Above: Packages I wrapped recently. Click on the image to view an enlargement.
I have an eight-year-old friend who loves to make art. That means it's pretty easy for me to buy presents for him. I just wander around Wet Paint and find things he could use.
Left: Here's a close up of package A (A1 and A2) which are related. I can tell you what's inside because his birthday is past and I'm sure he doesn't read my blog. The bottom half contains a 6 x 6 inch Gelli Arts Printing Plate with a box of Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media Cards that he can print on. The top bag contains some acrylic paints suitable for holiday printing. He'll be able to use the Gelli Arts Printing Plate with the "B" packages. (His grandmother knew I was giving him this and said he could also use her paints, and she'll show him how as the ice and snow are keeping me close to home this year.) Click on the image to see an enlargement of the gory mess at the top!
I'm a big fan of not buying wrapping paper and simply using what I have on hand. You can see a post on "wrapping with what you have on hand" here. (There have been a bunch of these so if you use the search engine you'll find more.)
Left: The B set of packages is what started everything off: a kit for making your own wrapping paper which includes rubber stamp pads and shape stamps and brown paper. Of course you can never have too much brown paper. With this kid I knew he'd find a way to do more stuff with the printing kit. Click on the image to view an enlargement.
Right now because of my injured arm and shoulder I'm having trouble grasping tools, pens, anything. And my current wrappings are showing it.
The above batch makes me laugh because it looks like zombies wrapped these packages. Especially that paper bag with the torn and red colored top. (I think I'd hoped it would look like a flower but frankly it turned out so horribly that I left it without further work and thought, "hey, Eric won't mind."
Left: A holiday gift for Eric. He hasn't opened this yet, but as there's little chance he's reading this I can tell you it's a book on watercoloring (really cool workbook that he can work along in), a dragon mobile he can assemble, and a fun animatronic dragon he can put together and then paint. I went out on a limb with these gifts because while he likes dinosaurs I was just guessing he might like dragons. But these dragons are so nifty I think I'm safe. I used the paper to test a bunch of 3-D pens to discover which were still working. As for the watercolor book, well he's been using watercolors since he was five or six so this is just something a little more structured that he can work through. Click on the image to view an enlargement.
That's the wonderful thing about kids. They really don't mind.
Of course I had to do multipart packages this year. It was easier than wrapping everything individually.
I used newsprint that I'd marked up with stamp inks and the tail end of a 3-ply spool of waxed linen thread in a color I knew I'd never use again. (And yes there is paint all over the floor, but that's not new paint.) I sat on the floor to color the paper.
If you've read the captions you know what's in the packages. What I didn't get Eric this year, because I respect his mom too much and would never do this to her was: a portable keyboard shaped like a Cheshire cat (actually if the action on the keyboard had been more responsive I would have got this for him); bongo drums he could paint and decorate as well as play; a ukulele (which was perfectly selfish on my part because I want more ukulele players in my life).
Left: Package I decorated for Eric's grandmother. It's just the shop bag with a label covering the shop name (Canson Mi Tientes run through the Xyron and then decorated with the 3-D gel pens I discovered still worked). Click on the image to view an enlargement.
When it came time to wrap Eric's grandmother's gift I simply converted the shop bag as you see in the last photo.
What can we learn from today's post?
1. You can always find stuff lying around to wrap presents with and it's fun to do just that.
2. Kids enjoy presents wrapped in an ugly way just as much as perfectly wrapped presents (and adults should learn something from this by extrapolating it out into a metaphor for life).
3. Roz will make a good zombie when the time comes.
4. Roz will not be eligible for a job at Macys in the wrapping department this holiday season.
I'm a pantheist but I find that this is a great time of year to give people stuff to let them know I enjoy them and am grateful for their friendship and presence in my life.
Whatever holidays you observe, I hope you have a happy and safe one and that all your preparations go either smoothly or comically (and benignly) awry.