Packages part one

Oh deary me...I feel like some party bore who, after several glasses of wine, has done little but drone on about fungus and letter press tags for hours, while people politely yawn and try to shuffle away discreetly. It's over. Never again will I ever go about a job in such a cockeyed way. Everything I did was wrong, from the inks used, to hand cutting 400-odd different sized tags by hand, with Stanley knife, hand rolling each block at a time, and then trim, corner punch, and thread up. Not to mention packaging the wretched things. Twenty five packs...

And all entirely my own fault for rushing headfirst into something I was only dabbling in at the time. I am simply relieved and somewhat amazed that they finished up looking alright. Lessons learned, solutions found, move on. And open presents. That'd be the Hallowe'en box I've been hoarding for weeks - someone who did not leave a name, but who knew me very well indeed...Arthur Rackham on the front...

Victoriana fairy on the back...

Horribly realistic, almost untouchable spider lurking inside with beautifully wrapped packages - autumnal pages from Country Living magazine. By now my attena are twitching...

Well worth the wait, the most beautiful autumnal box, so thoughtfully put together; and everything that I like from preserved leaves, an amusing article on vintage childrens fiction, to wild cherry tea and vegetable transfers. And a sweetly messaged but anonymous card - a red squirrel (only found in a handful of places in the UK) - twitch twitch...hmmm.

Gorgeous cards, laid out with suitably warming soup recipes...and this, which sealed my suspicions...

I have only encountered this delicous substance once in my life - tablet. The Scottish form of fudge - hard and sweet, and tasting distinctly of black treacle. And given to me by the same person; I might possibly be wrong, but I think - I think my secret fairy is a certain Border Tart. Correct me if I'm wrong. But whoever it was, thank you for such an amazing box, which has given me enormous orangey-warm pleasure on this grey, mizzly morning. When all has been consumed and stashed away, it is just the right size for storing letter press blocks in...no, shut me up now, before I get started again.
However, Emma, our latest admin fairy who has been wonderfully holding the Secret Fairy fort, has set up a Christmas SOSF event. Skates on, as last post dates are nearing and the closing date is 30th November!

Oh, for those who asked, I do have some spare packs of tags which will be in my Etsy shop, (alongside my pathetically small selection of Christmas cards) so if you wanted some, I aim to get them in by Thursday. Now I've told y'all what a bodge job it was, I'm sure you are tempted.

I'll shut up now. About tags and letter press and all that. Hic. Falls asleep on sofa, quietly drooling...to everyones' relief.


Tart said...

Guilty as charged. Glad you liked it, spider an' all!
x L & Ash

Caroline B said...

Thank goodness you opened it - I can relax at last! Lovely stuff - worth the wait!

tlawwife said...

How beautiful the package and contents. I would never have been able to wait. I'm a rip it open person.

Cowboys and Custard Mercantile said...

I think I would have slung the parcel across the floor.. on first sighting of spider! Not intentionally.. I should add!
Glad you are made of stronger stuff and managed to unwrap contents without having a cardiac at sight of hairy legged one! (no.. not me)
and what a treat inside!
I am mightily impressed with your hand-crafted tags!
Hand carved..!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Your tags are beautiful, the dedication you've put into them definitely shows! Now you can put your feet up, non?

natural attrill said...

I dont know how you save your presents Gretel, what control!
Anyway, looks like you've got some lovely goodies, I like the look of the 'tablet' never seen this before.

Tea said...

That tablet looks like my Mums fudge...yum! I`m not sure if I was able to comment on your last post, but I love those tags.
Have such a struggle commenting anywhere. The comment page always comes up blank for at least 3 or 4 tries on anyones, it seems.
Anyway....you have some nice goodies there :)


Pipany said...

Hello PG and thanks so much for your comments on my blog yesterday. I really appreciated them. I have decided after a headache-inducing few days to go ahead with NOTHS, although I am frankly terrified!! So much money, but the 5yr deal seemed to be too good to miss. I don't think I would have gone ahead if it was for just one year.
Your products are so beautiful and I love your honesty about things; can't stand it when people claim everything is perfect as any business must have it's ups and downs. I will be back (bit Schwarzenneger there!).
Pipany xx

Anonymous said...

Fab tags, Gretel! I hope they sell well as compensation for all your effort.
I'm saving for a new brayer...my rubber one isn't up to the job, so actual printing is at a stop for now. I'm still carving at blocks though.
I'm with Cowboys and Custard,,,I'd have flung the box down! That spider looks real! What a lovely box of pressies though (spider apart!).

Erica-Jane said...

Aunty Gretel,

you could be quoting the telephone directory and I would read with avid interest.

Nice taggles!


Chris.P said...

Great post as usual Gretel. I'm really inspired by your industry.

It's very hard to 'mass produce' handmade items. Creating as many products as possible, at a consistent quality, and at the same time retaining the hand crafted look, is an art in itself.

Becca said...

Gretel ... I am so very delighted to have received some of the loveliest Christmas cards and tags EVER from you from your beautiful Etsy shop. Honestly, you do incredible work. I could not be more excited to have received (in amazingly short order)my order and I highly recommend your artwork and cards to anyone who reads this! (Has blogspot changed the way we make comments here ... have been trying for several days ...).

Anonymous said...

Wow all the packages look marvellous, your packages, the gifts you received evrything. I think all small gifts will be wrapped in pages from CL from now on they look wonderful.
Whoops looks as if Blogger has changed the way we comment I'll have to be anonymous - yikes!

Merisi said...

So many beautiful things in this post! Congratulations on work more done well done, you are a very hard worker and great artist. Sheer delight reading about it, even though you have slaved so hard.
Are you getting a breather now at Christmas time?

gilfling said...

Oh Gretel it is such delight to catch up on your last few posts - I love reading a few at a time! It is like a half hour escape from the city life where I don't feel I belong - to a world where there is mushroom picking and mini letter press industries (although I am sure 'mini' is perhaps not the word you would use after all your busy'ness!

The tags are just beautiful and that parcel - wow!!! You are very strong willed to have kept it - but what wonderful goodies!

Have a wonderful week

Mary said...

Lovely work. It's nice reading your posts and imagine myself in the countryside away from Bangkok traffic.
Have a great day!


I can indeed confirm that the tags are gorgeous and beautiful, and they're going to be adorning all my Christmas pressies this year! What a fabulous package, pg - enjoy!

lettuce said...

that fudge looks gorgeously delicious!

i've enjoyed catching up, hope you are well

Green Wellies said...

The whole family has decided yet again that there will be no gift exchange this Christmas and we will continue to give to charities, but after seeing your amazing tags, I'm almost tempted to suggest we change our plans! They are simply stunning.
Now I'm off to see if I can find a recipe online for Scottish fudge.
Cheers, Barb

Tart said...

At the risk of abusing Gretel's blog, Seaside1 and anyone else with a sweet tooth can try the tablet recipe as it's on my www.bordertart.com under Treausre Trove!
Happy holidays!