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My dream

My dream

When I was just 4 years old I started work. My auntie ran a newsagents though it was so much more than just a newsagents. She sold everything and always told me that if they didn’t have what someone asked for they’d find an alternative. My dream even then was to have my own shop. I just didn’t realise it.

I was always quite good with numbers, it runs in the family. I’ve always kind of felt guilty about it. Fellow pupils at school who seemed to work so hard for their maths exams and I never had to. Numbers just made sense and it doesn’t seem fair but that’s life and there are countless other things I am not good at that they were. Anyway, because of my ‘gift’ my auntie used to show off when I was as young as 4 by getting me to serve the customers and give them the right change. There were no contactless payments or automatic tills, if the sums were very complicated it was added up with a pen and paper.

Image by Shirley Hirst from Pixabay

I loved everything about that shop. From stocking the shelves, seeing if I could squeeze just one more packet of crisps on to the rack to making up 10p sweetie lucky bags (10p of sweeties in the bag, about 20p in my mouth!).

As I grew I got to know more of the business. I helped with stock taking each year and my favourite bit was sitting in the freezing cold stock room out the back in front of the electric bar fire with notepad and calculator adding up endless lists of numbers. We’re all a bit weird in one way or other right?!

When I grew up

I thought I’d become an accountant but a desire to ‘make the world a brighter place’ drove me in to engineering. As I began my university life studying civil engineering, so my auntie retired and so ended my dream of running that little shop.

I could have taken over the business, never gone to university. But then I’d never have gone to Africa and worked as a water and sanitation engineer and helped a few to improve their village life. I’d never have met my husband either, moved to the beautiful Isle of Lewis and had 4 children and made the choice to give up my career.

…and then I might not have started working from home, selling things.

My dream come true?

Funny how you can look back on your life and see choices made without realising the true reason for making those choices. It was only after selling from home for about 5 years alongside being a full time mum that the penny dropped. I loved retail! I wanted a shop!

But times have changed since I was 4. We now have internet, supermarkets and global imports on a scale never seen before. Newspapers and sweeties are still sold in shops but even newspapers have gone online and sweeties are no longer a ha’penny. My personal opinion of newspapers has also changed, perhaps why I sell the Happy Newspaper!

So I never thought a physical shop was a reality now. Too many high street stores are short lived, too many empty town centres. Times have changed. Furthermore, living in a fairly remote location in the Outer Hebrides I knew I had to embrace the online market. And I have. Combining some local fairs and events with a growing online presence I have built up my Cards and Gift Wrap business slowly, year by year, reinvesting everything back in while raising my 4 children. Always with a pre-school child by my side, ‘helping’ mum.

And then, just a small thing, covid-19 happened. My online business thrived but the fairs and events were gone. My shop-in-a-basket that served many local workplaces vanished. Time to think outside the box. On top of that my husband started working from home more and we were homeschooling all in the same room that I had hoped would be my ‘stock room’. Something has to change.

Maybe, just maybe…

We’re lucky to have a big garage which is already in two sections. Maybe, just maybe…

Could we convert one part in to a pop up shop?

That’s why I’ve launched a Kickstarter. Not just to raise the money for the materials to make the garage dry and waterproof but to see if there is enough local interest for me to have a physical presence. To see if 40 years on I could have my own ‘shop’ and realise my dream.

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Roll wrap

roll wrap

A lot of customers ask me for roll wrap. I do stock rolls and they are fabulous. Unfortunately with postage prices being what they are it isn’t cost effective to offer it for sale on my website as the postage would cost more than the wrap itself.

However, if you live in the Western Isles or round the Black Isle/Inverness area then I can probably arrange delivery for free.

With that in mind here is some of the roll wrap I have. If you’d like some please get in touch and I will do my best to sort you out.

It’s all fabulous, gorgeously designed and quality wrap that won’t rip or tear easily when wrapping.

If you see something you like please contact me to arrange delivery, or email me at janet@cardsandgiftwrap.co.uk.

5m jumbo rolls

patchwork nutcracker jumbo roll wrap
Patchwork Nutcracker

Red and gold stars jumbo roll
Red and Gold Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas 3m Roll Wrap

Carol Singers roll wrap
Carol Singers

Winter Wonderland roll wrap
Winter Wonderland

Robins roll wrap
Robins

Forest Animals roll wrap
Forest Animals

Christmas Berries roll wrap
Christmas Berries

Nutcracker roll wrap
Nutcracker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyday 3m Roll Wrap

Lime Trio roll wrap
Lime Trio (choose green spot, stripes or white flecks)

Rainbow stars
Rainbow Stars

Party Time roll wrap
Party Time

 

 

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Is gift wrapping paper recyclable?

is gift wrapping recyclable

You’ve watched Blue Planet, you love turtles and you want to do your bit to be eco friendly. But you are a bit confused by mixed messages about whether you should be using gift wrap, brown paper, newspaper or even wrapping presents at all. Whether it’s for Christmas, a birthday or for any occasion you can gift wrap in style without costing the earth. I’ve put this little post together to help you answer the question; Is gift wrapping paper recyclable?

A really quick test is the Scrunch Test but it’s not quite as simple as that.

So which gift wrapping is recyclable?

Supermarket ‘cheap as chips’ wrapping paper

Probably not recyclable. Even if it doesn’t contain any glitter, foil or added extras, the thin wrapping paper that is often found at the checkout is unlikely to be accepted by paper mills for recycling as it contains few good quality fibres for recycling.

Gift wrap with foil or glitter effects

The paper might be recyclable but the glitter and foil effects make it difficult and too expensive (if it is even possible) to recycle. At least the paper will biodegrade if put in general household waste but the foil and glitter additives might not.

Recycled wrapping paper

Yes, most probably recyclable, providing no glitter, foil etc is added. You can get recycled wrapping paper. However, there is a debate as to whether it is better to produce recycled paper or use virgin pulp from FSC certified sources as the recycling process itself is expensive and energy consuming. Another alternative could be using paper from easily replenishable sources such as bamboo that grows quickly.

stamped brown kraft wrapping paperBrown paper

This shouldn’t be recycled but should go in the compostable bin along with brown cardboard but that’s ok. Good environmental option! Not so good if you want a pretty design as you’ll have to do one yourself and make sure any design you apply is also compostable! Check out my Pinterest board for some ideas. Use vegetable based inks to stamp the paper and add natural embellishments like twigs, flowers and berries that can also be composted.

Or you can buy coloured kraft wrap that is 100% recyclable.

Printed, quality wrapping paper

Yes, this wrapping paper is recyclable. One thing you might like to check is what inks are used in the print. Some companies use eco friendly vegetable based inks that do not harm the environment. Also check if the paper used is from FSC sources.

All of the gift wrap in my Flamingo shop is 100% recyclable, uses vegetable based inks and is from FSC sources.

We can confirm that all Flamingo Paperie gift wrap is recyclable. It is printed on Amber Graphic Material which is ECF (Elemental Chlorine Free). This is a technique which uses chlorine dioxide for the bleaching of wood pulp and does not use elemental chlorine gas during the bleaching process, so preventing the formation of dioxins, dioxin-like compounds and carcinogens. We also use vegetable inks with water rather than the alcohol damping process. Individual local authorities have their own rules on what they will and will not recycle, but we can confirm that our paper is fully recyclable. (statement from Flamingo HQ)

If you are a designer looking to print your own gift wrap then there are UK print companies that have a very high standard of eco friendly printing like Ashley House.

General tips on making gift wrapping paper recyclable

Before recycling or composting your gift wrap make sure you remove all sellotape, tags, ribbons, bows etc. Gift tags might be recyclable/compostable but the ribbon that they are attached often isn’t so make sure you remove it first. If in doubt, ask the company, they will know. Many gift wrap companies have an environmental policy like Flamingo Paperie. In fact all their gift tags, including the jute string, are 100% recyclable. Use washi tapeĀ  or patterned kraft tape for a recyclable tape option.

Presents and balloons paper tape

For further information see Recycle Now

Also wondering what Christmas cards to buy? You might be interested to know that all our Christmas cards are charity cards as well as being environmentally friendly.

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5 Steps to Perfect Gift Wrapping

Phoenix Trading gift wrapping Flamingo Paperie

Here are a few simple steps to make sure your gift wrapping looks good and doesn’t take hours to do.

1 Buy Quality Gift Wrapping Papergift wrapping service

If you want your gift to look neat then you need wrapping paper that won’t crumple or rip when you start to cut it or fold it. A decent grade of paper (100gsm or more) will make your job easier and make the end result look better.

2 Use Matching or Complimenting Tag

I have 4 children so I’ve been to a few children’s parties and how often have I seen presents with no tag and no card attached. There probably was a card when it was handed over but in the excitement it’s all been put to one side and the card and gift have become separated. It’s really nice to say thank you afterwards but if you don’t know who the present is from then you can’t. A good idea is to stock up on plain tags that will go with anything, like manilla ones, or a multi pack.

3 Use Ribbon

It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to add ribbon to a present. The most elaborate is probably organza ribbon but for a special occasion it really does the business. However baker’s twine is a really good buy and has lots of other uses too, or raffia is very cheap and a multi-coloured one looks fab.

If using organza, try adding an extra complimentary colour to the bow.

4 Cut straight lines

This is very hard to do with poor grade wrapping paper (see point 1) as most likely the paper will rip as you cut. Especially that foil stuff that looked so good on the roll and seemed really good value but when you open it you realise why it was so cheap as it falls apart in your hands.

Buy wrapping paper that has gridlines on the back, it makes your job easier and we’re all for that.

5 Keep it Simple

Don’t try and overcomplicate things. Sure you can find some great ideas for Japanese wrapping with fancy folds and origami on Pinterest and maybe for the odd occasion it’s great to give that a go. But when it comes to children’s parties, or Christmas where there’s a lot to do, keep it simple and make your life easier.

You can find lots of other great ideas and inspiration on Youtube.

If you found this useful and want another simple wrapping idea try The Gift Bag

 

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Simple Origami Hearts

Origami heart craft activity Valentines Day children

Make your own hearts from squares of leftover wrapping paper, or tissue paper.

These can be used for decoration, or to make your own cards.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZtvAUBR7Pc]

Why not pop a personalised message inside one?

If you liked this, you might also like my paper chain hearts.