Monday, December 24, 2012

Wrapping Versailles for The Holidays

Two things caught my wrapping fancy this year. My photo montage of Versailles and the 2013 Pantone Color of the Year.......Emerald Green. The Versailles photo montage is still being tweaked as a gift wrap for production in 2013. I love the black & white version which will be printed on a gorgeous vellum. A muted colour in-progress version is seen below. I am using my work samples for this year's holiday wrapping, a fun way to see what works and what doesn't so excuse the smaller size but it does tell me to keep moving forward with this design. No matter how I plan it, it seems I always end up gift wrapping at the last minute. A revolving and early flu set our household back in scheduling but we are busy little elves tonight with wrapping, chopping, setting tables, and doing last minute things.

~ photos by Sande Chase ~

Pearl wire ribbon on marble paper.

I know all your gifts are wrapped and under the tree........and I am wishing all my wonderful readers a most wonderful and magical holiday season with your family and friends. I know all of us are especially grateful this year for the gift of time with our loved ones.  

all photos by Sande Chase

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Christmas snowbound Oklahoma

A group of bloggers were asked this month "What are your favorite Christmas Memories"and though most of my Christmas's have included beautiful trees, delicious food, sparkles everywhere, many relatives, and tons of effort the absolute best Christmas memory I have doesn't include any of those things, not one ornament, not one tree light. In fact, it was the quietest Christmas anyone could possibly have, but then again that crazy Mother Nature was involved and you know what happens when she gets going. We still chuckle when we mention "the Christmas in Oklahoma" in 2009, the year our son was on rotation in Tulsa and couldn't come home so we went there, the year the state had their snowstorm of the century, the one where the whole state came to a standstill. Canadians are used to their blizzards, heck we actually kind of like them now and again but Oklahoma doesn't have snowstorms and road-clearing machinery, homeowners don't have shovels, and the whole city was on lockdown for days after the snow had stopped falling. We barely made it out for Christmas dinner (I was determined) and as we traveled down the uncleared, treacherous highway for our Christmas dinner in a friend's 4-wheel drive to a downtown restaurant that I had carefully reserved months ahead (it was also a hotel so all the wait staff had stayed overnight) all I could think was that we were going to spin out of control, be stranded, and no one would know for days, at least until the snow melted. After that tense and dangerous ride, we mostly stayed put in our son's apartment, lined up on his small sofa watching goofy holiday movies, laughing, and watching Oklahoma residents unsuccessfully dig out from under all that snow. I guess in the end that what it means to me is that Christmas is mostly about being with your family, small or large, and sometimes you have to do it differently to help them along and that's alright. We were together. That's all that mattered. 

To read  Christmas stories from other bloggers in the By Invitation Only 
group please go here.

Photos from here

Monday, December 3, 2012

iphone covers ..........from Condé Nast

I am keeping my eyes wide open this season for a new iphone cover ever since mine was stolen in Paris. As I look at the ever-growing selection of iphone covers I always think what a great gift item it is..........good selection, good style, and decent price. What else can you ask for in a gift? I was over at the Condé Nast website ( I always make it sound like I went somewhere don't I?) looking at their archive posters from Vanity Fair and Vogue when I noticed they had a new section for iphone covers. An exclusive and retro collection using some of the iconic illustrations, photos, and covers from the Condé Nast archives, how perfect is the timing? It isn't a huge collection, 36 images at last count but I would guess it will grow if it proves popular, several of the covers are also available in the iphone5 size. Not only do several styles suit me but I like that more than a few would suit the guys too (how funny is the French Army Knife from The New Yorker?), especially the B & W photos from the covers of GQ. Let's face it, iphone covers make for a great holiday is never enough. 

photos via Condé Nast

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Re-styling the wardrobe.........with cravats, scarves, and brooches

Old habits die hard and I always think I need something new to wear for the holidays. But truthfully, I already have everything I need and brought some great things home from Paris that I still want to wear. Sometimes, we just need to sit down in our closet and look around, see what we have, take a deep breath................and play, re-style, re-fashion, re-use, and re-invent. Indulge me while I re-style with the help of some fun photo apps. I love drawing arrows it seems. First up....... why have I waited so long to do a Cravat style scarf when I just love, love the look? Never mind that now........I will be re-styling my Anne Fontaine white shirt this way all winter long. Doesn't this more structured style look fabulous for a change? Really good with a vest too.

Remember all those sweater wraps we were all wearing a few years back? Add a faux-fur collar and a skinny belt and is cold and groovy outside. Check. Check. I have all three of these things.

I have a coat that is exactly like this vest, exactly. I never wear it because it is actually a bit too warm for me. I am going to have the suede arms taken off and guess what?.......I just acquired a Boho style vest. Actually, I have about 10 items I could re-fashion this way and I bet you do too

Plain t-shirt or simple shirt. Vintage silk scarf as a belt for your jeans. Perfect for those scarves in your collection that just never seem to look good, by colour or pattern, close to your face.......but they may look really, really groovy going through your belt loops as long as you keep the top real simple. Are you with me on this?

I am not sure but this sweater might be at Zara right now I couldn't find it and if it is, somebody should buy it real quick. If not, I think it has some fab DIY potential. I love this unexpected length of ribbon. Cardigans buttoned up the back in a 50"s retro way too, anything turned in a different direction is bound to be noticed.

This "un-tucked" look has been around for a bit now but darn it, it sure makes wearing a pair of jeans more comfortable and interesting. I am not about to give up this look any time soon not unless I get some kind of Brazilian Booty Lift. Shows off great looking belts too, maybe a glittery style for the casual holiday get together. Are you a 'tucked" or "untucked" kind of gal? Personally, I will never be tucked again.

Coloured shoelaces, pretty ribbon to change up the Oxfords.........or brogues.

Remember that past Paris post where I predicted huge scarves will be coming around? One scarf + second scarf = more volume, more interest, more drama. They don't have to be vintage but start there because I bet you could find some interesting patterns to work this look.

You know I love brooches especially for gift wrapping but sometimes I even wear them and I like the idea of using them in unexpected places, the waistband of a skirt, the center of a cravat, on a wide skirt cuff especially if it is white, and I can't help think one there is an unexpected spot this holiday season that we should consider placing a bit of sparkle. At the bottom hem of a pair of fancy pants, you know those silky Capri style in brocades and patterns, the ones we are all wearing this holiday season instead of party dresses. I think a brooch would look divine there near the bottom outside hem, a bit of sparkle every time you move your leg. I could be wrong but I will let you know.

                                    I would love to hear some of your re-styling ideas too! 

All photos from here  / photo enhancements and text by Sande Chase


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