Friday, September 7, 2012

Wrapping for New York's Fashion Week 2012

"Fashion like Gift Wrapping is a visual language expressing the inner soul. "
 Megumi Inouye 

Yelp's Fashion Night Out in New York

When I was invited to gift wrap for the fashion world's editors, writers, designers and producers attending Yelp's Fashion Night Out in New York on September 6, 2012, I had an opportunity to reflect on what fashion represents and how to "wrap"with this intention in mind.

I pulled out my favorite wrapping material - old sewing patterns. I love the look and light and airy feel of the slightly vintage faded sewing patterns.

Handled with creativity, there is great potential for a second debut. So much that can be done with them!  (See my Workshop on wrapping with sewing patterns)  

As I started to mold them into circular, floral shapes, they made a statement without needing words. The sewing patterns represent the framework of  fashion - the work, the detail, the engineering behind the glamour and this is what I thought to honor in my gift wrapping for New York's Fashion Week 2012.

Inside the Box

Want to know what's inside the boxes?  Yelp's pick of small, locally handcrafted New York Chocolatiers include Nunu and Li-Lac.   I love the Nunu shop story about becoming a chocolate-making exhibit in Paris at the Brachfeld Gallery in the Marais in Paris, sharing the artistry behind chocolate making.  Li-Lac Chocolates has been in the West Village in New York since 1923 and still make their chocolate in small batches. The handcrafted quality of these chocolates truly mirrors what I aspire to achieve with my wrapping.

Fashion Inspirations Found in San Francisco

I'm so often inspired by FASHION designs and concepts for my gift wrapping ideas found right in my own backyard in San Francisco.

A sleeve or pleat detail discovered at San Francisco's Fine Arts Museum's "Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave" was made into wrapping paper made from recycled paper.
The wire cage dresses designed by Jean Paul Gaultier at the De Young Museum's"The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From Sidewalk to the Catwalk" begs me to rethink the notion of exposing rather than concealing a gift.

On the Horizon: Be on the lookout for what comes out of the newly created Fashion Incubator in San Francisco.My friend Jeanne Allen is the Executive Director and she is working together with the Designers in Residence to turn inspired concepts into one of a kind apparel creations.  The collection debuts this month.  I'm sure some part of it will wind up on my gift box! 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Gift Wrap of the Week

My girlfriend just moved into a beautiful new house. How do you capture the joy of a new home and the excitement of renewal, hopes of experiencing new memories?  This is my housewarming wrap expressing bold wishes for all things wonderful that define a "home". It turned out my wrapping paper matched her newly painted wall and she had a wooden sculpture in the living room that looked just like my bow.  It was meant to be...

Monday, September 3, 2012

Summer Wrap Up : My First Blog Post

Thanks to the encouragement and support from my son Michael and Megan Anderson (felter, crafter, blogger/producer extraordinaire at and now Craft War Champion) I am finally doing it!  I’m starting my gift wrapping/art blog.  Not sure where to start but thought I’d share what transpired over the summer.

"Hopeful Intentions"

A transformative experience for me was working with High School students from the Tsunami affected areas of Northern Japan at UC Berkeley.  They were here in the Bay Area as part of the Ayusa organized Softbank Tomodachi Leadership Program  learning the Y Plan(Youth-Plan Act Learn Now). I had the privilege of being one of the instructors in the area of Public Space and was given an opportunity to integrate an art component to the experience.

“Hopeful Intentions”  
Wurster Gallery 
University of CA,  Berkeley 
Working with 300 young leaders from the tsunami ravaged region of Tohoku Japan and the Y- Plan instructor team, we encouraged the students to write their hopeful intentions on the petals of a wrapping bow- symbolizing their aspirations to bring new life and vitality back to their home communities.  It became an installation at Wurster Gallery. The collection of words - about hopes, wishes and dreams on the bows were powerful.

The bows were made from repurposed file folders representing renewal, revival, finding beauty in things we may carelessly throw away or regard as no longer significant.

(Instructions on how to make this bow can be found on for anyone wanting to launch a similar project or to simply convey a thoughtful message to someone who has been a source of inspiration! )

The work accomplished with the Y Plan brought hope and purpose to these student leaders of not only Japan but the world.  It’s my dream to see the words on these bows become a reality.  Gift giving, packaging, teaching and public art at its best!

Thank you to Deborah McKoy, Shirl Buss, Susan Hartmann and Y Plan Instructors for all your support and encouragement.  This could not have happened without you!
You not only transformed the lives of the students, you were an inspiration to me!

To my daughter Maddie and her boyfriend Eddie, thank you for all your help in the classroom everyday and for being awesome mentors! Your engagement with the students meant so much! 

Last day with my students - I will miss them all!

Dwell on Design Event in Los Angeles - June 23, 2012     

I want to share this inspiring craft meets design online publication, soon to become a magazine  Handful of Salt.  Meet Regina Connell, Founder and Editor in Chief.  (Thank you Liza Dalby for the introduction!) 

“We believe that craft and design and art are related: that in the right hands, great art is designed and great craft is art. And it’s to those hands we dedicate a Handful of Salt. “ 

I was so honored to collaborate with Handful of Salt to invite architects, designers, creators, landscape designers and the general public attending the Dwell on Design Event in Los Angeles to write messages of hope to the 300 High School Students coming from Northern Japan to the United States in August.  (see above post).   Messages were written on file folder strips which I converted to a large

A glimpse of the messages left for the students: does it not stir the heart?  I centered my demonstration on how thoughts, intentions, messages can be symbolized through the craft of presentation and carry a meaningful gift in itself. 

Renegade Craft Fair - July 21, 2012

I’m one of the workshop instructors of a line up of some incredibly crafty artists being featured on this new online craft/art instructional website:   If you are inspired by creativity you will be hooked! The trailers of the instructors (make sure to view them) will showcase why you have something to learn from this group of talented teachers. They not only have secret tips to divulge in their craft, but have inspiring philosophies and stories to share.  

At the Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco 

Scrap Wrap Demo Lessons
Rengade Craft Fair 
Meet one of Creative Bug's Founders Julie Roehm