How to make shrink film wine charms

winecharm

When my sister got married I was looking for an inexpensive but classy way to mark guest’s wine glasses. I came up with the following design using printable shrink film paper.
First, I scanned in the part of their wedding invitation that I wanted to include on the tags. Then I created a PowerPoint file with some test tags with different fonts and image sizes to see what I liked best. The dimensions I ended up using were: tag size 2″ x 4″, image size 1.5″ x 1.5″, font: 40 point Edwardian Script.
Once I had selected the right parameters for the tag I created a template with 10 tags per sheet and then used the template to make the final tags. I entered each guest’s name on a tag and printed them out, then used scissors to cut out each tag, and cut the corners off the tops of the tag. I used a hole punch to punch a hole in the top of the tag, then baked them for a few minutes, and Voila! Wine charms!
I used two pairs of needlenose pliers to attach a jump ring thru the hole and then put a wine charm ring through the jump ring to attach the tag to the glass.
These were relatively easy to make and were a hit at the wedding. They were a fun little keepsake for guests and they made it easy for people to keep track of their glass.

PM me for extra tips!

Advertisements

Organized Birthday Greetings

In the past, I always seemed to be running around at the last minute trying to get birthday cards out.  This year, my husband and I developed a system that made everything much easier.  We buy, address, and stamp all of the birthday cards for the year at once.  When the birthday is coming up we just take the card out, write a little note to the recipient, and put it in the mail.

Here’s how we did it.  First, we created an Excel spreadsheet with two sheets.  The first sheet is for addresses and it has four columns.  The first column is simply the last name, which we use to alphabetize the list.  The second column includes the names of everyone in the family.  The third column is the address, written exactly as it should appear on an envelope.  And the fourth column is for notes, such as the name of a boyfriend or girlfriend.  This sheet is our master list of addresses, which we also use for Christmas cards.

The second sheet is for birthdays and has three columns.  The first column shows the month and date of the birthday, which are listed in chronological order.  The second column shows the birth year, and the third column is the name.   We highlighted the names of all of the people we wanted to send cards to.

We also keep a perpetual birthday calendar hanging in the kitchen.  It has a line for each day of the month, and we filled in the birthdays for family and friends so we can see at a glance when birthdays are coming up.

My husband and I took a printed copy of our birthday list to a card store to buy birthday cards for the upcoming year.  We did this the week after Christmas when we both had time off of work, but it really could be done any time.  We had about 15 cards to buy and together it took us about an hour to pick them all out.  When we got home, we stamped and addressed all of the envelopes, and sorted them chronologically.  Since my husband is German, some of our cards go to Europe, so we keep stamps on hand for both Europe and the US.  You can buy forever stamps online from the USPS for both Europe and the US, and I highly recommend keeping an inventory of the stamps you use regularly at home.

I can’t tell you how wonderful this system has been.  Now, when I see that someone’s birthday is coming up, I just go to the drawer where I have all of the birthday cards and find the card for that person, write a little note, seal the card, and put it in the mail.  No rushing to the store to find a card, no searching for an address, no stopping by the post office for stamps.  And, if I get unexpected cards for my birthday, I can make sure to reciprocate by adding that person to my birthday list.

The Pink Paper- signature gift wrap of a different generation

I recently hosted a baby shower for my dear cousin Ann.  Ann and I are second cousins, and our grandmothers were sisters.

At the shower, another cousin gave Ann a gift and announced, “it’s wrapped in the Pink Paper.”  Apparently, this wasn’t just any pink paper, this was THE Pink Paper- the paper that their grandmother Ellen used to wrap anything and everything.  Ellen passed away a few years ago, but the Pink Paper lives on.

The Pink Paper is a lovely light, opaque, matte pink, and it came in a gigantic roll.  I don’t know where it originally came from, but I can guess.  Our grandmothers grew up very poor and were impressionable young girls during the depression, so resources and opportunities were not wasted.  I imagine this roll may have come from a store that was closing, possibly one that a friend or relative had worked in, and that Ellen saw in this roll the opportunity to never buy wrapping paper again.  And so one woman’s thrifty ways brought about a cherished family tradition of getting gifts from Grandma wrapped in the Pink Paper.  I love this idea of seeing a gift and knowing who it’s from just by how it is wrapped.

After hearing this story I was eager to create my own version of the Pink Paper.  I decided to buy a giant roll of wrapping paper that I would use to wrap anything and everything.  I eventually settled on a light blue glossy paper from Paper Mart (papermart.com).  It was under $20 for a 100 foot roll, which should last me a good long time.  I plan to use it for everything I need to wrap, along with this cream-colored ribbon.

Do you have a signature wrapping paper?  If so, I would love to know what you chose.

 

 

10 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Life Today

From the blog Positive Prescription, by Dr. Samantha Boardman:

1.Get out in nature: You probably seriously underestimate how important this is. (Actually, there’s research that says you do.) Being in nature reduces stress, makes you more creative, improves your memory and may even make you a better person.

2. Exercise: We all know how important this is, but few people do it consistently. Other than health benefits too numerous to mention, exercise makes you smarter, happier, improves sleep, increases libido and makes you feel better about your body. A Harvard study that has tracked a group of men for more than 70 years identified it as one of the secrets to a good life.

 3. Spend time with friends and family: Harvard happiness expert Daniel Gilbert identified this as one of the biggest sources of happiness in our lives. Relationships are worth more than you think (approximately an extra $131,232 a year.) Not feeling socially connected can make you stupider and kill you. Loneliness can lead to heart attack, stroke and diabetes. The longest lived people on the planet all place a strong emphasis on social engagement and good relationships are more important to a long life than even exercise. Friends are key to improving your life. Share good news and enthusiatically respond when others share good news with you to improve your relationships. Want to instantly be happier? Do something kind for them.

4. Express gratitude: It will make you happier. It will improve your relationships. It can make you a better personIt can make life better for everyone around you.

5. Meditate: Meditation can increase happiness, meaning in life, social support and attention span while reducing anger, anxiety, depression and fatigue. Along similar lines, prayer can make you feel better — even if you’re not religious.

6. Get enough sleep: You can’t cheat yourself on sleep and not have it affect you. Being tired actually makes it harder to be happy. Lack of sleep = more likely to get sick. “Sleeping on it” does improve decision making. Lack of sleep can make you more likely to behave unethically. There is such a thing as beauty sleep.

Naps are great too. Naps increase alertness and performance on the job, enhance learning ability and purge negative emotions while enhancing positive ones. Here’s how to improve your naps.

7. Challenge yourself: Learning another language can keep your mind sharp. Music lessons increase intelligence. Challenging your beliefs strengthens your mind. Increasing willpower just takes a little effort each day and it’s more responsible for your success than IQ. Not getting an education or taking advantage of opportunities are two of the things people look back on their lives and regret the most.

8. Laugh: People who use humor to cope with stress have better immune systems, reduced risk of heart attack and stroke, experience less pain during dental work and live longer. Laughter should be like a daily vitamin. Just reminiscing about funny moments can improve your relationship. Humor has many benefits.

9. Touch someone: Touching can reduce stress, improve team performance, and help you be persuasive. Hugs make you happier. Sex may help prevent heart attacks and cancer, improve your immune system and extend your life.

10. Be optimistic: Optimism can make you healthier, happier and extend your life. The Army teaches it in order to increase mental toughness in soldiers. Being overconfident improves performance.