Thursday, December 24, 2009

We wish you a merry Christmas...

...and a happy New Year!

Thanks for making this blog year a wonderful one, dear friends. Your support, friendship and happy notes have definitely been a bright spot in our 2009. Let's say we do it again next year! :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Do you have last-minute wrapping to do? You can still add a handmade touch to your presents. These tags are super easy to make and very inexpensive—just the right combination in these remaining hours before Santa makes his rounds.

I downloaded these awesome tags, designed by Rebecca Cooper, on Write.Click.Scrapbook.

I then printed several sheets of these beauties, punched them out and adhered them to scalloped pieces of cardstock (also punched).

These can do more than just make a gift look great; they can also make a gift all on their own. Simply slip them in a clear bag and add a bag topper made from scraps of paper and a few festive stickers.

Happy wrapping! Happy giving!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Gift Cards, the Finale (and more Studio 5 fun)!

Gift cards are the perfect last-minute gift. Is there a fashionista on your Naughty-or-Nice list? What about a photo enthusiast? Maybe someone who needs a little pampering? Or a bitty baby? Young or old, I have a few more gift card ideas that should do the trick.

Let’s begin with the youngest on your list. Slip a gift card in a baby sock and clip a hair bow on the sock for added decoration/a bonus gift (for the little girls, that is).

I created a similar project for Paper Crafts magazine a few years ago. This tag/hair bow combo was featured in their Gifts from the Heart special issue.

Along the same lines, you can give a gift card for a manicure in an inexpensive pair of gloves. This also works well for PF Changs gift cards. (You’ll see why when you watch my Studio 5 flick below.) ;)

This is a favorite of mine. Turn an office tag into a closet by tri-folding cardstock, wrapping it around a tag and attaching the “doors” together with magnetic snaps. To create the black around the doors, I simply cut a sticker from Glitz Girls Designs.

Give someone a pair of socks, a scarf or another inexpensive fashion accessory and attach this closet tag to the item with a card to a clothing store. On the inside, write something like, “Have fun completing the outfit!”

Say cheese! Here’s an idea for a photo-lovin’ friend. Give a gift card to a photo developing/gift site or store and attach it to a photo pick. For added festivity, put the pick in a little pail with a few treats to anchor it in place.

If you’re interested in seeing me present these on Studio 5, a local human-interest show, check out the video below. See if you can catch my word slip-up. I’ll give you a hint: it has to do with a water bottle clip and Santa's reindeer. Oh, the merry horror! ;)


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Creative Ways to Give Gift Cards, Part II

Looking for a last-minute gift idea that still has that personal touch? Here are a few more gift card ideas to consider. By pairing them with a small gift and/or a handmade touch makes all the difference between a thoughtless gift and a completely memorable present!

Gift the gift of music with a retro flair. Create a cassette tape from cardstock scraps and a few buttons and use a ball chain or ribbon to attach the cassette to a pair of ear buds.

Tip: To attach the card to the tag, use clear photo corners.

Speak to those fitness gurus with a metal water bottle and an attached gift card. This can be a card to Jamba Juice, a fun exercise class or a sporting goods store.

Bookworms will love this idea. Turn scraps of paper and a few stickers into a bitty book, Buying Books for Dummies. On the inside, insert a gift card to your favorite book store.

That’s all for now, but I have more gift card ideas to come, so please check back. And I’d love to know where you love receiving gift cards from. This little poll will help me with some of the last-minute shopping/paper crafting I have left to do. :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Give a Gift Card in a Cupcake Container

Give the gift of sugar with a gift card to a gourmet cupcake shop. Insert the card in a cellophane bag, wrap it with a ribbon and tie on a tag. This project would make a sweet stocking stuffer or a tasty birthday surprise!

Add to the look with a little cupcake pick. I sandwiched a toothpick between a snowflake sticker and a scallop circle.

Attach the pick with a small piece of tape.

Rest the gift card inside a cupcake liner, using a small piece of tissue paper to secure the card in place.

This project was actually part of my Studio 5 segment today but I accidentally skipped right on by it when doing the show, so I thought I’d share it here. I’ll share some of my other gift card packing ideas and post a link to my segment in the coming days. You’ll have to let me know which project idea you like the best. I'm always interested in what others respond to. Thanks!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ho Ho Ho Holiday Boutique

Still have some Christmas shopping left to do? Or maybe you just want to do some fun shopping. I'm joining a bunch of creative friends at a holiday boutique this weekend, where we'll be selling all sorts of goodies. Here's some of what you'll find:

* Handmade cards & gift wrap
* Handmade jewelry
* Handmade camera-strap wraps (the ones I make)
* Handmade hair bows
* Handmade scarves
* Home decor
* Amazing children's books
* Stylin' clothing
* Picture frames
* And so much more!

I hope you'll join me. Consider this your VIP invitation! :)

When: Sunday, Dec. 13
Time: 2-6 PM
Where: 922 E. 13400 S., Draper (you enter from Fort Street)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

More Holiday Update Ideas (and another TV gig)

Well, I guess I did something right last week. Studio 5 has invited me back to do another segment tomorrow (Thursday, Dec. 8). Fun! I’ll be sharing creative ideas for giving and packaging gift cards. I’ll post some of those ideas here soon. In the meantime, I want to share a few more holiday update letter ideas with you from my last visit.

Crossword Puzzle Paper
This annual update it both interactive and entertaining. Add the highlights of your year in the form of puzzle clues.

As added clues, I included photos that coincide with each hint on the back of the puzzle. I purposely positioned my photos in cubes to complement the crossword look.

And what’s an update without a holiday sentiment. Again, playing on the puzzle theme, I added crossword puzzle patterned paper from Me and My BIG Ideas (MAMBI) to the center of my photos.

Make a free puzzle here. It’s quick. It’s easy. It’s good old-fashioned family fun! ;)

Year in Numbers Flip Book
Quickly transform an advent calendar kit like this one from Little Yellow Bicycle into a holiday update flip book.

I went with a numbers theme, including update information that coincides with each number.

Wall Hanging Update
Fill chipboard frames with photos for a fun update that double as d├ęcor.

Simply write fun facts about each person photographed on the back of the image. I used small rhinestones as bullet points for my list.

That’s all for now. I’ll have more holiday ideas for you again soon. In the meantime, I’d love to know your ideas for sending an annual update to your loved ones. Who knows, maybe it could make its way into a future issue of Creating Keepsakes (the mag I work for) or on a future segment for Studio 5. Plus, I always enjoy hearing from you!

BTW, some of you have asked me about the bitty kraft envelopes I used in my "Our Favorite Things" project. I actually bought those at a shop in NYC, but I believe you can get similar envelopes at stores like Xpedx, which carries a huge assortment of mailing materials. Hope that helps!

Friday, December 4, 2009

My 15 Minutes of Fame (okay, maybe it was closer to six min.)

I made my big TV debut this week. I’ve been on the boob tube a time or two, but this was my first time on “Studio 5,” a local human-interest program that airs here in Utah. I received a surprise greeting in my in-box from one of the show’s producers, asking me to do a segment based on one of the classes I taught for the University of Utah this fall. How could I resist?

Here I am on the Studio 5 set, just before going live. Eep!

My segment was on creative holiday update letters. You know what I’m talkin’ about when I say that update letters, also known as form letters, can be a bit ridiculous if not done correctly. Well, I shared a few ways to keep them less on the look-at-us-and-how-great-we-are side and more on the it’s-so-fun-to-reconnect-with-you-in-this-unique-way side. ;)

This is one of the projects I shared on the show, complete with instructions:

Step 1: Make a bitty flip book using small envelopes. To play on the “My Favorite Things” theme, I used brown paper packages…I mean, envelopes, brown paper envelopes!

Step 2: You’ll need one envelope for every member of your family you plan on including in your update, plus one for the cover. Add adhesive to the top, outside edge of all but one of the flaps.

Step 3: Stack the envelopes, tucking each flap inside the next and fold the flaps down to adhere them together.

Step 4: Add small photos (mine are 2" square) to the outsides of all of the envelopes, minus the cover. Don't forget the furry family members. Note: I also matted my photos on scalloped square pieces of patterned paper, which I punched.

Step 5: Give each of your family members a “Favorite Things” quiz and write the answers on small note cards that will fit your envelopes. This is a fun way to get to know the loved ones you spend everyday with, while also sharing your interests with your extended list of family and friends.

Step 6: Tuck each family member’s card inside the envelope with their photo on it.

Step 7: Tie up your brown paper package with string (or baker’s twine) and secure it in place by threading it through a button.

I’ll be sure to share some of my other show projects with you in the coming days on my blog. After all, now’s the time to get crackin’ on those festive greetings.

For now, I’ll leave you with a look at the show. Please don’t judge me too harshly. I’m use to being the publicist behind the talent, not the talent. Trust me, it’s a completely different view from this angle. If my video doesn't work, you can view it by clicking here. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Creative Card Displays

December is right around the corner, which means your mailboxes will soon be smiling with more than mail-order catalogs and 40%-off coupons to Michael’s. Christmas cards will soon be here! How do you display your festive greetings?

Last year, I clipped mine to beautiful strands of lights, which dangled from a ledge shelf in my living room. If you look closely, you can see the display over Cor’s shoulder.

This year, I’m trying a few new ideas. The first one was inspired by a window display at a local eatery. All you need are some pompoms, a little glittery fiber (approximately 4' per strand) and a needle.

Step 1: Cut your fiber and tie a knot near the end where you want your first pompom to stop.

Step 2: Thread your pompom on the thread using a needle.

Step 3: Repeat until you’ve filled your thread and then tie a loop at the top to hang the strand. I created three strands so I'll have room to dangle plenty of cards.

I created a similar project with white thread and a bunch of sparkly beads.

To attach the cards, I simply used bitty clothespins.

How do you display your cards? I’m always looking for new ideas to try out from year to year.

Seasons Greetings!