Posts Tagged ‘gifts’

Obsess & Inspire - Donna WilsonI’ve long been a fan of Scottish designer Donna Wilson‘s illustrated character Meg (that’s her on the plate). Now I see she has a boyfriend, Beardy Bob, and some furry friends as well as lots of other cheerful products.


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Show & Tell

Alicia & Ryan's thank yous 4

A bride’s work is never done, it seems. Even four months after the wedding, I’m embarrassed to admit we still haven’t finished sending out our thank you notes. Although I hasten to add it’s not entirely our fault. Since the gallery where we registered (for this artwork) was not set up for bridal registeries, we sent out cards with our invitations to be forwarded to the gallery with payment information. This way they would have the list of names and amounts and they could then provide us with the list of names but not the amounts. Not too complicated right? But the gallery owner threw the cards out. In the bin. Why did he think we were sending them to him if we wanted him to chuck them out straight away?! We are now going through the painful process of trying to get him to go through his bank records to get the names so we can finish the thank yous.

And THAT, my friend, is why I’ve had to put up with a kitchen table covered in thank you notes, envelopes and stamps for the last two months, feeling more mortified each day that we haven’t yet expressed our gratitude to our loved ones.

Alicia & Ryan's thank yous 1

Rant over, let’s get onto the actual thank yous. I waited until after the wedding to design and print them because I had grand notions of incorporating wedding photos into the design but by the time came, I’d gone cold on that idea, plus we’d already spent our stationery budget on the invitations themselves.

Alicia & Ryan's thank yous 8

So I designed some super simple personalised notelets featuring our cameos and wedding year. This way they’re appropriate for the wedding but we can use them forever, yay!

Alicia & Ryan's thank yous 2

However I didn’t want it to just look like a regular note without any focus on the ‘thanks’ so I tied them up with yellow embroidery thread and added some mini thank you tags. For those guests who contributed to our registry, we included a photo of the artwork so the twine also served to bundle that up into the package.

Alicia & Ryan's thank yous 3

I feel awful that we haven’t been able to send them all out yet because I truly have tried my hardest to make it a priority. Oh well, you can’t control everything, can you? 

Come back tomorrow and I’ll provide the printable artwork for the tags so you can tie up your own little bundle of appreciation.

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Obsess & Inspire - Laser cut wood

Typography coasters by Evil Mad Scientist | Bookmarks by Elsita | Jewellery tree by Bird of Play | Owl clock by Decoy Lab | Bird mobile by Petit Collage | Light bulb lamp by Suck UK

I’ve been in love with laser cut timber accessories ever since I bought the clock in our dining area. Here are some more fab examples, including one that you can make yourself (the coasters). The technique lends itself to flat, bold shapes, but 3D shapes (such as the lamp) and incredibly intricate detail of the storybook bookmarks can also be achieved.

Timber is a great way to warm up a room, and a laser cut wood item will add the lovely natural texture without looking too rustic.

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Hello lovelies! Did you have a good Christmas and New Years? I had a blissful week off and returned to work and blogging yesterday. My compulsion to do lots of projects around the house was at odds with my no-spending-money mantra lately, so I didn’t get as much done as I would have liked, but that’s probably a good thing because it forced me to relax! (Plus, I’ll be able to share plenty of budget-friendly ideas soon.)

Christmas tree 2010

Mr Postman didn’t deliver some of the presents I’d bought until Christmas Eve (boy, was I glad to see him!) so I didn’t wrap my presents til then. That, plus the fact that I had pre-scheduled last week’s posts so I could have a break, means that you are only seeing my wrapping now. So apologies if you are totally over Christmas now but here is a little wrapup (no pun intended) of decorations and pressies.

wrapped Christmas presents

wrapped Christmas presents

I carried through my Woodland theme into the wrapping, with brown paper and plenty of red details and crafty elements.

wrapped Christmas presents   wrapped Christmas presents

wrapped Christmas presents

Swing tags are great, but it’s fun to switch up the labelling with a bit of hand-stamping.

wrapped Christmas presents

Imagine my delight when The Man anticipated my gift wrapping theme and made his tie in with it! Looks like my Type A tendencies are rubbing off on him. Oh, and if you’re wondering what is going on with the label, there is a bit of a back-story there. Since getting married, I quite often pop out to the letterbox as a normal person and return as a fuming feminist, muttering things about what century we are living in. You see, on every single one of the bazillion forms I had to fill in to change my name, I clearly put my title as Ms but nine times out of ten the returning letter was addressed to Mrs Parsons. Don’t get me wrong, I am proud to be my fella’s Mrs and like to go by that title in my personal life, but I don’t see what relevance my status has to anyone but my friends and family (and more to the point, why can’t these people just read the form properly?). But what really gets the steam coming out of my ears is letters addressed to Mrs Ryan Parsons. Arggh! I was happy to change my surname but can’t I at least keep my first name??

Ahem, sorry, rant over. Clearly hit a bit of a nerve there. Point is it’s become a running joke now hence The Man’s label on my Christmas present.

Aaaaanyway, I’m pretty sure you’re not here for a discussion on patriarchal social constructs, so let’s get back to the pretty things shall we?

Red and white folk Christmas ornament

button wreath ornament

Scrabble tile ornament

I did several ornament tutorials, but here’s another one I made that didn’t get its own post since it was uber easy. I found these cute birdie wooden beads at a craft store and just threaded through some ribbon. I kept it to one per ribbon, but you could do a stack of three birds, separated by plain round beads.

wrapped Christmas presents

Felt letter to Santa

What did Santa bring you? I know I was very lucky: I scored a typography book, guillotine, craft tools, my favourite (discontinued) perfume and a potplant, amongst others. Does my family know me or what? 

Oak leaf garland

No-sew table runner

gingerbread star tree

Washi tape pegs

Felt wreath

type drawer advent calendar

I think it’s fine to keep Christmas decorations up until New Years Day, but this year I put them up quite early so even though I really liked them, I was ready to take them down virtually as soon as the leftover turkey had been put in the fridge. We have a small house so decorations can make it feel a bit cluttered and claustrophobic, so now that they’re down I’m enjoying the fresh and spacious feeling.

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Useless trivia for the day: Celeb Candy Spelling has an entire room dedicated to wrapping presents.

Seriously. Who wraps that many presents? Or presents that big? Or has that many rooms? So many questions.

Giver’s Log

Anyway, back in the real world we may not have an entire spare room but we’d still like to save time by storing gift wrapping supplies with a clear surface nearby for wrapping. Here are some ideas for every sized space:

Source unknown | Chez Larsson

If you’re really lucky, you’ll have room for a writing desk in a study, spare bedroom or corner of your living room. Otherwise, your computer desk can double as a wrapping area if you add some attractive desktop storage or bins underneath.

Young House Love | Martha Stewart

 If you don’t have a desk, utilise the dead space on the back of a door with containers or a pegboard. If possible, have it near where you intend to do the wrapping, for example the kitchen or dining table.

Scissor Variations

A space for gift wrapping supplies can be carved out of even the smallest homes by clearing out a junk drawer.

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Gifted magazine

This came out a few weeks ago, but here’s a reminder to check out the fab Christmas e-magazine Gifted. It’s great if you’re struggling for last-minute* gift ideas or if you’re freakishly not sick of Christmas crafts yet after my 12 Days series.

*I know it’s still a while til Christmas Eve but it’s getting close to last minute if you’re shopping online!

Gifted magazine

Gifted magazine

Gifted magazine

Gifted magazine

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Kia ora! Here are all the goodies we brought back from New Zealand. It looks like a lot when you lay it all out together! Hopefully no one in the family looks too closely, as I used the opportunity to get a head-start on my Christmas shopping.

honeymoon loot kiwi souvenirs 

Before we go any further, I feel the need to defend the possibly-on-the-tacky-side-of-things sheep pencil. It’s actually a family tradition to collect souvenir pencils with funny toppers whenever someone goes on holiday. My parents have amassed quite a collection and it’s a really fun talking point with guests. The kiwi socks, on the other hand, I have no excuse for.

Nope, no nieces or nephews… the kiwi hand puppet is for The Man! He is teaching older kids this year but will be great for storytelling with junior primary classes. We went to the cutest lolly shop and Ryan was like a… well you know. He was having trouble deciding so I suggested he get the sour glowworms, since we had just visited a glowworm cave. We discovered a lot of great wine but had to be selective – damn weight restrictions. The smallest bottle is pinot noir syrup. I have absolutely no idea what to do with it, but we just had to bring it home regardless. Any suggestions?

Naturally, I couldn’t resist the stationery and homewares. The gorgeous illustrated card and fun tape are from Tiny Space in Auckland. My white ceramic collection has a new piece; this one in the style of a Maori woven basket. The wooden sculpture is another traditional Maori design, meaning ‘eternity’, very appropriate for newlyweds I thought. Keep an eye out for some of these items as they pop up in photos of our home in future posts. I haven’t decided where everything is going yet, but I’m looking forward to using them to give the house a bit of a freshen up.

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Bowerbird Bazaar
Image courtesy Bowerbird Bazaar

The fantastic Bowerbird Bazaar craft market was held last weekend at the Queen’s Theatre here in Adelaide. It features stalls from mostly local designer-makers selling unique jewellery, art, homewares, toys, clothing and stationery, all in a funky atmosphere with great food. I should have taken my camera and notepad so I could do a proper write-up but I was still in holiday mode! Nevertheless, it was an inspiring afternoon that was perfect to get me back in a creative (and business!) mindset after a few weeks’ break.

It might not be a good idea to mention this in case I don’t get accepted, but I intend to apply for next year’s event – eek! Currently invitations form the bulk of Akimbo‘s products – and they will remain the focus – however I need to develop more ready-made products that are suitable for a market. I already have a number of concepts in the pipeline but if there’s anything in particular you’d like to see added to my range, I’d love to hear from you!

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I am taking some time off my regular blogging schedule during the final days before my wedding and while I’m on my honeymoon. Since you will be at home while I am having the time of my life, I have pre-posted some fun links and great guest posts to keep you entertained.

Atypical Type A - Brown Button Trading 1

Atypical Type A - Brown Button Trading 2

I love internet shopping. But nine times out of ten, the shop is not even in my home country let alone city. Of course I would much rather see my dollars going to support local small businesses but let’s face it: not enough that I’m ever going to boycott international shopping.

Which is why I was so excited to discover Brown Button Trading. Owned by local lass Kimberlee, the shop sells stationery, jewellery, homewares or party supplies. All the important things in life, really.

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A collection of pretty meets practical ideas to inspire a happier home

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