MESSAGE RECEIVED: DESIGNER HOLIDAY CARDS

by Marisa Marcantonio

Upon my return from Florida, I went to my mailbox which was filled with joyful designer missives. I just love the creativity and effort that went into creating and designing the beautiful holiday cards I received. What a pleasure it was to open each one and be moved by the message inside. Thank you all for such a warm start to the New Year and for bringing such beauty into everything you do. 
There's nothing like getting a card in the mail, especially when it is as spectacular as these are!

2013: THE YEAR FOR BIG IDEAS

by Marisa Marcantonio

Photo courtesy of Sugar Paper
The power of pink. Sugar Paper's elegant Kate Desk Calendar in raspberry is kicky and fun with a bit of gilt zing
 
Here we are. 2013. It seems strange, because 2013 always seemed really far off. But it's here. A friend told me 13 is a lucky number for her, so I am hoping it is for me, too. I plan on turning to the phrase "Plan your work and work your plan" (something I learned several years ago through Landmark) often, and KNOW if it is in the calendar, written down, and verbalized, there is a good chance it is happening. 

Photo courtesy of Connor
Secrets of keeping resolutions abound, and I love hearing new ways to implement a plan that will help see things through to fruition. So, in addition to the calendar, Evernote, iphone notes and keeping lists on a big pad of paper like Connor's Big Ideas Tablets, are there any tips you have to finish what you started? #resolutions


PRESENT TENSE: HOLIDAY GIFT WRAP GETS FESTIVE

by Marisa Marcantonio

One of my favorite aspects of gift giving is wrapping the presents. I love to make a pretty package. I am pretty sure I got this from my amazing Mom, who has great tips and tricks to wrap the ribbon so there is no bump on the underside where the ribbons cross, and so each folded corner is even. 

Too add to the gift, I like to stick a fresh sprig of holly, shiny red berries or some bells in with the bow and tag. It just makes the presentation more interesting, and memorable. Here are some favorite patterned papers and tags I have come across this season, both traditional and fun. Enjoy the last few days of frenetic shopping for last-minute gifts and wrap em up with your own individual flair.

Photo courtesy of Sugar Paper

State the obvious with vivid red script dons letterpress tags from LA-based Sugar Paper.

Photo courtesy of Mara Mi

Say thank you with sweet little gift labels from Mara Mi featuring winter themes.

Photo courtesy of CB2

Put your own stamp on it with Yellow Owl Workshop's Label Stamp Kit from CB2. It doesn't read holiday so you can use it beyond Christmas.

Photo courtesy of Lobird

This one is to give to all your friends that gallivant all over the global. From Lobird. Each of this company's designs are cuter than the next.

 Photo courtesy of Anthropologie

Against a pale green sky, reindeer and pine trees in a winter scene on hang tags from Anthropologie.

 Photo courtesy of Connor

When only the best will do, Connor New York has hang tags with red grosgrain ribbon and hand-engraved motifs.

 Photo courtesy of Target

A cheery Santa and scallop-edge Do Not Open set of tags from Target are just adorable.

Photo courtesy of Target

Wow, these colorful cuties are from Target- love. Zesty colors and modern motifs for the un-holiday color scheme.

Photo courtesy of Mr. Boddington

Mr. Boddington always gets it right, they make some of the best preppy meets quirky papers. Rudolf heads in a playful hand-drawn repeat float across the surface of It's Raining Reindeer paper.

 Photo courtesy of Container Store

My favorite wrap is from the Container Store, with geometric Santa's all in a row.

Photo courtesy of Paper Source

The animals go marching on in Holiday Animals Wrapping Paper available through Paper Source . Too cute for the little one's.

Photo courtesy of Paper Source

White berries with silver leaves against a red ground make this red Paper Source paper an elegant option.

Photo courtesy of Kate's Paperie

Modern and graphic, the wrapping paper of master printmaker Charles Lahti from Kate's Paperie pairs kraft paper brown and poppy red.

Photo courtesy of Container Store

In a multitude of hues, Christmas trees line the surface area of kraft paper from the Container Store.

 Photo courtesy of Container Store

For all of you with dogs, the Container Store has recycled paper with Chilly Dogs as reindeer waiting in line to step up to the hydrant.

CALL IN THE DRAGONS

by Marisa Marcantonio

Expect a wild year said the Zodiac. With the Chinese Zodiac Year of The Dragon coming to a close soon, it is interesting to notice how many great dragon designs have been created anew. Fierce, respected, honored, feared and fictitious, the dragon inspires awe and brings good fortune. Why wouldn't you want some fiery fabulousness in your home?

 Photos courtesy of Jim Thompson

No.9 Thompson's Dynasty Collection designed by Richard Smith captures the allure of Chinese folklore. Inspired by ancient decorative arts, from 17th Century silk carpets to ceramics, the hand-painted designs boldly represent a rich decorative history in a color palette for today.

With a wave and decorative link border, Enter The Dragons can be used in a variety of applications. The festive dragon is featured down the center of the fabric along with animated clouds against a rich chocolate brown. There is a great energy to this print, and I have seen it used in upholstery, but panel curtains look striking as well.

Aqua, orange, pink and yellow is another incredible color mix. This fabric can ground a room and the dominant colors make it a heady combination.

Schumacher's Chang Mai Dragon fabric came from a 1920's Art Deco print. The exuberant colorations are beloved for their versatility, as they make pieces look modern and vintage depending on the shape of the piece they go on. Here, Global Views showed their new high back chair with the print to showcase custom upholstery options.

Century Furniture showed the print on a traditional upholstered chair at High Point Market.

Photo courtesy of Mottahedeh

Bringing the dragon into tablesettings adds an air of mystery and allure. Mottahedeh's Red Dragon plate shows the fierce creature circling the border with outstretched claws. The dynamic nature of the design and the composition looks beautiful in a place setting.

Photo courtesy of Caskata

With gold detailing, Caskata's Dragon Canape Plates look amazing all together, since they capture the dragon in different places.

 Photo courtesy of Dempsey and Carrol

Opulent Gold Dragon stationery from Dempsey and Carroll will send good fortune.