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brown paper packages: September 2012

Friday, September 28, 2012

{silhouette winner!!}

I am posting the winner on both this site, and on my new site, because the transfer isn't quite complete.  So don't worry--the winner should be able to see it either way!!!

A HUGE congrats to...

#775, Kori!!!

I'm so excited for you!!! Please contact me at within 48 hours, or I will select a new winner.  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

{burlap framed decor}

I actually first made these framed burlap decorations three years ago--one of my very first posts!  (You can find the original post HERE.) I still love them, but this year I decided it was time for a little update. I am totally in love with how it turned out--I'm obsessed with ticking and burlap, so I'm always excited when I use both at the same time!

If you're looking for an easy and inexpensive way to add fall decor (or ANY holiday--just change the word and color!) to your home, look no farther.  It's totally customizable, as you use different fabrics, lettering, and  colors.  These make darling gifts, too!  


-foam stamps or stencil
-craft paint
-coordinating fabric
-small safety pins


1.  Cut your burlap to size. I used the one I already had, which was sized to fit an 8x10 frame.

2.  Using your foam stamps (I used Making Memories foam stamps, Philadelphia style.  If you cut your own stencils on your Silhouette, it's also the Greer font.) or stencils and craft paint, add text to center of burlap.  Let dry completely.

3.  Take the glass out of your frame.  I used an 11x14 frame, so you could see plenty of fabric around the edges of the burlap.  Lay out your coordinating fabric, and trace around the picture back, leaving about an inch around the edges.  Once it's cut out, you can place it inside your picture frame, and secure it with the picture back.  You can pull the extra edges a little bit, to ensure that it's a tight fit, and that the fabric is nice and smooth.

4.  Once the fabric is secure, all you have to do is use your safety pins to pin your piece of burlap in the center.  I used small scrapbooking safety pins, oil-rubbed bronze in color.

Ta-da!  A darling piece of burlap decor!  This is seriously the easiest project ever, and you will love it!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

{BIG changes ahead...}

 My goodness, this is a post that I didn't ever think I would be writing.  

    In a few days, Brown Paper Packages will not be the's getting a new name!  Yes, it's true, and it's been one of the hardest things I've had to do.  When I started this blog three years ago, I thought I was being SO creative in choosing a name. It was one that I loved, and thought would represent me what I wanted to blog about--all of my favorite things.  

Apparently I was not the only one.  :) A couple of months ago I became aware of a couple of other blogs with the same name, but it wasn't until I saw one of them being featured on a friend's blog and seeing their photo with a watermark that looked startling like mine that it really hit me.  Now, it's not that I wasn't happy for this blogger, for their success and great project--quite the opposite.  I celebrate everyone's successes, and I feel like this community is very good about encouraging and supporting one another. I want to see every blogger do well, and I consider all of them friends.  However, I don't think I'm alone in the fact that I want my work to stand on its own, and not be confused with someone else's.  

So...I did a little research, and started looking into getting the name trademarked, and discovered that Brown Paper Packages is already trademarked!  An online crafts supply company has owned the trademark since before I started my blog, and because we are basically in the same line of work, I was technically in violation of their trademark. I knew at that moment that I needed to change my name--I needed to honor their trademark and come up with a name that I loved, but that I could keep forever, and that would be my own. 

I was, and still am, incredibly sad. I have had this name for a long time, and it's become a part of me.  When I was trying to think of another name, I really struggled--I couldn't think of something that I really loved, and thought truly represented who I am.

Then it came to me. Why not use the name that I've had for my whole life? :)  
So, on September 25th, this blog will be re-named...

simply {kierste}

I will also be undergoing a total blog makeover and design change, so don't worry when you come to my page and it looks's still me!  My new url will be, so if you want to make any changes to your bookmarks, etc. it will be effective on the 25th.  Don't worry--if you still go to the brown paper packages address it will automatically forward you to the new site.  

I'm so grateful to all of you for your support and friendship--I really feel like I know you when I read your comments and e-mails--I love it.  I thank you ahead of time for your patience and understanding as this transition takes place, and if you have any questions or problems at all, you can e-mail me.  Thank you for reading--I appreciate every single one of you!  

The moral of the story:  When you are starting your own blog, and trying to come up with the perfect name, make sure you google that name first, to see if there is already a blog with that name, then check with the trademark office to see if there is an existing trademark.  It will save you in the long run, I promise!  


Friday, September 21, 2012

{rustic burlap pumpkins}

You all know I ♥ burlap, and it especially fits the fall season, and into Christmas.  I made these rustic burlap pumpkins last November for our Thanksgiving table centerpieces, and I am in love with them still. I couldn't wait to pull them out again this fall! They make a charming addition for the whole fall season, and can be used on mantels, front porches, tablescapes, and more.  

Read more »

Thursday, September 20, 2012

{back 2 basics} lil' luna


 Hi there friends!!! My name is Kristyn from Lil' Luna, and I am SOO happy to be here today on Brown Paper Packages. I just love Kierste and all her creative ideas!! I was thrilled when Kierste asked that I share a Back 2 Basics tutorial with all of you. Since my oldest started Preschool last week, I thought it would be perfect to share with you the little Back to School Gift we made for her. I'm always trying to think of practical gifts and thought this next one would be good for any teacher. It can be filled with goodies or other red or green school supplies. I had found these cute paper clips at Target and knew these would be perfect. Here is how you can make it too...

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

{silhouette giveaway & promo!!}

Guess what!!! I'm in Michigan for Home Depot's Celebration of Service kickoff, and already I've met some fabulous bloggers and can't wait to meet more! I'm so looking forward to tomorrow's project, and can't wait to tell you all about it.

Meanwhile...there is a new Silhouette promo I want to tell you about, AND a............


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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

{polka dot glass pumpkin} featuring martha stewart glass paint

I was asked to review the new Martha Stewart glass paint, and I was so excited to try it!

I've had this pumpkin glass jar in my cupboards for years, and I decided this was the perfect time to give it a little facelift.  I love the end result, and the fact that with a little paint, a total transformation took place!

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Monday, September 17, 2012

{twine & berry wreath}

Usually my fall decorations are up on September 1st, but this year I'm a little late to the game.  I think it might be the weather--this week we had a "cold front", which I found out in Texas terms meant only 90 degrees, lol.  However, the mornings were beautiful, and walking out one morning to take my girls to school I finally felt like fall was on its way.  It's my most favorite season, and I love that I can keep the decorations out from September all the way through November!  

I made a wreath for my front door, but I also needed one for the window that's on my mantel.  I looked through my bins of fall decorations, and found a twine wreath and berry garland that I thought would be a perfect combination!  I LOVE LOVE how it turned out, and it was so simple!  

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Friday, September 14, 2012

{fit friday} getting started!

A new school year often marks the start of many new things. For kids it often times means a new teacher, new friends, new shoes, etc. Mom's may be encountering many new things as well - new meal planning schedule, new routine, new wake-up time, and quite possibly new free time with less kids at home. 

Whatever it may be I want you to try something NEW for yourself at this back-to-school time of year. Eating right is the BIGGEST part of our overall health and weight but following right behind is exercise. Even if it doesn't affect our weight immediately it definitely affects our physical body inside and out
 (and I believe it helps with not just our physical make-up as well)!

 If you are already an exerciser - up your pace, try a new class, switch something up. Maybe you're an exerciser who goes through stints of inactivity - take it up again - recommit yourself. If you're someone who wants to get into working out but for whatever reason hasn't done it yet - now is your time!

Here are some tips to get you started:
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Thursday, September 13, 2012

{back 2 basics} gingersnap crafts

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

{back 2 basics} 733--a creative blog

Super excited to be visiting here at brown paper packages today.  I am such a fan of Kierste!  She is really the sweetest person in the world, and UBER-talented to boot!  My name is Kim and I blog over at seven thirty three.  I love to share party ideas, free printables and general crafty fun.  I also offer blog design, in fact I did the design for brown paper packages.  If you're in the market for a new design, stop on by seven thirty three - - - custom blog design.  I'd love to help you out!
Today I am going to show you how to make a mini-clipboard to hold little notepaper or sticky pads - these are perfect teacher gifts.

DIY Mini Clipboards
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Monday, September 10, 2012

{all about me} journaling for kids

I always think I'm going to remember everything forever. At the moment it seems so unthinkable that I would ever forget, but I do.  It's why I think journaling is so important.  I didn't have a successful journal until I found something that worked for me--which I believe is the key.  In my late teens I finally started typing entries on my computer, rather than writing them down.  It was faster, easier to correct, and for me, I was able to keep up with with my train of thought, and always ended up writing more than I would have otherwise. I was thrilled when blogging came around--even better!  I've had a family blog for years--I post regularly, and get it printed each year. It's been my solution to keeping a history of our family, and journaling my thoughts. 

I also want my children to capture their experiences and thoughts, and to be able to look back on their growing up years when both their memories and mine have faded. Childhood is magical, and they will never look at things quite the same ever again.  The question to do it? All of my kids except one are six years old and under, and most likely a traditional, blank journal wouldn't last long. My oldest son would probably write one line and call it good, lol. 

So...I created an "All About Me" binder, with a section for each child.  I typed up a journal page consisting of questions that would really work for any age, and that targeted the previous week--remembering their daily lives was a goal for me.  Each Sunday I hand out a journal page, and they can write as much or as little as they want to.  My girls are in 1st grade, so it's also great writing practice!  If they want to draw and color pictures on the back, that's even better. My boys don't write yet, so I'll wait until they're a little older for the pages, but they can certainly draw pictures!  Once they're finished for the day, I slide them into a sheet protector, and put them in their section.

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Friday, September 7, 2012

{dell inspiron laptop giveaway!} bitdefender total security

This post brought to you by Bitdefender. All opinions are 100% mine.

I don't know about you, but I am totally dependent upon my computer, and the internet.  I use it for everything-- including to pay bills and organize finances, get directions, search for new recipes, look up information on anything and everything, talk to friends and family, entertain my kids with educational games and movies, and of :) 

For the majority of us, the internet is a staple in our home, and it has replaced trips to the bank, post office, stores, and much more, making keeping your family safe and personal information secure the top of your priority list, as it is on mine.  As my kids get older, they are on the computer more for school and for fun, and I want them to be as protected as possible.  If you've ever experienced a virus, someone hacking an account, theft of financial information, or inappropriate content that's popped up in front of your  child, you know how difficult it can be to recover what you've lost. 
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Thursday, September 6, 2012

{celebration of service} home depot

I love Home Depot, and I'm SO excited to announce my partnership with them, and the opportunity to be a part of their Celebration of Service!

Today, The Home Depot store associates and The Home Depot Foundation are embarking on a two-month community outreach initiative to transform the homes and lives of veterans across the country. From September 6 to Veterans Day in November, store associate volunteers will complete hundreds of service projects – from making mobility modifications to the homes of injured veterans to renovating shelters for homeless veterans. Volunteer projects also will include energy efficient upgrades to homes of individual veterans and facilities that serve them to help reduce utility bills.
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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

{back 2 basics} how does she?

Hello Everyone! We are so excited to be here today! We are the gals from...

Kierste asked us to share one of our favorite back to school ideas. We love this one because it can be used for organizing everyone's busy schedules at home or as a gift to a new teacher with a note from your child. 

It's the...


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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

{back 2 basics} eighteen25

we're jamie, jodie and jennifer from eighteen25
and we're happy to be participating is kierste's back to basics series again this year!

when plain ol' no.2 pencils just won't do it for your kids, break out some nail polish and spiffy them up a bit.
(it's also a good way for them to keep track of their pencils - at least for a little while)

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Monday, September 3, 2012

{individual fruit pizzas}

This post brought to you by NECTRESSE™Sweetener. All opinions are 100% mine.

Fruit pizza has long been one of my favorite treats, but for some reason I don't make it very often.  This week I had a craving, and thought it would be fun to create individual fruit pizzas, using sugar cookies.  They were a hit! They were fast, so simple to put together, and SO yummy!

What I love about them is that you can offer the cookies with the cream cheese on it, along with a presentation of variety of fruits, so everyone can design their pizza exactly the way they like it.  I'm a strawberries girl, so I always end up piling them on.  :) This would be a really fun idea for a party or gathering, too!

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Saturday, September 1, 2012

{back 2 basics} somewhat simple

I have loved "back to school" time since I was a small girl, and that love hasn't faded one bit.   Last September I launched the first ever Back 2 Basics series, featuring fabulously creative bloggers and their great back to school ideas.  It was so successful, that I knew I wanted to do it again this year.  

So...please give a huge welcome to our first blogger of the month,

Miss Stephanie from Somewhat Simple!

Last year my daughter started kindergarten and she was nervously excited to meet new friends. On the first day of school, she made friends with 2 twin sisters who are the sweetest little girls you'd ever meet! One day, during the first week of school, my daughter came home with an invitation that looked something like this:

(names have been changed )

My daughter and I went together and the kids had a blast playing with their classmates while I got to meet other parents. It really eased some of the new-school anxiety and made both of us more comfortable. 

This is such a fun idea, I plan to make it an annual tradition at the start of every school year!


Make sure to visit Somewhat Simple on Facebook too!  

{cameo winner!}

It's time to announce the lucky winner of the Silhouette Cameo bundle!!  

A HUGE congratulations to #84, Sandi @ The Primitive Skate!  

The winner has been notified via e-mail as well!  Please contact me at within 48 hours, or I will select another winner.  ENJOY!!!!