18 December 11 • SCB

I do love to wrap a package. I can’t always give handmade gifts, but I try to put a little thought and creativity into my gift wrapping (conversely, when I give handmade, I often offer it up in a pile of crumpled tissue because I finished it just minutes before I’m due to hand it over). Some holiday years, I have one color palette and style of wrapping for all my gifts, but this year I have been tailoring the packaging to the recipients.

Some of the ideas with which I have been playing:

I covered some sunprint paper with cuttings from our Christmas tree and exposed it to a few minutes of winter sun. Paper snowflakes and doilies make beautiful holiday sunprints as well. This blue paper would be great for Hanukkah gifts!

A simple brown paper bag with a twig and yarn wreath. I first made little wreathes like this when I was working on Interwoven. To make one, take a pliable twig and strip it of leaves except for the very end. Gently twist into a circle and secure and cover the overlap by winding yarn tightly.

This stack is for someone who likes neon pink. The cord is mason’s twine (find it at your hardware store). The paper is kraft that I painted with simple dots and lines with a metallic gold paint and some gold tissue.

Pom-poms! Another great use for leftover Quince & Co. yarn. You can buy a pom-pom maker at a craft or fabric store. A great topper.

Happy holiday wrapping!

9 December 11 • MAV

Fa La La La La … La La La La.

We decked our halls this week and I am very pleased to say that I’m really in the holiday spirit! My intention for these next weeks is going to be focused around … heartfelt enjoyment of family and friends, slowly savoring the last days of 2011, cooking and baking and drinking and eating as much as I possibly can, gift-giving and last but not least dolling out more hugs and kisses than my Grandma A. used to give. Boy was she a kisser! I really enjoy how the holidays beseech us to give love. I’m taking full advantage! So hey … meet me under the mistletoe, eh? Heehee.

For gift-giving I put together a few lists below of my favorite things … I hope you’ll enjoy it!

GIVE
a little something they will savor …

+ A Maison Bouche Chocolate Bar (My favorite is here.)
+ Fran’s Salted Caramels
+ A Bag Of Four Barrel Coffee
+ A Jug Of Maine Maple Syrup
+ The Spice House Baker’s Gift Box

GIVE
a little something they will truly use …

+ A Fog Linen Dish Towel
+ Weleda Lip Balm
+ A Baggu Bag
+ A Stripe & Field Card Set
+ Avena Heal-All Salve
+ A White Forest Pottery Mug
+ Boscia Hand Cream

GIVE
a little 3191 …

+ A Subscription To 3191 Quarterly
+ The 3191 Grocery Tote Bag
+ The Quince & Co. Interwoven Gift Pack
+ 3191 Quarterly: Issue No. 5

PLEASE NOTE:
Our shop closes for the year on December 11, 2011 at 8pm EST.
Subscriptions close for good and our shipping department will
not open again until January 5, 2012.

GIVE
a little something made by you …

+ My Mom’s Sugar Cookies (In a large glass jar with ribbon around, perhaps?)
+ A Scarf (Maybe choose your friend’s favorite colors for the fabric?)
+ A Kitchen Scrubbie (With a tea towel, perhaps?)
+ Stephanie’s Granola (You might thrift around for a special bowl to give alongside?)
+ A Small Beach (In a jar with a note of where you found the treasures, perhaps?)
+ Scratch Bakery’s Apple Cake (Maybe side-by-side with the Baker’s Notes set?)
+ Grandma V.’s Italian Pizzelles (Packaged in parchment paper and twine, perhaps?)
+
An Inspiration Sketchbook (Use your tear-sheets to fill up the first 10 pages for your friend?)
+
Sweet & Crunchy Nut Clusters (Maybe with a subscription to Whole Living?)

Happy hall-decking, pals. Visit us here all month for more good cheer!

9 December 11 • SCB

This week as I snapped a photo of my table top, I remembered a photo I took exactly five years before and posted to Flickr (we still always have walnuts on our December table). It was that photo, along with one she had taken of her own table on the same day, that gave MAV the idea to propose that we collaborate on a project documenting our mornings, and A Year of Mornings was born. We have been collaborating in one form or another non-stop ever since. I am so proud of all that we have been able to share, and I love that the simple and earnest spirit of that very first idea is still alive today.

Happy Collabiversary, MAV! I am so excited for what lies ahead.

Things I’d love to give and receive this holiday season:

A Holiday Shimmer scarf.

I use my Baggus for everything. My current fave is the one I received from the Wiksten shop.

A white ash basket from Schoolhouse Electric’s new home collection.

A bottle of The Abyss for a cold winter’s night.

All about animals (with stunning illustrations by my sister!)

One of my favorite books of the last year.

For a little baker.

Beautifully simple napkins.

A handsome wallet.

Fun socks.

What I truly love to do at the holiday time is make—decorations, goodies and gifts. I finally had some time to play around this week and have had some successes and some failures. I worked out a simple hanging plant holder with several variations (you’ll find full directions in the next issue of 3191 Quarterly), but my grapefruit gummy candies did not make the gift-giving cut, oh well.

Gifts to make:

A wooden spoon and homemade spoon oil.

Simple cloth napkins using the fringe technique.

Fire starters for the fireplace (wrap each starter in newspaper and tie with twine).

A big tin of honey caramel corn.

Mason jar to-go cups and a set of fun paper straws.

Just a note: Our shop closes for the year on December 11th. When we re-open in January, 3191 Quarterly will only be offered as single issues. I’d hate for folks to miss out on the great subscription price. We have so many wonderful things planned for the upcoming issues!

Cheers!

3 December 11 • MAV

Up with totes!

Nah. This is not a new movement but regardless it has been on my mind a lot lately. I want to write to you today about how much I love totes and how important they are in this world of waste that we’re living in.

Sit for a moment. Think about how many bags you get each day (especially during this busy holiday season).

Take any given day — you run to the store and there’s 2 bags right there. You run to get a bottle of wine and there’s 1 bag right there. And maybe you need a gift for a friend and there’s 1 bag right there. That’s 4 bags all in one day!

Tuck 2 totes in your purse/carryall and 2 totes in your car (or your bike basket) and that number turns to 0.

Up with totes!

Here are some of my favorite totes right now … On top: my old Bean tote. I have had this bag for 7 years. It’s only getting better. I use it for long weekends away, farmers market trips and my cat Scotch likes to sit inside when it’s lingering on the floor after it has been unloaded. Love this tote!

This Nigel Peake is new in my rotation. I’ve been folding this one up in my purse. It’s on the small size but is very sturdy so it makes a perfect day-to-day tote for little but hefty jobs. Lately I’ve been bringing my digital camera along swaddled up in this baby. I got it on a recent trip to London at the very best bookshop — Magma Books. I love this tote!

This is the newest of all of my totes and it’s one I made myself (get yours here)! Well, I didn’t sew it but I did do the dying and drawing. I love how the process has made it feel really wonderfully worked in. This is going to be the kind of tote I use when I want to walk out and about in town but don’t want to bring a big purse. It’s perfect to fit a newspaper, a wallet, sunglasses, a phone and maybe a notebook and still leave room for anything else small you might want to pick up. There are only 40 of these babies in existence … another reason why I love this tote!

I got this tote in London as well at a shop called Goodhood. Best little shop with the nicest people working there! And I thought it totally rocked that when you made a purchase you got a cloth tote instead of a paper or plastic bag. That just makes good sense! This is one of those very light totes that folds up super small and tucks into the pocket of your carryall. You won’t even know it’s there until you need it. Love this tote!

And yeah, I’m totally partial but I love our new 3191 tote. This is the perfect grocery tote! It doesn’t go over your shoulder and that’s what I like about it. It’s the kind of tote you carry down at your side and there is something really nice about that. I have two of these (lucky me) and I am using one for exercise bits and bobs (fits a yoga mat nicely with it sort of popping out the side/top) and one for grocery trips.

I’ll say it again — up with totes! Let’s grow our tote collections and cut down on waste, shall we? Up with totes!

3 December 11 • SCB

We have been enjoying our new 3191 totes around these parts. I gave my daughter one in the blue and pink colorway and kept an all blue for myself. The illustration by Christopher David Ryan makes me smile every time, thanks CDR. It’s a great, sturdy canvas tote that stands on its own when filled, and we’ve found lots of uses for ours.

To the market. (It’s that time of year when I crave grapefruit. I am cooking up something special with these beauties for Issue No. 6 of 3191Q).

The library. Strong enough to hold even my family’s library haul.

Basketball practice.

Around town. It fits perfectly in my bike baskets.

Our tote is available in our holiday shop along with 3191 Quarterly gift subscriptions and single issues. Grab yours before our shop closes for the season on December 11!