Ideas for celebrating the Chinese New Year!

When is Chinese New Year?

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Chinese New Year begins according to the Chinese calendar which consists of both Gregorian and lunar calendar systems. Because the tracking of the new moon changes from year to year, the Chinese New Year can begin anytime between late January and mid-February

Spring Festival, Lunar New Year or commonly referred to as just Chinese New Year will begin on Sunday 10th Feb 2013 with celebrations running for as long as 15 days until Sunday 24th Feb 2013.

Chinese Lanterns

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The fifteenth day of the Chinese New Year is celebrated as Yuanxiao Festival or the Lantern Festival. Candles are lit outside houses and families will walk the streets carrying lanterns. This day marks the end of the Chinese New Year festivities.

Traditional Chinese lanterns are usually red in colour and oval shaped, however at the Lantern Festival you can expect to see an array of bright and bold colours, elaborate designs and patterns, characters, dragons, animal and all different shapes and sizes!

Chinese Cuisine

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Chinese Food can be found at all celebrations from rice to noodles and in a number of styles from Cantonese, Szechuan and even Mongolian cuisine! When celebrating the Chinese new year there will traditionally be a New Years Eve dinner that will be packed full with amazing foods and flavours including dishes of meat such as pork and chicken, and often include a hot pot to signify a family reuinion.

Chinese Zodiac

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There is a 12-year cycle of the animal zodiac which relates a different animal to each year. Chinse Year 2013 is the Year of the Snake.

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Previous Years and their symbolic meanings…

1972,1984,1996,2008 Year of the Rat

The RAT is the first sign of the zodiac. Typically people born under this sign will be a creative problem solver, imaginative a hyperactive worker respected for resourcefulness. Intuitive and with the ability to hold onto all things of value.

1973,1985,1997,2009 Year of the Ox

The OX is said to be an inspiring person that is easy-going and will possess a parent-like nature. They also have a tendency to have a bad temper, be quick to anger and very stubborn. They are however good listeners, yet don’t like to ask for help themselves. Most comfortable around Roosters.

1974,1986,1998,2010 Year of the Tiger

The TIGERs are contemplative, emotional and sensitive. Although they can have a short temper, quick tongue and may startle their inferiors. Widely respected for their courageousness, power is their natural gift. Compatible with Horses and Dragons.

1975,1987,1999,2011 Year of the Rabbit.

The RABBIT is often a private individual, a little introverted and sometimes withdrawn. People born to this sign would rather work behind the scenes and try not to be the centre of attention. With that said the rabbit is a friendly individual and enjoys the company of good friends.

1976,1988,2000,2012 Year of the Dragon.

The Dragon’s personality tends to be that of a free spirit. Everything that dragon’s do will be on a grand scale, they naturally express big ideas and offer ornate gestures. Dragons’ generous personalities give them the ability to attract friends, but they can be rather solitary people at heart.

Years to come…

1978,1990,20002,2014 Year of the Horse

The HORSE is a popular person, cheerful and quick to compliment others. They are also hard working, bursting with energy an extrovert. Entertaining and humourous around all people born under this sign tend to be quick-witted and intelligent.

1979,1991,2003,2015 Year of the Goat

The GOAT tends to be a great artists. They will ask many questions, they like nice things and will be very wise, they do tend to like a bit of peace and quiet and can be very calm, easygoing and relaxed.

1980,1992,2004,2016 Year of the Monkey

MONKEYs tend to be very funny and can run circles around other people. Both curios and clever, they will catch on quickly and are able to accomplish most tasks. They appreciate difficult or challenging to stimulate and make them think.

1981,1993,2005,2017 Year of the Rooster

The ROOSTER can be flamboyant, feisty and obstinate in personality. Also an extrovert, proud of who they are and outwardly confident, the rooster is also trustworthy and hardworking.

1982,1994,2006, 2018 Year of the Dog

The DOG has a giving, compassionate and supportive personality. Is a good listener, always available to a friend in need and are incredible attentive.

1983,1995,2007,2019 Year of the Pig

The PIG can be fun and enlightening, while having patience and understanding. People born under this sign will enjoy life, their family and friends. Honest and thoughtful, they belive it is better to give than receive.

As well as the 12 year cycle of the animal zodiac, there is also a 5 year cycle of the chinese elements, each phase has a complex series of associations with different aspects of nature and the best way in which to remember the order that the phases take place are as follows…

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1. Wood feeds Fire 2. Fire creates Earth (ash) 3. Earth bears Metal 4. Metal carries Water (as in a bucket) 5. Water nourishes Wood.

For Chinese New Year celebrations in other countries there may be some additional ways that you can add to your celebration. This year in Melbourne Australia there are a number of places that you can enjoy the festival. With displays of the traditional Chinese Lion Dance, firecrackers, folk music, martial artists and much more…

… To blend Australian culture with the Chinese New Year why not create party favours and gift ideas to give to your guests and visitors. Coolaz Stubby Holders can be designed with chinese characters and symbols, colours and photographic images to not only brighten up your event and match in with the theme but also they are practical for this summer time celebration in the southern hemisphere as they will keep your drinks cold! Here are some of our latest designs …

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Happy New Year!

Last Minute New Years Eve Party Ideas!

Happy New Year 2013…! Last Minute New Years Eve Party Ideas!

So you are the host with the most and have been appointed NYE party planner for the celebrations this year! Whether this was a last minute decision or you have simply been caught up in Christmas to get your event planner ‘hat’, look no further than the Coolaz Team for some brilliant quick fix party ideas to get the countdown started…!!

1. Add some Sparkle to your night!

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Grab yourself some good old sparklers… generally these can be found in the party section of your supermarket or in any good party store. Be sure to wear gloves and use caution when waving them around, you could all try picking a letter (H.A.P.P.Y) and write happy new year in the air! Better to spark up when it’s dark for the full effect!

2. New Year Party Photographer!

Candid happy snaps are the way of the world with social media and sharing apps making it so much more fun to catch someone unawares! But be sure to appoint an official photographer for the night to avoid the “I thought you were taking some pics” scenario and the big event not being captured on camera at all…! Or you could grab a bunch of disposable cameras and hand them out. It is so nice to sit down in the New Year and look back at the memories and the moment the clock strikes midnight!!

3. Fancy Dress & Costume Party Themes

If your friends would be up for a last minute challenge and an excuse to hit the boxing day sales then make your NYE party compulsory fancy dress! You could make it an ‘anything goes theme’ or choose something particular to give everyone a starting point… such as a Masquerade Ball, Wear Pink, or Your Favourite Animal…!

I love the idea of an Op-Shop Theme, make it a requirement that the chosen outfit is purchased from a local charity shop, it can be a sensible outfit or something wild but no cheating the attendee must bring the receipt to prove their purchase!

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4. New Year’s Resolutions and Party Games

Maybe you are having a smaller get together with a close group of friends, then why not think up a few party games to get the laughs flowing into 2013! You could start by writing your new year’s resolution onto a piece of paper and throwing them into a bowl, take it in turns to read one out and guess who it belongs too. Games like ‘Celebrity Head’ are always great, write the name of someone famous onto a post it note and stick it on your friends forehead, they can then ask closed questions to which you can answer only yes or no to gain clues about who they might be! Great fun!

5. Personalised Party Gifts and Favours

So maybe you’ve picked a theme for your party and there is the perfect gift to match or you simply want to give a party favour to everyone that’s coming as a memento to remember their night into 2013! There are some great DIY party favour ideas such as named champagne flutes, you can use stickers to decorate each one with a name, or perhaps a number or edible gifts are always fun – 2013 cupcakes, cookies and biscuits that can be iced and decorated in your party colours!

Be sure to check out Coolaz party favour stubby holders, these can be personalised with each of your guest names and created to be any colour, any theme and any design to suit your New Year Celebrations! Check out some of our latest designs to get you in the mood for a party, don’t forget that all of our online designs can be adapted to suit your event or theme…

Design Ref: NYE001-Cosmic-Party.jpg

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Design Ref: NYE005-I-Rocked.jpg

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Design Ref: NYE003-Country-Fireworks.jpg

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Design Ref: NYE002-Sparkling-Colour.jpg

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Happy New Year!

Engagement Shoot Ideas For Your Save the Dates and Wedding Invitations!

A modern way of gathering some fantastic ideas for your Save the Dates and Wedding Invitations is to have an Engagement Shoot! Not only can this help you get some super images for your stationery and bomboniere gift ideas but will also give you a chance to meet your wedding photographer and make sure that you are going to be able to work together to create some amazing photographs to take home from your big day!

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When trying to find out about wedding photography, the best place to start is by taking a look at the photographer’s photos and portfolio, this will be a great way to gather some ideas and see what styles you like.

When arranging your engagement photo shoot specifically for your wedding stationery try to think about the impression you would like to make, will you take the fun approach to let people know that you will be having a more casual style wedding, perhaps you will have some outdoor shots to represent the location you may be getting married, such as a garden or beach wedding or you could go for some traditional portraits that can be used for other events and be framed for display or as gifts for family.

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The best type of engagement photography is that which captures the personalities of the couple and can come from their own inspirations and ideas, many brides these days are enlisting in the help of pinterest so that they can create pin boards of lovely images that they like or ideas that trigger their senses! The internet is a wonderful place and it is great that you can now ‘pin’ stuff somewhere and have a point of reference to show your photographer the style of wedding pictures that you like.

You might get your creative flare or dress style from a particular era, perhaps you are a fan of retro colours and patterns or maybe you are thinking of a particular movie like lady and the tramp sharing spaghetti or Mr & Mrs Smith black cocktail dress & tuxedo shoot.

We found some great shots that we liked where couples had written their wedding date or save the date on the bottom of their shoes, an awesome and unique idea for your photographs!!

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Many couples these days are choosing to send Save the Dates as a notice for guests to mark their calendars before they have even chosen their ceremony or reception venue! Your wording for a save the date can be less formal than that of your wedding invitations, however this can depend on the personalities of the bride and groom of course, you can be as formal or as free as you so desire, it is your wedding day after all…!

The text can be simple with the words Save the Date, the bride and groom names and the date of the planned wedding or you can also add quirky captions or more information, we really like these

– Bride & Groom – Finally tying the knot!
– He stole my heart, so I’m stealing his surname! Make sure you’re there to see it!
– Bride & Groom are getting married!!! Not sure where but this is when…
– Mark your calendars, it’s happening, formal invite to follow!
– Eat, Drink and Be Married!

There are some really different ideas you can put together yourselves without photography too, you could consider a crossword puzzle or scrabble style element with a twist of vintage! These ideas can be used for your invites, stationery and wedding bomboniere gift ideas!

engagement save the date photography

The Coolaz design team would be only too happy to help you design a unique save the date or wedding invitation magnet along with your gift style stubby holders for all of your guests – you can even double these up as place cards and print an individual guest name on each one!

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Happy Planning!

A Calendar of Colour Ideas for a Wedding 2013

What Month is Your Wedding in?

You may have chosen a particular month for your wedding for a special reason, there may be a date that means something to you as a couple such as the date you met or the first time you had dinner together. Perhaps you have chosen your date due to the time of year and the weather or that you like the way that the sunset colours the sky in the summer.

For whatever reason you have chosen your particular month to get married, here our colour choices and favourite reasons, with flowers and tips to represent each month, in a wedding kind of way …

January Wedding Colours

CREAM & WHITE

At the start of the new year, think of this month as a blank canvas for days to come and for the rest of your lives when planning your wedding. With the scorching hot weather across most of Australia you will be spoilt for choice in terms of location and possible wedding venues.

The first thing that springs to mind at this time of year is the bright white sand and brightness of the sun to influence our colour choice. We have chosen Cream & White to represent January – for your wedding flowers you can expect to find carnations and snowdrops available and they are generally the most popular choice for January. Dress your bridesmaids in matching creams and keep things simple and clean for the whole event.

February – Bride to Be

PURPLE

For this month we have chosen Purple, you will find violets readily available at this time of year for your wedding bouquets and this is also the traditional flower of the month along with the primrose.

February in Australia is often one of the hottest months and purple is a fantastic colour to compliment any wedding party, you can team this colour with creams and whites for a light and bright celebration or choose a darker purple with shades of eggplant and plum for a more sensual and romantic setting for your reception.

March – Brighten Up Your Bridal Party

YELLOW

The first of March marks the beginning of Autumn in the southern hemisphere, this season brings us jonquils and daffodils which make a fantastic pair and add some bright colour to your wedding day, your accessories and bouquet.

To match the choice in flowers available this month we have chosen Yellow to represent March. You can match this with white and/or some leafy greens for a fresh look at your wedding celebration, a colour combination that would be ideal for an outdoor/garden wedding or any relaxed indoor setting.

April – Bold Wedding Colours

FUSHIA PINK

As the weather starts to get a little colder through mid-autumn we have chosen Fushia Pink to brighten up your wedding theme. You can have just a hint or go bold and splatter this beautiful colour all over your wedding.

Create a tropical array of colours for your flower bouquet with some simple multi-coloured sweet peas, and why not replicate these on your wedding cake too.

May – Create a Warm Ambience

ORANGE

As winter slowly creeps in, think back to all of those autumnal colours that you love! There are some amazing ways to incorporate some hues of Orange into your wedding day. You can go bright a vibrant or soft a subtle, don’t forget that you can mix this into your wedding attire, decorations and even your food or wedding buffet.

The birth stone for May is emerald, this colour can look great with the right tint of orange, you can also get some beautiful lilies to match these are in their abundance at this time of year and the apricot shades look great in a wedding bouquet with any type of yellow or green flowers for a warm ambience.

June – Choose Viintage Wedding Colours

TEAL

For a winter wedding in June we have chosen Teal, this can be incorporated into your wedding bouquet, table decorations, buttonhole and more. With roses in bloom you can add a touch of teal using ribbons and even buttons like the image below, a great way to add a modern twist.

If you are looking for a theme to match this vibrant colour you could go for a vintage peacock style or add some natural browns for an organic feel.

July – A Classic Theme

RED

With the birthstone of this month being ruby we have chosen Red to represent your wedding in July. As a bright contrast against the white of your wedding dress or iced cake a ruby red element would make a fantastic theme!

Why not add a cheeky peep toe of a red show under your dress or paint your nails to match your ruby red wedding accessories.

August – Modern Wedding Style

SPRING GREEN

We have selected a Spring Green to match the stone for August, the Peridot is an intense olive green coloured gem stone that will be sure to add some much needed sparkle to your 2013 wintery wedding in the southern hemisphere.

Choose an exotic blend of spring green and white flowers for your wedding bouquet, these might include Paphiopedilums also known as Ladies Slipper Orchids along with some Lenten Rose, and Freesias. Spring green can also look great paired up with dusty pinks and dark purples – a wonderful combination for a modern outdoor wedding or to brighten up an indoor reception.

September – The Sapphire Bride

SAPPHIRE BLUE

Sapphires can be found in a range of blue shades and this sparkling gem is traditionally the birthstone of Septmeber, so if you are looking for a colour to suit your wedding in this month then why not choose Sapphire Blue.

Maybe you can supply some Bombay Sapphire gin cocktails on arrival, or decorate your tables with personalised wedding stubby holders if you are having bottles on the day! Make sure that you go for a blue petal flower such as morning glory, most skin tines will suit a bright blue so you can rest assured that your bridesmaids and groomsmen will look stunning in this vibrant and modern colour choice.

October – Beautiful Bouquets

CORAL PINK

The birth stone for October is Rose – this can be reflected in both flower type and general colour. The name Rose lends itself to feminine influences and soft tones, for that reason we have chosen Coral Pink to represent this month in our colour chart.

Perfect for a classic or vintage style wedding, the use of Chrysanthemums and daisies in your posie can look fantastic. You could also add a modern twist by teaming your pinks with a Mint Green.

November – A Bohemian Wedding

COPPER

For November we have chosen Copper this rich and luxurious colour would suit any bride and groom and formal wedding setting. You can even go as far as having the bride’s bouquet made our of intertwined copper wire for a really unique style.

When copper corrodes it tends to go a really beautiful bright green/teal colour, you could incorporate this into your theme using some of the ideas from our June section, perhaps if you fancy a bohemian wedding theme or vintage peacock style then this will sit nicely in the colour scheme.

December – Dare to be Different

BLACK & WHITE

To finish off the year we have chosen a classic combination of Black & White. Thinking of black feathers, dark chandeliers, vintage stripes and classic scroll patterns. From your save the dates, wedding invitations through to your bombonierre gift ideas you can team any black design against a white background to create a truly sophisticated wedding style.

Consider your wedding flowers, choose any white or cream varieties paired with blue-black privet berries or black jewels, you could also use white gerberas with black centres to continue the theme for your stylish black and white wedding.

If you dare to be different you could also go for a black wedding gown and dress all of your bridesmaids in white, a reverse effect that will surprise all of your guests!

Don’t forget with our digital print process you can choose any colour to suit your needs – Check out some of our design ideas to suit your wedding theme here:

Wedding Design Ideas

What and When Is Schoolies?

Schoolies or School Leavers are the graduating class of that school year and Schoolies Week is a three week festival celebrating the graduation of Year 12 school leavers across the entire Australian nation. These celebrations have been running for 30 years or so and kicks off each year after the students have graduated, for 2012 this all gets going from Saturday 17 November.

This three week celebration is traditionally divided up by state so that each week is a separate party for your own area, Queensland will usually start the proceedings and get things fired up for the remaining 2 weeks.

This tradition is considered as a rite of passage for all Australian students, after 12 years of institutional routines, rules and restrictions it is time to transition into ‘the real world’, this week of fun, partying, celebrating with school-long friends and making new ones is designed as a release to celebrate the end of an era and mark the start of new things to come. Traditionally, all students will make their first run down the beach at the beginning of the week and dive into the surf – this is said to represent a leap for freedom!

You may have also hear the terms ‘Foolies’ and ‘Toolies’ the first refers to a younger generation, often local kids that simply want to join in with the celebrations and the latter term refers to older tourists that often go in sear of trouble at this time of year – when they use the term ’tool’ this is slang for idiot, many of which will be school leavers from a previous year that still want to party, unfortunately this has been known to find many clashes of interest!

When planning your week of celebrations there are heaps of locations that you can go to for schoolies week with most students flocking to the Gold Coast as the most popular choice – with attractions like Dream World, Wet n Wild, Movie World and much more this really is an adventure playground. You can also head for the Sunshine Coast, Byron Bay, Airlie Beach or Lorne where you will find a huge variety of Schoolies venues and accommodation to suit the vibe you’re looking for!

As prices for overseas travel has over the years become more affordable, one of the latest trends is to pack you and your friends off to Bali for the ultimate celebration; you can grab yourself a package deal that includes your flights, accommodation, transfers and heaps of extra party goods!

There are special organisations that put together these celebration packages for you so that you can rest assured that everything will be prearranged and go smoothly once you arrive at your destination. There is always a clear focus on safety, with nationally recognised support networks set up and local governments on board to provide useful information and a visible presence of law enforcement and security officials will help to keep the fun on track and trouble at bay.

With all that aside this is set to be one of the most exciting weeks of your life and one that you and your friends should remember for a very long time. Lots of small groups will club together to create a unique set of gifts to help celebrate, choose customisable items that you can design yourselves – you could include a map or photographs of where you are going, an itinerary list of the week’s events and even your individual names for identification!

Make sure you get some personalised stubby holders to keep your drinks cool too, be sure to check out Coolaz coolers for this as they specialise in small numbers and unique designs which is perfect for you and your friends at this type of event!

Happy Schoolies 🙂

Gift Ideas for Father’s Day

Father’s Day in Australia falls on the first Sunday in September, and in the United States and UK falls on the third Sunday in June.

This day is considered very important as it not only acknowledges the contribution of fathers to their individual families and in the community, but is also a day where children can express gratitude, love and respect for their fathers, a great way to build bonds and strengthen relationships.

This day can be celebrated privately with family in the home or at events organised by clubs and societies nationwide, some may take the opportunity to organise special programmes or fetes to encourage and entertain people and to even raise funds for a charity or club. There are so many ways that you can celebrate fatherhood, male parenting and to simply say thank you to a special person this Father’s Day! A beautiful breakfast in bed, afternoon tea or BBQ with dad are great ways to pamper your parent and the main thing is to spend some quality time together on this special day! For some there is the difficulty of time and distance adding to the dilemma of finding a unique gift that you can send and for others it is simply a task of creating a personalised keepsake that dad can treasure forever!

Here is some inspiration to help you find the perfect gift this year …

Gift Cards are a great way to say thanks, if your special someone is into DIY then check out some of the deals on at your local warehouse, they will have ideas for the garage, garden and much more.

Is dad a bit of a thrill seeker? Why not browse those experience and day out websites such as redballoon, these guys have days out in abundance from driving a V8 or sports car round a track to a beer & bbq cooking package. They have ideas to suit a range of personalities and budgets.

If you are looking for a personalised gift that is slightly different, then imagine a gift card that is also a stubby holder! The gift that keeps on giving (cold drinks that is!) a Coolaz Gift Card stubby holder will come flat in a bespoke envelope, can be printed with any pictures, text or graphics and sent anywhere in in the world! You can add your Dad’s name or favourite team colours for a truly unique gift!

Check out some of the design ideas below…

Happy Fathers Day!!

Independence Day 2012 – Fourth of July (4th July).

The 4th July (fourth of July) is a patriotic holiday observed in the USA commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 – declaring independence from Great Britain.
Very few people will have to go to work on Independence Day and universally this day is associated with carnival type celebrations … from street parades to family BBQs, school fairs, concerts, baseball games and other sporting events – all topped off with fireworks after dark!

Many families will make the most of the long weekend with this first week in July being one of the busiest travel periods of the year, as many Americans will utilise the holiday for extended vacation trips and family reunions. People in the United States will use this time to express and give thanks for the freedom and liberties fought by the first generation of Americans.
The most common Independence Day symbol is the American flag. Its red, white and blue design is displayed in all possible ways on July 4 and can be seen in front of homes, buildings and window displays. Other symbols associated with Independence Day are the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island in New York.

What a great time of year to grab your Coolaz stubby holders [known as Koozies in the US] and celebrate with your friends and family! Here are just a couple of designs to choose from, and don’t forget that you can add indivdual names to each of your coolers [koozies] so that you don’t get your drinks mixed up at your July Fourth event this year…

… and for those that were celebrating Canada Day on 1st July 2012 too!