Thursday, May 27, 2010


My friend Michael Pelkey and I have a long standing tradition of gift giving to one another and to everyone else we love, and to every home we are invited to. We lump it all in the category of "hostess gifts". Michael can never give one, and when we see each other, he lavishes them upon me, beautiful little things he has picked up here and there over time.

Michael Pelkey lavishes an embarrassment of hostess gifts
on the Visual Vamp on a visit to Key West

I was feeling blue, and all of a sudden the postman rang twice. Cholo barked his head off, and the mailman left a box on the front porch.

It 's a gift from my dearest Michael Pelkey!!!! Look at his regular handwriting! It's calligraphy!
And look at the gift wrapping! He used remnants from a $300. a roll of grass cloth wall paper that looks like raffia. The ribbon is chiffon with a leopard print!

He sent me a Majolica plate for my collection, a string of pearls, and bundles of wooden utensils he thought I would use for the lunches I serve in the garden that he affectionately calls my "French Woman's Lunch".

Visual Vamp Majolica plate in the fireplace mantle in the kitchen

Michael does his gift wrapping effortlessly, usually while sitting on the floor, or at his kitchen table, or maybe sitting on his bed.

I started to think about the gift wrap room that became popular when Candy Spelling had a picture of hers published.

It seemed so luxurious and decadent back then!!! Like only rich people would dedicate a whole room for wrapping presents!

But now, it's become mainstream, and people turn laundry rooms into rooms for gift wrapping.

Martha Stewart certainly played a huge part in the art of gift wrapping.

Where do you wrap your gifts? Have you turned a closet into a gift wrap station?

An armoire makes a nifty place to store all the gift wrap things.

I have all my gift wrap stuff stashed on a cubby hidden by a skirt in my dining room, and like Michael, I wrap my gifts sitting on the floor.


Sanity Fair said...

OMG - can Michael be my friend too?! I think the wrap is half the pleasure of the present, and those were just gorgeous - love the grasscloth!
I'm afraid my paper storage skills consist of a bin in the closet - but I do collect little bits of things to go on them. I do all the gift wrapping for my family at Christmas, and I go big, weaving ribbons into patterns, using colorful fabrics and papers, and usually including an ornament or some trinket on top. It's almost as fun as opening the gifts!

beki said...

You lucky girl! I do love wrapping gifts, as think that beautiful wrapping is like icing on the cake. It makes be a bit sad that gift bags are the norm now days.

Irene said...

Wow, what a great friend. Isn't wonderful to get a surprise from someone who knows that it will make you happy. I don't have room for a gift wrapping area, but I'm working on it. enjoy your surprise.

pve design said...

I love this and wrapping is one thing I know you are quite talented at, as I have been the recipient of one of your exquisitely wrapped gifts.
I do not have a room, but I am thinking of a signature wrap so I have one paper, one ribbon and that makes it simple. I love using white paper...and then draw a little pve work on it and my signature green ribbon....

Anonymous said...

Bless Michael's heart. I hope you don't have too many blue days, Vamp.

My gift wrapping supplies live inside two plastic "under the bed" containers with snap-on lids and wheels. The wrapping happens on the floor, on the dining table, on the kitchen counter.

Jan said...

Transforming laundry room into giftwrapping room.
Is that normal now?
Really? Wow - the things I can learn from you Valorie.
I don't even have a room - although my backlog could fill a room - if I gathered it all together - lol.
What a good friend btw.

Ms Smart said...

Michael just proved what I was thinking... that you are someone very special. joyous. wonderful. bounteous. happy for you cookie.

Mary Kay Andrews said...

Haven't we seen Michael's amazing Key West cottage in several magazines and books celebrating coastal cottage style?

Ragland Hill Social by Gwen Driscoll said...

wrap gifts sitting on the floor too. love to do it!

Hello Lover... said...

I love gift wrap! Such a great opportunity to be creative! I think Michael needs to be my friend!

Cristin said...

I wrap sitting on the floor too :-)

katiedid said...

What an amazing friend! Pearls from Tiffany's?!!? What a treasure he is!! And I now have room in my launfry room for wrapping, but it is no where near as organized and pretty as these pictures....time to do something about that!!

Katie Rob said...

I wrap sitting on the bed and 100% of the time I lose the tape. My little cottage is not wrapping-friendly. There just isn't enough storage space.

shabnam said...

its lovely to get gifts from special ones :)