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ALL occasions GIFT IDEAS

Japanese Colored Pencil Sets for Kids and Adults

idea idea with duller colored pencils and sketchbook

idea idea with duller colored pencils and sketchbook

Colored pencils is a timeless gift to anyone who likes to draw. I like the chic look of the Japanese colored pencils designed by IDEA Idea in collaboration with old school German art supply firm to create Düller. The square shape of the pencils mean that they won’t roll over the table. You can buy the pencil set alone or a kit with a sketchbook.

colored pencil sets

For kids and adults, I found at MoMA a set of fluorescent colored pencils. I also like that MUJI puts their colored pencils in a tube instead of a box.

+ 36-Colors Pencil Set+Sketchbook $92 USD at A+R Store, pencil set at $66
+ Fluorescent Colored Pencil Set $24 USD at MoMA store
+ MUJI’s 60 Colored Pencils in a Tube $27.95 USD At MUJI USA

ALL occasions GIFT IDEAS

Get organized to make handmade gifts

free printable project list designed by heart heather

free printable project list designed by heart heather

A few years ago, faced with a too-small holiday shopping budget and gift list that included ten nieces and nephews, parents, siblings, friends and colleagues, I made the decision to put my crafting, sewing and baking skills to good use and make all of my intended gifts.

Of course, my plan didn’t seem so great when I still had unfinished projects on December 24th.

Like any DIY project, organization is essential to ensure your gifts are completed in time to actually be given. It takes a bit of planning and more than one list, but the results are worth it. Here are a few tips that can help you stay on track as the holidays approach and your to-do list grows longer.

Start with a list. Craft stores are a wonderful place to find project inspiration. But aimlessly wandering the aisles can easily steer you off course from your gifting goal, cutting into valuable making time. Once you’ve determined the recipients, your projects and the quantity you need to make, write a list of necessary supplies and make one trip to stock up. You’ll avoid countless additional shopping trips (save for that unavoidable last-minute glitter run).

Use what you have. Holiday projects are a great opportunity to make the most of your craft stash. Take inventory and find gift projects that allow you to use those supplies. A simple online search can help you track down the perfect project.

Make multiples. If you have a long list of loved ones you intend to gift, work in assembly line fashion to speed up the creation of your gifts. Don’t be afraid to make more than one of the same project – after all, you can customize the details for each recipient. I once created stationery sets for multiple children and, while the elements were the same for each, notecards and stickers were personalized with each child’s name and favorite color for a custom feel.

Schedule it! Just as you have to fit shopping into your busy holiday schedule, dedicate a similar block of time to work on your gift projects.

To help you (and me!) organize holiday projects and supplies, I created this free printable. Here’s to happy, handmade holidays!

+ Handmade Holiday Project List from Heart Heather

ALL occasions GIFT IDEAS

Nature’s Tale Soap Tins

Nature's Tale Soap Tins at anthropologie

Nature\'s Tale Soap Tins at anthropologie

The tin box of the Nature’s Tale Soap Tins collection is so adorable that I would repurpose the tin box for something else. This Portugal soap collection is available at Anthropologie in four scents: Eucalyptus and Aloe, Orange Blossom, Lotus Flower With Sugar and Desert Rose & Pomegranate. They all look tempting. We always need a reserve of generic, gender-neutral presents for last minute gifts. This could be it.

+ Nature’s Tale Soap Tins $12 USD, $14 CAD

ALL occasions GIFT IDEAS

Treats by Kréavie as Holiday Gifts

marshmallows at kreavie

If you saw the dessert table for my husband’s birthday party last October, you probably recognize the delicious marshmallows lollipops. For Christmas, they opened an online shop with gift ideas for all budgets.

Amongst the inexpensive items, I suggest their marshmallows. The marshmallow lollipops dipped in chocolate are divine. Bringing a large box to the hostess should ensure that you will be invited again. You can select the flavors of the marshmallow squares available in bags of 2 or 8. The purse bag (2 marshmallows) would be a hit as a goodie bag. Or you could use them to decorate each place setting at a dinner party. I dare to see if your guests would be able to resist eating them before the end of the meal.

gift bag and chocolate box at kreavie

You can order gift bags. I received one as a free sample. My husband and I enjoyed the taste of the butter cookies, the divine chocolate and naturally, the marshmallows. I still have to taste the salty butter caramel, the almond & hazelnut croquant and the wine confit.

The packaging is luxurious and well presented. A little detail that you can recycle with your Christmas bag gift wraps is the way they close the bag. They keypunch 2 holes on each side of the bag to nicely secure a ribbon. I like it when a chic solution is simple to make.

+ Lot of 6 Duo Marshmallows $7.20 CAD
+ Bag of 8 Orange/Ginger marshmallows $4.80 CAD – other flavors are available
+ Small box of marshmallow lollipops $7.55 – big box $13.50
+ Bag of Butter Cookies $7.30
+ Box of 3 chocolates $ 7
+ More shopping at Kreavie

ALL occasions GIFT IDEAS

Fruits and Passion’s Sale Alert

free cucina scent with sale alert from fruits and passion

Fruits and Passion is having a sale in Canada and the United States. A range of customer’s favorite products is reduced to $15, until quantities last. Plus, you will receive Cucina Fragrant Kitchen Spray 100 ml Sanguinelli Orange and Fennel free with purchase of $45 ($60 if shopping in USA) or more before taxes. About the free Cucina Fragrant Spray, their sale alert email mentioned two more scents. Inquiry since I do not know which offer is valid.

+ Images from Fruits and Passion

ALL occasions GIFT IDEAS

Pincushions and Bowling Pins

These two items were to cute for not mentioning them. First, the cutest pincushions I have seen. Renilde was inspired by a small fishing village theme to create this series. Her needlework plays with basic forms in red, white and blue. The pincushions are available at Mieke Willems, a small shop in Belgium. Renilde has a blog called At Swim-two-birds.

The wood bowling set is a creation of Little Sapling Toys on etsy. They plant a tree through Trees for the Future for every toy sold. They use a local beeswax and organic jojoba oil finish to bring out the natural beauty of the woods. The organic SKITTLES include 10 6-inch tall profile blocks and 2 hardwood balls.

I discovered Mieke Williams through the beautiful blog of Jane of Simple Pretty that I followed on Twitter.

+ Mieke Willens’ blog
+ organic SKITTLES – 10 pin retro wooden bowling developmental set $26 USD on etsy
+ Via

ALL occasions GIFT IDEAS

Plain Jotter Ceramic Pad by Yoyo Ceramics

plain jotter ceramic pad by yoyo ceramics

I am always looking for new ways to take notes at home on a more ecological way. I reuse pieces of papers for things that I will use only once.

One year ago, I introduced the Ceramic Memo Board by See Jane Work. I still think it is a wonderful product. In fact, it is a lot cheaper than the Plain Jotter. I decide to feature the Plain Jotter to promote further the idea.

The Plain Jotter comes with a special black pencil. They sell a pack of 3 colored pencils (red, blue and yellow) for £4. Simply erase your message with a dry or dawn cloth. For extra clean results, put the ceramic pad on the dishwasher.

Yoyo Ceramics sells their products online and delivers worldwide.

+ Plain Jotter £20 UK, £22 Europe outside UK, £25 for Canada, USA and rest of the World
+ Ceramic Memo Board at See Jane Work $15 USD
+ Via inredningsbloggen

ALL occasions GIFT IDEAS

Aluminum Water Bottles

Every time I am going to the gym, I feel bad about buying a new water bottle. Putting my plastic water bottle in the recycle bin is not enough for the environment. So I am thinking about permanent water bottle. I went on a search for cute aluminum water bottles. I found those:

aluminum water bottles

+ Pottery Barn sells two nature-inspired prints: a butterfly print water bottle and a basketweave print. $10

+ The SIGG Lifestyle Water Bottles is rugged and crack-resistant, unless you expose them to freezing temperature. You can add accessories to carry and use them exactly the way you like. Their bottle is available in 20 ounces (600 ml) and 33 ounces (1 liter) format. I am showing you SIGG City 1L at $29.99 USD

ALL occasions GIFT IDEAS

Merry Christmas 2008

merry christmas 2008

I hope you are having fun surrounded with love and joy. Christmas day is more than a day of cakes and ale. It is a day of small life pleasures made of laughers and fun.

I gave you a sneak peak at our party yesterday. You see how I wrapped some Christmas with where all the guests. My husband received this amazing pair of down duvet scraper mittens from Eddie Bauer (out of stock). You keep warm and it will protect our nice leather gloves. With the way this winter started, I think will get many uses the mitten scraper.

A quick note to wish you Merry Christmas with a nice interpretation of Let It Snow by Diana Krall.

ALL occasions GIFT IDEAS

Three Cool Gifts under $15

Umbra is one of my favorite brand. They produce cool modern items that are well-made and affordable.

A gift must be cute, useful and well thought to be fully appreciated. Low price gift exchanges are often a challenge; especially that many exchanges do not have a fixed recipient. If you have a gift exchange at the office, here are three ideas that will please everyone.

gifts under $15 from umbra

1. Lettro Wall Organizer – $13 USD

Made of aluminum with three hooks and storage for mail and papers. Get one for every member of the family.

2. Chrome Cooknook Cookbook Holder – $13.94 USD

It attaches under the kitchen cabinet and folds back to stay clear of the view when not in use. The magnetic recipe-card holder means that you can look at 2 recipes at the same time. The is probably one of the most efficient cookbook holder on the market.

3. Black and White Nook Salt-and-Pepper Shaker Set – $8.99 USD

Young adult will appreciate the neat nesting design of these salt and pepper shakers.

Umbra’s Factory Sale

umbra factory sale 2008

Torontorians, do not forgot to visit Umbra’s Factory Sale December 13rd and 14th, 2008. You can make donations to Sick Kids Foundation or bring a non-perishable food to the daily bread food bank.

ALL occasions GIFT IDEAS

New RuMe Bags for Autumn 2008

RuMe reusable shopping bags :: fall in new york patternsEverybody knows by now that reusable shopping bags are the way to go. But what about using them for gift wrapping.

It makes sense to put your gift inside a reusable shopping bag instead of a typical paper gift bag. With so many cool patterns on the market, your gift will looks sharp.

The Fall in New York motifs by RuMe look sophisticated. Three patterns and three solids compose each collection. 5th Ave, Greenwich and Hamptons are my favorites. The solid colors this fall are plum, mustard and espresso.

Keeping with the New York theme, Celadon and Keyboard from the Wall Street collection looks great too.

Come in Two Sizes

All patterns are available in regular and mini size. The regular size RuMe bags can hold 50 pounds. You can pack 40 tennis balls in a mini RuMe bag. The bag is water resistant and machine washable. The handles seems to be the right size; not too long, not too short.

RuMe told us that the bags are manufactured in a South Korean Fair Trade Factory.

+ RuMe Bags Fall in New York at Gone Shopping – $29.95 CAD for set of 3
+ RuMe Bags: Fall In New York at Delight – $28.50 USD for a set of 3
+ MINI RuMe: Fall In New York at Delight – $8.95 USD each