Archive: November 2016

Festive Friday 2016. What it is & Why You Should Care

Festive Friday 2016: All You Need to Know.

What is Festive Friday 2016? Well I’m glad you asked. Quite simply it’s an annual event dedicated to getting us all in the festive mood. A day that sees the UK card industry taking a little time out to send their Christmas cards and get people excited about sending real greeting cards. This year, it falls next Friday, 25th November 2016.

We’ve talked in the past about the importance of sending real greeting cards and Christmas is an ideal time to make this happen. It’s all too easy to forget a birthday or anniversary in the chaos of day-to-day life but the festive holidays are a time we can all get together, pause, reflect and catch up.

Festive Friday is all about creating a flurry of festive cards arriving in the first week of December. The type of ‘good post’ that can bring a smile to your favourite people. As the Greeting Card Association  comments:

“Christmas time is a special time of love and caring, family and community, the time when we reach out to spread good will and happiness – and it’s when the Christmas cards start arriving that we begin to feel that lovely festive feeling. What better way to get this all started nice and early than by joining in with Festive Friday 2016!”

Why You Should Take Part in Festive Friday.

While Festive Friday does start with greeting card designers, makers and publishers it’s well worth everyone keeping their eyes peeled. Combined with Black Friday deals many greeting card designers will be running discount and giving away freebies to celebrate the event.

Look out for any special offers on Twitter, where the hashtag #FestiveFriday will alert you to any deals. You can also follow @piccadillylane and @GCAUK where we’ll be keeping track of the day’s events for you and alerting you to offers.

So don’t forget Festive Friday 2016 on the 25th November. 

If you want to read more about Festive Friday please visit the Greeting Card Association website for the latest information.

Explore the latest Christmas Cards from indie designers and makers in the Piccadilly Lane directory.

Posted by Charlotte 8:00 18/11/16
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How to Choose Your Stocking Fillers this Christmas

Get the Stocking Fillers They’ll Adore.

For all the Christmas stockings in the world there must be stocking fillers. But what makes a good stocking filler gift?

How do you find special little gifts that your friends and family will adore?

Well once again the independent shopping scene has some unique ideas that will plump out a stocking in style. They also give a fabulous insight into how you could choose your stocking fillers.

Read on for 7 tips on choosing the perfect stocking fillers.

1. Choose Something Small & Sweet.

For the simple fact that they need to fit in a Christmas stocking your stocking filler gifts should be small and sweet. The mini Fox Jotter from Rocket68’s ‘Wilderness’ range is a good example. An on-trend woodland theme and compact size all for just £2.50.

stocking filler - wilderness jotter

2. Consider a Heartfelt Reminder.

Think of small token gifts that can show your friends and family you care. We LOVE these handmade woollen hearts from Designer-Maker The Black Rabbit. As a keyring they can be carried around in a handbag; a sweet reminder that your friends are cared for and appreciated.

woollen heart stocking fillers

3. Remember Your Recipient.

The key to thoughtful gifts big or small is to remember the recipient. What do they like to do? Their hopes, dreams and hobbies are a great place to start for stocking fillers. What small gifts would support their ambitions? What would encourage them to spend time doing something they love?

This ‘Geeky Genius Things’ notebook from Always Sparkle is perfect for wannabe writers, creatives and entrepreneurs. An easy way to show you like their geeky side!

1396622012-Geeky_thing_A5

4. Give an Unexpected Treat.

Little treats and mini luxuries can be a great source of gift inspiration. If you’ve got a friend or family member that always puts everyone else first look for ways that you can treat them. Forget the necessities and practical gifts. Find something frivolous for their stocking fillers.

These handmade Lavender Pouches from Laura Felicity Design are a great pick for mums and grandmas. A scented mini gift that will add a touch of luxury to their home.

lavendar pouch stocking fillers

5. Brighten a Daily Routine.

Stocking fillers are a great way to add colour and fun to your loved ones day. Look for stylish items that can brighten a dull job or add a little joy to their daily routine.

At Piccadilly HQ we love this fine bone china mug from Caroline Gardner. With bold heart print it’s sure to brighten anyone’s day. A great pick for tea lovers or coffee addicts. Give one to your favourite office worker to add some colour to a drab desk.

stocking fillers - heart print mug from Caroline Gardner

6. Have Some Fun.

Stocking fillers don’t always have to be life changing you can have fun too (amazing huh!). Look for small gifts that will make your loved ones laugh. Embrace their foibles and give a gift that celebrates who they are.

A great example is this “I’m Not Messy, Just Very Creative” metal quote sign from Peel and Sardine. A cute gift for the eccentric and messy people in your life. See more quote signs from Peel and Sardine.

Not Messy - Just Creative Quote Sign - Peel and Sardine

7. Add a Touch of Inspiration.

If you want to get a little more serious with your gift picks don’t go boring, go inspirational. If you can throw in a little designer style too that’s even better! If the idea of trying to be jokey leaves you stumped then being inspirational is a great option; the right gift can resonate long after Christmas has gone.

For all things inspirational we say avoid your standard motivational poster like the plague and choose a print from Coulson Macleod. I know what you’re thinking, that looks big, that breaks tip #1. Well as a print it rolls up so can (just about) fit into a stocking … phew! Inspiration and stylish, it’s a unique stocking filler gift that will set you apart from average gift givers. See more art prints from Coulson Macleod.

coulson-macleod-hepburn-framed-art-print

& don’t forget the chocolate coins or a classic satsuma … they’re a stocking filler staple!

Interested in being different this Christmas? Explore our ideas for alternative Christmas stockings.

Posted by Charlotte 8:00 16/11/16
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5 of the Best Reasons to Invest in Christmas Stockings

Christmas Stockings are Here to Stay

Whether you’re reliving practices of years gone by or setting your own Christmas traditions you can’t go wrong with Christmas Stockings. A classic of all things festive, here’s our run down on five reasons to get your stocking in place.

1. Tradition.

Christmas is a time of traditions and here at Piccadilly Lane HQ we think the stocking should be right up there with the Turkey and Christmas Tree. A Christmas stocking acts as both decoration and a place full of hidden treats and mini gifts. A keepsake gift that can be brought out year after year, it’s a great reminder of all your favourite festive memories.

2. Personal.

While you may not want your name plastered on everything you see, Christmas stockings are the perfect item to personalise. Keep Christmas morning squabbles at bay with a personalised design for each member of the family. A great way to keep children focused on their own prize.

3. Age Appropriate.

Not all Christmas traditions are suitable for all ages but Christmas stockings defy an age limit. While I believe advent calendars should be given to everyone, I do recognise that most people reserve them for kids. This however is not the case with Christmas stockings. With age appropriate designs available for the whole family this is a Christmas tradition you never out grow.

4. The Size is the Limit.

It’s all too easy to get caught up in the frenzy of Christmas shopping. With so many tempting treats in the shops it’s not uncommon to go a little overboard, end up with more presents that intended and a budget blown. This problem however could be easily solved with the aid of your Christmas stocking. By choosing a reasonably sized stocking you can give yourself a limit and set a budget for stocking filler gifts.

5. Delightfully Decorative.

There’s no way to deny it, Christmas stockings look very festive. What other occasion would cause you to hang over-sized hosiery onto your mantelpiece? Attach them to a wall, sit them on a bookshelf or get traditional and hang them from your mantelpiece. You could even choose to a group of mini stockings hanging together. Whatever you choose, Christmas stockings are sure to add festive charm to your home.

Posted by Charlotte 8:00 14/11/16
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How to Wrap Christmas Gifts Like a Pro

The Easy Way to Wrap Christmas Gifts in Style.

Once you’ve got the perfect present sorted it is time to wrap them. But how do you wrap Christmas gifts like a professional? From the oddly shaped presents, to attempting to hold down wrap while simultaneously cutting sellotape and drinking eggnog, let’s say it can be a bit of a nightmare. Despite your best intentions the result can often be a brilliant gift hidden under some rather disappointing wrapping.

But never fear, wrapping Christmas gifts does not have to be a chore.

In fact, we’ve got a few simple tips to follow that will have your wrapping like a pro in no time at all.

Top Tips to Wrap Christmas Gifts.

1. Choose a good quality wrapping paper.

Cheaper gift wraps are a great way to save money but they usually use a thinner paper weight. The thinner paper has two main drawbacks, which make achieving a professional finish much harder. First, thinner paper is very easy to rip; secondly, some papers are so thin you can even see your present through the paper … goodbye any hope of a Christmas surprise!

2. Cut your gift wrap to the right size. 

Your Christmas paper needs to wrap around your present with approximately a 1 inch (2.5cm) overlap. At the sides the paper needs to come to just over the halfway mark. To be super professional you should also add a little extra to any edge you cut so you can fold under the cut edge; hiding any jagged edges or scissor marks.

3. Fold, Crease and Align.  

As you fold your paper round your gift create sharp creases at the folds; this will give you a sharp, flat finish without any lumps or bumps. For an extra touch of professional wrapping align the edge of your paper with an edge of your gift.

4. Use double-sided sticky tape. 

The gift wrapping pros don’t let sellotape show, so for truly excellent gift wrapping you need to use double-sided sticky tape to seal the edges of your paper. Try to use long pieces so your paper sticks securely.

5. Tag & Tie. 

Finish your gift wrapping with a gift tag (avoids present delivery confusion) and ribbons or a bow for an extra flourish of style.

That’s it. 5 simple tips to get your gift wrapping like a pro.

If you’re ready to wrap, check out the lovely Christmas gift wrap on offer at Caroline Gardner (like the cool Christmas tree print shown at the top of the post).

& if you want more more guidance, check out the videos below for more gift wrapping tips and tricks.

Visual Gift Wrapping Inspiration.

Paper Guru’s ‘How to Wrap 10 Tricky Christmas Gift Shapes’.

What’s Up Moms ‘DIY Gift Wrap Ideas (+ How to Make a Perfect Bow).

Paper Guru’s ‘Japanese Department Store Style Gift Wrapping’ (aka Diagonal Wrapping).

Posted by Charlotte 8:00 11/11/16
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Christmas Movies to Get You in a Jolly Festive Mood

Let’s Get Festive With These Top Christmas Movies.

As we’re finally into December it feels a little more legitimate to be talking Christmas, but we know it’s not always easy to get in the holiday mood. If you find you’ve not quite got the right level of festive cheer, or you just want a top up, today’s post is for you, for today we’re talking Christmas movies. Festive films that will brighten your holiday and spread a little festive cheer.

1. Arthur Christmas

A new favourite for the Christmas movie collection, we love Arthur and are sure you will too. We’re backed up by the posse at Karenza Paperie who suggested this one.

2. Elf

SANTA!! Sure to put a smile on your face you’re holiday movie selection must include Christmas comedy Elf. Will Ferrell getting hit by that taxi makes me laugh every single time.

3. Scrooged

A classic 80’s movie adapted from ‘A Christmas Carol’. Bill Murray is brilliantly funny as a ruthless TV executive pursued by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.

4. White Christmas

Quite simply a Christmas classic. Irving Berlin’s White Christmas is the tale of two talented song-and-dance men (Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye) team up after the war to become one of the hottest acts in show business. One winter, they join forces with a sister act (Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen) and trek to Vermont for a white Christmas.

5. Miracle on 34th Street

Kris Kringle … a tense law case … a feel-good Christmas movie brilliant for the whole family. Plus in the 1947 version you’ve got enough mid-century glamour, to keep our retro-loving pals Pennychoo and Rocket68 Cards happy … I hope.

6. It’s A Wonderful Life

George Bailey contemplating suicide doesn’t sound incredibly festive, but the addition of a guardian angel to show him how life would be without him turns it all around. Yet again a Christmas classic.

7. The Nightmare Before Christmas

A movie that really stands out from the crowd. We think Christmas deserves a little Pumpkin King style.

8. Trading Places

I almost forgot about the Christmassy elements of Trading Places (I know, I don’t know what I was thinking!) but thankfully this very funny 80’s classic was suggested by the team at Five Dollar Shake. We’re very grateful to them as we just love this movie … and Dan Aykroyd as a slightly bedraggled Santa!

9. Gremlins

Like every child of the 80’s I think I will always have a soft spot for Gizmo, who wouldn’t want a Gizmo for Christmas?! But PLEASE pay close attention to the rules people!

10. The Snowman and the Snowdog

Closing the collection another new movie. This might be controversial, you could go with the original Snowman if you prefer but after not much deliberation I plumped for the new movie. Quite honestly it was the snow puppy (complete with sock ears) that swung it.

Posted by Charlotte 8:00 9/11/16
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