Thoughtful hostess gifts #stressfreechristmas

I think if you’re heading to someone’s house over the holidays then it’s nice to take them a little present so say thanks. Flowers from your garden or a bundle of herbs are a good idea and here’s some others:

Luminaria (candle) bags. $13 for ten.

A pretty purse, beautifully wrapped. $22

A wee bunch of Christmas pencils, from $7.50.

A little bunch of felt hearts, from $5.

All purchases under $25 ship free from Emma Makes. Gift wrapping is always free – just ask at checkout.

Table dressing ideas #stressfreechristmas

For any occasion I like to dress our table and Christmas is no exception. I like to keep it pretty simple because to my mind Christmas should be pretty but also relaxed – I don’t want to be sitting at a table that is so formal or precious that I’m scared to move.

Right now I’m in denial about the weather forecast and hope to sit outside under the walnut tree. I’m going to wrap our table in paper and have a big jar of roses and hydrangeas, which are both plentiful in our garden.

I also love the look of the spotty paper in this dinner party and think kraft (brown) paper looks brilliant with white and green.

When I’m at Mum’s house for Christmas I almost always dress the table in garden foliage. Mum has an amazing garden so I haul in ivy and other creepers, some fresh flowers and anything else that looks good and drape them down the middle of the table. Easy, quick, unfussy.

If you’d like more inspiration for the wild flower look then Saipua is a brilliant blog to read.

All images via Pinterest.

Great holiday reading ideas

A pile of good books for holiday reading is a must for me. During the year when I’m not at work (at my ‘real job’) I’m working on Emma Makes so I don’t have a lot of time to relax.

Christmas holidays are when I really do nothing – I lay about, read a lot of books and nap.

One book I’d recommend adding to your reading list is The Last Days of the National Costume by Anne Kennedy. I’ve only just begun reading this but it’s so great – the main character’s voice is really strong and it’s witty and smart and greatly interesting if you’re a sewer. Here’s a review by the NZ Herald.

When I was at Art School I read Kennedy’s A Boy and his Uncle and it’s stayed with me as a great read. Here’s a few more recommendations of books I’ve actually read this year and rated four or five stars.

That’s a Wrap #stressfreechristmas

It’s amazing how the simplest designs can give off such a great sense of personality.

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When it comes to wrapping gifts I tend to stay away from the expensive wraps that are on offer and stick with the basics. A simple sheet of brown paper and a little bit of imagination can go a long way. There’s something special about handing over a gift, dressed with love.

For me, giving a gift always starts with the wrapping because that’s when people truly start to feel special. It’s like sharing a little piece of yourself and it never goes unnoticed.

The Emma Makes store sells brown paper bags, and more, to help you create a stylish personalised gift.

Final Christmas shipping dates for Emma Makes #stressfreechristmas

I’m not going away for Christmas so the final shipping dates for the Emma Makes store are quite late – lucky you!

6.00pm on Thursday 19 December
If you’re paying by bank deposit or buying pencils only then this is the cut-off to have your gifts shipped to arrive before Christmas.

4.00pm on Sunday 22 December
If you’re paying by Paypal then this is the cut-off to have your gifts shipped to arrive before Christmas. I will post everything by courier on the morning of Monday 23 December to arrive at your place by Tuesday 24 December.

4.00pm on Tuesday 24 December
If you happen to live in Featherston then you’ve got a ridiculously late cut off time because I can just deliver to your doorstep!

It’s always better to shop early but if you totally forget then you can always pick up a gift card. My shop won’t close over Christmas.