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3191 Miles Apart | 2012 | November

30 November 12 • MAV

I love the season of giving. While I completely believe in and support all of the conversations going on about cutting back and being grateful (I know I have a lot to be grateful for and I am indeed cutting back this year) I also just love to give. Finding or making something special for someone whom I love dearly is just … magic.

My tactic is to make a list, check my budget and then hit the streets of Portland as well as visit some of my favorite online shops in search of gold! The moment I find that special something that I feel a connection with, and know my loved one will as well, I get excited. It’s even more of an incredible feeling when it’s something that I make myself. Pow! Giving rocks! That said, you’ll find my holiday GIVE lists below with some of my ideas for giving. You can find last years lists in our Archives under “Holidays.”

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This year I fell in love with ceramics again and I’m over the moon about giving ceramic pieces as gifts. I started a collection for my sweetheart (as much for me, hee hee) and truly do use many of our pieces every single day. What I love is the tactile nature of ceramics, the usefulness. They are personal and each one-of-a-kind. Your recipient will think of you each time they use the gift and you can have fun picking out something that reminds you of them.

+ Object & Totum
+ Eric Bonnin Sylvia
+ Small Spells
+ Shino Takeda
+ Vitrified Studio
+ Akiko Graham
+ Karin Eriksson
+ Clam Lab
+ Jen E
+ Diana Fayt
+ White Forest Pottery

I am a big supporter of the idea that we are all artists. Even those sitting in a board room can have a red and blue pen and some scratch paper and doodle every once in a while, right? I love to give, especially to adults, art supplies. I think it brings out the inkling to create in all of us and everyone could use a little push!

Art Supplies
+ Akashiya Watercolor Pens
+ Akashiya Watercolor Box
+ Shinhan Touch Marker Set
+ Düller Marker Set
+ Washi Masking Tapes
+ Monocle Stationery Notebook

I always have the desire to give things that are useful. It’s just who I am. Trinkets and nick-nacks are never on my giving list because, to me, they are just another thing to dust! Therefore I always feel moved to give cloth dish towels and napkins. A good cloth can be used for years and year and even passed down. Useful and memorable. Such a good combo!

+ from Spartan
+ Fog Linen
+ Scents & Feel
+ Lineacarta
+ from Canoe
+ Cloth & Goods

In the last few years I’ve gotten into giving my girl friends little lotions and potion that pamper just themselves. So many of my friends/family take care of their children and their sweethearts but spend little time taking care of themselves so this is my way of saying: I’ll take care of you.

Lotions & Potions
+ Fairy Flower Creme
+ Oakmoss Perfume Oil
+ Earth Tu Face Goods
+ Nuxe Lip Moisture Stick or Face/Hair Oil
+ Rodin Cream

We here at 3191 truly believe in giving handmade. It can be something you made that your friend can eat in a weekend and it will still mean so much. Spend a little extra time on the packaging using recycled jars with ribbon or maybe even add in one of the new kitchen towels to wrap up your warm baked good. Yum!

Handmade Treats
+ Aunt Polly’s Italian Cookies (wrapped in parchment with twine)
+ Chocolate Chip Hearts (stacked in a glass jar with a heart on top)
+ Sweet & Crunchy Nut Clusters (in a glass jar with a bow)
+ An Apple Galette (wrapped in parchment and a new towel)
+ Honey Caramel Corn (in a recycled tin or decorated box)
+ Granola (in a large glass jar with a bow)

And I’ll close my list with giving a little love to my own dear Portland. We have so many talented people here and I love shopping local. Here are some goodies you can get online so you can have a little of my Portland in your gift bag this holiday.

A Little Portland, Maine
+ Tandem Coffee
+ Seawall Soap
+ Baker’s Notes
+ Angela Adams Scarf
+ Herron Clothier
+ Ferdinand Goods
+ Seabags
+ 3191 Quarterly Subscriptions (Portland, ME & Portland, OR with this gift!)

30 November 12 • SCB

One of my favorite parts of the holidays is wrapping gifts. I love to package gifts in a way that suits the recipient, and this week I set out to create a wrap for you. Share a 3191 Quarterly subscription with friends and family, and their gift will arrived wrapped in the paper I made.

I also want to share with you how I made the block-printed paper, so you can create your own holiday wrap. You’ll need some thick leather scraps (from the craft store or you could cut up an old belt), a block or wood scrap, acrylic craft paint, and a roll of paper (use plain gift wrap, kraft paper, or a roll of white drawing paper like I did).

Cut your leather scraps into shapes. I chose a simple triangle bunting design. More random patterns work just as well. Lay out your design on your wooden block (I used a scrap of moulding that was about half as wide as my paper). Once you have decided on the design, glue the pieces in place (I used hot glue, but any craft glue should hold the leather).

Using a foam brush, cover your design thoroughly with paint (you could also use a brayer). Do not worry if the paint spreads to the block, but wipe away any large globs with a paper towel before printing.

It may take some trial and error to get the coverage and look you desire—practice on some scrap paper before you begin. I find that a little variation to the paint adds to the charm. As you print, you may need to clean off the stamp with a damp cloth if paint accumulates.

Unroll your paper out on a table or other large workspace. Gently place your painted stamp down on the paper, applying firm pressure (be careful to not let the stamp move). Carefully lift the stamp in one motion. Admire your design! Repeat, applying more paint to the stamp each time, until your paper is covered.

Depending on the stamp you’ve created, you may want to create a guide to keep your pattern even. I placed a darker piece of paper under the white, moving it down each row to keep my rows of bunting straight. If I was doing this project with young kids, I would create a stamp that could be stamped randomly.

Allow the paint to thoroughly dry before you roll it up for storage or wrap a gift.

All gift subscriptions will come packaged in the wrap I created along with a certificate notifying the recipient that they will receive a year of issues. All 3191Q subscribers receive Issue No. 9 as well as our 3191Q Notebook.