home sweet home

When visiting a friend for the first time in their new home, it’s always a nice gesture to arrive with a housewarming gift.  Problem is …how do you know what they need?  How about flowers or a decorative potted plant.

I used to have my own gift basket business  Actually, I liked to refer to my creations as ‘distinctive gift collections.’  Even though it is no longer my daily focus, I still enjoy the process of coming up with unusual designs.  So when the occasion arrives (and if my schedule allows), I prefer to put together a themed gift collection rather than just picking something up at the store.  Folks always appreciate the time and effort spent on a ‘home-made’ gift.  For this one, the focus is on potted herbs.  Along with a rustic wire basket, I’ve gathered some clay pots, potted fresh oregano, gardening tools and guide, a scented exfoliating soap stone, candles and a ceramic frame.

Before assembling the collection, let’s take a look at that ceramic picture frame.  It’s not large, but you can personalize it with your choice of a greeting.  Choose some subtly patterned paper (scrapbook paper works well).  If using a basic home printer, cut paper to the standard 8 1/2″ by 11″ and you’re ready to go.

Using the paper placeholder from the frame, mark up the borders so that you can easily center your printed greeting. Once you’re satisfied with the appearance of your framed good wishes, move onto replanting the fresh herb in one of the clay pots.

If you are using a closed container, insert some fill as a base for your arrangement.  Neutral paper shred works well …in this case, I used spanish moss.  Since an open wire basket was chosen for this presentation, I first lined the bottom of the container with a sheet of natural waxed paper.  The ‘shedding’ of the moss was kept to a minimum with this one easy step.  You are now ready to arrange the items in a pleasing way …step back as you go to be sure you like the look of it.  Also, try to make the arrangement as ‘snug’ as possible to avoid shifting of the components during transport.  Once you’re satisfied with the placement of each item, tuck extra filler here and there to finish off.  You could add some seed packets, if you like.  Maybe some hand lotion.  The possibilities are endless…

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