Friday, May 29, 2009

Hermes ReGift ~ No. 1 and 2

I find it fascinating that gift boxes can become so iconic. Hermes Orange, Tiffany Blue, Kate Spade Green. As you know I have this little series going where I re-gift store boxes as I think they should pass along and be enjoyed for what they are, something in which to put a special gift. So when my friend passed along her little Hermes box I wondered if I should even the iconic box category, they are at the top of the box status as we all know. Then I I crazy? Of course I going to try and have a fun little time doing so. I admire refinement and understatement a great deal, but I love ribbon and the art of gift wrapping even more! And I absolutely love orange.

I think I have only used this orange striped ribbon once, but boy did it call out to me when I went hunting for the ribbon of choice for my Hermes re-gift project. The double face satin was the perfect colour, not an exact match, but a luscious pumpkin variation with the Hermes orange. I couldn't resist a length of the striped ribbon around the round base of this petite box. It happened to be the perfect width and seemed to balance the voluminous over-the-top presentation I would try first.

Why use one crystal heart when you can use two? That these had an orange tint was only a bonus. You could use silver or gold charms, anything sparkly and pretty. Just attach to a finer ribbon and tie tightly so they sit up all perky and don't get lost in the ribbon.

When leaning twoards a simpler, more casual presentation, I always go for my cotton striped ribbon. I have this ribbon in about 8 colours and love the crisp bow tie and visual appeal. There are only so many ways to cover a logo so I do need to rely on my favorite Paris stickers. I simply loop the ribbon and on goes the oval sticker. You really can do a gift this simple with the right ribbon. A fresh sprig of rosemary or lavender at the top (on the ribbon) would be lovely and if I hadn't just used my rosemary today when roasting our chicken dinner I could have shown you. Sorry about that, but I can do a sample of this idea next week.

Another sticker, another way to use these bronze crystal hearts. I was trying to get them up towards the top, but then figured they might be pretty just dangling in the front. This thin red and orange duplex ribbon would also look great on red or black gift wrap. I just have this sticker taped down (to allow more experimenting) so the edges would be neater when affixed properly.

Interesting that Hermes has two slots in the base bottom, these slots can be used two ways and keep in mind you could do this to any good-quality box. I suspect they are using these (and sadly I have never received a Hermes gift so I'm not sure) to enhance the inner presentation. If you are really, really into gift presentation, an inside ribbon securing pleated tissue is the height of gift wrapping technique and sophistication. Ribbon looping through these slots would reverse depending on whether you want your ribbon inside or outside. Getting ribbon to tie around a round box is a slippery task, so these slots could help you to secure it. Some hatboxes come with side grommets, but I think this Hermes position might be a more discreet way. Just take an exacto knife and carefully make two neat slots. There is another Hermes variation I want to try, something a little bolder and colourful, so I will post when it all comes together. And I certainly know I shouldn't talk about inside presentation, pleated tissue and ribbon, without showing you a good how-to, so that will follow as well.

All Photos by Sande Chase ~ Oooh la la Cadeau

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What happens when Stylish Women put their Lovely Heads together

When two lovely bloggers put their lovely heads together and come up with a plan, we all know to listen. Janet at French Blue and Claudia at Paris Apartment are on a get women website owners or bloggers a bit more notice. Janet at French Blue always comes up with fabulous ways to promote other women, she was the one who promoted me to Goddess status not long ago and I adore her, her blog and her website business because I really did feel like a goddess when she was done (and that's a good thing once in a while). I will let French Blue explain her creative idea {click here to read post} and if you leave a comment and are a website business owner, you are entered into a 3 month free advertising giveaway on the mega star of bloggers ~ Paris Apartment. If you haven't visited Paris simply must. Written by author Claudia Strasser, it is one of the top blogs for anyone who loves all things French. NY Times recently listed it as one of the Top 3 blogs to read. So advertising space on her blog could be better than a trip to Paris. Or maybe it might help you get there eventually. Either way, it a gracious offer to share on the part of both bloggers. Now, get going over to French Blue and comment for a giveaway chance.

The Paris Apartment by Claudia Strasser.
Doesn't this look like a delicious read?

Top photo via French Blue/Bottom Photo from Amazon

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Kate Spade ~ Regift Box

My friend and I had a great chic-day on Sunday at Somerset in Troy, Michigan checking out the merchandise at Kate Spade. Before I regift a Kate Spade box, I should make a couple of things known, one I spend enough at Kate Spade to erase a guilt about regifting her store boxes and covering up the logo to do so. I would never do this if it is actually Kate Spade product in the box, I don't mess with perfection. The other thing is I admire her packaging and talent enormously, she has a marketing and creative talent that I think is simply brilliant. That being said, I did want to see how I could change the look of her signature Kelly green box if I was using the box for personal gifting. Other than using them for stylish closet display, I think good quality store boxes should be reused, it just makes "green" sense. The small rectangular box was easy as her logo is relatively small. I simply glued down a 1" Kelly green grosgrain ribbon over the logo and to the underside of the lid. I could have taken this in any colour direction at this point but had this narrow purple ribbon with a green shimmer that I thought went well with my endless supply of Paris labels. I moved the Violette label down a bit to leave room for the bow as the box was quite small. The recipient can untie the purple ribbon and the presentation will stay intact, ready for another regift of a Kate Spade box.

I absolutely adore the new Kate Spade petite boxes that came with my little purchase. I was more excited about these tiny boxes with their gilded edges than the pink crystal studs.......well almost. The one on the right is how it is received at the store with their signature cotton ribbon. I do love the simplicity of their presentation, but that doesn't mean I can't gussy it up a bit, does it? I wanted to see if I could take a very classic American look and make it look a bit more French. Give me a hatbox in any size and I think Paris. I had exactly one small piece left of this dark real mink ribbon (yes, there is such a thing!) and curled it around into a circle with a hidden hole in the center, just big enough to pull the hem ribbon coming through the grommets and make a bow. Stay tuned, I'm not nearly done playing with this petite box. My friend has a Hermes box for me to experiment with as well, do I dare to touch absolute perfection? Is that in really bad taste? Let's see if I can pull it off, you'll have to give me a few days as I think this through.
Both photos by Sande Chase ~ Oooh la la Cadeau

Monday, May 25, 2009

Glam Monday ~ Shades of Gray~Grey

One of a series by British fashion illustrator David Downton for Wyndham Grand Collection Hotels.

Now.....that's a rock. If I had a John Hardy Kaya White Topaz ring like this on my hand, I would never get anything done. I would be staring at it all day. $1,495.00 at Neiman Marcus.

Something about this shoe by Herve Lager that I just adore. It's not a dressy shoe, but I just love the combination and height. Something to wear with taupe linen perhaps? Available at Neiman Marcus.

Gray is a challenging colour scheme for interiors. Too much and it's a chilly and unwelcome environment. It takes a highly-skilled designer to successfully work with gray, but designer Amanda Nisbet gets it just right with warm stone and the dose of yellow silk. Photo from Southern Accents.

Unless you are looking to achieve an industrial interior, watch the tone of gray you use. Gray can be gorgeous and wonderfully neutral but there's a fine line between cool and warm in the colour gray. It works well with ivory tones, seems to soften it's cool tendencies. Photo by Claire Richardson.
I received an email from Beth at Style Redux who sent me this exquisite gray dress after she read my post this morning. I think that meant it was alright if I borrowed it for the day. She says this is her favorite gown, period.
The tulle tiered gown with 1,000 layers is by Versace Couture and was made for Carrie in Season Six ~ Sex and The City. I don't know how I missed this gown (in the DVD or blog), but thanks to Beth who passed this frothy creation along. She notes it is actually a celadon gray, close enough for me. I would take it in any colour. Beth also has a second blog Chinoiserie Chic which focuses on all things with the classic Chinoiserie pattern.

Earrings by Lanvin with grosgrain ribbon. You had to know I would love these.
Available at Neiman Marcus.

I went hunting for the black wedding dress I heard that Vera Wang introduced at her last show. I found it but I much prefer the gray one shown above. She has this whole colour thing going for bridal dresses.

Gray is at one of it's best with yellow. This gorgeous Aviary desk set from Elum Design includes all manner of correspondence. The fabric box with magnetic lid holds 315 well-organized pieces. Gift tags, foldovers. stationery sheets, flat cards, and enclosures, for $150.00. Graciously stocked for life with no excuses that you didn't have a card on hand. Nothing is better than having a lovely little note or letter come in the mail, it's just a more heartfelt and thoughtful manner in which to thank some one sincerely. Besides that, it's just good manners......still.

A Bow Pendant by Herve Leger. Remind me to show you my Herve Lager 6" wrist band one day. I thought it was the coolest thing ever until my son asked my if I had strained my wrist and embellished a tensor band. He just doesn't get it! I still wear it all the time and I still think it is the coolest thing ever. I do kind of look at it too much when I am wearing it. I must get easily distracted by anything I find glamorous.

Looking pretty glam for a gray palette isn't it? Who would have thought? That white painted trim and mouldings adds a crisp counterpoint to the silver and gray tones. Looks like even the rotary-style telephone is a platinum gray. Photo by Polly Wreford.

A portrait of Catherine Deneuve by British fashion illustrator David Downton.

I'm cheating just a tad as the room isn't totally gray, but enough to fit my gray criteria today. All I know is this luxurious bathroom is where I would love to start and end my day. Nothing more glam than mirrored cabinets or furniture, especially when they are slightly aged. Photography by Pieter Estersohn. No design source given. Photo from Southern Accents.

The softest shimmer of ice gray. Isn't this Nicole Miller Satin Bust Metal Gown simply gorgeous?

Leave it to Charlotte Moss to offer her trademark gray Pagoda pattern on travel and ziploc bags. She must have been packing one day and filling regular ziplocs with travel-sized cosmetics and knew that certainly wasn't a civilized way to travel. The set of white cotton bags are 4 for $40.00 and the set of zilplocs are 25 for $25.00. These would keep your travel friend packed in style and I would love to see the expression on the face of the customs inspector.

A simple little bouquet just for you.
Photo by Andrea McClain ~ Flickr

A illustration of celebrity strip tease artist Dita Von Teese by David Downton.
No blushing , we're all big girls here.
The lovely girls over at the blog Frou-Frou Fashionista would love this drawing.
The queens of intimate apparel have a website Faire Frou Frou to keep you stylishly covered (or uncovered).
Either way, they do it beautifully and elegantly. Come on ladies, don't be shy......go take a peek.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Feather Fronds

Something about these blue shutters and all this folige had me hunting down a more unusual gift topper. I wanted to capture the breezy look of the palm fronds without using the green silk leaves I already used in a gift wrap post this week. Surprise, surprise, look what I found in my storage room.

These feathers are actually about 2 feet long, way too big for a normal size box. So I cut them quickly (and I mean quickly!) and wrapped the cut base with a silk ribbon before the cut feather edge started to float all over the room. I'm not sure I've used these two colours together before, but I am lovin the kelly green and turquoise blue.

Here's how the feathers look with ribbon wrapped base before tucking them into the bow. Done this way, it's a topper the recipient can display or regift. I have to think of a way to use up the other 1" that I cut off, but it won't be today. I'm back doing my outdoor cycling with my new Gary Fisher Marlin GT mountain bike that I picked up early this morning. My smokin new upgrade ( I earned it cycling last year) is gender-specific, designed specifically for women cyclists. Not only is a dream to ride, it positively makes me feel young again. The weather is gorgeous so I slipped in two rides today and got up to 9 miles total. My goal is 15 miles a day, but still....... I'm kind of lovin myself today.
Gary Fisher bikes are a great choice for women and available at all price levels. Their gender-specific frames are designed to tilt your pelvis comfortably and properly to reduce back strain. Women are built different so it's an important distinction when you are trying to trim those hips by clocking in lots of miles. I've shown you this bike before ........but I am absolutely lovin it today.

Have a wonderful, outdoor weekend. Take a bike ride, you might get hooked.

Top photo via Flickr/2nd and 3rd photo by Sande Chase ~ Oooh la la Cadeau/Bottom Photo from Gary Fisher.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Linen On My Mind ..... again

When I buy roses, I head to Costgo where I can afford to buy masses of them if I have any kind of gathering.
I like to mass them, but also love it when they are used in a flat layered fashion. Just the heads, all lined up in a square flat container. There is a floral product that you add to water which turns to a gel, this is how the roses stand in position. I wanted to replicate that look with these paper roses (if you had them you would be using them alot too). They come in a package of 20 and literally come out of the bag this way. I slide them out and wire each row together and I have a square arrangement. I like the colour combination here with yellow striped cotton ribbon and these coral paper roses. I like it best on this taupe linen, but it would probably work on my matte black paper as well.

You can see the gel in the background holding the roses. I also used the same material and a low flat square container to do roses in a heart shape, but couldn't find the image. This was way before I knew how to store photos.

Give me a armful of roses and I will hunt down every container I have and fill them. This was for my neice's bridal shower a few years back and she loves pink and peach. It does make for a beautiful colour scheme. I must have used that criss-cross scotch tape method to hold this mass of roses. When it comes to roses, nothing is wasted, I also used all the excess petals across the table.

A simpler neutral version of the same idea.

There are the paper roses in green and some new organza roses I am trying out, they come in this green, a bronze, chocolate brown and black. They come with ribbon attached so you simply tie around a box. At $3.50 each they are certainly a more stylish gift wrap choice that a store-bought bow. But, that just seems too easy and I was inclined to try them in multiples and see if I liked them better that way.

I am not sure what I think about this, but I thought I would show you anyways. All you can do is think I have lost my gift-wrapping mind. I will keep experimenting. My issue is with the 6 ribbon tails, so I gathered and braided them so it would look like a bouquet stem and just let it trail down the front. Their assumption with these gift box toppers is that you will tie the ribbon to the bottom of the box. I never cared for a knot at the bottom of a box as it won't sit straight. Silly and overly-particular I know, but there must be a better way. This final presentation reminds me of something, but can't for the life of me find the words. Maybe it's just plain crazy?

All photos by Sande Chase ~ Oooh la la Cadeau

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Linen On My Mind

A friend called me before Mother's Day and asked me to wrap up a special gift that she could take to her mother. The gift was a gorgeous ivory linen wrap from Italy with ivory and white linen layered flowers on the back. So....of course this gorgeous creation needed an elevated gift wrap ( and I adore her mother), something that would capture it's simple but stylish elegance. I enjoy it when the gift wrap suggests the contents and gives you a hint of what is to this case I figured I might as well use the real thing. I was curious to see if the fabric look I was picturing could translate into a gift wrap. I do have yards and yards of it in my storage room, it was my favorite fabric of choice for draperies the past few years. It always has that casual but elegant "french look", especially when I would have a tone-on-tone embroidered design somewhere on the panels, very subtle. Sometimes it was a scroll pattern along the bottom crawling up the side, once a French word embroidered along the bottom edge of a roman blind. If I was to do one today, I think I would look to add silk or linen flowers along the bottom in a somewhat random pattern like Dior did with that Vanity Fair photoshoot I posted a few weeks back. In other words, and as you will see over the next few days, this neutral linen can handle a varied selection of presentation materials.

It's not a fabric to gather when wrapping like the "pouf" wrap I did before, it would be a wrinkled mess. I simply folded and taped just as I would with gift wrap paper. You do have to use more double-sided tape than you would with gift wrap paper, but it does hold. These first two are quieter presentations as I think linen in any colour is by nature a quieter look, it's beauty is in it's understatement. This gift shows how little is needed when the base is setting the mood, I simply used 2 velvet flowers (from a scrapbook collection) and a thin taupe velvet ribbon on the top one, the bottom one a beach shell napkin ring. In order to secure the ring I had to loop through and then knot the ribbon back to the main ribbon, but I liked the look. I have been on the hunt for a variety of belt buckles so I can do this technique with wider ribbon. A little French gift tag and it's done.

Once I started experimenting with this linen base, I simply could not stop. I enjoyed how it could handle just about any look I cared to try. Even when I mixed two colours, peach and pink with a taupe polka-dot grosgrain.

When using fabric in this manner, do not strive for perfect folds like you would with paper. It simply cannot be done. It's fabric and there is no mistaking that fact and it becomes part of the look. I'm not sure the ribbon was needed around the base, now that I look twice, the taupe polka-dot ribbon peeking out of the flowers seems quite enough, after all those flowers don't really need any competition.

I used this linen fabric in a bedroom for a client not too long ago and was reminded of it when I was experimenting (fondly, she was a fabulous client). They had an existing wood sleigh bed with one of those generic leather upholstered head and footboards and faux brass nailhead trim. The bed had to stay, but way too masculine and the look too heavy. We took the leather off and had both sections reupholstered in this exact neutral linen with silver nailhead trim, the whole room and scale shifted. We then wallpapered the walls in a silk grasscloth in this same neutral colour and installed multiple recessed picture lights. The drapes and embroidered valances were in this linen as well. Something I insisted on was all-white, high-quality bed linens, beautifully crisp in this setting. When the bedside lamps and four picture lights went on, the artwork (a mix of oil paintings and historical prints) and silk grasscloth just shimmered with an understated elegance. To make a long story short, I just love taupe and white together. Here I get to use up the foliage that is left on all those silk flower stems I cut for gifts. The look works whether it is a small pink bud or a larger magnolia.

A triple white satin bow with simple rosebud. I would like to try this with pink ribbon, or blue, lavender or purple would be lovely......I just can't stop and it works with everything. Hope you like this linen wrap, tomorrow I will show you even more variations with a little twist. Remember I do have that wide ivory linen wide ........I really meant it when I said I couldn't stop.

All photos by Sande Chase ~ Oooh la la Cadeau

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

An Etsy Favorite

Got a little over-aggressive in trying to get up to last fall's 10-14 km on the outdoor cycling over the past few days. You may remember my Blogger Butt post a few months back {click here to read}. As I said then "it works like crazy" in slimming down your hips and weight like no other exercise I ever did. I keep trying to email Oprah and tell her that but so far she hasn't responded! So as the intense try-out day evolved yesterday my jelly legs have progressed to bit of a sore hip so I will be taking it easy, along with taking care of my son and father, both who are not feeling well. You know how this all happens at once. So I'm leaving you a lovely series of photographs from Jacqleen Bleu at Etsy. The 4"x 6" or 7" x 9" prints are all mounted on a 8"x 10" so suitable for framing and are $21.50 each. Exceptional value and I like her eye.
I hope to have the fabric linen gift and it's wrapped variations by Wednesday, but it may be Thursday. And yes, it's back on the bike today, just a bit shorter and slower.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Glam Mondays - Simple Summer

Photo by Lisa Cohen Photography

There's my biggest weakness, right there in her hands.
I love, crave, and sneak way too much ice cream.
Just a bit now and then, nobody knows this but you.

This Missoni scarf worn with white or natural linen..... just so beautiful, don't you agree?

Photo by Chris Everard
Summer is coming and a relaxed mood is ahead. Is there a better time to take a gorgeous outdoor bath? Of course this isn't going to happen, that's why we need wonderful stylists and talented photographers to make these visual fantasies so captivating. We would like to think we could. And those silk damask drapes!

No one does summer better than Kate Spade. This Hulu Ida purse makes
me want to do the Hulu Hoop just one more time.

A simple black sheath. Matching lipstick. Hair pulled back into a chignon. And maybe just a hint of a tan? These earrings from Jose & Maria Barrera are summer sexy.

Two beach colours in one, how clever of Kate Spade. How good would this look with
my coral lipstick?

I know who got me diving into summer a bit ahead of schedule. It was Judith at Paris Atelier with her fun sun umbrella post last week. It is a short season, might as well start enjoying it now. Photo from My Vintage Vogue via Paris Atelier.

Something about this filmy top just speaks to me and I'm not one for loud pattern. It looks like it would be cool and comfy. I would love this Emillio Pucci top with narrow black pants, a great pair of metallic shoes (and a great coral lipstick) this summer. Truthfully, it would also cover all the right places. Polyvore.

Summer rides to the county are a given in our area, it's where we have the best produce markets along the roads. I can't get over how much this model looks like my mom way back when. I will have to show this to my dad. Photo image from Vogue ~ Karen Radkai.

The tomato capital of Canada is Leamington, Ontario. A beautiful small town along Lake Erie where the Heinz head office is located and only about 30 minutes away. We are located in the most southern point of Canada so the region has a well-established wine region as well. The southern climate is perfect for producing delicious tomatoes and vino. They now have miles and miles of greenhouses, but many regional farmers still grow tomatoes the old way too. I love toasted tomato sandwiches all summer long. I just use Weight Watcher bread and low-cal mayonnaise. It's still delicious. Photo from Cooking Light via Southern Accents.

We have wonderful asparagus farms in our area, everyone waits for the fresh asparagus which we are enjoying right now. I like them oven-roasted best with shaved Parmesan as soon as they come out of the oven. Photo by Alison Harris.

A Pile of Blueberries by Broomhill Pictures at Etsy.

Berry pies to make all summer long. What's the treat on your list?
Remember, I told you mine! Photo by Donna Griffith.

Summer entertaining can be effortless and simple. So can the little produce treats you send home with your guests. Image from Martha Stewart.

All the fresh flavours of summer in a Mango & Radicchio Caprese Salad with a Basil Vinaigrette. Looks so colourful and yummy. I found it at Epicirious, click here to download the recipe.

Photo copyright by Aran Goyoaga ~ Cannelle et Vanille

The best treats for last! Gourmet Ice Creams Treats for everybody. I am in love with the desserts and photography at food blog Cannelle et Vanille. It's a new blog (for me anyways, she is quite popular) that I finally browsed on the weekend and you will adore her well-balanced palette. Click here for the recipe for Sweet Plums and Savory Tarragon Ice Cream. Sweet and Savory, how luscious. The recipes and the blog.

Copyright Image of Aran Goyoaga ~ Cannelle et Vanille

Click here for Aran's recipe for Triple Chocolate Fudge Cookie & Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches. This is food styling at it's best, love how she wraps up these cool sandwiches.

Photo by Daniel Farmer

The perfect ending to a simple summer day.


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