Blog / gifting

Pretty (easy!) packaging

   [caption width="480" align="alignnone"] small, glassine (waxed) bags are an easy way to pack up a couple of iced treats. The ribbon was a dollar at Wal-Mart, and the tag was a freebie download that i printed. [/caption] Yesterday was the official launch of spring, and for me personally, any excuse to include flowers, birds and happy colors in packaging and cookies. Those closest to me know i'm a paper and ribbon addict, and putting those two elements together is a sweet high. It's easy to spend more than you intend on packaging up treats for any occasion, and i swear i have to hold myself back from stockpiling (like the addict i am). But i also love a bargain, and forcing myself to work at times with what i have. The past few days, i've been bagging cookies left and right, both for shipping and for gifting local friends. With the  exception of shipping boxes, i used supplies i had on hand, and hope these pictures may inspire you to sort through your own supplies and get creative (while saving your money for something else!). I also have some simple tips:
  1. Don't discount brown sack lunch bags. Trimmed down, paper-punched, painted or folded over and secured with twine, they're cheaper than kraft paper, and so much easier to handle. 
  2. Recycle ribbons & tissue. A no-brainer, i know, but don't be embarassed to re-use & re-gift elements of pretty packaging!
  3. Use Pinterest & Google to help you find free, downloadable graphics for tags. You'll have to invest in cardstock (and obviously a printer), but it makes your packaging so much more unique.
  4. Invest in paper-punches, found in the paper-crafting aisles at Hobby Lobby & Michael's. They're almost always on sale and if not, use a 40% off coupon. With a paper punch, you can make your own tags.
  5. Package using your favorite colors. Trying to follow trends can be a waste of time if what's hot (e.g. chevron stripes) isn't really your style. Be true to the textures and colors you love--- they'll inspire you to put more "you" in your gifts.
 [caption width="480" align="alignnone"] frosted bunnies for treat bags [/caption]   [caption width="480" align="alignnone"] remember tip No. 1? These brown paper lunch sacks were scalloped with a paper cutter, then stamped with a Cinderella quote. They were a gift from my sister, who bought them at an antique store. [/caption]   [caption width="480" align="alignnone"] Here's the full view. I added a scalloped tag i bought in the dollar bin at Target. I think it complements the ruffled texture of the paper bag. [/caption]   [caption width="480" align="alignnone"] glassine bags with my bargain ribbon and handmade tags[/caption]    [caption width="480" align="alignnone"] happy baking/crafting![/caption]   
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Sweetly stitched friendships

  [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="480"] happy mail from author, designer, quilter, sewer, and super-mama-everything Amy Sinibaldi[/caption] It wasn't that long ago i found a community on #instagram of fellow cake lovers who shared a soft spot for vintage linens, ribbons and string, old movies, love-worn texture, and that icy-blue shabby chic/martha stewart color i still never know what to call, but consider my happy place. Where once i felt like an oddball admitting i shopped flea markets and thrift stores, i was now among kindred spirits, and super-duper talented ones at that: knitters, sewers, photographers, crafters, foodies, etc. I was clicking "follow" like crazy, going gaga over pics and talents, and sensing a crackling, creative force uniting these young wonders and their addicting feeds. Along this journey, i've made some friends, too, the same as you might meet a stranger and feel that instant spark of recognition and understanding. ("S/he just gets me.") Well, Amy Sinibaldi is one of those people. I can't even remember how i even stumbled upon her IG feed, or her blog, but i was blown away by her talent, and by the itty-bitty detail in her bio that she'd only been sewing since 2006 and was now an author of Sweetly Stiched Handmades (Tuva Publishing, 2015). I could go on and on about her mad skills, but better for you to grab some coffee and visit her blog nanaCompany for yourself. She's the real deal, and a very inspiring one. So the other day i get a package of goodies from Mrs. Sinibaldi, and i can't get over the sweetness and thoughtfulness behind every carefully considered gift. Namely, i zero in on a lilac box of ribbons she's been saving, and i'm reminded it's a crazy-small, fortuitous world. Because just a few days before, i'd been ooh'ing over spool after spool of ribbon in a downtown Los Angeles trimmings shop. The spools i lingered over longest were beautifully stitched jacquards. I adored their colors and details and wanted to bring all of them home with me. Well, lo and behold, Amy's collection of ribbons included a number of super-sweet jacquards she'd acquired. And now, here they were with me. I'll post some close-ups of these gentle tokens so you can see what treasures they are, and why i'm so lucky to call her a friend. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="480"] even as a teenager i saved ribbons from presents and had boxes of them under my bed. Now i get to enjoy this special collection, too.[/caption]   [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="480"] pretty little details on these flat spools for ribbon & yarn[/caption]   [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="480"] her cross-stitching and hand-sewing on this little pin cushion are impeccable![/caption]   [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="480"] gorgeous post cards include holiday well-wishes as well as images of the fabric collection, Paperie, that Amy recently designed for Art Gallery Fabrics. (just feeling the need to say my favorite in the collection is called Eponine. Smiley face because it's that icy blue color i (no, "we") love.[/caption]  
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