Christmas is definitely in the air! Little by little I am getting ready for the holiday season. I used to get everything decorated and finished up all at once, but I am kind of liking doing things gradually as time permits. Each day it seems a little more festive that way as we approach the big day. That way too is a lot less pressure and mess.
Yesterday I spent the morning wrapping and packaging the calendar pieces to send to the magazine for publication. Keith also had a project heading out – a cool art deco type mantle clock that he designed. We needed to fit everything in the box in a way so that if (I mean WHEN) it was thrown around and jostled that the heavier clock would not crush the delicate calendar pieces. As always, I was up for the packaging challenge.
My editor Robert always expressed how much he admired my ability to package things. His favorite phrase was “you could throw the box off of the Empire State Building and it would be OK.” I took that as a compliment, as most of us know, packaging things so that they survive the various couriers and postal services is an art within itself.
Last year I wrote an article on packaging. It was published in the magazine and since then, I have posted a copy of it on my website. You can click on the link below to read it, if you want:
I hope you find it helpful.
For the box at hand, I thought the best way to approach the issue was the “box within a box” philosophy. A month or so ago, our local grocery/gift store had a large box of smaller boxes that they were giving out. They were “free for the taking” and I was surprised that Keith alerted me to them. He usually mocks my box fetish and teases me because I tend to ‘collect’ boxes – just in case I need them.
These were particular nice though. They were apparently glove boxes, and were all black and had a separate lid that lifted off. I saw them as being perfect for shipping smaller pieces within a larger box. We had picked up about fifteen of them and I used three to package the pieces for the five months of the calendar that needed to be shipped. I was really happy that I had them, as I think that there is a good chance that everything will get there in good shape – despite the postal services.
We spent the afternoon doing our regular errands, and by the time I returned home, I had several emails and stuff that I had to tend to. By the time I finished with that, it was late afternoon.
I had wanted to make some Candy cane cookies for about a week now. I don’t know why, but I have had a taste for them. I even got the candy canes to crush to put in them. I am not particularly partial to peppermint, but once in a while I like it. So I decided I needed a break from the computer and made the cookies.
I used to make many types of cookies every holiday season, and it brought back memories of when the kids were young and they used to help me. Now, without the kids to help eat them, I didn’t need much to be ‘enough’. I wound up making a batch and storing half the dough to make another time. It was kind of fun to do though.
Maybe I wanted to make these because you got to play with the dough. You roll it out in a snake:
Then twist it to make the candy cane shape:
And there you have it!
They aren’t what I call “beautiful” but they are good enough and rather fun looking.
Oh, and in our travels I saw these cute little ginger cookies that I bought:
They actually taste really, really good and I like them better than the ones I made. The best part about them is they came in this cool little box:
Keith said that from my point of view, the box came with the cookies inside. Perhaps he is right! :D
Today I need to prepare several packages for mailing. It is getting down to the wire as far as shipping and I need to really get some stuff out. My car is my ‘wrapping center on wheels’ as I have kept the boxes of wrap and stuff in there until I really need to bring them inside. It is a good thing that I haven’t driven it much. It is packed to the gills with boxes of wrap!
I hope you are all getting all your traveling gifts wrapped up and sent out too. I hope you have a chance to read the article on shipping, as it may help you avoid some disasters regarding your work.
Have a great day and remember to take time to enjoy the season.
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"