Monday, June 29, 2009

Pink in High-Resolution

I woke up Saturday morning and thought to myself "Girl, you just need to learn how to do your own photography". Off I went to my local camera store and came home with a technology-induced headache and a new best friend, a Canon Rebel XSi. Photoshoots for my website have always been the hold-up in the process, it's just plain tense and way too picky for most professional photographers. I see my product, but conveying that picture (in my head) is too time-consuming and expensive. And it's ongoing with new product, so at 55 yrs. old I am determined to learn how to do more styling, and shoot my own photos. Yesterday I absorbed impressive words like aperture, ISO, white balance, macro, and telephoto. My hand is sore from carrying this hefty friend around all day shooting everything in sight and these mature neurons are firing off like crazy. This Princess Pink photo is one of my baby gift ensembles that is being re-styled for the website and I think it is the most precious pink present to send to a new princess. It comes with the most feminine pink Daisy sun hat since it's never too early for a girl to worry about sun protection.

When you ask for help from your fellow blogger friends, they always come through for you. A few weeks ago, blogger Mandy from A La Parisienne emailed with some advice on white balance when I apologized to blog viewers for my tinted photo backgrounds. She got the wheels turning and from there I emailed Alice at the photographically-superior blog Thoughts from Alice W, who's blog and website photos are some of the loveliest I've seen. Within ten minutes, she graciously emailed her camera spec's and off I went into a whole other learning curve. I also noticed this is the same Canon camera used by the book-worthy blog photos at Cannelle Vanille and we all know her food photography is something to see. My Paris Pink file folders, Paris Rubber Stamp Set, and Eiffel eraser are always on my desk.....if I have to work I'm going to make it as pretty and pleasant as possible. Now wouldn't this lovely gift perk up those pesky desk chores?

This photo actually has some great resolution, but when it downloads to blogger it loses some of it's clarity. A quick, 7 am email to my web guy with the question "why are these photos losing their resolution in the transfer from file to blogger and how can I fix it?" still hasn't been answered (he's obviously a late-sleeper or hiding from me) but I'm dying to know. This Cote Bastide Giroflee Bath Gel and Soap is one of my favorite gift products, makes me think I'm in a sophisticated Paris bathroom. I think I might use these tonight in a good, long soak after a good, long bike ride. My other best friend who I am ashamed to admit I have been ignoring the last few days.

All photos by Sande Chase ~ A Gift Wrapped Life

Friday, June 26, 2009

Brillant Greek Key

I was dying to play with my new Blue Greek key gift wrap and as soon as today's order were out the door, I got right to it. It's certainly enough of a gift wrap statement to use on it's own but my ensemble concept is a way to stretch your gift wrap supplies. At least that's my intent. The gloss black paper acts as a base to the leftover Greek Key strips that are part of cutting and wrapping various gift sizes. If you look to the top gift you will see I've used a narrow strip right over the gloss black and then tied it up with the brighter pink saddle stitch ribbon. This ensemble will include three colours and widths of ribbon, white, blue and the narrow hot pink saddle stitch.

This Greek Key gift wrap is part of a whole series of coordinated stationery products. I love this boxed set of stationery that will be added to our new product line. Sheets, foldovers, and flat cards all fold into the one-size envelope along with a pad and sticky notes. Priced at $59.00, I think it makes for a lovely and practical gift and it's box is beautiful.

This close-up shows the beauty of my new paper flowers. They have a pin so they are wearable or usable after the gift is opened. I'll tell you more about these flowers coming up, they are simply incredible to use in gift wrapping. They were going out the door on all the orders today. Another use of leftover strips on this particular pattern, cut the motif into squares, punch a hole and and you have a matching gift card.

I have been a paper pad mouse pad gal for quite a while and think they make such a clever and useful gift. They have gained in popularity since their introduction a few years back and most stationery companies are adding them to their lines. They are the most functional of items for keeping computer notes. My mouse pads are so full of references, links, and notes that I file them when finished. This Greek Key one is $14.00 so fits nicely into the small gift category. It has a matching pencil case and boxed notes (top right of 1st photo) as well. We're going to offer these products as a complete gift ensemble for shipping or as single items. The tube of fun-word pencils too.

All photos by Sande Chase ~ A Gift Wrapped Life

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Vintage pink Rose with Zebra?

Here's another gift wrap ensemble prep that started one way and ended another. I was using the Vintage Pink Floral and I always suggest that a solid is added should you want to mix it up and make it more interesting. For the most part, the ensembles are being planned (planned being the operative word!) and then a little surprise sneaks in that captures my attention. I've already used the black polka dot and taffeta stripe, so that dramatic Zebra pattern seemed to add an interesting look, especially with the bright pink ribbon and that adorable Vintage Pink Floral. There's a few "pink products" ( this one from Cote Bastide in France) in this prep shot as we will be coordinating our small gifts to theme with the gift wrap ensemble. Then should you need a gift as well, you will have lots of options to add in to your order. We are keeping our fully-wrapped gift ensembles that can be shipped as gifts ( in fact it was a busy order week) but re-styling them as well. And some lovely new products.

The largest box in bottle middle is simply surrounded with a bold black with white polka dot ribbon. The effect of the soft floral with something more bold gives it a more fashionable look. It can be that simple. There's the 3 papers for this Vintage Pink Collection rolled and ready for their gorgeous presentation, which I am saving until the website reveal. You will have enough ribbon to change them all up into any variation of these samples. Feel free to tell me what you think of the Zebra addition?????

If you look in the top left you will see a close-up of one of the Ephemera decorative labels that you will be able to purchase separately. These come in so handy, I don't know how I lived without them! Not only are they fabulous on note cards, envelopes, they will be the staple in your gift wrapping corner. I had a very narrow strip of paper left so I did an open-ended wrap , folded the end into a envelope flap then sealed with a smaller Eiffel label. Good use for leftover paper strips (even the ones you think are so small they are useless).
I want to thank everyone who is offering comment support, you have no idea how it helps and keeps me going. It is a grueling (though creative) process with plenty of "Am I completely crazy" type moments. You do know I am 55 yr.old, don't you? And I miss my regular blogging and blogger ladies.
Also welcome, welcome to the followers who are joining in, rest assured it will be worth it soon when I get back to more regular posting(or I hope so!). And I will catch up to your blogs and comments as soon as possible. Back to work.......only 24 more collections to wrap and photograph, lots of web copy, ordering product, and ongoing website design.

All photos by Sande Chase ~ A Gift Wrapped Life

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Italian Fashion

I've been chatting with a lovely company in Florence, Italy that has been in business since 1031. They have the most interesting gift wrapping papers. They use archival images with state-of-the-art printing techniques to manufacture their European style papers. I thought this vintage fashion pattern was a fun theme I could build on so I think I will order it.......what do you think? Is this a fun paper or what?

This series has a repeat of vintage postcards from Venice, Paris, Rome, and New York. The base colours are the same, so a nice collection would include a paper from each city and a ribbon choice that goes with all four. Something for the men as I haven't totally forgotten that we sometimes wrap gifts for them too.
Something about the soft colour tones of this Hot Air Balloon pattern captures my attention and tells me this would be gorgeous with the right ribbon colour. Something in a wide taffeta stripe. They will be airborne to my Wrap Room soon. Isn't it lovely? It would be fabulous as a Book Cover as well, beautifully lined up in a bookcase. You didn't think these papers could only be used for gift wrapping did you? We'll talk about covering your books soon in an upcoming post.

All images ~ A Gift Wrapped Life

Monday, June 22, 2009

So Not Slacking

If the truth be know right about now.........I would much rather be blogging. My website guy would likely wish I would as well. This new concept of mine and it's necessary detail is going to put both of us over the top. I do wish at times that I wasn't so particular, but then it wouldn't be A Gift Wrapped Life. You do know that name is kind of a pun, don't you? Especially right now! I am so not slacking.

If you are looking for wrapping flaws, you will find them. This is just a prep shot where I make sure the elements that will make up this Bird Perch gift wrap ensemble will look the way I hope when the really good photographer comes in with all his fancy lights and zoom lenses. But it does tell me that these two papers and these ribbon choices will work. The two colours in the same pattern are simply beautiful together. Each gift wrap ensemble, and there are 18-30 of them, will have 4-6 sheets of gift wrap and 3 - 6 ribbon choices (about 20-30 yards total) so that you can wrap a good assortment of small or large gifts. That larger gift shown above takes 3 yards of ribbon, so though 20-30 yards of ribbon sounds like a lot it is enough to properly wrap your gifts and turn into a gift wrap goddess. All this gift wrap and ribbon will wrap up a fair amount of gifts depending on the sizes, I know this for a fact........I've been doing them for days. The ensembles will range from $29.00 to $69.00 depending on the ribbon for that collection. I do know one thing.........this concept is going to make your gift wrapped life a lot easier and a lot more pretty. Wait until you see the presentation box that these collections come favorite part.

Both photos by Sande Chase ~ A Gift Wrapped Life

Friday, June 19, 2009

Blogger Break & Sneak Peek

Did you miss me this week? It's the end of a long day, website design is in place (but not up yet)and I adore it. Now comes the fun part. Matching up gift wrap patterns with ribbon, tag, and embellishments for The Wrap Room. My intention of opening A Gift Wrapped Life is to offer anyone a complete gift wrap ensemble (gift wrap/ribbons/tissue/tags/embellishments/silk and paper flowers) so all the work is done for you. A gorgeous, tasteful variety to cover any gift in gorgeous splendor. As you know by now, you really can't wrap badly if you have the right materials at hand. No more running out at the last minute and settling for anything. Well ladies, the right materials and 24 unique collections are on their way. The gift wrapping impaired will be able to suddenly dazzle everyone with their creative presentation. and I can tell you this....... it makes for the most wonderful gift for any woman. You'll see.

I thought I would give you a small showing of some of your new gift wrap patterns. These two bright beauties are going to be in the Versailles Collection

The Eiffel Tower in Hot Pink and Black.Tres chic and this is going to be so much fun to wrap.

Something a bit bolder and I think I will add a series of ribbons with this one.
Bright yellow, Hot pink, and Kelly Green.

Here's a hanging ladder sample of new gift wrap on it's way. I am mixing these up with others for a variety package. You know how I love mixing up patterns in wrapping. Love the Blue Greek key pattern.

~ The Bergere Collection ~

More Eiffel Tower pattern in a feminine Paris pattern. Fabulous for a birthday(all girly ages), wedding shower, or for anyone who loves Paris and that whole Marie Antoinette look.

I will show you our gorgeous Versailles gilt collection next week, wait to you see the gorgeous ribbon idea we came up for this series. Our linen fabric wraps are being made and Exquisite Paper Flowers in larger sizes are on their way. This one will be like the icing on the cake.

Thank you for all your lovely support and comments this week!

All photos from A Gift Wrapped Life ~ Oooh la la Cadeau product sources

Monday, June 15, 2009

I Miss You Already

It's a week of meetings, calls, photo shoots and website design. Less talking (blogging) and more action that is. It's crunch time for the next few weeks as my Oooh la la Cadeau gift website changes to it's new name and look so you may see and hear a little bit less of me but I didn't want you to think I had forgot all about you. And I certainly don't want you to forget about me! I won't be posting my regular 5 days a week, in fact you might not even notice. But I will! I love my blogging friends and followers and you know how easy it is to pick blogging over any kind of other work, which is exactly what I have been doing. Just for a couple weeks, my posts will be on a random schedule as we get the new Wrap Room section up and running and change the website name to A Gift Wrapped I am re-gifting the whole website and you know how I like a re-gifting challenge. Back to work......we'll have lots to talk about when I get back. In the meantime, if you do miss me even a bit, spend some time going through my older posts, there's lots of fun stuff you may have missed. Random comments over the next few weeks ( if you think of it) would be really, really helpful!

Photo from House & Garden. Feb. 1950 photographer Herbert Matter.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Vintage Glam and a Wrapping Technique for Guy Gifts

I love how these rust and pink tones are used together in this Vintage Glam setting found at Southern Accents. I kept returning to this photo and wondered how I could combine these tones in a gift presentation. It intrigued me and you know how I love these gift wrap challenges I set up for myself. I don't have every paper and ribbon at my disposal so sometimes I do have to improvise. Perfection would have been a gold and matte silver flocked type of paper (which I do not have) but as I worked with this matte burnished gold gift wrap I saw that it needed a bit more glam and it worked into a good little gift wrap tip, something to do with those leftover paper strips left over from wrapping smaller boxes. Do not be throwing those away.

I often use my leftover gift wrap strips to do this layered effect. One I like to use them up wherever I can and in this case it added a bit more gilt. I also think layering paper adds some dimension to the presentation. Paper strip edges are neatly folded and then simply taped at the bottom with double sided tape. You don't have to be precise in measuring the strips, it could even work if they were of dissimilar width. This technique would also work well with bright colours such as Kelly green and hot pink, look around, bet you have some sheet paper and strips that can be used together.

While I was in the layering mood, I knew the only way I was going to get these two unlikely colour tones together was to layer the rust and pink ribbons and work within the existing paper strips. It was either going to work or look positively awful, I found I liked the combination and kept going. Again, ribbon is simply double-sided taped to the bottom, just keep all the edges lined up nice and neat. The gift could be complete at this point, it certainly could go out the door at this point. This is a great gift wrapping technique for a male-gender gift, minus the pink ribbon of course. Change the pink to a chocolate brown or black and it turns it's feminine direction real quick. Guys get funny when they open a gift with a bow, they actually blush if you ever noticed.

Ok, we're done with the guy wrapping (that was quick!) and there is a pale pink flower in the photo so on goes a silk peony. I have this crinkle ribbon that I have been wanting to play with so I wrapped a continuous length around the flower, almost making a ribboned nest. Again, just to give it a bit more dimension. Sometimes I go too far with my experimenting and have to remove something, today it was a large bow to the rear of the flower, it was simply too overdone with all those ribbon layers.

Here is another pale pink leaf ribbon that I adore. It doesn't take to tying well as the little leaves get tangled and break but it does look good laying flat or used as a dangling length. Check in next week......I'm actually going to do some "Guy Wrapping" for Father's Day. No promises, but I will try some blush-free techniques.

Top photo from Southern Accents/Remaining photos from Sande Chase ~ Oooh la la Cadeau

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Zest of Lemon

Something about this yellow and amber kitchen shot from House Beautiful (yes, this magazine is getting better and better) made me want to see if I could capture the sunny vibe in a little gift package. That gorgeous marble counter top reminded me of the marble-look wallpaper I found a few weeks back when I was cleaning that bountiful storage room of mine. Yellow is a uplifting colour, but too much and it can get too cute (maybe why it works so well with black) so I thought the taupe marble background toned down it's sunny disposition just a notch. I will do a full-powered all yellow one coming up in a future post.......just because I do like to prove myself wrong now and again (before someone else does it for me).

Look what else I found.....fake lemons and lemon leaves.
This is the one I started with but something was too-cute, maybe something to do with carnations. So off came the little flowers and one strip of the yellow grosgrain ribbon and in went the lemons. I like the green foliage with the top one much better. I've left this try-out shot in as it shows the marble-look wallpaper a bit better than the top photo. You will see lots of this cotton striped ribbon on the website, in lots of colours. I love the visual impact, the affordable price and the way it holds a bow, nice and crisp just like a cotton shirt.

If I had an all-white kitchen I would running out right now to add some exuberant doses of this sunny hue. So vibrant, so summer. I feel like making lemonade. Actually, my kitchen wallpaper is the colour of those tulips, it's a golden yellowand black toile pattern and I never get tired of it. No wonder this kitchen caught my eye.

Top and Bottom photo from House Beautiful/2nd and 3rd photo by Sande Chase ~ Oooh la la Cadeau

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Petite Laduree Box Re-Gift

If you are lucky enough to receive a macaron-filled Ladree box, you likely aren't going to re-gift the box but keep it for yourself. I know that, but in my case it was fun to try. I am pretty shameless about asking whoever is going to Paris to bring me back a few boxes, so I had a fabulous macaron delivery last month. Since then, these petite boxes in Laduree's striking new patterns have been sitting on my desk saying " I dare you to re-gift me!"

Once the macarons are gone, these gorgeous petite boxes would be so lovely to pass along to a special friend with a little gift inside, a bar of perfumed soap, a little candle, or lipstick and nail polish in a colour she would love to try, something thoughtful and pretty. You know, on those days when you are feeling really generous and will actually share your pretty boxes! On this first one, I wanted to show the gold embossed oval pattern that surrounds the Laduree logo so I punched a hole in the lid (yes, right through the logo), knotted the ribbon on the lid underside and pulled the duplex (2 colour) ribbon through into two loops and then held it into position with a rhinestone ring. It was that easy, so easy I can't believe I haven't thought of it before. As long as the ribbon is the same width or wider than the ring, it will hold. Keep in mind you could do this with any flat napkin ring, round, oval, or square as I showed you a few weeks back. There are some interesting textures and colours that could be used in gift wrapping. Just another option instead of a traditional bow. Laduree is well-known for their pastel packaging palette so I wanted to enhance it's feminine nature with the sparkly rhinestones. Something gold to match the embossing would work nicely too, but now that I see it I do like some sparkle on this Laduree re-gift.

For the second, more dramatic purple and black palette I had no choice but to rely on my Paris labels to cover the logo and oval outline. A girl has to do what a girl has to do. I would normally fill in the label with the recipients name but I may want to use this one for some personal gifting coming up. Surprisingly, neither box took to my wider ribbons, I tried and it just overwhelmed the pretty pattern. A dainty duplex purple ribbon tied into a bow on all four sides seemed to do the job. With this method, the recipient doesn't have to untie any ribbons (as I know women have a love/hate relationship with untying pretty ribbons) just lift off the lid to see whatever little treasure you have placed inside. Actually, both styles work that way.
All photos by Sande Chase ~ Oooh la la Cadeau

Monday, June 8, 2009

Cheating on Glam Monday

This is so not me.

Instead of working on a Glam Monday post, I am walking a golf course in King City outside of Toronto where my husband is representing our local golf course in a tournament. Both my husband and son are exceptional golfers and athletes, our son played professional golf for a few years until he decided it was a exceptionally lonely life and he is an exceptionally social person. I often tell my husband he should have married an athletic woman, I am hopelessly uncoordinated and is has come to pass that people even apologize when talking about sports around me. Sad to say, but it is that physically obvious that I cannot partake of any sports activity or conversation (except cycling, but that was very late in life). But it could be that for a sport-lovin guy I would be the perfect wife. I am really, really good at keeping myself busy with all sorts of creative pursuits. This means I never even notice that he has watched golf/hockey/football/ for hours on end. Clever guy .......I think he knew this from the get-go.

While I am walking the course on what is supposed to be Glam Monday, I thought I should at least leave you some pretty things to look at for the beginning of the week. Hey, one thing I do know is that you can't wear kitten heels on the course, give me some credit! If you go over to House Beautiful, there is a little series {photos and video}about using everyday containers for this year's bounty of fresh-cut flowers by HB floral designer Robert Rufino. I actually have a container just like the trumpet shaped tole vase above but not these gorgeous Sweet Peas which I will surely plant this week. It's just a seasonal reminder to look around and use what is available. Point well taken. No Sweet Peas, but I do have pink and white Peonies blooming all over the place right now. Every year I forget to buy peony cages so they are abundantly leaning to the ground once again. Rufino recommends putting these extravagant bloom in a smaller mug. All those colours and pattern do enhance the vivid pink much better than a clear vase. I don't have a Coronation Mug (even though we do have a Queen) as I always thought they were tourist-tacky. Guess I was wrong again.

Rufino uses only four Hydrangeas in this footed bowl. He recommends you place three stems standing straight (in different stem lengths), then the fourth stem on an angle for height and dimension. I think he is making it sound easier then it is, but I am willing to try his method and see if mine will look like this.

Here is a simpler Coronation mug with softly-tinted Bridal Blush roses.
Gorgeous sitting on a desk.

I have a friend who is mad for Magnolias and their sweet fragrance. She does exactly this, floats the delicate beauties in a clear bath. Nothing more is needed.

Top photo from Vogue Archives/remaining photos from House Beautiful.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Mix Those Colours

One blogger sent her other blogger friend a lovely little birthday surprise. Nice for me that I can do a bit of blogger research and "gather" the personality of the recipient before I wrap. I could see this artist blogger loved colour so the brighter the better. This is the photo that I send to the gifter so she can share in the fun of her long-distance gift and it got me thinking of something to think about the next time you wrap. Not every little gift has to match. In fact, the more you mix it up with paper patterns and ribbon, the more fun the presentation. I have four blue ribbons (turquoise, royal, and checks) and three different green ribbons (chartreuse, kelly, and forest green). I've used two different gift wrap papers that you wouldn't put side-by-side and think they match, but it distinquishes each gift. Even if you do use the same gift wrap paper, consider changing the ribbons around so that each gift has it's own presentation personality. Just makes it more fun to open.

A gorgeous soap gets ribbon-wrapped in two colours of hand-dyed silk.

I have come to love this Blue Bird gift wrap paper the more I work with it. That is often the case, like many things it just takes time to reveal it's better nature. This soft green background can handle any colour direction of ribbon and as I write this I see another colour I want to try..........right now. This is one of the Wrap Room papers you'll be able to buy. You'll have lovely ribbon choices and embellishments too. Like little bird nests.

I found a little teal bird all dressed up in velvet last weekend when I was cleaning my storage room and it chirped to my attention today. I had intended on trying a brown ribbon but it looked a bit dull to tell you the truth, so teal it became along with a teal sheer ribbon working as it's nest. I think this bird is a little overdressed for the paper, but this type of experimenting tells me that the embellishment will work, it just needs to dress down a bit...... perhaps a little brown bird sitting in a nest? Yes, that's it.

This lovely gift wrap paper image is also available as a File Folder Set and a Notebook.
Such a pretty pattern to make desk chores more uplifting.

All photos by Sande Chase ~ Oooh la la Cadeau

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Virginia Johnson & Kate Spade

You had to know I would love this illustration by Canadian illustrator Virginia Johnson. This is me and my life right here in one drawing! I have had this in my photo file for a few months and meant to add it into my Kate Spade regift post last week. A Canadian artist who did artwork for Kate Spade... I couldn't be more proud! I have admired her illustrations for quite some time and had bought the Kate Spade style book series a few years back as gifts but never put the two together until recently.

You may remember the KS three-books series Manners, Style, and Occasions in Red, Green, and Blue covers. I must have gifted the other two, but I still have my copy of Manners. Lucky thing, I just spoke to them and the charming books are now discontinued which makes me happy that I kept one copy at least. The illustrations by Virginia Johnson were a good part of the charm of these unpretentious quides to social graces in this modern time. I had to pass on this quote from Andy Spade in the Gifts, Gifting, Re-Gifting section of Manners.

"Re-Gifting is an artform. But beware: If you re-gift to others, they may re-gift unto you"

I plan to talk about the delicate artform of re-gifting in an upcoming post. You had to know I was going to talk about this sooner or later, didn't you?

So beautifully and simply rendered.

As captioned in Manners ~ In a Museum Solo Viewing is Bliss
I love how this is illustrated with her head turned just slightly

Elements of delicate style.

Even from the neck down, you can still
imagine the conversation.
("Darn.....she wore the same shoe colour")

According to her website, the Canadian Toronto-based designer still does illustrations but is better known as being a textile designer who now sells to stores such as Kate Spade and Barneys. She has the most fabulous shawls on her website {click here}.

All illustrations from Virginia Johnson/Photo 2 by Sande Chase


Related Posts with Thumbnails