Wednesday, January 28, 2015

gossamer blue :: december memories kit isn't just for december

Are you like me?  Did you just HAVE to have the Gossamer Blue December Memories kit?  Did something compel you to own it, even though you knew keeping up with an album during the busiest time of  year was a pipe dream?  Well, you are in luck!  Even if you were a rock star and finished your December album, I bet you have a few things left over.  I'm going to show you how you can keep using the items from the kit, even though December and Christmas are behind us.

 I actually had no intentions of doing a December album because I knew I'd never be able to keep up.  However, the kit was packed full of beautifully festive items so I still wanted to have it in my possession.  I made an Advent calendar with mine, but was surprised at the amount of supplies I had left.  It seemed like such a shame to pack up the kit and put it away so I came up with some other projects I could make with it.  And with the help of the January kits, I quickly realized how versatile this kit really is.

As you saw above, the gold elements make it perfect for ringing in the New Year!

  With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, sending New Year or January greetings is becoming the new holiday card.  I like this idea a lot since my own life starts getting hectic in October with birthdays, which leads right into all of the holiday frenzy.  I haven't had a chance to send out a holiday card since my son was born 4 years ago.

I'm making an effort in 2015 to write more letters and this is a great way to kick off that resolution.  Dressing up the journaling cards from the DM kit makes a quick and easy way to send one-of-a-kind greetings.  Most have a light grid pattern on the back and I was able to write quick messages to family and friends.  Even quicker?  Adhere a 4x6 family photo to the back instead. 

I slipped them into glassine envelopes and will add my address labels and postage when I'm all finished. They'll look pretty in the mailboxes and couldn't have been easier to make!

The next project I made with my kit was a notebook for next year.  I had so many ideas for the 2014 holiday season and I don't think I even completed half of them.  I wanted to keep the ideas all together for 2015 so I can be a little more organized next year.

As you may be able to tell, these are 2 important concepts I don't want to forget!  This is a small journal and I'll be keeping it out with the rest of my list pads so I can add to it as ideas strike me over the next few months.  I have to be ready to get going in July, after all!

I think my most favorite item in the entire DM kit was the word sticker sheet.  I used the phrases on all kinds of projects this year and found it so handy to be able to just peel and stick as I needed them instead of typing sentiments out on my computer or typewriter.

And finally, Valentine's Day will soon be upon us and did you happen to see some pretty pink embellishments and cards in the DM kit?  They're perfect for valentines!


I simply folded the 4x6 journaling cards in half and added some embellishments--here I used silver enamel dots and a wood veneer ampersand from Get Happy, the gray snowflake flair and word stickers from DM, and a pink rhinestone heart from the January Main kit.

The bright pink bow from January's Themed Add-on is another pretty addition and this "let's snuggle up" stamp from the DM kit makes a cute tag for this card.  The gold and white doilies are also found in the DM kit--I use doilies on everything so they definitely come in handy all year!

So if you haven't made too much of a dent in using up your December Memories kit, don't lose hope!   There's plenty of time and plenty of projects in your future...

Thursday, January 22, 2015

christmas wrap up :: masculine gift wrap

I know Christmas is far behind us now, but I'm not done sharing my projects with you!  An unfortunate reality of this past holiday season was that I was swimming in design team projects, gift exchanges, present wrapping, Etsy sales...and that doesn't even count all of the regular Christmastime things that go on--shopping, family, and making memories with the kids.  I was spread pretty thin (much of it was my own fault for over-committing and I intend to approach the holidays very differently this year) so even though I was making, making, making, there wasn't much time for sharing, sharing, sharing.  So, better late than never, right???

These gifts feature masculine wrapping using the Get Happy collection from Gossamer Blue.  The gift card envelopes are the easiest things you will ever make but I love the way they turned out!  All I did was take some Happy Pockets and add words to them.  The wood words are from the wood veneer pack and "GIVE" is spelled out with the plaid alphas.  I slid patterned paper backgrounds behind each of the gift cards for a little extra interest.  Again, everything I used here is from the GB Christmas collection, Get Happy.

Next up are some decorated boxes, also made with the same collection.  Patterned paper and stickers made up the bulk of these, but I wanted to add a ribbon wrap to them.  By punching holes on either end of my paper, I ran my seam binding through one hole, underneath the card, and then up through the other end of it.  I wrapped the length around the box, pulling it through the first hole again and securing it in place by tying a pretty bow. 

Before I tied the bow, I slipped on a simple name tag.  When it comes to boys and men, I have found they aren't fussy so my gift wrap needn't be, either!  But because I am who I am (a gift wrapper at heart), I do like to spend a little time on creating nice wrap for them--it's the nice thing to do, right? 

I am still not done sharing Christmas with you, but that is all I have for today. There are a couple more Gossamer Blue projects to share, as well as several gift exchange creations.  If you follow me on Instagram, you've likely seen most of those, but I'll have more photos and some thoughts to share on the exchanges and the wrappings.  (If you don't follow me on Instagram, no worries, but you can find me here -- @thurston_post)

As always, I sincerely appreciate you visiting my blog and commenting here.  It's nice to know I'm not blogging to just the crickets!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

gossamer blue inspiration blog hop :: january :: valentine treat boxes

Welcome!  If you're following along with the Gossamer Blue Blog Hop, you should have arrived from the lovely blog of Michiko Kato.  Are you getting lots of ideas for using your January kits?  Have you started thinking about Valentine's Day yet?  If not, I've got some Valentine treat boxes to share that will help get you started.

The January kits featured several sweet heart-themed embellishments and they made creating Valentines a snap.  I started by filling these small pillow boxes with Conversation Hearts.  Then I gathered up all the cute products from the January Main Kit to decorate my boxes. 

First, I stacked the Kiss Kiss Ephemera pieces together to create eye-catching arrangements.  Here, I also added an X and O from the Serendipity Thickers for a pop of turquoise.  And finally, a bit of pale pink thread wound around the box several times added a little more texture.  Whenever I wrap packages, I always consider using as many textures as I can without overwhelming the project.  I could have kept going here, but I wanted these to be very quick little treats.

I tied more thread around this forever box, but used metallic gold this time.  The faux leather heart has a bit of a sheen to it and it pairs so well with the gold thread.  Maybe it even looks a little classy?  

For the last box, I looked at the sheets of glitter hearts from Pebbles and decided that they'd make an easy--and really pretty--garland.  I used white thread this time, and spaced pairs of hearts every 3/4 of an inch apart (sticking them back to back).  Even though the hearts are sticky already, I added a dab of glue to each pair to make sure they wouldn't come apart.

I wrapped it around the pillow box and added a tag and vellum sentiment.  I wanted the strung hearts to stand out a bit so I stayed with simple, neutral-colored embellishments.

One thing I love so much about the Gossamer Blue kits is how, even though they are comprised of pieces from several different manufacturers, it is still so easy to combine all of the different products  into one cohesive project.

I hope you found a bit of Valentine inspiration here...and now you're off!  Say "Hello" to the sweet Sabrina Alery for me--I know she's got something wonderful for you.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

etsy update :: valentine gift wrap kit

Hello, dear friends!  How is your new year going so far?  I hope you've been enjoying it.  I feel there's always sort of a let-down after Christmas.  You work so hard to prepare for the holidays and buy perfect gifts, make your home feel warm and festive, enjoy hot cocoa in front of the Christmas tree lights...and then it's over.  So quick.  I felt it less this year, I think because I let myself get too busy this season and in the end was just a tired, frazzled mess!  So I was actually happy for all of the craziness to be over with so I could have a breather.  And now I'm back!  Just in time for Valentine's Day!

I am so excited to be sharing a brand new Gift Wrap kit with you.  It's available now in the Etsy shop and it's full of my favorite things for decorating your sweet Valentine treats.

Lots of tags--20 to be exact!--lots of little bags and envelopes, and lots of pretty embellishments like washi flags, shimmery twines, doilies, and, of course, clothespins--in all kinds of sizes for you this time!

There is even a tin full of tiny little bits that will happily accent the bags, tags, and what-nots here.  Cabochons, wood shapes, glitter paper shapes, felt hearts...go ahead--decorate until your heart's content!

There are lots of little ways to say "I love you" here (or even just, "I like you" if you're not into all of the mush ;)

And here's my favorite set of tags in the kit...always and forever.  It's such a simple way to wrap a gift--a yard of the white shimmer twine wound around a kraft box, then stack the tags and attach with a bitty silver glitter clothespin.  Less than 2 minutes.  And you still have so many more options left!

 You can purchase this kit here...And if you don't get to use it all up for Valentine's Day, I've made it versatile enough to be used during the rest of the year, too.  Ready for the best part?  If you purchase this kit between now and January 31st, you'll get an extra surprise!  (It's a good one, I promise!)

I've got lots more to make and do so I'll be off now!  Thanks for stopping by!  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

hello 2015 :: best year ever!!

Happy New Year, friends!!  Are you ready to have the best year ever?  I am!

To be perfectly honest, 2014 was not stellar.  With my mom's sudden passing at the end of 2013, much of my 2014 was spent wrestling with grief and guilt and exhaustion from coping with her loss.  By the time things got a little better, my mother-in-law suffered a heart attack which resulted in major surgery and a major adjustment period for all of us.  (My in-laws live with us and are incredibly helpful with the kids so this affected us in many ways.)  I'm happy to report she's doing so well and is so much stronger now than she was before!
We also had to put our sweet dog Rudie to sleep and the loss of a pet is never easy.

November and December brought with them many good things, but offered their own challenges and tough decisions, also.  So, I'm kind of glad to see the end of 2014 and I'm ready to OWN 2015!

I have some fun opportunities lined up, which will, I hope, result in a growth spurt for dear little Thurston Post.  I've spent my entire life being a wallflower and I'm ready to turn my face to the sun and grow!  

Who's with me?!?!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

simple + festive gift packaging

I've become a bit obsessed about tag-making and gift-wrapping as of late, so now that holiday-time is here, I feel as though I am in my element!  One thing I love about Christmas anymore is that anything goes!  You don't have to be traditionally red and green; you don't have to shroud things in Santa Claus and bells; you don't even have to actually wrap your gifts in paper.  There are so many other (paperless) ways of presenting a gift, and that's what I'm focusing on today.

I've got some really simple go-tos for you, plus a quick fabric tape bow tutorial, too.  First up, the kraft papier mache box.  I like this for a few reasons:  They are sturdy and come ready to dress up in their lovely, rustic kraft color; they come in multiple sizes and are easily available at most large craft stores; they can be kept by the recipient and used for storage.

My first one could not be simpler!  With some jute twine, a miniature bottle brush tree, and 2 gorgeous labels from Open Book, the entire look came together in about 2 minutes. Thanks to the vibrant green vellum and the gold foil, it's festive and eye-catching.  

  The first thing I thought of when I saw this gold foil vellum border was a wreath.  And when I paired it with the deer frame, it became instantly Christmassy!  I made the bow from the gold dot fabric tape that came in the OB Embellishment Jar; I'll show you how to make them, too, in just a bit.

 Although Open Book isn't a Christmas collection by any means, it was easy to work the embellishments into my holiday crafting.  There was plenty of gold, and of course the green, and who can resist DEER during holiday time?  With a few basics from my stash (jute twine, sisal trees, red glitter ribbon), the festive possibilities became endless.

All the way back when I first received the Open Book collection, I knew I was saving this guy right here for Christmas!  It's also one of the things I would normally hang onto so tightly that it eventually goes out of style.  I don't know about you, but I'm sometimes afraid to use my most favorite pieces because I don't want to waste them!  That's why I put this on a muslin bag all by itself.  It's the focal point, it's a gift, and it's on packaging that can be used again and given to someone else to enjoy...

...if I decide to part with it.  It's one of those things you keep at your workspace so you can admire it--I'm sure you've made things like that, too.  I love the simplicity of this...the fabric tape tree made with triangle scraps from the aforementioned bows and the gold type sticker--wonder.  Isn't that one of the best words to describe the enchantment of the holiday season?

Another bow on a tiny kraft box, and it only took a minute to put together.  So let's make some more of these bows! 

All you need to make them yourself are fabric tape, scissors, and glue.
**Leave the paper backing on!**
Step 1:  Cut 3 lengths of tape
For my bows, my lengths were:  1 1/2", 3", 6"

Step 2:  Fold the ends of the longest tape piece to the middle.  Dab a bit of glue to each end to bind them and create 2 loops.

Step 3:  Snip the ends of your 3" piece to create V's and glue your looped length to it.

Step 4:  Wrap your shortest length around the center of your bow and glue each end to the bottom.  All done!  Super easy, right?!  (And now you can make some tiny triangle tree tags, too!)

Use them to embellish packages or even special holiday cards.

{If you swap out the "Merry Christmas" sentiment here with something romantic, this card would make a lovely Valentine!}

It's not too late to put Open Book to work and add some rustic glam to your holiday gifts!  I wish you the merriest of holidays, Crate Paper fans!