Kerry O'Brine Womens Wear

Behind the seams


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Christmas Gift Giving – All Wrapped Up

If you struggle every year at Christmas time with wrapping presents. I’ve come up with some ideas for you!

  • Get a gift wrapping Book
  • Go on a wrapping course – one to one, group or corporate
  • Get someone else to do it!!
  • Choose some different and unusual wrapping paper

How about doing a wrapping course? They go on all across the country

Jane Means

Jane is a British ribbon designer and gift wrapping specialist and does courses in London, Glasgow, Hampshire, Manchester and Lincoln.

Eclipse Gift Wrapping (Porthcawl, Mid Glamorgan)

Courses and Training

Gift wrapping services

All Occasions Gift Wrap (Wolverhampton)

A range of online, DVD and in-person gift wrapping courses

Creative courses online

Corporate Gift Wrapping Service

More Pretty Things

Gift wrapping courses: (Derbyshire and Yorkshire)

Corporate gift wrapping courses

Get yourself a book on gift wrapping! Books are great for giving you instructions to follow combined with some fab creative ideas.

Gift Wrapping by Lucy Berridge

Gifted Wrapping: Step-by-step Instructions for Stylish and Elegant Wraps for Perfect ‘present’ Ations by Christine Fritsch

Quick & Clever Gift Wraps: Quick and Clever Gift Wraps (Make it in Minutes) by Nicole Steiman

Gift Wrapping: Creative Ideas from Japan by Kunio Ekiguchi

Jane Means recently released a book on gift wrapping:

Get Someone Else To Do It

If you can’t manage wrapping due to a severe lack of wrapping abilities or you just don’t know when you are going to find the time you should get someone else to do.

There are people out there whose job it is to wrap your gifts and take some of the Christmas pressure from you.

Wonder Wrap – Kent

Urban Angels – London

Wrapsody

Thats a Wrap – Greater and North London and Essex

Wrapper Snapper (Pop Up Shop at Old Street Underground from 15th -24th December)

Sue Lacey – Warrington

Don’t forget that most top retailers online and in store will offer a gift wrapping service. Even if they don’t offer one the rest of the year, often they provide a special one at Christmas.

In their Piccadilly store Fortnum and Masons (one of my favorite shops!) does a gift wrapping service:

‘this is priced at £5.00 per item or free for individual items over £100’

Aspinal of London

A few online gift shops offering a wrapping service:

Selfridges

Stylish Life

The Present Finder

Jarrold – Norwich in store and online

Vintage Toys

To help make your gifts look a bit different try getting your wrapping paper from somewhere different this year!

Paperchase: I love paperchase. They seem to come up with such a nice range of different ideas each season. I buy a lot of their wrapping paper!

Not On The Highstreet have a variety of brands who sell various types of unusual, creative and quirky designed paper and wrapping stuff!:

Paper and bags made in India. Pretty range of brightly coloured and patterned designs: Namaste

From chalk board wrap and washi tape to wads of Art Nouveau paper: Pipii

From maps of London to a full skeleton. Different and unusual wrapping paper at the National Gallery.

Jean Means sells a range of nice ribbons, paper, bags, ribbon spools and other lovely bits and pieces for wrapping requirements on her website!

Stylish paper and coordinating ribbons. I like the crafty yet smart range of their items: Cox and Cox

At the Dot Com Gift Shop they stock a huge range of different wrapping papers. From flowers and Paris fashion to Christmas foxes!

See some ideas for wrapping your gifts in different ways here….

Full disclosure: Just to let you know that I’m an Associate of Amazon and if you purchase some of the items on this page via clicking on the pictures I will get a small payment!
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french macarons try


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Your secret baking desires could become reality!

Macarons

My attempt at Macarons!

If you like me LOVED the Great British Bake off or find yourself a little bit addicted to the cooking programmes on tv perhaps it is time your tried your hand at cooking something more adventurous?

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My tasty but not perfect Macarons!

One day I decided that I really wanted to perfect making macarons. They are not the hardest thing you’ll ever make but it seemed to be getting the stars to aline regarding the oven time, temperature and height in the oven plus what I actually put them on. I think a lesson might have helped!

Macaroon 4

Eating yummy Laudree Macarons

I am still to get them to look like those at Laudree but they were still delicious!

I’m always looking to develop new skills and try new things. For Christmas I was given an ice-cream maker and I’ve been making some delicious Italian Gelatos and Sorbettos (they disappear so fast there is no time for pictures!). Following on from my self improvement blog post on makeup classes, I decided to take a look and see what courses there are in London to help us become great cooks or bakers.

If you are looking to learn some new cooking skills then take a look at Atelier des Chefs – they offer a wide range of length lessons in a wide range such as French to Thai or desserts to burgers.

You could even book a corporate event there or perhaps a work do that could be a great team building exercise. Conveniently located at St Pauls and Oxford Circus.

Another place to take a look at that does a full range of classes is Cookery School at Little Portland Street. Their courses cover a full range of topics and you can do a single class to a series of classes. A single class could be a great taster or brilliant if you are so busy with work and home life that you cannot commit to a series of classes.

Perhaps you want to focus on baking. Bake With Maria is a baking school that aims to teach you how to create amazing baked goods that you can replicate at home – so, no fancy equipment you might not already own. They’re located in St Johns Wood. You can have a private party and/or do a class in bread, cake or pastries!

If you fancy learning how to decorate cakes then Cookie Girl based in North West London is available to teach you just that. Perhaps you want to make some amazing cupcakes for your little girls birthday with very personalised decoration – this could be just the class for you. They do classes, hen parties and team building so take your pick!

Fancy trying out making some delicious Sour Dough or other lovely Artisan Bread you’ve been trying at the bakers? Try out CoCoa and Heart’s introduction to Artisan Bread Making. Located in South East London/Kent borders you’ll be taught by a home baker (with over 16 years experience) – so no scary chef! You could learn a range of bread making techniques, make some chocolates or cakes.

If you want to take this to a whole new level then why not book a holiday where you will learn to make something new. Why not make sorbetto or gelato in Italy? Go to Sorrento for  five days and learn a new skill. At Go Learn To  they have many other holidays with different learning experiences.

All this food talk is making me hungry!