Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fireworks Bottle Design

Here is a playful bottle design that is perfect for New Year's Eve. Whether you are going to toast the new year with Champagne or sparkling cider, this bottle of bubbly is sure to be a great conversation piece and add a festive touch to any New Year's celebration.

This design, except for the fireworks, was created with leftover scraps of wrapping paper and reused ribbon.

Click here for step-by-step instructions and photos

Create a Time Capsule

This New Year's Eve, consider making a time capsule. Create a list that includes current events in your life, your state of mind and resolutions for the upcoming year. Gather photos and items of interest along with your list put it in a box wrapped in newspaper from New Year's Eve. Label it "Don't open until 2011". It will be fun to open the box next year to see everything you put in the box. You will be amazed at how much has changed in just one year and also how much has stayed the same.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Charity Gift Wrap

When I was recently in New York serving as a judge for the Scotch Brand Most Gifted Wrapper Contest, I also had the privilege to work with some amazing and talented people at the Felissimo Design House for a charity wrapping event. I used recycled and reused materials to create the gifts for this event.

When people had gifts for me to wrap, I would ask them about the person I was wrapping for so I could customize the gift. I also had them get involved by having them choose the colors and buttons for the gifts. I loved watching their reaction as I created each design just for the recipient. They loved the final result and each person was so happy to be giving such a unique and personalized gift. The final words that were said to me by almost every person was “Thank you so much, I can’t wait to see their face when they see this gift! It’s like a piece of art.”

Gifts created with reused and recycled materials have so much character and each one tells a different story.

This gift was created for a man who was described as fun loving and colorful person. I had the person I was wrapping for pick all of the buttons. I threaded them on blue yarn that I randomly wound around the gift wrapped in white, textured paper.

This design was created for a lady whose favorite color is red, very artsy and loves to read. I used strips of book pages, red file folders, yarn and a button to create this gift.

This recycled look was created for a lady who is a librarian. I layered linen fabric over brown paper wrapping and accented it with a fringe I made from old dictionary pages. I finished the design with red string and a button. I think it has an old style book appearance.

Give Cards from the Heart

How many times have your received duplicate holiday cards or a card repeated from the previous year? Rather than purchasing mass produced holiday cards, why not try your hand at creating a designer original? Not only will it come from the heart, it will be more thoughtful and unique than any card you could buy. You will see a noticeable difference in the reaction when you give a handmade card. It will also more likely be saved as a keepsake rather than tossed into the recycling bin.

These cards were made entirely out of recycled materials. I maded ruffled strips of colorwashed paper from a magazine to make the tree. I used magazine pages to make the snowman body and braided yarn for the scarf and plastic twigs from silk flowers for the arms.

Here are some cardmaking tips:

  • Attach shapes cut out of recycled gift wrap and fabric to create holiday pictures such as ornaments, snowmen and Christmas trees. The texture and patterns of the reused paper add interest to the card.

  • Enlist your own budding artist. Children’s art has such innocence and endearing qualities it is sure to warm anyone’s heart. The only challenge will be parting with the little masterpieces.

  • Give edible cards. Make a batch of your favorite holiday cookies and write your message on the cookie with icing.

  • Just have fun. Create cards make from recycled and found materials to personalize it for each recipient.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Scotch Brand Gifted Wrapper Contest

I just got back from New York. I was honored to serve as a judge again this year for the 13th annual Scotch Brand Most Gifted Wrapper Contest at Rockefeller Center. Eight contestants, four amateurs and four professionals, competed in a timed gift wrap challenge. We judged the contestants on technique, appearance and speed. The two finalists had to compete by wrapping a mini sailboat for final round. The winner went home with a $10,000 check! Not bad considering they had also had an all expense paid trip for them and their families to New York during the holidays.

Here is a picture of me with my fellow judges - Me (Gina Tepper), Mark Ski and Wanda Wen.

New York in December

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect! It was 60 degrees at night and clear. Fellow judge Wanda Wen and I went sightseeing the night before the competition.

Times Square from a taxi cab window. I took this picture on my way to the train station.

My favorite visual displays were the window dressings at Bergdorf Goodman. The designs and art created in these windows was like unlike anything I have ever seen. As people walked by, they were compelled to stop. The windows literally left them speechless as they gazed into the dream world that had been created behind glass. My pictures do not do them justice but I still wanted to share.