My first guest...

My favorite thing about being part of the blog world is connecting with inspiring and creative women, who are clever and willing to share their passions with the rest of us.

The Gifted Blog is one of my favorites - wrapping and gifting and repurposing is as you know something that makes me smile. So in addition to all the things she already does, Charissa spent a bit of time answering my questions. My gratitude Charissa for your thoughts and attention.

Without further to do...

1. I have visited Japan and one of the first details I noticed was the beauty and effort that goes into packaging and presenting, making the act of giving, no matter how small, a ritual. Can you explain how this has influenced you and your blog?

Although I’ve known I was Japanese-American since childhood, it wasn’t until college that I began to understand what about me is “Japanese”. I’m four generations removed from the relatives who called Japan home, but my love of gift wrapping is undeniably influenced by my Japanese heritage. With a grandmother and mother who love paper and wrap gifts beautifully, it is little wonder that I’m here today, writing about what I do on The Gifted Blog.

I like that blogging has helped me better understand why gift wrapping is so important in Japanese culture. I wrote a series last year on How to Wrap Five More Eggs, a seminal text on traditional Japanese packaging. The author writes, “The act of packaging an object becomes…a ritual of purification, of distinguishing the contents of the package from all similar objects that have not been purified” (pg 12). A lightbulb went off when I read that! I always knew gift wrapping was important in Japanese culture, but that helped to put words to why it is.

2. What do you think of when you hear the word "gift"?

A blank canvas for expression! I love encouraging people in their gift wrapping practice because I firmly believe anyone can add a special touch to a gift. Everyone is good at something, and you’d be surprised at the ways these can be applied to gift wrapping. I want gift wrap haters and lovers alike to see my projects and say, “Hey, I could do that!”

3. What is the most interesting material you have used in one of your gift wrappings?

A ramen wrapper.

4. As a master wrapper, what are your top 3 tricks or tips?

1. Relax.
It doesn’t have to be perfect! Over a year into documenting each gift I wrap, I remind myself of this frequently. We wrap gifts to show our love, not to attain perfection. Take some pressure off yourself and relax!
2. Play.
Gift wrapping is celebratory and temporary: the perfect medium for experimenting. Play! See what happens when you combine this with that, or try something you’ve never seen before. You may like the results.
3. Look around you – literally – for inspiration.

Some of my favorite gift wraps are the ones that start not with a trip to the craft store, but with stuff found around my house. Mesh produce bags, old t-shirts, and security envelopes can find a new life as a green and quirky addition to a gift!

5. For me the holidays are not about presents and gifts but about family and time together. What is one of the best gifts you ever received that could not be wrapped?

Hands down, my son. Even at the tricky age of two, he is a delight to my husband and me. He plays lots of air guitar/drums and pretends that my spools of thread are walruses. It’s very surreal and wonderful. Though we obviously had something to do with his presence on earth, I believe that the spark of life in each of us is from God. And I am very grateful for how that’s made us a family of three.

Thanks so much for having me, Alex! It's been a pleasure. I hope your readers will feel officially welcomed to swing by The Gifted Blog for more repurposed gift wrapping inspiration!

1 comment:

  1. YAY! What an honor to be here, Alex. Thanks for the thoughtfully-asked questions and the chance to share what I love on Repurposed Playground!