Thursday, November 26, 2009

When materials are limited

Ever needed to wrap something with limited access to fancy materials? Never fear. There is always a way to make something look just that little bit special without a lot of effort (or money!).

A roll of brown paper, a clever quote that relates to either the gift or the recipient, a bit of coloured paper, printer, scissors and your in business.

I recently created a design in Illustrator that my Mum fell in love with when she noticed I was using it as a bookmark. We came up with the idea that it would look great in a white box frame and set out to find one. While the Country Road option was great quality, the price was a little more than what I intended to spend (especially since you can get the same thing for half the price in a number of other stores).

After some more searching, I found a medim sized white stand alone frame in the Reject Shop in Byron Bay for just $19.95. I printed out the image to size, removed the white board from the inside of the frame (I could have left it in but wanted as much space as possible for the print for more impact) and whola! Instant gift.

My intention was to give the gift to my Mum as part of her Christmas present but after hearing about a difficult situation she had to deal with at school (she's a primary school teacher), I thought the frame could be just the thing to pick up her spirits.

The only set back was I had everything ready to go at work but no wrapping paper or ribbon. But that didnt stop me from thinking outside the box. With a little brown paper from the stationery cupboard, a little folded red paper ribbon (that wont get crumpled when packaged) and a nice quote glued to the front, it's cheap, effective and will most certainly make her feel better.

If you're wondering what the quote was I used, here it is:

The mediocre teacher tells.
The good teacher explains.
The superior teacher demonstrates.
The great teacher inspires.
William Arthur Ward

For a massive list of fantastic quotes, I use The Quote Garden. Almost every subject you can think of, and more!
Hopefully when my Mum receives the gift she might leave a comment on how it went down when she opened it (hint hint Mum!).

Till next time....


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Blogs worth checking out: The Cherry Blossom Girl

The Cherry Blossom Girl

I dont think this little lady needs much of an introduction other than she's gorgeous, she's French and she loves fashion. If you don't like reading but love having a sticky beak at what's hot on the other side of the world, you've got to follow Alix. A fashion designer and amateur photographer, visual candy doesn't get any better than this.

Well worth keeping in your favourites, go check her out!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thats a wrap - part 2

Finally..... having 2 computers can be such a pain in the you-know-what. I've finally managed to get the photos of the engagement gift I made/wrapped from one computer to another ...... and so here they are in all their glory!

You've already seen the canvases..... but here they are again just in case you haven't.

Add some brown paper (recycled of course)....

Find some ribbon and a matching gift tag..... wrap the present

Tie the ribbon to the gift and add the wooden letters....

And voila!

It may not be as fancy as A Gift Wrapped Life but it still had the desired effect - I got word from the newly engaged couple that they couldn't bear to open the present but when they did, they loved it so much they put the canvases up straight away!


Monday, November 9, 2009

design+style's first giveaway!

For the first time on design+style, I'm giving one lucky subscriber the chance to win themselves a $50 Westfield Gift Card. Imagine all the lovely things you could buy.... an early Christmas present to yourself perhaps? Or maybe a special something for your special someone. Personally I've got my eyes on a cute little bright yellow singlet in French Connection but unfortunately I can't enter my own competition.... damn.

All you need to do is subscribe to our newsletter to be in the draw, it's that easy (if you're already a subscriber, you are automatically in the draw). To subscribe, simply enter your email address in the "subscribe" section over to the right ---->

If you are already an avid reader, I'd love for you to pass this on to friends and family, and what better time to subscribe than when there's a $50 Gift Card up for grabs! The competition's open till the end of November and the winner will be announced the first week of December - just in time for any pre-Chrissy sales at your local Westfield!


Terms & Conditions: Winners must become a subscriber before November 30th, 2009. Winner will be drawn Thursday 4th December and will be notified by email (prize will be sent via Express Post). Gift Cards only valid in Australia at participating Westfield Shopping Centres. T&C's for the Westfield Gift Card can be found on their website. Design+Style is not responsible for lost and/or stolen gift cards. All care will be taken to ensure the prize is delivered to you safely however I'm not responsible for missing mail sorry! Any questions in regards to the competition, please email me.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Thats a wrap

It's Friday.... finally! I apologise if anyone was waiting for photos today, I simply haven't had the time to find any (I have a few but to just post 3 feels a little lame).

Instead, I couldn't help but post about the wonderful new additions to A Gift Wrapped Life (this is her online shop, for the blog click here).

If you're ever stuck in one of those "what to buy someone who has everything" moments and you know they like stationery, gift wrap, ribbon and all manner of beautiful things, here is the solution.

It may seem odd to give someone gift wrapping materials as the actual gift but if the person you giving to is anything like me, they'd think they've died and gone to heaven. Included in this lovely wrapping sets is everything you need to re-create what's in the image. Beautiful paper, quality ribbon, decorative labels and even things like the goregous white paper rose above.

I was so inspired by these adorable packages that I came up with a fabulous idea for an engagement party gift I have to have ready for tomorrow evening. While trawling through Lincraft recently I came up with what I thought was a brilliant and cheap idea for an engagement gift - 2 canvases, paint, first letters of the couple's first names and glue. Get the idea? Well, I did (at least in my head).

Unfortunately, when my man asked what I was doing with armfuls of crafty nick nacks and I explained the concept, he pointed out that the weight of my letters was going to be too heavy for the thickness of my canvases.... ooops. Yes, I could have nailed the letters instead of just glued them but I'd then have to have the letters sitting right over towards the edge of each canvas. Not what I wanted.

And so onto Plan B. I decided to ditch the wooden letters and paint the J and A straight onto the canvas. And since I'm not one for painting the straightest line in the world, I simply typed out the letters I wanted, printed them onto A3 paper, cut them out and traced around each one. To ensure they didn't look like baby blocks I turned one slightly to the left, the other slightly to the right and left the '&' symbol dead straight with each letter so big, it's edges just go over the side of the frame.

After completing the canvases, I was at a total loss as to what to do with the leftover wooden letters I had purchased. Neither my nor my man's name begins with a J or an A and I don't know any other couples who are a 'J & A'. Here's where A Gift Wrapped Life came in. I've always thought adding an embellishment to a gift is almost better than a card - why not take the extra time to make the gift itself look spectacular than spend half an hour in the newsagents looking for an overly priced card that you're only going to end up writing the same thing on it that you did the year previous and the recipient will keep for 2 months then throw out with every other card they've been keeping for the last 10 years.

Lacking in funds, I've armed myself with some brown paper, thick brown twine, black, white & red ribbon (to match the black and white letters I've painted on the canvas) and....... those pesky wooden letters. Once I've wrapped the canvases in brown paper, I intend to paint the wooden letters and attach them with the twine and ribbon. Not only will it stand out against everyone elses gifts but it's handmade and the couple will get to keep the little wooden letters to put somewhere in their apartment.

Once I've actually put the whole thing together, I'll be sure to post some photos. In the mean time, check out the letter canvases (note: these aren't actually complete - if you ever paint a canvas and have some white space, never leave it the white of the canvas, it just looks silly).

And in case you're wondering, no the couple who are receiving the gift don't read this blog so I'm not giving away the idea before I give it to them!
Watch this space for more pics after I've attempted to uniquely gift wrap the aforementioned canvases!
Enjoy your weekend.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A little bit racy

Today's mood board proudly inspired by Melbourne Cup....ok, so traditionally Derby Day is all about black and white but I do like a bit of monotone every now and again (especially when it's clothing, so easy yet so dramatic). Enjoy and I hope you backed a winner!


Jodi Gordon: Yahoo7

Hat: OperaScurra on Etsy

Sonia Kruger & Jen Hawkins: Yahoo7

Fascinator: Diva

Outfit: Portmans

White dress: Sportsgirl

Race Day cutie: Ninemsn

Lace dress: Birdie on Etsy


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