In case you guys are wrapping up gifts this week, I wanted to share this fancy, but deceptively easy bow trick I picked up as a 16-year-old while working at a candy shop making gift baskets around the Holidays. (My second job ever!) I still remember the day I learned this. It was such an a-ha! moment, and I thought to myself ‘OHHHH so that’s how they do it! Weird thoughts for a teenager? Probably. What can I say though except: different strokes.
A special someone on my gift list asked for an apron this year, and I was more than happy to oblige! My mom introduced me to a fitted and feminine apron pattern by Amy Butler
We brought home a handful of pretty mermaid tears (sea glass pieces) that we collected this spring on the beach in Positano, and since we’ve gotten home, I’ve been looking for the right project to put them to good use (other than looking pretty in a jar on our end table). So I decided to pick a few of my favorites and turn them into mini sea glass pendants. I didn’t want to have to drill into the pebbles since they’re so small, so I used wire and strong adhesive instead, and I love how they turned out!
You may have noticed that I made an extra effort to make a lot of gifts, rather than buy them, this year. ‘Why,’ might you ask? Simply put; I just really enjoy the process. Everything from the ideation to the construction, I love the design challenges and the satisfaction of having something tangible to show for my time. It makes it all the more rewarding too, knowing that the recipient can actually use or enjoy the end result–and I made it!
Knowing that I wanted to make gifts this year, I came up with a strategy, a schedule of sorts, mid-way through October as to when and how I could make them, so that I wouldn’t be overwhelmed and overloaded with my hands thrown up in the air at the eleventh hour. I did my best to stick to the schedule, and it helped me keep my eye on the prize throughout the fall. In case you missed a post, or are just finding Francois et Moi, below is a collection of the gifts I made this year…
From left to right, top to bottom: a. Indigo Tea Towels, b. Lavender Sachets, c. Salted Bourbon Caramels, d. Vanilla Extract, e. Paperwhite Bulb Kit, f. Tartan Scarf
Last week, right after we turned the corner from Thanksgiving to Christmas, I stopped in to Trader Joe’s for my weekly grocery stop and was delighted by their newly staged Holiday floral section that greeted me as I walked in. Nestled amongst the fresh red berry branches and coniferous wreaths, were mini Paperwhite Bulb Kits that immediately caught my attention. The kits included everything needed to start a paperwhite plant and were enclosed in a pretty, mini metallic gold pot, so I thought I’d stock up on a few for quick hostess gifts this season. I always think flowers are a good idea when it comes to hostess gifts, as they are truly the gift that keeps right on giving. Below was my strategy for getting the bulb kits gift-ready.
I have to say, I’ve never gotten into the Black Friday craze. Waking up at 4 am to brave the massive, cut-throat crowds for Holiday deals doesn’t quite top my list for how to spend a long weekend. Though I don’t partake in Black Friday, I do find great pleasure in finding clever and thoughtful gifts for those on my list, as well as finding festive ways to wrap them all up. Below are some creative gift wrap ideas I look forward to trying out this year. Enjoy the long weekend, everyone!
Woodland Wreath Wrapping via Odessamay Society
When the Holiday party season takes full swing, I’m typically scrambling for thoughtful hostess gifts -something a little more creative than a bottle of wine. In all seriousness, a nice red tied with a bow is usually what I end up with, as it’s just so easy. This year though, I’m trying to think ahead. Since fun tea towels are something we don’t often buy for ourselves (but are so nice to have around), I’m thinking these little numbers might just do the trick!