Why We’re Closing the Gift Studio for the Holidays

Posted by: Jamie Kutchman | Founder

Taking a quick break from the mad rush to fill all of our holiday gift orders for a pretty important announcement. This is the first time we’ve ever closed the studio for any length of time so I want to give you all the full scoop of when and why!

As it turns out, Kelly and I both have family trips planned over the holidays so I’ve made the decision to officially close the studio from 12/24 – 1/4. We will resume shipping gifts on January 5th.

Kelly is headed to Turks and Caicos with her family! She’s never been but I keep telling her she’s going to fall madly in love with it as soon as she arrives. My husband Jeff and I have been numerous times together and can’t get enough. I can’t wait to hear what Kelly thinks when she gets back! Not to mention, she works SO incredibly hard around here handling all of the operations. She 100% deserves this nice, long break.

I, on the other hand, am headed to a completely different climate altogether. My husband and I are instead doing Rome and Budapest and I can’t wait to pack up my down coat and warm boots and head out on this adventure with him. We used to travel internationally ALL the time before I left my corporate job to start Marigold & Grey. My work schedule has been pretty brutal over the last two years while building the new business so closing the studio for this period of time to fully enjoy the holiday and focus on my marriage just feels like the right thing to do.

Wishing you all a joyous and restful holiday season and we can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store for us and all of you as well! xo

Holiday Hostess // Tips for an Epic Christmas Gathering

Posted by: Jamie Kutchman | Founder

Welcome to the Christmas edition our “Holiday Hostess” series! It’s no secret we adore everything hospitality, styling, community, and friends & family around here. So, it only makes sense to welcome back our favorite ‘Hostess with the Mostess’ Vickie Theodorou, owner of Heirloom DC! She was definitely a huge hit when we first featured her here on the blog just before Thanksgiving.

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Tell us about your favorite trends for hosting holiday parties.

In terms of styling, we’ve been into and have seen a trend towards mixing hues of the same color. We just recently had a holiday soiree where shades of green were the color palette for the party. A hunter, basil like green, a classic mint and a teal-ish turquoise. The three colors together were perfect together and made you feel the spirit of the season. Using real greens like evergreen or snow fern also helps provide warmth & texture and a chic festive aesthetic. Avoid fake greens because, come on, really. Don’t love green? Mixing metallics is what all the cool kids are doing. Copper, Gold, Rose Gold, Mercury. Get creative and don’t be afraid to experiment.

In terms of food, people still crave the Holiday classics. No matter how cheesy, literally, it is. Turkey, Ham, Corn, Greenbean Casserole etc. But they want to take the boring element out and look to us for help. Updating these classics with subtle, modern twists make impact with guests. Go ahead and cook your turkey then instead of serving it on a large platter like Grandma’s Christmas display, bake some mini cornbread muffins and make/buy some cranberry citrus chutney and create little tartine (open-faced sandwich). Put the base of the muffin down first, then layer a couple slices of turkey and top with the chutney. It’s the Holidays in a few delicious bites. Or bite sized brie tartlet. Wrap pastry dough around chunks of brie, bake then top with your sweet topping of choice.

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Image credit: Erika Bonnell

Can you give us an easy décor idea for styling for the holidays?

Use classic holiday staples as decor or to style the food. Get crushed peppermint (or crush some candy canes) and garnish a white serving platter. Use holly berry plant leaves and weave around platters, plates etc on a table and add accents like various height candles throughout. You can even have fun with fruit like pomegranate, orange, persimmons etc. Buy frosted spray paint from your local art supply store. Half the fruit and and spray sections of it with the frosted spray paint. It will look like like it’s frosted after a dusting of snowfall. So festive!

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Image credit: Sweet Tea Photography

How about a signature cocktail idea for holiday parties?

We’re getting into the constant cold now, adding warm spice tones in cocktails is always the perfect complement to a Holiday Bash. Seasonal fruits are harder to find now but Pomegranate & Cranberry will be readily available. Holiday Cranberry Pomegranate Sangria will be the perfect boozy drink for your get-together. Spiced with cloves & nutmeg. It’s hearty yet light and has a beautiful red color that will complement the vibe of the season. Garnish is everything, folks so don’t forget to get a slice of orange, cinnamon stick & mint to style that glass. Bonus, here’s the recipe:

Makes 1 Gallon / (16 –  8 ounce cups)

1 Bottle Red Blend Wine

2 ounces Brandy (optional)

6 ounces Premium OJ

6 ounces Cranberry Juice

6 ounces of Pom Juice

12 ounces Water

1 orange, halved + squeezed

1 lemon, halved + squeezed

½  cups of unrefined sugar or ¼  cup simple syrup

2 – cinnamon sticks

a small handful of cloves

⅛  teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:

-Mix all non-alcoholic ingredients in a large pitcher or seperate to 2 pitchers

-Add wine (and brandy if desired)

-Stir for 15 seconds

-Refrigerate overnight

Before serving add a splash of natural lemon lime soda (avoid Sprite!) to each glass or 12 ounces to the pitcher

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Image credit: Sweet Tea Photography

What are you most looking forward to this holiday season?

Eating soooo much food! With friends & family of course. Holidays can be stressful because of the amount going on. Work deadlines, maintaining a busy social life with friends & family, obligations to a million parties etc. Although, the best part about the holidays are these obligatory parties, whether friends or family, these are exactly what we should be focused on and thankful for. It’s a time where we have to make time to be with people. If we just remind ourselves that I should be enjoying this because I mean, isn’t that what life’s all about anyways? Spending time with the people that matter.

Any tips for all the hosts and hostesses out there?

  • Pre plan & prepare so day of is a walk in the park
  • Dress to Impress. Even if the party is a little more on the casual side. You are the host, look and act the part
  • Maintain a solid buzz. Glass in hand always, ladies!

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Thank you Vicky! As always, you make it seem so simple! Wishing you all the best this holiday season and see you back on the blog in 2016! xo

#GladToGive // Creative Ways to Give Back This Season

Posted by: Jamie Kutchman | Founder

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Here at Marigold & Grey, we’re obsessed with both hospitality and generosity. So, it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that we’ve teamed up with Glad Products to spread the word about their new Glad to Give movement! I seriously LOVE their holiday initiative to share rather than waste and am so excited to share how we’ve gotten involved!

Last week, we hosted a small holiday gathering and invited guests to donate a coat (or two!) to the One Warm Coat organization. But before we talk about coats, here are some behind-the-scenes shots from the party!

Tons of goodies, both sweet and savory. Definitely more sweet though!

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These little guys were dressed for the occasion and, of course, hoping for some crumbs to fall!
Glad-To-Give-Giving-Back-Holiday-Season Guests especially enjoyed the cranberry and rosemary infused bubbly right smack in the middle of the day!
Glad-To-Give-Giving-Back-Holiday-SeasonNot sure about you, but when I’m the hostess, I’m always guilty of having way too much food. I’m paranoid that we will run out and I way over-buy. This always turns into leftovers that are usually wasted. Instead of shoving it all in the fridge and forgetting about it this time, I got creative and sent my guests home with goodies looking festive in Glad containers!

You might not think that Glad storage containers could make pretty gift boxes but think again! With a little paint, ribbon and gift tags, magic can always happen, my friends.

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Guests got into the spirit and even packaged up their own goodies, to-go style!

Glad-To-Give-Giving-Back-Holiday-SeasonGlad-To-Give-Giving-Back-Holiday-SeasonGlad-To-Give-Giving-Back-Holiday-SeasonGlad-To-Give-Giving-Back-Holiday-SeasonAnd now back to the coats! Before leaving, we asked everyone to donate place their unwanted coats in the yellow Glad bags on the front porch. But, these weren’t your everyday trash bags. These were BRIGHT yellow and created specifically for charity donations! And yes, even trash bags deserve calligraphy sometimes!
Glad-To-Give-Giving-Back-Holiday-SeasonGlad-To-Give-Giving-Back-Holiday-SeasonThe holiday season is great a time for giving so rather than waste, be generous! I encourage you to check out this meaningful movement and spread the word on social media using #GladToGive. In fact, each time a photo of holiday leftovers is shared using the hashtag #GladToGive, $1 is donated by Glad to provide a meal to someone in need. Go ahead and start sharing, in all ways possible!

Happy Holidays everyone! xo

Photography: Renee Hollingshead Photography

Calligraphy: Jenny Muffler of Just Write Studios

Styling: Marigold & Grey

This is a sponsored post.

Holiday Cards for Charity with #TuesdaysTogether Bethesda

Posted by: Jamie Kutchman | Founder

As I mentioned in a recent recap, as the leader of the Bethesda Tuesdays Together group, I stressed over coming up with a philanthropic activity we could do for our November meeting. And then it hit me! We would gather, share arts & craft supplies, and make homemade holiday cards to send to lonely nursing home residents across the country.

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Creatives not only brought snacks and drinks to enjoy, they brought art supplies galore. Everyone mixed, mingled and shared whatever paper, glue, glitter, stencils, watercolors, markers, and stickers they had. The definition of community was happening right smack in the middle of my living room and dining room and it was glorious!

Holiday-Cards-Charity-TuesdaysTogether-BethesdaHoliday-Cards-Charity-TuesdaysTogether-BethesdaOnce everyone went home, I was in awe. The level of thought and effort each creative small business owner poured into their cards had me moved to tears, especially since the cards for created for total strangers.

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I suddenly got the urge to style them have them professionally photographed before mailing them out. So thankful for Dana, owner of Dana Lee Rose Photography, who agreed to spend an afternoon with me on this impromptu mini-shoot. She and I both had to-do lists a MILE long for our own small businesses but ignored that and had a blast playing around with cards instead. I hope you love them as much as we do!

We had traditional reds and greens.

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We had washi tape and hand lettering!

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Some went bold with black, glitter and gold!

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We even had 3-D and the use of fabric trim.

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Blue Christmas, anyone?

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Even watercolors!

Holiday-Cards-Charity-TuesdaysTogether-BethesdaHoliday-Cards-Charity-TuesdaysTogether-BethesdaThe cards you’ve seen thus far weren’t even created by the professional stationery makers in our group. However, the few paper designers we have in #TTBethesda definitely didn’t disappoint!

This notecard and envelope set was created by Illiah Manger, owner of C&V. I mean, look at this detail!

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And now for some festive, modern beauties by the talented Jennifer Lavallee, owner of Bella Jenna. She was so generous and brought enough for everyone in the group to take a few home!

Holiday-Cards-Charity-TuesdaysTogether-BethesdaHoliday-Cards-Charity-TuesdaysTogether-BethesdaHoliday-Cards-Charity-TuesdaysTogether-BethesdaHoliday-Cards-Charity-TuesdaysTogether-BethesdaA heartfelt ‘thank you’ to the Rising Tide Society for dreaming up the idea of having creatives gather each month in support of one another. And an equally big ‘thank you’ to my #TTBethesda crew. You all continue to amaze me with your heart for community! Happy Holidays everyone.

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All images: Dana Rose Lee Photography

Roundup // Pet-Only Holiday Cards

Posted by: Jamie Kutchman | Founder

I just stumbled upon one the best holiday gift and stationery trends I’ve seen in a long while. Pet holiday cards!!!!! Not only are they adorable but solve several problems people face this time of year when tackling Christmas cards. No kids? No problem. Single with no dates on the horizon? Don’t worry. Or, maybe you have several little ones and can’t seem to wrangle them all for the annual family photo? No sweat. Pet cards to the rescue!

Here are some of my absolute favorites to get you smiling…

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Simple, modern design with a witty message. And not to mention, these hounds are to die for! Via The McCartneys Photography

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Not sure about you, but this card had me grinning immediately! It can’t get much cuter than this cheeky “Fleas Navidog”. Via Minted.

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Something tells me this guy doesn’t like his antlers. But wrap a wreath around this adorable face and you’ve got the holiday card. Via Davie Paper Co 

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As a pet owner, I’m quite familiar with this guilty dog face. I only WISH mine would eat infamous fruitcake instead of my shoes. Via Minted.

Pet-Holiday-CardEven custom designs are possible! Submit a photo of your dog along with your choice from an array of holiday sweater designs…Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Poinsettia, Winter, Krampus, Festivus, or Yeti. And voila! The perfect holiday card. Via Lili Chin of Doggie Drawings.

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An adorable twist on the Christmas classic. Your Golden (or any other breed for that matter!) will be perfectly paired with this modern, yet soft, design from Minted.

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I saved my favorite for last! Not sure about you but I always take hundreds of shots of my pups playing the snow to the point of being obsessive. I’m sure my neighbors judge. Anyway, if you have a shot like this, “Dashing Through the Snow” is sure to bring tons of holiday cheer. I can’t get enough of this card from Minted.

Are you the maker of pet holiday cards? If so, feel free to share in the comments. We always love to support small businesses, especially creatives!

Blessings & Business // What I’m Thankful For in 2015

Posted by: Jamie Kutchman | Founder

I was recently asked by an industry blog to share what I’m thankful for this year. My response: “I am thankful for the opportunity in life to finally combine my business side and my creative side, rather than having to be one or the other”. While this answer is heartfelt and 100% sincere, I didn’t do a good job of explaining how this amazing opportunity in my life is even possible. With Thanksgiving a mere two days away, it’s time for me to get more specific and give credit where credit is due.

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Image: Renee Hollingshead Photography; Coasters: Laura Hooper Calligraphy

This Guy

This guy. We don’t always agree on things. But this guy has my back. He listens to me talk about my business day in and day out. Poor guy. I wake up talking about it, chat him up with endless details over mealtime and, of course, ramble on some more before bed. He listens with interest and offers advice when I ask for it. Starting my business has meant less time together, far fewer getaways, and less of a focus on our relationship all-around. Even still, he’s the FIRST person to get super pumped when I surpass a sales goal and also the FIRST person to offer a pep talk when I need it. He’s built shelves in my studio. He’s made last-minute deliveries to clients when I’ve been in a jam. He drove his car, full to the brim with flowers, to my launch party when he’s severely allergic. He carries heavy packages and jokes that he’s VP of Shipping & Receiving. Oh my goodness, I’m so thankful.

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Image: Marigold & Grey

This Girl

When you’re a business owner, giving up any level of control is tough. Can you trust the person you hire? Will they care as much as you do? Katherine is my very first Marigold & Grey employee and hiring her has turned out to be the best decision I could’ve EVER made. She’s organized. She’s methodical. She cares. She’s good at things I’m weak at. She’s willing to respectfully speak up with suggestions when she disagrees with me. When I posted the ad for Operations Manager this summer, I got tons of applications. Of all the applicants, I ended up with THE right one for Marigold & Grey and I recognize it daily.

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Image: Renee Hollingshead Photography

Lewis & Clarkie

I have two rescue pups and boy are they naughty. Their inability to behave is unmatched. But they are pure love and have me laughing no matter what EVERY SINGLE DAY. I can’t imagine life without them. In fact, if they didn’t exist, I might never leave the studio long enough to get any fresh air. With them, I’m forced to go outside several times a day. Adopting two pups during the startup phase of a business is NOT convenient. But they force me to have some balance and take a least a few breaks during the day.

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Image: Marigold & Grey

New Friends

Yes, it’s true. People in their 30’s really CAN make new friends. I’ve been blessed to get to know a network of creative entrepreneurs who I feel like I’ve known all my life. We aren’t all necessarily the same age, or in the same stage, nor do we always have similar life experiences. But, deep down where it counts, our core is similar and that’s all that matters. Other than 2015, I’m trying to recall another year in my life when I had THIS many new people make such a meaningful impact on my heart but there isn’t one. Thank you everyone, you know who you are!

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Image: Marigold & Grey

Scary Opportunities

This year has been full of pushing beyond my comfort zone. Want to know a secret? This past spring, I was SO close to chickening out of my official launch party. I did it anyway and it was more than I could’ve ever dreamed of! Recently, I started offering mentoring to other business owners. I was initially scared to death but it’s ended up being a rewarding, fulfilling experience! Even scarier, I have several speaking engagements (whaaat?) coming up in the new year. I get a little squeamish thinking about it but I will press forward and make it happen. So thankful for learning first-hand that great things really can happen just past your comfort zone.

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Image: Krista A. Jones Photography

Now it’s your turn. What are YOU thankful for this year? I’d love to hear! Wishing everyone a happy and healthy Thanksgiving 2015!