Saturday, July 5, 2008

Gift Wrapped

I hate gift wrapping - I'll do about anything to get somebody else to gift wrap things for me - pay money, call in favors, rely on charm. This occasionally works, but inevitably, I still have to rely on my own wayward wrapping skills. I generally feel like I'm the only grown adult with the wrapping skills of a four year old.

If you've gotten a gift from me, then you've probably met these fine examples of my "skills":
  • Undercut paper with odd scraps of (hopefully similar) paper taped over the ill-fitting bits to disguise the jaunty flashes of cardboard box underneath.
  • Overly generous application of large amounts of paper to small boxes resulting in saggy protrusions of wasted wrapping.
  • Ripped paper with odd holes around box edges.
  • Bulgy sacks of paper when I can't be bothered to find a box.
  • Gift bags with unattractive wisps of undermatched (generally torn, certainly recycled) tissue paper leaking out from the top.
This past week was my friend Cindy's birthday. As one of the few painty-fingered members (we'd really like some more members!) of the Altered ARTists of Central Florida, I figured she'd appreciate some altered gift wrapping to go with her birthday gifts. Problem is, I hate gift wrapping. Sigh....what's an altered artist to do?

Uh....get out the paint and old useless stuff!

I LOVED this gift wrapping! I made packages from scrapbook paper (hey, it's not like I actually USE it, I just collect it so it may as well go to good use...), papers torn from an altered book and collaged, an old wooden thread bobbin, I punched holes, I sewed, I painted, I glazed, I stamped - I actually found that giving was beating receiving....huh.

What did I learn from this experience?

Well, I gotta be me. Apparently the following are not me:
  • measurement (involves numbers.....bad)
  • crisply trimmed and mitered edges
  • slick and glossy bags from Hallmark
  • perfect froths of hard shiny ribbon
  • using scrapbook paper for its duly appointed use
The following ....are me:
  • Hand-dyed paper from Thailand
  • My own "calligraphy"
  • Paint glazes on top of old crumbly book pages
  • Eyeballing my hole punching (not measured at all)
  • A vast grab bag of luscious furry ribbons
In the future, I'm wrapping everything this way - and I don't think I'm going to care whether people think it's "cool!" or "ummmm...interesting..." If they don't "get it", then they probably don't get me. That's ok too, but I wonder why I'm giving them a gift.....

It's amazing how much more comfortable something (formerly hated) feels when you quit trying to be somebody else, and start being you.


Anonymous said...

Your personal gift wrapping style is terrific. You have inspired me!

...Cindy... said...

I continue with the unwrap-rewrap cycle. I can't decide if I like them better wrapped or unwrapped! I can't even describe how appreciative I am of not only the fantastic, superb, amazing gifts, but also of the work you put into packaging them. I feel slightly less spoiled knowing that you might have gained something from the process as well!

...Cindy... said...
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