ashamed to say that my third trick is the television.  I try to minimize tv time during the day so that I can put a movie on while preparing dinner with minimal guilt.  
The recipes I pass on to Nicolle for her blog are ones that I have had success with and my family has enjoyed.  Hopefully you enjoy and can have some stress free cooking time as well!

Cheeseburger Meatloaf 
(RACHAELRAYMAG.COM, November 2011)
  1. 2 cups italian bread cubes (I used whole wheat bread crumbs and skipped step 1)
  2. 1 carrot
  3. 1 celery rib
  4. 1 onion
  5. 2 lbs. ground chuck (I used ground meatloaf mix)
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 1/4 cup ketchup
  8. Salt and pepper
  9. 6 colby-jack cheese sticks
  10. 1 1/2 lbs. red-skinned potatoes
  11. EVOO
  1. Grind 2 cups italian bread cubes into coarse crumbs in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Transfer the breadcrumbs to a large bowl. Preheat the oven to 400°. 
  2. Cut 1 carrot, 1 celery rib and 1 onion into 1-inch pieces. Using the same food processor, finely chop the vegetables. 
  3. Add the vegetables to the bowl with the breadcrumbs. Add 2 lbs. ground chuck, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup ketchup, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. 
  4. Mix all the ingredients together with your hands until just blended. 
  5. Transfer the mixture to a 10-by-15-inch baking dish; pat the meat into a 9-by-13-inch rectangle. (I don’t have a 10x15 dish.  A 9x13 dish worked fine.)
  6. Arrange 6 colby-jack cheese sticks lengthwise on top; fold the meat over the cheese. 
  7. Pat well into a loaf that is about 4 by 12 inches, pressing to seal the seams. 
  8. Scatter 1 1/2 lbs. quartered red-skinned potatoes around the loaf. Drizzle lightly with EVOO; season with salt and pepper. 
  9. Bake until the potatoes are tender and the cheese begins to ooze, about 50 minutes. (I thought it needed an extra 10 for the potatoes.)
The Learning Tower
Addisyn- Sous Chef/Artist

So, let us know what you think.. I am certain this is making it to the Libby Lane Press dining room this week! 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sometimes a picture is all you really need..

Can you believe that these are cookies? Look at the ruffles.. I LOVE ruffles but I am certain I could not bring myself to consume this piece of art.
If you have not met Sugar High, Inc. yet, then you do not know what you are missing. Talk about sheer talent. Take a peek at her work and I am certain you will be smitten too.

Source: Sugar High, Inc.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


So, now that I have dug myself out of the photo shoots, the piles of paper and 'inspiration' on my desk and returned the emails that reproduce in the night I can finally share all of my exciting news.  So, out of the two styling events for my paper designs not only one but BOTH were featured in the same week on Amy Atlas Events, Hostess with the Mostess and Chic and Cheap Nursery.  I was walking on air the entire morning of Oct. 14 when I saw my name, little old Libby Lane Press, in lights (ok, not really lights) on Amy Atlas' blog featuring my Birds of a Feather Halloween photo shoot.  Pinch me-- really, my first featured debut was on the Queen of Dessert tables blog. Does it get any better than this? Why yes, it gets equally as good.  The Honeybee Gender Reveal was featured on Hostess with the Mostess on October 18. {Insert child-like squeal here}. And then if all of that wasn't enough, the oh so patient and sweet Nicole from Chic and Cheap Baby Nursery featured the Honeybee photo shoot on her darling site on October 20.

For those of you that know exactly what goes into a styling event you know this was no easy feat, however I worked tirelessly through the night for many nights, coordinated with talented and kind vendors and met new and creative people along the way and I would do it all again in a minute. Well, matter of fact.. I am ! Get ready for Hanukkah and Christmas. Since we celebrate both in our house you can expect dessert tables for both.. {did I really just say that}?

Thanks for spreading the Libby Lane love and I am looking forward to seeing where this roads takes me..

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Texture, please

I am a huge fan of anything with texture. I adore ruffles, love bows and my current fav for fall {and anytime really} is BURLAP.  Who knew that something with such an industrial sounding name could be so pretty and add just the right about of girly-ness while not being pink and flowery.
via Pinterest
So, if you need to add a twist to a floral arrangement try a burlap ribbon instead of satin or grosgrain.  If you like to add texture to your walls, try a burlap matting to your framed picture. Or my personal favorite.. use it to make a tablecloth.. ruffles and burlap-- now that is like tomato soup to my grilled cheese sandwich.

Monday, September 26, 2011

House Talk: Painting diamonds on the wall

When trying to come up with my blogging calendar I often struggle. So, this time I decided to take a stroll around my own home for inspiration so what you are getting is a real life look at my painting abilities {or measuring, for that matter.. }.

When we moved into our house five years ago I knew I wanted something a little different and dramatic for the dining room. At that point wallpaper was not my thing, although I lust over it now despite the painful hanging process. Note to self: My next dining room WILL have wallpaper.  This was our first house so it has been a learning experience. Nonetheless, I am pleased when I see the outcome of the many pencils marks, levels and pieces of paper with various mathematical problems scribbled all in pursuit of the perfect dimension for the dining room diamonds.

Once, I knew the color palette I was looking for I bought a large piece of foam board, painted it, held it to the wall at different times of day to determine if I could live with it. Some may think this is a little over the top, but this was also a live and learn lesson that has since saved me time, energy and paint! I settled on two blue-ish gray colors.  The lighter tone being the base color and the darker as the diamond.

Next, was truly the most complicated part out of this process.  Trying to measure and line up the diamonds to the walls was rather cumbersome especially since we were only working with 2 full walls, not an enclosed area.  So, we started in the corner and worked our way out.
First, we measured the wall space and then divided the width and height by the amount of diamonds we were hoping to paint.  This was tweaked a few times once we actually used a pencil and drew the lines on the walls and used blue painter's tape to test the results of the math.  Since we started from the corner we were more concerned about the diamonds being of equal measurement rather than a specific number of diamonds per wall. Wrapping a design around a room creates the pattern 'look' and this was my goal since we were working with limited space.

Next, we aligned the painter's tape along the outside of the light-colored line where you DO NOT want to paint. This may sound like a no-brainer but after this amount of math and seeing blue tape everywhere it becomes very easy to forget if you are painting inside or outside of the tape.  {I have been known to use post-it notes but that was for painting stripes and will share that another day, for sure}.

Anyway, the next part is very important for crisp lines, which are essential when painting geometric shapes on walls. Using the light color (base color of wall)  paint the edges of the tape to create a seal.   This way, if paint seeps under the tape, it will be the same color as the base color of the wall. I have also learned this the hard way and had feathered edges, which is not a pretty site.  This little trick really does work and produces professional results.

Once the paint is dry, roll on the darker color in the diamond shape. This is the easiest part of the process so sit back, relax and roll.

Finally, pull off the tape at a 45-degree angle to the wall. You may think I am being a little picky with the whole degree thing but it really matters.  Also, it is fine to pull off the tape as soon as you finish painting, you do not need to wait for the diamond to dry.

And since you made it to this part of this little tutorial.. here are diamonds a la Libby Lane Press :

Don't mind the obtrusive light fixture.. just wanted you to see the end result from afar. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

REAL PARTIES: Puppy Pawty for Abby

Who let the dogs out? {couldn't help myself}

Sweet Abby turned 2 and couldn't imagine a better way to celebrate her day than with her favorite neighborhood four-legged friends joining her 'pawty'.  So, Abby's mom contacted me to create a custom invitation that would be perfect for Abby's friends, both dogs & toddlers.  I was able to capture Abby's favorite color scheme and incorporate a picture of the birthday girl with her favorite pal on the lined envelope. The envelopes were also addressed to coordinate with the invitation and look like a dog tag.

Wait until you see the pictures from this adorable party.  From the snacks served in dog bowls, to the  dog bone shaped crayons and dog hair bows that served as favors, this party was perfect, no bones about it!
You can find the Puppy Pawty Invitation here.  {Full Collection to follow}
Invitation & photo lined envelopes 
Matching envelope addressing
Abby and her best pals

dog-gone good sweets
Abby's special cupcake

pawty favors for the pups

keeping with the theme 

favor stickers that were attached to the favors


Love the display

Activities for everyone: big, small and stuffed

bows for the girls

craft table

Even the crayons match! 

such a fun party

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Creative Closet Crush?

So, pretty much like the rest of the creative thinkers out there, I am obsessed with Pinterest.  I have talked about it before on my blog, shared 'pins' with my husband {and no, he is not on Pinterest but I force him to endure looking at my ideas ad nauseam} and look regularly for my daily dose of inspiration.  I view Pinterest as a form of digital intervention to my countless pieces of paper scattered around my desk with ideas, pictures, images of just about everything I would love to create, design or do.  I now even have customers sending me their Pinterest boards that they have created for their children's birthday parties- I LOVE this! Talk about being truly able to match an invitation to someone's vision. Perfection.

Well, my current Pinterest swooning involves organization and work spaces.  I am on a mission to organize my home work space which  has now become Libby Lane Press central headquarters.  My children can be found walking around with craft punches, ribbons dragging behind them and lollipop sticks  that they think are 'broken' since the lolli seems to be missing. Sad, I know.  So, I called on a good friend who also happens to dabble in the world of professional organizing and she helped me to get started.  We have emptied the storage closet outside of my office, purchased matching storage containers in various sizes, labeled them and stored the items in perfect little spots.  This is a work in progress, but it's a start.

Here is a little eye candy for you, thanks to Pinterest, of course.

Realistic and a pretty alternative to a room

I would love to hear how you create organization in your own home office/studio..

Monday, August 29, 2011

And you thought they were just noodles...

So, I was in line at the grocery store on Friday with both of my children and every person on the East Coast {ok, maybe an exaggeration}.  Despite the madness, my screaming son, and a long line of frantic, over-buying shoppers I was  lured to the Taste of Home Ultimate Halloween magazine.  Now it was the candied apples on the cover that first caught my eye, but then I was quickly captivated by the clever ideas, fun recipes, and helpful hints to throw a spooktacular soiree.  I plan to try a few of the recipes for my own Halloween festivities but in the meantime I had to share this cute little guy.  I feel like I see a bug-eyed monster on every other Halloween invitation so in the spirit of the times you can now create a cupcake to match using chow mien noodles. So when you have a little time and a few spare noodles, go ahead and check out the recipe and give this little spiky friend a whirl.
Photo Source: Taste of Home
And tomorrow, I plan to share my dog-gone fun pawty that I promised last week.. No bones about it!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

And the winner is...

Delilah's Delights!

Congratulations to #11:
 delilahsdelights55 said...
I alreally follow libby lane on twitterI alreally follow libby lane on twitter

Please email me at so I can gather information to mail your $20 Staples giftcard!
Thanks for following Libby Lane Press