Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Make Any Present Special For FREE & Trending Thoughts

How to Make Your Gift Packaging Pretty For Free

This is a really easy lesson. 

Here's our new free printable label.

Ralph Waldo Emerson quote + romantic images and vintage bird= pretty. Easy.

Add some twine and any little embellishments you have around like I did. Easy + Pretty + Reuse + Free = memorable packaging.

This new free design fits a 8.5" w x 5.5" h label (usually come 2 to a sheet).  Just right click and save to your computer and print onto label, or copy and paste into file. Or you could even print out on paper and adhere to package with glue stick or double sided tape.  Enjoy, and thanks for being here.

Ahead of the Curve

I've been doing some research on current trends for the end of the year holiday push. I want to make it a stellar season for Bates Mercantile Co. and some of that involves offering what's hot and what's on the rise for the coming year. 

Here's some trend points that keep popping up along the way, that are worthy of noting:

*focus remains on handmade- go etsy!
*not longing for yesterday's propserity, but rather acceptance of living with   what you have
*return to simpler things and times

*gemtones, both bright and muted versions of those gem colors
*neon- think updated 80s
*romance never dies, it is always popular because of the feeling it imparts
*gentleman's lounge

*highly patterned prints, wallpapers, textures
*geometrics including assymetrical shapes and block coloring that fits together

Love this, mix and match wallpaper from new designer Kirath Ghundoo that was a huge hit at the recent London Design Show. I think it picks up on several trends all at once.

What I've noticed:

*a retro revival- 60s,70s,80s going arm in arm with simpler times.  For example: cassettes tapes (just heard yesterday on national news program that cassettes themselves are making a comeback. They never went away in our house).

*gradients, hombre/ombre coloring transistions

*tribal, native american patterns

Have you noticed any new trends for the rest of the year or seen hints of future trends? Are you reworking any product lines or creating new ones to address trends? I am. More to come on that in future posts.

Soup Night

It was a miserable day yesterday. Rain galore. Rain galoshes. Whatever way you look at it, downright wet.  G-man worked out in it all day. Figured it was a good night for soup. It turned out delicious and hit the spot.

Disclaimer: this is not a full recipe, rather a guideline.

Chicken Chipotle Cheddar Soup- or Three Cs

2 rotisserie chicken breasts (you could use one small rotisserie chicken, I just used what I had)
5 cups of water

Simmer the chicken for 1/2 hour or longer. Remove chicken from water and remove meat from bones.  Put meat back into water. 

1 diced onion
1 cup milk (I used 2%)
4 chopped chipotles (canned)
4 diced scallions/green onions
1/2 cup of shredded carrots
vegetable broth........I used a paste that I had in pantry
brown rice, 1/2 cup to 1 cup
s & p to taste

Simmer for 45 minutes on low. If you'd like it thicker you could ad a little corn starch. I thought the rice starch made it perfect.

At end, add:
one cup of cheddar

It was easy and very tasty.

Have a great Wednesday. The sun is finally trying to show it's face. A little brisk, but I'll take it.

Ciao for now


  1. Your wrapping is so beautiful. I've been doing a vintage parcel look for my gifts that is out of this world. I go all out with vintage postal stamps and make it look real old world. I love a uniquely wrapped gift!

  2. oooo, even the postage stamps. very cool. would love to see the next package!


You comments make my day. Thanks for taking the time to visit Mercantile Muse and for commenting. I really appreciate it. ~Pam

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...