Anniversary Years – A Gift Guide

Have you ever wondered who invented the Anniversary Gift List?  It’s a tradition that seems to have been around for centuries but with very little known about its origin. The cynical might wonder if over the years it’s been developed to become something that benefits the retail world significantly.  Maybe, but I suspect that someone at some point in history did something lovely for someone else and that’s stuck, which in itself I find rather lovely and am very happy to keep going.

I also love the way traditions connect us to others, including those who are no longer with us and remind us that no matter how much has changed (some for better, some for worse!), somethings gladly remain the same! With this tradition you get the thrill of receiving something rather lovely or a thoughtful gesture year on year, so what’s not to like?

And…When it comes to giving gifts, some people really struggle to know what to buy, so having a list like this is a great starting point! One of the things I enjoy about this particular tradition is using a little imagination and creativity to translate the traditional meaning into a gift or thoughtful act that fits in with the modern world. Although when it comes to year 13, it takes some imagination!

So if you need a reminder of what year is what, here’s the guide we use and something you can find easily when you need it or can print off and keep handy! It also makes a great gift in itself for newly weds so do pass it on and keep the tradition going!

We’ve added some (budget, luxury and just a bit left of field) suggestions of our own …but only up to year 10!  Well anymore and my hubby would think I was dropping hints and besides, after 10 years you start to get to the pearls and sapphires etc and I figure Tiffany’s has it covered from there!

1st Anniversary Paper – So much choice! From a handwritten love note to plane tickets!

2nd Anniversary – Cotton –  Who doesn’t love huge fluffy towels. Add initials for a truly personal gift.  

3rd Anniversary – Leather –  From a coaster for their morning cuppa to a Mulberry handbag or travel bag,  leather is a luxury gift that lasts a lifetime.

4th Anniversary – Fruit/flowers –  Their favorite fruit tree/shrub to plant in the garden or surprise them with a fresh fruit hamper delivered to the door. 

5th Anniversary – Wood –  A ‘Mouseman of Kilburn’ bread board or how about a bench for the garden to enjoy watching the sun set together for years to come. 

6th Anniversary – Sugar –   A Jar of their favorite sweets or afternoon tea for two at somewhere lovely like Bettys!

7th Anniversary – Wool –   Depending on the time of year, a throw or a picnic rug – Want to splash out? Add a picnic hamper from Fortnum and Mason to go with it!

8th Anniversary – Bronze –  Keyring/s with a personalised message or bronze look firepit to cosy around on a cool summer evening.

9th Anniversary – Pottery – Locate a pottery workshop and recreate that ‘ghost’ scene! Or at least make a pot to take home and laugh at for years to come!! Failing that, you can’t go wrong with pretty Emma Bridgewater mugs!

10th Anniversary – Aluminium/Tin –  Tin has never been quite so interesting until ‘Poldark’ appeared! I’m not suggesting a box set but perhaps more a luxury hotel stay in Cornwall/Devon (the home of tin mining) instead!

And here’s the rest. Imagination at the ready…

11th Anniversary – Steel

12th Anniversary – Silk

13th Anniversary – Lace

14th Anniversary – Ivory – (Please note: Traditional Ivory is an absolute no no these days for good reason!  The modern approach is to incorporate the Ivory colour or go for jewellery that’s white/rose gold instead!)

15th Anniversary – Crystal

20th Anniversary – China

25th Anniversary – Silver

30th Anniversary – Pearl

35th Anniversary – Jade

40th Anniversary – Ruby

45th Anniversary – Sapphire

50th Anniversary – Gold

55th Anniversary – Emerald

60th Anniversary – Diamond

70th Anniversary – Platinum

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We hope you’ve found our blog of interest – If so please do like and share with your friends!  To find out more about us or sign up for our e-newsletter do visit our website at http://www.moreprettythings.co.uk

 

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Hello birdie!

In my line of work I have the pleasure of meeting lots of wonderful people, many of them very creative!  This week was no exception and I was thrilled to stumble upon the very talented Artist and Illustrator, Iona Buchanan.

Iona has designed a fabulous collection of homewares ranging from a rather gorgeous artichoke apron to a really delightful wren tea towel…Ooh and a lovely lobster cushion that caught my eye… I have just the place for that!

Lots of lovely things there were but you can imagine my delight can’t you when Iona introduced me to her gorgeous gift wrap! It didn’t take me long before the scissors were out and I was wrapping with it…

iona buchanan guillemot

Not just for twitchers this fabulous Sea Birds Paper is an instant reminder of the seaside and perfect for anyone with a love of nature. It’s sold in a pack of 2 sheets with matching tags and is currently available to purchase along with another lovely gift wrap pack (called ‘garden birds’) as well as Iona’s full range of products on her website www.ionabuchanan.com

Our wrapping tips: From a practical point of view (for storage/posting out etc) wrapping papers can often be sold flat packed and invariably this will mean you have some creases to contend with. Before starting to wrap have a look at the paper and try to line up the creases with the edges of the object you’re wrapping. This will help to disguise them as a natural folding line and give a neater look.  Also, when choosing a lovely paper like this which is full of fabulous detail that would be a shame to hide, tie your ribbon in an off centre position that will show it off at its best (as we’ve done) and pick a ribbon colour that will bring out the colour in the wrap. We’ve chosen this lovely sunny yellow, inspired by the Eider Ducks beak!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this months blog and if so … Please do pass on the gift wrapping love by sharing with your friends!

For more information on our gift wrapping workshops or demonstrations find us at www.moreprettythings.co.uk  or contact us on 01226 492770 for more details.

 

A bit of a do – Peter Rabbit Style!

There’s something rather special about a first birthday isn’t there? Turning one is such a milestone and warrants a certain amount of effort on the party front…Even if they won’t remember it!

Last month I was given the opportunity to plan and host my Grandsons 1st Birthday party. (You can just imagine my excitement!)  It was to be a small family affair and (as we were in the middle of some major refurbishment in the house) it would be a little compromised as space (and time!) was limited. The hallway being light and airy with a view of the garden (and the only room unaffected by all the upheaval) seemed the obvious (if not the only) choice as the party area. As it happens, it worked so well, it’s likely to be used again!

To my absolute joy I was given reign to come up with any theme I wanted and already knowing what this would be, ideas began to hop around in my head. What else could it be but a traditional Peter Rabbit Party!

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And I was in my element! From home-made bunting to marshmallow bunny tails, veg pots and a cauliflower tissue paper centerpiece, coming up with ideas and putting it all together was the most fun I’ve had in ages!  Now not that there weren’t some challenges… Planning around building works, running a business from home, working out party food for a dairy free one year old and the usual family melt downs is no mean feast! I literally had 2 days in total to plan, organise and implement it! Never one to say no to a challenge, there was nothing for it but to make a list and hop to it!  Having a limited amount of time to plan certainly makes you focus and if I do say so myself…It went pretty well!  That is, if we overlook the Rabbit Jelly that didn’t want to leave its mould and when it did, looked a bit like road kill!

But moving swiftly on… If you’re thinking of hosting a Peter Rabbit Party too it really is such fun and has so much scope for being creative. Given longer I would have done much more but if (like me) you need to create something and you’re pushed for time, here’s just a few tips and ideas that work a treat!

 

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No time to order anything online, I chose to go for a cost effective personalised welcome to guests by buying a chalk board and writing my own message on it. Then just a wipe clean and totally reusable for another day! (Chalkboard a real find at just £1 from poundland!)

Oli make bunting alt

Making your own bunting to fit your theme is so easy and cost effective. For this one I hole punched some Peter Rabbit postcards I already had and thread co-ordinating ribbon through. You could however print images or buy a cheap book and take pages out and use instead.

Oli veg pot

Table decorations included:  A Cauliflower made of tissue paper,  a clay pot which housed veg for nibbling on and Peter Rabbit Wooden shapes  –  I preferred these to paper ones as they were part of a shape sorter toy (purchased at M&S) and could then be reused in the toy box afterwards!

Oli rabbit buns

The buns were made with diary free margarine (Tesco) and decorated to fit the theme with sugar carrots/paper bunnies. To save time I placed pretty coloured biscuits in a jar that could be easily moved from kitchen to table then back again.

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As Oliver is a big fan of raisins I incorporated them into our scheme….well it’d be rude not to! Bunny droppings seeming the obvious choice. I used white marshmallows for bunny tails!

oli jelly

It wouldn’t be a traditional party without Jelly and it certainly gave us all a laugh after it failed to hop out of the mould without lots of coaching and then when it did , it looked a little worse for wear. My elderly Mum and Dad were thrilled to pieces.. Took them right back to their childhood!

oli not liking jelly

Birthday Boy not quite as taken with the rabbit jelly. Somethings are, after all, an acquired taste.      Happy First Birthday my gorgeous Grandson…You may not remember your special day but it was a day made out of  love for Grandmas very special baby bunny…YOU!  x

Thank you for reading our blog, we really hope you’ve enjoyed it. We are a gift and gift wrapping company and teach lots of creative skills at our workshops. Information can be found at http://www.moreprettythings.co.uk

 

 

 

A spot of Man Wrapping!

When buying a roll or sheet of gift wrap it can be difficult to see past what to do with it other than tie a ribbon around it, especially when wrapping for men! Achieving a different look or something a little more personal can be easy (when you know how!) and certainly doesn’t have to mean spending lots of money on materials, it’s just about being a little bit creative with what you have around you. With Fathers Day just around the corner and lots of male birthdays to wrap for, we thought you might need some inspiration ….So with just one roll of what we consider ‘manly’ paper and a few bits and bobs, here’s how!

 

blue paper just for you tag

Here’s a quick and easy one to do for a simple but classy look. Take a gift tag, hole punch it and thread the ribbon through, then secure at the back with double sided tape (or tie it if you prefer).

dad

Say what you want with scrabble tiles! Simply tie on some stripey string and stick the letters on. Of course you could write someones name instead or ‘Happy Birthday’ and if you don’t want to use your scrabble tiles, just print some letters off your computer instead and attach those.

blue wrap amazing dad with photos

If you’re looking for something totally bespoke then this one’s for you! Choose photo’s you wish to use and photocopy them or print them out onto white paper, cut around to give that nostalgic ‘polaroid’ look, write a caption then secure on stripey string with a peg. Add message if required.

 

We hope you’ve enjoyed todays blog and that we’ve inspired you to get wrapping! If so, please do feel free to share the gift wrapping love with a friend or on your social media. And to find out more about our Gift Wrapping Workshop Days, Demonstrations for groups etc simply visit us at http://www.moreprettythings.co.uk

 

Just add a Gift Tag…

Over the years I’ve found myself with a variety of unintentional collections of this, that and the other. Things that I’m sure I’ll need in the future so can’t bear to throw away…You know the kind of thing….Odd buttons, old keys, mini toiletries from hotels and…..Gift tags!

Yes, it’s a thin line between ‘collector’ and ‘hoarder’ at this point and my profession as a gift wrapper won’t save me on this one as after rummaging through a very large box of gift tags, it’s clear my love of them started way before my business began! (Many moons ago judging by some of the styles.. Apparently tastes do change!)

So, if like me you have some (??!!) very pretty gift tags you’re hoarding (I mean saving for a rainy day) that you don’t have matching paper for, then fear not….You can use them up and plain paper is your friend!  Couple the tag with a bit of ribbon and some imagination (in other words hole punch a second hole in the tag, thread a length of ribbon through, secure on the back with double sided) and this is the result….A unique and pretty decorative touch to embellish a gift!

kraft and tag final

Like being creative?  Don’t forget to sign up for our e-newsletter on our home page at www.moreprettythings.co.uk to receive month updates and gift wrapping tips etc

Hello Spring!

Hello to Spring and to everyone with a Spring Birthday!  What a lovely time of year to have one …With days growing warmer and sunnier and flashes of colour starting to appear in the garden it truly is a beautiful time of year.

It’s also a time of year our Creative Spring Gift Wrapping demonstrations are in full swing and it’s such a pleasure to tour around the UK meeting different groups, teaching them lots of new gift wrapping skills and bringing the outside in with the beautiful spring feel gift wrap and ribbons we’ve sourced.

One of the wrapping papers we simply love and have been using for our personal

ditsy floral matswrapping and in our demonstrations is this gorgeous ‘Bold Roses and Garden Ditsy’ double sided paper.  Doesn’t it just shout springtime?!

And being a double sided wrapping paper too this means you can wrap with it ….

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Or….(Should the urge take your fancy) you could get creative and make some pretty spring decorations to adorn your house or garden with instead. How lovely!

heart1heart in treeheart and chain in tree

For more information about our workshops visit http://www.moreprettythings.co.uk and Happy Spring Wrapping everyone!

How to wrap a magazine…

Being poorly or having a stay in hospital is just rotten isn’t it?!  You’re often confined to the space you’re in and if in hospital you’re without your home comforts and things to keep your mind occupied.An apple a day...

Now, as a visitor it can be difficult to know what to take or send to someone in advance of a hospital stay as some hospitals don’t allow flowers and even a healthy bowl of fruit or traditional bunch of grapes can be a faux pas if the patient is ‘nil by mouth’!

One gift that suits the occasion well therefore is a magazine (or two). Whether you’ll be visiting the person during their stay in hospital or sending them in advance of the day you can always find something that’ll suit. And they don’t have to be any less attractive a gift as flowers or a fruit bowl!  Not with a bit of ‘more pretty things’ gift wrapping magic of course!

Here’s a picture of how I prettily wrapped a couple of magazines this month for someone lovely who had to have a hospital stay.

mag5.jpg

I chose some lovely Spring colors of Greens, Oranges and Lemons for their ‘uplifting’ feel and I wanted to do something bespoke, so I designed a co-ordinating label which forms a band around the tissue and is printed with the words ‘Wishing you a speedy recovery’ on it. (Simple to do with a printer and a little basic knowledge!) If you don’t have a printer or feel you can do that then don’t worry. Simply use some co-ordinating patterned paper instead or use plain and write your own personal sentiment on it.

So if you’d like a go at doing it yourself,then please see below for our ‘how to’ guide to prettily wrapping a magazine.

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And don’t forget….Magazines make a nice gift at other times too including Fathers day…With the likes of ‘Top Gear’ magazine and of course, Mothers day being the perfect time for a thumb through the latest ‘Ideal homes’ or ‘County Living’ magazine (my hints are just shameless….shameless!)

For more information on our Gift Wrapping Workshops visit http://www.moreprettythings.co.uk