the joy of gift wrapping

DFE1DC4C-BA3E-42E4-83BE-ED74EB35633E
The Enchanted Home

I’m having my hair done (we are all wearing festive shiny silver foil on our heads), and the chatter is about holiday preparations (how far we are and what we love and do not love about this week before Christmas). Two young ladies get into a spirited discussion about gift wrapping. One is all for it and finds it therapeutic (not to mention that she is already finished). The other is less enthusiastic, hasn’t even started, and says her gifts are all going into gift bags.

DCB6DA87-1A9F-4D86-AA4E-2D96C810486D
My gifts last year in wrapping paper from The Enchanted Home and Hallmark

I sympathize with the gift bag lady and have been there myself. But I do love a beautifully wrapped gift, and let’s face it, who doesn’t like opening one? (And I can’t be the only one who loves watching an expert gift wrapper at one of the department stores and thinking that would not be a bad job at all).

Our mother was very particular about how we wrapped gifts, folded corners were inspected, tape had to be hidden, and bows tied neatly (I can tell you I did not appreciate this as a teenage, but I do now). And one of my fondest memories is wrapping presents as an adult on Christmas Eve with my grandfather after my children had gone to bed. He’d come to spend the night with us and he’d help with the wrapping while we had a glass of eggnog.

 

E4F0EDC3-D3E2-417F-99AE-C487BDED680C
William Morris wrapping paper set
F0CD6790-5DF8-46E1-BBF2-926DFDE8779D
Hadley Court
26E478DB-B07B-42E5-B03B-7955848B551E
Cavallini and Co. Christmas botanical
607B6368-F4CC-4FE9-BAD2-91CB7E1F5CD0
My French Country Home
04585C35-9830-49A2-B5F6-7AB5F350284D
Hadley Court

 

489FDCDD-E568-457B-BD3A-6B7350B54E8A
Hadley Court
E9712457-57A9-486E-B0FE-4DB27BD3768B
Gold Toile by Hallmark
CD4B0A73-D36B-4447-B1C2-4117378B18AF
Craftberry Bush
4EA07963-C435-49DC-AC4E-D76B44E4A460
Caspari Twelve Days of Christmas
6A17387A-F41E-4990-8C9C-C5E6AAECA2A0
HGTV
4BF2D353-EE20-4106-B462-F62F33C78518
John Derian
587E7040-96F0-4C8C-9EA8-99668A750C71
Hadley Court
632EEC5B-AD65-4237-B469-1415AD78692C
Country Living
B24621AD-ACCA-4DA3-A0D4-4395924EAF4A
Country Living
BB169EAD-BF18-4813-BAA7-FAF7B8F2D4AA
Sweet Caroline Design
35C3D8D8-7F0A-4D6A-A012-B4A7C53B863A
Vintage
26358F95-E982-400B-A053-6DBEB9F295D9
Liberty Londons

So at the salon we all agreed it is about enjoying the process and the finished product. It’s all very rewarding if you make time for it. Or even if it’s rushed. I love finding beautiful paper and ribbon and coming up with some unexpected finishing touch (just now my sister called in a gift-wrapping panic looking for ribbon!). I don’t have a gift wrapping station like I’ve seen or a whole gift wrapping room (goals!), but I’ve gotten better about buying paper as I see it and keeping a supply of nice ribbon and tags (and yes there are bags).

567EEB81-537C-4CDB-807F-192648F77564

In the midst of the Christmas rush, here are some ideas for inspiration and some of our favorite sources. We wish you much joy in your wrapping and giving of gifts, and a Merry little Christmas!

Cheers,

Holly and Brooke

what we love about November…

Falling leaves in shades of red, orange, and yellow, country walks, apple orchards, mulled wine, heirloom chrysanthemums, cornucopias, cozy sweaters, planting bulbs, Thanksgiving, pheasants, afternoon naps, sheaves of wheat, plaid everything on these “soft-dying days” as Keats called them…

52DCDD5F-6D89-4E58-A6B3-976BF3A154CAF92D8A3A-8007-4027-A82D-9E2BDCAB4E72

9F132688-95DA-4820-8FF1-0D8B0310AF8686B81F91-D03A-4C39-8058-787475E135676828327F-BE0D-4424-BA6D-7C9271CA6969D6506A94-F88D-48FD-9CE1-5C6B1576CD61E0FD3718-30D2-42A7-AED3-FB9C0F7EF6637C8E1137-3DBC-44E4-AECA-3FBCC0D1188ECB8C1497-3595-4F2D-9942-D93BDD47B1B951ED7996-96E3-49A5-B2EC-FCDE51000FD7902F9994-0817-43D7-A7D8-3E93DAC265B643645D06-8930-4AE3-A37F-7442E71362BF45BC872E-0743-4BA8-A668-685E13DA1B95
6FF945D7-B369-40D5-B20A-1C3EEBA1AD2A
66185A8D-A436-46B2-8A71-68DC126EE30B

0785A4E6-6E9F-4AA5-BA25-7ECE84676A5A

F3DEB946-436C-4978-B0DC-6D09ED2E80F91D36BD51-C06E-4104-A2E2-15CC3DE3E84E

FC46A274-640C-4047-B9A7-A0BA4424B6732C6EEDCC-51F6-4B81-B99B-A9CA369930CD

22151110-5A04-4D87-8564-B80B56BF34A73E653017-4B6D-4648-BBD3-8381E9402BCA

3073CE02-8080-4886-9100-F14A0D94C16C

 

We hope you are enjoying these November days…

Cheers!

Holly and Brooke

Easter (a few of our favorite things)

13F1AA19-E035-45CC-A8CF-767478025BD7

With Easter just a little over a week away, we thought we’d share a few of our favorite things to make and see and do and just enjoy this special time of year.

7F9F788F-8D74-4934-9C0C-3B88896C1F1A

Brunch: A favorite thing for sure. I like the casual elegance of brunch (make it a buffet and it’s even easier). Martha Stewart’s make-ahead menu includes some Easter brunch classics and some interesting twists.

CC52292E-9E37-44ED-8505-4A46ED7C5933

Kites: April is National Kite Month. And in Bermuda they have a lovely tradition of flying kites on the beaches on Good Friday (I was there once and have never forgotten it). You could find a park or a field or an open meadow and fly a kite. If you are rusty, here’s some quick tips on how to fly a kite.

62745DE7-2E10-4512-B745-4B9C3C712EE5

Fancy Chocolates: Enough said. Town & Country Magazine has a very thorough list of 25 luxury confections for Easter baskets or gifts.

BF28E257-6AEE-4ADA-B997-06B569D56AC1

Beatrix Potter: Her charming characters have come to symbolize this season for us. In this video, you can take a look at her home, Hilltop Farmin the spring, and the flora and fauna that inspired her art, and was her way of life (a real time visit is definitely on my bucket list).

030096D2-C668-4042-808F-9876A61AF3E6Carrot Cake: Here are three recipes for carrot cake, a simple carrot loaf cake, a showstopper, and a gluten-free cake, from Bon Appetite. There’s also a fun foodcast with the chefs discussing their carrot cakes—3 ways.

Happy Friday!

vintage tins with flowers (some chic styling ideas)

64044072-D593-4ECD-A0BE-244E77A232CF

Long ago my sister and I had a small flower business, and one of the things that we loved to do was use antique and vintage containers in our floral designs. It’s a nice way to make small arrangements that can brighten a neglected space, like a powder room or a forgotten corner. What’s nice too, is that you don’t need a whole lot of expensive flowers to create this look. And this time of year, flowers are about to be everywhere: grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and your own garden. Vintage tins can be found at tag sales, garage sales, flea markets, and junk shops. Most of them range from a couple dollars to twenty dollars at the most (some rare tins are more expensive).

E36D9E61-D963-45A9-9971-E8A172F05135

I’ve collected some images of arrangements in vintage tins that I think are chic and not too cutesy (which is something that you have to be careful to avoid).

And here are a few tips that I’ve learned over the years:

  • Old tins often leak, so use a plastic floral liner or a small water glass inside the tin to hold the water and flowers.
  • Use flowers with small blooms and cut the stems fairly short so that you can create the effect shown in the images below.
  • Choose flowers that compliment the tin rather than compete with it, and experiment with the shape and color of your arrangement.

ED3D6AAA-6DDE-4760-B416-D132215DE873

A89572DD-2A6E-41AE-A381-BE1852D678FD

0CD92B3E-74F7-4557-B31F-889A6D4A5036

01BCE72B-334F-428F-AD84-06E19EE62B40

347BA30F-2220-4C9E-8FE2-D49218A1D5CE

9AEE1E97-5C01-47BC-838C-9E541583548F

4480CB0F-437B-46B3-9C38-F547187A9658

B26A3064-D708-4381-B22A-68F6FAE124ED

Happy flower arranging!