The Joy of Creative Gift Giving

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JEWEL-OF-A-BIRTHDAY: A Girl’s Best Friend

51rvBUPAHVL._SL500_AA280_It’s that special time for those lucky ones with April birthdays. They hit the jackpot: the diamond is the designated birthstone for those fortunate enough to be born in the fourth month of the year. This designation dates from 1912, when the Jewelers of America adopted an official list of 12 birthstones, one to represent each month. Some say that the origins of the commemorative stones date to ancient biblical lore including the Old Testament’s Book of Exodus and another to a correlation with the 12 Apostles. Others claim they represent traits linked to astrological signs. Diamonds are the modern birthstone in the US, Britain, Poland and India. In other traditions, most notably Italian, Russian and Hebrew, sapphires are the stone of choice. But we’re focusing on diamonds here, so here are a few ideas you might want to keep in mind for your favorite April birthday girl. A great classic choice is a pair of diamond stud earrings. For the truly fashion forward, you might opt for ear cuffs (seen all over this year’s Red Carpets), jewelry designed in a curved shape that fits snugly, and chicly, around the folds of the outer ear. Some other favorites include delicate disc-shaped gold and silver pendants with a smaller, diamond pendant inside. The traditionalist might prefer a diamond initial charm. Or adorn her wrist with a spectacular open bangle bracelet sporting pave diamond end caps. Of course, if you must, a breathtaking art deco vintage or reproduction bracelet will certainly do. You might want to take a hint from my Dad whose clever presentation was mentioned in “Say It With Jewelry”, published here on February 7, 2013. Even better, stash your offering in a fabric or leather jewelry box great for her entire collection. Then add the following Gabbie Glick poem for an April birthday gift that will sparkle year around.

All that glitters is always said to be gold
and many love jewelry that’s big and bold.
But because you have an April birth date
I chose sparkling diamonds to help you celebrate.


old accessories, letters and fashion drawings from 1911I’ve been in love with writing paper since I was a little girl when I was encouraged to order beautiful stationery—usually in my then favorite purples– for thank you notes to relatives and for letters home when I became old enough to go away to summer camp. When I moved into my first grown-up apartment, I remember ordering monogramed mauve notes and later, perhaps my all-time favorite, those that lovingly coordinated with our wedding invitations. Since then, each year offers at least one opportunity to choose from marvelous holiday selections or to create my own whimsical greetings sent when they are least expected. Fortunately, I’ve been able to combine my love of paper and all things printed with a career heavily devoted to writing great copy and designing communications programs for outstanding products, places and companies. At the beginning of my career, those programs were created for paper or broadcast outlets. As readers of Gabbie Glick, you know I love to create greetings for occasions big and small, and share them with you to send them to your own favorite family and friends, and I bring them to you online. But I still love paper, gift wrap and all things related to commemorating joyous occasions or just because moments. You don’t have to be equipped with boxes and boxes of decorative paper, tissue, ribbon, boxes and greeting cards. Though if you have some garage space with room for two large plastic storage totes, you’re ahead of the game. An extra shelf or two in a closet will also do. So I’ve been thinking about the basic components that will make it easier for you to share some of my Gabbie Glick ideas and give joyous and creative gifts to those you love. So I would like to start with my continued love of paper (someday I must tell you about my collection of hotel stationery). Though I do have a set of fairly traditional monogrammed notes, I prefer variety depending on the occasion. Sometimes I’ll print out a Gabbie poem on decorative paper. At other times, I comb the “blank cards” section at my favorite store for just the right cover design and place my words inside. Whatever I use, I prefer the look of an engraved or embossed return address. So I treated myself to a monogrammed embosser. I’m not the world’s most coordinated person, so I had doubts as to my ability to correctly align the stamp upon the chosen medium. After just a few practice rounds—and assistance from my husband– I had it down. Now I confess to owning several, two for use on the stationery itself, two for envelopes. One set is rather contemporary; the other more traditional. You can order embossers for yourself. They also make great gifts for those moving to new homes, as housewarming or even shower gifts. The embosser itself is a great gift, but some pretty note cards or papers make an even better gift pairing. Then use this Gabbie Glick message for a truly noteworthy gift.

Whether on a social note or business file
we know you’ll love to show your special style
with a monogram that is ever so chic
and a look that, like you, is always unique.


Overloaded desk at a messy officeWe’ve shed lots of the detritus that used to cover our workspaces. Most of our files are now stored digitally, whether in our computers, mobile devices, on flash drives or somewhere in that ubitiquous cloud. I will admit to still using and storing a certain amount of paper from those annual tax related information to favorite newspaper and magazine clippings on some of my favorite subjects—pieces about great travel locations on my personal wish list, shots of fabulous wardrobe choices for the upcoming season, recipes that make me crave some great kitchen time. But those little collections don’t require a fraction of their previously required space, so I am left with a desk that is much less cluttered than in years past. Like most of us, I work on a laptop and depending on the destination, carry it with me to some meetings and definitely as we travel. So long gone is the day of the cumbersome extra tray or desk segment to hold a large desktop or even twenty years ago for those who had not yet joined the digital revolution, a typewriter. So now that my beautiful desk—lovingly borrowed on a permanent basis from my parents’ home—requires less clutter, I have the opportunity to beautifully grace the space with stylish, yet practical, desk accessories. I’ve just redone my office, in soft tones of cream and blue. My purloined desk is a very traditional, green-leather topped, mahogany. A small reproduction cabinet and bookcase plus a wooden file cabinet complete the furnishings. (Admittedly, my wrapping supplies, on-hand gifts and other items crucial to creative gift giving are stored in the room’s nicely sized double closet). So I’ve covered my desk with beautiful printed-paper accessories from Il Papiro in my favorite Florentina pattern. I began my collection during a Florence visit and have added to it by visiting the company’s website and those of local purveyors who carry this beautiful line. Although my husband also shares my penchant for all things Italian, his taste goes more to the contemporary, less obtrusive, yet elegant. As he embarked on an office freshening up project (his space is rather large and includes a very contemporary glass desk, sleek and comfortable chairs in both black leather and a tweedy blue, and a not overwhelming sized hexagonal conference table), new accessories were called for. So that became his gift for a recent business occasion we were celebrating. Over the years, I had assembled on his behalf, quite a variety of desk toppings practical and impractical, luxurious or whimsical. Some will go. Some will stay. (Who can resist a staple remover in the shape of Sylvester the Cat)? So I decided to go the Italian route, but in a very comprehensive, elegant and contemporary fashion. I was able to locate a stunning set in beautiful, yet sturdy black leather that complements his office décor. To maintain the leather, I had my wonderful shoe repair genius protect the new pieces before placement. And to make the look a bit less serious and provide some workday break from monotony, I paired the leather set with a red-based Newton’s Cradle Multi-Ball Pendulum for the office. And because Nick’s office houses a sweet little office cat, the final touch is a cat shaped desktop smartphone stand. Then I wrote the following Gabbie Glick message and printed on his own business letterhead. Desk sets and accessories make great gifts for lots of occasions. You can choose a complete set as shown below and add your own touches or pick a color and find complementary pieces (check out the Container Store for some ideas). Whatever you choose, please use the following Gabbie Glick greeting for your favorite desk jockey.

Your own space should be a fabulous scene
that’s always good looking, neat and clean.
So we hope these desk adornments may in some small way
help you enjoy your work each and every day.


Jumping girl put in order baggage in trunkUpon return home from a trip to an out of town wedding, I opened my suitcase to find a few items missing. Obviously, I was not happy. A pair of gorgeous black satin pants was gone, along with a magnificent black wrap and the accompanying undergarments. Fortunately, I had carried on a nearly irreplaceable Armani chiffon top that absolutely made my fabulous wedding look, along with my husband’s tuxedo. So those valuable items were not touched. I have no idea what happened and I didn’t have much recourse. Making an insurance claim did not make sense. So, now when we travel with more than carry on luggage, I employ a few of my homemade security measures. I create a comprehensive inventory of the items contained in the luggage and place it very visibly inside the bag on top of my packed items. In addition, I use brightly colored straps secured by a combination lock. Hopefully our little incident was a one-time experience and will not happen again despite having or not having security measures. However, this was not my first luggage snafu. As a young travel editor, my bags did not make a connection as I traveled from Chicago through Miami and on to Panama. This was in the pre-universal mobile phone era, so phone calls and faxes flew while I searched for some wearable things—including a bathing suit for the island segment of our voyage to replace those whose arrival were delayed for three days. From that point on, I never travel without a change of clothes in a carry on and especially a bathing suit if the trip dictates the need. As everyone knows, finding well-fitting swimwear is always a challenge and you don’t want to hang out at that gorgeous resort pool in something two sizes too big. So I’ve been thinking about our luggage needs as we continue our regular schedule of trips of relatively short duration and matching short distances that require little in the way of packing an on-board bag. However, this year we’re celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary and plan to do it in style. We have not yet finalized the destination (there are three wildly divergent and incredible choices at this point). But it will be a trip of some distance and magnitude that may involve two or three stops along the way. So, because I’m the appointed family social and travel director, I’ve started researching every aspect of our travel, including luggage. (We luckily need only to replace one of our favorite Briggs and Riley pieces, a sample is shown below). And luggage makes a great gift. It’s perfect for the graduate who may be heading away from home to school or work for the first time. It’s suited for any gift occasion as long as the recipient travels. Although a luggage gift is certainly special, I still suggest pairing it up with an extra treat in true Gabbie Glick fashion. A few ideas: for the bride and groom, include some His and Hers luggage tags to set them on their new journey. If you’re giving it to Mom or any other perfectly groomed female, stash an emergency kit (check them out at Sephora) that includes mini mending supplies, earring backs and polish remover. For the ultimate travel treat, add SleepPhones®, the speaker containing headband that allows you to relax comfortably in bed or on a plane. Whatever the bags, whatever the extra treat, the following Gabbie Glick poem is a great send off! Bon voyage!

It’s that time to pack up your clothes and gear
and all the travel needs you consider dear,
for a trip that will be busy night and day
and a guaranteed great time when you’re away.


iStock_000016532764SmallI must admit to being more than somewhat addicted to carbonated beverages—whether flavored soda pops or a refreshing glass of clear, but beautifully sparking water. It’s a habit acquired from my father who prefers a Coke or Root Beer to a glass of wine. My preference has always been for the diet variety, whether cola, lemon lime or orange flavor. After all, it’s my conviction that sugar calories should be contained in cookies and ice cream, not beverages. Like millions of others, I was continually lugging home heavy cans of soda to quench my personal bubbly cravings and satisfy other fizz lovers who happened to visit. By the end of each week, this soda consumption also seemed to fill up a large portion of one of our trash containers. So I was delighted, though frankly skeptical, when I heard about SodaStream home carbonation system. That was two years ago. Once I made the plunge and bought my first machine–as well as diet and regularly sweetened syrups for my own beverage experiments–I was convinced. And I haven’t wrenched my arms by carrying home one of those bulky 28- can selections since. Nor does my supply (of several varieties of course) take up much needed garage storage space. Even better, I’m not polluting the earth with beverage cans and bottles. But most important, we create the soda we want, when we want it and can even personalize flavorings by becoming true SodaStream mixologists. If you don’t already have one at home, you should treat yourself to a home beverage system. Depending on your needs, there are lots of varieties. (you might also want to check out option from Cuisinart). A SodaStream also makes a great gift for anyone and suits a bunch of occasions—from wedding, engagement and anniversary gifts to birthday, house warmings and those great “Just Because” gifts. It’s even a great choice for the new grad that will be equipping a first apartment. But my personal favorite was a SodaStream given at a “couple’s” shower. This particular duo loves to entertain so we thought the beverages could serve as great everyday choices and as mixers for these home bartenders. We paired the home beverage maker with a selection of flavorings, including a SodaMix Variety 12 Pak for daily enjoyment. We added the Margarita, Cosmopolitan and Tonic non-alcoholic sparking mixers ready to combine with spirits for great cocktails. For some extra fun, we included a personalized coaster for each of the newlyweds-to-be. Whatever the gift-giving occasion, the following Gabbie Glick poem sparkles with joy and good wishes for delicious sips made easily anytime of day, anytime of year.

For Those Who Like All Drinks Sparkling
You can become a true beverage whiz
making drinks filled with your favorite fizz
in unique combinations sure to delight
for loads of enjoyment morning, noon or night.

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