Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wrapping...and a little Desk Hack

Chances are you know someone with a birthday next month. If you're in my family, you know close to a dozen people with birthdays next month. So I've been spending a bit of time wrapping gifts the past few days.

Every time I present a gift to someone there is always a comment about how nice the package looks, so I thought I'd share a few tips.

First: go with simple paper and a fabric ribbon. Trust me. Even something simple like grosgrain will up the ante on any gift.

I do take the age and gender of the recipient into account, which is key. Observe:

The two gifts in the background are for my brother-in-law, who will be turning 33 in a few weeks. The paper is from IKEA and I think I grabbed the ribbon from the $.99 bin at Michaels. What keeps his gift from being too precious is the lack of a bow. I simply wrapped the ribbon around and snipped it where the ends come together. Some double-stick tape holds it in place and then I plopped a label over the (not pretty) joint. My sister, a few days younger than her husband, will be getting a present wrapped in craft paper and tied with another length of $.99 ribbon. She gets a bow (your basic square-knot - just pull loops and not the full ends. Don't be afraid to re-tie once or twice) as well as a label. Do I always use such conservative wrap for these two? No. But it appealed to me for the season in which their birthdays fall.

Another birthday falls next week, and the recipient (who will be ten) is getting this:

The paper is from Paper-Source and the ribbon is from Costco. I picked up the paper because it reminds me of Dorothy's slippers and the recipient has recently discovered and fallen in love with The Wizard of Oz. Her gift is saved from preciousness by the black and white ribbons. I like to add tie-ons ocassionally, this is a bottle of "Birthday" bubbles from Sephora. Adults generally get wine-stoppers or ornaments...but anything from keychains to slinkies can be tied onto a gift. If your tie-on, like mine, isn't being cooperative, get creative with the ribbon and secure it with double-stick tape.

That's my secret weapon - double stick tape. You'd be amazed what removing the strips of tape from a gift will do.

When I start wrapping the gifts I'm taking to Switzerland for Christmas, I'll do a step-by-step of what a friend of mine dubbed "Soap-Opera Wrapping." In the interest of full-disclosure, I learned how to do it from Martha Stewart.

And on a completely unrelated note - I raised my screen today. I realized that while my chair and desk are at a good height for my legs and arms, the center of my screen sat a good 3 inches below my line of sight, which was leading me to slouch...and likely undoing all of the good posture that Yoga gives me.

Forgive me, I just have after pictures:

Believe it or not, my screen surround is usually covered with about ten times as many sticky notes. It's a testament that I've been able to remove so many this week. Mercury is in retrograde.

I used an in/out box from Target as my stand. Now if I can just keep it from getting clogged with detritus...

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