Happy Easter!

I hope you’re looking forwards the weekend as much as I am! Easter is such a special time for our family. After a 40 day lent, we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord with a much anticipated church service on Saturday night and a feast (after breaking the fast) all day Sunday.

Spring has yet to settle here. We had a few 70 degree weather days last week to only get one last snow day yesterday. I don’t even know what to wear anymore. We are longing for warmer days. That’s all I can say:)

Here’s an Easter/Spring Freebie for you! To download, simply click the image below.

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You may also like to check out this fun Easter Egg Tutorial.

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Happy Easter everyone!

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Mother’s Day 2014 Gift Guide

Mom is the safe keeper of a family’s memory! Help her treasure the magic of a moment forever!

She’s kissed our wounds, wiped our tears and held us tight. She has the ability to sense what we need when we need it. This year we’re putting  a little extra love into making Mother’s Day one to remember. This is what we’re giving (and hoping to get!)

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1. Silhouette Cuff 2. Our Family Keepsake Necklace 3. Family Medallion Necklace 4. His and Hers Lucite Trays 5. Elegant Cell Phone Cases 6. Gold Foil Print

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Enter  TREASUREMOM at checkout and receive 25% OFF your entire order at Le Papier Studio. Order by MAY 1st to receive by Mother’s Day. Offer expires April 16, 2014 at 11:59 PM EST and can’t be combined with other offers.

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Make it! Silhouette Easter Eggs.

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With Easter around the corner, I thought it would be perfect to share this old-but-good little tutorial. Who thought silhouettes could appear on your Easter eggs too? Well they can, and it’s so very easy to do. Click HERE to follow the 3 easy steps. You are welcome!

 

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Coaching Sessions for April

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Hi lovelies!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend! We enjoyed some warm-er weather here and finally were able to have our first barbeque for the year. It sure feels refreshing to see the first signs of Spring.

I wanted to let anyone interested in booking a coaching session with me know, that I have one last opening available for the last week in April. At the present, I only offer 4 coaching sessions every month. So far, it’s been amazing working with a handful of crazy talented women in assisting them to move their business forward (will be sharing their testimonials here soon).

If interested, get in touch now.

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Introducing our Newest Jewelry Collections

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I am thrilled to introduce our newest jewelry collection. Months of hard work, countless hours of sketching, prototyping and putting together the most elegant pieces, went into it. I am so happy with the way each new piece turned out.

Our new Pieces of Me silhouette jewelry collection offers a modern spin on the time-honored silhouette. Updated for today’s contemporary lifestyle, our jewelry pieces capture family memories in the most unique and elegant fashion.

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Our Family Tree Collection allows you to commemorate your loved ones by wearing them close to your heart.
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We could forget the pet lovers. Our Pet Jewelry Collection offers a truly unique opportunity for expression while making an utterly stylish statement. It is a phenomenal way to preserve and commemorate.

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Mother’s Day is just around the corner. Make Mom happy with a custom piece she will treasure for ever!

Happy shopping!

xo

Vana

 

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Celebrating 6 Years in Business + Giveaway Winners

Today I am celebrating 6 years of running Le Papier Studio. I’m not gonna lie to you, I feel a bit emotional thinking of all the struggles, challenges but also victories that made today possible. If you have a minute, I would like to take you down memory lane in the life of Le Papier Studio. I want to do this because it is important that you understand how my business has evolved over the years. Some of you might look at the pretty studio I work from right now and think I’ve been lucky – but it wasn’t always the case. It was those humbled beginnings that brought me to where I am today and I can’t be more grateful. Here we go…

My first “studio”…

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My dear husband built this little corner out of our living room of our old condo. I was able to work a few hours each day while carrying for Nikolas (3 at the time). Look at the rest of the pictures here.

Than I updated to this…

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Same space but as you can see I became a bit more organized with it. Added some IKEA bookcases and made the work area more appealing…Check out the rest here.

In 2010 I moved my studio outside the home.

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It was my proudest and most terrifying business moment. As you can imagine, I had to take a leap of faith and trust I had made the best decision. And I had! Read about it here.

And finally, this is where I work from now…

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With John’s birth in 2012 I decided to step back a bit and analyze. I decided to bring the business home again so that I could be with him just like I did when Nikolas was little. I don’t regret a thing. I feel so blessed to be where I am today and also be able to share all of these with you.

If you could take one thing away I would like it to be – follow your heart wherever it leads you. Your heart is what drives your passions in life, it will never lead you to the wrong path. If if leads you to a path you aren’t familiar with, trust it is for a special reason you may not fully understand at the moment, but it will be made clear to you as you continue along.

And now…for the giveaway winners.

Oh man, it was so hard to pick just one, so I HAD picked two!! I really wish I could pick all of you!  Your courage to step up and do what sets your heart on fire will take you far in life. You are already winners on my book – because you are already a step (or two) ahead or everyone else who is currently dreaming…You’re not just dreaming, you’re doing! I congratulate you for that!

The two winners I randomly picked are: Thuy Bui with Pinwheel Parcels and Sarah Steele from Drawing Sarah

Ladies, please get in touch with me (vana at lepapierstudio dot com) so we can schedule our coaching sessions.

Thank you again for entering this giveaway, and keep an eye out for more coming up. If you still would like to work with me, make sure to check out my Coaching services page. I would be completely honored to share my expertise with you!

 

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A Letter to my Almost 2 Year Old Boy

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Dear John,

In a few days you will be turning 2! How did this happen, sweet boy? I remember being pregnant with you, than giving birth to you, celebrating your 1st birthday… it all seems like yesterday.

I look at you, the incredible little person you have become, special on your own way – you never cease to capture our hearts every single day. In less than a year you’ve gone from toddling to running and dancing. These are the days you develop almost too fast, faster than I can or want to process. You’re like a little sponge. You repeat every funny word you hear – I melt at the sound of your voice…especially when you add an “s” at the end of every word you say:) I’ve tried to make a mental picture of every stage of your sweet life and I’m not sure I have a favorite yet!

You’re the most neat toddler I’ve ever seen. You love sorting and putting toys away, you even clean up after your brother:) We joke at the fact that you and Niko can not be any more different:) You adore your brother! My heart feels so much joy when I see the two of you love each other so much. Keep it up!

You have such good manners. You thank us when we do something for you (like filling up your sippy cup or changing your diaper). You love looking at books and flip those pages with such curiosity. I love seeing you do that! I hope that you continue to love reading even when you grow up.

You’ve taught me so much these past 2 years, John.  Thank you for inspiring me to let some things go in order to spend more time with you. Thank you for helping me slow down and take time to enjoy the little things that bring us joy. Thank you for making our family complete and giving me the absolute joy of being your mama.

Happy almost 2nd birthday, precious angel!

I love you so much!

Mama

 

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Giveaway | One Free Business Coaching/Mentoring Session

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In a few days I will be celebrating 6 years of running Le Papier Studio. Throughout the years I’ve had the honor to work with some amazing mentors who have helped me move my business ahead. It has been my personal goal to inspire and help women entrepreneurs achieve their goals in running successful businesses while making time for their loved ones. To celebrate this major achievement I will be giving away 1 (one) Business Coaching/Mentoring Session to 1 (one) lucky winner valued at $150. You don’t have to have a business to benefit from this giveaway. Actually, if you are still working on your business idea and are hoping to make it happen soon, this giveaway is your chance!

TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:

1. Leave a comment below briefly telling me about your business or business idea and how would you benefit from this free coaching session.

For Additional Entries:

2. Leave a comment below with the link to your Facebook comment on this FB post

3. Leave another comment below with a link to your Facebook Share of this FB post.

4. Leave another comment below with a link to your tweet about this giveaway.

5. Leave one last comment below with a link to a pin of any of your favorite images from this blog or our website.

(Please note these additional entries will allow me to keep track of all your sharing, so enter them diligently. Thank you!)

Giveaway ends on March 18th at 12:00 AM EST. The winner will be announced here and all social media on March 20th.

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DIY | Silhouette Bookcase Backing + Freebie

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So excited to be sharing this fun tutorial with you guys!

As you know, I recently completed my new home office. Amongst other projects, adding a backing to my ikea Expedit bookcase was one of my favorites. I loved the balance we created between the black and white walls  and wanted to continue that same idea with the white bookcase (because a white bookcases against a white wall doesn’t cut it!) Eventually, adding a pretty backing came to mind. There are so many choices. You can go with fabric, stenciled pattern, wallpaper etc. I decided to create my own wallpaper utilizing silhouettes – and what better than using my own family’s silhouettes. If you like the look of this bookcase, you can decorate yours in no time.

For this project you will need:

  • the printed silhouette wallpaper (for a 4×4 Expedit bookcase you will need 16 sheets of the downloadable wallpaper – one per each opening)
  • a large format printer (I highly recommend you send the file to Kinkos so they can do the printing for you – it will cut down the prep time and is cheap)
  • masking tape
  • scissors

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This project can take anywhere from 1-2 hours.

First and foremost, remove all the items off the bookcase. It will make it easier for you to maneuver. You will need to work on the back side of the bookcase. Begin by taping each sheet of wallpaper against each opening/square (Tip: cut down the wallpaper to 14×14 inches – or even better, if you get them printed at Kinkos have them do this for you).

This step will go fast – just continue one row at a time. Tape all 4 sides securing each sheet against the opening. Once you have taped all 16 sheets, you are ready to move the bookcase against the wall and start putting your items back on it.

Sorry, no pictures of the process. I was too excited to do this, I didn’t even think about taking them.

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Click HERE to download the free silhouette wallpaper. Have fun with it and make sure to share pictures. You can tag us on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest.

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How to Work Efficiently from your Home

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Working from home can be both a blessing and a challenge if you don’t have some sort of routine in place. In the 6 years of running my business from home, I’ve had to set some rules in order to keep myself disciplined and get work done. Adding kids and house work to the picture sure doesn’t make it easier either but it’s possible. Take heart!

Below are a few tips proven to work for me that might work for you too. Keep in mind, if you want to make working from home successful you are going to have to follow through and get real with how things are going to work.

1. Make a list of things that need to get done every day and do them!

It has become a routine for me to make a list the night before of 3 things I need to get done the following day. I keep the list short on purpose so that I can get to the bottom of it every single day. If it helps you, go ahead and plan the entire week and allocate only 3 items per each day of the week. I find it’s better to complete all 3 items on my list every single day than working on an ongoing list which I may eventually fall behind on.

2. Having a routine is good, especially for the creative types.

I wasn’t always good at managing my time, especially before kids joined our family. Being a creative entrepreneur I constantly struggled with distraction. Becoming a mother has helped me value time more. To this day my biggest struggle is keeping myself focused to one task at a time. Having a routine has helped me establish patterns that help me work more efficiently. The days I have help with my youngest I have learned to maximize my time and get the majority of the work done during those hours. I still do most of my work during naps and after bedtime.

Find the best time/s you can get work done and stick with it. Life happens and sometimes things do fall through the cracks but what’s important here is for you to be consistent.

3. Create a space that inspires you.

This should have been Tip # 1! I am a firm believer of creating a space for yourself and your work is the best thing you can do for your business. It doesn’t matter how big or little the space is, it will increase your productivity. Investing in my home office was one of the best decisions we ever took. I feel happy, inspired and re-charged each time I step inside it. Aaron and I use my office even when I don’t work. It has become our favorite room in the house to catch up on a favorite show or have a discussion after the boys go to bed.

4. Schedule your time on Social Media.

Social media is a huge time sucker! Schedule a set time to get on it – don’t get lost on the what-is-everyone-up-to-today land. I try to schedule a lot of my social media posts (Facebook, Twitter, this blog post) to go out at certain time that way I am not glued to them all day long. Log off all social media. It is tempting to check Facebook every time you get a notification of someone commenting on your posts. Don’t do it! Instead focus on getting your 3 items on your to-do list done!

5. Get out of your pajamas.

I have a confession: I don’t always do this! Part of me enjoys the feeling of working on comfy clothes. Recently I’ve made an effort to put a new outfit almost every day. I do this because it puts me in the right mindset plus it gives me a chance to put on some of my favorite pieces.

6. Don’t underestimate the human interaction.

Working from home can be lonely and at times depressing. Get out when you can. Call a friend and set up a lunch date. I try to schedule these dates monthly. Having a human/adult interaction is good for my mental well-being. I often hop on the phone and call one of my besties just so that I can get out of the rut when I need to or pick her brain on something business or family related.

Don’t forget to be part of your community – whether that means attending PTO meetings at your children’s school or volunteering your time at your church or favorite non-profit. You know there’s a whole world out there, outside of the internet. Try to embrace it!

Do you also work from home? Share your tips if you do. I’d love to hear!

(photograph of me in my home studio by Kelly Allison Photography)

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