Thursday, April 30, 2009

Lollipop Collection: Custom Candy Buffet Signs!

I thought I would share these cute signs that I made for a recent customer! She wanted a custom sign for her candy buffet table and one welcoming guest to her daughter's "sweet shoppe"! (As well as some custom stickers for the candy bags!) These are a modified version of my Yummy Lollipop invitations.

Overall, these measure about six inches (not including the lollipop stick). The bottom layer is a square of white cardstock, next layer is a square of striped paper, next a bright pink scalloped circle, and top layer is the round sign printed on glossy photo paper! I used a "cookie stick" for the lollipop stick, to make sure it would stand up with the weight of the multiple layers. Cookie sticks are thicker than normal lollipop sticks, and available at Michaels! Like the Lollipop invitations, I used "pop-dots" between the square layer and the scallop circle, to create space for the stick. This way, the top layers do not "bend" around the stick, rather they remain flat! Tie with ribbon.....and you have a "sweet" sign!

I apologize to all those that have emailed me for instructions for the lollipop invitations! I am creating a PDF file with detailed instructions! Once I get caught up on orders, I promise to email it out!

Invitations: Boy Birthday Party - Blue & Green Dots

I know, I know...I need more invitations and party collections for boys!

Enough with all this "sweet" girlie stuff, right? Cupcakes, lollipops, hearts...

I just created this custom invitation (above) and thank you card (below) for a friend's son's 2nd birthday party! She wanted something simple with a photo, with a blue & green design.
I also created a version with the "age" incorporated, which I think is pretty cute!
Thank you for your order, Kim! Have a great party!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Warning: This Post is NOT about Parties!

I try to stay on topic on my blog...crafting, parties, invitations, decorating. However, I would just like to say, I REALLY LIKE THIS GUY! He had my heart when he sang "The Way You Look Tonight". He smiles when he's singing to me and I smile back. Don't we all need a little eye candy sometimes? Yum.
(This blog is a place for all things pretty.....I think he fits in!)
PS. For those who don't have a TV, this is Kris Allen, currently in the Top 4 on American Idol!

TomKat Studio Frames: Perfect for Mother's Day!

Need a Mother's Day gift? Miss Holly is ready for a new home!

I just listed this frame in my shop! Isn't she pretty? :)

Here is Holly's Description from Etsy:

Meet Miss Holly! Holly has a casual elegance about her that makes everyone feel right at home. She loves all things beautiful and is wearing a gorgeous damask paper designed by Amy Butler. She is sprinkled with Swarovski crystals!

This hand decorated frame is 12x12 overall, with a 4x4 opening for your favorite photo. Made beautiful with paint, designer paper, genuine Swarovski crystals and a gorgeous silk flower. Painted, sanded, distressed and decoupaged by yours truly ;)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Invitations: Oh Lollipop Birthday Party Collection

I had a request for my "Oh Lollipop" invitations, but in bright colors. I LOVE how they turned out and they are now updated in my shop! They are still available in the pastel colors as well, but I'm loving these with the bright lollipops!
Also available in this collection, are coordinating thank you cards (below), cupcake toppers, address labels & favor tags!

View in my shop HERE!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Birthday Collections: More Projects I've Been Working On!

This was a recent custom order I completed for Pink & Green Polka Dot cupcake toppers! I think they turned out super cute! Have a great party Ella! I also did an order last week for 2 door signs and custom cupcake toppers in pastel colors! Cute! Happy Birthday Quinn!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Birthday Parties: Gorgeous Party Hats!

Mmm, Mmm, Mmm....these are the most beautiful party hats I have EVER seen. I found these out in the blog world, on Sweet Cuddlecakes, and originally from Such Pretty Things. After viewing the full tutorial, I realized the papers used are from Heather Bailey. No wonder I love them so much! This looks like a super easy project for your child's next birthday party! Maybe I should create matching ones for my party collections and offer them in my shop?!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Invitations: How Cute is this Girly Girl?

This is one of the orders that I have been working on! I think this photo is so perfect for this Girly Girl invitation! Nice job, Erin! It is fitting that Erin is doing a flower theme for her daughter's first birthday, because she owns a floral and event design company!

Happy Birthday Lucia! Have a fabulous party!

Friday, April 24, 2009

The TomKat Studio Frames: Little Viv - Custom Frame

I'm finally starting to get some of the photos off of my camera and on to this blog! I am pretty vigilent about photographing everything I'm working on. It's just a matter of time to get the photos off the camera, edited and up here for your viewing pleasure!
This frame was custom made for Becky after she found Miss Vivian on my Etsy shop! I mentioned this order previously, and that she is doing her daughter's room in a black, white & pink theme with lots of bling! Little Viv should fit in perfect!

She has promised to share photos of the room and Little Viv in the room, so stay tuned!

Invitations: Briar's Jungle Birthday Party!

I thought it was about time to show you what I've been doing lately that has kept me too busy to blog! This was a custom invitation I just did for my friend Taryn's son's upcoming Jungle party! The monkey design was inspired from my son's 1st birthday party a few years ago, which was inspired by a monkey birthday party on Martha Stewart!

Taryn is one amazing chic. By day she is a pharm rep, by every other moment she is running a successful wedding videography business, all while being a fabulous mommy to her two little ones. Check out her & her husband's amazing work HERE.

Briar is one of my son's best friends and Tommy can't wait to go to his jungle party!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The TomKat Studio Frames: SOLD OUT on Etsy!

A fabulous photographer in Illinois just purchased my remaining frames on my Etsy shop for her new studio/shop! She is eager for more, so it's time to get to work! (Not that I'm not working already!) Thank you for your order, Ashley! My dear Miss Evelyn....I will miss you the most!

Miss Amy, you've brightened many of my days!

Miss Annette, we didn't spend much time together, but I know you'll be happy in your new home!

Farewell my lovelies!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sweet Customers: Bella's Lollipop Birthday Party!

Thank you so much to Adelina, who just sent me the photos from her daughter, Bella's lollipop party! Adelina was my first Yummy Lollipop party package order on Etsy after I posted it from Kate's party! I am so impressed with her setup and creativity! I LOVE that she used the labels on the glass jars, wrapped with ribbon! And that canopy?! So cute! How about the gumball machine favors tied with my favor tags? Perfect!
Thank you for sharing, Adelina!
I'm so happy Bella had a "sweet" party!
Here's the sweet feedback Adelina left on my Etsy shop:
Kim, you are the BEST! When I think of you, Sophisticated Cuteness comes to mind! I SCREAMED when you sent me the proofs and when I received my pkg on Friday I had a HUGE smile looking at everything! I LOVED your packaging, EVERYTHING!!! I'm hiding it all from Bella in a drawer and I find myself sneeking in there regularly just to "look" at everything again! I LOVE ALL OF IT!!! My BFF received her invite yesterday and LOVED it!! I can't wait for the rest of our family to begin receiving the invites - the calls will be pouring in over those!! I will definitely be using you for ALL of my future parties! I'm soooo BLESSED to have found you!!! MUAHHHHH!!! ~ Adelina
MUAHHH, back to you, Adelina!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Help Wanted!

{print via jennysbakeshop}
I'm getting busy...really busy. I think if I had someone to help with the kids/house and perhaps help with some of the admin/crafting for the TomKat Studio, I would have this under more control.

If you know anyone who would be interested, please have them email me! I would be fine with a stay at home mom, who could bring her own child (or two) with her and entertain my kids for a few hours, a few days a week!

In the meantime, I'll be having lots of cupcakes! :)

Thanks ~ Kim

PS. Molly - I think I'll be keeping you busy this summer!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Parties: Pink Perfection!

As I was catching up on one of my favorite sites, Hostess with the Mostess, this GORGEOUS party caught my eye! Originally from, this flirty black, white & pink party design is so fabulous, down to every detail! (and it doesn't it look perfect on my blog? :)
Good thing I have a girl....this party inspiration will come in good use for one of her birthday parties! Next year, perhaps?!
See more at HWTM!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Parties: Decorating My Cupcake Stand!

Hello there, cupcake lovers! I have had a couple people ask about the cupcake stand that I've been using! I picked it up at Michaels ($20), but used a 50% off coupon ($10), making this fabulous party piece quite the bargain! I like it because it is plain and can be used and decorated for any type of celebration!
Here it is at Kate's Lollipop Party:

Here it is at Lisa's Boutique Party:

I started looking for a cupcake stand after I saw this FABULOUS photo from Amy Atlas Events. Swoon! This photo makes my heart skip a beat:

I LOVE the letters stuck to her stand, but I just ran out of time to give that one a try!

For the Wilton cake stand, to make the paper circles I just traced each layer of the cake stand onto paper. Then I cut it out about 1/4" in from the line I made. Then I cut a slit from the outside edge to the center of the circle. Then I cut a small circle out in the center. It was just trial and error, just keep cutting until fits! Then I taped the slit together. It doesn't have to be perfect since the cupcakes cover it anyway!

For Kate's I did try to attach paper around the edges, but it was very frustrating to get it to stick. The edges are actually curved to "show off" the cupcakes, so trying to attach paper to a curved circle was next to impossible. (you can see the overlap in the photo above...does not make this perfectionist very happy!) Maybe ribbon would be easier, since it's more flexible!

Good Luck! Send me pictures if you decorate one!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Press: Garden Party & TomKat Studio Photo Shoot!

What a whirlwind of a day! I am sitting here all prettied up, blinking away at my computer screen feeling a sense of relief that the day is over. Don't get me wrong...this day is what every Martha Stewart wannabe dreams of (on a local level!). I had SUCH a fun time today, styling a little "Garden Party" and posing with my kids in my studio for the Mom article (possible cover?!) for Go Gilbert magazine!

During the Garden Party shoot, I learned that it takes quite a bit of effort to get the right shot. A ton of prep time, hair, makeup, clothing changes, set design.....all for one winning photo! We did that about 7 times, and voila, you have a fashion spread! I can't wait to see it come to life in the magazine!

Two gorgeous girls and their equally gorgeous children came over for the shoot. With children in the mix, things get a little tougher but the photographer, Paul Sebring was amazing. He was relaxed, fun and all around great. I had so much fun working with him, and Sondra Barr, the editor on this project!

I would have taken more pictures, but I really tried to hold myself back and be professional, instead of acting like the giddy little school girl that I was. We'll all just have to wait for the issue to come out in May!

After the Garden Party was over, I was summoned to get hair and makeup done by the girls from XS Salon. They went with a 50s housewife style, and I even wore an apron for the shoot! (How Martha is that?!) The apron is pictured above and I picked up as the inspiration for the entire party! I can't wait to see how the photos turn out! If I had more time, I would have dropped 20 pounds and got a tan before this! But, who knew?

What a fabulous day......I'm off to Divas...a night relaxing (and crafting) with the girls!

The TomKat Studio - LOVE is a wonderful thing!

{another fabulous print from theloveshop}

Last week, I was talking about blogging and some of the LOVE I've been feeling. Things are picking up at The TomKat Studio, and I thought I'd share some other mentions that products from my shop are getting! Yippeee!

All Things Cupcake - These girls are obsessed with cupcakes! They just featured my Sweet Cupcake Collection! SEE THE POST HERE

Head of The Table - A gorgeous entertaining blog filled with great ideas wrote "A Real Treat" about the Lollipop Party and my Yummy Lollipop Collection on Etsy! VIEW HERE

Project Nursery - Just posted Kate's Lollipop Party - "A Sweet Success" VIEW HERE

Sweet Cuddle Cakes Blog featured my Little Birdie Invitations in an inspiration board they created for a Pink Baby Shower! CLICK HERE

Simply Creative Insanity featured the Lollipop Party CLICK HERE

Thoughtfully Simple posted Kate's Lollipop Party yesterday! SEE IT HERE

Thanks for the LOVE, you fabulous blogging party girls!

Press: Magazine Shoot at My House!

{photo by vicki lynn photography}
I can hardly contain myself. I can't believe I've kept this off my blog this long...

Tomorrow, I have a local magazine coming to my house for several reasons. Remember how I do happy dances, in particular "leaps" around my house when good things happen? This would be one of those moments. First, I am being featured in an article about Mom-trepenuers ....mommas staying home with little ones and running businesses from home. I've been in business for a long time (real estate), but in this new little venture I have surely found my passion. Lucky me, I'm going to get some local exposure for it, too! Yippee!

Second, after I met with the publisher, she asked if I would be willing to style a party for the fashion spread in the magazine.....ummm, hello? YES! Dream gig, right?! Another happy dance....
So let me start with this Mom-trepeneur thing. If you don't know me, I would say that I am a "working girl". I have ALWAYS worked and always been very motivated. How many girls do you know that were AVON ladies when they were 14? Who does that? Obviously, it was something my mom suggested and I went for it! My real estate career started early as a weekend receptionist (the month after I turned 16), and then going to real estate school on a summer off from ASU, when I was 18. I also babysat, worked at LA Fitness, interned for a culinary magazine, sold Gold Canyon candles and did tea parties for little girls. Oh, and the real stuff after college...I worked for a large advertising agency, several real estate companies, and then partnered with my momma to open our own real estate company about 8 years ago.

Here I am, in an awful real estate market, with two little ones and the opportunity (or need) to stay home with them. (I must say thank you to my wonderful hubby and mommy who are out there working hard in that awful real estate market!) Being the the person I am, I cannot sit still....and discovered the world of blogging. Okay, so I did try to blog about real estate previously. However, I am a very POSITIVE person and I just can't find much to say that is positive about the real estate market. Not to mention, if someone wants me to show them properties, it's tough to be available when you have two small children. So with a little time on my hands and a need for accomplishing something (not that raising children isn't an accomplishment, but you know what I mean), I decided to blog about things that make me happy..and The TomKat Studio was born (Tom = Tommy, Kat = Kate)!

After getting some great responses on projects that I posted, I decided to throw together a shop on Etsy to sell some of the things that I like to make. Seriously, I really just wanted to see if anyone would buy my stuff. I've made invitations since I can remember, but I have never attempted to sell them before. Not that I wouldn't want to, but more for lack of time when running another business. I am....a Mom-trepeneur and loving it!! I feel like I'm just getting started and have so many ideas, but I'm going to have to figure out a workable balance! In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy the thrill of a new adventure!

Okay, so this post went way off in a direction that I didn't more on the magazine shoot tomorrow! I need to go to bed, if I want to try to be pretty tomorrow....

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Crafting: Martha Paper Peonies

Martha Stewart sent me her "Craft of The Day" today (I subscribe), and I thought these would be fabulous to make and use on my frames!

UNTIL, I clicked on through and looked at the list of 15+ supplies you need and the detailed 16 step instructions! Beautiful, but no thanks! Anything that starts with boiling paper probably isn't worth it.

CLICK HERE for full article & instructions

I DARE YOU! Make these and live to tell about it!

Monday, April 13, 2009

The TomKat Studio - My First Boutique Party!

My friend, Lisa hosted a boutique party Friday night at her home, and invited me to bring my frames and invitations to display at the party! Other vendors were there with fabulous clothing, purses & accessories! Of course, I took a few pictures of my first little display of The TomKat Studio products!
I had hoped for more time to prepare, but orders are keeping me busy! (Hence the fact that I haven't posted since Wednesday, except to say Happy Easter?!?) But I did get it all together last minute, literally printing postcards to hand out 15 minutes before leaving for the party. Eeek!
I made cupcakes (as usual) and made cupcake toppers (one of my fave products I make) that said "The TomKat Studio" about that for a promotional item? Win 'em over with sweets, right?!
The party went great! I sold 2 of the 6 frames that I brought and also have a few girls wanting custom frames made! Email me, girls! :) I talked to some of the shoppers about invitations, so hopefully they will remember me when they are planning their next party!


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

{image from martha}

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The TomKat Studio: Feeling Loved...

{print from}

I miss blogging and reading blogs all night. Now I'm folding, printing, designing into the wee hours of the night instead. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE it. I'm just really overwhelmed. I'm going to have to create some sort of schedule, rather than just sneaking off to my favorite room every second that I can to work on orders!

Checking my email is so much more exciting these days! A new sale?! I immediately jump up and down and run around the house. It's just an amazing feeling when someone wants to actually buy something I make.

Who doesn't like compliments? Okay, so maybe I like them more than most...some sort of personal issue I have, but boy...this new gig is really making me feel loved! I am talking to customers everyday who are so excited about my products and tell me how great my work is. I am connecting with other crazy party-obsessed mommas who start planning their kids' birthdays way before I do! (I have a lollipop customer who wants them for December!)

I started this business (I guess since I am actually selling something you can call it that now?) on a whim. It just seemed like the next step after blogging and getting a little following. Throw my products out there and see what happens?! I really don't have a plan! I have no systems in place and I am totally winging it. But that's okay, I can figure it out, step-by-step....long night after long night.....

Some of the LOVE I've been feeling:

Navy Sou, an amazing photographer in California wrote this blog post about The TomKat Studio yesterday. I want to kiss her for her glowing post! CLICK HERE

Kate's lollipop party was featured on this new party website, Creative Parties & Showers yesterday.

I was asked yesterday by Thoughtfully Simple if they can post Kate's party, as well!

Here's an email from a customer, the same one who emailed me to tell me she was screaming when she opened the file of the proofs for her products:

Hi Kim, I received my pkg on Friday and it's TDF!!! I'm hiding it from Bella in a drawer and I find myself sneaking in there regularly just to "look" at everything again! I LOVE ALL OF IT!!! My BFF received her invite yesterday and LOVED it!! I can't wait for the rest of our family to begin receiving the invites - the calls will be pouring in over those!! Thank you SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!! - Adelina

This is crazy! All I know is I constantly find myself SMILING at my that weird?

Monday, April 6, 2009

TomKat Studio Frames: Miss Vivian is Officially Off The Market!

I had my first "real" Etsy frame sale a few hours ago! Miss Vivian, who was featured on NBC News in Atlanta a few weeks ago, was sold as a custom order. The customer ordered the black/ivory damask, with a hot pink flower for her daughter's paris themed room! (sounds familiar!) I think we'll call her Little Viv, Miss Vivian's daughter. Am I insane for writing about my frames like they are people? Is that just weird or a good marketing ploy? Just trying to keep things interesting, people! ;)

Inquiries have definitely picked up for the frames this week (after a price reduction across the board)! I was getting a little worried and thought about just focusing on invitations, since they are getting noticed! But I really LOVE making these, so I'm going to keep doing both for now!
The other day I had a custom request for Miss Evelyn, but without the flower. Unfortunately, I cannot locate that paper again. I buy paper everywhere randomly, so who knows where it came from. I can't even figure out the brand since it is obviously glued to the frame! Anyone a die-hard paper lover recognize it? I offered the customer a Martha paper in similar colors...we'll see if she likes it!

Also, I had a customer notice the polka dot frame with the beautiful black bow and rhinestone buckle in one of the group photos (shown at top) on Etsy. The actual frame isn't up because it was a sample/prototype that Kristi made, that we plan on making more of in the future. So the customer will probably take that one off of our hands!
While I'm on the topic of frames, I just realized I forgot to introduce you all to Angelina. (shown above) Here is her description from Etsy:
Meet Angelina! Angelina is bold, beautiful and provocative. Her black and white damask pattern is distressed and ink-washed, giving her an edge. She is topped with crystals to give her a little sparkle in the dark life she lives! This listing includes the black metal easel to display Angelina beautifully!

My friend, Lisa invited me to display my frames and invitations at her boutique party this Friday! I'm nervous because I have a ton to make before then! But really excited to see how people like my products in person! (I've only tried selling on Etsy so far!) Wanna come visit me at the party?!?! It's in Chandler. Email me! Please come, I need some support! And for all of you that come to my annual boutique party every December, the same purse people will be there!

Cheers! I'm off to assemble some lollipop invitations......Tommy keeps asking, "Momma, lollipops AGAIN?" Cute.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Birthday Parties: Yummy Lollipop Birthday Party Collection on Etsy!

It seems there is quite a demand for party packages that include more than just invitations & thank you cards! My "Sweet Cupcake" collection has had a TON of views on Etsy (over 700 in just a few short weeks!) What does that mean? Well, the other items in my shop average about 100-150 over the course of a few weeks. So the cupcake package is getting a lot of attention! Yippee!

I've even had several people find me on Google for invitations! (Wanna be my best friend? Go on google, search "cupcake birthday party", "lollipop invitations" and other terms like that. See if you find me! If you do, click on the link (makes me more popular) and be sure to tell me how far down on the google search my info/link was!
My most popular item for sales so far has been the cut-out lollipop invitations! (Of course....they are the hardest ones to make!) After taking photos of all the lollipop items from Kate's party, and the items for a customer's Bella party, I decided to put them all in a party kit in my shop!