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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Presentation... French Flair for Style

Saturday, February 1, 2014

One of the nicest discoveries
I made on my first trip to France was how
every shop wrapped purchases,  
including the most humble,
not just the expensive,
Each time I watched
a shop keeper expertly wrap a purchase, 
I was enthralled with the detail and care
taken in wrapping each and every
purchase which was often
tied with a flourish and
presented to the 
purchaser with

A gesture
that expresses the
French flair of living...
Living with

transforms an event, day, object, or gift  
from the ordinary to the sublime, 
and creates a memorable vision  
for the eyes, for the heart, 
and, for the 

Soap becomes a
miniature painting 
of the Eiffel Tower 

A painting of a flower garden 
visited by an exquisite 

Anticipation is 
heightened by presentation and
an actual event, day, or gift
becomes even more

Following the example of
French presentations,
I decided to create
gifts that
Valentine's Day!

A small gift
dressed in white textured gift wrap,
tied with silky pink ribbons, and
adorned with a hand-stamped
French-script pink feather and
white Murano glass heart
 invites the receiver to
linger over the


the presentation creates
a Valentine's gift
of whatever
lies inside.

The addition of a simple heart
transforms any gift into a
Valentine's gift
of love.

Just the addition of a rustic wire heart 
entwined with the remnants of a former plant 
lifts the small lobelia flower from a simple 
beautiful bedding plant to a 
special gift that evokes 
an expression of 

Special gifts do not have to cost a lot.

A four-inch bedding plant
lovingly tended and fertilizer fed
becomes a very special gift
with just a little extra

Presentation transforms a moment into
a priceless memory
filled with

that says,
"Be my Valentine."

With a French flair for style...

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  1. Hi Judith, what a lovely post. It brought back memories of my one trip to apiaries and how a shopkeeper took her time to wrap a hand thrown bowl for me. She presented it with flair and even after I got home I saved the ribbon. The French do it well, don't they?

  2. Oh, beautiful, Judith! Many years ago I read Alexandra Stoddard's book Living a Beautiful Life. Your post reminds me of her philosophy of having even the ordinary, everyday things be beautiful. Absolutely love the wrapped soap. I do have ordinary soap in my guest bath, but it has a sleeve that I made on the computer with the words La Maison de Campagne d'Arnold and a crown printed in blue. I originally made boxes and posted about them on my blog, but found making a sleeve for soap purchased at the store worked just as well and was easier to do. I also have sleeves around pillar candles with the same design on them. These were styled after the soap in the Pierre Marquette Hotel in Peoria, Illinois. I so look forward to your posts and your beautiful inspiration.

  3. When we returned to Canada after years abroad I was so surprised and disappointed at the casual way in which even the most expensive purchase was packaged for customers. I once read that Danes have perfected the art of the beautiful 'small thing', and I believe it is true all over Europe.

  4. That special extra touch...Dare I say I still miss it Judith? And the interaction in the small shoppes:
    B'jour Madame, comment allez vous? Puis je vous aider avec quelque chose en particulier aujourd'hui? No pressure but the feeling YOU are the customer and VERY MUCH appreciated...
    I remember buying a box of Chocolates for Mum, the box was fitted inside a book cover trimmed with lace and ribbon roses...then wrapped in 'papier glace' blanc with a beautiful ribbon...I was twelve and felt I had purchased the moon for her...
    Thanks for the memories and a lovely post Dear,

  5. Hi-

    what a treat to find your blog this afternoon- and to especially find another Texas blogger!

    I was just in Mansfield earlier this week! Our flight to New Orleans (at DFW) was cancelled so we visited friends instead.

    I live and blog in South Texas.

    Enjoyed visiting, and I am a new follower,

    White Spray Paint blog

  6. Judith, presentation in all things is the key. I've always been impressed and appreciative of shops that care about presentation within their shop as well as the way a purchase is sent home with the shopper. I remember being in Tokyo and marveling at how each purchased was wrapped as a gift. The French are masters at this as well. Beautiful package of a post! '-)

  7. Absolutely! I've given gifts that people have savoured for days before unwrapping and even rewrapped again for awhile to sit on a table as a centerpiece because they adored the presentation! Lol Love you blog and enjoying immensely.
    Linda at Beautiful Ideas

  8. Oh a special wrapping can take a simple gift and elevate it to luxury statis. Great tips. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  9. What a lovely post and beautiful ideas! It's so true what happiness taking time for little details can bring us- just love the script feather!


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