packaging.  It makes us look twice at a product on the grocery shelf.  Excellent packaging makes us wonder over,  while browsing in a gift shop to a beautiful display of ordinary bars of soap that are packaged and presented in a snappy or elegant way, that somehow tied with a fancy ribbon and a feather, makes me want to buy.  That special added swoosh.

20150125_111133I think of it as garnish.  You make a beautiful, elegant dinner and to add that final swoosh, you choose to place a long piece of chive with the flower gently over the amazing mushroom risotto.  Swoosh.  Yeah, I like that.  You make a little sachet and you tie it up in clear packaging and add garnish of velvet ribbon.

No, I am not talking about going out and spending oodles.  I am talking about picking a piece of greenery from your yard to tie onto a piece of slate and a wedge of cheese to take to your neighbor.  garnish, swoosh.   I am talking about adding a lime green pipe cleaner and making wild cork screws sticking out in a jaunty fashion.

A swoosh is a jingle bell you tie on a gift in May.  A garnish is a scratch lottery ticket you tape to the ribbon.  A fancy swoosh is a baby picture you copy of the receiver and use as a gift tag.   Silly, fun, happy and unexpected. A plastic glitter snowflake and some white feathers or silly elegant ribbon with chickens and roosters marching along might just be the perfect garnish.

20150126_142659Why not crown the gifts you make for your friends and family with a swoosh?  When wrapping a Valentine’s Day gift of a book, why not add a special touch to say you were thinking of them?  Sometimes, I write the person’s name or other times I use an initial.

No, I am not talking about spending oodles of money on the “perfect” Hallmark card.  While there are occasions when a card is perfect, 20150127_161015sometimes, you want something extra.   More meaningful, way more fun and happy.  Wrap an elegant gift with beautiful wrapping and lacy ribbon …. then unexpectedly tape a silly comic strip on the back of the gift.  Get it?  Use your imagination to make the other person snort or giggle.

20150126_092742Make some tags.  This week I made heart shape and circles.  They can be any shape you want.  Go to the craft store, armed with a coupon, buy yourself a little square of clay.  It costs $2.99.  Bring it home. Roll between two pieces of waxed paper (you don’t want the clay to get dirty at all), cut out with cookie cutters, put a20150126_113627 couple holes in the piece to tie ribbon through, bake at 230* for 30 minutes.  done.

That was the craft.  Yes, that easy.  I used some letters and stamped out different names or words.  On a couple I just stamped XOXO  It was fun and quick and inexpensive.  I ended up with a little box of garnish.

I tied them onto different gifts I was preparing to mail out.  Valentine gifts, birthday gifts, I even tied one onto a vase of flowers.



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