Thursday, December 11, 2014

Gift Wrapping for Good Causes

GIVE BACK Gift Wrapping Workshop

Wrapping with Cavalleni Paper

I am participating in a Give Back Wrapping Workshop this year and would love if people can take the class, learn both basic and creative, not so ordinary techniques to wrap for the holidays and volunteer with me afterwards in 
wrapping the donated gifts for the homeless and foster youth of Larkin Street Youth Services.  
 (Please take the time to read about this wonderful organization- see above) 

Date:  December 18, Thursday 
Time:  5:30-8:00pm 
Place: 1150 Sutter Street 

Here's the link to sign up: 

Appreciation goes to Jess Shain of Fullosophie for her wonderful idea and inviting me to be part of
such a worthy cause in their lineup of wonderful, experience worthy workshops.  Happy to be part of this!  
Special thanks goes to Cavalleni for generously donating their beautiful papers!  Have always loved the beautifully designed and high quality papers of Cavalleni so what a treat to be wrapping all the donated gifts with them!  
Learn to make this Sleeve Gift Bag
and Floral Accent repurposing cupcake liners
at the Give Back Workshop.
Great for packing things on the Larkin Street Youth Wish List:
socks, scarves, undergarments, shirts

A shout out to Scotch for their donation of supplies and tape-- their generosity continuing beyond my
days participating in their 3M Scotch Most Gifted Wrapper Contest!  Can't do without the wrapping necessities.  THANK YOU ! 

I just know this project was meant to be because of the immediate and kind support from everyone.

Know its a busy time for everyone but if by chance you are free and want to take part in a worthy cause, please come and join me!   Would love and actually need the support of everyone on this one! 

For those who cannot make it to San Francisco, there are also other ways to support the 
Larkin Street Youth Services during the holidays.
Here's the link for more information:


                                                         GIFT WRAPPING to support Ruth's Table

Join me for a relaxing afternoon learning different ways to wrap presents including how to repurpose your everyday materials into artistic wrapping creations.  Ruth's Table is a Creative Learning Center named in the spirit of renowned artist Ruth Asawa.  It's a place where people of all generations come together to explore their creativity. 

It's fitting that just last week, as I was getting out my holiday boxes, I came upon origami ornaments I made together with Ruth years ago, just sitting around a table and talking.  It brings back such nice memories. It's this same feeling I know Community Programs Director Lola Fraknoi hopes to capture at the Center ("as a hearth for creativity" as was Ruth's wish" in bringing artists and creators to the Center-- interacting with the seniors and the community together creating, sharing artistic visions and discovering a sense of purpose.  My friends Monica Lee is the Artist in Residence there and Dorothy Yuki is a regular Volunteer Artist as well as Artist Aiko Cuneo are all an integral part of Ruth's Table.  Program Director Lola's son and my daughter Maddie went to the same High Schol and share the same circle of friends so its a small world that brings us all together.  

Please come join me in this warm gathering of friendship, creativity and learning. 

Here's the link to sign up for the workshop at Ruth's Table 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014: Wrapping Gratitude

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."
-William Arthur Ward-

Thanksgiving this year was about both feeling gratitude and expressing it, wrapping thoughts and 
sharing.  As a lover of gift wrapping, one would think my favorite holiday is Christmas but actually I love Thanksgiving.  It's a day about being together with family, cooking and eating together and often not done enough, voicing gratefulness to the blessings in our lives.  This Thanksgiving I walked the talk wholeheartedly of my saying gift wrapping is my vehicle of expression, of a thought, an intention, a sense of gratefulness to share with those we care about. 

My photos of wrapping  "A Note of Thanks" 
placed at the table for my family to share their thoughts of gratitude. 
Unexpectedly it became a moving moment for us all.  

My daughter Mel's note of gratitude.
Touched us all! 
Love this scene of my kids cooking Thanksgiving Day.
Michael made an awesome stuffing. Maddie is our ultimate baker!
Mel is all about the Louisiana Yams. 
Here's to packaging and honoring the gift of words.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Holiday Bonanza Special: Free Classes on Creativebug

I usually like to honor Thanksgiving before jumping into the winter holiday mode but this deal is too good not to share.  Creativebug is hosting a Holiday Bonanza- a line up of FREE CLASSES from how to make your own marshmallows to painted holiday gift wrap.  My favorite at the moment is the class on how to arm knit a cowl.  My friend Tracy made me an arm knitted scarf for my birthday and I've been wanting to learn how to make it ever since.  I'm already dreaming of post Thanksgiving, making myself hot chocolate with home made marshmallow and arm knitting with friends.

 FREE CLASSES (take them all-enjoy!)

Annual SCRAP WRAP Workshop

One of my favorite workshop venues is SCRAP where their mission is to promote creative reuse of materials traditionally discarded as waste.  My love of course is to apply this mission to wrapping and packaging.  Together with my reuse crafter, friend and artist Monica Lee, we're going to give a workshop to help everyone be ahead of the holiday game this year with not only teaching “how to” techniques but we'll all be making lots of boxes, bags and bows made from Scrap materials for the holidays. It’s be a fun and productive time for everyone so hope whoever is in the town around the Bay Area can join us. 

Scrap Wrap: Bags, Boxes and Bows 
Saturday November 22, 2014
801 Toland (entrance on Newcomb) 
Sign Up Here: 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Gift Wrapping Workshop at College of San Mateo

My third year teaching repurposed gift wrapping at San Mateo College Community Education.
This time I am scaling up with adjunct ideas of taking some of the basic ideas I've taught and enlarging them in size for those special big gifts and special occasions. As always, excited to show how the most mundane everyday materials around us can be made useful and artistic when utilized for gift wrapping and packaging!  Come join me.

Fabulous Gift Wrapping: The Art of Repurposing 
Saturday, November 1, 2014
San Mateo Community College
1700 W. Hillsdale Blvd 
San Mateo
Building 14  Room 213

** Walk in’s welcome 
For questions, please call 650-574-6149

Summer Wrapping @ Heath Ceramics

One of my wrapping highlights of the summer was being invited by HEATH Ceramics (Yeah! I'm a big fan) to collaborate with their visiting artist from KAMAWANU (manufacturer of beautiful hand dyed cotton cloths called Tenugui) to do a demonstration on how to wrap with Tenugui.  I am particularly drawn to the graphics (hand cut and designed templates) and the intricate traditional dyeing process. The simplicity and unpretentiousness of the cloths and its versatility (used as a hand towel, cleaning cloth, business card or simply as an art piece) is what appeals to me. The greatest challenge with Tenugui is the size and odd shape (35x 90cm) and the unfinished frayed edges. I felt particularly excited when I was able to figure out a few strategies to get around these challenges and share my tips.  It was an opportunity to talk about how even the most simple of objects like a lemon from your garden, a small plate or a bottle of olive oil, wrapped with cloth, can elevate the everyday by adding a layer of thoughtfulness behind gift giving.

Recommended reading:  I had a fateful meet up at Heath with another Gift Wrapper who happened to experience Scotch Brands Most Gifted Wrapper Contest experience like I did.  Nice to meet you Shasta Garcia!  Read (click below) her wonderfully summarized blog about the Tenugui demonstration.
Another recommendation is to read "A Rambling About Tenugui" (click below) found on the Kamawanu website for a history of Tenugui and the background behind the over 100 year old traditional dyeing technique.

A Heath Ceramic Platter revealed and wrapped with Tenugui 

Great working with you again Regina! 

Granola Box wrapped in Tenugui 

Olive Oil wrapped in Tenugui

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sweet Sixteen

My daughter Mel turned 16 in May.  An excuse for expressing love to my girl with
  handmade props to celebrate the occasion. 
Happy Birthday Mel! 

Happy Sweet 16 Mel
Love you ! 

A Valentines Tradition

A Valentines Tradition with this group of friends who we've known for 20+ years of lifes ups and downs. Everyone always brings such nice gifts for each other and this year I wanted to share my repurposed file folder bow in pink to celebrate the occasion- we all signed our names on the bow as a reminder and momento of our friendship and beloved tradition thanks to our host Bebe (owner of Le Cucina San Francisco) and her Big Heart!

Christa, Jodi, Laurie, Janet, Donna and Bebe
You are treasures! 

The lovely Bebe
Valentines was named in honor of you and your heart! 

Valentines with MUJI 2014

I've been a fan of MUJI since I discovered the store in Tokyo in the late 80's.  They are a retail company known of having a "no brand" minimalist design philosophy with emphasis on recycling and avoiding waste in production and packaging.  In many ways, they were ahead of their time conceiving of this idea when the concept of sustainability was not as well represented in the retail markets.  It had meaning for me especially to have an opportunity to do a Valentines gift wrapping workshop with my repurposed file folders at the Muji SF store showcasing how to wrap with minimal and repurposed materials.  Special thanks to Muji for the donation to Japan Society's Japan in the Schools program in connection with this workshop and for friends who came by!

Birthday Memories Captured in Cards Handmade

Love birthdays and especially love giving and receiving 
things handmade.   Made a wall in my studio to showcase the creations 
and meaningful words given to me for my birthday by friends and family. 

Inspiration in Santa Barbara

Reconnecting with my former work at Felissimo, I find myself in Santa Barbara working on a project bringing Master Artists from Japan in the field of Noh, Traditional Cuisine and Photograpy to UC Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.  Learned the value of upholding tradition and how culture is passed on from generation to generation through these very talented individuals.

Reduce Reuse and Recycle Seminar (New Year 2014)

Kudos to Manager Laura Petro who had the vision to include a Repurposed Gift Wrapping workshop to the lineup of programs for the Reduce Reuse and Recycle Seminar/Retreat for City and State Managers to inspire new creative ways to promote recycling policies and practices. Enjoyed working with those especially who considered themselves creatively challenged and wound up surprising themselves not only with experiencing the potential of repurposing materials but getting connected with the artist hidden within!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Inspired by Textile

Admirations to artist friend Ealish Wilson whose fabulous textile creations inspire wrapping ideas for me.  Worth exploring her work - Ealish Wilson:Design Bahn Textile Art and Design

Ealish's Booth @West Coast Craft Fort Funston

Repurposing a Coffee Bag

Had fun repurposing this Blue Bottle Coffee Bag!  Many possibilities!

Packaging Treats
Holiday Gift Bow 

Makes a great card! 

Playing Catch Up

I am playing catch up having suffered from two horrific bouts of the flu this past winter and New Year.  I do know it was going around as everyone around me seemed to be sick as well.  It was bad enough to have to miss my Scrap Workshop in December which I have to say might have been my first to miss a class. I was pretty sick.  Special thanks to my artist friends Monica, Dorothy and Jennifer to cover for me and for the participants who enthusiastically plugged along with understanding.  It meant so much.