Monday, 30 November 2009

Inspiration Post: Maps and Takeaway Cups!

I'm always on the lookout for new materials to use, especially papers with interesting patterns and textures and I've come across a couple recently!

I was pottering around and found a pile of cut up (and essentially useless) old maps, which I thought would be lovely turned into cut-outs for cards or some origami house/tree decorations, and they turned out really nicely! My BSc is in Geography and so I have many geographically-minded friends who I'm sure would appreciate these as gifts!

Trust Martha Stewart to go one better and make tote bags out of them...if I come across any waterproof maps at the end of their former life, this will be my next project!

Another unexpected inspiration was the decorations on takeaway cups at the moment - I very rarely buy hot drinks to take away because of the rather silly amount of waste, however finding a way to recycle the cups would justify the feeling on those long chilly train journeys when nothing but a Chai Tea Latte (I'm such a child, I still don't like coffee...) will warm your toes! Better still, these pretty designs won't go to waste - including this little fellow:

First these needed rinsing and flattening out, which I'm currently doing after cutting down the seam and tearing the base off - I've placed them under a massive pile of heavy books! I'm going to cut the nicest pictures out and use them as card motifs. The cup holders that stop you burning your hands also have festive designs at this time of year, and will be even easier to use because they're not as moulded - just pull them apart and chop up to your heart's content! I'm going to use the patterned fronts as raised detailing and the corrugated backs as textured card. I'll post photos when I've done them! I'm off to rummage for more things to chop up and create!

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Cupcake Couture Goodies!

I won a giveaway on Cupcake Couture a couple of weeks ago, and my goodies arrived on Friday - thank you, Rani! I love love love getting things in the post (even boring things like brooch backs and fabric glue ha!), so I was delighted to investigate the contents...

...Dermalogica goodies! Wash Off, All Over Clear and Welcome Matte SPF15 - I'm going to be sparkly clean and clear! My skin has been a bit nuts since my final year at uni (got to love eczema!) and I tend to survive solely on aqueous cream and Simple products, so it'll be extra nice to try something new!

...a lovely little notepad! I have an A4 pad (recycled paper, of course!) to write down ideas for things to make and blog posts, but it's too big to fit in most of my handbags and tends to get a bit squished, and here's my answer; a portable one for writing down spur-of-the-moment ideas! And how cute is the card?

...aaand a MAC sample! Woop! If/when I have the time, I really enjoy wearing extra special makeup, especially eye makeup, and I have a couple of MAC products that I love (Shadestick in Sharkskin and pigment in Violet), but I rarely have the time or pennies to dedicate to a proper collection, so it was lovely to add this to it! It's a pigment sample in Provence which Rani suggests as a highlighter - the photo doesn't show it off particularly well, but it's really sparkly and lovely and I'm looking forward to using it as soon as I have the right occasion!

Thank you!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Inspiration Post: Nice Things That Happen

This is a bit of an odd story, but it has a happy ending and it inspired me, and I think that's a good reason to write it down.

On Monday lunchtime, my dad, who works from home, was sitting in the kitchen when a man rushed down the road with his hand all covered in blood - he'd been putting some leaflets through people's letterboxes and got bitten by a neighbour's dog, and he was asking for a tissue. My dad helped him clean it up and decided it was pretty bad, so he drove him down to the Accident and Emergency in town, where his friend was going to meet him, then came back home.

We were sitting eating tea (dinner? only if we have company - I'm from Yorkshire!) when there was an almighty knock at the door - it was the man from earlier, who'd only got out of the hospital half an hour before, and come to bring my dad flowers and chocolates to say thank you...he was unbelievably grateful (and unnecessarily apologetic for bleeding all over our floor!), and kept thanking my dad over and over for looking after him. He has to have surgery on his hand but it should be okay.

He'd spent all day in hospital but he still wanted to come back and thank my dad, and it made me feel so happy that people who've never met before will and do help each other out, and that despite all the miserable stories proliferating the news, you can rely on people when you need them most.

My dad had asked me earlier to make him some Christmas cards (my mum makes her own!) and as the flowers were wrapped in really nice green and brown paper, I decided a nice way to send a bit of this nice feeling around at Christmas would be to include it in the cards, so I did!

They're not the most extravagant cards I've ever made, but they don't really need to be; they're quite little, sweet and festive and they have the little tokens of paper on, which carry a bit of what I think Christmas should be about!

Monday, 23 November 2009

New Items and Stamps!

I have my business stamps! Yay! I've been wanting these since even before I imagined my Etsy and Folksy shops and I finally organised myself into sorting my website (Wrapped Up With String - it redirects to Etsy for now!) to justify purchasing them, and they arrived over the weekend! I've since been stamping everything in sight because they're so pretty. I bought them from nothingelegant and ummed and ahhed for ages about the fact that they were coming all the way from South Korea, but the stamps were like nothing I could find anywhere else (I really did search!), and HyeKyung at nothingelegant was so lovely and helpful that I justified it, and am so glad I did - I love them!

I've also finished some new projects over the weekend, including this pretty brooch:

this lovely button headband (I made myself one too - that's the brown one!):

and these vintage button hair slides (there's that business stamp again!):

Find them on Wrapped Up With String now!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Love Affair With Hair Accessories

I love hair accessories; flowers, bows, buttons, slides, bands, bobbles, enormous, tiny...all of them! I think I've got more hair 'additions' than I have clothing to wear them with...but since they're only small, I can fit a few more into the collection!

I'm currently wishing I had enough pennies to buy each and every one of these (click photos to go to source)! And also wishing that they were all in the UK so I could justify purchasing them...I think some creating might be in order!


Fuelling my button obsession (I couldn't resist these!):

Fabric folding (I fancy trying my hand at this!):

I have a few items that currently need finishing off - I keep getting halfway through a project and realising what will REALLY make it perfect is something I don't have...but I'm going to explore the delights of the market later on today to see what I can find, so I'll hopefully have some new hair accessories up on Etsy and Folksy in the very near future!

Monday, 16 November 2009

How To Post: Recycled Envelope Gift Tags!

Envelopes often have interestingly-patterned insides which can be used as a cheap alternative to buying patterned paper. These simple gift tags are an eco-friendly alternative to shop-bought tags. I've done Christmas ones for these, as I'm starting to feel festive, but they work with various coloured envelopes!

1. Print and cut tag shape out (or draw your own if you've got a steadier hand than me!) - I used this one! Trace round the tag and cut out of thick cardboard.

2. Cut rectangles from coloured card (this card is made in the Lake District and sold through the Paper Mill Shop) - this will be the backing card for your tags. This size (6cm x 10cm) works well for my tree size and for making the most of an A4 piece of card!

3. Trace around the tag template onto the 6cm x 10cm cards and cut out. You now have eight tags (and two smaller ones you can use for another project!) - don't forget to rub out any visible pencil marks!

4. Choose your envelope and cut out your design - I chose a tree for these, because the inside of the envelope says '100% recycled' and I thought it was apt! It was also slightly frustrating because it was quite a small envelope with a window, so I only managed 7!

5. Cut slightly smaller pieces of paper in a lighter but similar colour for the 'to' and 'from' message - I've rounded these corners to match the tag design.

6. Punch a hole for the ribbon - I've used a star dye-cutter so it looks like the star on the top of the tree, but a hole punch is just as good! Keep your cut out shapes for later! It's better to do this before sticking the backing paper and the tree on so you don't end up punching in the wrong I did with the first one of them!

7. Stick on your backing papers and stamp or write 'to' and 'from' on - if you put your trees on first, it makes the stamping harder! I stamped these because my writing isn't consistent enough to look tidy!

TIP: Store your stamp pads upside down so that when you come to use them, the ink has settled at the top!

8. Stick on your trees - I've lifted them slightly with some double sided foam pads for a nice effect.

9. Stick the leftover punched-out stars on the backing paper - I've raised these too.

10. Tie ribbon (this was leftover from a gift, even better!) loosely through the star, so they're ready to tie onto your presents! If the ribbon's curled, you don't need to tie until you put them onto your presents, as the curl holds the ribbon in the star.

And there you are, pretty, environmentally-friendly gift tags!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

New Layout

I've never dabbled in any kind of even slight blog customisation, let alone actual web design because I usually hit somewhat of a wall in my mind and refuse to think I could possible manage it...however...

...Megan at Shabby Blogs has made it so simple, I couldn't resist! Her lovely 'Rachel' buttons even inspired me to make my own Wrapped Up With String shop button, hoorah! It's not particularly groundbreaking or anything, but I am rather pleased!

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Inspiration Post: Buttons!

I love buttons. I love their different shapes, sizes, colours and textures and how they can change a piece of clothing or a card or a brooch so dramatically. I love the noise a big pile of buttons makes when you run your hands over them, or a big jar of buttons when you shake it...and then when you inevitably drop the jar and spill buttons everywhere...!

I especially love second hand buttons used in different ways, and since starting Wrapped Up With String, I love how buttons inspire me to create things using them - my grandma recently gave me an enormous jar full of buttons, and I’ve since been adding them to pretty much everything I’ve made...I’ve gone a bit button mad!

These aren’t quite finished yet but should hopefully be up on Wrapped Up With String really soon, in a variety of guises!

How beautiful are these?! Who wouldn't love a Barn Owl Button? Or a Cherry Pie Button? Maybe a Unicorn Horn Button? Purchase these (and many more!) handmade ceramic buttons from Sienna Orlando!

Monday, 9 November 2009

It's The Beginning!

Hiya, I'm Sarah!

This is my graduation in July...I was a bit excited...!

I've enjoyed making things for as long as I can remember, and my intention with Wrapped Up With String is to sell ethical, sustainable and handmade cards, gifts and decorations from Wrapped Up With String.

Whilst I try my hardest to be an aware ethical consumer, I find it really difficult when so many high street shops hide more sneaky policies behind ethical and environmental ones, and many of the ethical options around are well out of my price range, so I guess this is my response!

Everything at Wrapped Up With String is made with recycled or locally-produced materials as far as possible, and I also aim to produce as little waste as possible; all paper waste is (re-)recycled, whilst all fabric waste is put in a 'rag-bag' and given to a local charity who can then sell it on.

All products are supplied in recycled cardboard packaging, and wrapped up with string, because everyone loves a pretty package in the post!

This is my blog! I hope to update regularly with crafty 'how to' posts, craft material and tool reviews, my favourite sellers and things that inspire me, as well as any interesting ethical and environmental information I discover!

Email me! I'm more than happy to create bespoke designs in as short a time as possible; any occasions can be catered for: Email me!

I'm also on Twitter: wrapwithstring

Exchange Links with Wrapped Up With String!

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