Friday, 30 November 2012

Not a wrap

So. It's that time of year again. I know this because the tinsel has been chucked around the shops for weeks, and already it has been made very clear to me that I am going to make a bad fist of it once more.

One of my more familiar failures is gift-wrapping. I came from a family of thrifters, a family where to write on an envelope was considered wasteful - it could be used again! We were like shady businessmen, continually exchanging our birthday and Christmas cards in unmarked envelopes. I have on more than one occasion received a gift from a relative which was never taken out of its original paper bag.  As a result, I have no talent for the clever giftwrap. It's one of the reasons why one of the great perks of Blogland - the craft swop - holds so much terror for me.

A few weeks ago, I crammed some lumps of fabric into an ill-fitting recycled envelope and sent it to Helen. In return, a beautiful arrangement of items arrived - carefully chosen and tissue-wrapped. There were fabrics, and buttons, and lavender, and Christmassy loveliness. Ribbons had been used. I thought back to my envelope, and hung my head in shame.

No matter. I have Tabiboo's Christmas ball tutorial, and my new Christmas fabrics, and have taken a quick break from my endless Liberty quilt piecing to make something spherical and festive. In just a few hours, we will be allowed to buy sherry (Mr Coffee and I have an eleven-month moratorium on buying it, simply for self-preservation). I can make a stab at the season, even if I don't get it exactly right.


  1. I can't wrap either. My German twin-laws (my twin sister's in-laws) wrap beautifully. Their constructions look like architectural models, with fan tails and scalloped crowns, dripping ribbon and molded with beautiful paper that isn't even creased. Every year I vow to at least add a bow, and then I forget.

  2. The whole unmarked envelope/paper bag thing ... you took me right back to my childhood. I thought it was only my family who do did that! (Maybe we're related ;) )

    Loving the Tabiboo baubles, I hadn't seen those!

    1. It would be very exciting to be related! Did your family cut the feet off too-small tights and turn them into leggings?

  3. We were the same in our house, all wrapping paper had to be saved and ironed before the next use. I don't recall using anything like Sellotape, everything was tied up with string as far as I can remember. String was also untangled and saved. But, in the early 60s, I went to work for Hallmark Cards and, oh, the bliss of having so much delicious stuff available for pennies! My gifts were works of art. It has all gone back to the beginning now though...

  4. They look super.

    I always cut cards up to make gift kind of reused, but I know exactly what you mean about envelopes and why buy expensive wrapping paper when good old fashioned brown paper can be jazzed up with a bit of string.

    Have a fab weekend,

    Nina x

  5. I still think I got the better deal with that swap with all that liberty loveliness! And the ribbons were recycled, as I believe was the jiffy bag.

    I am very excited about the Christmas balls tutorial, so pleasing, and also a more grown-up nod to those recycled Christmas card balls we used to make at school by pinking the edges into hexagons and stapling together! Adding to my to-craft list with immediate effect.

    ... and also adding sherry to my shopping list. It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.

  6. happy sherry drinking season x

  7. These are not just balls, these are Christmassy balls...

    I love the idea that you have to prevent yourselves from getting queened on sherry for 11 months of the year. I will now imagine you merrily sloshed for the month that remains.

  8. I have relatives who return my carefully thought out wrapping bits and pieces so I can use them again. Does my insecurity show too much if I confess that feels like a rejection?


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