My Favourite Stripe Trends supporting Matalans Charity Campaign and Alder Hey

I do have a slight obsession with Pattern Design and was only too happy to take part in the ‘Get your Stripes’ Charity Campaign with Matalan for Alder Hey Childrens Hospital. My latest blog post is called ‘My Favourite Stripe Trends supporting the Matalan Charity Campaign and Alder Hey’ and as you can see from my recent shop launch and Journal Magazine cover, I’m rather fond of my shocking pink stripe dress that I can’t wear enough of!

Jane Means cover girl

Each year Matalan dedicate several items of which 100% of their profits go to the charity. Being a fan of the brand I was happy to take part, plus my close friend John who is a TV producer, filmed a documentary at Alder Hey and has often spoke about the incredible work that they do. When Matalan approached me, my stripe obsessed answer was ‘yes’ so I’ve put together my favourite 10 stripe looks to highlight this campaign.

Striped nails

1. Sport some stripes in your nails, jazzed up with some bold neon colours. For me I’d have to pay a trip to my local nail bar to get this done professionally as it’s not a task for shaky hands. Fingernails are considered to be an item of cosmetic beauty by women all over the world and it has been the norm to paint the whole nail the same colour. Until now!

Image courtesy of Pinterest

StripeWall

2. I particularily love this stripe feature wall. It’s a great way to make a small room appear larger in size and I love this bold monochrome statement.

Image courtesy of Pinterest

Instawrap

3. Taking the world by storm is the new lick and stick paper by Instawrap which has just been launched. My favourite design is their Retro Stripe which is such a classic and understated look. Their paper is amazing as it licks and sticks in seconds. I was so bowled over by the concept I am now the Brand Ambassor and Designer for the brand. Buy online at instawrap.co.uk

Jane Means striped red ribbon

4. One of our best selling ribbons ever is our Red Candy Stripe. Teamed with brown paper, this is a classic look and is suitable for any occasion including Christmas, Valentine, Kids parties and Birthdays.

Available at www.janemeans.com on 3M, 10M and 100M rolls

Matalan mug

5. This year’s Matalan charity collection is all about celebrating festive family downtime, with a range of red, white and green stripe pyjamas, perfect for everyone this Christmas. The range for adults, kids and even the dog, will see everyone matching whilst they relax this Christmas. The range will be available in stores with prices starting from £2- £10. Their mug is priced at £2 and is perfect for that mid afternoon brew. Available at Matalan

Jack Wills Laindon wash Bag

6. This is the perfect gift for someone who has everything. This versatile Laindon bag can store lingerie, make up and in my case, double sided tape, scissors and gift tags. Bag available at Jack Wills

ASOS jumper

7. This gorgeous jumper grabbed my attention. The subtle stripes and chunky knit are highlighted by the ruffle shoulder feature.
Available at ASOS, this is definitely on my Christmas list

Stripe sunglasses

8. If you want to make a bold statement this summer, try out these stripe glasses by Dolce and Gabbana
Teamed with a straw hat you will be admired like a Hollywood A lister

Jane Means for Matalan

9. In my book ‘Giftwrapped’, I’ve enjoyed using bold stripes in my Gift Wrapping. To get a tutorial on how to wrap a bottle head over to the Matalan Blog to get inspired. Tissue by Jane Means

Berlin Stripe Building

10. If you are going to raise support for a charity campaign involving Stripes, you can’t get much better than this. A complete building
Spotted on Pinterest, this is a Business Park at Berlin Airport, and it’s Lego style exterior can’t but help but make me smile with it’s bold pattern and clashing colours.

I’m delighted to support this campaign along with Alesha Dixon and Larry Lamb. For more details on the campaign, head over to the Matalan and Alder Hay page and don’t forget to ‘Get your Stripes’ folks! x

 

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Gift Wrapping at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons with Jonathan Moseley

I am thrilled to have been invited to team up with leading floral designer and floristry industry consultant, Jonathan Mosely for a wonderful Winter Workshop event at the breathtaking location of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.

Created by the celebrated chef, Raymond Blanc OBE, this renowned and stunning manor house hotel and cookery school, nestled in the village of Great Milton, in Oxfordshire, has been somewhere I have wanted, so much, to visit for a very long time and now I am so lucky, not only to be staying there, but, to be demonstrating, alongside Jonathan, on December 19th, this year.

Le Manoir

Image courtesy of Amara

This fine hotel has held 2 Michelin stars since 1984, is synonymous with high quality, elegance and luxury and I cannot wait to see how the festive season is presented in such a wonderful location.

The special one-day event, entitled, ‘Deck the Halls’ will see Jonathan and myself teaming up to assist participants in their quest to craft an unforgettable Christmas.  Jonathan will be making some stunning seasonal flower displays whilst I will be presenting some imaginative and styles of festive gift wrapping.  Due to the prestigious location, there will also be an opportunity for all concerned to sample some spectacular dining in sumptuous surroundings and, I must confess, I am looking forward very much to spending a December day at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.

jonothan moseley

For those who do not know, Jonathan Mosely is a freelance floral designer, based in Derbyshire.  He is known for his humorous, friendly approach and, aside from appearing on ‘The Big Allotment Challenge’  BBC programme recently, he works as a floristry industry consultant, teaches the art and skill of floral display and takes commissions to design and execute ‘event flowers’ on a large scale.  He is famous for his floral artistry and skill and for combining his love of nature with his distinctive and innovative arranging techniques.

Christmas wreath

Image courtesy of Pinterest

 

I am excited to be sharing the spotlight with someone who is so highly talented and, given my own experience as a florist, I am looking forward to picking up some advice and advanced creative tips on December 19th.

The Manor house itself is one of the most treasured manor house hotels in the UK and the gardens have a reputation for being something very special to behold.  Aside from the lavender lined pathways, extensive English lawns and vegetable and herb gardens, the hotel has its own orchards, a mushroom valley which, among other varieties, produces shiitake mushrooms and there are rows of cloche tunnels, under which various flowers are grown for creative use in the hotel kitchen.  The hotel also boasts a water garden, dating back to the 16th Century.  It was created, by monks, who occupied the site at that time.

 


Jane Means cover girl

 

Photo courtesy of Journal Magazine

For those who are attending the event, I hope we can make it everything and so much more than you are hoping for.  It plans to be a most welcoming, enjoyable , sociable and creatively educational day and I look forward to meeting everyone there.

For more details head over to the Belmond Events Page

See you there x

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Join our ‘Styling for Christmas’ Event at Clifton Nurseries London on December 7th

Our ribbon and stationery shop opened at Clifton Nurseries in September and we are delighted to announce our ‘Styling for Christmas’ event on 7th December at this Central London venue.

 

Lavender and Lovage

 

Image courtesy of Lavender and Lovage

Clifton Nurseries is magical, the twinkly lights lead you up into this secret hidden oasis in central London. With Christmas around the corner we thought it would be a great idea to bring in some fantastic artists and enjoy a festive evening filled with inspiration, ideas and fun.

Jane Means at Clifton Nurseries

Whilst indulging in some fizz and mince pies you can enjoy hands on mini master classes in giftwrapping and bow making.  Judy Broad will be providing calligraphy classes, and you can also enjoy a go at floristry and wreath making. One of my favourite brands Belinda Sly will be there showcasing her cashmere shawls and wraps.

 

Judy Broad

 

Image courtesy of Judy Broad

This will be a magical evening in idyllic surroundings, and the perfect chance to stock up Christmas gifts, ribbons, cards, cashmere, beauty, and enjoy a special evening with friends.

Clifton Christmas shop

Clifton Nurseries has an amazing Christmas shop with hundreds of fresh wreaths, Christmas trees and decorations to peruse. I will also be signing copies of my book ‘Giftwrapped’ in my ribbon and stationery pop up shop.

Jane Means London Shop

Tickets for this magical evening are £12 and include unlimited master classes, fizz and mince pies.
Early booking is essential as this will be a popular event

Book now at www.clifton.co.uk

Clifton Nurseries Christmas shop

I look forward to seeing you there x

 

Categories: Christmas, Gift Wrapping Event | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Clever props and styling tips to make your craft fair booth stand out

I’ve written this blog post ‘Clever props and styling tips to make your craft fair booth stand out’ after being asked by so many people about displays.  Even if you haven’t anything to sell or promote, this article will give you lots of inspirations for displays in your home too.

When a stall is competing for attention at a craft fair and when your specifically selected and painstakingly hand crafted examples of practiced skill and creativity are waiting to be admired, chosen and taken to a loving home, it is important to ensure that the products are the stars of the show.

It was Chanel who suggested that a woman should get ready, stand in front of a mirror and remove one accessory before leaving the house.  The essential advice being that ‘less is more’ and the same is true of the art of visual merchandising.

mobile craft fair

 

A great idea is a custom made wardrobe which can be transported to a fair and it’s ready for action as soon as you’ve opened the doors

It is not necessary to have everything on display all at once.  Having too much to look at can become less of a feast for the eyes and more of a confusing overdose, which detracts from the features and qualities of each individual item.  Extra product can be concealed under fabric-draped tables or safely hidden elsewhere so that each item is allowed its own place in the spotlight.  Dependant upon the products, some can even be presented in boxes on the floor below the main, more accessible display.

neat storage

If you’re mixing colour do it in blocks

Grouping similar items together and creating sections of colour coordination is key to making a cohesive visual impact.  It only takes a second or two for eyes to advise the brain to keep walking or to take a closer look and clever styling will draw people in and allow items to be easily seen and, more importantly, be presented at their best.

 

craft fair display

 

Colour Order works well and is easy on the eye especially in cramped spaces.  Ribbons by Jane Means

Today, your products are also going to become the photo shoot models of virtually every camera and phone that flashes by your stall.  You are suddenly selling to people who are not even attending that particular event as each picture could Facebook and instagram its way across the globe and your small craft fair stall has suddenly become the unassuming platform of your worldwide advertising campaign.  Every vista of your visual merchandising counts.

jewellery display

Image courtesy of GoodSamShow

Items are generally, extensively displayed on tables, which means table cloths or lengths of fabric are required.  Select beautiful fabrics such as black crushed velvet, crisp white tablecloths or a fabric colour that really compliments your products in a way that makes them stand out.  A vital tip is to ensure your table covering is spotless and creaseless and, perhaps, have a spare on hand just in case of unforeseen accidents.

ribbon table cloth

Image courtesy of Aroka Weddings

Tearing of your stall is a great way to optimize the amount of product and the clarity with which it can be seen.  Boxes can be built up and concealed under table coverings or display props can be used.  Creating height at the back of your stall makes your presentation area appear bigger and, remember, the aim of the game is to create a perfect picture, illustrating your product from a few metres away, so keep stepping back and admiring your merchandising until it looks just right.

 

watering can storage

Watering Can by Clifton Nurseries

Creating a focal point such as this turquoise watering can will catch the eye and draw people in.  A sense of spectacle and drama is not to be under-estimated but one main focal point is more dramatic than throwing on everything you think is wonderful for impressive effect.  Your focal point may feature your star products framed by a stunning free-hanging, picture frame, suspended from the stall roof or it may be a customized prop that has been styled to suit your theme perfectly. I love to use cake stands

cake stand

Small stand -Great for highlighting your favourite products

Props need not be expensive and can be as random and quirky as your sense of styling allows.  I recently purchased an old but beautiful bureau from ebay for ten pounds but a weekend of sanding, sweating and painting later and it was a terrific, turquoise display fixture for stationery items and the perfect focal point for my pop up shop in London at Clifton Nurseries.

Turquoise bureau

Tall, wooden stools, antique tables, free standing or stepped shelving and up-cycled old chairs hung on walls as shelves, make great merchandising furniture and old copper kettles, elegant cake stands, antique typewriters, painted bird cages, vibrantly coloured watering cans, large candlestick stands and artist’s easels are examples of random, beautiful objects that may just enhance a theme by their strategically placed presence. I love these painted apple crates

painted crates

 

Image courtesy of Pinterest 

Do not forget the backdrop of your stall.  Plastic sheeting of a blue and white, stripy nature may be what the stall was supplied with but consider the scenery of your stage setting.  Clip on fabric, tape up wallpaper or use an opaque plastic sheet of appropriate colour.  Every inch of your selling space should be considered, designed and intentionally presented.  Space is expensive.  Use it to maximum impact but remember, ‘less is more’ and, if something does not add to the show, then it takes away and it should probably be removed.

 

country living fair

I’ve also utilised crates under the table so it acts as display as well as storage. I’ve also made a ribbon curtain to hang on the wall as a feature

Remember, people will look with their hands as well as their eyes.  Although people are just being enthusiastic and probably just can’t keep their hands from the textures and fabrics, etc, (we all do it!) it is our own responsibility to keep our stage set spotless.  Maintenance of the area should be constant as photographs certainly will be.  Nobody wishes to enter an untidy stand or would be tempted towards a messy stall when the one next door is looking stunning so, paying attention to house keeping detail is a vital piece of advice.

neat display

Keep your display neat and tidy

One of the most important fixtures of your stall has not yet been mentioned and this is you!  You are the key to selling your products, ideas and inspirations.  Always be friendly and approachable.  This is your stage so wear a smile.  Eating and spending time on your phone are not ideal or appealing things to do in this, your professional place of work so save that for an allocated break time when you can step away from your stall.

 

Your stall is also a good place to inspire potential customers and to show them just how beautiful, versatile and useful your products are.  Giving demonstrations is also the perfect way to engage people’s attention and keep them at your stall.  Remember, there will be equally interesting stalls or booths beside yours but the clever trick is to make yours stand out and look like ‘this is the place to be’.  Drawing a small crowd with a demonstration is always a good idea and this can be done at several times during the day.

Jane Means LONDON 108

Gone are the days for me when I’d head to a village hall and throw a tablecloth to see my wares.  With the birth of social media I’m now aware that many shoppers are taking photos of my stand and it’s a great way to get keen instagrammers to snap away and highlight your products and hard work. Soft lighting and props are always eyecatching

Hope House Press

 

Leather Journal by Hope House Press 

haberdashery closet

Our Haberdashery Closet in Bracebridge Heath full to the brim with ribbons and we use baskets, crates, terracotta pots, planters.  I also bought a gorgeous pine sideboard off Ebay seen here

 

inject-humour

Inject humour to make your customers smile

 

tea cup display

Use quirky props.  Tea cups are good for small items

 

Country Living Spring Fair 2016

You could add flowers even if they’re fake

 

Finally here’s some more tips…

Always look friendly and approachable

Try and look slightly busy or demonstrate your craft so you don’t appear too intimidating

Never eat or be on your phone – take a break to do this

Ensure table cloths are washed and ironed

Wallpaper makes a great back drop in a booth.  Just use Masking tape

 

On a final note, we’ll be at a couple of Christmas Shows in November, Spirit of Christmas at Olympia, London (stand B60), and Country Living Fair, London (stand A9). Do pop and say hello to us if you’re there, we’d love to see you.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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Check out our London Gift Wrapping Service throughout the year

Our London Gift Wrapping Service is now in full swing with the with the weeks numbered until Christmas.

Months have been spent sourcing beautiful embellishment from the New York, luxurious papers from Europe and every type of ribbon has been sourced around the globe. We believe that the wrapping of a gift is as important as the gift inside

 

London Gift Wrapping Service

Over the years we’ve had the honour of wrapping for brands and private clients in Monaco, Geneva, Singapore, Paris and Milan as well as throughout the UK

Many of our clients are well known and luxury brands, private families, time poor professional individuals, celebrities and royalty

Every job to us is special so there’s nothing more we love than to get the exact look you want.  With and myriad of papers and over 100,000 ribbons in stock you are spoilt for choice

Gift Wrapping Service london

If you can’t face the task of wrapping or simply haven’t got the time, get in touch with our professional gift wrapping team who have been personally trained and hand picked by the expert herself, Jane Means.

With so many choices and styles available, we tailor each job individually so you get exactly what you want. We can come to your home or workplace and do the gift wrapping service while you wait. Weddings and other occasions are also catered for, plus we work weekends and evenings right through until Christmas eve

black wedding favours

If you want your gift tags personally written with an ink calligraphy pen, we’ll do it

calligraphy tags

With expertise in high profile jobs, our experienced gift wrapping team are professional, dressed in a uniform and highly discreet. We are always looking for new recruits so if you love wrapping, come and join us

Gift wrapping staff London

For more information about our Gift Wrapping Services and a quote please contact our Head Office

Email info@janemeans.co.uk
Telephone +44 1522 522 544

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Raffia ideas in your gift wrapping and craft projects

I’m a huge fan of Raffia Palms (also known as Raphia) and thought i’d share with you some great raffia ideas in your gift wrapping and craft projects.

Using raffia in giftwrapping immediately introduces a natural and rustic feel to your presentation creation.  When used sparingly, it punctuates your nature loving, natural intentions but when used in abundance it conjures up country living and rustic farm kitchens and makes a strong statement of simplicity and environmental awareness.

feather eco gift wrapping

Combining raffia with combinations of wood, parcel paper, string, twigs, herbs, dried fruits, feathers and other materials such as hessian or linen, creates a style that is, altogether, one of simplicity and it can be presented as elegantly plain or can be full of subtle details and perfectly suited embellishments.

raffia jar

If you are giving a potted plant, a generous bouquet style wrapping of tissue paper, tied with raffia and ribbon is all that is required to serve up a rustic present that could be placed directly onto a country kitchen table.  There is something about a raffia bound bouquet of sunflowers or a pot of homemade preserve, topped with gingham and wrapped with raffia that just says ‘country living’ and sometimes this is exactly what you wish to say.

 

If you are giving a mini hamper, filled with preserves, wine, crackers and cheese, a bed of raffia in a basket tied with a bow of raffia sends a message of wheat field walks and open, flower-filled meadows.  A few folded, red and white checked napkins would also emphasise your picnicking intentions. In the evening, jars filled with tea lights will look stunning decorated with raffia

craftoholicsanonymous

Image courtesy of Craftoholics Anonymous

Try wrapping gifts in a country check napkin or tea towel and using double-sided tape and a raffia-tied bow to secure.  Embellish with simple country flowers, a few stems of wheat or some fresh, scented herbs and you have a complete country package, perfect for wrapping boxes of preserves, home-baked goodies or for someone who loves countryside living. A jar filled with flowers decorated with raffia looks great too

the wild orchid

Image courtesy of The Wild Orchid

 

When using brown parcel paper, replacing ribbon with multiple, entwined strands of natural raffia to wrap around and tie in a bow, tying in a brown luggage or wooden label, complete a very rustic package.  Perfect for ‘no nonsense’ dads, gardeners and people who appreciate simplicity.

raffia presents

Raffia by Jane Means

Making lots of bows from grouped lengths of raffia and attaching them down the centre of your wrapped gift box will make your parcel look very neatly fastened.

 

Platting grouped lengths of raffia will make a rustic raffia rope to wrap your gift with.  Binding your gift box with several such ropes with achieve a very attractive basket weave effect.  It’s a little time consuming but fun to do and very effective and satisfying to achieve.

 

Raffia can be natural but can also be dyed and be brightly coloured.  Using coloured raffia with parcel paper adds all the colour you may need but purple raffia on lime green paper can simply add an acidic twist to what was originally a very natural, rustic wrapping style. You can eve dye your own with beetroot juice and black coffee, or cheat and buy it ready coloured!

Jane Means Raffia

A natural raffia bow around a clear cellophane or brown paper bag is perfect for wrapping sweets or cookies.  Punching holes along the closure of a bag and weaving raffia, rather like stitching, and slotting on small wooden beads is also fun and effective.  Brown paper luggage labels add to the natural tones of the colour combination.  With brightly coloured bags, raffia, beads and labels, these packages would take on a whole new identity, of course.

raffia

Small changes make big differences and perfectly executed details make impressive presentations.  Whatever style you choose and whichever materials you use, ensure you take the time to position and secure everything precisely.  A simple and rustically wrapped gift, using a combination of newspaper, wrapping paper, brown paper and natural or coloured raffia can look a million dollars, given the appropriate styling, time and attention.

 

raffia napkin

Finally a great trick for keeping your raffia tidy, is to store loose strands in a carrier bag and pull the required amount out of the bag.  It will save you vacuuming the floor!

Enjoy x

Image by Marie Claire 

Ingrid HenningsonImage Courtesy of Ingrid Henningson

 

 

Categories: Inspiration, Tips + Techniques, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Creative Ideas using Wax Seals

My pop up shop has recently opened in London, and I am excited to be placing a real focus on the beauty and versatility of stationery, so I thought I’d share my favourite creative ideas using wax seals.

 

Jane Means Sho W9 2PH

At the new shop we will enjoy the added expertise of the skillful calligrapher, Judy Broad dropping in to demonstrate her prowess with a manuscript pen and to inspire us all to add the art of calligraphy to our skill set.

Judy Broad

 

Calligraphy by Judy Broad

wax seal ideasRibbon by Jane Means
Wax Seals by Manuscript
Gift Wrap by Rossi

What better adornment to a traditionally inked letter, a calligraphy-decorated wrapping paper or feather (quill) embellished gift than the precise placement of a wax seal.  Such an age-old, traditional and yet unusual and practical, present day decoration; it can make a bold statement, make a simple gift box stand out and can add an air of authentic mystery to whatever you choose to seal.

Wax Seal and Lavender

Image courtesy of Melanie Ward
Wax Seal by Manuscript

Wrapping a gift with an antique map or sheet music and securing the paper or accompanying ribbon with a wax seal transports the imagination to romantic times of centuries past, as does forming a scroll with a letter of love or thanks and sealing it with a wax stamp.

 

Wax seals can be safely added to envelopes and to the folded tops of paper bags.  They can bring elegance to the most basic of brown wrapping paper and, as the seal may only be broken by the intended recipient, it is a much more private and personal statement than the very practical but not so romantic double sided sticky tape. I also love this idea sealing cakes

Sprinkle Bakes

 

Image courtesy of Sprinkle Bakes

When wax seals are combined with calligraphic script and feathers that evoke quills from times gone by, they add instant drama to your gift.  A shade of dark, blood red offers the most traditional appearance but the colour scheme is entirely in your hands.  Special sealing wax can be purchased but seals can also be created in a rainbow of colours by simply melting wax crayons or candles onto your intended surface and then pressing a seal into the soft wax as it cools.  Gold and silver candles are particularly wonderful to use for Christmas gift sealing. I also found this great idea on Pinterest for Festive Cones filled with spruce decorated with a wax seal

wax seal cones

 

Image courtesy of Pinterest

An infinite and wonderful range of stamps are available to buy but if you are feeling creative and you are comfortable using small power tools, you can carve your own designs from small blocks of wood.  (children’s wooden building block shapes are ideal)  Ensure the finished carving is dipped in cooking oil and wiped clean regularly to prevent wax from sticking to the stamper and distorting your seal.

 

As with many such projects, creativity is limited only by our imagination.  So have fun and experiment with initials, simple shapes and graphic symbols or, if you are feeling adventurous, design a personalised family crest.

 

If you aren’t quite confident enough to melt a wax seal onto your beautifully wrapped gift box, wax seals can also be placed directly onto gift tags for added decoration.

 

wax sealRibbon and Tag by Jane Means
Giftware by Paperchase

A simple gift, such as a beautifully scented soap, will be fit for a five star spar when it is wrapped in baking paper, wrapped with raffia and sealed with wax.

 

Having your reception or celebration at a period country house?  Small party favour gifts will look appropriately charming and distinctive, wrapped in brown or parchment paper, tied with grosgrain ribbon and stamped with a personalised wax seal.

 

Sophia Victoria Joy

 

Image by Sophia Victoria Joy

A plain or parchment paper lampshade can be transformed by the addition of some permanent calligraphic script and a perfectly positioned seal or two.  Distinctive napkin rings can be made with wax sealed, colourful card and you may also use a wax seal to secure a floral decoration or jewel of an embellishment to your gift.

 

wedding bee

 

Image courtesy of Wedding Bee

It is also possible to make ‘peel off’ wax seals if you create them on a silicon mat or plate.  You will be left with seals you can conveniently stick to anything.  Loosely wrapping the neck of a bottle with a single, crossed ribbon and gluing on a personalized wax seal makes a lovely wedding gift of champagne or wine.

wax seal gift wrapping

We’d love to hear about your own creative ideas…and don’t forget that our London Shop is open 7 days a week at Clifton Nurseries (just head for the bright pink door which is opposite a pokestop)

Jane Means London Shop

Jane Means at Clifton Nurseries, 5A Clifton Villas, London W9 2PH

Happy Sealing Folks x

Categories: Inspiration, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jane Means launches a London stationery shop

Being so appreciative of the positive feedback and many requests for the return of my successful venture into ‘the pop up shop’ world of two years ago, I welcomed the opportunity to, once again, and I’ve some exciting news….Jane Means has opened a London pop up stationery shop within the elegant and established garden walls of Clifton Nurseries.

Jane Means new shop at Clifton Nurseries

In the run up to the opening,  pretty new products arrived at my studio, stylish display ideas developed in my head, and we dressed it exactly as I wished people to experience it…

Jane Means shop

This is my bright and bold, creative arcadia of colour.

 

Jane Means London Shop

It is sometimes hard to believe that what was once my very enjoyable and creative, kitchen table based hobby, is now my international, commercial success.  I am fortunate that so many others also appreciate beautifully wrapped gifts and that the screen-based world we live in still has room for the timeless elegance of hand-scripted wrapping paper and calligraphic gift tags.

stripe ribbon

 

Ribbon and tag by Jane Means
Calligraphy by Judy Broad

I am happy that many people share my love of patterned papers and of ribbons of variety and quality and that there is a constant quest by so many to find further creative ways to embellish, not only presents, but also homes, hotels, shops and restaurants.

We use touch screens for convenience but there is something beautiful about a brightly coloured quill, liquid ink on lovely paper and a warm, wax seal pressing a ribbon against a folded letter or ribbon-tied gift box.

Wax Seal and Lavender

Image courtesy of Melanie Ward
Wax Seals by Manuscript

My pop up shop will be full of stationery, gift wrapping and calligraphy ideas and I plan to present my products in creative and innovative ways to inspire visitors to try new wrapping techniques, to display pictures differently, to use ribbons in original and pretty ways and to consider traditional methods of writing styles that can be overlooked in present times.

The highly skilled Judy Broad will be hosting calligraphy events in my pop up shop, providing demonstrations and instruction on how to achieve pristine and poetic penmanship that can bring a distinctive and personal touch to such items as gift tags, journals, invitations, letters and handmade wrapping paper.

gift wrapping embellishments

 

Ribbons by Jane Means

I will be demonstrating creative gift-wrapping techniques to wow your friends and family and offering embellishment tips, as well as showing how a range of beautiful bows can be effectively and efficiently tied.

I am so excited about the intensely coloured and highly patterned wrapping papers and beautiful, intricately dye cut greetings cards, among other delights, that I have sourced specifically for my pop up store and more items are arriving constantly.

Jane Means London Shop

‘Excited’ is the best word to describe the prospect of my shop’s opening day but I am also a little nervous.  I wish it to be perfect in every way and for everyone to be able to find something they love.

The shop will be open 7 days a week and you can also enjoy a delicious lunch or afternoon tea at the scrumptious Quince Tree Cafe on Site as well as wander through the idyllic gardens of Clifton.

Voted the ‘Most Charming Restaurant with a Garden’ by Vogue, the bustling cafe is set in a conservatory surrounded by flowers with a mouthwatering menu and delightful staff.

Quince tree Cafe

Our new shop Monday 12th September opened infront of the press with my dear friend Sophie Conran cutting the ribbon.

Jane Means Shop launch

We look forward to seeing you and don’t forget to share your photos and thoughts on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram Page

Jane x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Gift Wrapping Event, Haberdashery Closet, Luxury Wrap & Stationery, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Steampunk Style Gift Wrapping Inspiration

I’ve always loved Vintage, Adam Ant and his slightly way out style, pre loved heirlooms and decided this blog post would be dedicated to Steampunk Style Gift Wrapping Inspiration

Steampunk is a term originating from science fiction novels and is a style that has exploded quietly over the last decade or so, to become one of the biggest, creative trends that many people have never heard of.  Having its own polite, tea sipping philosophy of looking ‘splendid’ and of giving oneself a suitable Steampunk name (such as ‘Lady Jane Crinoline’), Steampunk has gatherings and events all over the world, with our the historic city of Lincoln playing host to the largest Steampunk festival in Europe each August.

MA StitchedWithLove2

 

Image courtesy of Sara Sund Berlin

Steampunk is a combination of Victorian elegance and futuristic fantasy, a mix of old and new, set in a world without electricity, where clockwork and steam power have inspired revolutionary invention and where imagination and individuality are to be admired and celebrated.

steampunk style gift wrapping

Image from Giftwrapped by Jane Means

Accessories know no limits.  There are a few iconic symbols of Steampunk that will immediately make your theme recognisable.  Goggles, cogs and gears, watch faces, keys and locks, wire springs, compass faces.  Vintage bronze keys, cogs and embellishments can be purchased very cheaply online and found at flea markets.  Any colours are appropriate for Steampunk but brass and copper, along with black and brown are classic Steampunk colours.  Lacing and buttons, as well as buckles and opulent fabrics reflect Victorian garment detailing with corsetry and crinolines in mind.

A Journey Into Yesterday1

Image courtesy of Sara Sund Berlin

Subtle Steampunk.  Try selecting, either, my Calligraphy Clock tissue paper, Pewter Garden tissue paper or Victorian Posy tissue paper and a coordinating cross grain ribbon or a length of wide, black lace, together with my old-fashioned luggage or eyelet tags.  Tie your multi-layer, tissue-wrapped gift with ribbon/lace and embellishments, adding your handwritten label.  Recycle vintage keys, jewelry charms or tie in old necklace chains with a pendant or pocket watch.

steampunk gift wrapping

The perfect Steampunk enthusiast’s gift could be a beautiful teacup and saucer.  Select a box of appropriate size and line generously with tissue paper.  Try wrapping the box with brown parcel paper and adding black handwritten ‘tea related’ script to the package.  My brown stitched ribbon is perfect to tie in a teaspoon to the bow and add an old-fashioned luggage label with such a greeting as… Keep being Splendid! You could really push the boat out and go for an opulent velvet ribbon with lace and feathers.

VollePulleFun

Image courtesy of Sara Sund Berlin 

Or, what about giving a Steampunk novel (such as Frankenstein or The Difference Engine), wrapped in brown parcel paper, bound with luxurious fabric and/or lace and secured with a recycled metal buckled belt that has been cut down to size.  May I suggest a homemade, cogs and key embellished, top hat bookmark, carefully slotted into the belt.

Military Steampunk style is also a vital component of any Steampunk gathering.

Gold braid and red ribbon (see my red grosgrain ribbon) used over plain black paper or fabric, with added gold buttons, medals, compass faces or, whatever else you can track down at flea markets and in charity shops, will evoke the look of a Steampunk uniform.

 

steampunkcorportion

Image courtesy of Steampunk Corporation

Dressed for steampunk.  If you want to get really crafty and creative, use some taffeta or other lavish fabric and stitch on hooks and eyes to secure the luxurious wrapping.  Wrap generously with lace, embellished with vintage pendants, and tie in ribbons, brass chains  (small plumber’s chain is ideal) and add some leatherette strapping. I love this cuff that I found on Etsy decorated with cotton, scissors and lace.

Jonny Depp Mad Hatter

Image courtesy of Pinterest

Dressed for him.  Male Steampunk style takes many forms and lends itself beautifully to masculine gift-wrapping.  The Victorian gent, the sci-fi, gadget geek and the military type can all be complimented with pocket watches, goggles, buckles, vintage medals and metallic papers and by using bright satin handkerchiefs to tie into cravat style bows over plain paper or a more luxurious brocade fabric.  (Inexpensive tablecloths provide the perfect material).  As always, embellish as much or as little as you wish. Jonny Depp had a classic steampunk edge when he played the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland.

 

Printed words.  Using a computer to quickly create your own very personalised wrapping paper designs is a great way to impress the recipient of your gift.  Here I have used definitions of Steampunk and Steampunk values as inspiration.  Wrapped with lace for her or with a buckled belt for him and with added, themed embellishments, the look is complete.

 

Lacing.  Corsetry is a poignant feature of Steampunk styling and can be a very effective way of securing your gift-wrapping too.  A selection of buttons and a long shoelace instantly achieve the Victorian look.  Try combining a plain fabric with my Victorian Posy tissue paper and add embelishments to inject steampunk style.

 

Split brass paperclips can also be used to create button detailing or assist in adding lacing your gift.  Use them on double layered/folded paper for added strength or use them on fabric.

grey stitched ribbon

 

Narrow Grey Stitched Ribbon by Jane Means

Pleating.  This is the perfect style of wrapping (described in my book) to reflect dress detailing of the Victorian period and can be accompanied by a plethora of buttons, bows and buckles or can be kept elegantly simple with the addition of a single ribbon, embellished with a lock and key. I found these old scissors in Istanbul and accessorised a friends gift with them.

 

Anything can be Steampunked, from a person’s style, to a musical instrument or a hi-tech gadget and from a motorbike to a hat or a book cover.  When it comes to wrapping a gift in a Steampunk style, a little background knowledge and a creative imagination are all you need and I hope these ideas have inspired you.

Steampunk Festival Lincoln

 

Image Courtesy of Visit Lincoln

You could even visit the Largest Steampunk Festival in historic Lincoln from August 26-29th.  You can join in the fun in the Cathedral Quarter with plenty of events. More details at Visit Lincoln

Have fun!

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Animal Inspired Ribbon and Gift Wrapping Ideas

For many, the best ideas and inspiration comes from their beloved pets, so I’ve decided to dedicate a blog post to Animal inspired ribbon and gift wrapping ideas. Whether you have dogs, cats, horses or chickens we have some great ideas lined up.

cat and dog ribbons

I’ve always been surrounded by animals being a farmers daughter and designed a controversial pet ribbon collection back in 2012. Sadly it was copied by our British manufacturer and is still talked about

Ros shiers paper

Image courtesy of Ros Shiers

Even at a young age I gave my dog birthday presents, and locals thought we were barking mad when we had a doggy fancy dress birthday party for owners at their muts.

margo dog present

My late labrador Margo couldn’t resist being a Gift Wrapping assistant and loved course days where she would be wandering around the studio

Anyone who is crafty is always looking for new and creative ways to make their gifts, from the present itself all the way to the finishing touches of the wrapping paper and ribbons. When picking out the gift-wrap and choosing the design of the packaging, it’s always good to keep the recipient’s personality in mind. For example, if your father is a car enthusiast, you can personalise the present with a ‘car design’ wrapping paper and a wide black paper band to make it look like a road. It’s all about knowing your audience.

dog box copy

(image credit: mrprintables.com)

If the recipient is a child, a fun theme to incorporate into gift-wrapping is animal shapes. Rather than using paper with dogs and cats on them, incorporate your origami skills into the gift to mimic animal silhouettes. Children love presents from the get go, but taking the time to add something special on the outside of the gifts will give them more joy than a toy that’s simply been placed in a gift bag. You can find DIY animal wrapping ideas on Pinterest and various blogs, though if you’re looking for a tutorial easy enough to get your kids involved in wrapping a friend’s birthday present, Mr. Printables makes use of white paper so that toddlers can paint the paper according to the animals they prefer.
(image credit: linesacross.com)

cat dog box copy

Another great animal box design you can experiment with is a gift box that locks the paper in with ears as tabs. As shown on Line Across, this gift-wrap is reusable and just as fun to put together as the previous wrapping idea.

 

jane means for scotchtape

 

Image courtesy of Scotchtape

Despite these DIY wrapping ideas seeming like they only work for kids, they can actually be applied to anyone who loves animals, or that is generally young at heart. With so many adults fascinated with brands like Hello Kitty and playing games with cute and cuddly themes, lots of people will appreciate a person putting in the effort to make the gift’s presentation as adorable as the example shown above.

We also love these gifts for our beloved pets…

BHS wreath

Dog Bones Wreath by BHS

 

cat present

 

Image courtesy of Pinterest

petprint

I just love these Pet Portraits that I found on Not On The High Street

Image courtesy of Barley and Bayley

junk jewels

 

How about these vibrant watches for cat lovers?

Image Courtesy of Junk Jewels

chicken egg company

 

And how about these cute little egg covers, perfect for an Easter party or pastel decor?

Image courtesy of notonthehighstreet

rchie

 

On a final note I’m enjoying a few days hidden away in Cornwall designing my new collections and have been enjoying the company of a friends beloved Parsons Terrier called Archie…

 

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