Tiddley-Bits tea

Tiddley-Bits tea

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

{Christmas DIY}

With everything digital, you can easily send Christmas e-cards, order gifts online, and even get the gifts delivered wrapped...but doesn't that take out some of the fun from Christmas? Isn't Christmas about traditions, and taking time to do the things you wouldn't normally do year round?
This year I took advantage of our digital era, by creating my own cards, getting them printed online and then having them shipped to me so I could write a personal note & then send them off. There really isn't anything like getting an old-fashioned card in the mail. So can we not take the digital age and re-invent it to serve our more traditional needs?
I love moo. What is moo? It's a printing company that takes orders online. I've printed business cards with them--they have some great artist/designers working for them. If you aren't necessarily the most artistically-minded but you want to personalise your cards, they have tons of options to choose from. I decided to sketch some receptacles for gold, frankincense and myrrh & print them on some nice backgrounds. I was a bit embarrassed to hand them out to my artist colleagues, but I'm not pretending to be an artist. I just wanted to do something more personal than buying a mass-produced card.

The kind of receptacles I was thinking of were the ones that are often depicted in Renaissance paintings of the Adoration of the Magi, (a common theme for altarpieces) such as Gentile da Fabriano's Adoration of the Magi commissioned by the Strozzi for the sacristy in Santa Trinità (now in the Uffizi):

{image from Web Gallery of Art}
But I was also thinking about the designs court artists would formulate for table settings (such as those done for the Gonzagas at the court of Mantua by Giulio Romano).

{from 1st Art Gallery}
So I set my gold, frankincense, and myrrh receptacles against acanthus-like patterns in varying colours...& sent them to moo.

{moo has a printing technology that lets you print a number of different designs per package--without costing a penny more than if they were all the same}
 Moo has great personalised customer service. After you've placed your order you get an email from 'little moo' informing you of your progress...it's a personable email that borders on adorable:
I'm Little MOO - the bit of software that will be managing your order
with moo.com. It will shortly be sent to Big MOO, our print machine who
will print it for you in the next few days. I'll let you know when it's
done and on its way to you...."

I digress. I also used an online publishing site for Christmas gifts for my nieces & nephews, but since they haven't been opened yet, I can't give away the secret just yet.
One part of Christmas that I love, but always a bit daunting, is Christmas wrapping. I don't always buy Christmas wrapping paper. Sometimes you can find great wrapping paper/ideas that are far more original and usually less expensive, if you just use Christmas-themed colours. I also like to make my own cards/labels so that they match the wrappings I've used. This year I used the theme of red & Tiffany blue, and then I threw in gold, and also used one roll of Christmas paper. I made it more Christmassy with some Christmas ribbons.

{my christmas presents wrapped & ready to be shipped off to various corners of the globe}

{I got cool Pop Rocks Candy in candy cane flavour for my nieces & nephews}

{late birthday presents are wrapped in similar themed colours}

{individually-drawn labels make the prezzies more personable}

{use colours on your cards to match your wrapping paper}

{for my niece & nephew who love the Grinch (we acted out the play together one year), I made a card with hilarious lyrics from the Grinch theme song (exterior of card, above, interior with lyrics, below}
So I encourage you to take a little more time than usual on something and make it your own. Personalise that gift, even if it's just making the card, or wrapping  the present yourself.

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