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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn
Brown Craft Paper, or
Ye Olde Fashioned Christmas

My mother-in-law particularly enjoys this subtle brown-craft like paper, delicately printed with delicate ink drawings—the only spot of color is a wreath on one of the buildings, in a subdued pine green. I've had these scraps for some years, but my stash of brown country themed ribbons—most scavenged in odd-lot jobs from garage sales—had finally piled up to the point where I could do a series using this paper.

Group shot of gifts wrapped in brown paper. All share fabric ribbons in what people often think of as ‘country’. Scale: the two largest items cover standard sized hardback novels. Christmas, 2005

click on the thumbnails to see 512 pixel wide versions.

The decoration on this gift has what I think of orthogonal reversals: rough textures in elegant velvet olive ribbon and inexpensive casual raffia; shiny metallic wire and inexpensive curling ribbon. —the latter is in fact a red, albeit an orangey red.


This gift has an appealing lace edged ribbon with sprightly white spots—my mother used to make dresses for me in this ‘swiss dot’. A bronze bow and silk geranium leaves round out the design


Obviously the prize for cute goes to this gift, to which I carefully tied the little stuffed bear ornament—which in fact did get to adorn the recipient's xmas tree. This is not to say this grandmotherly lady, for all her traditionally sweet appearance doesn't have a bite to her thinking. This gift also illustrates a favorite trick of using two co-ordinating ribbons—one dark brown with light cream and one cream with dark brown to complement each other. (I just love it when two randomly acquired things like this go together so well:)


Definitely the most elegant: I don't usually worry whether my gifts to men are ‘masculine’ (my favorite was giving my very conservative brother a confection in iridescent white and pink, which he had the grace to admit he liked) but having just read a book in which the author was all keen on this, I restrained myself a little in this gift for my father-in-law. The satiny cream ribbon pieces were neither of them long enough to wrap the gift both ways, so I tied one the short way around and the other the long way, and knotted the resulting four ends together. And the fuzzy olive and brown fruits tie the decorations of the gifts—both hardbound books—for husband and wife.


file created 20051226


[2005] [giftwrap]