Thankful.

November 22nd, 2013

thanksgiving pumpkins

 

We are all guilty of it.  Rushing.  Trying to pack more hours and actions into a day than could possibly fit.  What is about the holidays that sends us spinning?  It’s not like they come as a surprise.  While everyone is racing around buying turkeys or gifts, or planning, or traveling, we want to stop for a moment to say thank you.

Thank you to our loyal and fantastic customers.

Some of you or your family members have been our customers since NameMaker’s beginnings in 1938 as one of the first companies to offer personalized clothing labels to the public marketplace.  Many of you are new customers, and we are are always amazed by the variety of people whose lives we touch in some small way. For the mom who labels her children’s clothing and belongings, to the bride who personalizes her favors with our custom ribbons, to the gift-giver who loves our personalized gift wrap, to the knitters, sewers, and crafters,and apparel makers who label their creations with our labels, we just want to say a heartfelt THANK YOU. We have gotten to know you over the years as we have been involved in your celebrations, milestones, and work.  We are inspired by the creativity that we see in your projects you have entered in our contests, sell, or make just for fun.

Thank you for entrusting us to provide you with the quality products that you use in your everyday lives and businesses.

 

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Candy for a Cause

October 13th, 2013

school fundraiser candy basket

 

Schools everywhere are often looking for ways to raise money for the PTA, programming, equipment, trips, and other needs or experiences.  My children’s school holds a basket raffle each year as a fundraiser for the PTA.  The dollars raised go toward an account which  helps pay for kids who  would not be able to participate in school trips our outings due to financial hardship.  These days, that includes more kids than ever.  To make the prize baskets interesting and desirable, the theme is changed every year.  Sometimes the prizes included star-of-the-moment memorabila (like Hannah Montana, before she became, well, Miley Cyrus), sports gear from our local NFL or NBA teams, and the like.  This year, as the raffle is being held near Halloween time, we went with everyone’s favorite: CANDY! Our raffle committee volunteers asked local grocery stores to donate candy, a crafts store to donate the basket and large cello bags, and for decorating the basket, Name Maker contributed large satin ribbon, personalized with the message, “I Want Candy!”  The star of the show, however, is the 5 pound Hershey Bar.  I had no idea that much chocolate was available in one wrapper.

Does your child’s school have any interesting fundraiser ideas? Please comment here or on our Facebook Fan Page, we would love to hear your ideas.

hershey

Gobble Gobble (just not them while making these!)

October 3rd, 2013

thanksgiving decor tutorial

Decorating for the holidays is always fun, no matter what the holiday is! And when my kids can participate, it’s all the better. Case in point: Oreo Turkeys for Thanksgiving. Any craft that starts with Oreos and Reese’s Cups, and ends up as an edible place card, is ok in my book. The goal, however, is for my “helpers” to leave enough ingredients to actually finish the project.
Speaking of ingredients, they are as follows:

turkey ingredients

Double Stuff Oreo Cookies
Candy Corn
Whoppers
Peanutbutter Cups
Chocolate frosting
Yellow Frosting
Optional: Red frosting
Optional: black sprinkles for eyes

The assembly is pretty simple. Pipe or spread some chocolate frosting inside the oreo at the top. This will make a “glue” in which you will insert the candy corn “feathers”. On the opposite end of the cookie, spread a liitle more
chocolate frosting to adhere the cookie to another cookie, forming the base of the bird. Tip: letting them dry along a wall may help them retain their shape better.

While the cookies set-up, or “dry”, peel the peanut butter cups. Try not to eat them all (note to myself). Cut a sliver from the bottom of one and adhere it to the cookie (using a drop of frosting) as shown.

turkey profile

Now take a milk ball, and using the chocolate frosting, attach in in place, forming the turkey’s head.

How make his little face is where your creativity can come in, but here is an idea: white tip of candy corn for the beak, frosting and sprinkles for eyes, and frosting for the feet. The ready-to-use frosting tubes are easy to use here, and are available in most groceries.

Once your turkeys are complete, use them as placecards, desserts, or decoration. They are great to add to the kids’ table, if you have one at your Thanksgiving.

 

turkey family

 

Our Thanks to Our Best Bites for the creative idea!

Simple, not Spooky!

September 17th, 2013

 

One of my favorite parts of Halloween is decorating for it. It is the one holiday where with so little actual crafty know-how, you can add so much Halloween spirit (spirits? ok, no more awful puns.)   With plentiful color ideas (black, orange, purple, gold), theme ideas (pumpkins, cats, ghosts, witches, spiders and eyeballs), and unlimited, easy food and drink ideas, you almost can’t get it wrong.  I secretly felt that while most people were planning their Halloween fesivities and decorations waaaay in advance, I was the last-minute-lucy scrambling around to make the house look spooky yet fun for my little goblins.  Wrong!  And the secret is out.  So many people went crazy over an easy, no-sew Halloween decoration that we posted to our Halloween Ideas Pinterest Board, that I realized that there might be more people like me, who live in the real world.

 

ribbon on pumpkin for halloween decorating
For this craft, take some of the little pumpkins found at the grocery store, and decorate them with bits of ribbon, using craft glue or hot glue.

In a group, as shown, they make a great centerpiece. Alone, each little beribboned pumpkin would make a cute place card.

 

Halloween Food can be fun, fast and easy. Here are a few non-daunting ideas:

Sand”Witches”

sandwiches for halloween treats

 

Witchy Cupcakes

cupcakes with witch hat for halloween party

 

I think this one is my favorite:

donut and fake teeth for halloween food

Notice a theme here?  Everything can be store-bought, but decorated spooky-style, without spending lots of time or money.

As for favors and goody bags, those can be a snap, too.

Take a festive black or orange bag (like our polka dot personalized goody bag, shown here) and fill it with desired treats.

 

favor bags.sm

 

S’mores in a bag makes a great favor, too.  Love the no-bake aspect.

 

smores peeps

 

Test tubes filled with treats like candy corn or candy eyeballs make an easy-to fill, easy to take home treat too.  We tied ours with personalized ribbon.

test tube favors

 

How do you decorate for Halloween?

Allergies? Alert!

August 19th, 2013

medical and allergy alert stickers

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology estimates that up to 8%, of kids in the United States are affected by food allergies. They cite 8 foods as the most commom culprits: eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts, and wheat. Whether your allergic child is a baby at daycare, or an older child in school, it is important to make all caregivers, teachers, and even classmates aware of his or her condition.

waterproof-dairy-allergy-sticker-smt waterproof-egg-allergy-sticker-smt

 waterproof-shellfish-allergy-sticker-smtwaterproof-peanut-allergy-sticker-smt
Our Allergy and Medical Alert Waterproof Sticker Labels allow you to label all containers and items that your child takes to lunch, snack, or school. The labels alert caregivers about the condition, and provide emergenency contact and medical information all in one place. No time need be wasted getting emergency contact information from the office.

Medical conditions which require emergency medication and instruction should be labeled as well.

medical condition stickers waterproof-diabetic-sticker-smt

Our new Trendy Tags Clothing Labels!

July 22nd, 2013

trendy-tag-write-on-clothing-labels-smt

 

Say exactly what you want, every time, with our new write-on clothing labels.  Trendy Tags are fabric labels with

fully woven designs.  We have left plenty of space for you to write in the message you choose.  Use an indelible

pen to make a completely customized, one-of-a-kind label.  The labels may also be customized with your own

embriodery or sewing.  Labels are sold in sets of 10, so you have the freedom of a label design you

like with the ability to say “Made just for Ella, Love, Mimi” on one label, while writing “Merry Christmas to

Thomas” on another.
Trendy Tags are perfect for anyone who love to knit, sew, quilt, and craft. These clothing labels also make a thoughtful

gift for kids or anyone who is just learning to crochet or stitch, so that they may label their new creations.

We found there was a real need for people who wanted “just a few” labels, so we are really proud to introduce them to our lineup.

 

clothing labels with bird design flowers-clothing-label-trendy-tag-sm

 

knitting-clothing-label-trendy-tag-sm  turtle-clothing-label-trendy-tag-sm

wool-clothing-label-trendy-tag-smwith-love-clothing-label-trendy-tag-sm

New! Photo Sticker Labels for Back-to-School

July 9th, 2013

Before you know it, it will be time to pack up the pool toys and start back-to-school shopping (especially here in the South, where our kids return to school at the beginning of August!)

To help make that chore a bit more fun, we just rolled out a new Back-To-School Label that both you and your kids will love. Waterproof, personalized, and featuring a photo of your little student, our Personalized Photo Waterproof Stickers are already a huge hit!  They are a perfect way for teachers, caregivers, and coaches to match kids with their belongings.  Not only that, kids love pictures of themselves (Instagram, anyone?) and will keep up with their very personalized things this way.  Just upload a hi-resolution photo to our website and add the customization you want, and you are then well on your way to having one thing crossed off your back-to-school to-do list.

Some fun color combos to consider:

Is purple her passion? Add personalized Purple Dots Photo Stickers to her back-to-school ensemble:

purple dot backpack

 

imagesCAR5EHYP

photo-sticker-purple-dot-smt

 

Don’t forget yellow is also for fellows…

 

yellow

photo-sticker-pumpkin-dot-smt

imagesCAUI3CLW

 

Whether she likes pink or blue, we have stickers for you…

 

blue lunch

 photo-sticker-pink-stripe-smtphoto-sticker-blue-stripe-smt

 

Or if green is more her scene…

 

pink

 

photo-sticker-green-stripe-smt

Red or blue stripes are always nice…

 

red stripe backpack

photo-sticker-red-stripe-smt

 

Little ones need labels too…

photo-sticker-blue-dot-smt

 

little thermos

 

 

Even when you are too cool for school, you need to label your stuff.

 

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Make mine monogrammed…

June 27th, 2013

To say that monograms are in style is pretty funny, given the fact that they have been around for thousands of years. In ancient Roman and Greek times, monograms were used as a royal signature on coins, to identify thier rulers.

monogrammed coin

 

In the Middle Ages, artisans began using their initials or monograms as a signature on their works.   It was during the Victorian Age that monogramming was used as a symbol of aristocracy or an upper class place in society. This made it a practice used by more people than just the ruling class. During this time period, monograms were placed on items ranging from linens to cutlery and other table and serving pieces,many of which were silver. It helped protect from theft in that respect.

 

antiques monogrammed cutlery
Although monograms have morphed and changed over the years, it is the Victorian 3-letter monogram that still remains the most popular today. For a three initial woman’s monogram, the first name initial is placed on the left, the middle or maiden name initial in on the right, and the initial of the last name goes in the middle, in a larger font size.

 

monogrammed satin ribbon

 

This style is appropriate for a woman or child of either gender.  It also works for a married woman, although nowadays many couples opt for a “married” monogram, using the wife’s first initial to the left, the husband’s first initial to the right, and their last name’s initial at center.  The standard male monogram is his three intitals, for first, middle, and last names, in a row, and all of the same size.

man monogram
Monograms are as much a fashion accessory as they are a home decorating accessory these days.  It is easy to spot monograms on necklaces, bracelets, and earrings as well as on car windows, cutting boards, and doormats.

multi monogram necklace

 cutting boards

jack rogers monogram shoes

 

 

Monograms have found a new audience with tween and teenage girls who are enjoying emblazoning their intials on just about everything. Our new monogram waterproof stickers are a testament to that; they are in high demand with that age group.

 

mongrammed-waterproof-stickers

 

For more fun monogramming ideas, check out our Pinterest board, Monogram Mania.

Here are a few very artistic interpretations of the modern monogram:

Brooklyn Bride Monograms

 

7 Surprising Foods You Can Freeze

June 19th, 2013

In my attempt to eat healthier and therefore set an example for my kids, I am always googling around for recipes and ideas.
The other day, I found myself on a blog called My Whole Food Life, after seeing a post for “Overnight Oats in a Jar” on friend’s facebook wall.
(I love oats, and I hate making them). While clicking around on this blog, which is chock full of info from how to start eating better, to recipes, to eating non-processed food on a budget, I ran across a great list called “15 Surprisng Foods You Can Freeze”.
As a busy working mom, I love to do some cooking ahead of time and freeze it for later. This list, though, goes beyond the basics and incorporates a few ideas to save either money, time, or both. I will highlight a few of the standouts here, and then encourage you to drop by their blog to view the post in its entirety.

freeze ahead meals
1. Rice:

Cooking whole rice is a pain and is also pretty time-consuming. Did you know you could freeze it? (I didn’t). Make a double batch the next time you cook it, and spread half of it on a cookie sheet to freeze. One it is frozen, you can put it into containers. Perfect to pull some out for quick stir-fries or as a side dish mixed with some veggies.
2. Ginger:

We love fresh ginger, but it’s almost impossible to not buy more than you need.  To save it for later, trim and peel remaining ginger and cut into 1 inch pieces. Wrap the pieces in plastic and store them in a bag in the freezer. Use within 3 months. Thaw as many as you need on the counter before using.
3. Tomato Paste:

I can’t always find tomato paste in a tube, which means opening a whole can for the one tablespoon needed for my recipe. I hate to throw it out. Freeze the remaining paste in ice cube trays (measured by the tsbp) and pop one out when you need it.
4. Fruit Juice:

If you don’t drink a lot of juice in your home, juice an orange or an apple into ice cube trays and save for when you need it. Who knew ice cube trays could be so handy?
5. Wine:

Once again, 3 words: ice cube trays!  You wouldn’t want to drink it, but you may use a frozen wine cube when cooking and just need a few splashes of wine in your recipe.
6. Citrus Rinds:

After using an orange or a lemon, toss the rind in a ziplock bag in the freezer. When your recipe calls for zest, you won’t have to buy more fruit just for that purpose. Bonus: it is easy to grate when frozen.
7. Vegetable Scraps:

Save leftover odds, ends, and peels in a container in your freezer.  When it starts to fill up, make it into delicious vegetable broth.
Love these tips! If you love freezing too, keep it all organized with our freezer safe stickers.

 

waterproof freezer safe sticker labels

4 Easy DIYs for Weddings

June 14th, 2013

Why does one of the most important days of your life have to be one of the most expensive?  By the time you have chosen the dress, venue, entertainment, food and drink, flowers, and favors, chances are you have spent between $27,000-$28,000.00 According to The Knot.com and CNN Money, those figures are the average cost of a wedding in 2013.
There are, however, plenty of tips and tricks to keep costs down.  DIY, Do It Yourself opportunites are aplenty, so let’s look at few that can impact your bottom line.
Flowers
Wedding flowers can be a real tipping point for going over-budget. There are several things to keep in mind to help keep costs down. Always choose flowers that are in season. They tend to be less expensive than their off-season counterparts. Using flowers with larger blooms, like hydrangeas, allow more impact with fewer stems.  If you or a friend/family member has floral arranging skills, try creating your own arrangements. Work with groceries or stores like Costco to get a variety of beautiful, quality flowers at a fraction of  a florist’s price. Incorporate branches or succulents into arrangements for both drama and less need for more blooms.
floral arrangements on a budget

 

Favors
Asesmbling favors can be done by yourself or with your bridesmaids.  There are endless ways to save here. Once you have settled on an idea for favors from a favor store or idea source (Pinterest or other wedding inpsiration sites), you can almost always get your own materials and make them yourself.  Adding personalization helps them look all the more complete.

 

personalized ribbon on italian favor purse

 

 

Placecards
If you are having a seated reception, you will need table numbers and placecards for your guests.  Skip the pricey, calligraphied versions from a store, and opt for creative or elegant printables, which you can make yourself.  Martha Stewart Weddings and Style Me Pretty offer dozens of options.
ribbon and printable placecards for wedding diy

 

 

Programs
Making your own wedding programs is easy and a good place to add some personal touches. Depending on the feel of your wedding, choose paperstock with either a rustic or elegant look.  Tell a little about your service or how you met. Add ribbon at the top or down the side to craft your own programs.  For a double-duty program, holepunch the to and bottom left corners and thread in a ribbon wand for the couple’s send-off.  For added personalization, make the wands with personalized or monogrammed ribbons. The simple how-to is found here.
custom wedding program with wedding wand

ribbon wands with personalized ribbons

 

Many brides opt for a wedding planner to pull all of the details together. If you want to use one, see if she will handle the larger details and let you and your family or bridesmaids do the rest.