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The Big Move

December 1, 2010

Happy 1 December, folks! And just when you thought things were winding down at the end of the year…

Paper Exploits has moved! To its very own website! Yes! Hop on over to the new playground, www.PaperExploits.com for a completely new look that is the product of much squinting at the screen.

Weren’t expecting that, were you?! Yes, I know I am Ms. Sneakypants.

This lovely blog has served me well for just under a year, and I do love it so! However, owning my own domain has been a mini-dream since I found out I could have “www.KellyOwnsThisSite.com”, so it is time to march on. See you there!

www.PaperExploits.com

Kelly [at] PaperExploits [dot] com

Booth #5: Home Club, 18 December 2010

November 30, 2010

I promised a Christmas booth, and here are the confirmed details!

Booth #5!
2 – 8 p.m. on Saturday, 18 December 2010
Home Club
The Riverwalk, 20 Upper Circular Road

Expect lots of Christmas-themed goodies, in addition to the quality handmade stationery you’ve come to associate with Paper Exploits. As always, I look forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting new ones! :] Check out pictures of my most recent booth here, and other posts about other fairs I’ve done here.

Custom Speech Bubble Wedding Card

November 29, 2010

Let’s take a wee break from Christmas posts, shall we? Today’s post is on a custom card that I made for a customer. Still an extremely joyous occassion– a wedding!

You’re probably thinking, “Has Kelly lost her mind?! This is hardly wedding-ish!”– and I wouldn’t blame you. This card definitely needs some explaining.

My customer wrote me awhile back requesting for a “congratulations” card for newlyweds, and was very trusting in my ability to create a 100% customized card for her. I loved the openness with which she went about confirming her order. She provided me a nice write-up about the couple, which included how she knew them and how they got engaged. Very briefly, the couple were at a chapel-turned-restaurant called The White Rabbit having casual drinks when they started talking about their relationship and lives together. Without any premeditation, he said to her, “let’s just do it, let’s get engaged”. She said yes, and apparently it didn’t even sink in until he called for a bottle of champagne to celebrate. As my customer said, “no rings and fanfare”– and she wanted the card to revolve around this engagement story.

I’ve seen so many couples getting engaged in a very big, very public, and very planned way. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course– but this impromptu and heartfelt engagement spoke loads to me. My customer left me with only that story to interpret, and so I took quite awhile to come up with a few ideas and test them out. I had to do this story justice!

I decided to make something less formal than my previous wedding customs, and went with a die-cut card, with the main shape being a speech bubble. Why the speech bubble– because I really wanted to bring out the fact that their engagement was so simple, just words thrown out during casual conversation– “let’s just get engaged”. I also added a cream rabbit silhouette, probably don’t need to explain that one.

The card follows a navy and cream colour scheme to go with their wedding colours. The blue pieces of paper are linen paper, which is nicely textured. I also wanted it to be “wedding-y” without being formal, so I embossed it with a floral pattern. The cream pieces of paper (the inner speech bubble, and the rabbit) are lightly speckled with brown. I also inked the edges a little to give it more depth.

The card’s pretty much like a sandwich– two blue pieces and one cream piece in the middle (which is adhered to the blue back piece). All of them are brought together with a single matte silver eyelet.

The text featured is typewritten with my cursive script Olympia (which I still intend to write a post on!), and was provided by my customer.

I custom-made an envelope to fit the speech bubble card, so it fits perfectly!

I also added a matching blue strip of paper ribbon (cut out from the same piece of paper I used to make the card), and threaded it through the fancy-flapped envelope.

Hopefully, now that you know the back-story too, the card makes sense. I also hope that sharing this has allowed you to catch a glimpse of the joy (and I mean JOY!) I experience while making these custom cards. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of celebrating such a wonderful union of two? :]

Paper Fortune Cookies

November 29, 2010

The other day, I wrote a quick preview post on my Paper Fortune Cookies which are now Christmassy-fied and in the Shop! Here’s the full post on them, as promised.

Before these…

Came these!

These happy little cookies were made specially for a customer who is hosting a Christmas/Birthday party in December. She had wanted Paper Fortune Cookies as favours for each guest, so I made quite a few of these for her. I gave her the option of coming up with her own text for the cookies, so the brilliant lady went to one of my favourite sites– Things We Forget– and picked out uplifting phrases she liked. And boy, did she pick good ones!

I typed them all out on a cream sheet of paper, so this is how a section of it looked before I sliced them out into:

These! I really liked that they weren’t just “Merry Christmas”, and instead have truly inspiring phrases– how apt for the season. Anyway, they worked out so well that I decided I was going to make some explicitly Christmassy ones for a personal Christmas party that is coming up.

I made three designs– Santa, Ho Ho Ho, and Holly Stripes. Each has random little bits of text in them too. After making these, I showed them to Andrew who insisted that they should be put into the shop, if only to show how cute they are. :]

So I decided to go with this happy little Santa design, and offer 5 phrases for customers to choose from! As I say in my Etsy listing, these aren’t your typical fortune cookies. For one, they actually feature proper grammar. For another, they don’t pretend to be able to tell your fortune. Instead, each little slip features simple bits of wisdom that challenge us to whine less, love more, and live better.

I’ve made these before and am just delighted that people are liking the idea. I like them not only as party favours, but imagine wedding favours! How kitschy in a good way! I love how you can actually pull the strips out like a real cookie, and then keep it afterwards on display to proudly show off your brilliant “fortune”– a good reminder of the important things.

So of course, I owe a debt to my lovely customer (who’s since received her entire stash, by the way– perhaps I will do a post on it soon), and of course the talented artist behind Things We Forget (TWF). The site is well worth visiting– think conventional (if forgotten) wisdom illustrated on post-it notes, which are then “left to their fates in public places”. TWF on Flickr, Twitter, and Facebook.

Christmas Paper Fortune Cookies: Preview

November 27, 2010

Before I claim any credit for these, I must first say that I got the idea of making explicitly Christmassy Paper Fortune Cookies while completing a custom order for a customer (the same sweet lady I made the Christmas Napkin Rings for). Here’s a preview, and you can tromp on over to my Etsy Shop to see the listing, but I will write a full post on them with more photos tomorrow. :]

Christmas Cards– Bauble and Trees

November 26, 2010

Just in time for your weekend viewing pleasure– The Christmas Cards are up! Of course they feature a little bit more glitz, and feature very pretty glaze over the top of each image. :]

A dangling Christmas bauble in Berry Red.

See the glaze? :] Hooray!

The reverse!

Close-up of the reverse. So that’s the Glazed Christmas Bauble Card. :]

Tree festive Christmas trees in a row, in Green Tea, Powder Green, and Evergreen!

Look at that delicious glistening glaze!

The reverse, this time in Evergreen.

And a close-up of the text… :]

Here’s a close-up of each blind-embossed Cotton Envelope that comes with it– three dainty baubles dangle from the top left corner! :]

Visit the shop here and here to give your giftees cards made with lots of love and Christmas cheer. For real! I play Christmas tunes incessantly when crafting Christmassy items (…sometimes even when I’m not working on Christmas orders :])!

Christmas Napkin Rings

November 25, 2010

I’ve been having a LOT of fun creating custom Christmas items, one of them being this set of 16 napkin rings for a customer’s Christmas-cum-birthday party!

Here’s the whole mass of them. How on earth are these napkin rings? Read on!

Here’re three of them spread out and laid flat. Still can’t see it?

Tadah! Holly and berries!

When wrapped around a Christmassy napkin! It’s made out of really lightweight paper which makes it easy to curve tightly without warping/creasing the paper (the result’d be totally different and a lot less easy to manage if it were made out of something stiffer like cardstock). I’m really happy with the way it turned out, and am toying with the idea of including this in my own Christmas parties this year!

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