Hello, everyone! I'm Rebecca Luminarias, your Papertrey Ink Packaging Ambassador, and I'm pinching myself to be blogging to you from Nichole's space right now! You may remember me from the Moments Inked or the Quick Stitch Kit teams, and some of you might know me better as Thurston Post. Two very important things to know about me are that I love texture and I love to layer.
So what exactly is a Packaging Ambassador and what is Paper & Package? Well, I'll get to that in just a bit. First, I want to tell you my WHY before I tell you the WHAT. I've been around the paper crafting community for about 10 years now. I started just before PTI, in fact, and I still remember when they launched and Nichole was in Papercrafts magazine with projects using all of these great new stamps--and they were CLEAR! It's hard to believe that 10 years on I'm a part of the Papertrey Ink Team, too, doing the thing I love to do the most--sharing gift wrapping and packaging ideas and projects with you.
I've always sought some sort of creative outlet and through most of my teens and 20's that outlet was creative writing. I never thought I had much of a crafty talent until I was planning my wedding and I discovered paper, color, and typography. There was no going back after that. Paper crafts became my new way of life and I dedicated all of my free time to it, learning as much as I could, and ruminating over the fact that the crafty ladies I had grown up with were 3000 miles away in New York, while I was now building a life in California. My mom, aunt, sister, and both of my grandmothers are/were all very crafty in their own ways--sewing, knitting, crocheting, cross stitch, drawing, stamping, cardmaking...at least one of them knew how to do at least one of those things. Yet I never cared to learn any one of them.
While I eventually made my way through the learning curve of beginning my new hobby, and seeing how far I've come in 10 years, I still lament the fact that 3 of those crafty ladies are no longer with us. My mother and grandmas have passed on. I've lost my biggest supporter--my mother--and my biggest influence--her mom, my Grandma Peg. The best I can do now is continue to learn, keep on doing what I love to do, and share it with other like-minded people.
I went from making my wedding invitations to making cards, and then onto developing a deep affection for packaging. I have no doubt that part of this comes from Grandma Peg, who always very neatly wrapped gifts in the simplest, yet beautiful way. She chose white or silver paper, skinny satin ribbon, and a small, hand-cut, rectangular white tag, on which she wrote the recipient's name. The gift wrap was incredibly simple, not fancy at all, and still, there was something about it that I loved, especially when the gifts were grouped together--looking all coordinated and minimal as they were in their plain white or silver paper.
Her gifts were always wrapped this way, for as long as I can remember, and they stayed with me, influencing me all these years later, in this career path I've chosen. I wonder what she would think, knowing that she helped to shape the way I see and do things. She knew I had taken an intense interest in paper crafts and she was also incredibly supportive of this endeavor. Were she still alive, I know that she, too, would adore all the little trinkets I love to play with these days--tassels and clothespins and sequins and lace scraps and ribbons and doilies.
These are things she would buy, too--even if she never used them! She'd buy them because they were "cute," like she chose her vehicle for no practical reason, only because it, too, was "cute." I often find myself drawn to sets of ready-made tags at the store that I will likely never use but I'm compelled to have them just the same. (I think that must also be her influence ;)
Aside from Grandma Peg, I think that my love of packaging comes from the promise of feeling special. Have you ever bought a product simply because the outside of it was amazing and elicited from you a warm and fuzzy feeling? And how do you feel when you receive a gift that has been carefully and beautifully wrapped? You feel special. It almost doesn't matter what's inside, right? Because you know that it came from someone who cared enough about you to make such an effort on the wrapping. It's a nice thing to feel that way, and more importantly, it's a nicer thing to make other people feel that way.
Most of you make your own cards and you probably do it because it relaxes you or it's a fun hobby, or you've found that you are very good at doing it. I bet you also do it because a handmade card is meaningful. It's often one of a kind, it was made with your own two hands, and it's personal. It's the same with gift wrap for me. I like to putter and fuss and layer and choose the right combination of elements to present a friend or relative with a treat that will make them happy.
Do you enjoy wrapping gifts or dressing up little bags and containers or does this kind of thing intimidate you? Do you know where to begin? Just as importantly, do you know where to stop? As the PTI Packaging Ambassador, I'll be leading you down the rabbit warren that is gift wrapping. I'm fulfilling a bit of a dream in this role, wherein I get to dig deep into my affection for all the things that encompass papers and packaging, then turn them into the Paper & Package guest blogger series. Each post will give an in-depth look into gift wrapping and will provide you with more than just a pretty picture. I'll share tips, tricks, techniques, tutorials, and favorite products so I encourage you to check it out right here each month. Soon you'll be wrapping like a pro!
Sometimes I'll share minimal designs with just two or three embellishments and other times I'll layer on a whole slew of tags and trims. I'll do big and little, box and bag, wrapped and unwrapped.
Along the way, I'll be answering a few frequently asked questions, as well, like my favorite: Why do you spend so much time on something that will just be torn open and thrown away? This is a question people ask me every now and then, and I'll admit that in certain instances I find myself asking it, too. But I always come back to the same two answers...and I'll share them on April 6th!
I am so excited to start this journey with you! I hope you'll join me right here on the 6th of each month to wrap pretty things!
Rebecca has shared an amazing amount of eye candy with you today! Now is your chance to put your packaging skills to use! Take a closer look at all of her packaging ideas above and pick a few details that really appeal to you. Create a tag or an entire packaging ensemble using the inspiration that speaks to your creative side!
1. Create a new packaging project using details from the projects above as your inspiration.
2. Your project must use at least one Papertrey product.
3. Upload a photo of your project to your blog, Instagram, online gallery or any other photo-hosting site (such as photobucket or flickr).
4. Add the direct link to your project on our InLinkz list below.
5. ONLY ONE PROJECT ENTRY PER PERSON PLEASE!
6. And/or you can leave a comment here to be eligible to win. Aren't you loving this new packaging feature from Rebecca? Isn't she so inspiring? Do you often create your packaging? What types of things would you like to learn from her in the coming year? (Just click the small "comments" link beside the date in the footer of this post. If you are reading this as an email subscription, be sure to click through to the actual blog to leave an eligible comment)
7. You have until 7am ET, Wednesday, March 15th to add your project link or comment and qualify for the contest.
8. TEN randomly selected winners (five comments and five projects) will be announced on our March Release Winners page no later than 9pm ET, March 15th.
TEN randomly selected winners will each receive an $25 Papertrey gift certificate to spend however they choose! Thank you for joining us today and best of luck with the contest!