Charlotte Lyons: Napkin Ring Craft

My Introduction:

I have a sweet blog friend, Charlotte, who often brings a tear to my eye when I read her posts on tender memories of precious daughters. Our daughters are all flying the nest and her poignant memories of the past and attempts at letting go mirror many of my own. She is great at getting me all choked up! And just when I am blubbering over a memory of little girls, she will get me laughing by sneaking in a post showing her subtle sense of humor. I love her blog. This is the Charlotte I am most familiar with, but I am also coming to know her as Charlotte Lyons, the artist and crafter, and author.

She has written books and been featured in a long list of well-known publications. I even own books with her name in them and I didn’t realize it. I’ve been reading her blog since I started my own, but I hadn’t really put her and her professional life together in my mind. Case in point, I was looking through a magazine the other day and saw a cute little snowman craft. I thought to myself, how cute! And then I happened to notice who made it, Charlotte Lyons. And I paused motionless for a minute, puzzled. “WAIT! Charlotte? What are you doing in this magazine!” Alrighty, I have got to start being more observant! Anyways, she is a down-to-earth, delightful person I am happy to have here as my guest.

This craft idea was originally printed in Charlotte’s blog, I am pleased she is generously sharing it here for us too! Thank you Charlotte!

recycled napkin rings by charlotte lyons


Charlotte Lyons: Napkin Ring Craft

Last year I admitted that I don’t cook much for Thanksgiving. I made the pies and then kept busy with table-setting. Over the year though I noticed that the image for the place cards– crafted last minute from scraps in the drawer- was very popular with readers. Here I am again, up against the holiday event and wanting to inspire you with something crafty after all those family posts. And it looks like more quick and simple papercrafts to keep me out of the way of those who seriously cook here.

Charlotte Lyons: Napkin Ring Craft

As I often do, I looked first in the recycle bin for materials to start with. Aha! These napkin rings are from paper towel rolls. We only have one today because I try not to use them- I’m a fan of washable dish towels. But if you have one, flatten it and cut 2 inch sections with a pinker. Keeping the pieces flat-ish (they’ll look less like what they are and won’t roll on the table), then just decorate them with paper scraps….pretty ones like sheet music and handwriting.

Charlotte Lyons: Napkin Ring Craft

Add a phrase or guest’s initial letter snipped from a cut-up book. A piece of ribbon makes a colorful place to add a word or two. But kitchen string or baker’s twine would be lovely too, especially if it is wrapped around many times.

Charlotte Lyons: Napkin Ring Craft

No end to the ideas once you start.

Charlotte Lyons: Napkin Ring Craft

Wallpaper bits, yarn, fabric, buttons, letter tiles, faces from old photos, laces, charms, things found in nature.

Charlotte Lyons: Napkin Ring Craft

A sailing pin for him or a just-found-in-Omaha favorite brooch for her.

Charlotte Lyons: Napkin Ring Craft

Wishing you all a happy, happy holiday with your loved ones. Hoping you get to enjoy the little things like the crowded kitchen, table or couch. I do think that’s the best part, especially when they help me with the dishes. xoC

This tutorial and its photos are all copyright Charlotte Lyons. Used by permission.

French General Inspiration & Giveaway

French General Inspiration & Giveaway


Creative Inspiration Week continues! Welcome! Scroll down to previous posts to see all the creative goodness so far!

I am so honored to introduce to you Kaari Meng of French General. She is a phenomenal woman in many regards. She owns her own shop, has written wonderful books, has her own product lines, has been featured in major publications and is truly an all around inspiration. I cannot do her justice by copying her bio here, you really need to go to her website and just watch her in action. You’ll be impressed, trust me.

But the most impressive thing of all wasn’t all she has overcome or accomplished, or all the incredible magazines that have featured her, but it is the graciousness by which she agreed to share with us something she created to inspire us. I found that to be true of the women I am working with this week. Truly giving women. I am always impressed by women who will freely share their ideas and do it with humility. Kaari is a class act.

Please enjoy her words and photos, and then leave a comment here to first and foremost thank her for her contribution here. Secondly by leaving your appreciation here between now and Saturday December 8th, you will be entered into a drawing for her newest book, French Inspired Jewelry, courtesy of Kaari herself. Winner will be drawn at random.

Enjoy the inspiration! The following words are written by Kaari for you!

40 Shades of Pink

French General Inspiration & Giveaway

If I could stock every shade of pink at French General, I would. Pink has been a favorite color of mine since I was as young as I can remember. Soft pink textiles are my favorite of all — but old pink beads are a close second.

Our Winter Pink collection of jewelry kits includes the softest of peachy pinks and the veined coral pinks — mixed with pearly whites, ruby reds and prairie greens. Unusual color combinations — but lovely winter garden colors. Finding a creative way to choose your color palette can be a challenge. Keep your eyes open for the strangest of clues.

I found a shop full of old French wired chenille balls — every color imaginable — and then more! I knew it was an amazing find when I saw the 40 shades of pink. I have used the chenille balls to help me plot out my color palettes — finding the perfect bead color is sometimes a bit more challenging.

Natural Nesting

French General Inspiration & Giveaway

Our Botanical Coral collection is more grounded. Turquoise egg blues with leafy greens and deep salmon oranges — this collection is based on poppy neutrals. When I settle on a color combination like this I always wonder what kind of adventurous soul wears this combination. I imagine someone living in a place where the sun always shines. These bright neutrals only look better against the natural neutrals — like, the honey-ox metals or antiqued silvers.

Cherry Red

French General Inspiration & Giveaway

I’m always drawn to the red — I can’t seem to escape it. For me — it is the strongest color, the hardest color to capture just right. Every season I try to pick up every great color of red for at least one of our collections — either textile or jewelry. Our textile collection usually consists of old reds and cranberries layered with neutrals named oyster, mushroom or sand. Our jewelry collection can be brighter, more colorful with cherry red mixing seamlessly with hamilton gold metals.

Take time to learn about color — how shades of color work together and how light affects color. Spend time in a paint store looking at color chips — then start laying out your own unique combination. Look for color inspiration everyday in the ordinary.

Special thanks to Kaari for her contribution to this week! You’re the best!

All of Kaari Meng’s photos and text are copyrighted by Kaari Meng. Please contact French General for permission rights via the link provided. All photos and text were used by permission.