Category Archives: Gift Ideas

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

It was such a lovely day in Pasadena, California that I decided to have a belated birthday luncheon for my friend, Colleen.

I got out my Black and White Oilcloth tablecloth (Paris lace pattern), went to the grocery store, set my table and ta-dah! A birthday party!

Okay, so I didn’t just whip up the gift in the hat box – I made it the day before…

Pretty though.

Enjoy the sun. I hear it’s supposed to rain on Sunday….






Easy Bow Gift Wrap

I must admit that I have never been a huge fan of Halloween.

Then a few years ago I was given the 7 Harry Potter books on CD to play in my car while I drive. I drive a lot. It took me a year to listen to them all, but I must admit, I have become so enthralled by these books narrated by Jim Dale, that my entire perspective on Halloween has changed. It is a REALLY fun holiday!

So this muggle is writing a post about gift wrapping, that just happens to coincide with a Halloween. My sister has always adored Halloween – and I humor her. This year I actually am joining in the fun!

I am going to show you a very easy gift wrapping idea, that will translate to almost any gift. Cool, huh?

I purchased a cute black Halloween kitty cat kitchen towel and a pack of paper cocktail napkins. (I used to have a black cat named Crissy, so now I collect images of black kitty cats). Go Figure.halloween-1

I digress…..All you do is fold the towel lengthwise in 3rds and then wrap it around the package of cocktail napkins. My little black cat will be front and center.









Next take some ribbon and cut 2 pieces to fit around the folded/wrapped towel. Tie one piece of ribbon one way and then tie the other piece of ribbon the other way. Line up the knots on the top of the package. You should have  criss-crossed ribbon with 4 tails on top of the package. The final step is to cut one last piece of ribbon and tie it around the top knot to join all the ribbon together.


You now have a bow on top without having to make a bow. How cool is that!! This little idea will coincide perfectly with the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays. Make a darling hostess gift using the same exact idea!

Add a tag and you are good to go!

Happy Haunting!



Colorful & Charming Oilcloth

I adore Oilcloth! There. I said it.

I remember sitting in my Italian grandmother’s kitchen admiring the happy table that she set with this colorful, happy tablecloth. I had no idea what this material was, but it was easy to clean and seemed to last forever. Her kitchen was a sunny, perky room where I loved to watch her cook and work her magic preparing her wonderful food during our weekly Sunday family visits.

I never forgot that table and it was years later when I finally found out what it was. I was strolling the gift mart in Los Angeles when I caught a glimpse of that happy fabric in one of the showrooms. I can’t tell you how delighted I was to finally know what that stuff was!

Since that day, I use Oilcloth in my kitchen just like my grandmother did. It is a happy space where I spend a lot of time. I was lucky enough to inherit her original Fiestaware, so sometimes I imagine that she in in the kitchen with me, enjoying the fact that I am using her dinnerware recreating the happy kitchen that I remember from my childhood. Thanks, Nana!

Oilcloth products make great gifts, too. I like to use them for gift baskets.  I usually make the “basket” portion of my “gifts” an item that can be used again. My version of green giving. No one throws these baskets away. Ever. They are just too darn cute. The tote bags come in two sizes, so big gift or little gift – the Oilcloth totes are a perfect way to go! Best of all, when all the gift items that were originally part of the  gift basket are used up, these great totes can be used everyday!IMG_1327

There are cosmetic bags and ditty bags. They are adorable. They are the perfect vessel for a small gift or a gift card. As usual, I like to dress up gift cards and place them in something that can be used again. Fill the cosmetic bags with cookies, candy, gift cards, mani/pedi items, jewelry, office supplies and of course – the obvious….makeup! Add tissue paper to the bag to make it look full. Put a bow on it and the gift is wrapped! A very fun, cheerful gift!

Have I mentioned that Oilcloth can be purchased by the yard? Picnic anyone? This stuff is great for any party. Purchase the fabric by the yard. There is no need to hem anything (my favorite thing- as you already know). Just cut it and lay it down on the table. Wipe it clean. Done. Fab-u-lous! Chalkboard Oilcloth is the best! Make your own runners for buffets and children’s parties. How fun is that!Paige Birthday Cake

I like that there are so many patterns to choose from, but no matter which pattern I choose – I smile at the cheerfulness that they evoke. So, whether you need  yardage, ready made tablecloths, totes, gift bags or just something fun….. stayed tuned. I will be adding several Oilcloth items for sale very soon.









Flower Pot with Dots

I am a collector of Milk Glass, specifically the Milk Glass that was manufactured by the Westmoreland Company in the 1950’s. The “Grapevine” motif  and the  “Hob Nail” patterns are my favorite. The Grapevine motif is just beautiful and the Hob Nail is cheerful. It looks like white polka dots on white glass. The best part, is that it goes with everything in my house.

So in the spirit of the Hob Nail pattern and all things polka dot, I experimented with a painting technique on a terracotta flower pot. I needed to create a gift for someone, and I wanted the flower pot to look fun & special.

Supplies for this project:hob nail pot 2resized

  • Terracotta flower pot
  • White puffy paint – from a craft store
  • Outdoor patio paint, white  – from a craft store
  • Sponge paint brush – from a craft store
  • Drop cloth or newspaper to protect surfaces
  • Plastic cup  for the patio paint
  • Clear gloss spray paint or sealer

First, soak the terracotta pot in water for about an hour and scrub any debris away. Let the pot dry completely.  When it is dry, place the pot on your newspaper. This part of the project you can do inside the house. It won’t stink up the place! Next, take the puffy paint and just start adding the dots to the pot. Practice a bit to get the size dots that you like uniform. Let the puffy paint dry completely. hob nail pot_resized

When the dots are dry, take the Outdoor Patio Paint and pour it into your plastic cup. Dip your sponge paint brush into the paint and apply it to the pot. I painted most of the inside of the pot, too. You will need two coats. When this is dry take your pot outside and spray it with the clear gloss paint or whatever sealer you purchased to seal the paint.hob nail pot 4_resized

This fast a very fast project. I did not have the time to plant my newly painted pot with flowers, so I went to the local nursery and purchased a beautiful plant to put inside, added a bow…..and there you go! One beautiful gift!

This would translate to a table centerpiece very easily, or a cluster of pots outside your front door in varying sizes. Lots of possibilities for this project.!

Try it one day for yourself!

hob nail pot 3_resized


Impromptu Pirate Tablescape

Here I go again with the “Impromptu” birthday party, but it happened again!

My niece had her birthday dinner at a restaurant last weekend. It was a family dinner that was planned by her parents and they asked me to put something quick and simple together for the table.

Since Johnny Depp put on his “Jack Sparrow” costume, this birthday girl has been “all in” for pirates….So, you guessed it. I put together a very quick pirate themed party. It was 95% done from stuff I found at the 99 Cent Only Store. The rest came from Trader Joes.

The inspiration for this table was a great pirate birthday banner that I had seen on one of my previous trips to the 99 Cent Only store. The colors were great: turquoise and red, with black and white stripes. How fun! I think I mentioned that I am a sucker for stripes….especially black and white stripes! My plan was to just drape it across the length of the table. The table cloth at the restaurant was white, so this banner really “popped”.20160304_190322

I purchased large turquoise paper plates to act as added color contrast against the stark white table cloth. I made favors out of red and white striped paper bags. They were filled with trail mix bars from Trader Joes, fruit stripe gum, assorted chocolate and Jolly Roger candy. I folded the top of the paper bags and sealed the bags with Life Saver candy. Add matching pirate (Argh!) napkins and we had a fun little table!

I bought a ready made cake at Trader Joes. Add the presents and we had all the makings of a great birthday party!

We rang in her 28th birthday with a bang!

Michelle bday table




Complete with “Pirate Booty”





Baby Gift Idea

A lovely group of ladies that I know have this great tradition of meeting for breakfast every Friday morning at 7:30 am. They’ve been meeting like this for years. A friend close to this group had just given birth to a little boy, and these generous ladies decided to give their friend a very creative and generous gift, and I was honored to be asked to wrap it for the new little guy. They had all the contents for the gift, they just needed me to finish it off to create the presentation. Well, excuse me….but that’s the best part!

The ingredients: A purchased shadow box from a frame store (see picture at right) and several gift cards. 20160401_205739_resizedIt was up to me to put it all together. Happily they know my work, so they let me do my thing.

So I set upon making envelopes from card stock for the gift cards. I lean toward vintage and retro images, so I went to my library of vintage paper. I cut out two little baby boy images, cut some blue and white rick rack, scrap gingham card stock, polka dot ribbon, a few tiny  baby rattles and a big blue ribbon that I found at a gift store. My glue gun and I went to work and created something I think is really special.

This really is a great idea! It’s a terrific alternative to a gift basket. This would also ship well. You would need to bubble wrap it, of course, but it would ship easily in a flat box. Here is the finished shadow box of goodies. Close the lid….and done!20160402_223551_resized

The new mommy can open the gift box, use all the goodies and then she has the perfect place to put new pictures and mementos of her new little prince. Enjoy, little boy!