BITA+ West Elm + Paper Source

We are thrilled to announce that we've partnered with two of our favorite brands,  West Elm and Paper Source,   to bring you the perfect floral accessory to dress up your Valentine's Day decor! We designed this paper flower topper from Paper Source's fantastic papers and it will be taught by West Elm associates on February 11th at your local West Elm Store!  

To RSVP go to westelm.com/stores and click on your local store!

To see more ways to use your toppers check out West Elm's romantic, floral dinner decor here! 

We hope you enjoy the workshop and can't wait to see how your floral toppers come out! Share your favorite shot of them with us on instagram @bloomsintheair!

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Our Top Picks: 2016 Calendars!

The right calendar is a great way to decorate any space and  keep you on track with your goals Ji and I love to gift calendars for the new year and here are some of our favorites for 2016. We've decided to focus on "food" because that is one thing that brings us together, fills us with joy and energizes us for life. And... it's not too late you got 11 month to go!

THE YEAR OF MOVEMENT

It's been a few weeks and we hope you all had as wonderful as a holiday season as we did! 2016 is already off to a bang and we can't wait to share another year of growth and exploration with you all. We have some wonderful products and events in line for you this year!

As we were getting ready to celebrate the coming of 2016, Ji and I also wanted to start this year off with a word that would encompass all of our goals. The word Movement immediately came to mind as we thought about our journey so far and what inspires us. We know that the New Year brings excitement, but why is it that usually by now many of us have given up on the momentum we had on Jan 1st? As the excitement fades its so easy to stop, but while slowing down is ok, stopping can make it even harder to pick up again. We hope you all keep moving forward and continue on with your new year goals and we can't wait to share the fruits of our forward moving journey!

Painting by Scott Belcastro

Painting by Scott Belcastro

December Maker Feature: Gift Wrap

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It's holiday time and we know that finding the right presentation for gifts  is just as important as the gift itself. Two makers stood out to us when we wanted to share where to find wrap materials that deliver that wow reaction from any recipient.  Studio Carta's custom Italian ribbons paired with  Norman's Printery artisan gift wrap are the perfect recipe for a memorable presentation.  

BITA's LOVE for GIFTING

 When you find just the right gift for a person and see their face light up, it's an exchange of appreciation and love that is so unique.   One of my favorite memories as a child was going greeting card shopping with my grandmother and watching her write out messages for special occasions.  No matter how much we were struggling, she always had the determination to give something unique and special. She always thought of others, especially on occasions that weren't as glamorous or joyful.  My mother did the same, often writing notes or encouragement or even making or cooking something by hand to celebrate moments. These examples have shown me that gifting is a way to live life passionately, connect with others and show love. Ji and I get extremely excited about creating and finding unique gifts and words to gift to others. It is a passion that fuels our brand and we are excited to continue to share it with you!

Gratitude Gifts: Printable Recipe Cards!

There's nothing better than showing gratitude for those who create the food that brings us all together! We figured a perfect gift for those family members or friends would be to keep all those unique recipes in one place.  I know how important it is for me to preserve my family's recipes and these  free downloadable & printable recipe cards are an easy and affordable way to do that. Another great way to gift these is to write out your favorite recipes and gift them as a bundle to a friend or family member!

November Maker Feature: Brands To Help Spice Up Your Thanksgiving Spread

We are huge believers in the power of presentation and it is one of the passions that drive us to create. We always admire other makers who create beautiful and decorative items, and with the season of gatherings and dinner parties upon us, we are featuring two makers whose beautiful products are sure to make your holiday spread stand out.

Coral & Tusk  is an embroidered home goods and accessories company whose beautiful characters and patterns you can't help but love. We are mad for designer and founder Stephanie Housley unique and hand drawn designs. Her linens are perfect for spicing up your table settings or other parts of your home.

We also are in love with the dishes and tableware created by Heath Ceramics that are always classic and beautiful pieces for a holiday gathering. They make a great pair to Coral and Tusk's linens and also make wonderful hostess gifts!

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Leyandra's Thanksgiving Meal Tradition

I come from a very big family on both sides that is very spread out. Thanksgiving has always been a way for everyone to get together to catch up and of course eat! t for the past couple of years my dad's side of the family has made a point to get together in NY to honor my late Grandmother's tireless efforts to always keep us together.  It is something I truly look forward to every year. Our Thanksgiving tradition is to split up the dishes in a potluck format. Everyone is known for his or her famous dish and I come from a mixed family that highlights Puerto Rican and African American traditions so the blend of dishes is always so amazing. Being a Puerto Rican vegetarian is a little rough at Thanksgiving and since I'm also known as the salad queen in the family,  I always bring a salad to our dinner.  I try to switch it up each year with different ingredients, but this salad is one my favorites and one that my family really loves. It is also super easy to make! 

I love that my family is so blended and brings different foods and cultures to celebrate. Ji and I are sharing our traditions this year to highlight just how unique traditions can be and how you can totally makeup your own. We'd love to hear some of your favorite Thanksgiving traditions! You can check out the recipe to this Apple Spinach Salad below!

Serves 20

Apple Spinach Salad

Ingredients:

1 pack of Baby Spinach

1 Cucumber chopped into slivers

1 pack Feta Cheese crumbled

3-4 HoneyCrisp Apples cut into cubes

3-5 tablespoons Olive Oil 

Salt to taste

Lemon Juice from half of a lemon

Directions:

1. Chop all ingredients and mix together in a bowl

2. Add olive oil, lemon juice and salt to taste

3. Toss and enjoy!

*Random tips- Adding cooked brown makes this light, refreshing salad a bit more hearty. A chopped red onion also adds some spice and kick. Bosc Pears also make a great substitute for apples in this salad.  

Ji's Thanksgiving Meal Tradition

My family never had or did anything on Thanksgiving that lasted more than a year or two and so nothing made it to the "tradition" list. We typically had turkey at church on Sunday the week of Thanksgiving, so we always got our turkey fix out of way before Thanksgiving. We did get together and spend time together eating and eating and eating. It's just that nothing repeated year after year. Very little changed even after I got married and started a family of my own.

My husband and I still don't cook a traditional turkey feast or any sort of feast, but we do have something we can humbly and shyly call a tradition. Every Thanksgiving, we wake up pretty early, put on a sweater and Uggs. Then we head over to the Starbuck across the street, grab coffee, walk couple steps across the parking lot, stand in a line mostly of men and wait paitently for our Marie Callendar's Pecan Pie(s). Yup, that is our Thanksgiving tradition. We go get coffee and pie together as a family. We have done it every year ever since we got married and so it feels very special that we have our own thing that we do. Depending on the plans and who we'll be getting together with, we make sure we get several to gift and share. I can honestly say that we don't do it because it's just easy (although it is undeniably easier compared to actually baking a pie), but because we really do enjoy doing it every year and find ourselves looking forward to it. To me, that itself is worthy of being called a tradition.

October Gift Ideas: Festive Cookbooks!

WIth candy and sweets on our brain this month we are featuring of our favorite cookbooks that have amazing desserts and other yummy recipes. These books are great as hostess gifts or for any occasion!

Sunday Suppers is the perfect cook book for wholesome and cozy gatherings.  Karen's seasonally inspired recipes are simple to follow and so yummy you'll want to try them over and over again. This book is perfect for those who love to host dinner parties with friends and family.

Forest Feast is my all time favorite cook book. Ji bought me this as a birthday gift and I've since bought it for at least a dozen people. Each of the recipes in this book are simple  and perfect for a festive gathering. Although they are vegetarian recipes, these dishes make great side dishes for you meat eaters and the book has yummy desserts, appetizers and even cocktail recipes!

October Maker Feature: Wondermade

One of the best parts of October is all the focus on candy! Ji and I both have a major sweet tooth so this month we are featuring a maker whose delicious candy and story are irresistible.  Wondermade is an artisanal marshmallow company run by husband and wife duo Nathan and Jenn Clark.  The idea to make candy started as a gift idea from Nathan to Jenn and turned into a company that is spreading love and sweet moments through their unique and mouthwatering marshmallow flavors.  Some of our favorites are below!

Lavender! Soothing and sweet!

Lavender! Soothing and sweet!

Beer Mallows for the beer lover in your life!

Beer Mallows for the beer lover in your life!

S'mores Mallows! So Yummy!

S'mores Mallows! So Yummy!

BITA X POKETO FALL 2015 WORKSHOP!!

We always love partnering up with Poketo to spread the joy of paper flowers.  We recently hosted another workshop with them at The Line Hotel on October 3rd and it was a blast! Our wonderful sponsor Carte Fini supplied their fantastic Italian crepe paper and  The Pot Cafe kept us full with their always delicious baked goods. Being able to share our craft this way  is one of the most rewarding parts of what we do. As we design new products we can't wait to introduce so much more into our workshops.  If you couldn't make it to this one, stay tuned for upcoming workshops and other BITA news by subscribing to our mailing list on the upper right corner of our blog page! We hope to see at the next one!

Get ready, set, craft!

Get ready, set, craft!

Each workshop attendee gets a BITA crafting Β box, Β a carte fini crepe paper swatch sheet,Β Β yummy snacks and a paper flower guide where they can also take notes of their own!

Each workshop attendee gets a BITA crafting  box,  a carte fini crepe paper swatch sheet,  yummy snacks and a paper flower guide where they can also take notes of their own!

Delicious goodies from POT cafe!

Delicious goodies from POT cafe!

Plant New Seeds This Fall

What I love most about the Fall is that it is the start of a season full of community and fun gatherings. It's the time of the year where I get to connect most with those that are close to my heart, especially since I've lived far away from my family for quite some time. But in the spirit of growth that Ji and I have been following in our personal lives and with BITA, I'm challenging myself to make new connections this year. It is so easy to stay in a safe zone and gather only with those we know well, but I want to encourage you all to create  new relationships and even new traditions this year. Get creative and open your heart this season! We'd love to hear what new traditions you plant and new experiences you have so feel free to comment and keep us posted!

image from sunday suppers

image from sunday suppers

Gift Wrapping 101!

This week starts our once a quarter feature of Dina our gift wrapping guru as a guest writer! She'll be sharing amazing wrapping tips and projects to inspire you year round She is starting with sharing basic tips for getting your wrapping technique down!

Let's start with the basic supplies:

  • Sharp scissors (preferably used only for cutting paper)
  • Double sided tape (I prefer Scotch brand)
  • Good quality wrapping paper, specialty decorative paper, or vintage finds
  • Ribbon or twine
  • Bone folder

I love to wrap gifts!  I love it because it’s another way of showing the recipient how special they are and how meaningful the gift is.  I put as much or at times more effort in how I present the gift than finding and purchasing the gift itself.  To some it sounds crazy, but to others who feel the same way, we are giddy over the process.

It doesn’t matter how little or extravagant the gift is, I choose my method of wrapping according to the personality of the recipient or what I feel fits the gift.  I prefer a β€œless is more” approach to styling my wrap, choose very special supplies and execute the wrap the cleanest way possible.

Although the supplies are basic, the quality of your supplies will speak volumes when you begin to wrap your gift.

Scissors:  I have several types of scissors and keep specific ones for specific projects.  It’s important to have sharp scissors so that you don’t tear your paper (some may be delicate and thin) and only keep them for paper cutting.  For example, you don’t want to use β€œhousehold” scissors that have been used to cut wire or tacky tapes because they ruin the blade and can tear your specialty papers. 

Tape:  The secret is out!  Double sided tape is the key to keep the look of your wrap clean and crisp, while showcasing your beautiful paper.  I always use Scotch brand tape and keep it in a heavy weighted dispenser.

Paper:  Let’s talk paper…I love, love, love paper!  For me, this is the best part of wrapping.  I love the feel and texture of good quality paper because it creases and folds wonderfully and has a distinct way of β€œwrapping” around your gift.  My first love was the brown β€œmailer” paper you would find in rolls at the office supply stores.  This was many, many years ago before the Kraft paper craze began.  I remember coming across this paper and realized that the thickness it has was key to how I wanted it to feel when someone opened my gift versus the thin paper you would normally find.  I used this paper for so many years and would adorn it with vintage ribbons and beautiful, natural finds from my backyard garden to use as toppers.  Today you can find so many different and unique types of quality papers.  You can buy handmade papers by the sheet (this is my favorite) or rolls of solid or decorative papers. My favorite places to find papers are Paper Source, Sugar Paper, Jonathan Wright and Company, Soolip, and Artist and Craftsman Supply.

Ribbon, twines & such:  Since I prefer to decorate my wraps more simply I like finding beautiful and natural adornments that stands alone.  I search for delicious hand dipped silk ribbons, double sided satin ribbons in rich colors, unique textures and materials from different places.  Twines are great to have too.  They are simple yet fun and just the right kind of touch depending on the gift and paper choice.  My favorite toppers (to name a few) are things such as pinecones, twigs, leaves and branches, and herbs.

Bone folder:  This is a must!  This tool will help make crisp creases and is a great extension of your fingers when folding the tight corners.  Any bone folder will do.  You can get the classic shape or a thicker, Teflon bone folder used for bookbinding.  

Once you have all the basic supplies you’ll be ready to wrap a gift at any time!  

-Dina 

The Giftwrapping Guru

A few months ago we did a gifting project highlighting the amazing gift wrapping talent of our dear friend and fellow maker Dina! This month we'd like to share a bit more about her passion and talent. In upcoming months we'll also be having  her post some fabulous gift wrapping inspiration and tips! We recently sat down with Dina and her furry friends to learn more about where and when her love and skill for gift wrapping began. Take a look below!

Dina with her doggies Sophie, Jack and her kitty Zeus!

I. When and how did you discover a love and talent for gift wrapping?   Was is it something you had to practice to learn or did it come naturally? 

I discovered my love for wrapping gifts when I was in high school.  I realized that I must love it if I was willing to wrap every gift that was to be placed under our Christmas tree every year.  Well after high school I realized that I might have the talent for it when I no longer wanted to use β€œsticky bows” as toppers and decided to search for something different from my backyard.  I had these huge trees and 2 of them were Pine trees.  I would pick up sticks, pinecones and beautiful leaves to adorn my gifts –this is when I knew I had found a great love of mine!

What came naturally to me was problem solving the uniquely shaped gifts, but the actual β€œart” of wrapping definitely came with practice, practice, & more practice!  I had to practice to nail down technique and how to measure efficiently. 

2. Your wrapping style is much more than just about picking pretty paper. There is always another amazing dimensional and creative level you add to your presentation. What elements do you think of in order to take your gift wrapping to the next level? 

I actually try to keep it simple.  I always make choices based on the person I’m giving the gift to.  I choose my color or design choices with what I think they will like or what matches their personality.  Then I think of a unique or clever way to show my love for wrapping their gift & add a little surprise of some sort. 

3.  Is there an occasion you enjoy wrapping gifts for the most? 

Absolutely, it’s during Christmas!  I get to wrap a bunch of gifts at one time and for several days, making choices for so many different people and pets too!

4.  What are some the standard tools you use and best types of paper you would recommend? 

Standard tools are: 

1.      Sharp scissors for cutting paper

2.      Sharp scissors exclusively for cutting ribbon

3.      A bone folder

4.      A heavy tape dispenser

I feel the best papers are the heavier weighted papers and fine, handmade papers.  I buy my paper from Paper Source and small stationary boutiques.  I prefer single sheets to rolls and love the classic craft paper.

5. What would you advise as first steps for someone who wants to get a gift wrapping technique down? 

My advice is measure twice and cut once.  It’s all in the measurements.  If you measure correctly before you wrap the paper onto the gift, it will make wrapping much easier and more enjoyable.

Fall Poketo Workshop!

Look what we are prepping for!

Another workshop!!! We are happy to announce that we are doing another workshop this fall with Poketo! The workshop will be on October 3rd from 2pm-5pm at the always lovely Line Hotel! For this workshop we are drawing on inspiration from the rich, warm colors and festive gatherings of the season. We'll be teaching you how to make beautiful paper flowers for bouquets and paper flower crowns for the season.  Sign up soon as seats are going fast! We hope to see you there!

Gifts for Beach Lovers!

It's officially beach time! It's hard to live in LA and not love being near the sand. We hope you are all enjoying your summer and want to share some gifts for the beach lovers in your lives!

First up is the MBC Party Pack Maison Jar Tumbler with Bamboo Lid. This stylish jar is perfect to keep yummy drinks cool at the beach or for any beach themed party.

I absolutely love this Urban Outfitters Flamingo Float. It's a fun and super cute gift for anyone who loves the water. Great for the pool or beach!

Everyone needs great beach towels and we love these Chance Reserve & Seaside set. They are perfect for the beach or for a beach themed room at home!

Take the Leap!

This year has been one of exploration and taking leaps for BITA as we grow as artists, entrepreneurs and individuals.  Taking that leap can be the scariest thing, but I feel there is something about the unknown that is scary and beautiful all at the same time.  I'm a firm believer that humans are not designed to stay in the same place in our lives for too long. We are meant to innovate, adapt and grow. Whatever that growth means for you, we encourage you to go for it! You'd be surprised how easy it is once you get going and at all the help the universe will bring to you once you put yourself in motion toward your goal. BITA was once a far away and very scary dream for Ji and I, but the moment we decided to take the leap, things fell into place. It's not always easy along that road , but stay on your trail even it is not consistently uphill. You';; be amazed at what you learn and how you grow through the ups and down and how rewarding a new experience can be. We are excited to hear about what new leaps you are all taking this summer and wish you the best of luck!