Monday, October 20, 2008

The A-Zs of Packaging

Announcements at the end...

I love this week.  I won't go as far as to say, I've waited the whole year for this week, but it will rank right up there as among my favorites - regardless of how well I execute.  If people - like companies - had tag lines, mine would have to either be, "Think Big" or "Packaging is Everything."  Both are phrases I probably utter way too often and both are sentiments that drive much of how I approach life.  

This week is dedicated to my Eighteenth Annual Random Acts of Kindness Packaging Party.  For the die hards who have been with me from the beginning, you will remember me referencing the party idea early (2/20), in a blog titled, "Birds of a Feather..."  That post, however, was compliments of Amy, who also hosts an annual Random Acts Packaging Party.  This week we'll be gearing up for mine - to be held Saturday night at 6:00 p.m. (if you're in town and want to come, just say the word). 

The philosophy of the party... send packages to unsuspecting people.  They can be people who whom you've fallen out of touch; people you know need a pick me a up; a former boss or colleague; or even someone you would like to know, but whom you've not yet met.  Party-goers decide  for themselves.  Each guest brings twelve small items and I supply the A-Zs of packaging - all the things that transform a simple item into a magical and thoughtful gift.  It's those things (tissue paper, ribbon, gift tags, stickers, etc...) that we will be talking about this week on Highlowaha. 

Maybe by the end of the week you will be inspired to host your own Packaging Party.  We'll see.  And, if you don't want to host a packaging party, use this to establish a check list of creative items to consider having on hand.  As you know all too well, part of being creative is surrounding yourself with creative tools.

Five days; 26 letters.  That's five letters per day and six on the last.  Today... Letters A-E.  Before I jump in, let me say a few things.  Some of you are probably more qualified.  No.  Some of you ARE more qualified than I am to be doing this segment.  Play along with me, anyway.  Enhance this week's blog by sharing your brainstorms and adding your own favorite items, beginning with the day's assigned letters.  As excited as you are, let's try to stick to the letters of the day and not jump ahead (otherwise I'll be out of business by Tuesday afternoon).  O.k. here we go...
  • A: Address Book: O.k., I'm cheating a little bit.  This is a weak beginning, but you nonetheless essential to mailing packages.  I like to remind my party goers to bring their address books.  There's something fun about watching people flipping through their address books (or phone) and deciding right there, on the spot, who will be the recipients of their packages.
  • B: Boxes: White boxes from the Container Store are my number one choice.  They are white, clean and just waiting to be decorated.  It's worth noting that box tape can be simple and clear or can be themed with holiday shapes and colors.  I like to use the themed tape at Christmas.
  • C: Cellophane.  I won't even muddy the water by introducing other important items like confetti and containers, because cellophane is KEY!  Cellophane makes an average treat look extra special.  Peggy uses cellophane bags to package her beautiful greeting cards and the bags make her cards look like they belong in boutiques.
  • D: DCWV Paper(Diecut With a View) and Double Stick Tape.  I'll be honest.  DCWV paper is new to my artillery of necessary items.  I'm not a scrap booker and my Scrap Journaling system is so simple there is not room for fancy paper (see 7/28-7/30).  What I don't use in scrap booking, I love to use in making my own notecards and tags.  The DCWV paper comes in a variety of patterns and colors.  I take a sheet from the pad and then mount a piece of card stock on top.  It's not a fun and fancy card like Peggy might make, but it's a couple cuts above a sticky note or a blank white index card.
  • E: Envelopes:  Like the white boxes from the Container Store, I only use white envelopes from the Container Store.  Brown envelopes are not an option (markers don't show up as well) and envelopes with preprinted spaces for addressing the package leave no room for using creative shapes as your labels.
Today's Demonstration: Each day I will pick one of the items and feature it by using it to "package" something.  Hopefully the demonstration allows you to see the potential of the items featured.  Today we'll showcase cellophane.  I painted a terra cotta pot to hold the cookies I baked (as one of the suggested Random Acts of Kindness from an Apple Bobbing winner - see 10/16).  In the first picture pot and cookies - no cellophane.  In the second picture, same pot, same cookies, and cellophane.  See what you think. 

  • Congratulations, Maureen!  Maureen was this week's winner of the Football Snack Throw Down.  She joins ranks of Richard, Tera, and Nicole.  Next up Melanie and Treye.  Tune in on Friday to help determine this week's secret ingredient.
  • Blog-a-thon: An executive decision will be made by end of day today about how we will proceed with the scheduled Blog-a-thon.  We've had a minimal number of people sign up.  Feel free to make a suggestion.
  • Aunt Annie: Aunt Annie was in town yesterday and yes, she bought more accessories.  Cowboy boots and another belt.  See picture below.  
  • Win a Prize: DCWV donated a pad of their cool paper to me, for the express purpose of my giving it away to you.  How about this as a criterion for winning the prize.  As noted earlier, I am a big believer that packaging goes a long way in shaping our opinions about a product or service.  Share an example of something you purchase expressly because of the packaging.  Post a comment and your name will go in a drawing for the pad of DCWV paper.
  • Speaking of Prizes: Peggy won Saturday's drawing for the Highlowaha t-shirt.  Peggy, send me an email with your t-shirt size preference and we'll get it ordered.
Signing off until tomorrow...

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