I hope everyone had a very special Christmas.  This year circumstances made it where I was reminded how wonderful it is to have little children in the house during the Christmas season.  I had my grandchildren scurrying around with boundless excitement and anticipation.  The advent calendar was truly a life saver for us all after my seven year old granddaughter declared that is was Christmas the day after Thanksgiving.  In her defense, the bombardment of advertising for Christmas since Halloween might have anyone confused.  I guess in her mind she thought it was about time to “get the show on the road” as they say.

The photograph above represents the beautiful ribbon and trims that come off our carefully wrapped packages.  I just can’t throw them in the trash.  I save the best of them, ok, most of them.  I tuck them away until next year and pull my little bag out when I need to tie something up in a snap. I have even used that years tags and ribbons to embellish scrapbook pages that I really love.  I can vividly remember my Grandmother Viola carefully saving every ribbon and sometimes paper. Family would comment that it was the Scottish in her that made her thrifty and others reflected that living during the great depression taught you to save what you have.  I am going to embrace with pride that this is just a little part of me that is like Viola and I will continue to feel a kinship to her and be thankful for family each year as I fill my little bag with pretty ribbons. 

Savoring the Season.   –  Marianne

Just sitting here thinking about how I would like to wrap this years packages.  Last year it was all about red.   My strategy is to choose a feature color and a few accent colors.  Then I coordinate the” kids” papers with the more sophisticated “adult” wrap. This way it all just blends together nicely.

I just loved this tone on tone red zebra wrapping paper from last year.  A cute check paper leftover from several years ago was able to make an appearance with this color theme.  The pink in the santa paper kept all of it looking up to date and fresh. Silver is brought in from the tree, the paper, and the package attachments like the reindeer above.

Choosing one predominate color makes it easy to pick up gift bags that will blend easily with your theme.  This penguin bag was so adorable.  I am not alway sure what I will put in a bag when I buy it, but if I love it I know I will find something to put in it.

Do you have a color theme when you wrap presents or do you prefer the “anything goes” approach? Either way, creatively wrapping your gifts allows you to make a design statement during this favorite holiday season.   –  Marianne

The wrapping on this gift touched me as much as the gift itself.  Just knowing that someone took the time to do something by hand and so uniquely special.  The gift was from a dear friend with awesome creativity and talents.  With their permission I did not unwrap this gift for several days so I could just savor it all.  When opened it revealed a equally beautiful and thoughtful book.

Look around your yard for some gift wrapping inspiration.  It’s not only beautiful but good for the environment.  Basically this is a hosta leaf used to wrap around the gift.  Smaller variegated leaves from a aucuba plant are bunched with flowers and tied on with some satin ribbon.  For an addided touch aucuba hanging tendrils were twisted.  Just lovely.
Happy Mother’s Day to all.    –  Marianne
Photographs are property of Living With Color Designs

The secret is shopping the Christmas gift wrap isle!

Designer Christmas papers have been showing up for several years now much to my pleasure.  Aren’t we all glad companies realized that consumers were tired of the same old ordinary papers that only stated the obvious.  I much prefer a chosen color scheme of more subtle papers with hand tied bows.
The secret to making this a good budget decision is to shop the 50% off sales at Hobby Lobby. This is where you will get the most value for your money.  The paper is sturdy, the back has guidelines for straight cutting, and you get a lot of paper on one roll. Hobby Lobby cycles their sales merchandise about every three weeks.  I head on out to the store and scope out my favorites.  If it is on sale I buy it then.  If not I just keep checking back.  You can actually go to their website and check out their weekly sales before you head to the store.
All the pictures of paper were taken in the store on the Christmas wrap isle. Really. What little girl would not like a birthday gift wrapped in the pink and white polka dot paper above?


Classic looking black and white for all occasions.


Sassy red foiled tiger strips for and intimate gift, valentines, or lingerie shower.


 Crazy for polka dots.


Stripes and mini dots in shades of pink and green are a great girly pick.

 This leopard print foil really makes a statement.

Black and white wrapping paper with dots, spirals, and diamonds.


I hope you find something that matches your style and will make the perfect statement. Happy Shopping.