Archive: September 2015

How to Perfect Scrapbooking in 5 Easy Steps

Unlock Your Creativity with Scrapbooking.

We’ve all got a heap of mementoes and favourite greeting cards that remind us of special moments. But what do you do with these treasured bits & bobs? The answer is scrapbooking!

In today’s guest post greeting card designer and creative extraordinaire Lesley Stevens of Decorque Cards has kindly shared some inspirational ideas for scrapbooking; a fun outlet when you’re feeling creative. Read on for her 5-step method for perfecting the art of scrapbooking. 

So with special thanks to our super talented guest author, let me hand you over to Lesley ~ Charlotte. 

Scrapbooking: A Great Way to Display Old Cards.

Remember your teenage years, when all you needed in the way of entertainment was a scrapbook, a glue stick and a stack of pictures you’d snipped out of magazines? Well, what’s to stop you reliving one of life’s simple pleasures: a spot of time to yourself collating some old memories?

Just as adult colouring books – a new and surprising trend in relaxation – has had us all reaching for the Crayola crayons, scrapbooking will have you dusting off the old photo albums and tipping out your craft box in no time.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking time out to get creative and make something lovely you can hang onto. After all, how many of us actually keep our favourite things – photos, memories and other trinkets and treasures – if it isn’t for storing them digitally?

Thankfully, there’s a host of scrapbooking ideas to enjoy via sites like Pinterest. Everyone seems to be realising the power of time away from the computer screen – and we say collecting and displaying your old memories is the new (or rather, old!) cloud storage device. So if you’re feeling inspired, here’s how you can get started in the world of scrapbooking:

1. Start Collecting.

The very first thing you’ll need to do is keep hold of anything – no matter how small or insignificant – you think might help you when it comes to making things look pretty in your chosen scrapbook. Old greetings cards are ideal to hang onto, either to display on their own, making them the real focal point, or to cut up and use to ‘frame’ cherished photos. Ribbons from gifts and other trinkets – small pebbles, old bus tickets – anything that holds any nostalgic significance – are also perfect. Keep a box under your bed or in the back of a wardrobe and start adding to it over a few months. The ideal time to get started is following Christmas or a birthday; you’ll have some ready-made items in the form of bows, gift tags and cards that’ll be perfect scrapbook fodder.

2. Choose Your Scrapbook.

Looking to display some of your wedding cards? Or perhaps you’d like to make your old birthday greetings cards the star of your scrapbook? It all starts with a beautiful book. Try to decide on a theme; if you’re hoping to make wedding cards the focal point, think about picking something romantic and pretty in terms of theme. Likewise, if you’d like to display retro birthday cards and trinkets, choose a cool vintage scrapbook or something plain and simple, which you can easily spruce up via some quirky personal touches. Spending a bit of time selecting the right book will really spur you on when it comes to finally sorting through that box of old memories and displaying them in a way they deserve.

3. Plan Your Scrapbooking.

So, you’ve got your scrapbook and your box of nostalgic bits and bobs. Start by sitting down and carefully mapping out how you’d like to display everything. It’s no good ploughing ahead with little thought, cutting up cherished old photos before you’ve had chance to make the necessary duplicates. A little time planning how and why you’d like to set out your most sentimental pieces will ensure you end up with a finished result you’re proud of.

4. Gather Your Materials.

By now you’ll have decided how and where you’d like to place everything. Now, it’s time to set up a something of a ‘work station’ before you start on the actual cutting and sticking. Begin by clearing the dining room table and laying out all the materials you’ll need: glue, sticky tape, ribbons, bows and, of course, your old photos and memories. Ensuring everything is at hand will make the whole process smooth, stress-free, and above all, enjoyable!

5. Scrapbooking a-go go!

The necessary planning and collating is done and dusted – now the real fun begins. If you’re making the scrapbook for yourself, you have absolute free reign as far as the layout is concerned. If the scrapbook is forming part of a gift for someone else, however, think about how you’d like to lay it out before getting started. You might even want to enlist the help of a friend or relative, who might have some fun creative ideas to help you on your way.

And there you have it! Head down to your local stationers, pick out a beautiful scrapbook and grab a stick or two of glue. All you need now is a touch of creativity and you too can join the world of Pinterest-worthy scrapbookers – enjoy!

About the Author

Lesley Stevens is the founder of Decorque Cards.  Her passion for design, pattern and colour stems directly from a love of nature. A love that comes to life in her design collections, which are inspired by the colour, intensity and freshness of flora and fauna. To see more of Lesley’s work please visit the Decorque Cards website

Posted by Charlotte 12:47 25/09/15

Spreading Smiles: Thinking of You Week 2015 Has Arrived.

Spread Smiles to the Ones You Adore with Thinking of You Week 2015.

Piccadilly Lane’s card community is once again excited to be supporting Thinking of You Week 2015.

What’s ‘Thinking of You Week’ you ask?

Well, quite simply, it’s a special week dedicated to spreading a little joy.

Running from the 21st – 27th September, the event aims to show the emotional power of sending and receiving greeting cards.

It’s a way to step away from your computer, your work and your chores, so you can focus on connecting and re-connecting with the special people in your world.

It’s been scientifically proven that receiving a hand-written greeting card makes people feel more special than receiving instant texts, emails or Facebook messages.

So this is the perfect week to turn the science into action.

Use Thinking of You Week 2015 to connect with your friends and family to make them smile.

How You Can Get Involved in Thinking of You Week 2105.

Getting involved is super simple. Just send 7 cards across the week. That’s it!

The Piccadilly Lane residents are making it even more fun with a fabulous array of card designs perfect for the occasion.

Pop over to Love from Lemonade and you’ll get free delivery when you choose 7 cards from their super sweet illustrated collection.

Thinking of you Week Offer at Love From Lemonade

Or maybe you’ll choose one of the new “ready to personalise” Bubbles cards from Kali Stileman.

kali stileman bubbles cards

You might even want to add a little sparkle to the mix, with a handmade card from Five Dollar Shake.

Five Dollar Shake Cards

Whatever your taste, Thinking of You Week 2015 is a perfect time to stop what you’re doing and send some messages of fun, friendship and love.

So, don’t delay. Start picking the cards you want to send to the amazing people in your life.

Posted by Charlotte 14:51 21/09/15
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A Look Behind the Scenes of Bubblegum

Behind the Scenes with Bubblegum.

This week’s ‘Inspiring Independents’ interview is a look behind the scenes of the super sweet indie business Bubblegum.

Specialising in “making balloons awesome” Bubblegum add fun and frivolity to every momentous occasion. We caught up with the company’s co-founder Sally Hodge who shared a sneak peek behind the scenes of the indie business.

What inspired you to start Bubblegum? When did you begin?

We began the business early 2013 and it came from the three of us having young kids and wanting to find something we can be passionate about, and that works with our lives. Balloons came up and the ideas just kept flowing!

What can you tell us about your indie business? What sets you apart from your corporate contemporaries?

Customer Service! We have exceptional customer service and we ensure our customer enjoys the experience of using us to decorate their parties. This sets us apart from others and as we are an independent business we can really closely monitor this and ensure we are always on top of our game.

What’s your role in the business? What’s your favourite things about your job / running an indie business?

I am one of the founders of Bubblegum and I cover Marketing as well as over seeing HR and Accounts, it’s busy but varied, which is probably what I love most, never a dull day!

Are there other people in your business? What can you tell us about the rest of the team?

We have a fantastic team, they are all very loyal and each employee knows the importance and value of their job within the company. It is important to us that they understand what their inout means and how much they are valued.

Here at Piccadilly Lane, we believe that independents offer an amazing combination of unique design and high quality. Do you agree? How do you ensure this happens at Bubblegum?

Yes I totally agree! Working on a smaller scale and being independent you get to really focus on the smaller detail in the quality and ensure your design reflects you as it should.

Your balloons have been spotted at a wide variety of parties and events. What’s been your favourite so far?

Erm, tough one there is a new favourite every week! I think highlights have been flying balloons over a pool in Venice and hanging balloons from a beautiful house, blowing out the windows … it looked amazing!

You currently specialise in awesome balloon gifts? What inspires you about this area? Do you have plans to extend your collection?

We are always growing our collection and constantly trying to better ourselves. We already have Xmas 2015, Mother’s Day, and Valentine’s Day for 2016 nailed! We try to re-design the balloons regularly to keep the collection fresh and on trend.

Your products feature bright, pretty confetti and tassel tails. What can you tell us about the process of creating these designs?

It has taken a while for us to be happy with the range, we went through a few designs to get there. The range we now have covers most colour schemes and party ideas. We wanted to make it easy to buy off the shelf and our collection inspire ideas with our customers.

Your collection shows great attention to detail and quality. What can you tell us about creating a balloon gift or display?

Thank you very much! It is so easy to add to a theme or colour scheme with our balloons. Our gifts are subtle in their meaning and often give a cute or funny message. We always work with quality materials and spend time on making and re-making designs until we are 100% happy.

Why should people shop with you? What makes you different? Our products are high quality and our customer service is exceptional.

The bespoke service we offer means we can make our customers vision come to life.

We LOVE independents and think more people should be supporting them. Why do you think people should shop with independent businesses like yours?

I think the service and quality you get is better, your business is valued so much and that is reflected in what independents offer.

Last but not least, what’s your favourite independent business and why?

We work with some great independents it is very hard to choose! Early Hours Florists are fab, as are Buttons Parties and Dazzle and Fizz.

Thank you Sally.

You’ve read the interview, now check out the balloons! Visit the Bubblegum website.

Posted by Charlotte 14:35 15/09/15
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Fab 3 in the Running for Greeting Card Award

Fingers-Crossed the Piccadilly Pack Take Home a Greeting Card Award.

At Piccadilly Lane we want to lead you to the very best websites for indie shopping. So you can imagine how pleased we are when we hear not 1, not 2 but 3 of our lovely Lane residents are in the running for a prestigious award for their greeting card designs; a sure sign of excellence in their field we think!

The Henries Awards (the Oscars of the greetings industry) are awarded annually to the very best greeting card designers. Chosen by a panel of retailers and industry bods, these highly respected awards are a sign of original, high quality design and we’re delighted to see some of our fave card companies in the running.

So which Piccadilly Lane residents are eagerly awaiting their chance to take home a greeting card award?

First up is Rocket68 shortlisted for their fabulous Zoo Buddies range in the ‘Best Children’s Range’ category. Rocket 68’s designer Jill White has been shortlisted for the greeting card award along with fellow Piccadilly Lane resident Kali Stileman, nominated for their ‘Animal Transport’ range. While we think they both deserve to win, we’ll have to wait till 8th October for the final result.

Our 3rd finalist is the fabulous Five Dollar Shake who are nominated in not 1 but 2 categories. Known for their fabulous use of glitter and embellishments it’s not surprising that once again they are nominated in two Christmas categories: ‘Best Christmas Box or Pack’ and Best Christmas Counter Cards Range’ for their ‘Ombre’ Christmas collections.

There’s another month to go but we wish them all well and hope they have a fabulous evening at the awards party.


Posted by Charlotte 16:09 7/09/15
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A Look Behind the Scenes of Vintage Playing Cards

An ‘Inspiring Indies’ Interview with Vintage Playing Cards.

Today’s ‘Inspiring Independents’ interview is a look behind the scenes of brilliant indie business Vintage Playing Cards.

We caught up with the company’s co-founder Tracy Kemp, who along with Allen Perkins founded the company 7 years ago. Tracy shared the story of how the company started, what makes it special and why you should definitely shop indie! So without further ado, over to Tracy.

What inspired you to start Vintage Playing Cards? 

We found an old box of art deco playing cards with a few missing so they were useless as a game. Therefore, we decided to upcycle them into greetings cards. We then started looking at what we could do with other games.

What can you tell us about your indie business? What sets you apart from your corporate contemporaries?

We are very passionate about what we do and are always looking for new ways to innovate. We will always go the extra mile for a customer and ensure that any personalised gift is exactly what they want.

What’s your role in the business? What’s your favourite things about your job / running an indie business?

I focus on marketing and customer care, I often find that the two come hand in hand as word of mouth is one of our most efficient marketing tools. My favourite thing is that every day is different, I may be researching new designs, doing admin or receiving briefs for personalised art – I’m never really sure where the day will lead!

Are there other people in your business? What can you tell us about the rest of the team?

I started the business with an old friend Allen Perkins who focuses on the designs. We also have a small team of lovely ladies who individually make all the frames and cards in our studio in Suffolk.

Here at Piccadilly Lane, we believe that independents offer an amazing combination of unique design and high quality. Do you agree? How do you ensure this happens at Vintage Playing Cards?

This is at the core of our business. We have strict quality control and ensure that everything that comes out of the studio is something that we would be proud to showcase in our homes.

You currently specialise in cards, gifts and interior products? What inspires you about this area of design?

I think our frames and cards will always be the core of our business especially as they lend themselves so well to personalisation. However, we are now looking into home furnishings and hope to launch a collection at Top Drawer.

Your products feature elements from vintage games. What ‘top tip’ would you pass on for sourcing original, vintage items?

Always be on the lookout! We all love browsing in vintage stores and boot fairs at Vintage Playing Cards and you never know what you might find!

Most of the products in your collection are handmade. What can you tell us about the craftsmanship involved?

Each vintage frame and card is individually made and goes through several processes. We ensure that at each step of the process there is quality control. We feel passionate about making things by hand and could never outsource this.

Why should people shop with you? What makes you different?

There is no other company that does what we do, and every customer can be assured that they receive a lovingly made product and tip-top customer service.

We LOVE independents and think more people should be supporting them. Why do you think people should shop with independent businesses like yours?

Independent businesses are at the core of the British economy and are one of the main reasons that makes Britain great. People should shop with independents to ensure that there is investment in design and customer service. Big businesses just cannot provide the personal service that independents can.

Last but not least, what’s your favourite independent business and why?

My favourite independent business is Gods Own Junkyard. I have a fascination with all things neon! They are just round the corner from me and every time I visit I see something even more wild and wonderful.

Now you’ve read the interview it’s time to see the design. Visit the Vintage Playing Cards website.

Posted by Charlotte 8:00 1/09/15
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