Seasonally inspired things to Learn, Make and Do

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Choosing the most eco friendly gift wrap options

Eco gift wrap

Last Christmas there was a Facebook post that went viral about how brown kraft wrapping paper was the only recyclable wrapping paper. That is complete and utter nonsense.

Wrapping paper is one of the areas where there has been a massive shift over the past 5 years as suppliers attempt to make it more eco-friendly. Now almost all gift wrap is recyclable (just avoid foil, glitter and general bling) and a lot of gift wrap is now made from 100% recycled paper.

This is a relatively recent thing - 3 years ago the most eco option for printing gift wrap for a small business like ours was on 50% recycled 50% FSC paper. Now there are several printing companies in the UK where we can order 100% recycled paper, printed in the UK with eco inks.

Of course that doesn’t mean that we should all go wild with the wrapping, even recycled paper has a high energy production cost (more than plastic) - but it does mean that there are more options.

My own view is that reusing wrapping is the way to go - especially with gifts to adults.

When I was a child even Santa reused wrapping paper from one year to another - there was no ripping our way into gifts as all the paper was smoothed out and put into a special bag for the elves to collect.

For me this means wrapping without lots of sellotape, or using gift boxes and bags. Make it all look so beautiful that the gift is unwrapped slowly and kept. It also means wrapping with left over papers and fabrics - wall paper, magazines, newspaper, old scrap fabrics - rather than always buying new. The Japanese art of furoshiki - wrapping with fabric - is making a comeback. Though do make sure that people re-use the fabric (or give you it back) and don't just end up throwing it out.

There are lots of ways to dress your presents so it looks intentional, beautiful and right rather than last minute of penny pinching.

Above all, don't feel that you should only use brown paper if you would prefer something jazzier. Look on websites for paper credentials - most are FSC certified and many 100% recycled.

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This weekend the valleys were full of mist - great screeds of it swelling up as the afternoon lengthened and the air cooled.⁠⠀
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This is a rescue horse who now lives a couple of fields down - if I happen to be passing his gate around 4, he is up  stretching his over it, looking for friendly scratches and food. ⁠⠀
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A perfect time keeper.
It doesn't take much . . . . ⁠⠀
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These stems were picked in the five minute walk from the house to the Studio.⁠⠀
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A teasel head, some rusty dock seeds, a bleached shell of columbine, bright rose hips.⁠⠀
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None looked very promising outside but indoors, tucked into test tubes, they look wonderful.⁠⠀
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As they would in bottles . . . .⁠⠀
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The rose hips are the last of the berries to go from the hedges - the birds strip everything else as soon as it gets cold, the elders and rowans first, then the haws.⁠⠀
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Inspired by their bright longevity I have ordered a small clutch of rosa moyesii 'Geranium' - with their spectacular bottle shaped hips - to make an informal hedge down by the airstream.⁠⠀
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My plan is to plant them amongst crab apples to keep back the dull green march of the Scots broom. ⁠⠀
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I have honeysuckle in mind too.⁠⠀
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This is the Studio - nestled into the dip of the valley, surrounded by wild meadow and trees.⁠⠀
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At this time of year it is a cosy den, the stove lit, the fabrics piled up around me.⁠⠀
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Today I am finishing off some large embroidered wool cushions and sending out lots of craft kits in the post.
This was taken last week when we had snow. You can see Dixie’s dachshund toy abandoned in a drift.
A winding path, a bare tree reaching up, blue sky above ribbons of mist, patches of scruffy frost in the rough grass.⁠⠀
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I have walked this road more days than not this year.⁠⠀
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It never gets old.
I said I wasn't going to make a wreath this year.⁠⠀
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But then I saw one @talenamaria made on behalf of @jamjarflowers for the @papier Instagram feed and I was smitten.  The glorious mess of the hedgerow encapsulated in a twiggy ring.⁠⠀
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The birch twigs from further down the grid were still in the hall  and I had some dried hydrangeas left over . . . .⁠⠀
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(I also say I never watch video tutorials as I get distracted too easily and find that they are often too long - but Talena's is good and short and easy to watch and follow.)
A snowy gate, photographed last week, snow piled up on rungs and branches.⁠ ⠀
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I loved how the field on the other side was completely untouched. ⠀
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A fresh sheet of paper. ⠀
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A new week. ⠀
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If you want to make a little wool tree like this one the step by step instructions are now on my website - www.snapdragonlife.com.⁠⠀
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If you want it to look exactly like this one, you can also buy a kit with all the bits to make three trees ⁠⠀
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I first made these trees for a Country Living Fair in Glasgow back in the mid 2000s - raiding my button box for the decoration and dyeing old blankets for the wool. ⁠⠀
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Sometimes I still see the trees from that generation appear on people's Christmas windowsills and it makes me very happy.
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About Snapdragon Life

At Snapdragon Life I gently guide you through bringing the changing seasons into your daily life, helping you slow down, so that you can experience increased well being, calm and creativity.

 

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