October 19, 2009

Our beloved baby turned one!

This little boy has brought so much joy to our lives, and we were very happy to celebrate him. We thought we’d throw a party, but when we thought of all the people in his life that we’d want to be there, it sounded overwhelming.

So we had a pretty normal, but celebratory, day. We snuggled in bed after he woke up. We opened presents with him throughout the day. We had a fun playdate. We also gave him his own piece of cake.

He ate it in about two bites. I really like the expression on his face.

He didn’t really understand the present-opening part, but because this is a blog about gift wrapping, of course I have to mention it. Here is a selection of N.’s birthday presents. (No offense to those that didn’t make the picture! These are just the ones that were around for my daytime photo shoot.)

In the back left you can see a gift from my dad’s parents. This one had a tag with a little origami onsie on it – I think my grandma must have gotten it at a craft fair. In front of it is a gift from my parents. My mom put the gift in chartreuse tissue paper and collaged N.’s name on it, ransom-note style (but cuter, since he wasn’t being held captive, and also since she used a Japanese illustration for the second letter).

In the front center is a present from my in-laws, wrapped in the Sunday funnies. How fitting that the kid-centered For Better or For Worse and Family Circus are the ones on the front! (Not that N. would have minded, but I don’t think Doonesbury would have had the same effect…) The dancing hamsters in the back are a ‘talking’ card that had a message recorded from them embedded in it. N. loved this – the first picture in the post is him flapping this card around.

Last but not least is a gift from my aunt, uncle, and cousins. It is wrapped in a plastic gift bag decorated with stars. They brought it all the way down from Seattle, and the bag struck me as another wrapping item that can withstand travel well.

Happy birthday, baby! We look forward to another wonderful year with you.


This Wrap Story is a part of a mini-series, documenting every present I’ve wrapped since the launch of this blog. For more, click the “Wrap Story” link at the bottom of the post!

Time flies, and before we knew it, our niece was about to turn one! Inspired by the cute baby stuff at Unique L.A. last May, I set out to make her a personalized t-shirt. I embroidered her name onto pear fabric and used this tutorial from the lovely  Shim + Sons blog to affix it to a stripy shirt.

I like how it turned out. The wrapping was quite simple, since I was in a rush to ship it to the opposite coast. I wrote out a tag and pinned it to the shirt to mimic a standard apparel tag. I was excited to use this teeny kitty pin that I have had for ages.

I used some hand-dyed tissue paper to wrap the shirt and popped it into a manilla envelope. Nothing too crazy. I drew a few flowers and leaves for fun.

All set to go!

This Wrap Story is a part of a mini-series, documenting every present I’ve wrapped since the launch of this blog. For more, click the “Wrap Story” link at the bottom of the post!

We were lucky enough to vacation in Hawaii with my family this summer. Gorgeous! The beach house where we stayed put handmade soaps in every bathroom. When I found out these luscious-smelling bars were made locally, I wanted to check it out.

We saw a flier for a factory tour and went. The tour itself was slightly underwhelming (a drying vat of soap doesn’t provide much entertainment), but we got to sample more of their products and pick out omiyage for friends back home.

I got a bar of mango soap and a lip balm for my friend M.’s birthday gift. And, not knowing exactly what I would do with them, I collected some sea glass, pebbles, and shells from the beach.

At home, I found some organza bags, formerly favor packaging at my cousin’s wedding. I put the sea-things in one of them, along with a business card from the shop and the lip balm.

The other bag just fit the bar of soap.

This idea – gift-wrapping with mementos from a particular destination – can work many ways. If you plan to give a gift from a certain locale (even your own town!), keep an eye out for something to wrap it with. Something that’s ubiquitous one place can be novel everywhere else. Commonplace things (a take-out menu, local newspaper, tourist map, bus token, fallen leaf, etc.) can be used as wrapping paper, the gift tag, or an embellishment.

I was excited to make the gift, made in Hawaii, even MORE “Hawaii” with the things collected from the beach. M. was happy to receive the present, and said the glass, shells, and pebbles would find a place in her beach-themed bathroom. Perfect!