There are so many good ideas out there! I need inspiration to come up with ideas as mostly they don't just pop into my head. But sometimes we avoid the expensive and divine shops as they are so tempting! But these are the places to frequent and gather ideas, look at prices etc. I learn a lot of food presentation and packaging ideas this way. So the gourmet store with the crazy prices is a good place to study! Who knew an apricot pie is $40? or a lasagne for four is $28? Six gluten free biscuits beautifully wrapped was $16? After seeing this you value what you make more. You are more confident to give your cooking as a gift. Well, that's how it has helped me. And in the way Mimi does we realise how much some of the things we make would be costing to buy if we weren't doing the things we do!
Yesterday Chloe and I went down the street for some creative inspiration! It was a sunny gorgeous day! The first day of autumn. My favourite month! We went into a fancy boutique and the knitwear was out. There were some lovely knitted scarves. Ohhh.... we picked up two in particular. We were like little moths around a flame! They were very soft wool and the yarn had a sparkly thread through it. $279 each. Yep. Now we both can knit and both could knit either of these scarves with similar yarn. And after this we are inspired! We exchanged glances and rolled eyes over the prices....
I covered a whole heap about this in my e book. If you go looking you will be amazed at the prices charged for simple things.... a few biscuits, a cake, a pie, a knitted scarf.... and you will see some lovely ways to present them and package them up. I didn't get a photo of the scarves as an unfriendly sales lady slightly intimidated me out of it! But in general I take my phone and snap pictures of anything I want to remember! I always look at the prices, what things are made of and so on.
Another thing could happen. You might see that your talent for knitting or sewing or whatever could make you an income if you would like a sideline. Seeing what is selling and at what prices is a real eye opener. Knitting and crocheting seem in particular demand right now.
As we strolled and saw things we both knew we could do we were already planning what to make first! Bursts of enthusiasm like this are priceless and so much fun!
Back in the florist there were simple presentation ideas. Plain plastic pots wrapped generously in brown paper and tied with string instantly look beautiful and french/country. If you bring a plant indoors and do this it looks lovely. Or to give as a gift. You could do this with a bunch of flowers and a jar. How simple but beautiful.
They had other succulents in little wooden boxes.... another simple idea as a little gift for all of us with succulents we can pick!
They used ordinary wooden crates and boxes as decor. And a very old beaten up painters ladder as their shelves. This was lovely... what an idea....
I will be showing these pictures to Dad and Andy so they understand what to watch out for. Dad being a farmer has sheds full of old stuff.... they are usually sceptical about my requests but come through none the less!
In another store ladders were used in every bedroom setting as blanket hangers next to the bed... and they have so many uses but this one is easy and handy. You just need an old ladder! In another setting they had towels hanging over an old ladder next to a bath.
I noticed a whole list of things that were themes to warm up the home as we go into autumn... there were a lot of baskets of kindling, small branches cut up and stacked, blankets over old wooden towel rails and clothes airers, towels rolled up in baskets... just little touches but all so easy to do. Also flowers in jars and milk bottles.
Every idea I "pinched" is free or inexpensive to do. We had a lovely afternoon and came home with so many ideas and fired up to start new projects. I never spent a cent in any of these stores today. Sarah Ban Breathnatch who wrote Simple Abundance called these "creative excursions" and that is just what they are! Every time I do this I come home bursting to get on with things! Whatever style you just love just do this when you need a little lift.
I am thinking I will do a post on gorgeous ways to pack and present foodie gifts. Home cooking seems to sell for a premium price and be presented as a luxury gift. Having the confidence to give your cooking as a gift and present it nicely is just wonderful. All our homemade things are worth such a lot.
Last winter I crocheted my queen size grey and white blanket after one of these trips. I saw a small cream crochet rug for $300 draped over an arm chair in a french provincial shop. It was BEAUTIFUL. So I came home and got crocheting and made this... (it took me most of winter, but still...)
Every time I visited Mum she would help me sew in the ends, which was a never ending job!
Truly, a little bit of inspiration goes a long way! Get out there when the weather is nice and look. Choose things that you could do (even if you need some you tube help) and are not expensive to make.
Use the ideas you can in your home and garden. Many times it is using something for a new purpose, like the ladders or jars. These ideas often cost nothing (and don't even require craft or cooking skills just copying skills!).
Nanna Chel has me planning to make rag rugs for the floor. And I want to make some scarves for the winter... I have so many things I want to do. There are never enough hours in the day. But it is so lovely to have things to work on. Mum often has been heard saying she is just dying to get a chance to get back to her knitting! I know how she feels! It is beautiful to have things to work on, learn new skills, decorate your home, make gifts and items to wear. It is amazing what you can do and the joy of creating something and finding inspiration is so much fun.
This was a lovely first day of autumn and well timed. In autumn and winter I get more handiwork done as I am inside more and the evenings are dark. This also keeps me much happier when the weather is bad and I am stuck inside.
I hope you can have some creative excursions for inspiration and feel excited about what you can do. The ultimate is find things to do with materials you already have or have access to. They are great moments! And you never know as this has happened to me many times. They are the best discoveries!
There are so many clever people. A lovely day of gathering inspiration.xxx