Friday, 29 November 2013

All wrapped up

 ... and nowhere to go. I wanted to share my German Christmas Treats with you, filled with spices like cinnamon and dried fruit. (Yes, I am putting on MORE weight) These only get baked around Christmas time, so that they retain a very unique Christmassy flavour.
I wrapped them for you! Could be pretty, wrapped up, on a Christmas table!


Some technical hints: 

1 light source with a small piece of polystyrene on the opposite side to reflect light into the darker areas.
Aperture was around f4, for a small area in focus, but not too small. I had to be careful where I placed the focus! Getting the crumbly texture of the stollen loaf was difficult.
Lens 50mm 

(I did use a professional light for these shots, so that the light would only fall in specific areas and the surroundings remained dark, although the same effect could be achieved by photographing at a single window and closing all other curtains and doors.)

Any questions? Comments? Which do you think is the best shot?

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Gift Wrapped Ideas

In the mood to have some fun with your gift wrapping this Christmas? It's one way to stay creative. Here are my current favourite gift wrap ideas, that you could make VERY Christmassy!


1. Personalise - Minted is a printing company in the US, which has wrapping designs, where you can personalise the print!!! Isn't that wonderful! In the example here, you'd make the recipe your own! Just think what lovely wrapping that would be for  a blank recipe book, or a box of homemade biscuits! Have a look at their site and see the Christmas gift wrap personalised with family photos or just family names. Lovely designs! 

Photo by Lisa Brings

2. Go traditional - wherever you are! This photo was sent to me by Lisa Brings. 

Living in South Africa, with hot summery Christmas's and without fir trees or snow, it makes sense to reinvent what traditional actually means to you. These African themed gifts, are wrapped in paper based on a type of African fabric called Schweschwe. For Christmas or not, I love the layers of decoration, with the beads and the quills! So pretty!

Photo by Karené

3. Brown Paper Transformed - I also love the trends of brown paper with monochrome stamps and simple bright ribbons or string! The brown paper makes a simple homey backdrop for all kinds of shiny pretty things that can be attached with bakers twine, string or ribbon, to decorate the gifts. No fancy bows - just wind it round and round and knot! Maybe I just love these because the connotations of old packages tied up with string bring back many exciting memories!

You know those pre-Christmas days when your kids don't know what to do,  I might just get mine to do potato prints or doodle  their own designs for gift wrap on brown paper.

(little empty room)

If you have some time and wanted to take it even a step  further, have a look at what this blogger, from little empty room, did with her brown paper. She stitched it! I asked Agnes from little empty room whether I could use one of her images to show you and she kindly agreed. Her blog is in German, but on the right side is a button which does a rough google translate for you. The images are worth paging through even if you didn't understand the text! She also has a post on potato printing on brown paper.

(Nashville Wraps)

4. Doodle - I love blackboards - now you can doodle on gift wrap! 

Striking and fun - add some stars and you're on your way. They explain it all here 

Photo by Lisa Brings
5. The Classic Gift Wrap and Ribbon - Lisa also sent me this photo. Isn't it just so Christmassy? I love the shiny red bows  and the shiny paper - they make a gift so much more festive! It really gets you into that spirit of giving.

Well, there you have plenty of ideas to keep you busy - To transform even your simplest little gifts into something special. You could adapt these ideas and make them your own. I can't decide what I want to do. I guess I'll just experiment, get the kids involved, have some fun and Keep Creating!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Food for thought

I'd love any comments on my wrapped creations! Have I got your minds and tastebuds ticking yet?

(All copyright of images belong to the photographer (in this case me). For use of any images please be polite enough to send a request. Images for commercial use must be purchased)

Monday, 11 November 2013

November Inspiration

The leaves on my little tree have all gone now. In their place hang tiny sparkly raindrops, like little twinkly decorations. It's nearing that magical Christmas time...

... so what can we create now? We can do so much with the theme of Christmas, but let's narrow it down a little bit. Something fun?... Prezzies? I love pretty prezzies.  I love the fact that the way you wrap a small insignificant something can change it into a really special GIFT. The wrapping makes a gift exciting - creates that feeling of anticipation before you open it! 
That's it!


Wrapped can stretch from gift wrap designs, to methods of gift wrap, to packaging, to images of being wrapped warmly in a blanket. Bows, ribbons, paper... it can be wrapped entirely or just have something tied around it.

So I challenge you to create something. A sketch, a design, a photo, a card, a gift. Whatever you feel drawn to do. 

Send your images to, so that I can post them and share them with others. 
And this time let's have a deadline: 1 December 2013. 
(That's the German first advent - it would be great if my Christmas shopping could be done by then too.) 

So there you have your inspiration for your next creation, because whatever you do just have to keep creating!

Friday, 8 November 2013

Yellow Designs

As I've mentioned before I recently completed a Surface Pattern Design Course, which gave me tons of inspiration to keep creating! It opened my mind to new ways of working and refreshed my creativity.

Make it in Design
Make it in Design has online courses, inspirational blogs, a design directory (where you can upload your own work for free and see the work of other designers) as well as a wonderful inspirational magazine called Moyo:
Moyo Magazine
On my course I became part of a closed community of up and coming designers and I've been sent a couple of yellow designs in response to my blog, which I thought I'd share with you. Have a look at their links if you'd like to see more of their work.

Petica Watson                                                                                          

Tasha Goddard:                                                                                                                                                                                          

Peta Collet                                                                                                   

and my own design!

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Last Yellow

This week, I went with my family on a little break to the Alsace wine region, France (near the border of Germany). I did not know what to expect, but as we approached the region, I found an onslaught of yellow that I had not been prepared for. It was so exciting! I had to stop and take photos everywhere. In the Cape wine regions that I know, the vines remain green, so this was totally unexpected. I must say, it felt as if the earth had prepared this spectacular display just for me and my blog. So I am now glowing, totally saturated with yellow and with these travel pics, I wrap up my yellow inspiration.

I'd love to read your comments and thoughts on the images and hope you'll join me again next week, for a new theme of inspiration.

Receiving Yellow 2

Yes! I received more yellow images! Thank you to Lisa Brings for these gorgeous pics!
Leave your comments below to let us know what you think...

(Remember all photographers and artists retain copyright for their images on this site, if you'd like to use any of the images below please send me a request and I'll forward your request to the appropriate person)

Receiving yellow

It's been very exciting to see how yellow has stood out for you this month.
I got this link about the psychology of colour from Michelle: A Colour Guide for Designers  -if you'd like to read more about how colour affects your viewers. It has a good summary for every colour in the spectrum. This is the yellow section (I hope yellow sparked your creative thoughts!) :

I also received these images with yellow inspiration. Do you have some creations you'd like to share? You can send them to:

Catherine Charnock

Les MacDonald

Les MacDonald