It's a Wrap!

The end of 2016 is fast approaching so what better way to wind up a blog year then with a post all about wrapping gifts!

You've carefully selected gifts for everyone on your list, have you put the same thoughtfulness into how you will wrap them? Go beyond basic paper and turn the packaging into part of the gift with easily found materials.

Several of the items shown above I had around the house or picked up this summer while thrifting.

I have a hard time tossing out beautiful Christmas cards and have stacks of these from past Christmases. Why not cut out or use the entire front of an old card as a newly repurposed gift tag? Cut out Christmas card tag with (found) magnolia seed pod. See my Instagram feed sharonhollanddesigns for video on how to professionally tie up a package with a ribbon. 

Use a vintage (or new) cloth napkin. A napkin pairs well with food related gifts and makes those home-made goodies all the sweeter. 

Giving a gift to someone who sews? Why not wrap it in fabric! Twill tape, a repurposed greeting card tag, and evergreen sprig cut from the yard shows them how much you care.

I love a themed gift! A pretty dish towel, wooden spoon, thrifted vintage trivet, and repurposed greeting card tag tied with twine are the perfect gift cover-up for the Foodie on your shopping list. 

For the gifts that need a little extra bling, add a shiny ornament, sparkly repurposed card cover, and a gauzy scarf to tie it all up, cuz baby it's cold outside!

Photo via Mary Richmond of At Home On the Bay

Photo via Mary Richmond of At Home On the Bay

Are you wanting to make a quick ornament or package decoration? Why not make my Candy Cane Cover pattern and stitch up fast felt critters like Mary Richmond of At Home On the Bay did. Isn't this gray horse adorable!!??!!

Giving a gift to a knitter or maybe someone wanting to learn the craft? Use yarn to make a pompom and "ribbon" and add some knitting needles for the perfect gift topper they will love. Maybe next year you'll get a knitted sweater!

These are just a few ideas to help you get started thinking outside the paper and take gift giving to a new level (on top of the gift, that is). Merry Christmas to you and I wish you all the best in 2017. xxxx

Canning Season

It's been a great year to have a garden (at least in Ohio) and seems even with all the heat, we still got plenty of rain to make everything grow and produce like crazy! Right now I'm busy canning tomatoes and salsa every weekend. Thank goodness my husband helps me--he's in it for the salsa! 

Awhile back I did some house cleaning on my Free Pattern page because I want to update the older patterns and reformat everything for a cohesive look. Slowly but surely, I'm bringing back some of the patterns. 

With all this canning and kitchen work, it was time to dust off my Upcylce Apron pattern (formerly called Apron from Sundress) and put that pattern back up for free downloading. 

As summer is winding down, now's a great time of year to pick up a second-hand sundress at your local thrift store, or maybe you have one hiding in the back of your closet!

Selection of sundress at Goodwill

Selection of sundress at Goodwill

I selected this plain but feminine linen sundress.

Download my free Upcycle Apron pattern and in no time, you'll have a fun apron for covering up while cooking or other messy endeavors like painting or gardening.

When we were canning this weekend, I found a 1979 canning jar lid in the canning supplies given to me by my Mom. She was a big canner in the day and our family garden was a quarter the size of a football field. The date on the lid was exactly 37 years ago on Sunday and it gave me an idea to take some flat lay photos of canning lids and the handed down canning ephemera. I really got a kick out of doing these photos and emailed them to my Mom who also really enjoyed seeing this stuff immortalized in a photo collage. 

I hope you're able to enjoy the bounties of summer as well. If you're not much of a green thumb then hopefully there's a farmer's market near you to take in the these glorious last days of summer.