New Year’s Eve Lockers

New Year’s Eve Lockers

Our lockers are ready for 2017… and so are we!

We’re thankful that 2016 has been a great year for us, but we’re looking forward to even more fun in the New Year.  Thanks for all of your love and support – I appreciate you guys letting me live this little dream of mine every day!

Happy New Year!  Wishing you and yours all the best in 2017!

– Kandice

A Colorful Christmas

A Colorful Christmas

Y’all, this holiday season has been busy… which is great for business, but that also means that this girl is TIRED!

The sad truth is I was too worn out to put up all of my Christmas decorations this year.  As much as I love my Snow Village, garlands, nativity scenes and Santas, I didn’t have the time or the energy to do it.  I also didn’t want all the STUFF out.  When I put the decorations away, I’m always relieved that my house is clean and clutter-free…  so I decided to bring on all of that feel-good happiness a few weeks early.  The decorations were minimal, and I used a lot of rearranged everyday items, but it was a welcome change that I’ve enjoyed.  Below are a few of my favorite details  from this year’s “Colorful Christmas”:

The Mantle – I opted for retro bottle brush trees and a watercolor painting from my grandmother.  I had the hardest time finding “pastel” stockings, so I ended up spending an hour or so with my mom’s trusty Singer sewing machine to make my own.  They’re not pretty up close, but they’ll work for now.  (These trees are so fun – we even used them to dress up our lockers at the store this year.)dsc_1072sm

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The combination of the colorful trees and bright pillows (borrowed from the guest room) make for a cheerful and cozy fireside spot (Lucy agrees).

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My Tree – This year I went with a Nordmann Fir, adorned as usual with white lights and my colorful plastic balls.  It’s dog-friendly and easy – exactly what I needed!

dsc_1204smNostalgia – This is my favorite nativity.  For no good reason other than I’ve always loved it.  Since I’ve lived in this house, it’s been an amazing addition to my kitchen decor, mostly because I can keep it safe inside a cloche on the counter.

dsc_1221smA Paper Lover’s Nativity –  I bought this cardboard nativity a few years ago at an estate sale because it’s the same one my mom got from her mother. It fits perfectly on top of my grandmother’s mini piano.

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A Bright Entry – A colorful ball ornament wreath and abstract painting by my grandmother at the door kicks off the colorful feel for this year’s decor!

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Red/Green Books – Instead of packing up all my books, I decided to utilize the red and green ones for my entryway display.  One less thing to pack up, and a great way to use something I already have out.  It’s a win-win, right?

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The Church – This new addition to my decorations has been a favorite – it’s a wooden church for holiday cards!  It checks all the boxes:  cute, useful, and efficient.

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Clever Candle Gift in 3 Easy Steps

Clever Candle Gift in 3 Easy Steps

One of our favorite gift ideas this holiday season involves our favorite candle paired with an unexpected surprise – custom matches!

This ideas is so simple (and genius), we can’t believe we’ve never done it before!   It requires 3 easy steps, which we can help you with.

Clever Candle Gift in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Stock up on your favorite candles to give as holiday gifts (don’t forget to grab a few extra for “backup”).
  2. Order custom match boxes or match books from us at Barque (prices range from $37 – $44 for 50 quantity or $48 – $62 for 100 quantity).  Try to come up with a clever phrase you can use that includes candle-like qualities – “warm”, “glow/glowing”, “sparkly”, etc.  We can help you come up with the right message, but if it comes from you, it will be that much more personal and delightful for your recipient.
  3. Use twine or ribbon to tie your custom matches onto the candle (or even the outside of the wrapped package).

It’s a fun add-on to your gift, it’s useful, and it doubles as a gift tag too.  This idea is definitely one we’ll be using this season!

BARQUE BONUS IDEA:  Wouldn’t this concept be cute for birthday gifts too? Your message could read:  “Happy Birthday!  Hope your year ahead sparkles as much as you do.  Love, Tina & John”

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4 Personalized Ideas for Giving or Hosting

4 Personalized Ideas for Giving or Hosting

When it comes to holidays, we think the more personal you can make it, the better!

Whether you need a gift for that someone (or family) that has everything, or you want to host a holiday party with extra attention paid to details – these 4 ideas will do the trick.

  1.  Custom Cups – From shatterproof (shown here) to foam to double-insulated paper cups – custom cups make a great gift AND special touch to any soiree.  The shatterproof are a popular choice because they’re sturdy enough for wine or mixed cocktails (and they’re dishwasher safe).  They’re also a little more elegant, and with your monogram, name or initials printed, your holiday guests will be impressed by your hosting game. For outdoor gatherings, foam and paper cups are our favorite way to keep hot cocoa or cider warm (and lids are available too). Pricing varies based on the cup size and type, call us for more details.
  2. Personalized Stir Sticks – Available in an assortment of colors and shapes, drink stirrers are a fun accessory for entertaining.  They make a wonderful accompaniment to the gift of custom cups, or paired with a nice bottle of liquor for your boss who loves his bourbon. (Prices range by size, $48 – $60 for 50 quantity or $63 – $87 for 100)
  3. Custom Napkins – Beverage napkins make a great gift year-round, but they’re especially wonderful for those that love to entertain during the holiday season – they’re sure to be used from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve at planned or impromptu cocktail parties.  Since they’re disposable, you can also get a little more fun with the printed sentiment – of course a traditional monogram is nice, but a funny #insidejokehashtag, movie quote, nickname or phrase make for great ideas too. (Custom napkins are a thoughtful gift that also won’t break the bank – it’s just $31 for a bundle of 100 napkins.)
  4. Monogrammed Coasters – Custom coasters come in two shapes – 4″ square and round – and they make a lovely gift for any family, especially one that has a passion for welcoming others into their home. (Coasters are $74 for 50 and $90 for 100)

Any one of these ideas make a great gift on their own, but you can also mix and match custom cups + napkins, or napkins + stir sticks, or heck – someone on your shopping list might need the complete personalized set!

Need to gift these to yourself? Any of these pieces will make for great entertaining this season!

Just call us for more information and turnaround time on each item:  806-785-1195

Behind the Scenes Nutcracker Madness

Behind the Scenes Nutcracker Madness

I love designing custom invitations for our customers’ events, but when they give me complete creative freedom, it’s a lot more fun.

I was recently challenged with creating a custom invitation for a Christmas Coffee.  Off the top of my head, I suggested a Nutcracker and stacked teacups, and my customer immediately said, “go for it”, so I did!  This design was really fun to make, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out.  It’s fun, colorful and very cheerful (as a party invitation should be).

From time to time I share a behind-the-scenes look at my design process, and since this design is becoming a favorite so far this year, I thought I’d share more. Take a look at the photo below.  Does he look familiar?  The inspiration for my Nutcracker on paper came from one my own collection.  This guy is one of my faves – I call him Señor Nutcracker.

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Until a few years ago, I thought Nutcrackers were creepy, but then I stumbled upon a handful of them at am Estate Sale.  For some reason, I felt compelled to “save” them, and since then, they’re some of my favorite holiday finds.

After I created the Nutcracker and Cups invitation, I went a little “Nutcracker crazy” (hey, if inspiration strikes, you go with it).  I wondered how it would look to have a Nutcracker invade a “Christmas Fiesta” invitation… so I designed two more ideas.  Aren’t they fun?!   We now have two options for your next Mexican-themed Holiday party – a custom design that takes about a week AND an off-the-shelf design that takes 2-3 days to print.  Either way, it will put your guests in the mood for mistletoe and maracas!  Ole!

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And then I just kept going and created this custom gift tag…

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Ok, ok, I’m stopping!!!!  (PS- this gift tag is a sneak peek.  More details on our NEW custom gift tags coming soon!)