New Year's Eve morning, I walked Mom's birthday package over to the post office, quite sure she'd be tickled with not only the little gifts, but also with the extra care I'd taken with the wrappings. Her birthday was Saturday and was my first opportunity to work on my goal of wrapping gifts more thoughtfully this year. I made a trip to a Michaels craft/art supply store the day before to buy a few wrapping supplies and found the white curling ribbon, the spool of red gingham ribbon (that I used as both a gift and to make a bow), the small red paper bag, the black chalkboard tie-on, and the blue gingham tissue paper. I was delighted. She is redecorating--she is always redecorating :)--her kitchen in a red/cream/gold French Country style this new year and will be working in the many red gingham and chicken and rooster-related things she already has, so I was happy to find red hen note cards and recipe cards on Christmas clearance there to tuck in with the gifts I'd already set aside for her too. A successful and inexpensive visit to the store, and I liked the way everything looked when it was all packaged-up.
Do you guys know about Dover-brand stickers and sticker books? An art supply/picture-framing business in my hometown used to carry them back when I was in high school, and I have loved them ever since. They can probably still be found in similar stores, but Dover also has a website, and their products can be ordered through amazon, as well. My favorite thing of Dover's, besides all the classic books that can be found as "thrift editions" there--Mike bought my $2.50 copy of Dickens' A Christmas Carol from them our first Christmas together in 2007--is their beautiful sticker books. They're almost always $1 or $1.50 and come in all kinds of themes: Angels, sports, tea time, friendship, holidays, birds, animals, desserts, fashion, stained glass, etc. They're the perfect size to tuck into a greeting or birthday card envelope (about 4" x5"), and the illustrations themselves are so dear. For Mom's birthday this year, I had ordered the "Tea Time" sticker book. ("Of course," you would nod if you knew my mom.) Below is a close-up of the cover of the book (photo from Dover). And only $1.50! You can see why I'm charmed. ♥
The Dover stickers are one of those "best-kept secrets of the internet," I think, since I don't know that that many people know about them, and they're so worth it, so now you know, and feel free to spread the word. :) The stickers books are the right size for small gifts, include-in-a-card gifts, stocking stuffers, Easter basket goodies, or to keep in a purse for waiting rooms. Some are activity books with stickers that can be repositioned/rearranged. I know I've bought my nephew and older niece decorate-a-Christmas-tree sticker books, decorate-a-cupcake (and maybe a pizza) ones, a this-is-my-classroom kind of one for their first days of kindergarten, and I think I got them beach activity ones before too. Mom and Aunt Laurie have received tea ones, dessert ones, friendship ones, holiday ones, and angel ones from me. There are so many themes. And if you ever need to tack a dollar or two on to an amazon order to qualify for free shipping, they're handy for that too. :) Just so fun. Now you know.
I used a red gingham dish towel to wrap a magazine and the blue gingham tissue to wrap a book and to line the inside of the box. I was hoping the store would have red gingham tissue paper, but that right there is why I want to plan ahead and shop for gift-wrapping supplies ealier--and year-round--and just more thoughtfully from now on: The red would have been perfect for her, but I thought of it too late. I want to become a "step-ahead" kind of person, like Aunt Laurie, this year regarding my gift-wrapping. It will make it easier on me and more fun for the gifts' recipients. I talked with Mom Saturday night, and she had had a lovely birthday, which was sweet to hear, and she went on and on about how pretty everything here was, so "Package #1" this year was successful. ♥ A fun start to the gift-giving year.