Monday, January 30, 2012

My first ever video blog - with a Valentines Day Tag Tutorial

How exciting, I have finally done it, I can't believe it. I am really nervous about doing it, but what the heck why not? The first time for most new things is always the hardest right???

Anyway here goes - enjoy!!

These are the tags featured in the above video.  All supplies to make these tags available in store.

Friday, January 27, 2012

New Valentines Day Patterned Papers....

Here are the a few of the newest papers that have arrived in the last week.  Papers from Basic Grey Kissing Booth Collection and Echo Park Yours Truly Collection.  I love them both.  You can purchase them here.

I am gearing up to make a few cards today, inbetween having some school friends over to hang out with my kids.  I am determined to get a video blog or vlog tutorial up before the end of the holidays.  I have enlisted my daughters help with this one so need to do it before she heads back to school.  I know I am a visual learner and love love love youtube and all the online videos.  I guess it's time to instruct the way I learn best.  Just need to get my head around it and work how to do it all.  I am assuming most creative people learn best visually than with instructions or is it just me....

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Big Dreams

I am just back from a little 3 day getaway at the beach this week.  I really needed to have the mental break from work and home.  Just to be in different place for a few days can be so clearing for my mind.  I need to remind myself to step away from all the busyness and disconnect.  It is easier to do this when you are away from your work and home not as easy when you work from home.

I have come to the conclusion this year that I really want to give Koko Vanilla Headquarters a new home.  I am thinking a studio located somewhere other than at my house, with space enough to hold a retail area for customers to purchase goods from, a large space to hold classes as well as an area for stock and online sales.  My dreams are big and I have had these thoughts in the back of my mind for years now.  But sometimes the fear of taking the next step is paralysing.  However in order to grow my business a change needs to be made.  I also am craving interacting with customers and I also miss teaching classes which I did very early on for a little while.

So I am putting it out there and beginning to take the necessary steps to source a studio space.  This is the first and most important step.  It has to be exactly what I picture in my mind or at least very close.  When the location is right then I can begin to plan the rest.  It's an exciting step but I know if I can get my mindset right and implement the people and resources I need to help me with the process, I will make it work.  This will essentially mean I will have some store hours for retail as well as classes and workshops being held. Of course the online sales will always remain.

I also wanted to share today with you a little excerpt from this Mermaid Under the Sea party on the Amy Atlas Blog.  How cute do these chevron bags look?? These are available in our online store.  They are small, but perfect for popping a few lollies into.  Next month these should be available in a middy size which will be bigger.  Can't wait to stock those also.  To see the rest of how this party was styled, take a look here

photos courtesy of Amy Atlas Events Blog

photos courtesy of Amy Atlas Events Blog

Bags used in these photos are the Chevron Bitty Bags in Blue and Pink
available here

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Handmade Card Inspiration and some new Brown Paper Party Bags

Here are a couple of gift cards I've made in the past few days.  First card is a custom made card for a customer.  This card is actually quite large it measures 6" x 9.25". This was the customer's request.

Second photo is a close up of the washi tape I used.  It is the thin strip of decorated tape between the two patterned papers.  It looks as though it's all one piece of patterned paper but it isnt.  That's what is so great about it, it is semi transparent, this makes for a wonderful effect.  It is in store from Hambly Prints. I just love it's versatility. It is one of my newest favourite craft supplies to use and I can see a new addiction begining!! 

Third photo is of this new beautiful ribbon which has arrived from Vandoros called Chloe - love it.  Yet to photograph and add to site but will be soon.  I have a few new ribbons to photograph, will do them all at once when I get a chance.

Second card is a Valentine's inspired card.  It is for sale on site here.  I was in the mood to continue the theme once I made the other card.  Just adore this colour combination.  Oh by the way the patterned paper used is from Basic Grey Indie Bloom - Tarantella, available here.

Hugs and Kisses Valentines Day Gift Card

Had to add this vintage sheet music to the card, how appropriate are the song lyrics!!

Actually before I go I nearly forgot to mention we have new polkadot bags in store Brown Paper bags with white polkadots.  Cute as can be to add to our party bag range. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

New Peppermint - Valentine Inspired Divine Twine

Happy Sunny Saturday!!

I thought I would take a moment to share our newest multicoloured twine now available in store.

New Peppermint Twine by Divine Twine

I love this colour combo, I mean who doesn't seriously??  Pink, Red and White Candy Striped are the colours in this twine.  Perfect for Valentines Day crafts, birthday parties, baby showers, wedding favours and even great for Christmas.  You can purchsae this twine here.

Blog posts have been short and sweet lately as we are in the thick of summer holidays here.  Although I am still working, I am working around having the kids home.  Yes I also have my husband home for a couple of weeks, but well lets be honest its kind of like having 4 kids home really.

At the moment any orders placed are being shipped same day or next day so a  fairly quick turnaround for those of you that may want to know.  Of course I am always contactable by mobile or email and I will get back to you asap for any questions or urgent orders.

Enjoy the rest of this gorgeous warm weekend and take the time to do something that you wouldn't normally do. I am going to sit down at some stage this weekend and plan out the year for creative projects.  I don't usually do this but I really want to begin to make "being creative" just for the fun of it a regular practice.  I have purchased my new inspiration journal and I am ready to begin filling it with whatever grabs me.  So inspired by the previous post here and Dina Wakely's Blog that I realise that the only way to make this a habit is to begin to schedule it into my life, just like exercise and yoga and meditation.  If something is important to you, creating the time to do it has to be relevant.  When you fill your time with things that are less important, then time gets wasted.  So one of my goals this year is to use my time efficiently and effectively.  That doesn't mean doing things quicker or rushing it means utilising the time that you have and filling it with your highest priority tasks.   xo

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Valentine Inspired Collage Tag - Creative Warm Up

I was inspired by this 30 day Creative Jump Start Summit.  Each day a different blogger puts up a video about how to harness your creativity.  You can still join the summit, its free.

The first post was by Dina's  Blog.  She talks about doing a creative warm up rather than going in to be creative cold.  Just like you warm up before playing a sports game or training for an event its the same with being creative.  She suggests just playing with your supplies and mediums whether its paints, inks, papers, stamps, embellishments whatever you have in your stash.

The key is not to over think the process, just play with your supplies, doesn't matter whether you make a mistake and throw it out or whether you end up using it.  Just begin to create with your supplies and see where it leads and how it begans to inspire you to create more.  Here is my little creative play which took all of 10 mins last night.  No thinking just playing.  No focusing on fear of failure because you are just warming up not doing your actual project.

I just added inks, glitter puff paint, stamped image, a vintage page from a kids book, punched out shapes and ribbon and twine and the cabachon etc.  Dina suggests using tags, she buys them by the box load.  I used this pink tag which is available on site.  I just decorated without worrying about how it looks.  So here is the finished project.  Not bad for a first go.  Like I said I don't absolutely love it but it doesn't matter because what is has done is make me feel like I want to do more.  In fact I am so wanting to get out and using my supplies that I think I will grab the kids and get them to join in the fun just so I can have a good chunk of creative time.  There you have it the process actually works.

I highly recommend joining the summit and getting the passcode to watch this video I loved it and you will be inspired to creative.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year - My One Little Word - Sale Time

Happy New Year Everyone,

My word for 2012 is.......
For something different I have joined Ali edwards - One Little Word Class this year. I choose a different word every year to focus on but this time I felt like I wanted to take it one step further and really live my word. Often a few months into the year it has lost its focus so by joining this class it is a year long class with monthly prompts. It will be sure to keep me on track.

This is exactly what I want to achieve. I know that this state of being can affect change both for myself and those around me. I have spent the last couple of years practicing inner peace but this year I really want to bring it to the forefront of my life and master it so that it becomes a normal and natural habit.

Being mindful and in a state of peace is natural for our bodies, however because we never seem to take the time to slow down it is really hard to achieve this state easily, both in our minds and in our bodies. Hence we end up being so wired and tired and not living our best lives. If you are contemplating your word for the year, head over to Ali's blog and take a look at some words others have chosen. One might resonate with you.

The Album Ali is using this year is for sale in our store. I have only the black albums in stock but if you would like a different colour you can email me and I will order it in for you. I am still trying to hunt down the page protectors she suggests but am having trouble sourcing them. Will keep you up to date on those.

Lots of stock has been moved to our sale section and for this week only ending Sunday 8th January take a further 12% off. To recieve the discount on sale items the code you will use at checkout is 2012SALE. You may shop the whole store but only items in our Sales Dept will incurr the extra discount. Have a great start to the New Year and enjoy this hot weather!! If you wish to unsubscribe to this newsletter click here


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