Winter Name Holders from Katie at Creatively Living.

Is it Thursday already???  Oh my goodness, it snuck up on me!  Today we have another guest from The Southern Institute community.  One of the perks of hosting Creative Me is getting to know you all as you link up your awesome projects.  I love the little community that we have here!  Katie from Creatively Living has linked up with Creative Me many times, and she always brings beautiful projects to my attention.  She has a knack for making her home beautiful with handmade touches… and she shares them all on her blog!  You MUST take her Christmas House Tour… TRUST. ME.  GORGEOUS!  Today she’s sharing one of the special details that makes it so special- Name Holders.

Hi all of you Southern Institute readers!

I’m Katie and I blog over at Creatively Living.

Today I’m going to show you how to make these simple name holders for any winter tablescape.

These are probably the easiest name holders I’ve ever made, but they could be my favorite.

I started with a package of silver ornament stars from the Dollar Store. (I think there were 5 or 6 in the box).

Two kinds of ribbon. One plain, one with something fun on it.

An evergreen clipping.

Sparkle letter stickers.


First, I made the name cards by adding a sparkly letter sticker and then using a black pen to write the rest of the name.

Next I pulled the ribbon through the ornament hole and the name card.

Then I tied the ribbon around the evergreen clipping and tied on a shorter piece of the “fun” ribbon.

And that’s it! Pretty simple huh?

I placed the name holder on a small black plate, so it would really stand out.

And then layered a contrasting colored plate and a charger.

Here you can see the rest of my Christmas dining room.

Thanks for having me Jenny!

I hope you all come see me sometime and check out other DIY home/craft ideas at Creatively Living!

 Thank you for sharing with us this week, Katie!  Your home is just lovely.  You are welcome to come spiff mine up any time!  

Have a great week everyone!  See you tomorrow at The Southern Institute!

My Friend Lori Danelle!

One nice thing about having a blog is that you can promote your friends!  My friend Lori has finally agreed to let me post about her business and blog, Lori Danelle, and I just know you are going to love her.  She’s giving away something really special today too, so make sure you get to the end of the post and enter!  Take it away, Lori!

Hi, I’m Lori! Wife to Nate, Mom to two amazing little girls, ages 5 & 4, a graphic designer, perfectionist, and I make things. All sorts of things.

Together with my husband, we completely remodeled our first house, which I dubbed the Practice House. When our family needs something, my first tendency is always to make it rather than buy it. My youngest daughter has had 3 beds so far in her life, and I’ve made 2 of them — not to mention a 4th that my husband and I have in the works to build soon. We’ve already built the new one for our oldest.

I also cut things out of paper. About 3 years ago I discovered and fell in love with paper cutting. Illustrations are hand cut into these amazingly intricate designs out of a single sheet of paper with just a craft knife. I tend to make all of my projects 10 times more difficult than they probably need to be because of my perfectionism, so this seemingly impossible feat was something I just HAD to try.  I was hooked right away.

One night, right before going to bed, I had the idea to try cutting a fingerprint out of paper. Then I fell asleep and completely forgot about it. Luckily, I a few days later I did remember, gave it a try and found that I could indeed successfully cut out a fingerprint. From there it just seemed really obvious that I had to do versions with two prints on a sheet of paper for couples celebrating a wedding or anniversary, and the single style would make a really unique family portrait when all clustered together. Thus Lori Danelle was born.

For the last two years I’ve been working full-time during the day and fulfilling orders at night with a goal of turning this little idea turned business into a full time job. And, as much as I love working with fingerprints, I’ve never lost my desire to create large-scale paper cut illustrations.

Last October, my husband was laid off from his job in construction management and I decided the time was right for me to really start focusing on growing my business. Nate agreed and said he would support me as my “house husband,” taking the roles of cooking, cleaning and getting the girls wherever they needed to go primarily on himself. I started working on and completing several illustrated designs.  All-the-while, we continued to discuss what Lori Danelle could be and by Spring, Nate really started to grasp the vision.

I’m a very creative person. It is at my core. Budgets, business plans, legal documents, and schedules. . . not so much. We always knew that as my business grew the first person I would hire would be someone to handle that sort of stuff. But we started to realize that the most ideal candidate for this role was already living under our roof. The majority of what Nate dealt with day-to-day in project management was budgets, contracts, production, quality assurance, and schedules. We had the ideal business partnership sitting in our laps without realizing it!

Since Nate has interjected himself into “my” business, it has really morphed into OUR business — and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I’m free to work in my strengths as a creative, and Nate does the same with visioning, business structure and systems. It’s perfect because while we’re definitely a team and discuss almost every aspect of what we’re doing, we also trust each other with what we’re good at. There’s no competition. We’re just working together to do what we find exciting and best for our family. We’ve even added a weekly feature we call Good Food Friday where Nate, who loves to cook, shares some of the things he’s been creating in the kitchen — and believe me, as the person who gets to taste everything he makes, you really want to try his recipes!!

So, now because of this new partnership, we not only offer the original hand-cut fingerprint paper cuttings, but also a more economically priced laser-cut version, as well as my illustration style designs in hand-cut or screen print options — and we’re currently finalizing details and will begin to offer my illustrations as laser cuts very soon. I’m so excited to be able to share what I create with all of you!

Thank you for sharing a bit of your creative journey with us, Lori!  It has been so much fun to see you as you have grown into it!

Lori is giving all of you a chance to win one of her screen prints!  I love them all, but this is one of my favorites!  Use the Rafflecopter widget below and enter to win this adorable Flapjacks print in your choice of color!  Thank you, Lori!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday Happenings at The Southern Institute.

Hey there everyone!  it’s Saturday… I’m relieved to be having a relaxed day with the family, whereas last Saturday I was at Bloggy Boot Camp cramming my brain with information (totally worth it by the way!).  Nothing beats being with your family though, does it?  As we head into the holidays and things get busier and busier, I just want to enjoy these laid back days together.  I hope you’re enjoying yours!

Today I’m posting over at Together in 10!  Incase you missed my tweets and updates, Together in 10 is a new stye blog for moms, and it’s great!  I know a lot of you are like me.  Maybe you’re a busy mom who feels like you don’t have a lot of time to commit to your appearance each day… we are right there with you!  Come by Together in 10 and subscribe in your reader.  We’ll be posting real life/real easy tips about how you can be your best self in the precious time that you have.  This is fun for me because I’ve kind of missed these types of posts.  If you’ve been reading The Southern Institute for awhile you might remember me linking up with What I Wore Wednesday.  It’s been awhile since I did that.  Taking photos of what I was wearing every day was a bit much for me (and for you to see I’m sure), so this is my new outlet!  Today I’m sharing what I wore for a Girls’ Night Out with my BFF.

I have another bit of exciting news to share with you-blog related.  The Southern Institute has been chosen out of 200,000 other blogs to be one of the featured blogs at’s new DIY channel!  You all have to check this out.  Shareaholic Channels are topic-based collections of content created just for you.

Are you looking for a great recipe?  First come to The Southern Institute, then if you can’t find what you’re looking for go to the Food Channel at Shareaholic and browse around.  See something that looks delicious?  Click over and see that post!  Same with DIY, Fashion and Beauty, and Fitness.  The content is always being updated.  I’m super excited and honored to be included, along with Lisa Leonard, Fireflies and Jellybeans, Crafting Mom, Oopsey Daisy, and several others, in Shareaholics new DIY channel.

Thanks for coming by everyone!  I hope you have a lovely Saturday.  Don’t forget to come back tomorrow night and link up your projects with the Creative Me Linky Party!