Christmas washi tape gift wrap

My stash of washi tape is pretty large, but instead of complicated wrapping, most of the time my favourite way to wrap a parcel still just uses a touch of plain black washi tape or classic neon pink. I’ve rounded up some of my favourite but very simple Christmas washi tape gift wrapping below. Which is your favourite?

Christmas washi tape

Sources, from top left: 1. Jessica Nielsen 2. Vorstellung von Schon 3. A Quiet Style (this also uses gold and white bakers twine and this Yellow Owl Workshop conifer stamp set) 4. Almost makes perfect 5. Griottes 6. Chocolate Creative.

Follow my gift wrapping Pinterest board for lots of seasonal gift wrap ideas.

Bright Friday: give back on Black Friday

Bright Friday

This Friday, November 27th, I’m collaborating with independent designers Chocolate Creative and Sian Zeng on Bright Friday. As an alternative to Black Friday discounts we’re donating 15% of sales on Friday to Doctors of the World UK, a small charity who offer vital healthcare to vulnerable groups, primarily refugees across Europe, in Calais, Lesbos in Greece and in Germany. In London, they run a clinic in Bethnal Green who serve groups who feel uncomfortable accessing traditional GP surgeries; the homeless, refugees and sex workers. A friend who works at one of the largest aid agencies really recommended them to me as a smaller charity who are doing great work (they’ve been in the Calais camps for a long time) and who would really benefit from our support.

Here’s a comment from the Executive Director of Doctors of the World, Leigh Daynes:

“By supporting Bright Friday you are directly helping refugees, who are fleeing conflicts and war zones and are in search of a better life, even more urgent as we move into the winter and conditions deteriorate. To find out more please visit”

I’ve rounded up some items from our shops below, and you can visit our Bright Friday website for more info. We’d love it if you could help share the word too, via Twitter and Instagram, (@brightfridayuk). If you don’t want to buy anything, we don’t mind at all but please consider texting DOCTOR to 70660 to donate £3 directly (plus network charge.) The charity has been super supportive of our little idea and we’d love to make it a great fundraiser for them.

Bright Friday

1. Rifle Paper Co Folk calendar 2. Giant bulldog clips 3. Dinosaur wallpaper 4. Winter snowdrift wallpaper 5. Creek scenery cushion 6. Hello Sunshine print 7. Geometric cushion 8. Tropical wallpaper 9. Wooden hooks.

(If you’d like to order anything from Papermash before then, just add BRIGHT FRIDAY in the order comments box and I’ll add it into my total.)

Rifle Paper Co gift ideas

Papermash was one of the first stockists of Rifle Paper Co in the UK, and we’ve loved watching their business grow, as they’ve always been very professional and efficient, as well as having lots of beautiful items. The quality is consistently excellent, so I never have reservations about stocking their new lines. Recently I’ve added quite a few new items, so I’ve rounded up a selection of gift ideas this Christmas.

Rifle Paper Co

1. Desktop desk pad (£12) 2. Hello Sunshine print (£19) 3. Citrus floral market notepad (£8.50) 4. Folk pocket notebooks (£8.50) 5. Great things notepad (£6.50) 6. Peach blossom iphone 6s case (£30) 7. Birch floral notepad (£6.50) 8. 2016 Appointment calendar £23.50 (we have the full range of Rifle Paper Co 2016 calendars) 9. Violet floral stationery set £18.50. Enjoy!

How to print Fabric by Zeena Shah

Hello! Popping in with a quick update to share the results of a super-easy project from Zeena Shah‘s new book, How to Print Fabric: Kitchen-table techniques for over 20 hand-printed home accessories.

I’ve known Zeena for quite a few years, since she ran a popular workshop at one of my events, and rolled up with her suitcase in the most organised and professional of fashions! She’s such a natural and enthusiastic teacher that I knew her book would be accessible to everyone, crafting newbies or more advanced enthusiasts!

I picked out one of the easiest printing techniques to try (although none look too tricky) and applied the technique to some plain linen napkins, simply using bleach and a pencil. The full instructions are in the book as well as lots of other suggestions, and craft projects to make with your newly-designed fabric.

How to print fabricHow to print fabric napkins Zeena ShahI’m really happy with the results and hope to try this again soon (Zeena suggests trying bleach through lace for a pretty effect.) I simply added some plaited bakers twine and a wooden leaf to make this into an autumnal place setting.

Congratulations Zeena on your new book – it’s coming out in a few weeks but you can pre-order it here.

Blognic London 2015

If you’ve been blogging for a while you might remember previous Blognics, (here in 2011, another in 2013.) It’s what is says on the tin – a fun picnic for bloggers.

This year we’re co-hosting two separate Blognics on Sunday, 28th June, one in Bristol (with Bethan, Lucy and Emma) and one in London, hosted by myself and Alexis. It’s an easy, free, and informal way to meet blogger and Instagram friends.

More details to follow (will locate an exact spot in Regents Park soon) but you can pre-register for the London Blognic here. We already have some kids coming, so will hopefully find a spot near the playground. Everyone is welcome, and we’re a friendly bunch so don’t feel intimidated about coming alone!

June storytelling swap

A few weeks ago I walked into a bookshop and there on the shelf was this book, In the Shelter, by the poet I mentioned here, and so I had to buy it. This quote was in the foreword and although it is stating the obvious I have been thinking about it a lot ever since.

I have actually abandoned this one half way through because this quote was indicative of how much I would love this book. It is so eloquently written I am pausing to savour it in special moments and places rather than rush right through in a hurried commute.

Once upon a time I was more articulate and a better writer than I am now (it is age? practise? weariness? too many spreadsheets?) It is something I would like to work on, which is part of the reason why the next letter swap is a storytelling swap. Also, almost twenty years ago, my history tutorial discussed the impact of email (it was brand new!) and the internet on documenting history for future generations. I can find no trace now of articles I had published online less than 10 years ago. So, even if it is a small group, I’m looking forward to writing down a story about my grandparents. If you would like to do that too, you can still register here. I hope you can join us.

(Quote is written on this Rifle Paper Co pink floral desk pad.)

Ways to reuse your Rifle Paper Co calendar #1: flower wraps

The illustrations in the Rifle Paper Co calendars are so pretty that I’m planning a whole year’s worth of ideas on how to re-use them. Last week I got a little carried away with a colour photocopier and blew up some of the illustrations from January and February.

As well as keeping some for wrapping and Instagram backgrounds, I’ve been wrapping hostess flower gifts in them, with a little coloured tissue. Simple, but makes some quickly-bought flowers seem a little more considered.

Papermash letter swap

Here are some photos from our #papermashletterswap – the winner of our competition will be announced at the end of this week.

If you’d like to take part in the next one, you can sign up here - this one will focus more on the storytelling aspect, with just a short story and a pretty envelope. The theme will be grandparents, and swaps are to be sent out by the end of June. More details here.

A mini milk bottle and friends

I’m in the middle of a ‘grand clear-out’ (goodbye, Living Etc from 2003…) but a collection which remains is a decent-sized stash of small glass containers. Can you have too many? I prefer little collections of flowers (these are cut from the garden), and I added a little colour to these jam jars with blue and pink, and pink and white bakers twine.

jam jars and pink bakers twine

pink bakers twine and jam jars

pink bakers twine and jam jars

I also replaced my hanging eucalyptus with a solitary mini milk bottle tied with strong hot pink jute twine. I like it very much.