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


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:


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!

Cut Out and Keep – New Eyes for Art

Lydia Delectorskaya and Matisse at Hotel Regina, Nice c.1952  Cover of the Tate Modern exhibition booklet
Lydia Delectorskaya and Matisse at Hotel Regina, Nice c.1952
Cover of the Tate Modern exhibition booklet

I’m always surprised when I mention an artist like Matisse and someone has not heard of them. I’m probably so absorbed in my own little creative world that I don’t realise that others are not so interested or have not been exposed to such delights.

If you, like a friend of mine, have not heard of Matisse, 2014 is your opportunity to find out about him.

The Cut-Outs is Tate Modern exhibition filled with huge works that Matisse created in the last seventeen years of his life (He lived from 1869-1954).

You’ll see a video of him cutting the paper with his huge pair of scissors. You will be amazed that he cut three out of his four blue nudes in one single movement/cut from one single sheet of blue painted paper.
Blue Nude II
Blue Nude II 1952
Blue Nude III 1952
Blue Nude III 1952
There is a table with swatches of all the colours that he painted the paper with – such beautiful colours. Seeing the brush strokes first hand and close up is not something I expected from his Cut-Outs nor was it something I thought that I would find so exciting and interesting. In books I guess I presumed the paper was already that colour (not painted by Matisse).

I was stunned by the size of some of his work – you really do not get a sense of this from pictures of his work in books.

Due to his limited mobility in these later years of his life he turned to this paper cutting technique. It was totally new and fresh and to me it feels as though someone could have been displaying these pieces as current new art works.

Matisse’s lack of mobility and declining strength seemed to only increase his ambition and scale of his cut-outs. He decorated the walls in his house with his cut-outs. Creating a natural world inside that he could no longer be part of outside.

The Parakeet and the Mermaid 1952
The Parakeet and the Mermaid 1952

Whether you know Matisse from his earlier works or you do not know him at all, this is a beautiful must see for all.

Henri Matisee: The Cut-Outs finishes on the 7th September 2014 – lots of time left!

Visit this extraordinary 14 room, 130 works of art (you get your money’s worth!) exhibition at the Tate Modern in London.  Consider this exhibition your art education for 2014.

Adults £18.00

Concessions £16.00

Under 12’s Free

To beat the crowds pay £30 to see the exhibition on a Sunday Late evening: 20.00- 22.30

Please don’t forget to book all your tickets. It is a very popular exhibition and the day I had booked tickets for, completely sold out.


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