Monday, December 1, 2008

HP's Girls' Night Out Relieved My Stress AND Made Me Crafty, Too

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to an amazing event: HP's Girls' Night Out. To say that this invitation came just in the nick of time is an understatement; I was working way too much, and having anxiety attacks just thinking about everything I had to get done for the upcoming holidays. I wasn't really sure what this whole Girls Night Out was about, but to be perfectly honest they could have just invited me over to sit in a dark room and served me warm beer and I would have been overjoyed.

But they had much, much more in store for all of us. The evening started with some food and some good wine, and then an instructional talk by my friend, the amazing Tracey Clark who showed us how to take a decent photograph of our kids without cussing or throwing things, and then turn it into an unforgettable holiday card. Then came a truly moving presentation by Jen Lemen, who showed us how a chance encounter in a park changed her life, and inspired all of us to give of ourselves this holiday season. (I really wished I had brought some tissues, and I apologize to the woman sitting next to me whose sleeve I had to use.)

After that we broke into small groups and headed to several different craft areas, where we could make various gifts ranging from a mini-scrapbook to beautiful gift card boxes to customized food gift labels. Let me interject here by saying that I am not a crafty person. Sure I worked as an art director for most of my life, but when faced with a glue stick and a bolt of ribbon it may as well be a spark plug and a jar of mustard - I have absolutely no idea how they go together. But lucky for me they had people there to help us, and also detailed instructions with every project. They had all the materials there for us to use, but the best part is that these projects and more can be downloaded from the HP website, absolutely free. I would say that in these tough economic times, this is a great way to make beautiful, handmade gifts that are not only more personal than that fruit cake you were thinking of buying, but way cheaper.

Here are links to some of the HP Holiday projects you can make:

Gift Card Boxes
Mini Scrapbook
3D Holiday Ornaments
Holiday Cards
Labels for Homemade Treats
Gift Tags and Stickers

(But don't take my word for it. Check out HP's Creative Studio website to see all the things you can make yourself. )

Here's the kicker: Not only did this evening relieve my stress, it made me temporarily insane and gave me the crazy idea to have my own crafty-but-not-so-crafty get-together during the busy holiday season. But I think it will be just the thing for some of my harried, overworked girlfriends: I'm going to invite a few of them over, mix up a pitcher of cosmos, set out some materials I've downloaded from the HP site and we're going to get down and get crafty. Sure, there'll be those among us using our X-acto knives only as swizzle sticks and I expect at least one person will pull out their credit card bill and burst into tears, but I think everyone will be inspired and will walk away with at least a few homemade gifts. And a lot less stress.

Want to check a few more things off your holiday gift list? Check out my main blog and leave a comment there to enter an amazing giveaway, where you can win a gift bag filled with Nintendo DS and XBox 360 games!
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Thanks to Karen Cage for a wonderful, inspirational, stress-busting evening!

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tracey clark said...

cosmos and crafts? that sounds like magic.
can i come?

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