Sunday, February 28, 2010

Oh made me like sports!

Oh are really kind of cool today.
You always were, but now the world knows it too.

It can happen. You can change. I watched the Canada - US hockey game last night, every single minute and just about lost my mind with excitement. Unlike my husband who I might add was so stressed when they went into overtime that he washed dishes while I commentated from the TV. A little background is in order here.......I do not watch sports.......ever. My husband and my son are both athletes ( husband was scouted for the Red Wings, ) and to to anyone who knows us this could be an extraordinary moment in our household. I watched and understood a hockey game, like my heart rate was over the edge watching this game. Oh made me like sports. This is big, real big.

Skeleton? What the heck is that? I can't help but know now especially since we think this Jon Montgomery is our son's long lost twin or brother. The minute he went up to the podium and took off his helmet we saw it and then when he acted kind of crazy we really saw it and so did a bunch of people who know our son. The calls, the texts, the facebook with the comments "Austin......that Jon Montgomery is totally you! Are you still in school or are you in Vancouver?" It is totally weird seeing someone who looks and acts just like your son. Second to that, I think that Skeleton sport looks like an awesome ride.

Another red head! And he is totally fun too. I'm telling you, there is something in red hair that makes these guys way too much fun. In my next life I am going to try snowboarding and figure skating......maybe even women's hockey!
Oh are awesome.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Sarah Klassen and some Apricot inspiration

Certain colours just stay in my head and when I saw these apricot silk shoes in a post by fellow Canadian blogger Sarah Klassen I knew this meant it would show up somewhere in the weekly gift wrapping. I simply can't help it, not when stylish bloggers give me so much colour inspiration. If you haven't made it over to her most stylish blog Haute Design, you must make it a point to do so. Sarah has an incredible eye for fashion and design and you will just love it there. I do.

I had a run of "pink" website orders this week so when it came time to wrapping the last order of the week (a personal one) I was in the mood for another direction. Not that I don't love pink, I must use more pink ribbon than anybody in the world. I just wanted something more dramatic, something with that delicious melon colour.

We tend to think of tissue paper as something we crinkle and stuff into a gift bag. As a understated gift wrap it can be beautifully simple. Something you can consider when you want the presentation to be less wrapped so to speak. I will talk about tissue more in the next few weeks and try to show you how to do the hand pleating that you can see under the label if you look carefully. Tissue wrap has a tactile feel that gift wrap paper just can't match. This was one of the gift items that go into the larger box. Each gift is wrapped different, varying papers, ribbon and wrap styles. It just makes the whole unwrapping experience so much more fun don't you think? It can also be a gift wrapping tutorial if they take their time and study the techniques. If they are into that sort of thing.

Do you always have to have a bought card? I like making my own and I really liked the idea of tucking it under the big bow with a little flower peeking out under all that ribbon. It seems more personal somehow. I simply took a blank card in a melon colour, punched a hole in the corner, wired in the petite flower, and wrote my message, no envelope. I pulled it out to photograph but it does get hidden under the bow before it goes out the door.

Top photo via Sarah Klassen/Other photos by Sande Chase ~ A Gift Wrapped Life

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Giveaway Gift Wrap

Since this was the Charlotte Moss Giveaway product choice for one of the three readers who won, I wanted to present it in a box and this larger one just happened to fit. I also wanted to use the gorgeous paper roses that I keep on hand from Noel at Fanciful Designs. Two of them in fact, one big confection of pale pink pretty. I have wrapped this website product in the past by following the round shape but think I might consider offering it in this damask pattern box from now on to give it more presentation. What I would really like is a gift wrap paper in that stunning pink marble paper that lines the inside lids of this gorgeous product. That would be perfection.

I have this same striped taffeta ribbon in black and white as well, but surprisingly the more subdued charcoal and ivory version seemed to look more elegant. Every time I gift wrap this product I do it a different way which just means I am still experimenting. It could also mean I won't be satisfied until I find or design a blush pink marble gift wrap paper.

I wanted to try photographing this product on a velvet fabric that just happened to be the exact colour of the diffuser oil. I have yards and yards of assorted fabric left from my designer days that I will now start using for backdrops. Good thing I kept all of it after all. It's amazing what you find when you do a good clean up.

All photos by Sande Chase ~ A Gift Wrapped Life

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Back in Order with a Chic Room

I didn't exactly intend on not blogging last week after my Blog Anniversary post, it just happened that way. I swear I don't know where this winter has gone, not so bad to a person who finds winter long and dreary. The steady stream of workers who were putting my studio and office back into order from that ill-timed flood last December have finally left and I must say, I want to kiss my new surroundings. While we were at it, I figured I might as well purge, re-organize, and re-think the space. I now have a Chic Room as I call it and why didn't I do this before? Because it is so much work? But boy was it worth it! Now I can gift wrap, process orders, photograph, have classes, listen to music, watch a movie, lounge, read, chat, nap, blog, eat, yoga (?) and just claimed a whole part of the house as a woman-only zone. My ribbons and gift wrap papers are lined up, scissors sharpened, inventory organized, and my head finally feels straight again. This creative person likes order more than you would think.

You may have noticed a distinct lack of gift wrap posts since the flood and for good reason as I was temporarily squeezed into my inventory storage area. Not exactly conductive to being creative. Now I am set up with a full photo area right across from where I wrap and I can change backgrounds, position lighting, so in other words I have no more excuses not to get back on track with plenty of gift wrapping posts. Not that any of you have said a word, you haven't but you have been saying lots of other wonderful things and I must say Thank You......for all the extraordinary comments on my recent giveaway, birthday and anniversary posts. You are truly the best readers and followers any blogger could want and I hope to make my way back over to you soon to say hello, to say thank you, from the comfort of my Chic Room of course.

Cards from ToykoMilk by Margot Elena

Monday, February 15, 2010

Blog mystery to me

Blogging is one big mystery to people who don't blog. If you blog you hear these types of comments "what's a blog" or "isn't that when you talk about yourself a lot?" or "I am much too busy to read those all day" or "it seems so narcissistic" or "I guess you need to express yourself somehow". I can only speak for myself but after blogging for one whole year, almost 200 posts, I want to tell you absolutely no attention to any mysterious remarks about blogging. In fact, just let it be, smile to yourself, and if need be just keep this delicious blogging secret to yourself for now. Continue blogging until your heart is content. If you have words to say, say them and someone here will hear you.

This is what I now think about blogging. It doesn't matter if it is a small blog, a boring blog, a big blog, a popular blog, it matters that you express yourself and find those people who hear your words. Isn't that the point of it? have our words heard, to know that we are not alone, we aren't as strange as we thought? The world is a small and large place at the same time. In your smaller world you can be surrounded by people who know you well, but can't possibly hear every word you have inside. This might not be intentional, it can simply be that you speak a different language, you need to seek out other conversations from time to time. To some, blogging can be a huge waste of time, a sign our world is becoming one continuous loop of social media, one more way of distancing ourselves. I beg to differ, I have never felt more connected to a continuous thread of women who speak my language, who inspire me, who hear me and for that reason I smile to myself a lot these days.

I admire creative women of all expression. I also feel a kinship with them because I think the creative world can sometimes be a lonely one. That seems like a strange thing to say but creativity is so personal, so subjective that the chances of finding other people who speak the same language within our smaller world is quite unlikely. The challenge with creativity is not only does it need to be expressed but it needs to be grow, to develop, to blossom. You hearing me? To read or write a blog doesn't mean you don't have real "live" friends, I think it simply means you want more of them.

When you blog, there are circles and circles of support and understanding that surround you if you open a sincere heart to it. I am immensely grateful for the second time in one week, I admire and adore the women I have met in the past year through blogging. You know who you are, you are fellow bloggers, readers, followers, subscribers, emailers that have touched my heart in no small way. It matters not that I have not met any of you personally, that I could pass you on the street, that you are on the other side of the world. I want you to know.......I hear you each and every one of you. I am a blogger and I love my new friends.

All photos via Flickr

Sunday, February 14, 2010

To JPC..........My Valentine


Any Way....

Any Time....... are the one for me ~ XO

All photos via Flickr/Bottom photo via NibsBlog

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A bit of Blush Pink Romance

Remember this? One of my favorite pink gift wrap posts using my outdated supply of wallpaper samples. I adore this wide ribbon and the trio of pink satin bows. It still sits across from my desk in my blog display area.

Vintage Books by stylist Selina Lake. Author of Bazaar Style a gorgeous interior book from Ryland, Peter, & Small Ltd. See some of her eye candy on her website {click here}.

When I wrap up the Pink Paris gift wrap set for shipping, it is a deliciously feminine day.

Noel at Fanciful makes these gorgeous pink slippers
with hand dyed French paper for her Etsy shop. She has an incredible
eye for beauty.

Lavender Wands from Provence were originally designed for romance. A gentleman would give these ribboned and lavender scented wands to his betrothed to scent her growing trousseau during their engagement. Exquisite intent and a thoughtful engagement gift.
Forget diamonds, I still want this pink quartz necklace from
jewellery designer Ranjana Khan. For now I just borrowed it from stylish blogger
Judith at Paris Atelier.

Pink walls and pink light bulbs make a women's skin just glow.
So does a warm fragrant bath and this room.
Image from Southern Accents.

Extraordinary heart shaped bouquet by Jane Packer - UK

For you. Enjoy your Valentine preparations.

1st and 3rd photo by Sande Chase ~ A Gift Wrapped Life/Bottom Photo from Jane Packer-UK/all other photos named at source.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Bringing Small Comforts ~ YumYum good

When it comes to sending comfort, can there be anything better than homemade Chicken Soup? Soup made with love and then shipped to a doorstep anywhere in the United States? Is this a yum yum good idea or what? When I ran across the website Spoonful of Comfort I just knew this was a brilliant idea for friends and family looking to send long-distance comfort. How you send love and concern long-distance was a very personal question for Spoonful of Comfort founder Marti Wymer. As a transplanted Canadian living in Florida, Marti cooked up this delicious concept when her Canadian mother passed way shortly after being diagnosed with cancer as a way to send something more personal than flowers or a fruit basket. So my question you ship to Canada too? Not yet, but soon they hope as they work out those pesky food issues the border seems to dwell on. I will Canadian readers keep posted.

A 64 oz. jar (4-6 servings) is $32.00 plus shipping and you do have the option of ordering multiple jars and adding homemade rolls or oatmeal raisin cookies in 1/2 dozen sizes for $6.00. The soup is all homemade, full of all those good nutrients and hydration that is so essential to recuperation. The fresh soup is packed with love and good wishes in an insulated liner with gel packs and recipients are instructed to use within 2-3 days. Wholesome comfort sent right to their doorstep.

Speaking of yummy might want to check out the Soup on Sunday series that style blogger Ronda Carman of the blog All The Best has been posting over the last few weeks. Her warm and cosy soup series has me digging out the soup pot and scaling back our Sunday dinners to a one bowl feast. Not just me, her readers are urging her to write a soup cookbook and it just might happen. I just happen to think Ronda's soup sketch could make for a clever cookbook cover.

Sunday Menu........Ronda Carman's Tortellini Parmesan Soup. Click here for her recipe.

1st and 2nd photo from Spoonful of and 4th photo from blag All the Best

Monday, February 8, 2010

Bringing Small Comforts ~ CrazySexyCancer

"Life is a terminal condition, cancer patients are just more aware of it."

When women are faced with a medical challenge, a powerful weapon of choice should be knowledge. Kris Carr was deadly serious about her diagnoses of Stage 4 cancer in 2003. Given no option but experimental treatment for her rare and incurable type of cancer, the 31 year old actress and photographer sets out to explore any and all options. Even the crazy alternative ones. She refers to her cancer journey as an adventure story, a catalyst for a personal revolution. She is a warrior princess who wears cowboy boots. She wanted to kick cancer in the butt. And so far she has.

Kris Carr is crazy in a good kind of way. She is a CrazySexyCancerCowgirl (her term) and I think her knowledge and how she shares it is pretty powerful stuff. Millions do, you may have seen her on Oprah last year and remember her story. I am just reminding you so you can arm your friend with her own copy of this bestselling DVD and book to help her kick that stupid cancer as hard as she can. This can be your long distance gift, both books and DVD can be ordered directly from her site or on Amazon. Visit the CrazySexyCancer website and make sure you watch the 7 minute movie trailer of this DVD, it will give you goosebumps. It is sometimes funny, sometimes crazy, and her message that "healing is about living rather than fighting" is a really essential one for your friend right now. Just one more weapon.
Top photo by Brian Fassett via photos from

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Bringing Small Comforts ~ Let's Talk

I know this subject is hard. It feels like I am dripping in emotion this week as I write more and more in this series Bringing Small Comforts. I know this isn't the fun stuff that we usually talk about on blogs, especially one that is supposed to be about gifts and gift wrapping. I have written ahead a bit so I will admit that it is a draining subject for me to write and for you to read. Then I think to myself "I feel drained? So what? This is not about me and so for now we are going to keep talking about support until I am wrung dry or you tell me to stop, whatever comes first. OK? I promise some pretty "doorstep" gifts and gift wrapping are ahead.

We can have lots of excuses when we look for them, but nobody can really say I don't have time, I'm too busy. Not when someone is sick, alone, bored, worried, and needs her close circle of friends. It is that simple. "I don't have time, I'm too busy" is such an overused expression these days. We use it so easily and so conveniently that we really should give our heads a shake or two don't you think? I am not even talking about saying it out loud, heaven forbid it always sounds downright ridiculous, I am talking about telling ourselves this exact excuse in order to avoid something that we perceive as uncomfortable, awkward, unthinkable. Fellow blogger Trish Jett of A Femme d'un Certain Age commented to me that when two friends were faced with cancer she asked them what she could do to bring them pleasure, Anything in her power she told them....... anything. "Just come and see me, don't avoid me, talk to me" . There it is in a nutshell don't you think? Don't avoid me. Our hearts may be there with them in illness or grief, but we avoid looking them in the eye. The mind shuffles itself in a protective manner and visiting the friend you love while they are in pain or suffering is way too painful for some, for many of us. Every instinct tells us to look away. So what am I saying in this most awkward way? I am repeating this isn't about you. You call, you call again, and get over there and sit with your friend and just visit. Just grab your keys and go. Short visits. Frequent visits. Don't give her the chance to say "don't worry about it, I know you are busy". Her reply is female code for "I know how uncomfortable this is for you". Pay no attention and go as often as you can, make it comfortable. Be a pest. Look her in the eye. Be a good listener. We can do this.

Photo from Photographer's Limited editions via the blog Beautiful Things To Share/blog link to A Femme d'un Certain Age

Friday, February 5, 2010

Immensely Grateful at 56

Birthday Thoughts at 56.

i can learn new things. i married the right person 35 years ago. i must have been a good mother. i am never to old to learn anything, just not bridge. i can still surprise myself at times. i know myself better than i like to admit. vanity doesn't go away with age, but jealously thankfully does. a passion gives you purpose. i admire creative women. i need less clothes, but more pajamas. the older i get the better i listen to others. the empty nest can be a reward. i wish i had bought google and apple stock when i said i was going to. i believe my horoscope everyday. time does go faster the older you get. be wary of friends who never pat you on the back for anything. nobody get a big head from too many compliments. smile at everyone, they always smile back. i am in awe of sunsets. you need less things but more time. my son had taught me more than i have taught him. i love to laugh hard. i adore funny people. i am a loyal person. i miss my mother and my sister. i like to know the story behind the person. i am tired of dieting. I admire kindness in a person. i love new technology. i love HBO. i like my music loud. i love cycling outdoors. i could live on ice cream and toasted nuts. i listen to oprah more than i should. i need to listen to dr. oz more. i am immensely grateful. i am 56.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bringing Small Comforts - Warrior Princess

When my friend and I were talking about how to comfort a woman who was faced with cancer, she reminded me of a customer request to title their comfort gift "to our Warrior Princess". We both thought this was the most lovely title to bestow on anyone struggling through the challenging fight we are talking about today in this series on Bringing Small Comforts. At many points during cancer patients fight with many things, the pain, the meds, the treatments, the after effects, the surgeries, the physical changes,the doctors, the why-me question and what's happening to their families and the household . After any and all of this any woman is going to feel like a Warrior and likely hasn't felt like a Princess since she heard the word cancer. Today's idea of organizing a Warrior princess party is simply to remind her that you admire her Warrior strength, will be her loyal army when needed, and through all this she is still the Princess you know and love. A small group of her closest friends, done simply, and on her schedule. A Warrior Princess party may sound frivolous, but I think bringing in the troops so to speak and surrounding her in frivolous fun and love can only make your princess have some really good giggles. And feel your love.

I am going to assume when writing about this delicate subject that you know your friend best. This subject has generated a great deal of response so I know it is one that is close to your heart or that you recognize it will be at some time in the future. This series Bringing Small Comforts will be covering alot of topic and ideas, I have over 12 series already so please understand every idea is not for everyone or every situation. Some handle their cancer very privately, some are very open. But I do know this, you really can't make a mistake when you set out to bring comfort in any form.

Timing is everything in organizing a Warrior Princess party. In order to do so, you have to have a very close friend or family member to alert you to best timing during an unpredicable schedule of good and bad days. A partner or daughter to call you and say "I think she could really use some company and cheering up". Some would need it at the very beginning, some during the treatments, others when they complete the final treatment. So the beauty of this Warrior Princess party is you really only have to have a few things ready beforehand (the tiara and the pearls), the ice cream and cake at the last minute. Keep it low-key, the group small, like a few friends just popping in for a short visit, then really do keep it short (unless she is having so much fun she begs you to stay), then come in with all the fun and frivolous ways to make her feel like the princess you know her to be.

I have shown several things that I think make for a Warrior Princess party. You may add or embellish, but I urge you to keep it simple and heartfelt. A fun and delicious cake, multiple flavours of ice cream, chocolate sprinkles and sauce, bananas and whipped cream, chopped nuts (I think this just became a Banana Split party-which would work too) . This is not the time for anyone to say they are dieting. You must find a sparkly tiara and wand for her to wear while she is surrounded by her royal subjects (fun ones you find at the dollar store), and my last suggestion, something I would want to glamorize any bed confinement. A gorgeous and long set of fun pearls with an attached tag reading "If Carrie Bradshaw can wear pearls to bed, our princess should too!". When it's time for her to be tucked in for the night, leave her a lovely stack of pretty princess-theme cards with individual messages telling her why she is your Warrior Princess. Tie each envelope in pretty ribbon and a small bow. Considerately leave them on your way out so she can enjoy them at her leisure over the next few days.

On a practical note, this isn't the time to walk in looking for dishes and glasses at a household trying to stay together, so box up your own, a bunch of votive candles, some beautiful china, your best silver, flowers if you like, sparkly crystal.....make that champagne flutes........I almost forgot the pink bubbly. You must bring some champagne even if she can only enjoy a few sips. It will help to loosen up the rest of you as well. If your get-together it is a bedroom setting because she is most comfortable there then bring along a portable card table and a pretty tablecloth. One more thing, bring a camera and then send her the photos in a small album. I know she will be smiling in all of them.

Top photo from unkown source/2nd photo from Kate French ~ Sarah Kaye/3rd photo by Hammick ~ Sarah Kaye/4th photo from unknown source/ Bottom photo by Tim Evans Cook ~ Sarah Kaye

Monday, February 1, 2010

Charlotte Moss Giveaway Winners are.......!

I must really seem to like this Charlotte Moss ~ Left Bank product by Agraria! With over 280 entries via comments and emails, over 500 entries in total by the time I entered for following, posts, and twitters. You kept entering and I kept writing, and writing......and writing. I know there are random counters but it is such a lovely way to meet many of you. I know the winners are going to adore these products as much as I do. I will post how these gorgeously shaped products get wrapped but only once they are received by the winners so I don't spoil their surprise. I also love giveaways so if you didn't win this time, stay tuned............I have all kinds of lovely surprises ahead. Congratulations to The Giveaway winners!

~ La Dolfina ~
~ Brigitte ~
~ Dustjacket Attic ~
* Winners to email me at to confirm which Charlotte Moss ~ Left Bank product you prefer and shipping details.

Photo from Agraria.


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