A giant safety pin random acts of kindness advent calendar

Inspired by one of our customers, Jen, I decided to make a random acts of kindness advent calendar this year. (You can see her ideas here.) I busted out an advent calendar in record time using our advent calendar envelopes, a giant safety pin, red and gold twine, gold paper quickly folded into leaves, and some sprigs of my favourite eucalyptus.

These are some of my ideas, but I would LOVE to compile a more comprehensive list so that next year’s calendar can be even better. I would love to hear your suggestions!

New from Rifle Paper Co

Just a quick post to let you know about the new Rifle Paper Co goodies which arrived today. Christmas postcards, pretty notebooks and iphone cases (iphone 6 cases will be available at the beginning of December) – check out our full range here.

We’re adding little gifts to all orders over £30 this festive season, so it’s the perfect time to pick up a special gift for someone and receive a little extra gift for yourself.

Pretty packages

I’m surrounded from all angles by piles of glitter tape, brown paper and string – about to embark on a mammoth wrapathon. It’s not quite Christmas wrapping time yet, but just in case you’re wanting to develop a signature wrapping style, I’ve rounded up some of my favourite wrapping ideas below.

pretty packages

1. Mini crackers by Fete Press, 2. Speckled paint and red and white bakers twine, 3. Stamped muslin bags (these Yellow Owl Workshop inks are also suitable for fabric), 4. Large safety pin (image from House Doctor.)

5. Black and white photos via Junkaholique, 6. Mini envelopes by Anastasia Marie (similar translucent envelopes here.)

7. Christmas ornament stamp gift tag, 8. Gold sprayed foliage via A Fabulous Fete (similar pink striped paper bags here), 9. Make your own chalkboard tags via Damask Love (similar black and white bakers twine here) and finally, 10. my favourite and done-to-death watercoloured edging and red and pink bakers twine.

Which is your favourite? You can see lots more ideas on my Pretty Packages Pinterest board, and if you’ve bought anything from me I’d love to see your wrapping ideas on Instagram (#papermashparcel.)

Styling the seasons October

October is such an rich month for foraging free bits from nature, so I decided to take part in the ‘Styling the Seasons’ challenge organised by Charlotte of Lotts and Lots (who ran a fabulous workshop at my Crafternoon last year) and Katy from Apartment Apothecary. You can add glittering conkers to the list of things I may never have done if I’d never had a blog / Instagram / *insert here*, but really, who knows . I like them a great deal. (Also, blackboard paint + conkers.)

You can spots lots of other autumnal delights on Instagram by following the hashtag #stylingtheseasons.

Sweet dreams banner

Papermash has these sweet dream banners back in stock! I’d moved on in life… until I kept seeing how good it looks in this bedroom. If you’re not following her already, Kate Oliver (@kateoliver) has the most fabulous Instagram feed, featuring her three beautiful sons, and their lovely outdoorsy Australian background. This room looks full of so much fun and action! I feel like playing a game of spot the difference, as she often makes subtle changes to the room. I especially love the pillowcases. Which is your favourite thing in the room?

sweet dreams banner

sweet dreams banner2

sweet dreams banner3

An award nomination + smart Instagram feeds

I just found out, late in the day (voting closes soon), that I’ve been nominated for best organisation blog in the Amara Interior Blog Awards – exciting! If you’d like to, you can vote for me here. I don’t really think of myself as a company blogger, as I’ve had a blog for such a long time (when I had my old blog Tea for Joy) but Papermash ideas come pretty easily. There will be more personal posts soon.

It made me think of some brand / designer Instagrammers who I think are really smart at promoting their brand through Instagram, because their whole lives (or what we see!) encompass their brand.

If you ever have the chance to visit one of Roddy and Ginger’s Open Studios in SE London, you really should take the opportunity, as her home is stunning (her studio is in the basement) and totally consistent with the Midcentury vibe of her products. I totally aspire to Virginia’s lifestyle, as she has the most amazing allotment, loves to cook, and is always scouring car boot sales for her #propstore (her house is also used for location shoots.) You can follow her @roddyandginger.

Belle and Bunty is a brand I have admired for a long time (I once took a brilliant course on how to set up a fashion label, run by one of their Directors - I still have that idea on the back burner.) I love that their Instagram feed totally embodies the high-end fashionista lifestyle (because, of course, they have great personal style), without showing their own fashion line in every photo, but that the items they wear accessorize and compliment their own brand. You can follow Alice and Hannah’s pretty, girly feed @belleandbunty.

Clare Nicolson has her own shop selling prints and cushions, but also works as a stylist, and I’m sure she has picked up styling work on the back of her brilliant Instagram feed. Her feed is so colourful and imaginative. Follow her @clarenicolson.

Are there any Instagram feeds you like from larger brands? Please share. And if you can, please pop over and vote for me in the blog awards.

Rifle Paper Co 2015 calendars

Papermash was one of the first UK stockists of Rifle Paper Co, and every year I happily select a few of their beautiful calendars to stock in my shop. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of their calendars which don’t have the day of the week on them, so I’ve selected the designs which do, the 2015 Travel the World Calendar, and the 2015 Les Fleurs calendar. I love the challenge of thinking of alternative uses for their pages once the month is over, especially the travel calendar. Hopefully I’ll put together a blog post at some point, but until then, do you remember how we framed the pages, and even used the back of the calendar as gift tags?

Rifle Paper Co 2015 Travel CalendarEvery year I have an early bird discount – this year the special price is available until the end of October. You can buy your Rifle Travel Calendar here and the Rifle Les Fleurs calendar here. If I run out before the end of the month {have sold around half so far} I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to get them back in stock before the early bird price expires, so buy one soon if you don’t want to miss out. I have had a few emails from customers desperate to buy a calendar not shown here, so feel free to contact me and I might be able to place a special order if there is enough demand. Customers really want these calendars – the queries start as early as August!

Rifle Paper Co 2015 Les Fleurs Calendar

Autumn gift wrapping ideas

Autumn is my favourite season, so I was excited to try out some autumn-themed wrapping.

These are a few ideas using these acorn and leaf stamps, brown ink, and gold bakers twine.

In this first one, I plaited some twine together, and added this gold safety pin and neon pink twine.

I used watercolours to paint a background with varying shades of reds, oranges and greens, then used the leaf stamp and painstakingly cut round these little leaves with my scalpel.

I went on a little excursion to the common to search out some leaves and decorated them with washi tape and little bulldog clips.

Which is your favourite?

Three ways with bulldog clips

I really love these gold numbered bulldog clips, newish to my shop, which come in two different sizes, numbered 1-5, but for which I’ve found a few uses apart from clipping my filing together.

{Little tin is one of my favourite ever car boot sale finds}

1. Hanging prints on the wall – I’m so slow at getting around to framing prints, and reluctant to spend the money, especially when most of my collection is very inexpensive {I buy most of my art on Etsy, the top two are by Leah Duncan and What Katie Does}. So, I love this easy, relaxed display – I just tacked in some nails from picture hooks.

2. An easy way to seal a gift {gold diamond bags and gold bakers twine from here.}

3. A picture display {thanks to @scribbleyoga on Instagram for the suggestion.} This slightly upsets me because I can’t look at the numbers upside down, so I had to turn it around. You {and I} may get over that in time. {Also shown; mini milk bottle, and Paris postcards.} NOTE: There’s an extra 20% off our remaining sale items this week with code SALE.

Do you have any other ideas?

One for the little guy

I have a young nephew who likes to make things and expects that I have a full repertoire of crafts I can conjure up with no planning and no materials. On one of these (exhausted) occasions I directed him to Pinterest to find something he’s interested in. He is an enthusiastic washi tape fan, so I thought I’d send him some tapes from my sample box for his ‘back to school’ collection.

His Pinterest passion (somewhat of a disappointment to me) inspired me to  turn this…

Into this…

I hope he likes it! Admittedly, I can’t muster up much enthusiasm for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles myself, but there are tons of fantastic (and very easy) party ideas on this theme on Pinterest.

I used red striped paper bags and the red and green washi tape from this set. Off to find some flowers for my next project – normal service will resume shortly.