Tag Archives: branding

2011 Roundup: Starting a handmade life

29 Dec

As the year 2011 comes to a close, I can’t help but think about lessons learnt, especially after switching my life’s career into the beautiful terrain of crafts.

I learned so much from spending hours researching, learning, and applying techniques to make everything from jewelry to a number of other crafts. I can spend hours writing a media plan, or putting together a PR campaign to launch an international brand in the region, but spending the same amount of hours holding a pair of pliers and making jewelry isn’t quite the same.

My crafts and handmade jewelry journey, which transformed my life inside-out, taught me:

Patience

When you make a mistake with the PR plan, you can simply adjust, re-think, delete, and copy-and-paste. But it’s a completely different story when you are twisting wire the wrong way, beads getting scattered all over the place, or pliers refusing to cooperate with you. Going handmade teaches you patience…. a lot of it.

Handmade Integrity

When I started making jewelry, I wanted to please other people’s taste (which is quite tacky – I’m sorry to say! – especially around here!). But now I make pieces I would personally wear, regardless of what the predominating taste is… and I do not use plastic in my jewelry, although around here plastic reigns supreme!

Skeptical Trust

Trust is a good thing, but one should give it away with people who are worthy of it. Yes, I thought craft world was a beautiful, honest, shimmering world of honesty and “greatness.” Until I met a woman who made me realize otherwise. I learned that opportunists are everywhere. And this world of crafts is no exception. But this doesn’t mean one shouldn’t go on… all kinds of experiences are there to teach us something and to make us stronger.

Happy 2012!

Packaging & Paper DIY: Make your own handmade paper envelope

15 Dec

I almost titled this post, “the psychology of crafting.” I wanted to call it this way because I made the envelopes {above} following a tutorial I read on Poppytalk, a fabulous blog that I keep coming back to over & over, & over again.

Poppytalk’s tutorial, posted by Ruth Bleakley, a bookbinder and an Etsy seller, made it feel so easy to make. I’ve read so many paper-crafting tutorials, but non of them made me  jump from my place with enthusiasm the way this one did.

Image via Poppytalk

My DIY: Tiny Envelops for my Handmade Earrings

Poppytalk’s tutorial literally made me run over to make a replica of my favorite envelope. I soaked it in water, but the glue was really sticking to it and I almost ripped it apart. So, what I did is I re-imagined the template Poppytalk posted, got myself a rectangle chalk box, traced it, added margins for the flaps, cut a cardboard template, and then I had myself the nicest, coolest, cutest envelopes in the world!

This (left) is the template at Poppytalk.

And this (below) is what I whipped up using a chalk box to trace around (you can also use a crayon box or any object that has a  rectangular shape).

I used my craft scissors to add a bit of a lace-y feel to my envelopes. I cut the little wavy shapes outside the template lines that I traced unto the paper I used – to be on the safe side.

And I ended up with these two cute handmade envelopes. I am using them for carrying handmade earrings, as well as my new tag/gift-card illustrations… here is a glimpse.

Happy envelope-making!

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Handmade jewelry display 101: Karboojeh’s journey in the world of craft shows

5 Dec

To see mini tutorial for making this chalkboard sign go to: "Chalkboard DIY: Display sign from an artists palette" - on karboojeh.tumblr.com

I am grateful! Yesterday (Dec 4, 2011) was a special day. I took part in my first-ever bazaar experience. The display design I made was totally DIY, and a lot of recycling, up-cycling, and improvising went in there.

Start-up logo among the grands!

Karboojeh as Sponsor: Karboojeh was a sponsor among well known brands – at the Italian Charity event… with brands like Benetton, DHL, Lavazza, Ferrero Rocher, Nutella, Paris Hilton, Hyundai, The Four Seasons Hotel, and other Italian & international trademarks… which is quite funny. Seeing Karboojeh’s logo in the middle of it all made me smile.

It is the day. Karboojeh Handmade Jewelry made its first-ever bazaar appearance on a completely DIY-ed table set – that I created using different materials, like cardboard, burlap, a hot-glued rope basket and handmade chicken-wire baskets. I also made two chalkboard announcement boards using recycled materials (one of them was actually a cardboard cake plate that came from a patisserie store; I used chalkboard spray paint and rope to create a rustic look – after prepping with primer & sanding the clean surface).

The look I was going for was a mix of rustic, French romance & shabby chic, interrupted by a sharp contrast of eye-grabbing fun colors. I didn’t want a too serious French romance look, so I used small touches of lace and whites just for fun. Burlap and earth hues took the backdrop of the display work, while colorful packaging and jewelry rested on two burlap-covered cardboard planks, cork, and similar-colored props.

Karboojeh: Recycle, DIY & create!

In the pictures above, some of the Karboojeh DIY things  you see are:

  • Chalkboard: This used to be a bamboo painter’s palette, which I spray-painted with chalkboard paint without priming it, since it looked it had a good amount of sealing varnish on it. See mini tutorial here.
  • Redecorated Samples Tree: This used to be a stainless steel mug holder for the kitchen, which I dressed up with white shimmery sequins, while not forgetting to add a handmade sign made out of feather trim, cardboard, rhinestones, and other embellishments.
  • Beaded Christmas ornaments: There is a post about those, here.
  • Beaded Napkin Rings: The fork & spoon… Aren’t they cute? … I sketched those on cardboard and cut them to size to display the handmade napkin rings.
  • Handmade Heart Magnets: I hand-stitched those using linen and stuffing, then hot-glued a piece of magnet to the back.

Technically this is my first-ever craft show, since the British School Bazaar, mentioned in a previous post, is in a different country, where only jewelry items are participating, inshAllah.

Piece of advice?

Quit your day job and start learning crochet, or invest in the talent you already have (which means also investing time, money and effort in developing it). Craft shows are the best kind of work you will ever have. I had a career in media and a parallel one in music, and one was more hectic than the other. I found complete sweetness in indulging in craft-time, and creating things with love!

Packaging 101: Handmade jewelry getting ready for a British school bazaar

1 Nov

These guys are going on a trip to a school bazaar in the region.

And I’m so excited for them…

These are all Karboojeh Handmade Jewelry creations, and tags.

After much research & brainstorming, and many many trials, I came up with these ideas to brand my handmade jewelry. Economical, personalized & relatively quick to whip up.

I didn’t want the look to sound too “finished,” I wanted something handmade-ish, and reflective of the fact all jewelry items are handcrafted.

I didn’t use my official logo for this bazaar on tags… to “un-complicate” things. I just used straightforward business-card-like tags with the URL of this blog and my email address on them.

And this is the outcome. I’m happy!

I will post more details about the bazaar, and the lovely lady (my aunt) who came up with the idea of selling there, as soon as it starts – inshAllah.

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