This year I am counting down my favorite holiday songs. Maybe it’s because the first concert ticket i ever bought was to see this band or maybe it’s because the song is just that good. No matter the reason really, coming in at number 8 is the Ramones, Merry Christmas (I don’t want to fight tonight). This video is classic 80′s!
COUNTING DOWN MY HOLIDAY FAVORITES: #9
This year I am counting down my favorite holiday songs. It’s been really hard to just pick 10. I’ve been finding it’s even harder finding just the right version of some of the more classic holiday tunes. Of course finding the perfect version of this gem was a no brainer. Have yourself a merry little christmas first appeard in the broadway musical Meet Me In St. Louis.
If you like musicals, love stories and classic films, and haven’t seen the film version, you are missing out big time. This film has been one of my favorites since I was 8, I used to borrow it from the library and watch it over and over again. Without further ado, Judy Garland!
Bless the USPS
The holiday season is just around the corner. I’ve been doing a lot of shopping already and while occasionally I get to choose having the “men in brown” deliver goodies to my door, often my mail carrier will leave a little yellow slip in the mailbox for me to trade in at the post office the next day. As the USPS starts getting busier with holiday cards, care packages and handmade goodness from your favorite artists, crafters and designers. Heck, maybe you even have a package from me heading your way soon! I thought I would share a few of my favorite mail-inspired pieces from some amazing artists who have adorable shops on etsy.com.
Counting down my holiday favorites: #10
I love Christmas music. I have 4.5 days worth of it on I-tunes, and chances are, if you order anything from the peppersprouts shop between now and Dec 24th, I will be listening to holiday music when I’m packaging up your new coasters or ornaments. Every friday, between now and Christmas I will be sharing one of my favorite Holiday Tunes. Coming in at Number 10, the SNL classic opening “I Wish It Was Christmas Today.” I would love to know what your holiday favorites are, share them in the comments!
A few days ago we had some fog roll in along with a few crafty spiders. I snapped a few photos while Matt and I were out walking the dog. I though this would be an apt way to end October. You can click on each photo to see them a bit bigger. Happy Halloween!
A woodland treasure hunt
Matt’s parents turned us on to letterboxing a few summers ago, so when they came up for a visit this past weekend we decided to head out on an adventure to find a new box. If you aren’t familiar with letterboxing (we weren’t until they told us about it) it’s a cross between a treasure hunt and an arts and crafts project. It is sometimes confused with geocaching, but instead of GPS coordinates, you have to follow a series of clues to find the hidden box (or multiples boxes in some cases), and instead of swapping small trinkets with the ones hidden inside the box, you take get to make an imprint of the hand-carved stamp into your log book, and leave an imprint on your own personal stamp inside the logbook hidden in the box.
Of course sometimes people use commercial stamps from their local art stores, but if you don’t feel artistic, you can always get a hand carved stamp to use on etsy. Letterboxing is a great way to explore new places, and even make new discoveries in your own home town. Matt and I have found boxes in parks, museums, cemeteries and even shops and restaurants. You can get started yourself at Atlasquest.com.
The box we found this eekend was a series of 6 boxes with 6 really well carved stamps about the past history of the park we explored. Along the way we spotted a lot of mushrooms, berries and even a senior portrait being taken. Matt and I used to live just down the road and never even knew this park existed, we will definitly be coming back.
TEAGAN WHITE and the beginning of fall
This week I found myself having to break out the hoodies and scarves. There is a chill in the air, the leaves here in Maine are starting to turn magnificent colors and I have started getting ready for the holiday season (crazy I know). Autumn really is my favorite season, I love being able to wear jeans everyday and work in the studio with the windows open, I wish it was fall all year long. I have a feeling illustrator Teagan White may feel the same way.
Many of her watercolor illustrations feature adorable woodland friends having a grand time in the great outdoors. If you are dying to to dress up your walls with her cheerful prints you can visit her society6 page, where you can also take home her awesome work on a new iphone case or perhaps a hoodie to add to your wall wardrobe.
Peppersprouts packaging evolution
When I started peppersprouts back in 2009 I had no idea what I was doing. I really liked making things and loved that people were interested in buying what I was making. But of course, you need to have some sort of packaging for your work to be displayed in. I couldn’t use a belly band or tie my coasters up with string because the most important aspect of my very first coaster design was right in the center of the coaster. So I decided the best (and least expensive) way to package my coasters sets would be in a clear cello bag with an informational tag stapled to the top, as seen below.
I knew this was pretty bare bones packaging. It was functional but not even a little bit appropriate for a store shelf. I decided they needed to be in some sort of box. While I no longer have the original kraft paper boxes I chose to use, this photo pretty much sums up the look and feel of the next iteration of packaging—super boring. Unlike the cello bag, you can no longer see the items inside the box, plus I had to stuff the box with tissue paper to make sure the coasters didn’t rattle inside the boxes. Not really ideal.
I thought for a while, did a little research and decided I really needed a clear box. A box where you could see the beautiful designs held within. I lucked into finding a box that worked perfectly for my coasters. It was intended to be for wedding favors and was available in bulk. Perfect! The first label I used was a wrap around sticker, so tere was a bit of information about the coasters whichever way you looked at them. I thought this new packaging idea was awesome. But after using it for about 6 months I decided it needed a little facelift as well.
So I changed it up a bit. I kept the box. Color coded an exciting triangle label for each kind of coaster design (house, sillo, chairs) and added an information sheet inside the package so you could see the coasters in action; a sort of beauty shot to add some pizzaz to the overall presentation. I have been very happy with this packaging for the two years. You can see what you are buying, you get all the important information about the coasters and it stands up on its own. What more I could I really ask for? Then I started thinking: What if you could touch the coasters? What if you could take them out of the box and look at them without ruining the packaging? After all, these clear boxes were closed up with little circle stickers on the sides.
I dug out my copy of the packaging Designers Handbook, and designed a box layout to hold my creations.I reached out to a number of printing companies who sent me personalized quotes and samples of packages they have printed in the past. I wanted to make sure I was going to be able to afford to print my own packaging before I started to fully design them. I fell in love with the branding, samples and awesome personalized attention I recived from Oliver Printing Co. This crazy idea was a go!
I started designing this new little box. I added a cut out window on the front so you can touch the wood. The side panels show the silhouettes that are inside since each coaster is different. I decided on unique colors for each different coaster design, so they stand out from eachother at shows and on store shelves. And I kept the beauty shot of them on the back along with care information.
I am so excited to finally share with you the brand new packaging that now accompanies Peppersprouts wood coasters. It was so much fun making this project come to life, and I really couldn’t be happier!
While Summer is not quite officially over, it sure does feel that way here in Maine. The traffic has stopped, the leaves are starting to turn and the beach is almost deserted. While autumn is my favorite season, there is something melancholy about the end of summer. While walking on an almost empty beach yesterday, Matt joked that by the time we got back turned around the lifeguard stand and trashcans would be gone. He was wrong about the oversized beach chair, but right about the receptacles, Maine wastes no time in changing from one season to the next. Today as ran a few errands, I saw children with oversized backpacks and mothers waving goodbye, and just then a leaf fell perfectly onto my windshield and I knew it really was time to embrace the changing of the guard.