Friday, December 6, 2013

Christmas Gift Wrapping 101

At last night's Christmas Stamp-a-Stack Gift Tag Class I put together a small Christmas display showing some Christmas projects as well as some of the fabulous gift box/gift wrapping solutions!

Christmas is now within reach and we are all starting to scramble to get our Christmas gifts together in preparation for the big day. I don't know about you but I have a slight obsession with making sure my gift presentation is TOP NOTCH!! I am not a fan of busy, patterned, cartoonish type wrapping papers. Yuck! You couldn't pay me to put that kind of wrapping paper on my presents! I love my presents to look a certain way and Stampin' Up! offers SO MANY options to help with this, especially if you are entering "awkward shaped present" situations. There are boxes of all shapes & sizes, muslin bags, paper bags etc. And then of course you can make your own wrapping paper! But there is no point in me just talking about this. Let me show you!! 

The Extra Large Gift Box comes in a pack of 3 Kraft boxes. They are FOOD SAFE! Boxes are 11.1 x 15.2 x 15.2cm. The pack of 3 costs $6.95 which breaks down to $2.30 each. Comes flat packed.

The Decorative Window Gift Box comes in a pack of 6 Kraft boxes. They are FOOD SAFE! Boxes are 3.8 x 10.2 x 10.2cm. The pack of 6 boxes costs $8.95 which breaks down to $1.50 each. Comes flat packed.

The Kraft Gift Boxes are the little sister version of the XL boxes above, same design, just smaller! They come in a pack of 4 boxes. They are FOOD SAFE!  Boxes are 9 x 9 x 6.4cm. The pack of 4 boxes costs $4.95 which breaks down to $1.23 each. Comes flat packed.

Tag a Bag Gift Boxes come in a pack of 8 Kraft boxes with matching acetate sleeves that the box slides into. They are FOOD SAFE! Boxes are 17.5 x 5.4 x 6.4cm. The box of 8 boxes costs $11.95 which breaks down to $1.49 each. Comes flat packed.

These gift bags come in a pack of 10. They are FOOD SAFE! Bags are 12.7 x 21cm. The bags cost $6.95 which breaks down to $0.69 each. 

SIDE NOTE: Both the Tag a Bag Boxes, & Tag a Bag Gift Bags come in bundles with the Tag a Bag Accessory Kit below.

The Tag a Bag Accessory Kit comes with 10 large base tags, 10 medium builder tags, 3 colours of twine (6.1m each), 10 mini clothespins, 40 Stampin' Dimensionals & 5 self adhesive strips. The colours of this kit are Bermuda Bay, Crushed Curry, Gumball Green, Smoky Slate & Tangerine Tango. The bundle prices give you a 15% saving.
- If you buy the kit on it's own: $13.95 
- Buy the Tag a Box Bundle (Boxes & Kit) $21.95
- Buy the Tag a Bag Bundle (Bags & kit) $17.75

The Mini Muslin bags come in a pack of 8 bags. They are 100% cotton with a drawstring closure. They are STAMPABLE! They measure 10.2 x 14cm. The pack of 8 bags costs $16.95 which breaks down to $2.11 each. 

These are all the gift box/bag options they have available! Now did you notice I mentioned wrapping paper in the beginning? I'm sure you are wondering why Stampin' Up! would be supplying rolls of wrapping paper. Well they don't, but this is where your imagination comes into play. You take yourself to the shops and buy a roll of white, or brown wrapping paper. This is your blank canvas!! Pull out your stamp sets, your ink pads, and off you go! Making your own wrapping paper is fun and super dooper easy. Here is some wrapping paper I have made over the last couple of months. 

And then some made by my sister...

And my awesome friend...

So as you can see the possibilities are endless!! 

If you would like to order any gift wrapping options or anything else and you would like to receive the items before Christmas, I must place your order before 11th December to ensure it arrives in time!! Please let me know if there is anything you would like!  


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tic Tac Toe Sketch Challenge

Our latest challenge was a doozey!! Ingrid chose it for our group to do. The way it works is you choose a line of 3 items and you need to include those 3 elements on your design. It was so hard!! But we gave it a go and here is what we came up with. 

Alicia came up with two beautiful designs. Her top design was: circles, twine & bling. Her bottom design was: 2 or more patterned papers, lace & bling. Loved both these designs. My favourites this round I think!

I loved Ingrid's design (Inky Ingrid). She chose: punches, ribbon, 2 or more patterned papers. The funky part about this design is she has cut off the bottom of her stripey paper and just flipped it over and used the spotty side on top!

 Kristy (Kristy Coromadel Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator) also chose: punches, ribbon, 2 or more patterned papers. She had trouble incorporating a 2nd patterned paper so just stuck with the one. She was worried her bow was too oversized but we all loved it!! I love a bit of dimension on a card and the ribbon adds nicely to it!

Rochelle (Lille Parti) made her card using: 2 or more patterned papers, lace, bling. I love the chalk board effect she has created with this card. It's such an effective method and relatively easy to achieve. There is something about beautiful colours up against the stark black background isn't there? It's a fabulous design!

With my design I chose: circles, twine, bling. I have been hanging out to do something like this with baker's twine for a while now so I made sure I chose a combination where twine was involved. It was fun using my brand new Circles Collection Framelits too!! I went with a simply layout and chose my colours based on which twines I wanted to use! 

If you'd like to join in with our challenges in the future please let me know!! Our next challenge is about to be issued by Alicia and I've heard rumours it will involve a brayer, so it should be interesting....


Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving Celebrations 2013

I prepared for this special meal for weeks! And oh boy did it pay off. It was the BEST Thanksgiving we've ever had, and I'm not just saying that. It was an epic day, and this is going to be an EPIC blog post showing you all my favourite elements, displays & DELICIOUS food from our gathering. A little background story in dot points: 

  • I lived in the USA for 1 year where I met hubby.
  • He moved over here to Australia, we got married and this is where we live permanently.
  • We decided from the beginning we didn't want to let his family Thanksgiving tradition die, so we started our own tradition. 
  • Because there is no official holiday/day off for Thanksgiving in Australia, we just figure out a Saturday in November everyone in the family is free, this year it happened to be 2 days after the real Thanksgiving!
  • We are getting better and better at it, and have mastered the traditional dishes! 
Now when I put on an event, I put a lot of effort into it. I think that anyone who has attended any event I have put on, can attest to that. I spend weeks making bits and pieces, planning dishes, planning decorations, making decorations, gathering supplies... I did lots of sneak peeks on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. It was funny, because for the most part everyone was ooooo-ing and aaaaaaah-ing over what I was getting up to, but there were a few comments that "not even American's go to that much effort"... Well, guess what? I'm not American, I'm a Franklin, and this is how Franklin's do Thanksgiving!!! Yeehaa!! 

So here it is. Sit back, get cosy, and be ready to scroll through some seriously large amounts of amazing photos!!! :) 

The decorations are so important to me. They create the mood, atmosphere & environment that contributes towards a successful event. The part I love most about these particular decorations is they only cost me $10. I was able to make the paper bunting using cardboard & DSP scraps from my stash. The majority of the table decorations were from nature. The spray paint I used on the pine cones was from my stash. The glass jars were from my cupboard. The ribbon from my stash. Mini pumpkin decorations from my stash.  So the $10 was spent on a set of beautiful white candles from Ikea... and that's it! 

I also didn't want to use a fabric tablecloth. Firstly because I don't have 2 matching ones, but secondly because I didn't want them to get stained or wrecked! So my next thought was brown paper. And I love how it looked. I taped it down and off I went with decorating.

Now for the table settings. I saw an idea on Pinterest where someone drew place settings with Nikko in a square and I loved it. I took it a step further and instead of just a square I drew little frames. My sister has the fabulous retired Silver Setting Stamp set which I stamped onto the brown paper using my Staz On Ink Pad (#101406). Then I was able to write people's names on the table so everyone knew where to sit! 

The napkin settings I made from scratch. I made up a little template which I'll be able to use again in the future. Decorated simply with some string, ribbon & twine in all different colours for a rustic look. The "Thanks" text was handstamped in individual ink colours using my Simply Serif Mini Alphabet Stamps (#126360).

Brown & white striped straws from Lille Parti

The food, oh my, the food. This is why Thanksgiving is important to us haha!! We only make these dishes once a year to keep them special and I have perfected recipe's over the years. I get my mum and sister to help with cooking each year. This year we had some extra friends join us so they were all given dishes to make also! Everyone did a superb job and everything was to die for delicious! 

I made all the little food signs using cardstock, ink pads, washi tape & some punchouts & die cut outs.

My brother Ben in the checked shirt & our friend Shem about to sit down at the end.
I love these two photos. It's not often I share photos of my niece and nephews on here, but even at 4 & 6 they know good food when they see it. My niece (Miss 4) likes to think she's an adult and uses her knife and fork together haha!! Then my nephew (Mr 6) is the fussiest eater you'll ever meet. So he had 2 platefuls of turkey and 2 bread rolls (he NEVER eats that much)! He sat next to me and was soooo cute. Every time he would finish using a utensil he would slot it back into the napkin holder. 

Now onto dessert....

Are you salivating? I am just looking at these pictures again! 

We had such a wonderful chat about all the things we are grateful for in this world and in our lives as we ate and it there was such a wonderful feeling in the room as we shared, laughed & cried together. So that is another year done & dusted. I can't wait until November rolls around again. 

Remember us over here at A Christy Production if you have an event coming up and need custom paper goods made to decorate with: paper bunting, cupcake/food toppers, food signs, place cards, napkin holders.... you name it, we can do it for you!