Thursday, April 29, 2010

Simple Mothers Day Gift Wrap

Tomorrow is Tax Day here in Canada and our sons birthday so a quick post today but one to remember for a simple but touching Mothers Day gift wrapping idea that I had in my file from Martha Stewart. Mom will love this idea, a gift wrapped with photos of her favorite children or grandchildren.........she is going to get all teary eyed when you pass along your love with this idea. Just remember the cut ends of the ribbon go under the photo so the bottom stays nice and flat.

Photo from Martha Stewart

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Kate Spade Box regift........challenge

When friends, or friends of my son ask me to gift wrap their own gift purchases I sometimes have to be inventive. Especially if the gift items are of awkward size or shape and they simply won't fit into my custom gift boxes. This is when I go hunting and this is often when I will use a larger department store box, you know..... do that re-gift, reused and recycle thing to beautiful boxes that I seem to enjoy. I just can't let a gorgeous box go to waste, even when it is a challenge.

I mentioned a while back that the new Kate Spade box had recently thrown a challenge my way and I am trying not to take it personally (of course I'm kidding). The logo is now huge on their larger boxes and goes to the very outside edge so the easy application of my larger decorative labels over the store logo isn't going to work anymore. But what a gorgeous box and it was certainly a better option to attempt a more challenging re-gift and re-wrap than wrapping the awkward but lovely shapes in cello. As you may have surmised by now, cello wrapping gift-basket style just isn't my thing. I like the surprise and elegance of a boxed gift much more.

Out came the glue stick and double-sided tape. And a fun and perky polka dot gift wrap paper that I folded into matching strips and then glued and taped down along the entire edge so it wouldn't budge. If you try this, then test the glue on a small piece of the gift wrap, sometimes the glue can wrinkle a lightweight gift wrap paper. One strip to cover the bottom left logo, the other just to balance it out nicely. When I think of Kate Spade, I always think of polka dots and quirky colour combinations so I liked that the olive green paper wasn't an exact match. When I tried a solid Kelly Green gift wrap it just looked too contrived much to my surprise. Well, it did work it just didn't look as interesting.

There would be many colour directions I could have used in ribbon colours (hot pink, coral, red), but I did like the idea of using even more polka dots in matching turquoise grosgrain ribbon. I would have liked to have tried a few other re-gift box options but was short on time. Guess I have to buy another Kate Spade handbag. This blogging is getting expensive.

I didn't mind the green paper flower, but I can't say I loved it. I think this gift went out the door with this pop of coral colour to make it a bit brighter. I am sure I switched the flowers at the last minute. Which do you prefer?

And since I was on a polka dot theme, I wrapped up her second gift in a different colour direction for another shower gift. If I don't know the bridal colour scheme then I don't worry too much about bridal theme wrapping for showers, just hope to make the presentation pretty and fun. Something to stand out among the shower of gifts.

I just love my Kate Spade handbag that I bought a month ago and came in the wonderful new box with the great big logo. As many know, I cannot resist anything in chartreuse, it is simply my favorite colour.Though I may re-gift Kate Spade boxes I really do support her store any chance I get. This is one of my favorite Kate Spade handbags, the inside is lined in Kelly green. It is the perfect handbag size for me and was just sitting there waiting just for me. With a sale tag no less.

All photographs by Sande Chase ~ A Gift Wrapped Life

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mally Bibs...........a 'green" baby gift wrapped in red

"Can you make the gift look kind of Canadian Mom?" Oh, and I am leaving in an hour. Well yes..... but can I put a yellow duckie on it so it somewhat looks like a baby gift and not a box of maple syrup? My son loves theme gifts, babies, and his country so when he and his rotation partner wanted to give their US attending resident (eg. boss) a baby gift they wanted Canada written all over it. My son's partner found the Canada theme bib online which I thought was very resourceful of her and then they had me add in a few more things. Sophie the giraffe, the french teething sensation is peeking out of the box too. And yes, it is handy having a mother who can gift wrap at short notice.

I will admit when I first saw this leather bib with the Canadian maple leaf all over it, I wasn't overly excited. I love my country, the maple leaf emblem not so much. Then as I was wrapping I started to read the promotion material from Mally Bib that was tucked into the rear pocket and then this forgetful mature mother started to see the benefit.... it is actually a clever baby gift with some good practical sense. First and foremost, it is a soft 100% baby-safe biodegradable leather (it is beautifully soft) on both sides so it is wipeable instead of machine-washable which saves on laundry (water, electricity and detergent) and will protect those cute little outfits for a long time as a "green" bib choice. Secondly, the age-adjustable clasp is magnetized which makes it remarkably easy to take on and off, not to mention you can just stick it on the fridge for handy storage. Now that makes sense to me.

Mally Bibs was founded by Nicole Garza, a young mother of two and the handmade bibs are manufactured in British Columbia, Canada but these popular bibs ship all over the world. Canadian and US orders ship through Canada and international orders are handled by a European distributor to cut down on delivery times and shipping costs. There is a handy spill-pocket on the rear (or for a stash of cheerio snacks) that can be personalized in leather with the child's name. They feature a large variety of bib images such as planes, animals and cute little insects and they have a custom department as well. Maybe someday, I will order one with a little stethoscope? I am just day.

Of course there is a US version too, we are neighbors after all. Mally Bibs also has a Etsy shop under the name Mally Designs where they reuse and recycle any leather cuts into new product introductions. I am also going to state that Mally Bibs are much nicer "in person" than they show photographically. You know how picky I am about gifts. The more you look at the idea and the more you think about it, the more you may think like I did.........these just make sense and a great gift. I am off to order a few right now.

Photo 2 and 3 by Sande Chase ~ A Gift Wrapped Life/All other photographs used with permission from Mally Bibs

Monday, April 26, 2010

French Charmed............a new addition to the Gift Guide

I was charmed by my new Gift Guide advertiser for a number of gift-giving reasons. Let me introduce Rochele of French Charmed who has brought together a lovely collection of what she calls "french, vintage, and girly" and I know you will enjoy her website and new blog. She is a girly girl with the most charming gift ideas. Check in often, I think she loves to add new things.

The La French Wrap is simply one of the loveliest fabric hat boxes I've seen and is the latest wrapping introduction from French Charmed. Beautiful enough to be the gift itself or add in a something special. The sophisticated Parisian satin boxes are available in two sizes and the black satin ribbon is attached to the lid so it is easily opened and used in her vanity or bedroom. The large box is 11.5" diam by 5.5" tall , small is 7.5 diam. by 3.5" tall and both come gift-ready with 3 sheets of the signature back and cream stripe tissue and black shred. A small tiara pin (removable) is attached to the ribbon closure. Aren't they lovely?

French Charmed really does sell a Tiara. Remember my Small Comforts post on Warrior Princess? There are lots of reasons to make a woman feel like a princess and all of them are special. Slip the sparkly crown or any other feminine treasure into these elegant boxes and you have one beautiful presentation.

With wedding season just beginning, this Custom French Pillow caught my eye because I think it makes for a fabulous Wedding Gift. French Charmed will personalize the 23" x 13" burlap and grain sack type pillow with the names and date of your choice, just allow 2-3 weeks for delivery of this beautifully-handcrafted item. This would be a thoughtful and personal addition to your cash or gift card gift, slip your envelope in the rear of the cushion (though make sure you tell them in your card). And while we are thinking of gifts, wouldn't this be equally as memorable as a baby gift? A nursery keepsake for the new Mademoiselle or Monsieur? I love this idea.

Black and cream ticking adds style to this Pinot Noir Bourgogne Wine Label on linen fabric. Something to send to the wine loving friend. Maybe the hostess whose wine and hospitality you so recently enjoyed?

The French Piano Recital Pillow Slip is printed on Grain Sack Cotton Fabric and would appeal to anyone with a listening or playing ear for beautiful music.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Mothers Day Giveaway Winner is..............

Part of the fun of a giveaway is pulling the winner.
And then wrapping it of course with beautiful satin ribbon
and lots of love.

It is with great delight and pleasure that I will send this Lavender Gift to

Janet ~ French Blue

Thank you to everyone who entered and there is a May Giveaway coming up.
You know how I love to wrap beautiful gifts.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Floresdelsol............preserved beauty on Etsy

Petite Craspedia Topiary...........clustered craspedia (aka billy balls).

Dear Mother 2010................preserved hydrangea. pink preserved coxscomb. soft pink parchment paper roses.

Mossy Garden Mound.......fluffy reindeer moss. textured mood moss. faux moss cobbles.

Honeyed..........aspen gold hydrangea. yellow parchment paper roses. yellow preserved billy buttons.

Visit the beautiful preserved floral world of Floresdelsol on Etsy.

All photos from Floresdelsol ~ Etsy

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Social Contacts for Mothers Day

Since I use tape all day, I couldn't help but notice this elegant cast Elephant Tape Dispenser from Iomoi. Certainly it would be well-used here and especially if you are wrapping beautiful things all day and want a cute little monkey helper to hold your tape. I first emailed Iomoi at Christmas to inquire on the price of this fanciful Elephant Dispenser .......did you say 168.00? Designed by Iomoi, the die-cast dispenser was custom-made by a New York Sculptor and does weigh a hefty 3 lbs. so it is a whole different animal than your standard office tape dispenser. What a fabulous Mothers Day gift for the discerning woman with a beautiful desk. She will think of you everytime she reaches for a piece of tape, thinking what a clever little monkey. That would be you.

We are reverting to the quaint, old fashioned use of calling cards but for a totally different reason, or is it? We may not be announcing a actual visit but in the 21st century handing over a stylish calling card is like saying "yes, I like you and you can contact me via email, cell phone, my blog, facebook or Twitter" and it makes it so much easier. Same message, different time. It is actually a thoughtful and practical gift for the busy woman who makes friends everywhere she goes these days. 50 Iomoi calling cards for 68.00 plus shipping.

I know you have seen this stylish Iomoi gift set before, I just wanted to remind you of it for Mothers day. A chic and handy place to write down all those phone messages from her new friends met via email, blogs, facebook and twitter. Sometimes, we still need a pen and paper. I posted about another clever Iomoi gift last Mothers Day. Go take a look at last years post. It still applies. And it is still very clever.

Don't forget......the Mother's Day Giveaway takes place in 2 days on April 23, 2010.
It is listed on the sidebar. Go enter.

All photos from Iomoi.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

MOR...........pretty than usual for Mother's Day

Just a quick post about some Little Luxuries you might want to think about for Mother's Day. I think a pretty package of this Mor ~ Belladonna Lip Nectar along with a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers is just perfect. Your phone call or lovely company too, of course.

Why not give her a bouquet style done up special as in Queen for a Day? No reason why brides get to have all the fun carrying a gorgeous bouquet all day. She can too.

The Belladonna Body Butter is pretty and special too. Should you want to "butter up" some special favor with the woman who makes all your favorite things whenever you show up. And lends you her new car for weeks on end while driving your old one around. And pays your student Visa bill too (actually this one goes to Father's Day). And organizes your income tax receipts.

MOR ~ Cassis Noir Lip Nectar (18.00 US).

Be on the hunt for an armful of lilacs. Put them in a lovely vintage vase.
She will love you for it.

Just one more.......MOR Marshmallow Lip Nectar.

Image 2 and 4 from Martha Stewart/Remaining product images from Mor Cosmetics

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Navy Tomatoes............and cycling alone?

This summer beach setting is just ahead, right? where did all my Cycle Challenge gals go? I know more than a few of you went out and bought hot new bikes, but are you actually riding them and if so, why aren't you telling me about it? Hey, blame me for stalling the whole challenge even before we started but I'm all fixed up now and have been adding up this weeks mileage slow and steady but looking to pick up the speed. So go to Fun Stuff on the top left and if your name is listed under the Cycle Challenge page then I am waiting to hear from you now and again. Every Sunday night to be precise. Somebody please.

This photo is in my fashion file labeled Navy Outfit to Inspire Weight Loss. The label really was capitalized which only means I was really serious about using this photo for inspiration. Yes, it is a simple outfit (but quite svelte through the hips) so down below you will see my Hermes Box from last weeks jewelry reminder post refreshed and ready to make this outfit less simple......and more inspired.

I am going to eat beautiful plates of roasted cherry tomatoes on whole wheat penne with fresh basil. Not great big plates, but petite ones with a few shaves of fresh parmesan to finish it off. Big plates of my favorite fennel and black olive salad with lots of white balsamic vinegar and a measure of a good quality olive oil. I make everything sound positively easy don't I? It isn't (I really like ice cream and way too much yogurt), but I did tell you I was going to do it. I am also going to head over to the new blog CRU by Noel of Fanciful Designs for healthy, raw food recipes. Bless her focused and creative heart, she is exactly what I need right now.

This weekly jewelry refesher idea really does work. I wore my favorite Italian watch a good part of last week and am fastening on plenty of older favorites more readily and just for fun. That multi-coloured necklace and bracelet of multiple strands has waited for a long time to return to favour while silver tones captured my attention, but gold tones are back so out it comes again. I think it would look quite good with that navy outfit.

I actually don't need much of a reminder to wear this bracelet. Though dramatic in size, it is surprisingly lightweight and comfortable and looks good in any season. It is my go-to bracelet and we all have one of those, right?

This wire cuff brings a welcome jolt of summer colour to any outfit. Especially black linen and I adore black linen in the summer. And those humid days of revealing summer fashion are right around the corner, aren't they? Anyone ready for a good cycle? The slow and steady kind?

Photo 1 and 3 by Tim Evan Cook~Sarah Kaye/Photo 2 unknown/remaining photos by Sande Chase ~ A Gift Wrapped Life.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pretty Pink Packages and a Patisserie Giveaway

Pretty petite packages can be so special

You really should keep a few of these on hand, perfect for gifts of Small Comfort. Lollia Fine Bathing Salts ~ $7.00. Just a bit of ribbon and it really is perfect.

Or these petite Lollia Sachets ~ Imagine Sea Salt Sachets $14.00. No wrapping needed.

Speaking of pretty, did you see this Gorgeous Giveaway over at Reverie ~ Daydreams? To announce the addition of this beautifully-boxed French Patisserie stationery by artist Linda Daily to the Reverie ~ Daydreams boutique, owner and blogger Melissa is giving away one gorgeous boxed set of six cards signed by the artist. Better hurry over to her blog and enter ..........the Giveaway is this Monday, April 19th.

The Reverie Boutique also carries some of the lovely Lollia gifts.
Go visit, I know Mel will take wonderful care of you and your gifts.

Top photo by Polly Wreford~Sarah Kaye/Photo 2 and 3 from Lollia/Bottom photo from Reverie~Daydreams

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My computer too

I want to give you a delicious plate of pistachio macarons, just because a few of you are not enjoying my new blog as well as you normally might. In fact, I might give them to myself .......let's share them while I apologize to any reader who is having trouble reading this blog because.........well, I am not sure why. I am sorry and please bear with me while this browser? stuff gets sorted out. Is it just me or is this computer thing getting more difficult by the day? Though much less difficult with the gracious hand holding of  DJ of Dust Jacket Attic all week long. In the meantime, a few of my favorite things to close off the week.

When I want a good chuckle or think I might want to renew my lost passion for cooking incredible tasty meals, I head right over to visit my favorite food blogger. Well, actually I have a few but I love the way former pastry chef and author David Lebovitz keeps it real while sharing his experience of being an American living and cooking in Paris. It was this photograph from his February post on Truffle Hunting in France that got me hooked on his witty writing style. He shares his story and recipes much better than I ever could, so head over (if you haven't already) and get lost in the culinary world of David Lebovitz.

Somewhere in South Africa, someone is living in my next dream room by Cape Town designer John Jacob that I found over at the blog My Notting HillThis is it The Room. There is something about that silk grasscloth colour, the cosy dimensions, and the warmth of this sitting room that just does it for me. I even showed it to my husband and said "here's our next house" and he replied "but our house kind of does look like this". Silly guy, that's like saying that my hair is blonde when we all know it's kind of gray with blonde highlights. But then again, he only sees the blonde so who am I to call him silly guy?

While I am dreaming............I will take this stunning kitchen by Houston designer Donna Temple Brown that I borrowed from the blog Acanthus and Acorn. Look, it's kind of gray and blonde. Have you noticed who is being the silly one today?

Happy Weekend!

The warmest welcome to new followers and a grateful thank you to the original ones
who are sticking with me while I sort out the browser? problem.

Top photo by photographerArabelle McNie ~ Sarah Kaye/photo 2 via David Lebovitz/photo 3 from John Jacob Interiors/bottom photo from Veranda.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Papo d' Anjo..........for discerning mothers everywhere

I love a good retail story. And this is a really, really good one. One about children's fashions, the precious kind that you want to keep and pass down for generations to come. The old fashioned way. Before I begin, the literal translation of  Papo d' Anjo is "tummy of an angel", the name given to a very special cake whose recipe dates back to 13th century Portugal. Now.........back to that good story.

There is a bit of romance behind the beginings of  Papo d' Anjo. An American woman meets a Portuquese man, falls in love, marries him, moves to Lisbon, Portugal and has two daughters. The American is Catherine Monteiro de Barios and as the founder of Papa d' Anjo she realized fifteen years ago that there might be an American market for the high-quality European childrens fashions that are manufactured the old-fashioned way. By old fashioned way I mean literally made-by-hand, the artisan hands of the Portuguese seamstresses using the finest of fabrics imported from France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and England. The softest of cotton, prints from Liberty of  London, madras, and cashmere. In a sense, the founder also honoured an old-fashioned and time-honoured way of growing her business here in North America. Twice a year, in over 100 US cities, Papo d' Anjo holds Trunk Shows at homes and shops where discerning mothers can meet with dedicated and knowledgeable hostesses over a three day period to pre-order clothing for their little angels. This past March, the New York Trunk Show was at the Carlye Hotel, where you might have rubbed cashmere shoulders with the Trumps.

Located in the heart of Lisbon, the design and production planning offices of  Papa d' Anjo are still located on the top floor of an 18th century building overlooking the Tagus river and six of Lisbons storied hills. These days, the exclusive children's line is also sold in Papo stores in Europe (Lisbon and Madrid), now in the United States and on their website. In-store boutiques are located in Harrods , London and stateside in New York at Bergdorf Goodman. As a gift source, the website will ship anywhere in the world which is why I thought to share this story and source. Due to popular request, Papo d' Anjo recently added baby Gift Baskets, which are available in three sizes and range from $99.00 to $399.00. Filled with a variety of  exquisite nursery gifts and their plush Rabbit, the pique-lined basket is one of their most popular keepsake and presented in their signature Italian-made gift box as shown above. How's that for presentation when you have a baby gift to send to someone special across the world? Or here in North America.

Some may consider it a rarified world of childrens fashion, they even have a Bespoke Collection where you can custom order clothing suitable for special occasions such as a Baptism or the upcoming Flower Girl. The collection gently oozes of innocence and classic quality for those that want to send a very special gift. Like the simple but gorgeous Hippie Dress shown above (79.00). The grandchild in Germany, the niece in Italy, the nephew in New York........all the innocent angels everywhere. Sometimes one classic and beautifully-made item is a rare and wonderful thing.

Papo d' Anjor website (click here) Papo Blog (click here) and US Toll Free Number is 888-660-6111 Europe Toll Free Number is 00800-6606-1111. A catalogue is available through the website. So is the recipe for those divine little cakes.

All photos used with permission of Papo d' Anjo


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