Get Christmas all wrapped up

It’s only a week until Christmas and the final countdown is on. The tree is up, the turkey has been ordered and most of you will have got your gifts sorted – unless you’re the type that runs around on the 24th in which case good luck! One of my favourite activities is wrapping presents and I love to go all out with colour co-ordinated tags and ribbons. For the last few years I have opted for the stylish tried-and-tested brown paper and black ribbon theme, but this year I have decided to up my wrapping game. If like me you spend hours perusing the aisles of Paperchase and get giddy with excitement at stylish bargain basement Tiger then Hema is the new store for you.

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This summer saw the launch of its first three UK stores with branches in London Victoria, Kingston and Bromley, as well as online for those outside the M25. And what a colourful treat it is. Stacked high with stamps, stickers, wooden toys, quirky snacks, beauty products and more, this popular Dutch import has been a huge hit in the UK. It is perfect for gifts and stocking fillers and with prices starting at 75p, it is also kind on the purse strings (but be warned, you’ll end up buying far more than you planned to). This week I popped to the Kingston store to take a look and my inner stationery geek fell in love. Here’s what I found…

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And in case you fancy some inspiration for your gift wrapping this year I have put together some combinations that will get everyone excited about their presents. I bought all the items in the below image for £20 – I got a little carried away, but this stash will last me well into 2015. Sticky tape at the ready, set, wrap!

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Understated chic: Brown star wrap (£1 for multipack of 3) with jute twine (£0.75) , gold glitter ribbon (£3 for multipack of 3) and printed brown luggage tag (tags £1, stamp £3 for set of 2, ink pads £2.50 for set of 2)

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Sparkly silver: Silver wrap (£1 for 3 rolls) with sparkly ribbons (£3 for multipack of 3) and ‘With Love’ labels and tags (stickers £1.50 for multipack, stamps £3 for set of 2, glitter ink pad £2.50 for set of 2)

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Colourful combos: Candy stripes or polka dot wrap with contrasting stickers (£1 for multipack) and sparkly ribbon (£3 for multipack of 3)

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Print and pink: Triangle print wrap (£1 for multipack of 3) with zig-zag ribbon (£2.50 for 3 colour set) and stickers and stamps (stickers £1.50 for multipack, stamps £3 for set of 2, ink pad £2.50 for set of 2)

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Colour clash: Star print wrap (£1 for multipack of 3) with zig-zag ribbon (£2.50 for 3 colour set) and ‘Special Delivery’ stickers (stamps £3 for set of 2, labels £1.50 for multipack, ink pad £2.50 for set of 2)

Hema, 24 Clarence Street, Kingston-upon-Thames, KT1 1NX. T: 020 3764 7118. http://www.hemashop.com 

Winter sun anyone?

Dubai, Cape Town or Maldives? Those of you lucky enough to be heading abroad for some winter sun this Christmas (me, jealous? Not at all) may be interested in today’s post.  For a limited time only B London Boutique http://www.blondonboutique.com are hosting a Winter Sun pop-up shop on South Molton Street in central London, selling everything you need for stylish lounging by the beach or pool.

Vix GUARANI_GREEN_Lifestyle_Logo, from £150

Guarani Green bikini, from £130, by Vix

Vix AGAVE_EMB_Lifestyle_Logo, from £150

Agave bikini, from £130, by Vix

With bikinis by superior swimwear label Melissa Odabash (as worn by Kate Moss, Beyonce and Gwyneth Paltrow) and Vix (a super-luxe label inspired by the beaches of Brazil) and cute straw beach bags from Twenty Violet, this is your one-stop-shop answer to a Winter Sun wardrobe.  Best get down there quick though.  With only 3 days left of trading, much like a British summer it’s a case of catch it whilst you can…

MO Brussels Blue, from £83

Brussels bikini in blue, from £83, by Melissa Odabash 

MO Grenada Burgundy, from £83

Grenada bikini in burgundy, from £83, by Melissa Odabash 

MO Positano Snake Swimsuit -£198  www.blondonboutique.com

Positano Snake Swimsuit, £198, by Melissa Odabash 

Twenty Violet lemon beach bag -£56.95 Available at B London Boutique www.blondonboutique.com

Lemon beach bag, £56.95, by Twenty Violet

Twenty Violet light blue beach bag -£56.95 Available at B London Boutique www.blondonboutique.com

Blue beach bag, £56.95, by Twenty Violet

Blue 2 - Maslin & Co, £195, at B London Boutique www.blondonboutique.com

Unleash your inner tiger with an animal print towel, £195, by Maslin & Co

BLB pop-up store can be found at 35 South Molton Street, London, W1K 5RQ until 12th December.  Open Tue & Wed: 10am-6pm and Thurs 10am-8pm. www.blondonboutique.com 

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening?

So apparently it’s Christmas soon. Or so I have been told by my housemates, TV advertising, magazines and every shop I have entered since ooh mid-November. Don’t get me wrong, I do like Christmas, but I tend to get excited around the 20th December* rather than a month before. Being a super organised stylist, I have nearly purchased all my presents (technically that is pretty festive) but I could take or leave mince pies and mulled wine (full of cloves-yuk!) and if you buy your tree too early it will be bare by the time Santa comes to visit.

Liberty Gold Glitter Cut-Out Pear Decoration £2.95

Gold Glitter Cut-Out Pear Decoration £2.95

But before you call me Scrooge and banish me to the North pole, I was recently introduced to the ultimate Christmas decorations, courtesy of the fabulous department store Liberty, & I may have been converted. Their delicate glittery glass baubles and cute felt decorations are so chic it almost pains me to put them on a tree. And with prices starting at a very reasonable £2.95, these won’t break the bank either.

Liberty Turquoise Antique Effect Beaded Bauble £7.95

Turquoise Antique Effect Beaded Bauble £7.95

Liberty Beaded Jewel Peacock Bauble £4.95

Beaded Jewel Peacock Bauble £4.95

Liberty Silver grooved onion bauble £6.95

Silver grooved onion bauble £6.95

Liberty Silver Glitter Tree Bauble £3.95

Silver Glitter Tree Bauble £3.95

Liberty Gold Glitter Bauble £2.95

Gold Glitter Bauble £2.95

Liberty Gold Antique-Effect Glitter Paisley Bauble £3.95

Gold Antique-Effect Glitter Paisley Bauble £3.95

For all those who are planning to dress their tree this weekend (this one’s for you Paola, Holly and Tash), they do a next day delivery service for £10 and offer free Standard UK delivery if you spend over £150. That is quite a lot of baubles, but hey, if you’re going to do it you may as well bring out the big guns.  So for all you Christmas lovers, good luck with the tree dressing this weekend and try not to argue over the tinsel.

Liberty Glitter Cut-Out Deer Glass Bauble £3.95

Glitter Cut-Out Deer Glass Bauble £3.95

Liberty Mint Green Holly Bauble £3.95

Mint Green Holly Bauble £3.95

Liberty White Frosted Snowflake £2.95

White Frosted Snowflake £2.95

Liberty Red Robin Felt Decoration £3.95

Red Robin Felt Decoration £3.95

Liberty Christmas Pudding Felt Bauble £6.95

Christmas Pudding Felt Bauble £6.95

*I blame my parents who always left it until the weekend before Xmas to put up the tree, and tended to buy a huge 8 ft one that took about 4 hours to dress. We also added everything, including real apples(!), chocolates, stars, baubles, mini presents, little felt Santas and lametta (also known as angel hair – the Polish equivalent of tinsel).  It was pretty awesome!

To purchase these gorgeous baubles head to http://www.liberty.co.uk/fcp/categorylist/dept/gifts_christmas_decorations

All I want for Christmas is…

Ooh yay!  I have finally got my hands on a copy of this month’s Harrods magazine with their annual Christmas gift guide.  And no, I haven’t just won the lottery and am therefore considering my next lofty purchase, but this month is the issue that I contributed to. Back in September I did a 3 week stint at the luxury title (check out my previous blog on the unique experience – https://stylitz.com/2013/08/31/my-week-at-harrods/) and the work has now been published.  My still-life styling skills can be seen on the front & back cover of the Christmas Gift Guide 2013 & one of my cashmere style-ups also made it into the supplement.

Small-Harrods Gift Guide Cover_BACK

Styling: Alicja Jasnikowska  Photography: Arthur Woodcroft

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Styling: Alicja Jasnikowska  Photography: Studio 21

With regards to the gift boxes featured on the cover – these two images were the result of a whole day of ribbon twisting, petal fluffing and handbag stuffing, but I think you’ll agree the final results look very luxe.  Included was a selection of fabulous accessories from Tom Ford, Alexander McQueen, Givenchy and Smythson (among others).  The boxes were 1 metre squared and the freeze-dried petals had to be pre-ordered – it took over 16 litres to fill each box.  I believe they will be offering this exact gift box in store should you have a spare few thousand to spend on your loved one.  They also used one of the images as the Ultimate page in the November issue of the magazine, which shows details of what is contained.  I hope you like the images…

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Styling: Alicja Jasnikowska  Photography: Arthur Woodcroft

All images courtesy of Harrods Publishing http://www.harrodsmagazine.com featuring the Harrods Christmas 2013 supplement and also the current/November 2013 issue.

All products can be found at http://www.harrods.com