To Gift or Not To Gift?

It’s that time, I suppose. The time when everyone you know starts settling down, or as I like to say, starts dropping like flies! The only trouble is the dilemma of the engagement gift. What to do? Something general, something personal, something for each party or a combined gift? What if there isn’t a registry yet?

Wrapped & Ready

Either way I’d love to offer something fun as a congratulatory gift to each couple. In the past it’s been gift certificates to restaurants they’ve never tried or the “everything a bride could possibly need to prepare” basket but what about the bride that isn’t interested in the traditional, cream-puff-meets-Glinda-dress wedding? What about the crafty, no fuss bride?

"Wine" Glasses

After scouring every blog/site/pinterest board out there looking for the idea no one has thought of yet I had a brilliant idea for Christmas decorations. (Somehow the holidays have so much in common with weddings.) It felt only natural to repurpose another idea I had started for Christmas. (That post can be found here) There were a few clear candleholders left over from the other project as well as some mason jars and with a little Amazing Goop brand glue I was able to put together some fun glassware. Here the jars and candleholders become “wine glasses” rather than display pieces. I added to the gift with pillar candles that got jazzed up with some spray paint and a little rhinestone ribbon around the base. I’m thinking a nice bottle of bubbly would suit this gift as well?

Jazzed Candles

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Movember 2012

For the past couple years Adam has been participating in the international campaign to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer, known as Movember. (US chapter can be found here) Adam’s team is typically a crew from his work, Victory Brewing Co., and has grown in number year over year. (Team Victory can be found here) In the past, their efforts to spread the word and drive traffic to their team page have been verbally communicated to prospective donors. The only flaw is that it’s no easy thing to remember to visit the site once the conversation has ended.

Team Victory Movember Cards

Last year, after the campaign ended along with November, we found many had been interested in donating or learning more but didn’t hear about our efforts until it was too late. Naturally, we saw this as a challenge. Determined to outdo ourselves and generate some excitement, we brainstormed like crazy. Ideas for parties, mailers, and funky mustache-themed paraphernalia started to fly. Adam reined me in and we compromised on testing one idea….figuring we should focus on building year over year.

Team Victory Movember Cards

Learning from past years and looking for ways to better communicate our message while spreading it to a larger audience, we decided to test one new thing: business cards. Adam’s core model of growing the ‘stache, building a team and focusing on the personal relationship of communicating the campaign to family and friends would remain. We would only add the cards as a takeaway from the conversation between team member and prospective donor.

Team Victory Movember Cards

Easy to produce and easier to hang on to, business cards were a natural choice. Partnering with Adam to determine the strongest solution, I started out with three simple designs, each with a call to action and team site on the front to drive traffic and a fun mustache motif on the back. I kept the colors to natural browns and the elements strong and graphic. The hope was to encourage the team to share the message, reinforced with these fun cards, while offering our audience something to remind them where to find more information about the cause, make a donation, or just offer support and encouragement to the team. The good news is we ran out and had additional cards produced and even customized some to specific team members. The enthusiasm of both the team and our audience was incredible and the fundraising total, along with team size, was nearly double over last year. Hopefully next year we’ll expand into additional deliverables……. postcards, bandanas, mugs, anyone?

The Full Line-Up of Team Victory Movember Cards

Christmas Fun

Well, it’s year number two in the new house and the second Christmas. Although I decorated last year for the holidays, it just seemed like nothing felt right this year. I do enjoy the lights, wreaths, ornaments and other accouterments of the holidays but I like to balance the manufactured with some handmade and so the search began. It seems like I spent months worrying over what to do, what to keep and what to toss. It’s funny how a friend’s engagement led me to a quite fantastic idea. While looking for engagement gift ideas for someone more nontraditional than not, I stumbled upon something I had seen before, but saw in a new light now. They are a sort of “wine glass” with the old trusty mason jar perched on top of a stem of some sort, in my case a candleholder. I’m no stranger to thrift stores, mason jars or glue so this was just my sort of thing…….

Thrifty Finds

Always a fan of a thrift store find, I cleared out the local shop of all their hideous colored and clear tapered candlestick holders, vases and bowls. In shades of pistachio, rose, baby blue and even so wild as rich, dark greens I saw potential. Looking more for intricate shapes and a variety of heights, I didn’t care what the color was. Lucky for me it was Black Friday and even the thrift shop had a deal – fifty percent off everything!

Spraypainting fun

My finds were then given a serious makeover – a few cans of spray paint and several hours to dry later, they had new life. After letting them dry completely, I used some of my trusty Amazing Goop to attach mason jars to the tops of the candleholders and vases. In the jars I’m displaying Christmas ornaments and brightly wrapped candies. I love a good find, a good project and a good deal – this one hits all three! I’m even now thinking of them doubling as candleholders once again, this time with votives maybe?

Finished

Here they are with some small ball ornaments and candies. I just love them! It’s just what I needed for the holidays to feel right!