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Happy New Year + Happy Packaging

Hi blog friends! Happy New Year! Can you believe it's 2012 already? I had to write 1/1 yesterday and it felt so weird. But I am so excited for the new year and am happy to get back into the swing of things today with a blog post. I was oh, so neglectful in December (embarrassing) but we'll forget about that and move forward with a plethora of posts in January. Today I'm going to share with you some of my Christmas packaging and later in the week we'll be recapping my Twelve by 2012 goals (I did ok but definitely didn't accomplish all twelve). I want to set up a new mini goals list and share it with you here (you keep me motivated) so I'll be announcing that soon.

But first I have some sad news. My faithful and reliable old friend, my Nikon d40x camera, is currently experiencing some technical difficulties. I was taking some shots with it a few days ago and suddenly an error message popped up on the screen and the shutter will no longer fire. The message reads: 'Error. Press shutter release button again.' Based on some research I did, I don't think the camera is totally dead or anything but I'll need to send it into Nikon for fixing and have to pay some fee which I won't be happy about. Poor  camera! It is five years old and has taken a ton of pictures but still, I'm frustrated that I will be digital camera-less for awhile. I rely on it so much, especially with the blog. But I'll find a way to share pictures here...that's why Steve Jobs invented the iPhone I guess. Has anyone else experienced this problem with their Nikon cameras?

And now for the pretty packaging part of the post. This year wrapping mostly consisted of white paper and washi tape. Simple components yes, but I came up with a handful of different configurations to make each package feel unique and fun.

I think my favorite was this one to my brother. David has gotten into photography this year so I gave him a few different photo/camera goodies. I incorporated this old photograph into his packaging, using my label maker to write out our names. A pop of color with some washi and some bakers twine and this easy package was completed in no time.

The present on the left was for my Mom. I cut wahi tape into triangles and made garlands on her package. This is so easy to do but it has major wow factor. It would be perfect for birthday wrapping. The present on the right was for my brother. I bought the cute glasses tag at Renegade this year. It was designed by Invita Paper Studio. Find the tags here. I actually saw Adriana (the talented designer behind Invita) at two local shows and was so happy to chat with a local creative. She is super sweet and her designs are just so colorful and fun. I definitely recommend checking out her shop. 

This simple criss-cross washi was for my stepdad. 

I dug out these cute bike stamps and made a fun little package for my brother (side note: I can't believe I bought these stamps a year ago!). I'm digging the collage effect with the washi. I'll need to try that more often. 

And finally, another one for my Mom. I had to wrap it in kraft paper because of the size. I love that the design on the washi is actually illustrated buttons and then I added a few actual vintage buttons to keep up the theme. And a skeleton key with some lace is always the perfect feminine touch. 

How did your wrapping go this year? In the past I have saved wrapping until the end and then I just stick everything into bags, very uncreatively. So I was proud to actually wrap everything up this time around. And I even did it a few days ahead so the presents got to enjoy some time under the tree just looking pretty before getting ripped into. Christmas success!

Again, happy 2012 dear readers! I am so looking forward to this next year together. Cheers to pretty pictures, fun blog posts, and lovely inspiration and projects to come. 


Craft Fair Giveaway

Hi friends!

Today I have something super fun to share...a giveaway!  I just had my first craft fair this last weekend and I want to celebrate by offering a few of those special items to all of you, my awesome blog readers.  I actually have two of my favorite embroidery projects up for grabs.  Excited to see what they are?  Here is what you can win...

The first option, one of my bunting embroidery hoops.  I absolutely love these.  Bunting is just so cheerful and it definitely puts you in the party spirit.  I have bunting around my room not for any particular reason but just because.  This little hoop will let you add some mini bunting into your life.

The second option, my heart mason jar embroidery which depicts a favorite e.e. cummings poem.  I believe I have shared this project before on the blog and it is definitely a favorite.  

I am excited to send these two guys off to new homes.  I made them with love and can't wait to gift them to two lucky readers.  

The rules of the giveaway...

Enter the contest by commenting on this blog post below.  You can only enter once with one comment ( you can comment more but it won't increase your chances of winning).  Say whatever you like in the comment...say hi, let me know about a favorite project, tell me my dog is super cute...anything will do.  You have until Friday 10/14 to leave a comment.  Everyone and anyone can enter (yes, that means international friends too!).  Over the weekend I will choose the winners and announce them on Monday 10/17.  I will pick one name for the bunting embroidery and one name for the heart embroidery.  With your single comment, you are entered into the giveaway to win either embroidery hoop.  Good luck everyone!

Also, if you don't happen to win either prize, you can find both in my Etsy shop.  If you mention that you're a blog reader I will take away the shipping charge and knock $2 off the price.  This deal will remain in effect until 10/28.  I just love my readers and want to make pretty things for you!  Enjoy! 


Behind the Scenes for Emmaline Bride

A few weeks ago I posted this bunting favors DIY that I shared over on Emmaline Bride.  Today I wanted to show a few behind the scenes pictures of my setup for capturing that particular project.  For the most part, I try and put a lot of effort into styling my work in order to present it in the best possible light.  The outcome doesn't always match the original vision but I am proud of what I put together and I learn new things from each and every shoot (it's a huge learning process).  Because I am always fascinated in how other people create their images, I would like to feature what I did today in hopes that someone else might find it interesting.  I am far from any kind of styling, photographing expert but I do the best with the materials that I have.  

For this DIY, I wanted to really highlight the favor itself and have a pretty zoomed-in perspective on those little details.  I also wanted to place the muslin bag on some interesting textures to coordinate with my creation.  Looking for something rustic and made of wood, I ultimately settled on this old drawer which I turned upside down.  I also found this vintage tablecloth and used it because of the bright pop of blue and yellow color.  Everything was shot on the concrete floor in my studio.

As is typical, Scout found it necessary to wander through my setup and investigate everything.  She found the baby succulent particularly intriguing and since she has a history of destroying innocent plants, I made sure to watch her carefully.  With each set of pictures I take there seem to be a handful of Scout shots.  Maybe she likes getting her picture taken after all?

I envisioned this shot of me standing in the confetti (why are shoe shots so fun?) in heels but before capturing a good one, I took a few duds like the picture above.  And because Scout was around, I tried her out with a foot shot of her own...

She was squirming a bit so I couldn't really get her paws in focus.

You would never know from the final pictures (thank goodness) but I looked like a mess that day too.  I guess that is the beauty of photo shoots.  Behind the scenes can be chaos but as long as you don't know from the final result, everything is good.  I was basically in pajamas but then teetering along on my very high heels.  A hilarious sight to be seen I'm sure.  But despite the above non-beauty, the final pictures were pretty lovely...

Although I must say that my muslin favor bags kind of blended in with the vintage tablecloth...so if I could go back I would change that a bit and make the favors stand out more on their own.  So another lesson learned with another set of great DIY pictures of my projects.  

So there is a little sneak peek into the magic of my pictures...or complete non-magic as these pictures clearly point out.  Do you enjoy styling and putting together little photo shoots?  The term photo shoot implies something so glamorous but I am afraid mine are far from it.  But maybe this is the norm.  Do your glamorous photo shoots include pajamas and plant-hungry dogs?  Jealous?   


Featured: Emmaline Bride DIY : Bunting Favors

Hi blog world!  I am so sorry to have been away for so long...I hate when I don't have the time to post frequently but finding time the last few weeks has been challenging.  I had two major deadlines for projects that I had to finish last week on Wednesday and then on Thursday I was on planes and in cars all day headed back to Vermont for my cousin's wedding.  I am still in Vermont and it is absolutely beautiful.  I am enjoying my vacation so much.  I have all kinds of pictures to share soon but the rest of this week will continue to be slow because hey, I want to enjoy my vacation!  

Today I wanted to share a DIY with you that was posted yesterday on Emmaline Bride, a favorite handmade wedding resource for me.  If you are looking for some unique favors, this is the DIY for you.  

I teach you how to create little bunting pins for your guests and 'PARTY' muslin bags which you can fill with candy or confetti.  The essential party favor!  

To see the full DIY post with all the pictures and directions, visit Emmaline Bride

I will be talking more about these fabric pins and sharing more advice and resources soon...I promise!  I apologize for the quick post today but I am off to explore Quechee, Vermont.  Happy Tuesday friends! 


Emmaline Bride DIY Expert

I am so happy to announce that I am now the official Emmaline Bride DIY Expert (EB chose the title, not me!).  I am so excited to be working with them and getting the opportunity to show more people some of my ideas and hopefully, in the process, inspire someone to craft something of their own.  Despite the more-than-generous title, I do not claim to be an expert in everything.  Being in a creative field means a lot of trial and error and I have definitely made things that were less than successful.  But I already have some super new and cute things in store for posts and I really hope that the Emmaline Bride community will love them. 

Today marks the debut of my first DIY tutorial, an easy and affordable photobooth backdrop.  I am obsessing over the nostalgic feel of the photobooth lately and am quite bummed that I have no need to rent one in my near future.  I have seen some gorgeous, handmade backdrops all over wedding and photography blogs lately and the creativity has definitely inspired me.  Check out these lovelies:

Photo: Dolci Odille & Smilebooth

Photo: Smilebooth

My version would be much easier to make than those above but it is a perfect option for someone with limited time.  Here is a sneak peak of my work:

Head over to the Emmaline Bride post to see the entire tutorial and more photos!

Also, I’m so excited that Prop 8 was overturned and in a week all Californians will be able to get married!  Such good news!  Cheers to happy marriage for everyone!!