Happy thoughts

Throughout 2014, I will strive to do things that make me happy, after neglecting this for the last few years of my life. I will share with you the things that make me happy in a series of posts called Happy thoughts. I hope some of these things will cheer you up as well and possibly inspire you to do more things that make you more happy and content.
{1} Gift wrap
I take great pleasure in wrapping gifts. My goal is for the present to look as nice on the outside as on the inside (or possibly better…). Receiving a beautifully wrapped gift gets me equally excited and sometimes I think it’s a shame to open it. Oh, who am I kidding? I love to open presents…

I strongly believe that if you are giving a person more than one gift, they should be wrapped individually. That way, you don’t cheat them of the pleasure of unwrapping as many presents as possible!

My gifts are usually wrapped in different papers and with ribbons of various colours, so they match each other but are also colourful. I believe this separate-the-gifts-in-individual-packages was a concept developed by my small family of four + Nelly the dog, who without it would only receive three gifts each for Christmas. Instead, we usually give each other one main gift that the person has requested (from 2-5 choices), in addition to several small and more fun gifts, including edible presents to and from Nelly the dog and from Santa (aka mum).
With our divide-and-conquer method we are equally amazed every year at the huge pile of colourful gifts under our Christmas tree, without any small children in the house. I’ve taken great pleasure in wrapping my gifts, using wrapping paper, tags, ribbons and trim collected over more than 20 years. It’s embarrassing to admit, but when we are opening the gifts I tell people to save the silk ribbons and trim so we can reuse them next year… They all laugh, but do as they are told, as they appreciate my nicely wrapped presents.

{2} DIY
Currently, I’m reading a book about mindfulness, which (amongst other insightful things) states the importance of living in the present. For over five years, I have been living for the future, wishing for every day, week and month to pass by quickly so I could make much needed changes to my life.

In the last couple of months I have taken up crafts again, and I’ve realized that while I’m crocheting, embossing, painting, gluing or cutting, I’m completely in the present and really, really happy! I just really love creating things with my hands – I’m often smiling and giving myself feedback while cutting and sticking and arranging. While I’m blissfully happy while doing the craft, I’m equally happy and proud when it’s finished and has turned out well – and even more so when I give it away and the recipient loves it.

So in the spirit of 2014 being the year that I strive to be happy, I declare this also to be the year that I will give away handmade gifts, including greeting cards.
You will be able to follow my journey here on my blog, as I create – and possibly wrap – the gifts and greeting cards that I give to my friends and relatives. The DIY journey starts in a few days, when I will show you how to make colourful and pretty Easter eggs. Are you up for the challenge?

{3} Gold
Thanks to all the blogs and websites that I read and the current trends in gifts cards and gift wrap, I’m totally hooked on gold paper products and pens!

While I have yet to find a gold pen that writes well on black paper (tips are greatly appreciated!), I use lots of gold when I create my greeting cards and place cards. I’m even considering buying this papier-maché stag head and spray painting it gold!

Just about everything looks chic’er in gold. Even flatware.