Saturday, August 29, 2009

New Website is open......Giveaway Winners are.....

Introducing A Gift Wrapped Life last!

Pretty Boxed Gifts to ship to wonderful and special women anywhere........

I think you will love the new Wrap Room ~ a unique gift wrap concept and a
gorgeous gift.
Watch for more styles as we move along...... Wait until you see the Versailles collection! I'm working on it now.

Gorgeous gifts to add to your Wrap Room collection........

Petite treasures........

......larger ones too.

More pretty boxed gifts......... and still more to come.

The most patient Thank You Giveaway winners are:

Beach Cottage Studio

Nicole - Kirei Nest

Simply Mel - Reverie

Go to The Gift Wrapped Life website ladies and pick your favorite
Wrap Room - gift wrap ensemble and email me
at your choice and address.
Please, please pick your favorite (don't worry about the price- now who says that?).

You are going to have so much wrapping fun!

Thank you to everyone who entered and all your
lovely comments and support ~ I truly have the most wonderful
readers and followers.

Sande Chase ~ A Gift Wrapped Life
All photos by Sande Chase ~ A Gift Wrapped Life

Friday, August 28, 2009

My Very Own .....PVE

Cottage with Potager Garden by Patricia van Essche.
It's mine!

Don't you just love the portrait of this talented artist? The former design director for Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, and Liz Claiborne has her own unique and personal style.

It was my turn to receive a gift! And what a beautifully wrapped gift it was! It's fabulous to be on the receiving end! I was the winner of the PVE giveaway a few weeks back, so I knew something special was coming this week and the timing was perfect. If you don't know PVE artist Patricia van Essche by now, and I think everyone in the blogger world does (she is one of our most social, supportive, and well-connected bloggers) you really must take the time to visit her blog and website. Not only is she an incredibly talented artist, she really is one of the most lovely bloggers . Another thing you should know about Patricia is that we share a passion..........she absolutely loves to gift wrap. I loved all the green wrapping theme, a colour I associate most often with her work. The artichoke gift wrap, the green iridescent ribbon, the green organza bag, the green PVE logo ribbon..........I was expecting the framed watercolour, but then she had all these extra treasures that came tumbling out. A gorgeous set of watercolour note cards & envelopes, a wood bamboo pen (how did she know I love those?) and a green organza bag with flower seeds. Why the seeds? This thoughtful lady remembered I was without my garden this year due to major road construction.......I know she is giving these to me for next year when I plan to make up for lost planting time. It is this type of thoughtfulness that makes someone feel so special.

My own potager garden drawn by Patricia van Essche.
She sent it framed (how gracious!) and I am deciding
where this lovely reminder should hang. Somewhere very special.

Don't you just love her calling card? It was tucked into the seed packets.

I have found a new favorite set of note cards. Patricia's fountain illustration is simply exquisite and printed on a gorgeous quality of card stock. I hope she sells more of these, I will run out quickly.

Here is another of PVE's drawings. She has immense talent

and a very big heart.

Thank you Patricia! I will treasure my garden. XO

Speaking of giveaways..........I am busy entering all the giveaway entries for A Gift Wrapped Life. There is quite a few of you so stayed tuned, my next post is to announce the winners!

First, second and last photo from PVE. Remaining photos by Sande Chase ~ A Gift Wrapped Life.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Talent you won't believe.........Karen Appleton

"Five" by Karen Appleton

Last week I had one of those days where I berated myself for my late-life passion for gift wrapping. Everyone is sick to death of listening to me talk about this website, this new gift wrap concept that may or may not work, may or may not put me totally over the edge and I found myself feeling quite alone and asking myself " who else on earth cares this much about how to wrap a gift?" I really did question myself as I wrapped up one more gift wrapping ensemble for one more photo for one more website addition. That evening I received an email from fellow blogger and artist Lara Harris from the blog Painting a Pup a day blog who passed on a blog link that she thought might interest me and she wrote " I was looking through some blogs today and discovered this new artist who is doing a whole series on beautifully wrapped packages and of course I thought of you". What a serendipitous find on that particular day.

Crush by Karen Appleton

Shame on me for thinking I was alone in my gift obsession, there had to be one more at least! And shame on me for not knowing that fellow bloggers with their remarkable ways always seem to know just when you need to hear or see something to put you back on track ( thanks Lara). But really, who would ever guess that someone could not only be ribbon obsessed, but do it so exquisitely and in such a talented fashion that it took my breath away? And it does...... the subject matter, the technique, the colours, the pure beauty of her talent literally has me holding my breath. I know this ribbon. It falls and ties exactly like this painting shows. Artist Karen Appleton has rendered this ribbon so realistically that I would bet my life that it is particular hand-dyed silk, that one I bring out for special gifts. Look at her technique.........

"Crush" in it's beginning stages and it's painting-in-progress.

Dark Comedy by Karen Appleton
Anyone who reads this blog will know there is few things I find more meaningful than a beautifully wrapped gift. Obviously Karen Appleton shares the same passion, the Chicago-based artist has been painting her series of beautiful gift packages for the past four years. The more I browsed through her website, the more I was intrigued. Why would an artist chose to paint gifts? What is it about this subject matter that has captured her focus? I think you will agree that her reply is as thoughtful and beautiful as her work.

Flame by Karen Appleton

"For me the presents have literal and symbolic meaning. We all immediately identify with feelings associated with a gift - gratitude, love, hope, appreciation, expectation, excitement, and the list goes on. But the symbolic meaning is what keeps me attached to the presents year after year, and this is harder for me to put into words. A present is of course more than just surface, we know there is something beyond what we see and this idea is intriguing to me. This makes the image of the present more of a question instead of a statement. I'm not just showing the viewer a beautiful surface, although I definitely hope to achieve that, but the question of what's inside - inside the box, inside our lives, inside ourselves, is the bigger question I hope to explore." ~ Karen Appleton

Morning Glory by Karen Appleton

You will find Karen's inspiration for these paintings as interesting as her subject matter. The colours of seasonal nature find their way into her paintings as you will read on her blog (click here). Wrapped in a gorgeous velvet plum ribbon "Morning Glory was inspired by the rich color combination found in a Morning Glory flower. Many artists would just paint the flower wouldn't they? It's fascinating to me that Karen Appleton has mentally leaped over the standard and artistically interpreted it into these unique visions. Her paintings are quite simply the gift. She is absolutely right when she says a gift extends feelings of "gratitude, love, hope, appreciation, expectation, and excitement", gifting in any form isn't such a trivial gesture. What I understood that serendipitous day was this.......when you give a beautifully wrapped gift you are saying many things but you are also saying " I want to give you beauty". That is good enough for me.

All photos from Karen Appleton ~ Artist.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bonjour in Pastel

Nothing like boxes and boxes of silk florals to get me motivated. I had these solid gift wrap papers waiting in the wings and could picture how I wanted to use them. They have matching card stock and I thought they would be perfect for using the Bonjour Rubber Stamp Kit. When the silk flowers that I ordered at the Gift Show showed up yesterday I knew I had found it's perfect finish. This is one of the last Wrap Room Sets that is being added to the almost-launched website ( I have quit saying what day within the next week) and this pastel collection got my flu-fighting head all excited, it turned out exactly as I had hoped it would visually so I thought I would share it with you. I know how you love pretty things.

I admit to not being the best at rubber stamping (I am not nearly as crafty as you would think) so if I can do this, anyone can. I wanted this collection to be easy to do but have a very personal look to it. I also wanted to make sure the collection took advantage of the pastel combination of colours but not be too-sweet if you know what I mean. I opted to add black satin ribbon to this feminine collection as the only ribbon of choice, it adds a bit of sophistication on any of the 3 solid paper choices letting you go in any gift direction you want that day.

These rubber stamps come in different french words and sizes. Stamp on the matching card stock, cut to any size you want and place over the ribbon with double-sided tape. The layered look will make you look like a gift wrap diva. What could be easier? Note that I am cutting the card stock to the size of the stamp and it gives you a different look depending on the french word.

On this papaya solid gift wrap I switched to a wider melon satin ribbon to see the effect of keeping the tone the same. Would it be worth the extra cost of including a pricier ribbon? Though it is lovely, I didn't think so so I'm sticking to my original plan of keeping it simple and easy with the black ribbon. I also left space on the top and bottom of the card stock just so I could place it vertically. This idea can also be used for making matching gift cards. The ink stamp is black but there is no reason you can't stamp in white, silver or gold and if really brave and steady, stamp right on to the gift wrap paper.

This Wrap Room ensemble will include all three solid gift wrap colours, a matching set of card stock for stamping, black satin ribbon, all three silk flowers, and the Bonjour Rubber Stamp Set. As it turned out, the silk flowers varied in size and who's to say you can't mix them up? The celadon green rose on the pink, the pink on the papaya paper, so many creative possibilities. It will be one of the higher-level Wrap Room ensembles because of the silk flowers and rubber stamp kit but I think it might be worth it.

I have been using this card stock even more than I thought I would and it is handy to have ready with your gift wrap supplies. Not every gift card has to be store-bought, a message written on one of these cards and then attached to a gift can often look more personal and less contrived.

All photos by Sande Chase ~ A Gift Wrapped Life

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Chartreuse & Tiffany

This photo has been in my file for awhile. It was a re-colourized photo I saw on a stylish blog called A Room Somewhere. Every time I looked at it it made me want to today I wrapped. As it turned out (as I never know where I am heading when I embark on a inspiration gift wrap) I wrapped up just about every technique I know all in one little package. I used custom gift wrap paper, a Tiffany box re-gift , decorative labels, layered ribbon, satin bows and a unique embellishment. It's a build-a-gift post and you are going to have to get all the way to the bottom to see the final result.

I started with the one work sheet I have of this custom Chartreuse damask paper that is standing by for a custom run. I love the colour chartreuse and have come to the realization that the only way I am going to get one is to print it myself. The same applies to coral, another fabulous colour to wrap.

My friend brought me over a Tiffany sun glass box for a logo box regift post and it happened to be the perfect size so I didn't have to cut my sample sheet. Even better it was the right colour. Though I do keep my blog wrapping samples intact if possible, this one will be unwrapped for a number of reasons. Too bad, I did love how this turned out.

By now you know when re-gifting a store box as I often do for personal gifts, you are sort of obligated to cover the logo. Just a reminder. Unless there is a piece of sparkly Tiffany inside, better to take the box style in another direction. I used a pale aqua decorative sticker with a simple calligraphy text which I will show you re-gifted in another post this week. But for today and because I have been somewhat remiss in my posting schedule I decided to go for a fully-embellished gift wrap. Gift wrapping can actually be quite therapeutic.

Chartreuse goes with any, and I mean any colour known to the human eye. You can click here to read my original post on Chartreuse and why it has that unique ability. As a gift wrap base colour it is deliciously adaptive to any direction you want to take it. I wanted to capture that gorgeous colour combination seen in the interior photo so I rolled out two varying widths of an imported double face satin ribbon. They are simply cut and taped to the underside with double-sided tape. This is easy, easy and a technique anyone can do. You can stop here, this understated presentation (I know my version of understated is a bit skewed) is ready to gift just as you see it.

Once you start layering and taping ribbon, sometimes it's hard to stop. The impulse is to add another width, another colour, another texture. And you should, that's the fun of this technique as anybody can do it. Imagine this with a another layer of shocking pink, a narrow black, a lovely lavender, so many colours and so many looks. It is an effective way to use up shorter ribbon lengths, especially on petite boxes. But that's not what I am doing here..........I need a ribbon knot and have a few more steps to go.

As you saw, I brought this satin ribbon under the existing layers and then tied the bow to the far left so the ribbon tails drape over the side. I always knot my first length of ribbon and then use another length for a bow. It is way too difficult to knot and bow at the same time and I have more control on the final size and position. There is nothing better than a good quality double face satin for bows, it sits wonderfully, has the most beautiful lustre and is worth every penny.

Yes, a single bow is certainly enough. So why am doubling up on this bow and adding another? And why does this package at this point look a bit lopsided? Isn't this a bit of ribbon overkill? It would be (even I can see that) but I need a bit more ribbon volume for it's final embellishment.

Isn't this just the best embellishment? I found this in my jewellery and accessory drawer and it is a muted wonder I bought it! I think I wore it once years ago and think it looks much better on this package than it did hanging on me somehow. I have no memory of how I wore this. It has both a pin and clip on the back so I simply clipped it to my voluminous bow. It has been sitting on my studio desk for awhile and if I hadn't been here when my friend was wrapping (she has full access to my supplies) it would have disappeared. I don't think I slapped her hand as she reached for it......but almost. It is obviously a hair or clothing pin so keep your sale-and-clearance eyes open for these type of accessories. When used for gift wrapping, it makes for a gorgeous embellishment. Two gifts in one.

Don't forget..........You still have time to enter the Thank You Giveaway. Click here to enter. The response has been wonderful and I am so looking forward to picking the three winners sometime this week.

Top photo from blog A Room Somewhere/All other photos by Sande Chase ~ A Gift Wrapped Life

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Looking for Embellishments

Besides the ribbon, besides the gift wrap, and besides the gift products, I absolutely love embellishments as you may have noticed. My little wired paper roses, my voluminous silk flowers, the gorgeous new paper flowers from Fanciful Designs, these little crystal hearts. It has gotten to the point where a gift package isn't complete unless I add something to top off all the ribbon. I know the ribbon is enough and I admit to my overly-embellished state of mind. But I just love the layering and execution of a beautifully wrapped gift and there is no stopping me now. This was a gorgeous custom gift that made it's way to a California customer last week and the customer liked our crystal heart detail. So I added one to every gift in this lovely turquoise and ivory gift ensemble, how could I not?

My embellishment supply has been keeping me fairly content, but I hunting down some new possibilities this weekend. My mind is wide open and I hope I find what I am picturing in my head. In website terms, Christmas is just around the corner so I have to get in the holiday mode now. I will leave Sunday with my hairdresser (who has her own buying to do, but how good is that to have your hairdresser with you on a 3-day trip?) to scout the Toronto Gift Show. Trade shows always have the effect of putting my creativity into overdrive and I'm ready for a bit of that.

I adore the colour and elegance of this silk photo album that went into this custom ensemble. I do prefer to match up the gift wrapping to the box products. I found this luscious turquoise colour to be inspiring so I added lots of the hand-dyed silk that has such a unique, special nature. It is whisper-soft and ties like a dream.
This album proves I am not the only one who loves embellishments!

Parlez-moi d' Amour (Speak to my of Love) is my personal candle of choice and I will be looking to re-stock this beauty at the show. Though I am highly-fragrance sensitive, this France import doesn't seem to bother me as it burns and releases it's soft fragrance in my office for hours on end. I am careful with my candle selections in fragrance and burn quality, I truly believe there is nothing worse than a cheap and overpowering candle scent. Parlez also has a Pillow Mist in the same fragrance and I use it quite liberally on my bed linens, sweet REM dreams and all that.

It has been wonderful to see the response to the Thank You Giveaway and meet all the new followers. I will be working my way to your blogs in the next few weeks to say hello. You still have time to post a comment if you haven't done so as I have delayed the website launch for another week (Note: Do not try to launch a website in the summer, it is definitely a winter job). Nothing like a meltdown (just a small one) to tell you that you are moving and pushing too fast. In the next 6 days I have overnight guests, dinner out, a big party, cooking, packing, 2 hair appointments, some shopping, some banking, proofs to check, meals to leave, a 3-day trade show, and people to catch up with without stressing about a website going live and me not being here. What was I thinking? It's obvious I wasn't thinking, hence the meltdown (just a small one) and I will be back next Wednesday. Have a fabulous weekend. XO

All photos by Sande Chase ~ A Gift Wrapped Life


Related Posts with Thumbnails