Wrapping up Christmas – Some Creative Ideas to Try

Here are some nice ideas on Pinterest you could do if you want to wrap your Christmas presents with a little creativity!

Follow my Christmas board on Pinterest for more ideas.To make your wrapping that bit different think about how you can change the key components: ribbon, paper, decorations and labels.
Ribbon – You could go a different route and use some fabric fancy ribbons, strips of paper, knitting yarn, lace, felt strips, string or tinsel.string parcel gift wrapping ideas christmas
Christmas wrapping, pom poms, ribbons
Add some interesting ribbons
Paper – Select something other that is not normally used for wrapping such as music paper, white or brown paper, magazines or even fabric!
christmas wrapping paper - chic plain white
Gift packaging for the music lover.
Try using something different as wrapping paper. How about some Christmas carol music manuscript paper
Labels – Instead of just opting for labels from the shops that match the paper why don’t you make something a bit different. Stick on buttons, cut up old Christmas cards, make some from clay or use blackboard paint. The label world is as wide as your label imagination!

Christmas snowman gift tag label

Christmas Crackers - Hand made crackers, wrapping from the studio 2011
Here is a robin cut from an old christmas card and re-used as a gift tag
Decoration and extras – Instead of the normal bows why don’t you attach some bells, sweets, buttons, pine cones, a paper snowflake or a pom pom!
Candy, sweet wrapping
Tie some candy into your ribbon!

 

DIY, Christmas, bows, bright, wrapping, gift
Try some contrasting bright fluorescent paper ribbon!

Christmas gift wrapping pom pom ideas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If this is not for you then head to my other Christmas wrapping blog post to see your alternatives!

Getting in the spirit of Christmas – what to wear to work!

I’m always looking around to see what is in the shops. All in the name of market research of course! So I thought it’s high time I started sharing this research with everyone else.
As everyone else is getting into Christmas mode I thought I’d better join in!!
(I recently met a man who’d done all his Christmas shopping!!! I mean, what is the world coming to!?)
What do you wear to work when you want to feel a little cheerful and festive without being too obvious with a Christmas jumper stuffed on under your blazer!?
I think red dresses are one answer. Pick a well fitting red dress in an appropriate length and good neck line and you can make a striking smart entrance to the office.
5 Red Designer Dresses for work
In the above picture I have selected 5 red designer brand dresses by Armani Collezioni, Landress, Anglomania, Diane Von Furstenberg and Joseph that I think are very work appropriate.
Below you can see my suggested complimentary colour and styling ideas. I have selected a couple of lovely non-Christmasy scarves. Choosing a scarf with a other colours in it is a great way of introducing a second or third colour into an outfit.
How to style a red dress
These pieces are all available online as I write this so you can get shopping right away!!

How to wear it three ways

Sometimes one new dress is enough. Really? Yes. You just need to pick the right dress.
If it is a great length on you, a great colour and not too fussy with details you can easily dress it in different ways.
Adding neutral accessories is an easy way of accessorising bright colours and changing it into a variety of different looks.

A shift dress style is a great tool to have in your box. You could:

1. Belt it in to create waist definition
2. Leave it loose and relaxed (great for BBQs)
3. One large accessory can make a statement – try a necklace, hat or belt
4. Shoes can often set the tone of a look – flat sandals for summer festival fun or sharp toed heels for days in the office
5. Add a cardigan or jacket – take the air conditioning chill off but don’t forget this contributes to the style you are creating

Three Ways To Wear It

Natural and Navy

Natural and Navy
During the summer months navy is a great alternative colour to black for work.
Wear your navy dress with natural low denier tights. Here I chose a selection of low denier Wolford tights but see this page for more options.
Wear a nude/natural coloured shoe that matches your leg tone to extend the length of your leg.
You can go for a matching navy bag, a nude shade or maybe even add a pop of colour with a red or pink bag!

Don’t Forget To Give it Some Lippy

YesJust thought I’d do a quick morning share as I get ready this morning for my PR meeting!Yes 5

I love red lipstick!

There are so many shades out there to choose from. I’m pretty convinced there is a good shade of red for everyone!!

I think it’s a shade that means business – don’t mess with me. It’s strong and powerful: women embrace your red shade.

I think if you don’t want to over do it with red in the work environment you can layer up the colour. One sheer layer for work and then add to it for the evening.

Lisa Eldridge gives us some tips on how to create the perfect red lips in an online video.

At Refinery29 they have uncovered some of the best shades for every skin tone.

Got it in the bag

I am often scrabbling around in my lovely handbag looking for this or that. I’m pulling out item after item to find things. I realised that it’s not giving a great professional impression as a business woman. The handbag should look co-ordinated, smart, organised and still have all the ‘just in case’ weather requirements we need in London!

So, here is a range of looks that you could work in your handbag.

Stay practical and beautiful!!!

Got it in the bag
From top right:
It’s All Black
An all black look for the lovers of classic all black.
A compact mirror with an interesting padded texture, a black pashmina to keep the chill off, a range of pens (because you always need a pen), a Salvatore Farragamo keyring The statement McQueen scull handled umbrella adds a bit of edge to the look.Then I picked another McQueen item – a smart leather cosmetics bag,a YSL leather business card holder and a classic black Mulberry wallet.
Pink Lady
This look starts with a gorgeous bright pink Kate Spade wallet, then add a fun makeup case by Lulu Guinness, a pretty pink pen, a cute pink poodle key ring, a lovely bright pashmina, a black and white compact umbrella for unexpected showers, compact travel mirror from Sergio Rossi and keep your business cards safe in a black Rebecca Minkoff case.
Keeping Cool in Blue
Choose a quirky makeup bag such as this one by Marc by Marc Jacobs and work the rest of the look around it. A Vivienne Westwood wallet in stunning blue shade, a silver compact mirror, a swarovski blue pen, a Marc by Marc Jacobs compact umbrella, a deep blue Forzieri pashmina, a Mulberry silver star key ring and finally a silver business card holder from Kate Spade.
Red, black and fun
This smart but fun look starts with a McQueen business card holder in a bright red leather. I love this fun keyring dog by DSquared2. Then we add a bright pashmina from Forzieri for when the weather turns, a smart pair of ball point pens, a bright red compact umbrella will chase the rain away, a very smart ‘I mean business’ black embossed make up bag from Comme des Garcons, a fun red compact mirror and last but not least a Comme des Garcons spotty leather wallet.

London City Hair and Beauty Directory

All professional women find time is short – whether you are trying to squeeze in meetings and seeing your partner or networking and pick up your kids from school – it can be tricky!

So to help you with your juggling act, I decided to start a new and (hopefully) useful directory online. Aimed at women in the city of London, specifically in the Square Mile area:

Instead of just a general title like women’s wear or beauty we have tried to aid you in the search for the service or product you require.

Visit our hair and beauty page and you will find a range of hair and beauty service providers with a table showing the various services they provide.

Whether you’re looking for a wash and blow dry, a full head of colour, a facial or a manicure; you should find a local service provider in our City of London directory!

I would love some feedback regarding how useful you have found it – if you work in London City. I’ll look to be doing some reviews of service and products at some point so let me know what you’d like to know about!!

Perhaps you’ve already had a great experience at one of the locations we have listed and would like to give us a little review. Feel free to get in touch.

If women find it useful I will do directories in other areas!

Pin it Please!

pile of pins

I’ve met quite a few experienced seamstresses and when they are sewing a new and complicated garment they use pins. Don’t feel you shouldn’t use pins.

  • A lot of the time the professionals judge seam allowances by eye but when trying to match a tricky point they get the tape measure out and put a pin where the seam lines join. Often if your garment is complicated or you just can’t afford to make a mistake it’s better to measure where you have to sew too and pin it!!
  • Put the pins into the fabric at right angles to the seam/fabric edge ( You can sew over pins on a domestic machine if you have the pins at right angles to the fabric edge).
  • I like to have my pins visible on the top layer of fabric when I am sewing. If your raw seam/fabric edge is on your right hand side, you can measure the seam width using the ruler on your sewing machine as you sew (great to ensure consistent seam widths!). When you are pinning have the raw seam/fabric edge laying on the right hand side. Having the pins on top stops any pins getting caught in the machine underneath and you can always clearly see them to pull them out if necessary!
  • The pin head should be on the outer edge of the fabric – if you need to pull them out as you sew then it is easier to pull them out when positioned in this way.
  • When pinning your garment pieces together make sure you pin at key points first: at either end of the seam line and at the notches. The notches act as anchor points at key points of the design.
  • Another and sometimes overlooked area is the length and point of the pins. You can purchase various different types of pins. Nice fine, sharp and long pins are great for delicate fabrics. Blunt pins will either not go into a fabric like satin or will cause a catch and pull in the fabric – you don’t want this. Often the box of pins will tell you what they are for. Try your pins in a scrap of fabric before hand if you are unsure.

Tinker Tailor Tacking Tips

  • Use tailor tacks as markers in the fabric – they are good because they show both sides of the fabric
  • Use proper basting cotton (you can get this from guttermans) – don’t use the cheap polyester stuff that you can buy for about 20p in bulk at haberdashers. This isn’t the same stuff!

Basting thread

  • Use a double thread
  • Use a long length of the thread
  • Don’t knot the end of the thread
  • Don’t lift up the fabric as this can cause distortion
  • Before tacking pin the edges of your fabric together
  • In couture, tacks are normally only used in wool fabrics
  • Use your tacks to mark pattern details in the middle of your fabric

Let me know if you need some pictures of tailor tacks to help

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