I Love Tea Packaging & Brand Design

Tea is one of those amazing things that I can imagine will always be around as long as humans are. The trend never dies with tea, it only seems to grow as it slowly infects more generations. My daughter, 5, loves tea. She loves “plain ole green tea” and lightly sweetened dessert teas. My kids beg me most to have tea parties when we plan special “mom days” while dad is going to be away. Tea parties for us mean a big pot of tea, cream, sugar, a dessert and a tea sandwich. They love it more than Chuck E. Cheese! What is it about tea that’s so magically comforting and whimsically soothing?

One thing I’ll admit is I also love tea packaging. Someone has decided that many tea packages will appeal specifically to me as a person. To the point where I buy tea tins even when I have no idea what the tea will taste like.. and when I buy my staple teas or loose leaf teas I put them in prettier tins. I could ooh and ahh at tea tins all day so I decided we should do it together. Tea packaging inspires me and often finds it’s way into my brand inspiration boards (we spoke about before). Does it inspire you?

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So Little Time, So Many Things to Create

David has been working in the studio a lot lately.. he has a couple shows coming up and some other art events. So I’ve been working up in my half on making a complete mess. As I said in the last video, I’m doing wedding decor so the studio is not video-ready. It looks instead like someone took a big, pastel puke in the middle of my floor. Really though with all of the glitter, ribbons, pompoms and flowers… it was only a matter of time. I’m making just about everything in the wedding and although it will be pretty minimal, the items I make will be pop surrealism crafty cute~ pastel rainbow = my favorite thing forever.

pastel rainbow wedding

I’ll also be using a lot of these pastel kawaii materials (I got bulk goodies because I found so many great deals on things I LOVE) to make some goodies for the shop but that will probably come around after the wedding is over, maybe not but probably! The shop will be getting a revamp next year due to our new tshirt printer and products getting finalized~

On that notion I also started doing some sketches again in spare time that wasn’t spent crafting. I had painted an entire painting of an alien scene when David left a canvas he didn’t need on my craft table.. and the only thing I liked about it was the HANDS. How often do illustrators feel that way? I’m not sure.. but it’s not common for me. So I wondered why I don’t sketch anymore and how much more fulfilling it would be if I sketched a bunch of my ideas out prior to sketching on a canvas. Like I used to do. So I’ve been doing little sketches of my moods displayed on a cartoon-y girl. I also pulled one into illustrator after David asked why I’m not doing them in Illustrator. Something about the actual sketching (besides the mobility of it) is providing some sort of therapy for me in my late-night busy brain, tired body situations. If I like any enough in the future I might make some prints of them, not sure yet!

night sketching

thinking girl sketch

whatever sanrio pop kawaii bow

deer fawn girl sketch

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And I’ve been doing dolly crocheting again while waiting for things like appointments or meetings to start..

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What have you been working on?

Snail Mail Me to the Wall, Penpals

Few things make me happier than receiving a handwritten letter. I love snail mail. A lot. I love penpals, I love envelopes, I love bubble packs, I love zines (as you know). Throughout my life I’ve had tons of snail mail friends, both friends I only knew by conversing via letters and friends who live far enough away that to give them gifts requires a trip to the post office. My very first penpal (besides school friends that moved away) was a girl I wrote as a kid from Finland. I got her as a penpal through this snail mail elementary school project and we SO loved swapping photos and decorated letters. After awhile I had so many penpals I was sending gifts to that it was becoming quite an expensive hobby plus I was so busy in college that I backed off quite a bit.

I miss them — the decos, FBs and lovely decorated letters and packages. I’ve got a few long-distance friends that I need to write back and I’m inspired to find a few more to write soon. If you’re interested just let me know and I’ll try to fit you in~ also let me know if you’re interested in receiving a package of decos to send on!

P.S. Remember the old Penpal Cafe we have for finding penpals? I find one of my favorite ways to find new penpals is just asking long-distance friends if they’d like to swap letters and mail art. Have fun!

Mail Books/Zines

HappymaildayzinebyJennaTempleton(c)2014Happy Mail Day
by Jenna Templeton

51lge1f4UKLSnail Mail: Rediscovering the Art and Craft of Handmade Correspondence
by Michelle Mackintosh

Mail Art

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by Nasya Kopteva

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by Omiyage Blogs

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by Boheme Circus

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by Super Kitina

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Snail Mail: Tip Mini Series #2 by Nadia van der Mescht

I love ZINES: How to Make, Browse and Buy Zines

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Zines are small-circulation, usually self-published, publications that come in many shapes and sizes. And I love them. All shapes and sizes of them.

I wrote this article long ago but I looked it up just today and it had NOTHING of substance so I’m rewriting it. You see, when I started Miseducated as a blog it was my version of a zine because I had ignored the blog movement for so long. I kept my site solely an artistic and nonsensical web site, self-made with hand-coded CSS and HTML. After I started having odd dreams about starting a zine shop (like some hippie record store with lots of incense, shag rugs and pouffes to sit on around tons of zines to read/buy) with my wares on display, I decided this was my brain asking sub-contiously to be involved online again. To be involved in making instead digital zine-like articles with collage art via blogging. So a lot of our OLD beginning articles are like that… a page out of a zine just pasted on here with a few words. This article was one of those. I was a woman of few words and a ton of time to create personal and purposeless art back then. I did little more at home than sit around in my psychedelic robe drinking tea and smoking while playing my ye-ye collection and collaging nonsense together for this blog. I had no kids and no motivation to do much else. My job made me feel like a monkey so I did whatever I appreciated at home. My home was a 2-story 60s lounge pad and when I didn’t have a few friends over I was entranced by my world of pop culture archaeology carefully collected from others like me as well as thrift stores. I am not that girl anymore but boy, sometimes I do miss her. I’d certainly like to ask her advice on a few things I’ve been planning and making. She was too sad and too lonely though. Too much of a downer to relate to anymore.

So, in case you don’t know, I have a major soft spot for zines and a big collection of them organized in my studio (they almost got ruined with our last big rain because I had them out by the open window!). I have such an array of them that I’m going to start showing some of them via you tube videos so you can view/read out-of-print zines along with me. I even have zines from Japan because I collected them while I lived there.

Generally zines that arrive in my mailbox are copied onto white or colored paper using the cut and paste method. This is similar to scrap-booking, each page is created using printed/written text and graphics or photos and then copied and reproduced using a copy machine (it’s a plus to work somewhere with a xerox). Although today many zines just use a few sheets of printer paper and are cut and stapled in home offices. There are some (fancy) zines who use color printing and there even are a few creators who still hand write and illustrate each and every zine. <3 In fact I even made a PDF of an old zine I used to print because the color printing became too expensive to charge for the zine and in my opinion selling ads for zines is a big no-no. Nothing can bias a special, unique, self-made zine quicker than ads for companies who are simply paying you to be included.

Drool-Worthy Zines

Create Your Own

Want to create your own mini-zine? There are a few patterns to try out floating around online. You can make your first one easy on yourself (sometimes the paper layouts when putting together advanced zines can be mind-blowingly confusing at first as I found when I used to print Tulip). If you need some help or inspiration (or contributions) for your zine LET ME KNOW. I’m a strong believer in supporting small-press.

8 Page Zine

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Learn to make a zine by printing out this template onto 8.5 x 11 paper and making it into a DIY zine thanks to Dogooder Comics~

24 Page Zine

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Featured Zine-Friendly Links

LA Zine Fest
We Make Zines – a rad zine community
24 Hour Zine Thing
Zine World
Light Gasp – San Francisco zine/underground press distro
Cafe Royal – UK zine/underground press distro
Microcosm Publishing – independent publisher
Stolen Sharpie Revolution
Zine Wiki

Indiana Summer With The World’s Sweetheart

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It’s officially summer here in INDIEana. The air is hot, heavy and humid — it feels like wrapping a wool blanket around your body while being locked in a hot tanning bed and trying to relax. I don’t care though, I missed the hot sunshine, the animals, the flowers and I even missed the baseball games where the kids are so excited to go but the only person really enjoying it to the fullest is Colette. She amuses herself so much that she amuses others.

Colette is like myself as a little girl only unbroken. She is filled with a lot of imagination, creativity and love to share. She had a bubble wand and walked up to every teenage picnic and family relaxing on blankets watching the game to offer her bubbles. She would make small talk about her princess face painting (just like Elsa!) and then proceed to invite them to watch her spectacular bubble wand do it’s magic. Everyone laughed and smiled. No one was too cool to say no. I know she will be famous one day if not just for her kind, inspiring and compassionate spirit. She can make a crowd smile like nothing else. (A few months ago when we went to the African American Art and Soul Festival she danced the dances they were doing on stage and the camera man stopped shooting the show to shoot her!)

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primrose flowers

Primroses have long been considered ‘fairy flowers’ in Ireland where they were believed to grant fairies the power of invisibility. Hanging a spray of primroses on your door is an invitation to the fae to enter your home and to draw fairy blessings. Plant primroses in your garden to attract fairies to it. In Indianapolis (aka OZ) the primroses go mad~ some yards and fields are solely primroses! They spread like mushrooms here and are so lovely and dainty.

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XOXO, sunshine and bubbles!