I remember the exact moment I told my little brother that Santa wasn’t real. (I know - I am a terrible human. Don’t judge me.)
It was a really, really hot day in the midst of the summer holidays, amongst a constant stream of Sunny Boys, Zooper Doopers, freshly cut grass and parents leaving you at home alone all day while they worked. We were doing that thing were you jump in the pool then get out and lie on the hot concrete until you get warm, and then jump back in the pool again. Hashtag eightieslife. Hashtag simplertimes.
We were in one of the concrete and warm up breaks (possibly without sunscreen, DEFINITLEY without rashies and hats. In fact, I don’t think rashies were even invented, or if they were they were, they were only for die hard surfies who lived down on the coast and certainly not those who lived in North Central country Victoria) and I was possibly feeling hard done by or ganged up against by my siblings so I used the one superpower I had as a 12ish year old big sister. The conversation went like this.
Me: “You know how Inspector Gadget it a cartoon and not real?”
Me: “Well you know that Santa is the same”
Sweet little innocent brother: “Santa’s not a cartoon.”
Meanest big sister ever: “No, he’s not a cartoon, but he’s not real either.”
End of conversation. And in one swoop I have devastated my little 8ish year old brother, destroyed his childhood and that was the end of Christmas for him forever more. And we still talk about that moment to this day, and he still hates me for it, and I still have guilt that will never leave me.)
Sometimes, things aren’t always what they seem.
Santa Claus, ‘Can do no wrong' big sisters, timeshare offers, the size of objects in your rear vision mirror, instagram photos….. you get the idea.
Now lets bring this back to stationery.
Foiling is so on trend in the stationery world it is ridiculous! Lets not beat around the bush, having a foiled finish on your invitation suite can be expensive. There's a reason for that. There foils and there are foils. There's the real Santa Claus, and the fake Santa Claus.
I am definitely NOT a foiling expert by any means, but I do know the difference between the two main types of foiling so let me enlighten you.
There’s toner reactive foil (or TRF) and there’s foil stamping.
TRF is a cheaper option that even crafters at home can do if they want to. There are products on the market that are readily available so you can foil to your hearts content. TRF uses foil that will react to toner (just like a laser printer would use), heat and pressure and it works best on coated or very smooth papers. As the name suggests, it “fuses” to the toner with heat and pressure.
The results when using TRF can be inconsistent and the quality is much poorer than foil stamping. I use TRF for my samples, small tags and cupcake toppers when the order is not very large.
I never recommend TRF to my clients for their invitation suites or larger areas of foil.
I much prefer the quality of foil stamping and I use this most of the time when you see foil featured on my products. I cannot do it in my studio, so I outsource it to a printer who specialises in foil stamping.
Foil stamping uses a metal plate with a raised and reversed image of your design (these can be made of several different metals). The plate is heated and then run through a press (there are several types of press that can do this). A thin roll of foil goes between the heated plate and the paper and the pressure from the press makes it all fuse together leaving behind a stunning foiled image that is evenly and completely covered in foil.
Foil stamping will work on so many more types of paper and cardstock too, enabling you to have a higher quality, thicker cardstock.
I guess that’s my little educational piece for the moment, which seems much more helpful than the whole Santa thing.
I went to a function recently where there was some serious negotiation happening around if and when to hold the next function.
VERY long story short, it was obvious, after many opinions and ideas, that it was going to be how the chairperson wanted it and no negotiation was going to be entered into. Regardless of how the mere members of the debate felt or what they wanted.
Life is full of negotiations.
Toddler tantrum negotiation - “if you stop I’ll….blah blah blah, or conversely, if you don’t stop I’ll – insert consequence here.
Tween/Teen I want X negotiation - “if you get me this I’ll - insert bargaining tool they are prepared to do here – more often than not in our house it is wash the dishes for a week, or keep my room clean (Yeah right! Mum’s know that one will never happen Do they even realize they just bought them selves a “no” using that one?)
Work negotiation – “Can you work Friday so I can take child A to the doctor and then I can work Tuesday for you…..”
You get the idea.
Now let’s bring this back to stationery.
I often get asked to negotiate on the cost of custom designs.
Sometimes yes, the price can be amended through a little negotiation and scaling down some of the requirements to meet a specific budget.
But most the time…and I think I can speak for most Graphics Designers here…no.
As a professional, tertiary educated qualified graphic designer, one thing I don’t negotiate on is the fee I charge (which compared to some is relatively inexpensive) for custom artwork and design.
Expertise costs money. You get an electrician to fix your electrical stuff, you get a plumber to fix your plumbing, you go to a shoe store to get fitted correctly for shoes, you go to a graphic designer to get something designed.
“But I could do it myself – how hard could it be?” I hear you saying. Yes maybe you could do some of it yourself, but there must have been a reason for contacting an expert in the field in the first instance.
Graphic design is more than opening Microsoft Word or Publisher and typing words and inserting a clip art. It involves a whole lot of elements and principles to get the look right. While every designer has a different they all use the same elements and principles of design. The knowledge and expertise to produce a finished item (using the right tools), takes time. And by time I mean sometimes hours in front of the computer, or paints or pencils.
When I do get approached to negotiate on price I find myself thinking, and have even questioned out loud to some, “would you go to work for two to three hours and not get paid?”
You would say “No, that’s not negotiable”. And you would be right.
A little look behind the scenes of the design process. A lot of thought and hours to get what looks like a simple little turtle.
I got up early yesterday to go out and get bread. One of our Little Misses had a friend sleepover and we were out of bread for their breakfast. So rather than sleeping in, I did the good mother thing and walk around to the bakery to get the bread so they could have toast.
When I stepped out the front door - right there opposite our house.....and I mean RIGHT THERE OPPOSITE our house....was the most surreal thing I have seen ever I think..... A MASSIVE hot air balloon. Just floating. Kind of slowly. It landed right at the end of our street. The things you see when you wake up early. I stood there and watched it land and thought to myself "I never realised you could balloon from here".
Turns out you can't balloon from there. The balloon was off course. Like WAY off course. I found out later that one of the other balloons it had been travelling with was off course too and went out into the bay only to be rescued by a civilian boat. Was on the news and all.
Funny that. The balloons were slightly off course but they ended up landing safely in the end. A bit like life sometimes really.
So the reason I was looking forward to the sleep in was because I often get up early. Like 5.00am early. I try to get an hour or so in before the rest of my family wakes up. Sometimes I walk, sometimes I fold washing or iron or some other quiet sort of house work, but more often than not I work. Cant help it. Love what you do and all that.
I love that quiet early hour or so. It seems as if it's a secret world that only a few enjoy while the rest of the world sleeps. And getting things done makes me feel organised. I love feeling organised.
Now let's bring this back to stationery.
It's a great idea to get onto your event stationery organised early. Especially if you want custom design. More often than not there are a few drafts back and forth and then it takes a little time to order in the stock. The earlier you get onto it, the more time we can take to get it right for you. And you feel organised.
Many times people contact me to see if I can "fit them in" by "fit them in" I mean there's a party in a only a couple of weeks that they need invites AND decor for. Most of the time I try to get the order done, but occasionally I need to say "sorry...no can do - if only you had contacted me earlier"
So how early is early? As a guide, incase you are wondering, hand out your invites about four weeks in advance if it is a party you are hosting, and then eight - twelve weeks before the date of your wedding is the ideal time to send out your wedding invites.
That is the sending out part.
So they (the invites) need to be in your hot little hands a few days earlier than that.
Then add on the three to four weeks a custom order can take.
I am hoping that handy hint helps you feel a little more organised.
Now I am off to bed early so I can get up early in the morning.
And I'll say it again.
Eat your veggies.
Hang your towel.
Put the toilet seat down.
Clean your room.
Not tonight dear.
Little Miss Ten needed some stuff "from the olden days mum" for school. I struggled to think for a while, then light bulb moment.
I went to the attic storage, rummaged around, and found the box of my pre marriage life. I blew off the dust and preceded to pull out a few odd things that she could possibly use....Dad's old slide viewer (slides were used to take pictures for a projector so you could display them on a large screen to share your holiday snaps. Now there's powerpoint, or Facebook or facetime/skype - no need for the post holiday slide night), a set of nana's old encyclopaedias, an old bone china plate also from nana's place, you get the idea.
I had sort of stacked the things into "she could use this" pile, and "the these won't work" pile. I took out my wedding video (VHS - it's in the box because we can't watch it anymore. Who has a video player anymore?), my baby hairbrush, my name badge from my first job, a lot of other random bits and pieces and that signature bear from my 21st birthday. (BTW, I can hardly read some of those messages. There should possibly be a rule that the signing of those things needs to happen before alcohol consumption), my "Kix On 88" tape and a few other classics (cassingles etc, you know from the 80's, before downloading, before CD's, after records) - ready to place in the "that won't work pile".
Then I hear it - "What are these mum?"
As the first of September hits today, I am asking myself over and over... How is it that we are this far along in the year already??? Yes three question marks. I'd like to even add more, because I am absolutely baffled. Weren't we just walking along the beach on summer nights just the other day? Wasn't it Christmas just last week? Wasn't it yesterday when I was holding my new born babies in my arms? "Time flies"... "Life is short"... We hear it all the time. But it is so gosh. Darn. True.
STATIONERY | DESIGN