This post has been at the back of my mind for some time now. For a while I have wanted to write about handmade cards and craft bibelots which give accents of individuality to our lives.
The first inkling to came to me last November, when I was looking for a gift card for my friend’s baby shower. Despite spending 45 minutes in a card shop I couldn’t find anything suitable and ended up ordering a custom made card from Karolina. At the same time I ordered from her my Christmas cards and forgot about the whole post idea for couple of months – until last week. I was wandering around town looking for a Valentine’s gift for my husband and I thought to buy him a card too, but couldn’t find one I liked. The shops were packed with overpriced mass produced gift cards, the majority of which had very cheesy and overly sweet designs, more suitable for teenage girls than grown-up men. The other option was to choose a funny card but the only ones I could find were either not very funny or used crass, vulgar humour so that I gave up eventually and called Karolina again. Hence this post.
Of course there is absolutely nothing wrong with buying a tasteful card on the high street, but they mostly lack craftsmanship and the personal touch. If you are looking for something original and unique you will need to start looking in other places, such as online, for example Etsy. The brilliant part is that each of the hand-made items is different and you can add any message or design you like. Also with bespoke cards you will never get those embarrassing moments when someone opens two or three identical birthday cards, or when you are arranging your Christmas cards on the mantelpiece and most of them are “This Year’s Special” from a Waitrose or M&S batch.
But cards are not the only bespoke items you can buy. You can get plenty of small personal gadgets which show your style, give you a sense of individualism or just the simple pleasure of having something really beautiful and unique, such as a notebook in your bag or a little picture album on your bedside table.
I asked Karolina how she started making those beautiful things and she answered that her reason was very similar to mine. She was looking for a card to go with a present for a friend and been put off by the lack of originality and poor quality of mass produced items. She decided to make her own card and went to an art shop to get materials. The process made her really happy and creative, plus the card looked a hundred times better than anything she could buy. Over time she started to experiment with other items and techniques and her PROJEKT SCRAP born.
I love individually made cards and I don’t think I’ll ever go back to buying them again on the high street. All the items in this post are made by Karolina because I really like her designs, but there are plenty of other artists around who make similarly beautiful things. They are really worth looking for. If you like Karolina’s work there is plenty more on her blog:
or in the online shop
MY WINE OF THE WEEK
Because this is just after the Valentine’s weekend most of us will be feeling a bit broke, and some of us have probably also experienced a slight fizz overdose. I thought I would therefore give you a review of something cheaper but very lovely.
Falanghina Beneventano IGT 2013 (Marks & Spencer £7.00) A very fresh and zesty but by no means boring white, with plenty of notes of ripe summer fruit like pear and peach, a touch of spicy fennel and wet slate minerality to make it interesting. This is an easy drinking, good quality Italian white which should brighten up your mid week creamy pasta.