Monday, November 21, 2011

Put a Bow on It: Thinking about Packaging

The default for the lazy gift wrapper is just to "put a bow on it"! Here I wanted to show off how I've done the work for you. These top two are recent examples of packages I've sent off from Etsy orders. They didn't ask for gift wrap, but I feel like opening something from the mail should be a special experience. Besides, how else would I wrap up my goods? The top package is sewn fabric slipcase for a baby girl's hood. The package below is felt wrapped over miniature bunting, then secured with fabric and baker's twine. Notice how I keep saying fabric? I switched from tissue paper to fabric for shipping years ago. Why would I spend all those hours making the perfect delicate item only to wrap it in cheap tissue paper, when, instead, I can make a permanent home for it with fabric that you'll use over and over to store and protect your garment?

For the recent batch of craft shows I've done this fall, I made these paper packages. The smaller ones are made from an extra copy of "Pride and Prejudice," while the larger ones are made from "Dwell" magazine. For the magazine b I added a piece of Japanese sticker tape and my own MA stamp. I used the same tape to tape the bag shut after it's been filled. All of these bags have single pleat sides.

When thinking about how I wanted to make my packaging I kept coming back to what would be the most delightful and environmentally friendly solution? What would best reflect my brand for Modest Ambition as well as my own personal views on packaging, excess, and waste? Just because I run a business doesn't mean that I have to contribute to the chaos of clutter. Hopefully, I've made something that you will either keep, re-purpose, or recycle, but only after you've had a moment of enjoyment and delight.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

DIY Holiday Crafts: Mini Bunting

One of my favorite things about Christmas is the sheer amount of opportunities to make things: cookies, decorations, gifts, wrapping, cards! So much fun. I decided to share some of that joy with you with my craft kits.

I've expanded my miniature holiday garland making to include mini bunting kits! Your choice of four festive colors or classic red and white. Each kit comes with four tiny crocheted felted wooly flags tied up in a 14-inch crocheted strand. Ready for you to sew or glue together (fabric glue recommended, though hot glue would do in a pinch). Each flag measures about an inch. Everything looks cuter tiny.

Besides flags, you can also add jingle bells, fabric, tiny toys, and other trinkets. I'm planning to embroider my daughters names on her bunting -- four letters, four flags. Luckily, her name is simple since my embroidery is very primitive. I'll have these with me at the Jingle Bash on Saturday and should have them in my Etsy shop by next week. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Candy Colored Hats for Cold Days

Brrr, it was cold this morning. Winter is definitely coming! I'm excited to present my new candy-colored crocheted hats for Winter 2011. These are one-of-a-kind brightly hued hats that will go fast. I'm debuting them at The Holiday Experience in Fort Worth this Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 12-13, at Will Rogers, presented by Funky Finds.

Each hat is designed to stretch and have a deep fit to keep even your ears warm. The yarns are from my personal stash. It was fun to work in as many different possibilities of each hue as I could find in a way that still makes for an overall pleasing effect. These are not striping or variegated yarns; each color is hand-worked.

Then, it was on to stripes and creating either bold patterns or subtle color shifts. You won't find anything like these hats at the mall. Each is completely individual. While I may not be listing these hats on my Etsy shop at the moment (they go too fast in person!), I'm always up for a custom order in adult or kids' sizes--contact me through my Etsy shop or website. I'm sticking with last year's prices: $30 each or 2 for $50. What a steal!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Tiny Reindeer Scarf

I was a little late in finishing these, but they've been safely delivered now. Meet my promotional item for the 2011 Etsy Dallas Jingle Bash's Bash Bag! It's a reindeer scarf/bookmark. If you're one of the first 50 people in line when the doors open at 1 p.m. on Nov. 19 you'll be the proud owner of one of these.

I split it evenly with these two red and blue color combinations then threw in six in pink and green, just for fun. In case you can't tell, that's a simplified snowy hillside in the distance, i.e. a pinked curved line. It seems like no matter how easy the project is, as soon as you have to make 50 of it, it's hard to keep it fun.