Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Giving Gifts with Heart and Style

Good things come in all sorts of packages. Presenting them in creative and thoughtful ways can be fun and easy. Taking an imaginative approach in wrapping a gift will ensure your present is one they want to open first. Add an extra layer of personality to your gift with a personalized ornament. This will reflect and create a lasting memory for the recipient.

Wrap a gift in shimmering paper, using sheer or a print ribbon to tie it all together. There are so many wonderful items you can use to decorate a gift. How about using a boa or a vintage broach. You can incorporate buttons, flowers, or even sand dollars...basically anything you can imagine can be put on a package. Just the way you add the ribbon or tie the bow can make the entire look.

A quick tip...those empty toilet paper rolls - after you have opened your roll of wrapping paper, put the toilet paper roll on the wrapping paper to keep it from unrolling!
Remember just to think about the personality of the person you are giving to and for what occasion and your gift will for sure be the one that stands out! Check out our complete line of personalized ornaments to give your gift that extra WOW!

Monday, September 10, 2012

How To Personalize Ornaments Creatively

Personalized ornaments are a heartwarming way to show friends and family that extra time and thought went into your gift.

Personalize to make items stand out as being unique and creative. Think of the person that is getting the ornament, what are their interests and do they have any fun sayings or quotes.

This last weekend my husband and I took a vacation to the New Jersey shore of Wildwood Crest. We have some good friends that recently purchased a beach condo. I wanted to take them something special and what better than personalized ornaments!

I chose the beach ornament. They call their beach condo "The Happy Place," what a perfect saying to personalize on the ornament.

I picked the crab and sandcastle ornament and personalized "Wildwwod Crest, NJ 2012" to commemerate their year.
The tropical drink ornament is for their daughter that recently received her PHD and personalized it "It's 5 o'clock somewhere! Dr Koz."
They loved them!
During the week, whatever question we had, Kristin (Dr Koz), had an app for that on her iPhone. All week it was "I have an app for that." Since returning home, I have personalized an iPhone ornament with "I have an app for that!" and am going to mail it to her.
It can be so much fun and also help create special memories. As I continue to personalize creative and unique ornaments this season, I will keep you updated on these great personalization ideas. Have a great week!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Personalized Christmas Ornament Line for 2012

This is always a fun time of year when I finish my new line of personalized Christmas ornaments. There are 43 new designs added to our collection this year that are cute, whimsical, fun, and of course, personalized!

The most popular category is the personalized family ornaments. I have added a new Candy Cane Pole family handmade out of bread dough, this is one of my favorites. Be sure and also check out the Snow Shovel family, it is so cute! I have added a new Christmas door that is adorable and would make a great gift for a family that moved into a new home, a teacher, a special neighbor or how about giving it as a hostess gift. There are so many ways you can give personalized ornaments!

You can view the entire "New for 2012" line

Be watching soon for a special discount so you can get a head start on your Christmas shopping!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Personalized Team Christmas Ornaments

Earlier this year I debuted my new MU Fans Family personalized ornament. Since then I have had many requests for different teams. I have added the photos of the teams I've done so far.

It's never too early to think about Christmas. These will make very unique one-of-a-kind gifts for that sports nut or student on your list. Please order early because quantities will be limited.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Personalized Glass Christmas Ornament

We're excited to introduce our new glass personalized Christmas ornament! This ornament has been hand painted by us of whimsical snowmen on a candy cane and will be available soon with two to six heads.

In the bottom of the ornament we have added beads, snow, and embellishments. The top has a ribbon tied in a bow for decoration and hanging.

This ornament is very unique! We have not seen anything like this in the stores or at market.

Next week we will be unveiling the rest of our 2012 line on watching!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Making Christmas Affordable

I don't know if you have found but I love it! You find great ideas and a lot of inspiration. I have a Christmas board and I will be pinning some of my favorite finds that you can make yourself.

Christmas is such a special time of year and it's very easy to get carried away with expensive decorations. I am sharing a cute decoration we'll call a "Package Full of Sparkle" that I plan on making for each side of my front door. Something like this is a great way to add some original flare to your home for the holidays. I was in Hobby Lobby the other day and they already have an aisle of Christmas out which proves that it's never too early to be thinking about Christmas.

Next month I will be heading to market in Atlanta to see my new personalized Christmas ornament designs for 2012 unveiled with Rudolph and Me. Be sure to watch our website so you can be the first to see what's new!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Personalized Sweet Pea Ornaments

I want to share with you a special project I am doing. Kit's Muse, a part of Project Sweet Peas, is in charge of decorating a tree that will be seen by thousands. They want to use the opportunity to honor and celebrate your children. I have designed a sweet pea ornament that can be personalized with a name, date, and special message for your child. It can be for one to four heads.

I also have several other personalized ornaments that may be ordered. For every sweet pea ornament I sell through my website, I will give a dollar back to the Project Sweet Pea. Read about it on

I am honored to be making ornaments for these special children.

They are a nationwide network of parents who strive to provide comfort to families who have children in the intensive care unit by providing care packages. They understand the stress of having a child who has spent time in an intensive care unit or has passed away. Their care packages contain items to aid in furthering the bond between parent and child and offers wellness items to the parents. They also aim to make treasured memories for parents who have lost a child in the intensive care unit. If you would like to help or would like more information contact them at:


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Personalized Christmas Ornaments-Then and Now

My how times have changed! I ran across this picture of myself and a good friend, Jackie Biele, at one of my first craft shows in 1982. In the first picture I am the one on the left, and yes much younger! The next picture is almost thirty years later with my grandson Trevin.

I displayed my ornaments on a board covered in black felt. As you can see, I only had a small selection. When I started making bread dough ornaments, never did I dream I would still be doing it thirty one years later! Usually crafts come in style and after a while they go out, but with personalized Christmas ornaments they have only grown and become more popular over the years. What I strive to do is follow the trends of Christmas ornaments to keep them in style and popular with design and color. It is always a challenge-which I love. I subscribe to just about every magazine and many trade journals. It involves shopping and going to market to see what is trending.

In 2005 a great opportunity was presented to me. Rudolph and Me, one of the leading wholesale Christmas companies, asked  me to join their team as an ornament designer. Now my designs can be seen throughout the world.

I thought it would be fun to show you some of my very first ornaments that I made so you can see how they have changed. Can you guess which one is the newest?

What I encourage everyone to do is follow your dreams-you never know where they might lead.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Personalized Christmas Ornaments for Graduation

May has arrived and I have started receiving graduation announcements and invitations to graduation parties. A personalized Christmas ornament is a great way to congratulate that special graduate. We have a great selection of graduation ornaments to choose from. It may be personalized with the graduates name, year of graduation and the school's name.

A personalized ornament is adorable attached to their package or if you are giving money or a gift card, it can be attractively tied onto an envelope. If you are hosting the party, attach the personalized Christmas ornament on a card pic in a flower arrangement you can use for the centerpiece or why not display it on an ornament stand on the gift table. There are so many ways to give or display your personalized ornament. It is sure to be a treasured gift that will be enjoyed for years to come!

In the coming weeks, Ornaments for Keeps will be releasing the remainder of the 2012 line of personalized Christmas ornaments. Check back often!

Friday, April 20, 2012

How to Make Bread Dough Ornaments

Bread dough ornaments are an easy and affordable craft that everyone can do, and you can make them as simple or as complicated as you like.  I am going to show you how to make a simple but sophisticated bread dough ornament that I hope you will find inspiring.  I made these as table favors for Kingdom Christian Academy's banquet.  These could also be used as tie-ons for a gift, a Christmas ornament for your tree, a gift for a friend or as a Christmas ornament project for your children.  It is still amazing to me you can take the ingredients of flour, salt and water to make such cute and adorable handmade dough ornaments that can become keepsakes.

Supplies you will need:

flour, salt, measuring cups, 3-inch round cookie cutter, alphabet or word stamps, pattern stamp to emboss ornament (the one I used is an Inkadinkado stamp that came from Michaels), cutting board, rolling pin, cookie sheet lined with foil, ruler, ribbon, Delta Ceramcoat Sparkle Glaze and polyurethane spray.

Here is the recipe I use for bread dough ornaments:

1 c. flour
1/4 c. salt
1/2 c. warm water
colored powder tempera if desired (I added 4 T of white powder tempera that came from Hobby Lobby to make these ornaments)

Combine flour, salt and powder tempera.  Stir to mix.  Add water, usually I add part of the water, stir and add the rest if needed to make a ball.  Knead with flour till it is a soft ball that is not sticky but not to stiff.  Since I make lots of ornament dough, I use a food processor, which is an option.

Step 1

Cutting process - round circle

Lightly flour surface of cutting board, roll bread dough out to about 1/4 in..
Take stamp and lay on rolled out bread dough and emboss.
Take a round cookie cutter and place over embossed dough and cut out.
With your spatula move to a cookie sheet.
Continue embossing dough and cutting your ornaments till you have the desired number.  I could get 10 ornaments out of one batch of dough.

Cutting process - word

Lightly flour surface of cutting board, roll bread dough out to about 1/8 in.
Cut out pieces of dough to stamp word.  I used the word "believe" because it was the theme of the banquet.  The dimensions for that word is 1 1/2 in. by 5/8 in.  You could also use the word "joy", "peace", "love", "friend" or personalize with a name.  You will have to adjust your dimensions according to the size of your stamp.  You can find small word stamps or get small alphabet stamps to make your own word.
With your spatula move word pieces to lay on the circles you cut.  I placed at an angle but you can place as desired.

Step 2
Baking or drying

When I made these I started out baking at 210 degrees for 6 hours or until hard.  I don't know why, but sometimes a few of them might curl up slightly.  The next batch I let dry for 1 1/2 to 2 weeks.  I turned over after a week to dry on the back.  These remained perfectly flat.  If you have the time, I recommend letting them dry.

Step 3
Painting and finishing

After they are dried, I used Delta Ceramcoat Sparkle Glaze to paint on the ornaments.  On the word pieces, I took a liner brush and outlined the word.  I lined with bright pink or lime green for the colors of the banquet.

Step 2
Baking or drying

When I made these I started out baking at 210 degrees for 6 hours or until hard.  I don't know why, but sometimes a few of them might curl up slightly.  The next batch I let dry for 1 1/2 to 2 weeks.  I turned over after a week to dry on the back.  These remained perfectly flat.  If you have the time, I recommend letting them dry.

Step 3
Painting and finishing

After they are dried, I used Delta Ceramcoat Sparkle Glaze to paint on the ornaments.  On the word pieces, I took a liner brush and outlined the word.  I lined with bright pink or lime green for the colors of the banquet.

Spray with 2 coats of polyurethane spray front and back, letting dry between each coat.  This will seal the ornament.  After the ornaments have dried, I cut 8 in. pieces of sheer organza ribbon and made the hangers.

How to store bread dough ornaments

Store in a cool, dry place
Do not store in damp basement or attic
I store all my ornaments in Rubbermaid type containers on the main floor of my home.

See examples of bread dough ornaments I have made.  Happy crafting!