It’s the night before Christmas and all through the house,
not a gift box in sight and you don’t want to look like a louse!
So off you go to find wrapping paper, scissors and tape.
With a snip-snip here and a fold-fold there,
you’re beautiful wrapping will show everyone you care!
I don’t know about you, but wrapping presents without a gift box can seem stressful. We have easy tips and techniques for gift wrapping to help inspire your imagination.
What you will need: quality gift wrapping paper, scissors, tape, ribbon. Helpful tip: clear a table to set up your gift wrapping area and have a basket to keep supplies handy and a trash can close by.
Step 1: Measure paper into a rectangle approx 7” x 12”
Step 2: Take the left side and fold lengthwise. Fold the right side, overlapping the left side slightly. Tape shut.
Step 3: Fold over one end, cut triangles at each corner and cut away the top flap. With lower flap, tape end shut.
Step 4: Put item inside. Now fold the end opposite the bottom.
Step 5: Repeat step 3.
Step 6: Tape flap and pull bag taut.
To help stretch your gift wrapping budget, use kraft paper for larger gifts and embellish it with printed paper and ribbons. Here are a few ideas for gift wrapping with brown kraft paper.
#2 Ideas for Gift Wrapping with Kraft Paper. What do you do with the extra decorative wrapping paper that’s too narrow to use for entire gifts? We’ve used it here to cover up the taped ends of the kraft paper – it’s like a tuxedo cummerbund! We also used a custom Snowy Slopes address labels as a gift tag. (Christmas home decor by Wickman’s Garden Village)
For this gift, we’ve used printed Season of Joy paper to wrap the smaller gift and taped it to the large gift wrapped with kraft paper. For an extra touch, we’ve layered on the Season of Joy postcard and added a personal holiday message on the back. (Christmas home decor by Wickman’s Garden Village)
#3. Customize Wrappnig Paper with a Family Photo. Our wrapping paper in the Rejoice holiday collection can be customized with family photos. The Rejoice ornament doubles as a fancy gift tag.
#4. Use Coasters and Ornaments as Jumbo Gift Tags
We hope these holiday gift wrapping tips and techniques give you some ideas to create your own masterpieces! And special thanks to one of our local loves, Wickman’s Garden Village, for generously providing the holiday decor for our photo shoot.
This week Paper Muse Press has been all about Friday Kahlo, inspired by the Masterpieces of Modern Mexico exhibit at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art this summer. Frida was famous not only for her beautiful, detailed paintings, but for her iconic sense of style. In photographs, and her own self portraits she can often be seen wearing lots of flowers atop her signature braids. Flowers were a theme in both her, and her husbandDiego Rivera’s work, and really inspired me to create this project. Wednesday I showed you how to make two different types of crepe paper flowers. Now that you’ve got all these lovely blooms sitting around, what to do with them? Make a wreath of course!
Here’s what you’ll need:
A simple wire wreath form. I purchased this one at my local craft store in the floral section.
Any other embellishments you may want to add other than your paper flowers. I grabbed the leftover plush pom poms I had from this project. I thought they’d add another fun layer of texture and color.
Make all your paper flowers first. It’s helpful to have your wreath form available for this step so you can see just how many flowers you may need to cover it. The flowers are attached to wires already when you create them, so there’s no additional steps needed. I also used thin strips of wire to create little groupings of the plush pom poms as well, rather than attaching them one at a time.
Begin to wire your flowers to your wreath. Place the larger blooms on opposite sides of the wreath, then add smaller blooms, leaves, and other decorative elements to fill in. Once you feel your wreath is full, and colorful enough find a great spot to hang it. Keep in mind that crepe paper isn’t going to do well in any type of moisture, so hang your wreath inside, or on a front door that has a porch to keep it covered.
So fun bright, and I love the way it looks on the teal blue doors of my house! This project is great because you can also customize it for any event by creating paper flowers to match a color scheme. It’s also inexpensive, and obviously easy. Hope you’ll enjoy creating your own crepe paper flower wreath.
This weekend I attended a special exhibit at the Nelson Atkins Museum here in Kansas City. It’s the first time that the works of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera have made an appearance at the museum, and it’s been kind of a big deal to any of the art lovers around town. Their works are part of a larger exhibit called Masterpieces of Modern Mexico, a collection belonging to Natasha and Jacques Gelman, collectors and patrons of modern Mexican artists. The work in the exhibit encompasses almost a century of art, spanning the years 1915 to 2005.
When my husband and I went on our honeymoon in 2008 to San Francisco, we were lucky enough to attend a retrospective of almost all of Kahlo’s work at the SFMOMA. One of the things I love most about Frida’s pieces is the amount of details that she puts into them. Whether it’s the ornate clothing, or a surreal dreamlike image, her pieces need to be appreciated in person, and up close. I also loved the photograph above, a picture of Frida, with a painting of Frida.
Her husband Diego Rivera’s work is also very inspiring. Colorful, bold, and full of life. His paintings in the exhibit, although large in scale, were small compared to the murals that Diego is best known for. Something else that struck me was the use of flowers in both Frida and Diego’s work. It seemed to be an important theme, and as we all know, Frida always had flowers in her hair.
If you are an art lover, and live in the Kansas City area, or plan to visit soon, this exhibit is a must see, and runs through August 18th. Thanks for checking out my favorite pieces from Frida and Diego at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art!
If you’ve been following along with our travels to New York in the last week, you’ll know that were were in town for the National Stationery Show. It was such an inspiring event to attend. We got the chance to meet tons of talented designers, and also see exciting new products, and the best of what the stationary and gift world has to offer. I’ll be exploring some of our favorite designers and artists more in depth in the coming weeks and months, but for now here’s a super quick re-cap of some of my pics from the booths we visited.
The prints and products in the banquet atelier and workshop were amazing. I saw the big neon heart print in the “Best New Products” showcase and immediately wanted to know who created it. Their images are so graphic and bold, but with a fun playful edge to them.
The notecards and other stationary at Ferme a Papier were so original. They didn’t look like everything else at the show, and Cat, the artist, paints all the images that go on her cards. She was super sweet, and down to earth as well, so easy to chat with.
Brainstorm was another great booth that really caught our eye. Their simple layout included a fun, faux fireplace. They had mostly prints ranging from scientific charts of plant and animal cells, to constellations, to maps of different regions across the U.S. I enjoyed chatting with them about my screen printing days, as this is how they create all their work.
I also saw An Open Sketchbook‘s “The Little Teapot” print in the “Best New Products” display. Their booth was full of great illustrations that this talented husband and wife team created themselves. It was quite literally like being in an open sketchbook. From watercolor washes, to pencil or pen and ink drawings, there was inspiration everywhere.
The Great Lake Goods display was one of the most unique out of all the artists we visited. With a silver tinsel background (who doens’t love that), and lots of stuff other than cards. Hand painted ornaments, candle holders, arrows, and feathers, and the list goes on and on. I enjoyed the bright color palette, and unique hand made feel of everything they created.
I was excited to see one of my hometown favorites, Hammerpress, had a booth. Aside from their ever popular cards and prints they also had a fun line of wrapping paper and coordinating die cut gift tags that I absolutely loved. The bright colors are so fun, and are a great way to add a touch of pattern and color to make a present special.
Ladies of Letterpress had a huge booth, encompassing a whole group of female letterpress artists. Their tagline “Dedicated to the proposition that a woman’s place is in the print shop”, was super clever. There was a lot of talent in this space, and they also were giving out little packs of artist trading cards, each a different design. Such an original idea.
I of course had to stop by the Rifle Paper Company booth since I’m a huge fan. It was just as lovely as you might imagine, with all the beautiful designs. To top it off they had some amazing floral arrangements by Amy Merrick, who I am totally in love with. And yes that’s Anna Bond herself in the background.
We were super impressed by the crazy detailed laser cuts by Laser Cutting Shapes. My favorite card was this NYC Subway design. I’ve seen laser cut paper before, but never with this amount of accuracy, and with such delicate line work. They can even do shading using laser cut.
Ladyfingers Letterpress had an assortment of adorable cards, but what caught my eye was some of the items that you didn’t see at all the other booths, like these wine bottle gift bags. Cute, and practical. And aren’t their business cards just the coolest? They really excel at hand lettering to create unique customized pieces for their clients along with their stock card offerings.
I loooooove to read, and these book covers at Mr.Boddington’s Studio were a great take on something so classic and familiar. It didn’t hurt that some of the titles they included are among my favorites.
Have you heard of One Canoe Two? If you haven’t you need to look them up. I was thrilled to find them, because not only did I like their designs, but they’re also from right here in Missouri. One of my favorite pieces was this wall calendar. The patterns remind me of quilt blocks, but done in a modern, fresh way.
Another local favorite, Jill from Ruff House Art, also had adorable wrapping paper. She’s also been getting a lot of attention for her plantable paper cards, a sweet set of stationary with designs reminiscent of vintage seed packets. Great stuff Jill!
Another booth that had great items aside from stationery was Thimblepress. Push pops full of confetti? Um, yes please. Gold party hats? But of course. Her cards and prints were adorable as well. I could go on and on, but I’ll save that for another post.
And last but certainly not least was These Are Things. Their display caught my eye first, but further inspection made me fall in love. It also doesn’t hurt that Jen and Omar are super down to earth and easy to talk to. And their modern world map is kind of a big deal, I may just have to get one for myself.
We’ve been in New York (see the first post here) for the National Stationary Show this past week, looking at all the great designers, and stationary trends, and taking some classes. Lucky for us there were also several other design related events happening at the same time, including Surtex, and the ICFF or International Contemporary Furniture Fair. When Sarah told me I was going to love the furniture show, I figured she was right, but didn’t realize how much. The design of so many of the pieces at the show was so inspiring, it was definitely a high light of the trip. The space at Amuneal Manufacturing was incredible. Carefully styled, with beautiful curated objects, that enhanced the pieces that they create. The art wall was full of eclectic works that had been altered and updated.
The booth at O&G Studio was so simple, which made their pieces stand out. The textiles, and mirrors were a collaboration with two other designers.
The Fab.com booth was CRAZY colorful, and I couldn’t help but be drawn to the brightly patterned geometric rugs.
Grow House Grow was a favorite. Not only were the wallpaper designs colorful and interesting, a closer inspection reveals unexpected details like octopi and jellyfish. Plus the designer Katie was so sweet, and friendly.
Another one of my favorite pieces was this end table by Hinterland Design. It had a beautiful natural quality made modern with the geometric cut, and who doesn’t love a planter with some succulents? A great way to bring nature into your space.
We stopped by the Iacoli & McAllister booth, a favorite of Sarah’s from last year. The simple clean lines, and geometric shapes were refreshing. I also loved the use of color including copper or rose gold, greys, pinks, and blacks. She also had some wonderful modern necklaces she was selling, which we each promptly purchased.
Of course I couldn’t resist snapping a picture of these brightly colored dachshund chairs at the Jimmie Martin booth.
Molo specializes in alternative materials, and they set up a whole environment for their space, complete with free standing accordion fold cardboard walls, and light fixtures that all glowed, and almost looked like jellyfish and other sea creatures.
I just can’t resist a little sparkle, and these fixtures from moooi were perfect. They had nice modern shapes, and weren’t overly flashy with their simple chrome armature, and grouped together created a magical display of soft glowing light.
This mantel piece made us do a double take. At first glance it just looks like a traditional, if not rather opulently tiled fireplace, but further inspection shows the wealth of details, and fun juxtaposition of unexpected elements to a classic piece. It was a collaboration of three artists with the Rookwood Pottery company. I’d definitely suggest you check out the whole thing on their website.
Sandback was one of the first booths that caught my eye. It was simple, and clean, with beautiful, quiet pieces. Owner Peter Sandback creates modern wooden furniture, with delicate metal inlaid patterns. I would absolutely love to have one of these pieces in my home.
This pile of chairs and stools caught my eye over at the Tom Dixon booth.
And last, but definitely not least was Volk, based in Brooklyn, NY. The simple Oak pieces were lovely, and for the show had been hand painted with, you guessed it, geometric designs. On closer inspection I was pleasantly surprised by the lovely fabrics that lined each drawer, and the gold pulls were another favorite detail.
Thanks for coming along on our trip to the ICFF. It was an amazing experience!
Today we’re sharing the work of Sage Dawson, an amazing artist from right here in the midwest. I’m happy to say that she’s not only a wonderful artist, but she’s also my friend. We met while we were both working on our undergraduate degrees in Fine Arts. I love following Sage’s work, she creates beautiful, thoughtful, layered pieces using printmaking methods, painting, drawing, and collage. In her most recent work Sage focuses on exploring abandoned buildings and spaces. Here’s more from her artist statement:
”On Streets Like Ours, In Rooms, Up Collapsing Stairs examines the history of cartographic rendering: mapping to investigate the distinct identities of spaces, dwelling rights, and contemporary perspectives of nostalgia. The work draws from on-site dwelling rights research in India, radical cartography, and phenomenological approaches to documenting abandoned and forgotten sites. Most of the places and objects explored, such as the 1163 Mary Street house in Springfield, Missouri, are nearly invisible to the communities within which they reside, though they remain intact, collecting dust and mildew atop obsolete technologies, peeling tile, furniture, and architectural remnants–such as the bathtub, a part of the 1163 Mart Street house since its construction in 1941. The work examines the production and destruction of space, and its larger impact on the people who encounter it.”
Sage also keeps a blog about her work called Sage Dawson News. It’s an update about her shows, lectures, and published work, but also a peek inside her studio and a behind the scenes look as she sets up her installations at galleries. For me an artists process is just as interesting as the final art work they create. Here’s a very few pics of what you can find, it’s definitely on my must read list of art blogs.
A big thank you to Sage for letting us share her work. If you’d like to see some of her pieces in persons she’s got a solo show coming up in St.Louis on May 24th, and also one on July 5th in Kansas City at Front/Space gallery. I know I’ll be attending!
Staying inspired in any job can be very rewarding. I’m always looking at other designers and illustrators to help keep me informed and inspired. One of those individuals is Lisa Congdon. If you’re not familiar with Lisa then you probably should be. Her clients include Chronicle Books, Running Press, Harper Collins Publishing, Target, Urban Outfitters, and Random House Publishing. Her work is shown in galleries across the US. Lisa did not start painting till she was in her thirties and is mostly self-taught. She loves to collect things and chronicled a book, A Collection a Day. Lisa is also well known for her hand lettered quotes and plans to have another book published featuring some in the Spring of 2014. Lisa currently lives and works in the mission district of San Francisco.
If you don’t know who Tad Carpenter is, then you probably should, he’s kind of a big deal. As a Kansas City girl, I can’t help but be proud that my hometown can boast of such a talented guy. He’s an illustrator whose work is colorful, quirky, and overall super fun. He’s designed products, and packaging for the likes of Target, Publix, Adobe (yes Adobe), Snapple, and many more. His concert posters are so lovely I’d definitely hang a few of them in my home, and his art prints are colorful, and sweet, many of which would make great gifts for weddings, house-warmings, or baby showers. I also love taking a peek into the interiors of creative peoples homes, and him and his wife Jessica were featured on Design Sponge for a house tour. Their space is everything you’d imagine, filled with light, lots of color, and fun quirky objects all over the place! Thanks so much to Tad for letting me share his work on the blog today! See all of his designs on his website tadcarpenter.com.
Every year in Kansas City we have The Plaza Art Fair. It’s an amazing event, an outdoor art festival with artists that come from all over the country to show their work. Each year lots of the same artists appear, which is great for collectors who love particular artists works. However this year I was searching through all the artists booths for something new to me, and came across the work of Dolan Geiman. Immediately I was pulled in by all the layers and textures of his pieces, as well as the bright colors he uses. His work stood out from a lot of the other artists, and he combines lots of different techniques including painting, collage, printing, and sculpture, plus he and his wife were super sweet and told us all about the process of making his pieces. He’s worked with some huge companies as well including Anthropologie, and Urban Outfitters (two of my faves) to produce artworks that everyone can afford. I even bought two of his panel paintings for my own home. Plus who wouldn’t love his tagline, “Contemporary Art with a Southern Accent”.
While postcard collecting is popular it’s something that never interested me. That was until I was given a couple hundred that had been in my mother’s family for several generations. Most of them belonged to Louise Emaline Edwards, my great-grandmother, who I never met. Given my interest in family history as well as my sentimentality I feel rather lucky that they fell into my lap.
Most of the cards I have date from 1902—1910. These types of ephemera would not have appealed to me when I was younger or most people at any age for that fact. As an adult living in an age where a handwritten letter is so greatly appreciated for its rarity, I find the abundance of these cards with their shortly written messages so sweet and endearing. A friend of mine recently compared postcard messages from this era as the equivalent to a status update on Facebook today. The second reason I love them so much is just for the beauty of the card itself, including the lovely penmanship found on the back of most of the cards. Here’s a few of my personal favorites that I would love to share with everyone.
I love the little poem on this card, along with the combination of the embossing and metallic ink.
I’m not totally sure what the two of them have gotten into, but I love it that they are “Too busy to write!” I’ve come across many of these cute and flirty cards from this era with their innuendo in abundance!
This cards is so lovely in person. I love how the face is so realistic and contrasts with the exaggerated monotone lavender fabric. This card is embossed as well and has gold metallic ink.
This card, along with the next, shocked me when I first saw them. They looked very modern with the use of two printing techniques of embossing and the ombré color.
It’s hard to read but this one says “A Merry Christmas.”
Another simple card that I love.
I think this is one of my favorites. I love the red, blue and gold color combination with the intertwined type. I hope you enjoyed these as much as I do!