website fix-er-uppers and news!

We’ve done a bit of a fix-er-upper on our fun page at smiggle.com. Have you checked it out yet??  This is one handy little url where you can find all things playful at smiggle.com (besides our online store of course!) You can enter our latest comps, play games, download activities, rate our products, and check out our latest feeds!

Here’s what else we’ve been up to lately

Latest competition

Our class of 2012 yearbook photo comp has now ended and we had some AMAZING entries! The lucky winners will be receiving these B2S prize packs, which we’ve lovingly pulled together.

We’re also working on the next creative comp… it’s going to knock your socks off… ALL.. MONTH.. LONG! so keep your eyes peeled and fingers at the ready because you don’t want to miss this one!! It starts mid March.

Bright colourful futures (our charity partnerships)

We’re sure you know that in Australia we support the inspiring work of The Smith Family and at the moment we are working on a pretty amazing day that everyone can get involved in! It might involve a dress up or two… stay tuned for more details!

And of course, we have good friends in New Zealand too. The Foundation of Youth Development is also doing BIG things this year and we’re so excited to be involved! Keep an eye out on ourFacebook page as we walk towards an exciting event that is happening in the next few months!

Games

We love a good lunchtime play off at the office and our latest game Snack Run is becoming slightly addictive! Pick your fave character and attempt to complete the school snack run! Nothing like a bit of friendly competition to get the gang going!

If you haven’t already, jump online and have a go, or try one of our old classics like the ever popular Run Lance Run! What ever the game you play, you’ll have the chance to take out an award for top dog, or hit a new milestone with an apprentice, guru, master or grand master award. How many scores can you beat??

Activities

Need to fill in the weekends or holidays with some creative activities? Print off our comic strip and have a go at mapping out what this pup gets up to! Then get to work with some smiggle tools to add a splash of colour. If your a bit of a tech head try out our new Okinawa comic strip, you can drag and drop different characters into your comic and decide what they get up to!

Blog

We love leaving little posts on this blog, but it’s not just about us!! We love hearing from you (it makes us feel like we’re not talking to ourselves!!) so leave us a comment once in a while and tell us what you think! What future posts would you like to see, anything you want to know in particular?

Tips and Tricks

It’s crunch time! The start of school or work is only days away so now’s the time to get yourself organised for the new year.

Everyone has their own style of setting up their workspaces, but we’ve compiled some of our tips and tricks for a tidy and smigglified start to 2012.

Jotters are one of the key essentials for any of our Smiggle desks! They’re the perfect size to have sitting next to your mouse or phone, and are great for jotting down ideas or jobs to do in a hurry! We also love to leave a jotter next to our beds, so when you have those great late night ideas you can quickly scribble it down.

Pull out a highlighter and create yourself a unique colour coding system to keep on top of all the papers on your desk! to do, follow up, sign here, don’t forget… so many options… so many colours!!

Take your colour matching to the extreme and colour code your different subjects or projects with matching folders and books to help quickly spot what you need for each class or job. Green for English, Blue for History, Purple for Maths… even one for doodling in!

We hope you’re feeling colourfully inspired and ready to take on 2012. Share some of your tips with us too?

Class of 2012

The class of 2012 is about to begin, so if everyone could please find their seats, we’ll get things started.

‘YEEEESSSSSSS Mr Smiggle’!!!!

We’re starting this new school year with a fun new competition that’ll get those creative juices flowing. If you haven’t already yet discovered it, it’s our ‘create your class of 2012 yearbook photo’ comp.

We gathered some of the Smiggle team and gave them their first assignment of the year create your own quirky yearbook picture. Here are the team members who received a big fat A for their efforts.

Prof Antonio

Professor Antonio definitely likes to experiment and test the boundaries! He has a doctorate in Pirates and grew up on an island surrounded by volcanoes and wild animals, where he spent his days testing all things bright and colourful.

Simba

Professor Antonio’s best bud and partner in crime is Simba. He’s a classy cat who likes the finer things in life…caviar, fresh salmon and of course a good tummy scratching. Simba is super punctual, neat & organized, and tries to keep the professor in line!

Mia

Mia gets all the attention from the boys in Smiggle’s class of 2012, but she’s already found her one true love… her skipping rope. She would jump rope all day, every day, if only she could! She jumps rope on the way to school, in between classes and all the way home again.

There’s definitely room for more in the Smiggle’s class of 2012 so pull up a chair and enter now! http://colourcrew.smiggle.com.au:8080/competitionHome Your Smiggle self-portrait could win you a sweet smiggle prize… not to mention, starting the year with your best school profile pic yet. so what are you waiting for?!

New Years Resolutions!

Phew we made it! We hope everyone had an awesome xmas day with their fam and friends, and that a few smiggley treats made it under everyone’s trees!

While some of you are having a nice break over the xmas/new year period (we hope), we’re still working hard at H/Q, but we’re already dreaming about this weekend’s plans to bring in the New Year! Here’s what some of the gang are promising to pledge as their New Years resolutions on Saturday night! What’s yours?

Liv from our marketing team wants to take charge of her out-of-control handwriting in the New Year! With heaps of ideas spilling out of her head, her hand can’t quite keep up!  Maybe a new pen might help ya get started Liv!

Trace, our marketing intern from NZ, wants to make the most of 2012 by travelling and exploring her new home in Aus! After making the move over from the land of the kiwis, she wants to check out all the hot spots that Aus has to offer, and maybe even plan a road trip or two! She’ll be packing a drink bottle with her to make sure she stays hydrated in the hot Aussie sun!

Chantelle, leader of our fab VM team, is aiming high with her New Years reso…she wants to buy an onsite caravan to use as an escape for her holidays. (we reckon she’ll have to make sure there’s enough space in the backyard for that new horse she also wanted for xmas!)

Min from our product team has a secret plan to become the next masterchef … she wants to tackle a new recipe from a different cook book at least once a month for the full year of 2012! Hopefully she’ll jot down her tasty creations to share with us!

Jen, our team coordinator, has an artsy resolution for the New Year… she wants to get back to her former passion of painting and drawing. Being a creative critter, she also wants to take heaps more photos throughout the year – it’s the best way to stay creative and capture all her memories at the same time!

Turns out we have a pretty ambitious office here at Smiggle! Get your thinking caps on and let us know what your big resolutions are for the New Year!

HAVE A HAPPY ONE SMIGGLERS! WE HOPE IT’S YOUR BEST YEAR YET!

all I want for xmas

The countdown to xmas is on! Hopefully you’ve ticked off all the prezzies on your list, but have you stopped to think about what you’re after this Christmas? We asked the team here at H/O to jot down their wildest wishes for this year. And there seemed to be a common theme … can you pick it?

Min in our product team can’t wait for xmas morning. She has her fingers crossed for a Chow Chow puppy, the perfect addition to her family! Did you know all chow chow’s have blue tongues? We’re inducting all Chow Chow’s into the Blue Colour Crew now.

 

 

Carla from our Design team, who is sometimes referred to as a crazy cat lady, is hoping for another little kitten. She already has a gorgeous grey cat called Bridge but the more the merrier!

 

 

Chantelle, Smiggle’s Visual Merchandising extraordinaire is hoping that the next Melbourne Cup winner will be huddled under her tree this year! Horses are an awesome animal but not the easiest pet to look after.

 

 

Andreea from our product team had such a tough time picking between all her fave furry friends that asking for a zoo seemed like the best option! She’s taking Carla to the next level with the more the merrier!

 

 

It seems like the team took quite a literal approach when we asked them what their WILDEST wish was for this xmas. So it makes us wonder what furry creatures will make it onto smiggle product in the New Year. Any guesses? Here’s a sneak peek at some that already feature on our newest ranges http://www.smiggle.com.au/SM_PublicSearch.process?query=b2s&rowsperpage=9. We hope you go wild for it.

does your pack, pack a punch?!

this year the smiggle H/O team rallied together to create some xmas packs for their friends and family that would STAND OUT under the tree.

Tracy, Julia and Liv had a few more names left on their list (family, best mate and teacher), so they pulled together some personalized smiggley packs, full of treats that they knew their secret santa would love!

We thought they looked amazing and so wanted to show them off!

Tracy created this awesome pink and black hamper for her mum and dad. She included a black A4 diary because she says ‘ their memories are a bit like goldfish at times ! Her mum is also going to love this pink to do list and matching pack of gel pens to scribble out her jobs!

 

 

Julia needed to get a prezzie for her son’s teacher; she thought that a personalized smiggle pack would be a great way to say thanks for all her hard work throughout the year. This multi coloured pack is just right for a busy teacher – the smiggle coloured whiteboard markers are a perfect way to add a touch of colour to the classroom, and the ball desk clock will make sure the class is on time for the best parts of the day.. lunch!

 

 

Liv’s bestie is a HUGE fan of green smiggle gear, so when she was stuck for an idea for his gift, she thought this hamper was the way to go! As a musician – the retro headphones are a must, and the ball speaker will keep the summer beats flowing wherever he goes; to the beach, bbqing with mates or even just chilling at home.

 

 

If you’ve still got some time up your sleeve and have a few more names to cross off your list then why not create a gift you know your secret santa will love. They’re sure to brighten anyone’s xmas and are packed full of colourful cheer. Otherwise if you’re pushed for time we’re here to help. Just check out our no fuss pre-made gift packs.

 

craft your own christmas card

It’s time to outdo last years daggy xmas card with our latest colour crews competition ‘craft your own Christmas card’.  Just use our fun and festive online flash tool to pick and choose the artwork you want to use to create your own card. So far we’ve seen some outstanding creations that we just had to share:

Hopefully santa’s not running late for this important date.

How many kitty cats can you see?

Hehe…santa paws 🙂

Think you can top the entries above? Well hop to it and enter now. Oh… and did we mention you have the chance to win one of six $200 gift cards?! This could definitely come in handy when doing your xmas shopping.

Picking the mind of a smiggle creative

Smiggle has many creative master minds that design all the goodies you see in store. So this week we thought you might like to meet just one of our  fabulous designers Julia. If you’ve seen or own one of our activity books or the 2012 graphic diary, you’ll have already enjoyed some of Julia’s handiwork. She’s the artist behind them, hand illustrating EVERY PAGE! So want to know what makes her tick?

1. What do you most love about your Job?

So much! I love that I get to dream, design and develop new things every day. I love that I can then see my ideas come to life. I love that I get to work in an environment surrounded by colour. I love that I  work with such a creative, inspiring, talented bunch of people. And I love stationery (I’ve always been a big fan)… so Smiggle naturally has my heart.

2. How long did it take for you to illustrate the 2012 graphic diary?

The 2012 graphic diary was one of my longer illustrative projects. Diaries generally take a good couple of months for the team to design, but as this diary was entirely illustrated by hand including all of the type, it took quite a few weeks of drawing & then another week or so to turn the drawings into digital art ready for print. 3. What was your inspiration for the 2012 Diary?

Browsing through my 2010 & 2011 diary entries gave me plenty of inspiration for what to include in the sticker pages (haircut, pay day, holidays etc). I used a collection of Smiggle pens, markers and pencils to illustrate and was having such a good time experimenting that the writing materials almost formed inspiration themselves. I wanted the style and composition to be quite organic to encourage the user to write, sketch and add more colour to the pages, with the intention to make little distinction between the printed material and the user’s entries.

4. What’s your fave page?

I love the sticker pages and have already started filling my 2012 diary with a few fun sticker reminders, such as the ‘balloons sticker’ to mark my son’s 2nd birthday, the ‘suitcase,’ ‘aeroplane’ and ‘ ‘wave’ sticker to mark my next holiday to Bali, and a ‘bill due’ sticker to remind me of when my dreaded car registration is due.

5. What’s your fave Smiggle colour and why?

I am currently a member of the green colour crew so my workspace is all decked out in green, but am thinking about having a seasonal change and jumping ship to blue for summer, as I’m loving the new whales graphic story and figure it’s summer… blue skies, blue seas so why not!

We LOVE Julia’s work and hope you do too! Make sure you take a look at her latest designs in our activity books and 2012 graphic diary, in store and online NOW!

The Smiggle hood

Every year Smiggle holds a sneak peek event for our friends in the media, where we show off our shiny, new and collectible Christmas and Back 2 School products. We get so much support from editors and bloggers around the country that we like to be able to show them our new products before they hit stores (special huh?). Now of course, we love our smiggle fans just as much as our pals in the magazine and online worlds, so we wouldn’t dare think of not sharing some of the pics from our event with you here! Maybe next year you can come along for a look? Let us know what you think!

Happy snaps of the smiggle showing: This year we had fun playing up to a neighbourhood theme. New goodies were featured amongst fun props. Why don’t you take a cruise around Tech Terrace (electronic products), Date Drive (diaries), New Kids on the Block (never seen before in Smiggle), School Stop, Present Place (gift ideas) and Colour Crews court (ipad fun!).

school stop

 

present place

 

Tec Terrace

 

Can you spot the latest goodies in the pics above? Stay tuned for another blog update next week where we highlight some of the new products coming out for Christmas that have our team at HQ REALLY excited.

 

superpower lucky dip

 By now you’ve probably all met the smiggle league of superheroes, who have flown into stores and are defending all things creative. We thought we’d have some fun and ask the Smiggle gang at HQ what superpower they would pick if they could be a superhero. Here’s what they had to say:

Superpower: ‘Blink Me To’

Now you see me and now you don’t. Emma our Marketing Manger said she’d love to have the ability to blink herself to the very place she wants to be at any moment. With the not-so-good weather in Melbourne today, she’d blink herself to the beach in Bali and lounge by the pool.

 Superpower: Aqua woman

‘Under the sea, Darling it’s better down where it’s wetter, Take it from me’ a wise little lobster once sang in My Little Mermaid. Melinda our Product Sourcing Coordinator completely agrees. If she could have a super power it would be to breathe underwater so she could swim with the fish. Hopefully while she’s swimming around she won’t have to battle any sharks.

Superpower: Tick-Tock

Running late? Well imagine if you had the power to stop time, that’s the power Natasha our Stock Analyst would most like to possess. Just think of all those times when you don’t want to get out of bed as the alarm buzzes and you’ll know what she means! If Natasha had her way she’d use her superpowers to freeze time and sleep until she’s ready to start her day.

Superpower: Mother Nature

Margaret our Supply Coordinator and Kathy one of our Sales Manager’s said they’d like to control the weather like Storm from Xmen. All those times when the weather interrupts your plans, like when you organise to hit the beach and it gets rained out… well it wouldn’t if Margaret or Kathy had their way.  

So it seems there’s a bit of a beach theme going on in our office at the moment. Must be the longing for the Summer Season. Whatever it is, we’ve had fun day dreaming about having a superpower. In fact, we recommend you try it too sometime! Start with some inspiration from our latest range here http://www.smiggle.com.au/SM_loadSelectedCatSection.process?RestartFlow=t&Section_Title=Superhero or just gaze out the window for 5 like we did!