Happy Easter!

Happy Easter from our family to yours!

We're taking the weekend to overindulge in mini eggs and hot cross buns. Shipping (and all other business-like activities) will resume on Tuesday. See you back here next week!

In the meantime, go enter our giveaway!

Handmade Find - Happy Piece

How gorgeous are these bracelets & baskets from Happy Piece? The colours are so joyful - and I think you'll love the story behind the brand too.

Happy Piece works with women in Rwanda to design and create bright & beautiful accessories and housewares. Each piece is handcrafted from natural & sustainable materials and each purchase helps the women involved lift themselves out of poverty. You just have to love a product which not only looks beautiful, but feels beautiful too!

As for me, I can't decide whether I need a wall full of baskets or an armload of colourful bracelets. Maybe both?

Find your happy piece in the shop. Read more of the story behind the work here.  Connect with Happy Piece via Twitter or Facebook.

Spring Fling Giveaway

Well, hey, it's Spring! Okay, so it doesn't feel too much like it around here just yet, but any minute now we'll be surrounded by birdsong & pretty blooms. Heck, even just some greenery will do!

In the meantime, let's have a Spring Fling with pretty paper products. Sounds good, right?

Our favourite kind of giveaway is the surprise kind of giveaway. Opening your mailbox to find a package full of pretty crafty surprises makes for a guaranteed good mail day!

So, we're giving away a Spring Fling Surprise Pack - a special Omiyage gift set full of lovely things like washi tape and paper straws and cute stationery and ... Well, to be honest, we don't even know what's in it yet. We'll use your answer to the giveaway question to determine what kind of colours and patterns and things you're into. We do know that the contents of the surprise pack will be valued at $30 or more AND if you like Omiyage, you'll like it too!

Enough talk? Ready for your chance (or rather chances - there are 4!) to win?

Mandatory Entry:
1. Leave us a comment linking to your favourite Omiyage product and what you'd use it for or why you like it.

Kinda like this: "I love this Shocking Pink washi tape: http://www.omiyage.ca/product/shocking-pink-mt-washi-tape I'd use it to add a little neon fun to my daily planner!"

or maybe something like this: "This floral notebook is so pretty: http://www.omiyage.ca/product/coffret-du-couturier-scrap-notebook-flower. I'm loving black & white this spring!"

Optional - for additional entries - please leave a separate comment for each one you do!
2. Follow Omiyage on Facebook. 1 entry.
3. Tweet about this giveaway. Please link to your tweet. 1 entry.
4. Pin your favourite Omiyage product. Please link to your pin. 1 entry.

Giveaway closes April 3, 2012 at 12pm EST. Winner will be chosen at random and announced via Facebook / Twitter. Prize valued at approximately $30 CDN. 


Bunny Bunny

Bunny Ears - Country Living / Bunny Cookies - La tana del coniglio
Bunny Surprise Balls - Martha Stewart / Bunny Finger Puppets - The Purl Bee
Bunny Bags - Oh Happy Day / Bunny Macarons - raspberri cupcakes

Not sure that I believe in THE Easter Bunny, but I sure am enamoured with Easter bunnies! Oh, and this guy too!

Need more bunny? These napkin rings are perfect for subtle bunniness. Your Easter morning egg needs one of these. Or maybe bunny egg costumes are more your style? Either way, I'm sure we can all agree that this rabbit's a cutie!

For more bunnies - and other Easter goodness - hop on over to our Easter Pinterest board!

Eye Candy - Natsko Seki

Illustrator Natsko Seki's Four Season series has me homesick for the Japanese seasons - the frothy pink sakura trees of early Spring, steamy Summer night skies alive with fireworks, the bright red of Autumn woods, and cold Winter days snuggled under the kotatsu. Of course, it helps that Natsko's work is so very lovely!

You can find more of Natsko's illustration work over on her website.

Wrap It With A Washi Tape Rosette

Do you wrap with washi tape? Here's a gift I wrapped up over the weekend, using washi tape in place of ribbon and topped with an extra special washi tape rosette. Get the directions for making your own washi tape rosette here. Why extra special? Well, I made this one extra large and added two layers of pleated tape for extra oomph!

Happy wrapping!

Guest Post: Easter Gift Tag Printable

We're thrilled that Geri of The Languid Lion is visiting us today to share the sweetest DIY and Free Printable for Easter Tags. Hope you love this project as much as we do!

It seems that Spring might just be taking its time getting here, but these adorable tags will certainly getting you smiling!  It all started with the idea of creating some Easter tags featuring an bunny illustration by me and, of course, some washi tape... well, here they are.  Aren't they cute?  I had soooo much fun playing around with them and creating the template (yep, I'm a bit of a nerd), which is made especially for the large tags that Omiyage carries.  You can also get all of the washi tape & Baker's Twine shown in the tutorial there, too!

Ready?  Ok... here we go!

Large shipping tags (either white or cream)
• a printer
• PVA or craft glue (or glue gun)
scissors (and/or craft knife, not shown)
washi tape and clear tape
• Baker's Twine - I used the Fresh Colour Collection
• cotton balls 

Print out the first page of the template & line up your tags within the outlines given.  

TOP TIP: **It's always a good idea to try printing Page 2 onto the outline page WITHOUT the tags while you make sure how to load your printer; plain paper is a LOT cheaper than wasting tags!

I tried two techniques to print these tags; using clear tape or washi tape to secure the tags to the template & print them out.  

When using the clear tape, the benefit is that you simply run two strips of tape across all of the tags and you're done; the downside is that printer heated up the glue of the tape and tore the tags slightly when I removed them from the template, which is easily covered by the washi tape later.

When using the washi tape, the benefit is that you only have to tape once; the downside is that you have to figure out your decoration placement first and tape each tag individually.

I used both techniques and found them to be about equally pleasing!  Print Page 2 of the template onto the tags, being sure to figure out to place the tags in the appropriate tray & alignment of your printer (for example, mine is face up, bottom first).

As a cute little addition, I added a cotton ball tail to the bunny. Editor's note - you could also use a small pom pom as a tail!

I also made a little bow with some Baker's Twine for the bunny's neck, attaching it with the same glue as the tail and finished off the tag by threading some more Baker's Twine through the tag hole (the craft knife or a hole punch works great)!

Download your free Easter Tags & happy handmaking!

Geri Jewitt is a designer gone rogue from Corporate who now owns The Languid Lion, creating handmade & eco-friendly stationery, decorations & illustrated art prints for those of us who celebrates love & the art of handmade.  She is also the editor of The Lion's Den, a blog where she writes about love, life & handmade.

Connect with Geri via TwitterFacebook or Instagram and see what lovely things she's been pinning over on Pinterest!

DIY: The Decorated Egg

floral eggs - a creative mint / whimsical easter eggs - alisa burke
watercolour easter eggs - spoon fork bacon / tissue paper dyed easter eggs - squirrelly minds

Happy Monday! Have you decorated this year's Easter eggs yet?

Here's a little inspiration for you colour lovers.

calligraphed eggs - oh happy day / sharpie eggs - obviously sweet
strongman egg - sweet bestiary / chalkboard eggs - liebesbotschaft

And for those of you who prefer to see things in Black & White!

Happy decorating!

Will you be decorating eggs this year?

Send Pretty Mail #11-15 - Kirigami Copies

How fun are these! I had the best kind of fun crafting this series of one-of-a-kind envelopes for the Elevated Envelope Exchange. Don't know about The Elevated Envelope? It's a fantastic mail art exchange created by Tara Bliven of Ephemera Press. Find out more here.

For each envelope, I first created a set of colourful kirigami paper cuts.

Then, colour copies of the kirigami are made into the envelopes...

Using an envelope template and a little washi tape.
Hand drawn address labels add a touch of whimsy.Index cards dressed up with some washi tape (how cute is the mt Bows tape?) make great coordinating notecards to slip inside.
And, for a finishing touch, a strip of glitter tape!Have you ever participated in a mail swap? I've found it to be a wonderful creative exercise plus you end up with a mailbox full of pretty things!Want to receive some pretty mail in YOUR mailbox? Send me a note at info@omiyage.ca with your mailing address and a little something about yourself. I'll be making a list and choosing new friends to send mail to each month. And don't worry if you don't hear back from me right away - February & March are already full thanks to Mail Swaps.

DIY: Business Card Case

Not sure about you, but my business cards tend to end up dented and sad in the bottom of my bag. Sure, I place them carefully in a side pocket, but that never quite lasts. So, for my latest project over on Oh My! Handmade, I'm teaching you how to make a felt business card case - and, really, how could you resist any project with polka dot felt and colourful elastic? See you over there!

Handmade Find - Falconwright

Falconwright is a coveted (and covetable) line of yummy leather goods created by Toronto-based Sandi Falconer and Danielle Wright.  The screenprinted leather bags, wallets and pouches are available in limited edition colours and patterns each season - I'm loving the white watermelon print from the Spring line!

Visit Falconwright online and check out their fresh Spring 2013 lookbook. Pick up your own handcrafted piece in their online shop. Connect via Twitter or see what Sandi & Danielle are up to on the Falconwright blog.

DIY Easter Projects

Seems like Easter is just around the corner - is it just me, or is 2013 flying extra-quickly? Where did those first 2 weeks of March go? It's the perfect time to start crafting up delightful things for the return of the Easter Bunny! Love these clever projects that you can paint or sew.

Looking for Easter projects to do with washi tape? Try our Easter Egg cards, paper pouches or straw toppers.

Happy crafting!

Vintage Japanese Postcards

If you're a Japanophile - or a postcard-ophile - like me, you'll be just as excited about this discovery. The Museum of Fine Arts Boston has an online collection of more than 20,000 vintage & antique Japanese postcards you can browse through. You can even send the images as e-cards. Pretty fun, right?Oh Pinterest - what wonders will you show me next? 

DIYU - School For Crafting Misfits

DIY U - School For Crafting Misfits is now in session. DIY University is a blog series created by eco-fabulous Jenelle of TrashN2Tees which aims to teach craft & DIY basics to those of you who exclaim "but I'm just not crafty!" Today's lesson is my tutorial for a Washi Tape Birthday Card and matching envelope. Hope you'll join me over there!

Washi Tape Easter Egg Card

Here's a really simple technique for making washi tape shapes - perfect for crafting up your own greeting cards. Since Easter is just around the corner (how did that happen?), it seemed like the perfect time to make Easter Egg Cards. Of course, you can use this technique to make any simple shape out of washi tape.

Washi Tape
Blank Card
Parchment / Waxed Paper
Print out of egg shape (or other desired shape)

First, you need to draw or find the shape you want to recreate on your card. Here's the egg shape I chose and sized down to about 25% before printing. Want to create a different shape? Simply do a web search for the desired shape - you can filter the search by choosing the line drawing option.

Trace (or draw) the shape onto parchment or waxed paper. I use the paper backings of our shipping label pouches - they work perfectly!

Flip the parchment/waxed paper over. If you tape over the ink, the ink can transfer to the tape.

Cover your whole shape in strips of tape - no need to be neat, you'll be cutting those torn ends off. As you lay the strips, make sure that each one slightly overlaps the one before it - this will help to keep your shape intact when you remove it from the paper backing.

Once shape is covered in tape, cut it out.

Carefully peel the shape from the paper backing. Start with the piece of tape you applied first and the whole shape should peel up as one piece. If you did not place the tape in order, or if you peel from the last strip of tape, the shape will come apart.

Stick your egg shape to your blank card. Et voila! You've made an Easter card!

If desired, you could stamp an Easter message on the card or try making a collection of smaller egg shapes rather than one large one.

Do you use your washi tape for card making? 

New Tape Collection

Some delicious new tapes will be arriving in the shop a little later this week - pretty Spring florals, sweet designs (literally - think donuts and fancy pastries), faux bois and more! In the meantime, we've restocked the bold colour and pretty floral sets that were so popular last year and you'll find the prices have come down quite a bit. Thank heavens for good exchange rates!

Happy Monday!