Thursday, January 28, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Isn't it a good week to give someone a little something? Something thoughtful? Something you know is just for them? For no reason other than you adore them or that they really could use something pretty. I think Janet at French Blue,the most incredibly giving woman would love than more than anything. If you do gift someone this week and spread around some good feelings, go tell her here, she will be delighted.
All photos by Sande Chase ~ A Gift Wrapped Life
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
Or this? Left Bank ~ Perfume Candle
The second thing I am thrilled about is that I am very close to my first Blog anniversary. On Feb 14th I will be hitting the one year anniversary of my blog A Gift Wrapped Life. In fact, I just had a major flashback sitting here writing this on cold, winter day. Can you see where this is going? Yes! A Valentine Giveaway....... not one, but three gorgeous products and three winners.
Left Bank ~ AirEssence
I can not think of a more beautiful and elegant product line to thank my readers and followers for your amazing support during the past year. Since you may want to treat yourself or someone else with these exquisite products for Valentines Day , this Giveaway is going out a few weeks earlier than my actual anniversary date. On Feb 1st I will draw the three winners and ship the next day. If you are an international reader, you can still enter and have it shipped to someone special in North America. Here's how it works:
You must comment on this post for the 1st entry. Winners can choose their favorite product style when notified.
If you are already a follower you will automatically get a 2nd entry, but make sure you tell me this in your comment.
You will get a 2nd entry if you become a new follower.
Add a 3rd entry if you post or Twitter about this giveaway and send me the link.
It is a most fabulous Giveaway.
All photos from Agraria.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Sunday, January 10, 2010
"When my share of the world's cruelty struck, I was nine years old. It would take a great portion of my time as an adult before I realized that tragedy was hurled freely into every one's life as though it were a cheap newspaper, advertising porn shops and strip shows thrown into a overgrown yard. I was an old man by the time I turned ten years old, and I caught the terrible drift of things many years before my number should have been called." South of Broad by Pat Conroy
Thursday, January 7, 2010
It was this photo by talented blogger Kimberly Taylor at Mimi Charmante that got me to thinking about book gifts. First of all I love this photo she sells in her lovely, lovely Etsy shop and the other thought was she must be a reader too. You couldn't take this wonderful of a photo and not be, it has too much reverence in it. It's surprising really that I haven't talked about a simple book as a gift sooner especially since reading has been such a source of pleasure in my life. I can do anything, wait anywhere, endure most, as long as have a book in hand. When I was 9 years old I read all 52 Nancy Drew books in one year ( I told you I was intense) and I haven't stopped reading since. I read way too fast, have way too many books, spend too much, and don't see any of that changing in the years ahead. It is written into my marriage vows.......take me, take my books, their expense, and my nightly reading light...........sorry about that~xo
By January 1st, most people are gifted to the hilt and there likely isn't much more that they need or want. Which makes it the absolute best time of the year to give a book gift. It makes snow days positively welcome. Pick the absolute best book you have read the past year, or a stack of them even better, and indulge someone with the pleasure of reading. When I give a book gift there is a few things I do to make it more "bookish" so to speak.
My Bookish Details
Always a bookmark. In fact, keep a handy supply around and head over to Kimberly's Etsy shop (click here)and stock up. She has a gorgeous selection of new velvet bookmarks with charms and pearls that will add a thoughtful touch to any book gift at a very reasonable price of $8.00. Consider adding in her gorgeous print shown above, any reader would love this addition. You must visit her blog Mimi Charmante, you will be absolutely charmed by her, if you aren't already.
Hide the Price
Use little stickers or seals to cover the price. My friend always does this and I have adopted this most civilized habit.These tiny stamp stickers are the perfect size but if in a pinch a real one would do nicely as well. They know roughly what you've spent anyways but this looks so much better.
Always have a packet of decorative but blank bookplates handy. I place a single one loose inside the front cover. Let them decide if they want to use it or how they will label it.
If working ahead of your gift giving date and dealing with a serious book lover, order in a set of these adorable personalized bookplates form the fabulous artist Felix Doolittle. 25 Ex Libras 2" self-adhesive labels for $50.00 and they come in the cutest little tin. Lots of image choices and other shapes as well.
Wrapping the Book Gift
Yes, you can use brown kraft paper. I am always a bit wrapped-out in the first few months of the year and like to explore more relaxed styles of gift wrapping. I have nothing against twine, what you usually see with kcraft paper, but much prefer a simple ribbon. Books are perfect for this understated wrap.
I prefer a double layer gift wrap for books. Maybe I am afraid sharp folds will bend the book cover. This method eliminates any need for tape and I just like the relaxed style. One layer in one direction(shown above) then another layer going the other way so all book edges are covered. This technique also works really well with tissue paper. I will show you how to pleat and wrap with tissue in an upcoming post.
Here you can see the two paper directions. I used a small off cut of this graphic black and white gift wrap as a base for the attached and layered card I made. White cotton ribbon from Kate Spade was recycled after a quick iron. Keep reading, that copy you see is my new favorite thing to do on book gifts.
Make a gift tag with a quote from the book. A few lines of book copy handwritten or printed on a blank gift card adds a bit of mystery to the book gift. I like to entice them to open those pages and immerse themselves in a story I think might bring them great reading pleasure. I will tell you what book this quote is from in my next Reading List post. It was my favorite book from 2009.
Include a newspaper or online review of the book or links . I like to know how others thought of a book before I start a new one. Just fold and tuck into the rear cover.
Enjoy the story.........
Photos 1 to 3 from Mimi Charmante/Photo 7 from Felix Doolittle/All other photos by Sande Chase ~ A Gift Wrapped Life
Monday, January 4, 2010
Regift Style 1
There are two types of regifting, the first type being the one we are all most familiar with, you simply do not like the gift. You don't like the style, the colour, the subliminal message you see lurking behind it, it's obvious regift vibe, whatever, but you know somehow you need to get rid of it. This is where regifting gets it's bad rap........at this point you are actually considering it as a gift choice for someone else! A gift you actually don't like, don't want, don't want to see ever again. There is some kind of karma attached to passing along a unwanted gift, I swear people can tell when it is given in that kind of spirit. Then again, it might be the slightly guilty look on your face.
Regift Style 2
So why do it?
The Regift Rules
Do not regift an item you hate. If you consider it ugly as sin or just plain junk, treat it as such and throw itout. Junk is junk and no amount of new gift wrapping is going to hide that fact.
Do not regift because you hate waste and then attempt to tell yourself you are being noble and working toward a greater good for the eco-world at large. If you can't use it, give it away to a worthwhile charity. That is way more noble than regifting.
Do not regift in it's original wrapped version. At least rewrap it for heavens sake. I was once at a party where the hostess was given a bottle of wine and an old gift tag was inside the bottle bag. None of us have looked at this couple the same way again to say nothing about how it made the hard-working hostess feel that lovely evening. Obviously offended, she told us about it.
Do not regift or dispose of anything that has sentimental value to the person who gave it to you. If your great-aunt gives you her treasured vintage tablecloth and she can't see the stains, take it gratefully and then store it somewhere. You will get good karma points for being gracious and your mother will be exceptionally proud of you. Effusive thanks are part of the deal. Someday you might be doing the same.
Do not regift anything original. The lopsided pottery mug your friend made? The handknit scarf in all the wrong colours? If there is one thing we should all know, when someone expresses their creativity, the offense of regifting goes way up on the sensitivity scale. When it is handmade, it not just a gift, it is now a piece of their artistic soul and you should know how artists can be when it comes to that. Doesn't matter if you don't like it, doesn't matter if she made 200 of them for her closest friends, hold on to it and do not regift........ ever.
Do not think you can save it for your next garage sale. Garage sales are visited by bargain hunters and then your friends and family who stop in for moral support. Do you see what can happen here? And yes they will remember that they gave you that planter two years ago.
Do have a regift date at home or work. Set a date with like-minded people then bring it all in and let everyone take a pick. This does not include the junk, remember that has already gone in the garbage.
Do organize a regift day for your church or organization, attach a nominal price just like you would with a garage sale and then donate the funds.
Do regift anonymously. Wrap up the regift items and start dropping them off at doorsteps as a little treat. Only for the good stuff, nice body lotion, bath salts, gourmet tea, something that truly would make anyone's day a little bit nicer. Attach a little handwritten card saying " A special regift just for you. Enjoy or pass it along". No name needed and done in the right spirit it really is good gift karma.
Do eliminate the need to regift. Be a big girl and just tell them their gift needs to be returned or exchanged. No one expects their gift choices to be perfect every time and most would appreciate the opportunity to make the gift more perfect. Better to request than regift.
Do edit your gift giving list. If you are annually exchanging gifts with people who never get it right and never will, then maybe there is a better way. Sometimes the gifting has just gotten out of hand and you are expected to give to co-workers or relatives you really don't know very well. Be the clever one and suggest a better way for the whole group. Have everyone bring books (wine, cologne, or gift cards) and then let everyone exchange to their heart's content.
Do acknowledge some people in your life are never going to have good gift giving taste. Their gift choice is always going to disappoint you and there is nothing you can do about it (you need a few of these to appreciate the really good ones). Do not let this challenge make you revert to petty behavior and compromise your own tasteful gift giving. Be the one that still puts thought and beauty into your reciprocal gift. Not everyone has good taste, but they may have the best sense of humour and that is why you are friends. And they probably love your great taste and style.
Do know that you may get busted so be ready with your explanation. Let me know how that goes for you.
Now, if someone just happened to regift me with this Hermes bag I found over at the beauty blog Beautiful Things to Share .............ignore my above post. My loss of street cred would totally be worth it.
Photo 1, 2, and 4 via Flickr/3rd photo from Carolyne Roehm/5th photo from the blog Beautiful Things to Share