Baby it's cold outside

Every year since I've lived in Virginia Beach (with the only exception being when I was pregnant in 2009), I've joined my husband in the annual Polar Plunge, where thousands of people throw common sense to the wind and jump into the ocean...in FEBRUARY!  Stupid, right?  What if I said it raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for Special Olympics every year?  Definitely worth the frostbite.  Now, the first few years I plunged, it was about 60 degrees and sunny outside.  Don't get me wrong...the water was painfully cold, as was the sand as I sprinted back to my clothes on the beach, but obviously it wasn't so bad because I did it again the next year, and the next, and the next. 

Last year, however, was a different story.  There was a nor'easter coming through the mid-Atlantic region that weekend, so we plunged amid a mixture of snow and sleet and 45 mph wind gusts.  See terrifying picture of the ocean below:

BRUTAL!!!  One would think after that, I would vow never to do that again.  Nope.  Not the case.  If I can plunge through that, I can plunge through anything!  

Here's the kicker.  Each year, we create a new theme for the Polar Plunge.  We dress up in costumes to match the theme and have a grand old time.  See exhibits below:

My brother Kevin in 2008, complete with Kevin Boss body paint done by Fancy Fonts.  Lest you need reminding, the New York Football Giants won the Super Bowl that year.

Here's Kevin again with my husband Ryan in 2009 (the year I was given permission to stay dry so I wouldn't give birth to a popsicle).  Mardi Gras was the theme, and body paint was again provided by Fancy Fonts.

Ah, 2010...Jersey Shore was the theme, hence the faux-hawks and fist pumps.  

This year's theme was conjured up over the holidays after my sister-in-law told me about someone who is donating all of her profits from selling Mary Kay this month to this year's Polar Plunge.  I was inspired to do the same, so every penny I make from now until the Plunge will be donated to Special Olympics Virginia. In honor of Fancy Fonts' fundraising efforts, this year's Polar Plunge theme will be...FANCY!!!  Hopefully I've piqued your interest and you'll be back after the plunge to see how we pulled it off.  Until then, support a great cause with your Fancy Fonts purchases or simply go to my secure Polar Plunge fundraising website, www.firstgiving.com/karenpsimas, to make a donation.  After all, I made snow angels in my bikini for this!

Ok, now that my soliciting is over, here are some last minute (some quite literally) Christmas gifts I made and will continue to offer:

 For the ski bunny

Cookies for Santa ornament 

A beach bum's best bud 

This one was for my parents - it says "Grandma and Grandpa's Little Flakes" and has the year and grandkids names written under snowflakes.

For a cool hockey chick 

For Lancaster, PA's #1 Handyman 

 For Twinkletoes

For the artsy and crafty 

Wasn't sure if we could, but WE DID IT!  Yay!  Lo hicimos! 

Quite possibly my new favorite...for my shaggadelic in-laws 

For a pair of ECU alum who got married this year 

I've said it before and I'll say it again...the above ornament does NOT reflect the views or opinions of Fancy Fonts OR Karen Psimas.  Bleck!

Moving away from ornaments, here are a few new items I fancied up for Christmas:

I came across these digital coin banks that I thought would be great for our cousin's kids...just add Fancy Fonts and AAA batteries for a unique Christmas gift!  As long as I can keep buying the banks, they'll be sold for $15 each (batteries not included).

I needed a quick hostess gift for my husband's aunt and uncle who always treat us to a beautiful Christmas Eve dinner.  I decorated these cute little bud vases with a winter berry design, so they can be used during Christmas AND the winter months that follow.  These little guys are so versatile and are a great gift idea for any occasion or season.  $12 for a set of three.

Another new product for 2011 is the personalized piggy bank.  I made this one for a baby shower, and they make great Christening, birthday, and even engagement gifts as well (encourage the couple to start saving for their wedding with one!).  The one pictured below is the largest size and can be purchased for $25.  They also come in medium for $15 and small for $5.  Give me a color scheme or send me a link to baby's bedding and I'll fancy Miss (or Mr.) Piggy right up for you!

Know someone who popped the question over the holidays?  Please pass my info along and let Fancy Fonts be a part of their happily ever after!


Last but not least, I would love to post some pictures of loyal Fancy Fonts fans with their Fancy Fonts goods on my blog and Facebook page.  Please email me at karen.psimas@yahoo.com with pictures of your kids and their plate sets and ornaments on your tree, and encourage people you gave gifts to to do the same!  Send a picture and get 10% off your next purchase!

As always, email me at karen.psimas@yahoo.com or message me on Facebook to place an order.  Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and FANCY 2011!


2010...year in review

One paying customer.  All I was hoping for out of Fancy Fonts this year was one paying customer.  A gaggle of brides, dozens of dishes, a plethora of posh pumpkins, and oodles of ornaments later, Fancy Fonts has far exceeded my expectations this year.  Thank you to all of my friends and family who have been cheering me on and making purchases and referrals along the way.  You have made me a part of such special times in your lives, from baby showers and birthdays to graduations and weddings, and I am honored that you put your trust in me to make it special.  Through Facebook, I have reconnected with old friends who have let me be a part of their babies' first Christmases with personalized ornaments and plate sets, and I love that a little piece of me will be in their homes for years to come.  My products have traveled down the street to awesome neighbors and across the globe to some friends stationed in Hawaii.  I recently had someone from the U.K. "like" me on Facebook too!  Who knew...Fancy Fonts, a global phenomenon!

I couldn't have asked for any more out of my little business this year, and I hope next year brings nothing but more satisfied customers.  I hope to continue to be able to offer the personalized plate and bowl sets (as long as my supplier keeps 'em coming!), and seasonal favorites such as posh pumpkins and holiday ornaments will be back next year as well.  Piggy banks and vases have recently been added to the roster, and I look forward to working on lots more of those in the future.  My goal for 2011 is to offer a few more products and also to give Fancy Fonts a bit of a more polished look through some finishing touches.  I am always taking suggestions for new products and ideas, so feel free to comment below, email me at karen.psimas@yahoo.com or message me on Facebook.  I would love some pictures of satisfied customers with their Fancy Fonts products, so get out those cameras and start snapping!  

All that being said, I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season and that 2011 brings as much awesomeness as 2010 did for me!  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!



New product alert!

While our waistlines are expanding from all of the great holiday food and drinks we're consuming, Fancy Fonts is expanding its product line as well!  A loyal Fancy Fonts customer wanted to give a personalized gift to her son's teachers, but ornaments wouldn't fit the bill because the teachers are Jewish.  She asked if I could do some sort of vase with the kids' names on them, and thus began my mission for a new product to offer.  As of 1 hour into my girls' naptime, MISSION COMPLETE!  Check it out:

The flash made the bottom of the vase pretty bright, so it's hard to see the teacher's name written in light blue in the snow.  2010-2011 is written on the opposite side, and each white snowflake has a child's name written in blue underneath.  I think this would be a really cute gift for grandparents as well, and possibilities are endless as to what can be put on the vase.  Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Mother's Day, yadda, yadda, yadda...you get the point!  Prices vary based on design, but this one can be purchased for $15.  Email me at karen.psimas@yahoo.com or message me on Facebook to place an order.

Busy little elf

My stack of ornaments is rapidly depleting as I complete orders and they're picked up, shipped, or sometimes even delivered by yours truly.  I've done ornaments to commemorate lots of big events, like the birth of a new baby, baby's 1st Christmas, newlyweds' 1st Christmas together, and even one for an 18 1/2 year old dog (that's 129 1/2 in dog years, in case you were wondering!).  Email me at karen.psimas@yahoo.com or message me on Facebook to place an order.  Here are the latest and greatest:

This one is rivaling the sandcastle for top honors as my new favorite.  I made this one for a little guy who is spending his first Christmas in Hawaii because his dad is stationed there.  Mele Kalikimaka, Lopers!  This big Kahuna is $8.

Don't forget about the one who does your dapper do this holiday season!  Mom's hairdresser is getting this one - large ornament, $8 

For the ATV enthusiast - medium ornament, $4

 Soccer star Sarah.  The picture came out really bright, but she has blue eyes, rosy cheeks, and a pink shirt. Artwork can be modified to suit your futbol hero. Medium ornament, $4

Again, this picture came out pretty bright, but the keychain says "Ashley" in pink, and the key has the year on it.  This one is for a girl who just got her driver's license this year.  Medium ornament - $4

What's up with my camera???  I swear this little angel chef has eyes and rosy cheeks too!  Hair and eye color can be modified for your little Emeril or Giada.  Medium ornament - $4 

(Insert Kip Dynamite voice here) I love technology - medium ornament - $4

I'll be working on some personalized vases for some pre-school teachers tonight, so stay tuned to see if I had any success!  I am also obsessively tracking my plate and bowl sets, and it seems as though they'll be arriving today.  Just might greet the UPS lady at the curb and give her a big ol' smooch...hope she doesn't mind!


They're baaaaaaaaaack!

Just as I was moving out of denial and into the acceptance phase of my grieving process over the discontinuance of my plate and bowl sets, I get a shipping confirmation in my inbox today.  It's a Christmas miracle!  I now have 8 sets en route to Virginia Beach, ready to be personalized and handed over to the next little spaghetti flinger (assuming it's not only my kids who fling their spaghetti...or shall I say pisgetti?).  I quickly ordered 8 more, so I should have 16 on hand by the end of the week.  It's not too late to put in an order for Christmas, and if you order your plate set before December 15th, I'll throw in a Christmas insert at no cost!  The plate sets make great gifts for baby showers, birthdays, and grandparents too.  Email me at karen.psimas@yahoo.com or message me on Facebook to place your order.

Still working on lots of ornament orders.  Here are the most recent:

This is the back side of an ornament I made for a newborn baby girl.  You can see through to the front...her name is Mya, and I put all of her birth info on the back, along with a painfully true quote I took from my own daughter's birth announcement 4 years ago. Large ornament- $8

This might be my all time favorite ornament.  Anyone know where the inspiration for the sandcastle came from?  Large ornament - $8 

Baby boy's 1st Christmas with tangled lights embellishment - medium ornament, $4 

 Baby girl's 1st Christmas with leopard print embellishment - medium ornament, $4

 Little girl's medium ornament with whimsical flower embellishment - $4

Little girl's small ornament with polka dots - $3

Thanks again to everyone who has placed orders with me this holiday season.  Don't forget about my Christmas card special.  Even though I still haven't taken the picture for my own Christmas card (on the to do list for this week!), I will address yours for 33% off my regular price.  Give me your envelopes and address list and I will address your Christmas cards for only $0.50 per envelope (add $0.50 if I do the return address as well).  Email me at karen.psimas@yahoo.com or message me on Facebook to place an order.


A few more for good measure...

The orders just keep on coming!  I just finished up an order for an entire team of Little Leaguers...many thanks to the coach's wife for thinking of me! 

Thank goodness the team is called the Western Branch Lightning...not sure if I'm capable of drawing a more complex logo!  

A friend of mine placed an order for quite a few ornaments for the people near and dear to her.  She wanted a few "World's Greatest..." ornaments, and this is the only one I can post without ruining the surprise for the recipients!  I can tell you that one was "World's Greatest Aunt" and another was "World's Greatest Babysitter."  We mommies know where we'd be without aunts (or BFFs who treat your kids like their own) and babysitters, so show them some love this time of year!  I had an "a-ha" moment and took a picture of the "World's Greatest Neighbor" ornament before I fully personalized it.  Duh!  Check it out:

Putting away my paint pens for the evening, hoping for some lengthy naps from my girls tomorrow.  Email me at karen.psimas@yahoo.com or message me on Facebook to place an order.


Gittin' Fancy wit it

I am so excited about the overwhelming response to my holiday ornaments!  I have been a busy little elf, working day and night to fill the oodles of orders for ornaments.  Whenever will I find the time to build etch-a-sketches or test the jack-in-the-boxes for Santa?  Much like the toddler plate and bowl sets (which we'll discuss later), it seems my favorite ornament is the one I did last.  I appreciate my customers' faith in me to use creative license to come up with something that suits their loved ones, and I hope the orders keep rolling in!  Below are a few of my latest...taking pictures of clear ornaments with details on both front and back has proven quite tricky, so bear with the sub-par photography!

Cute little ladybug for an even cuter little lady (I think the halo you're seeing is a reflection of the sweater I was wearing that day...sorry!)

 Dapper little dude

For the football fanatic - I ended up outlining the football and laces in black, but forgot to take a picture before handing them over.

For the baseball buff

Move over, Jr. 

 Frosty all tangled up in Christmas lights

 A happy Christmas crab

 A familiar looking kitty - I also outlined Kitty's bow and head in black and forgot to take a picture...argh!

Don't worry, Blueshirts, I'm just trying to pay the bills! 

A family of starfish 

 A whimsical family tree

 Not bad, considering it was done by someone from the colonies!  Perhaps I can make one to commemorate William and Kate's first Christmas together in 2011?  Rumor has it they're choosing Fancy Fonts for all of their wedding calligraphy needs anyway!

Waiting for babies...this couple is expecting twin boys, hence the blue belly and two Santa hats.  For someone expecting a girl, I'd make the belly pink or purple (I know some women just don't do pink!).  For one of each or flavor unknown, I'd stay neutral and Christmas-y with either silver, gold, red, or green.

I was told this family was a bunch of Ohio State fanatics.  Lucky for them, there was an O in Hamilton and I was able to incorporate the Buckeyes' symbol right into it.

I stuck with the Ohio State colors for the family's names around the back of the ornament.

I'm finding inspiration for new designs every day, and I'm always open to suggestions.  Give me just a color, theme, or sports team, and I'll do my best to come up with something clever.  Ornaments range in price from $3 to around $10.  Email me at karen.psimas@yahoo.com or message me on Facebook to place an order.

For my next order of business, I regretfully announce that it seems as though my plate and bowl sets are no longer available through the manufacturer.  I am incredibly disappointed, and I'll keep searching to see if maybe, just maybe, there are any out there for me to snatch up.  I really enjoyed making those, and a huge thank you to everyone who purchased them from me.   Might want to hang on to them...looks like they're collectors' items now!  Additional inserts will still be available for purchase. 

Last, but not least, the ice cream bowls I personalized for Brynn's party were a big hit with the kids and parents alike.  Even if they didn't like them, I got the stamp of approval from the one person whose opinion mattered most...the birthday girl.  She was sitting at her little table with all of her little friends and cousins and said, "Mommy?"  Yes, Brynn?  "I love this party."  Words I'll never forget!