The Gifted Blog Has Moved!

December 8, 2009


The Gifted Blog has moved! Please join me at www.thegiftedblog.com.

All new posts will go up in the new location, so please update your links and blog readers. After many hours of preparation I’m so excited to finally invite you over to the new site. See you there!

Charissa

Work Party Hiatus

December 1, 2009

Hi all – I wanted to let you know I’ll be taking a short break from posting to be able to work on a few Gifted-related projects, one of which is a new version of the site! I’m pretty excited.

It’s been a pleasure to use WordPress, but I’m moving on to be able to host ads on The Gifted Blog. I’m usually anti-ads, but am experimenting with how the blog can generate income. It has truly been a labor of love so far, and to make this endeavor sustainable it’s got to help put food on the table!

A few notes before my hiatus:
1) The first-ever Gifted workshop is this Saturday! There is a great group of people registered and room for 3 more. E-mail giftedmailbox[at]gmail[dot]com to secure a space.

2) The Gifted Blog Reader Gallery will continue to be up and open for submissions, so please don’t be shy! I would especially appreciate your notes/captions so we can read a bit about your photo.

And now, back to work-partying. See you soon!

It’s December, and it feels like the right time to officially unveil: The Gifted Blog Reader Gallery!

This Flickr pool is a place to share your gift wrapping projects inspired by The Gifted Blog. Please post photos of your favorite wrapped gifts, handmade wrapping paper, quirky gift tags, et cetera! In keeping with the scope of the blog, please limit your submissions to personal gifts (vs. professional packaging).

I think we’ll all learn something from each other, and it will be nice to have a dedicated space for reader pictures. I will periodically review the gallery and pick an image or two to feature in a post. The image above shows six birthday cupcakes my friend H. decorated with origami cranes – a fun way to decorate if the gift is edible. So cute! To see the other goodies in the gallery, click here!

You can post up to 5 images a week, and they will be held for review before they go public. It should be straightforward to join the Flickr group and post your images, but please let me know if you run into any snags. Enjoy!

Today I wanted to share these Wedding Style Guide “book club” gift labels with you. These simple designs would look nice on any present, for any occasion!

The way they’re styled in the image above – with the labels on the sides of the packages – is also an unusual way to give someone a book. Click here to find their selection of downloadable files, which includes “ex libris” labels to paste into the cover of a book.

Looking for more free gift wrap ideas? Try the “Free Ideas” category link to the right!

With the holidays approaching, I was overwhelmed by all the things I could write about regarding gift wrapping. So, I am scaling it down to a mini-series called “A Gifted Christmas” to keep track of my own Christmas gift-wrapping preparations. I hope you’ll join me along the way! For more, click the “Christmas” link in the right-hand column.


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you are enjoying good company and good food today. It’s a good time to count our blessings! Here is the third of three posts on how to brainstorm gifts for your loved ones.

5. Make them something. Early this year we took a trip to The Ojai Retreat with my parents-in-law. This beautiful bed-and-breakfast had a simple breakfast spread each morning, with the highlight being homemade granola. My mother-in-law had the good idea to ask for the recipe. The nice inn manager stopped what she was doing in the kitchen to jot it down from memory. Since coming back and getting the hang of making it, I’ve given granola as a gift a few times.

6. Give something immaterial. Since most of us are blessed with everything we really need, non-material gifts have become a favorite category for our family. I have definitely been influenced by Unclutterer’s gift guides in this respect.

Donate two chickens to a family who needs them in honor of the gift recipient. Give them a night on the town by buying them a restaurant gift certificate. Or give a coupon for your time and services – to help clean out their office, for example.

Do these ideas remind you of gifts you’ve given or received in the past? Let us know in the comments!

With the holidays approaching, I was overwhelmed by all the things I could write about regarding gift wrapping. So, I am scaling it down to a mini-series called “A Gifted Christmas” to keep track of my own Christmas gift-wrapping preparations. I hope you’ll join me along the way! For more, click the “Christmas” link in the right-hand column.

Since you can’t plan your gift wrapping if you don’t know what you’re giving, some of the first posts in this series are about how to brainstorm gifts for your loved ones. In three parts, here are some of the ways I approach thinking of gifts for friends and family.

3) Consider buying local. With the ubiquity of national chains, regionally-specific gifts can be a nice reminder of the diversity of our fair country. My parents-in-law sent us to Seattle with a jar of blueberry-jalapeno jam from the Iowa City farmers’ market (yes, from the very stall pictured above), and my parents loved it.

4) Share something you love. While this won’t work for every gift recipient, sometimes you find something you absolutely love and want to share. Even though we live in Southern California, G. and I live in Smartwool socks in the winter. (Thanks, Mom, for introducing me to these!) We love these socks.

True story: my mom left a pair of her Smartwool socks at my grandparents’ house. When he found them, my grandfather tried them on and liked them. He liked them so much that he went online and Googled a store to order more from (pretty impressive, Jiichan!). On the phone with my mom, he told her he started doing the laundry so he could wear them again the next day. My Baachan said, shocked, “What! I wondered why you were doing the laundry!”

At the risk of being dorky, we got three pairs each for our aunt and brother-in-law for last year’s gift exchange in Iowa. I think they got some good use in the harsh winter weather!

Have you bought local or shared something you love as a gift recently? Share your stories in the comments!

With the holidays approaching, I was overwhelmed by all the things I could write about regarding gift wrapping. So, I am scaling it down to a mini-series called “A Gifted Christmas” to keep track of my own Christmas gift-wrapping preparations. I hope you’ll join me! For more, click the “Christmas” link in the right-hand column.

Though I can’t say I’m any better than the average person at it, I do enjoy thinking of what to give as Christmas gifts. Since I can’t plan the gift wrapping if I don’t know what I’m giving, some of the first posts in this series are about how to brainstorm gifts for your loved ones.

1) Pay attention to their hobbies and projects. My mother-in-law is a Spanish teacher and loves collecting Mexican, specifically Oaxacan, folk art. The photo above is just part of their beautifully decorated living room. When I got her name for our Christmas gift exchange two years ago, I knew just where to head! The Folk Tree in our town carries just those kinds of wares, and I found her a mismatched but really cool set of black candle holders.

As you think about the person you want to get a gift for, think about the pastime or leisure activity are they into right now. Alternately, there might be a project they are working on – remodeling a room, refurbishing a car, training for a marathon, etc – that might inspire some good gift leads.

2) Think about their daily needs. My uncle was commuting to a seminary class several times a week and my aunt suggested getting him some ‘driving snacks’ for the road. I had fun putting together a sturdy box filled with various snacky foods and a simple, homemade trail mix.

What’s part of the weekly routine for the person you have in mind? Is there a way you can help meet one of their everyday needs?

How are you going about picking presents this year? Let us know in the comments. And stay tuned – there are more gift brainstorming approaches to come!

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