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Make the Holiday Season Stress-Free with these 9 Tips! 0

Why does it seem as though the time goes by even faster during the holiday season? I spend so much time getting ready for the holidays and always look for different ways I can make the most out of my time. Every year after the holidays I come up with time-saving ideas and think, "why didn't I think of that earlier?!"

Here is a list of a few tips and tricks I have learned over the years to help you feel like you're conquering the holidays:

  1. Use blue painters tape to hang all of your favorite holiday decorations without worrying about damaging your wall paint.
  2. To prevent your wreath from falling off every single time you close the door- attach a command hook upside down on the opposite side to secure the wreath.                   
  3. Put frosting into squeezable condiment bottles for easy and mess-free cookie decorating!                                                                                                               
  4. Pass on the stress of last-minute cooking by making some dishes beforehand and putting them in the freezer. On the day of your get-together, take them out to thaw and reheat! 
  5. Avoid trying to untangle a string of lights by wrapping them around a hanger for easy, tangle-free storage.
  6. Travel without all of the extra bulk over the holidays by giving gift cards. Still need one? We've got you covered with Sticks gift cards
  7. Make a batch of hot chocolate in a crockpot. It will be large enough for the whole family to enjoy!    
  8. Rather than throwing away your empty boxes from your rolls of tin foil, decorate them and use them to gift Christmas cookies. 
  9. Give your home a festive smell by putting some water in a pot with some cinnamon and clove, bring it to a boil and enjoy the cozy Christmas smells!

We hope you can put these tips to food use this holiday season and spend less time stressing and enjoy more time with family and friends.

Do you have any holiday tips or tricks? Comment them below, we would love to hear about them. :) 

Thank you to pexels.com for the wonderful photos! :)

10 Reasons why Sticks Pieces are the Perfect Gift for your Holiday Shopping Needs 0

It is coming up on the holiday season yet again. I absolutely love the holidays and the happy memories associated with this time of year. However, there can be some stress that comes along with all of the holiday cheer. 

Every year I find myself making list after list trying to think of the perfect gifts for all of my loved ones. Then I started thinking about how incredibly helpful it would be to have a list that told me exactly what to get for all of my family and friends. So I thought, what the heck why not just make one?!

Here is a handy list to help you get through the stress of finding the perfect gift for your loved ones this holiday season. Ask yourself 'does my loved one match this description?' and go from there :) 

  1. Do they love their animals more than they love themselves? Check out this adorable 'Love Animals' plaque from our Sincerely, Sticks line.
  2. Do they like to keep a reminder of Christmas around the house all year long? Check out this 'Home for the Holidays' plaque from our Sincerely, Sticks holiday collection. 
  3. Do they celebrate Hanukkah? No problem! We have an entire Judaica collection including this beautiful menorah.
  4. Do they run a busy life and need help keeping track of their hectic schedules? Check out our perpetual calendars! There is one to fit everyone's unique style. 
  5. Do they need to decorate a nursery? Check out the fun designs of our Love Letters collection from our new Sincerely, Sticks line.
  6. ... Or maybe they want to add a little personality to their home by using Love Letters to display their street address.                
  7. Do they live in a different state and miss home? Check out our regional collection and give them the gift of home. <3                                                                 
  8. Do they love their school? Our collegiate collection has you covered! Choose from your favorite Iowa or Iowa State pieces under the Sincerely, Sticks line.              
  9. Do they like to keep their walls decorated? Our stretched canvases are the perfect way to add some personality to any wall.
  10. Do they want something that is as comfy as it is cute? Our Sincerely, Sticks throw pillows are the perfect gift!

Didn't find quite the right piece? Head on over to the 'Catalog' tab and check out the rest of our product offerings. Also feel free to comment below or call us and we can be your shopping buddy for that difficult person to buy for!

Happy shopping and happy holidays! :)

 

Cookies and Christmas Trays 0

Out with the warm summer days and in with another brisk Midwest winter. It's never easy for me to adjust to the cold (even though I've lived in the Midwest my entire life) but knowing that the holidays are right around the corner makes the cool temperatures a little more bearable. And what better way to get into the holiday spirit than cute gift ideas and delicious cookie recipes?! I absolutely love the holidays... Christmas music, cozy fires crackling and the aroma of freshly baked treats flooding the entire home.

I am always looking for new recipes that I can share with my friends and family during the holidays. While browsing through different recipes online I stumbled upon this 'Chocolate-Espresso Snowcaps' cookie recipe from Martha Stewart's website. I don't know about you, but coffee might be the one thing I love more than cookies. Putting coffee and cookies together is A-okay in my book!

Baking is only half of the fun though! I love coming up with the perfect way to display tasty treats for holiday gatherings. It's so fun showing off my baking, not only do they taste great but they look pretty too! ;) For years I have searched for the perfect tray to set out all of my holiday treats and to be the baking envy of the family. Walking through the studio, I think I finally found my perfect tray! My favorite is the tray with Santa, but they're both so perfect for the holidays.

We have so many great holiday gift ideas. Personally, I think these rectangular trays from our Sticks Handmade holiday collection would be perfect for setting our any tasty treats this holiday season!

 

Recipe Link: http://bit.ly/2z7sW2d 

Like the trays? http://bit.ly/2gQ8V5O 

FAQ - Sincerely, Sticks vs. Sticks Handmade 6

Do the differences between our original handmade line and our new Sincerely, Sticks printed line have you scratching your head?  Have no fear, we're here to help!  

       
Sticks Handmade 7"x7" Wall Plaque                   Sincerely, Sticks 6"x6" Wall Plaque
Image name: D79686                                          Design name: Sweet Susannah
$161                                                                       $37

Here's a rundown of our process when we create Sincerely, Sticks products:

  1. We make a handmade original piece in the style you've all come to know and love. It's wood burned and hand painted so you can feel the etched lines and see every brush stroke.
  2. Then we take a high resolution photograph of that handmade Sticks piece.
  3. That photograph is digitally touched up and sent to a printer we have in-house in our Des Moines, Iowa studio.
  4. Our wooden pieces are fed through the printer as it lays printer ink directly onto the surface of the wood. 
  5. They are sprayed with several coats of the same protective polyurethane that's used on our handmade Sticks products to assure it's just as durable.

So because we've pulled designs from handmade Sticks originals, it looks the same but without the artistic labor involved. You won't feel the etched lines up close but if you take a couple of steps back you won't even notice. The paint strokes and wood grain you see is actually ink!

       
Sticks Handmade 20"D Lazy Susan                                 Sincerely, Sticks 18"D Lazy Susan
Image name: D78565                                                       Design name: Girls Night In
$455                                                                                   $173

     

    "How do I know if I'm looking at a Sticks Handmade or Sincerely, Sticks piece online??"

    Here's a side by side comparison of the website view and product descriptions along with our breakdown of the things to take notice of.

    For Sticks Handmade products:

    • Most importantly we state it's created by hand - true handmade art!
    • It is also made to order - we have far too vast of a variety of Handmade product offerings and designs to keep them in stock. So it's made JUST for you!!❤️
    • Also notice the difference in pricing, that's a pretty big tip off.

    And here's a Sincerely, Sticks lazy susan to compare to:

    • Most importantly on this one we state that it is printed!
    • And following that we call out that there's a difference to take note of, leading you to this very blog post if you'd like to learn more!
    • Because they're easier to produce, we keep them on hand and they ship faster.
    • Also, every Sincerely, Sticks piece has a unique name. Sticks Handmade products are identified by the kind of product (20" lazy susan for example in the previous product noted) and the image name in our archives (D75518 in that same example).
    • And finally as noted before, the price should cue you off.

     

    Here are some of our most frequently asked questions about how Sincerely, Sticks differs from Sticks Handmade:

    • Is it a decal stuck on the wood?  
      No! This isn't anything cheap or cheesy. The ink is printed directly onto the wood for a phenomenally realistic look.
    • What material are you printing on, is it still the same wood as your handmade work?
      Yes!! We're printing right on our same wooden products so the quality is still fantastic. Hopefully in the future we'll expand to printing on other mediums like glass!
    • Is it imported from overseas?
      Definitely not! Sincerely, Sticks is made 100% in our same Des Moines, Iowa studio alongside our handmade art. We purchased our own printer that's the size of a car and it's all done by our same talented artists. So everything is still "handcrafted," but just in another manner.
    • Why are some of the sizes different from your handmade offerings?
      We offer smaller sizes of some of our best selling accessories to differentiate them a little bit and to highlight the bang for your buck that you're getting. Our wood burners can only etch so small, but this printer can condense design down and get you a high level of detail that we can't offer in Handmade Sticks. Sincerely, Sticks products are a phenomenal value! Our regional collection lazy susans are the best example of this - they were originally handmade as 28"D lazy susans and are printed on 18"D lazy susans. It would be impossible for us to fit that much detail even on a 20"D handmade lazy susan but you're getting it on 18"!
    • Do you offer any other sizes other than what's listed (e.g. I'd like a 20"D printed lazy susan instead of 18"D)?
      Currently the answer is no, but maybe down the road!
    • Can I customize a Sincerely, Sticks piece?
      The answer here is also currently no, but maybe down the road once we're more comfortable with the printer and our ability to alter images graphically.
    • How do I care for a Sincerely, Sticks piece?
      Because they're finished with the same durable polyurethane that our handmade Sticks pieces are, the care is the exact same! It should stand up great to everyday use for a long time to come. We recommend using soap and water to clean your piece. Non-abrasive household cleaning products can also be used; however, avoid letting cleaning solutions and/or moisture sit on your piece for extended periods of time. Avoid direct contact with extreme heat, use hot pads for warm and hot plates, and use coasters for drinking glasses. We also recommend against high amounts of sun to prevent fading as the polyurethane finish in not UV protectant. 

    Still have questions?? Feel free to drop us a comment below and we'd be happy to answer them! Or give us a call at (877)678-4257 or shoot us an email at onlinesales@sticks.com! We're happy to help however it's most convenient for you.

    How-To: User Guide to the New Website 0

    After months of hard work, our team has finally finished the redesign of our website! We are so excited to launch the new website and share it with all of you. To ensure easy navigation through the beautiful new layout we put together a little user guide. When you type in our website address you will be taken to the homepage (pictured below).

    Below I will point out a few key features of the website to help navigate the site and make the most of your Sticks experience...

    • When scrolling over the 'Catalog' tab a drop down menu will appear. This menu offers five different options:
    1. Sticks Handmade- this option will take you to all of our handcrafted pieces. Each item is one of a kind and built from the ground up by our talented team in our award-winning Des Moines based studio.
    2. Sincerely, Sticks- this option will take you to our newest product line. Each piece is an artisan printed reproduction, pulling designs directly from our handmade originals. The ink of the photo is laid directly on the wood. They are also produced in our Des Moines studio but are at a more affordable price point.
    3. Love Letters- this option will take you to our Love Letters collection which is part of the Sincerely, Sticks line. These adorable numbers and letters are perfect to spell out any name, phrase or address! These pieces are treated for both indoor and outdoor use.
    4. Celebrate Tradition by Enesco- this option will take you to the holiday line that was created by teaming up with the leading figurine and gift company, Enesco. This is a limited edition line for our 25th anniversary with limited quantities available!
    5. Clearance- this option will take you to the overstock items and web clearance. Find a piece that fits your style at a lucky discount!
    • Another great tab to check out is the 'News' tab. This option will take you straight to our blog where you can keep up with what we are talking about here at Sticks.
    • Do you love our pieces and want to see them in person? No problem! We have pieces in galleries across the nation. Click on the 'Retail Locator' at the top right of any page of the website to find the gallery closest to you.
    • Did you know that every piece from our product line can be personalized with your favorite themes, imagery and color pallets? Click on the 'Custom Sticks' tab to learn more about creating your own custom pieces at a gallery near you.
    • Our studio is a beautiful place to work and you can enjoy it too by hosting your next party right here! Check out the 'Events' tab to learn more about how to host your parties, weddings and class reunions at the studio.
    • The 'Search bar' in the top right corner works for almost any keyword you can think of. If you're looking for a "tree of life lazy susan" it'll bring up only lazy susans that feature a tree of life in the design. 
    • Still have questions? Call us at 877.678.4257 - we are help however we can!
    • Sticks Intern
    • Tags: Tips