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Pushing the envelope with trendsetting ideas

Pushing the envelope with trendsetting ideas
Elsje Designs creates fun & functional gifts, stationery and table decor with a true South African touch


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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Love Letter II

Maybe your heart is beating wildly or maybe it is broken. Either way, you wish you could say what you feel, but every time you try, you come up short. Welcome to the complicated world of love! Take comfort in knowing that poets and statesmen have struggled with the same question—"How do I write the perfect love letter?" Here are some simple guidelines that can help.

1. Presentation. Use beautiful stationery (a neutral, soft color, such as cream or white) and a flair pen with black or brown ink—no blues, greens or reds! Remember, your Love Letter is being written to someone special. Hand-written letters are best. This is personal--you are not writing a business letter!

2. Ambience. Go to a secluded place and put on soft, romantic music. A quiet room would be nice. Dim the lights. Stimulate a romantic mood.

3. Keepsake. Date your Love Letter (month, day, year). This is a letter that will be treasured and remembered. You can bet that it will be read over and over and safeguarded in a special place.

4. Greeting. Choose an endearing salutation. Don't be formal. Use you love's first name. For example: "My dearest Jennifer . . ." or "My darling Matt . . ."

5. Beginning. Start your Love Letter by telling your beloved your reasons for writing. For instance: "I have lain awake many sleepless nights trying to compose words that might adequately describe the feelings of my heart. But every time I have made the attempt, I have failed miserably. Please forgive my poor effort and accept a trite and simple phrase: I love you. I think I can say it no better than that..." Never insult your beloved's feelings or belittle yourself by saying something like: "I know you probably don't feel this way," or "You must think I'm crazy." If you are timid in your Love Letter, your attempt at conveying heartfelt words will fall flat and might be misunderstood.

6. Body. The body of the Love Letter should include reasons for why you fell in love. Here are some ideas:

recall when you fell in love with him/her
explain how your life has changed for the better
describe how much you miss your love when you're apart
explain that you can't imagine life without him/her
list some of the many things you have in common
tell how wonderful and complete he/she makes you feel
recall some special moments you've shared together
mention times you've picked him/her out of a crowd
list qualities that set him/her apart from everyone else
Avoid being casual, too light-hearted, or openly erotic. A Love Letter is a letter of respect that coveys deep, difficult-to-express feelings. Don't discount the impact of poetry in place of, or in addition to, your words. Maybe your beloved has a favorite author or poet. It will be seen as a compliment if you take the time to quote someone he/she admires. Be sure to give proper credit where it's due. Don't forget the Internet is a great place to find that poem or song you are trying to quote!

Be real. Your Love Letter should be a carefully crafted work of art, but it also needs to sound sincere. You want your Love Letter to make your beloved fall in love, not fall into laughter. Be confident as you express your emotions, dreams, and vulnerability.

NOTE: don't expect your first attempt will be the letter you send. Practice on scrap paper before you start writing on your good stationery. REVISE, then leave it for a few hours, then return and revise it again. Read it again in the morning before you send it. You'll improve it, as well as have fewer regrets—guaranteed!

7. Closing. End your Love Letter with carefully worded prose: "There, I have said it. I can rest now. And as I dream, I will dream of you." Make your closing upbeat and positive.

8. Valediction. Don't just end with: "Love, Eric." Even if you said, "All my love," it would be better. You become even more romantic by writing something like: "Dream of me, my love..." What you want is a simple, yet heartfelt goodbye: "With undying love," or "Forever yours." Remember, you may think this is too sappy, but your loved one will treasure each word. Be prepared to have it quoted to you in years to come.

9. Insert. Include a special extra: petals from a flower, sprinkles of stars, a teabag of your favorite tea ...You get the idea. That little extra effort means you really put some thought (and heart) into this.

10. Neatness counts. Gently fold the Love Letter and place it in a neatly addressed envelope—hopefully, one that matches your stationery. The correct way is to fold a small stationery sheet (or sheets) in half with the text on the inside. Place the letter in the envelope with the crease at the bottom and the salutation facing the back. Hand address the envelope. Remember what your elementary teacher taught you about penmanship--make sure your love is able to read your writing! Add a stamp that looks romantic--the Garden Bouquet stamps are nice--and affix it upside down. It is a custom that means, "I love you." Drop the letter in the mail. That's it! Expect an emotional response. And here's another tip: buy some breath mints--you'll need them!

11. Be expressive. Here are some popular words to use in your Love Letter: angel, angelic, lover, giving, alluring, tempting, sensual, sensuality, seeing, tasting, touching, holding, caressing, memories, memorable, darling, gorgeous, absence, velvet, voyage, beautiful, vision, elation, blossoms, happy, kisses, innocent, passion, dreaming, delirious, temptation, complete, desire, content, embrace, rainbow, rose, adoring, stars, privileged, heart.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Love Letters

One of the most thoughtful -- and most inexpensive gifts -- one lover can give to another is a letter that expresses how one feels about the other. Imagine finding such a missive on your pillow one night. Not only would it affirm your love for the moment; it would be a treasure to preserve for a lifetime. (And it can also do wonders to soothe a hurt after a fight or misunderstanding.)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Fashionable Friday: more on winter trends

Women's Winter Clothing Trends

2010 will be an exciting year for fashion; experts predict that we'll emerge from the global financial crisis and, as a result, we can expect to see a new standard of fashion rise up. Introducing 2010/11 fashion trends.

Long Scarves
Scarves as well as shawls are indespensable accessories for every woman. They create a special look and make people pay attention to the wearer.

One can tie a scarf around her neck to stay warm, to enliven a dull oufit or make the look more exquisite. Scarves no longer serve as items protecting us from cold or wind, they have become versatile and fashionable accessories.

This season designers offer us to wear long and wide warm scarves. These can be of a simple design, adorned with pom-poms, etc. Besides, one can wear more than one scarf and look perfect!

Jewelry belts. Such belts look glamorous and tender and serve as nice decoration to an evening outfit. But you can wear it with your casual clothes as well if you wish to look feminine. Jewelry belts are embellished with stones, metal details, clips and rivets.

Belts of unusual design. These belts serve as adornments to your garments too but they are not as rich in details as jewelry belts. They are all of average width but made of different materials including leather, wood, metals, etc.

Clutch Bags
It is not a secret that women love handbags. They love them as much as shoes or even more than that. Some ladies follow fashion trends when they choose a new bag, others just buy a bag that they feel will look great.

Clutch bags are always with us and this is quite explainable as we just cannot do without them when we go to a party or a special event. And in everyday life many women prefer clutches for their size and look. Clutches of this season come in a huge variety. Some are rather simple and can be worn with casual clothes.

Military fashion
We'll forgive you if your first thought is "military, again?". Yes, military remains a trend for Autumn / Fall 2010 but not as you've previously come to know it. Following on from Spring 2010 the women's military trend, like the men's, turns away from the pomp and ceremony of military inspired clothing we've become accustomed to, and takes its cues from 20th Century military uniforms. From army green to shearling lined boots, it's now a trend that's far more subtle but no less appealing.

Strong Shoulders are back!
They are called huge shoulders, peaked shoulders, power shoulders, shoulder pads - remember the 80's? This is coming back as and big trend! It is ideal for formal jackets, dresses, blouses and can be perfectly paired with fur, gloves or belts.

Cut out clothing
Normally a clothing style exclusive to Spring / Summer, the cut out / cutaway made a big impact on the Autumn / Fall catwalks. And it did so for more than clothing, but accessories as well. Seen in a variety of styles, with the cut out pieces worked directly on top of skin or 'filled in' with sheer fabrics, the cutaway detailing can be worked from the subtle to the sexy. Designed for the milder days.

Knee high socks
Given that thigh high boots are on trend and that they can't be worn every day (unless you've amassed a big collection) there has to be an alternative with similar appeal. Hence for Autumn / Fall 2010 you'll find yourself rummaging through your sock draw and donning a pair of knee high socks. Or over the knee socks. Or thigh high socks. From the sporty to the sparkly, to layerings of socks over tights; a great pair of socks can add that extra, and much needed, eye catching detail to an outfit.

Women's camel coat
Despite having been popular on the catwalks, the camel coat didn't make a strong appearance on the streets until late Winter 2010. We blame that fact on the fierce weather that blighted so many seasons. Better in Autumn and in late Winter (with Spring on the horizon), the camel coat is the alternative to the classic trench in 2010.

Sheer clothing
Cut out and sheer? No, we haven't got our seasons mixed up. Yes, sheer pieces are in for the cold months. Yes, we agree that sounds a little strange. But no, it doesn't look strange. Anything but. Mixed with fine laces, the sheer trend in 2010 mixes elegance with sex appeal - and isn't that the current, overarching theme to all fashion trends? Come this Autumn / Fall have the confidence to mix your sheer clothing with other trends and key looks .

Thigh high boots
Over-the-knee boots are the must-have footwear for Autumn / Fall 2010. Once considered only for the daring, those wearing this shoe trend will find the tops of their boots creeping up even higher with thigh-high boots also in the mainstream. From elegant suedes to futuristic wound-and-bound leathers, the options are many and various.

Most of the info comes from the website

Friday, May 7, 2010

FAB Bridal Expo

We attented the FAB bridal expo last weekend and was blown away by all the interest in our social stationery and favours.

We made tons of heart shaped business cards (featured above).

But it was especially our table seating ideas, attracted a great deal of interest. We featured four different styles:

1. Antique pewter chairs with seating cards mounted with crystal pins onto a vintage image.
2. For the 'green' couple we made a lovely table seating made out of recycled paper with wooden guest name badges, mounted with pins that resembled berries.
3. My personal favourite was a dramatic black board with gold engagement pop-out rings with the couple's names engraved onto it.
4. A botanical image with a chantilly lace background in pale grey.

We are looking forward to the next expo and it seems we can't stay ahead with generating new ideas - we are loving it!

If you want to visit the studio to have a close-up look at what exactly we have created, please phone us on 021 976 7111.

With the winter here, we are trying to get more corporate work in, so if you need a new logo, business card or want some brochures re-designed, please phone us to discuss!