Eco Inspiration

Happy weekend, everyone! I wanted to give you a sneak peak of what's to come starting Monday. I really enjoyed our theme of shimmery things, so next week I'll be posting tips that will help you to wrap in an environment-friendly way.

This gift wrapped with fabric is brought to us by Design Sponge. Love the homemade tag; rubber stamps are marvelous.

I also love the idea of wrapping with a cloth, bandanna or new dish towel that the recipient can use. Image from Babazeka.

And finally, you know I'm not a fan of newspaper. But seriously, if you can make it look this cool with a rosette, I'll let it slide. This time. Thanks, Paper Crave.

See you in a few days for Green Week!


Farewell to a Week of Shiny Things

To close out metallics week, I wanted to include something I have been lusting over for the past year. Behold the Martha Stewart Glitter Set:

Anyone who could think up a legitimate excuse for all that sparkle is my hero.


All That Glitters

In keeping with our metallic theme, I wanted to remind you that a hatbox is a lovely, simple way to wrap a gift. This one is from Etsy story Shea Chic Designs. If I were the designer I might ditch the rhinestone detail and go for a bolder ribbon, but to each her own. I would still giddily accept any gift that came to me in a gold hat box.


How to Wrap a Gift With...Aluminum Foil?

Yes, you read it correctly. In keeping with this week's theme of metallic wrap, I wanted to show you a way you could create a whimsical gift using something you might already have at home. Decorating with aluminum foil is a great way to wrap if you're still novice and don't have time for perfection, or, if you are a boy and like household things that are shiny. Let's begin, shall we?

You need several materials for this project:

You'll need one sheet of aluminum foil, large enough to cover the entire object you're wrapping (duh). Just a guesstimate usually works for me.

You'll also need scissors, tape (I find package tape works best for non-traditional wrapping materials), ribbon, glue, glitter, and a gold decorative plate to display it on. Just kidding on that last thing. Also, you're free to play with decorations in whatever way you choose. Want to glue buttons on your gift? Knock yourself out.

And of course, you'll need the perfect gift. I'll be wrapping The Sartorialist by visionary street fashion photographer Scott Schuman. It is based off his world famous blog, and is a great gift for a lover of fashion, photography, cities, and people watching; I highly recommend it. (It is published by the Penguin Group)

Now onto the steps:

1) Lay your gift face down on the aluminum foil. I decided for the dull side to be the side that shows on the outside of the gift, but if you prefer a more flamboyant gift, it's fine to show the shiny side instead.

2) Make a short, inward fold on one long side of the foil and flatten it.

3) Fold one side of the aluminum foil over the book, and then fold the other, making sure the top fold is the one with the folded edge from above. Tape down.

4) Choose one of the two remaining open folds. Press the top and bottom pieces of foil to form a flap, and press it flat against the gift, as shown above. Make a small, inward fold with the edge of the foil.

5) Fold the flap up to meet the bottom side of the package and tape down. Repeat steps 4 and 5 with the other remaining open end.

6) Add a ribbon to the wrapped gift as a finishing touch. (If desired, I will provide a ribbons tutorial one day.) You can be finished here, or you can continue decorating for a more festive gift. See next steps for more.

7) Draw designs of your choice in craft glue all the heck over your gift. I chose the letter S for Sarah because naturally, I wrapped a gift for myself.

8) Coat glue with glitter liberally. Allow about a half hour to dry.

9) Shake off excess glitter and voila! You have a tin foil present! You can't really go wrong with this craft. If it doesn't turn out well it will still make a hilarious conversation piece, and if it does turn out well, it'll look impressive. I'm actually pretty proud, my roommate saw the gift on our coffee table and thought it was silver wrapping paper. Wee!

Let me know what you thought of this craft and please send pics if anyone tries it at home! My email is sromeo@fordham.edu.


Theme Wrap-Up: Metallics

Metallics are great. Everyone should own a pair of metallic shoes, and a roll of metallic gift wrap. Why? They're deliciously festive for holidays, but they also add a touch of glitz to the everyday. A classy sheen draws the eye, a silly glitter creates makes it fun. You can't really go wrong. I've scoured the internet and found some special treasures:

Paper Source just introduced a new wrap line for Spring and WOW, I'm blown away by these designs. (Aren't you a little tempted to marry the teal one?) I'd be tempted to use them as wallpaper, which is actually a pretty good indication of a sophisticated print. If you'd cover your house with it, it's got to be good. Anyway, this entire collection is beautiful, I encourage you to go check out the whole thing because I had a tough time choosing favorites, but the three above were the closest I could settle on.

Kate's Paparie made the prints above. I've never had the opportunity to visit their famous NYC shop but I'll be getting there in the next few months. I think the white with silver leaves is perfect because it could do Christmas, Hanukkahs, weddings, baby showers, birthdays, or just-because's eqaually well.
The Container Store has made the lives of so many college students much more livable. And now, they also make this great hammered copper gift wrap. Just so you know, I think the sheen is this picture is a bit computer generated, and that turns me off, but the texture seems to be genuine and because of that I think this would make a cool print in real life. Again, this is super versatile. Pair with a red bow for the holidays or a turquoise ribbon for an impromptu, middle-of-summer birthday. Very functional.

So here's your homework: go get yourself a roll of gift wrap and a pair of shoes, both in metallics. I recommend Banana Republic and Puma for the footwear.


Books as Gifts: Classics

Sometime later this week I'm going to post a wrapping tutorial (YES, there will be actual wrapping of gifts on this blog at long last) and I think I'll be wrapping a book. But before I do so, I thought it appropriate to do the first of hopefully many posts where I suggest wonderful books to give as gifts.

I believe that everyone ought to have some knowledge of classic literature, even if it's just one novel that you really cherish. I also think aesthetically pleasing hardcover books make terrific presents. Thus, giving a beautiful hardcover classic should be your next gifting venture (that was the thesis statement of this post, by the way).

One of my favorite classics is Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. When I was reading it for a women's lit class last year, I saw that one girl in my class had the illustrated edition by Dame Darcy. I died of jealousy. This particular version of Jane Eyre has faced quite to barrage of criticism, generally the question of why a classic, highly praised work needs to be bastardized and popularized by someone else's craft. Some folks think Darcy is taking advantage of a long aged piece and making fast cash on it. While this all may be valid, I love the idea of inviting a classic into the modern age and proving its timelessness by giving it a makeover. Call me shallow if you will, but I would love this as a gift.

If you like the idea of visually updated classics that aren't illustrated all the way through, look into White's Books. Available online at Waterstone's, artist David Pearson opened his own publishing house to create beautiful, modern jackets for old favorites. There are only a few titles available at a time so you've got to act fast if you see one you like. This Jane Eyre to the left is just one of several for sale right now, and I have to tell you, I would have been much more excited to show up to class if I had this edition in my hands.

Pearson doesn't only produce Bronte novels. White's Books
covers the classics from Austin to Dickens to Doyle. How amazing is this Sherlock Holmes? Not to encourage socialized gender stereotypes, but that pipe is pretty sweet, and I think a boy would feel dangerously dapper carrying this novel around under his arm.

One last suggestion. Say you have a friend who's a Jane Austen fan but has already exhausted their knowledge of her stuff. Or even more likely, your friend just isn't into classics. Or reading in general. The Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Series caters to scholars and slackers alike. Seth Grahame Smith took the Austen classic and nearly seamlessly turned into a story about socialites battling hoards of zombies. Awesome, right? P&P&Z actually did quite well on the shelves last year and is slated to become a Natalie Portman flick in the upcoming months. If this interests you, please don't overlook Smith's second project, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, which came out just a couple months ago.

If I've missed any crucial stuff, please remember to yell at me in the comments. Happy reading!



Firstly, I must express my gratitude to those of you who commented on the gift guides. They were kind of a pain to make and I appreciate your feedback. For anyone here now, go to the gift guides and let me know what you think!

Anywho, how was your V-Day? I celebrated mine at the MoMA with my boyfriend and it was delightful. Since the Tim Burton exhibit was sold out (yet again, [god, I need to just get a membership]), we spent most our time on the architecture and design floor, per usual. While enjoyable, this is always a practice in futility for us to be among the most interesting yet unattainable furniture.

I saw some fun textiles that inspired me to search for more geometric gift wrap:

Lucky for the MoMA there are velvet ropes and glass casings everywhere, or else I'd have stolen all these and hung them on my walls.

PS, I'm feeling super lazy--I think it's the weather, or the long weekend--but if you have questions about the designers of these just ask in the comments.


Valentine's Day Gift Guide: For Him

Don't worry, I didn't forget about the guys. They're the tricky ones to shop for, anyway. Same rules: top ten traditional items turned on their heads, all under 40 bucks each. Have at 'em.

1) With these stainless steel martini glasses, he'll admit he likes theoccasional cosmopolitan. Salute the holiday
in style.

Set of two glasses
$5 at Target

2) Girls aren't the only ones who deserve sexy underwear on Valentine's day. Let him know he's the king of your heart.

Boxer Shorts
$8.50 at Old Navy

3) A flying saucer that also makes juice. He won't know
he always needed one until he gets one.

$18 at Pylones

4) These sleek, silver frames make your photos appear to float. Stick a black and white pic inside for a gift that looks great displayed anywhere.

Float Frames
From $19.95 on CB2

5) Ugly Doll: cuddly as a teddy bear, but with more stubble.

Suntan Target Ugly Doll

6) Keith Haring's water bottle for Sigg is as functional as it is romantic as it is artful. So many birds with just one stone.

Sigg Bottle
$20 at Sigg.com

7) He gives you flowers every year. This time it's your turn. This cactus garden is spiky, and therefore more masculine, I guess.

Cactus Dish
$29.99 (small size) at 1-800-Flowers

8) This flask is cased in a beautiful, buttery, leather casing. Who knew sneaking liquor into a concert could be so classy?

$34.50 at J.Crew

9) I always say that chocolate is a little bit of a cop out, but add "fondue" to the mix and suddenly, you're freakin' thoughtful.

Romantic Chocolate Dinner

10) Boys of any age love Legos. I actually think this is a proven fact. And we all know they love computers, so jog their memory with a little blast from the past.

1GB Lego Flash Drive
$35.99 at AC Gears


Valentine's Day Gift Guide: For Her

Only one week until the big V-Day! Like the idea of traditional gifts but don't want to get all mushy? I understand. Here are my top ten picks for gifts that she'll appreciate getting and you won't feel like a walking cliche giving. One rule: everything is under $40. Go!

1) Your lady is shoe crazy? How did I know? Kill her with cuteness every time you pour a drink with this set of reusable, high heeled ice cubes.

Set of six ice cubes
$5.95 at

2) So you're not the poetic type; no sweat. Pablo Neruda's got your back.

Love Poems by Pablo Neruda
From $8.60 on Amazon

3) Now every time she bakes or cooks for you, it will be made with love, no matter what.

Measuring Spoons
Set of four for $9.99 at

4) Give her an initiative to save her pennies for a romantic get-away with you. She'll remember every time she sees this adorable bank.

Elephant Bank
$12 at Urban Outfitters

5) If you feel uncomfortable giving her massage oil, just remember that Julia Rothman designed the label. It's not only sexy, it's ART.

Kissable Massage Oil
$15 at
Victoria's Secret

6) You don't have to be at sea to send her a message in a bottle. The old nautical way goes land-bound with this quaint set.

Love Message in a Bottle
$16 at Anthropologie

7) Your heart is hers. Let her know it everyday in a more abstract way.

Caged Stone Pendant

8) Candies are so stereotypical, but these Butlers Chocolates are extraordinary, and with packaging by Orla Kiely, your girl will never throw the box away.

Butler's Chocolates by Orla Kiely
£17 (around $26) at John Lewis

9) Flowers die, but this red roses pillow is super comfy and lasts forever. (Also available in felt, and yellow roses. Yum.)

$29.25 at Pier 1

10) Give her an apron that she'll actually want to wear--both in and out
of the kitchen.