My mother and I have had this little tradition about wrapping gifts for one another for a long time.
The premise is based on re-using materials. She gives me a gift, I save the wrapping and trim and sometime later, incorporate elements of her wrapping into a present I give to her. And vice-versa. There are pieces that have gone back and forth between our homes for years. Of course, it should look pretty no matter what, so only the intact things get re-used.
So, to wrap her birthday gift this week, I pulled out what I had from what she gave me for my last birthday.
There’s the gold box from the Godiva Chocolates I gave her last Christmas (with a note enclosed that said “Every single chocolate to be enjoyed by Mom!”, so she didn’t open the box and share it around and not get any herself. I gave her a second box of not-so-fancy ones for sharing). The box came back to me decorated with a piece of wrapping paper that I used for her birthday two years ago. And I’m certain I’ve seen that doggy pattern before.
Sometimes this custom has a bitter-sweet element to it too. For example, if you look closely, you see a cute little note she had written on the paper years ago, when her beloved Cairn Terrier, Duffy, was still with us. He had been her first dog ever, and she’d gotten him as a little tiny puppy. He was adorable and we all loved him. Sadly he passed away last year. (It was very upsetting but my parents now have a new dog in their lives, who they adore. She’s a rescued Chihuahua named Kiki, and will get her own post soon.)
I used the dog paper to wrap a t-shirt that I’d picked up for her last summer, while visiting the annual art show/sale held in a park nearby (Trinity Bellwoods). And though it has a cat on it (there were no dogs) I thought she’d enjoy the cheerful colour and cute picture. I bought it directly from the print maker, who goes by Primm.
I made the feather trim piece from new materials, as sometimes we have to add some new bits to the mix!
I got her a book I hope she’ll enjoy, called The Help, by Kathryn Stockett. She’s an avid reader and passes the best books onto me, so, hopefully this gift doesn’t seem a little self-serving, but it kind of could be.
I added the vintage handkerchief pictured above to her gift after talking on the phone before I left for her place. We’d been talking about how hot it was outside and how if you took a tissue out of your purse to wipe the perspiration from your face, it would fall apart and leave bits of tissue all over your face, probably without you noticing so that you walk around like that. Enter the handy cotton hanky. I never leave home without one. 100% cotton works the best, mattifying as you pat your face. It’s great to have one on hand in the winter too, especially on those days with the light wet snow that soaks your face, or when your eyes start tearing up because it’s so cold. [But we’re not talking about winter right now!] A little hand-wash in the evening with that nice soap you keep beside your sink and it’s dry by the morning and ready to face another day. I never use cloth hankies for their main intended purpose though, sticking to tissue for that task.
The blue ribbon I tied around it is from those things they put inside women’s tops so they don’t fall off the hangars in the store. I always cut them off and save them, because you never know when they’ll come in handy!
And as for the t-shirt, here is my mom striking a pose when she tried it on :)