christmas neiman marcus style

ENTERTAINING: Set the Table Neiman Marcus Style

One of my guilty pleasures when traveling to San Francisco is visiting Neiman Marcus in Union Square. I shop the store from top to bottom and last year during the Thanksgiving holiday I fell in love with a particular tabletop store display. The table decorations incorporate old book pages, quotes, and words of wisdom that can easily be recreated. I’ve seen similar book page table runners on Pinterest but I like the idea of incorporating quotes, phrases, definitions, and words of wisdom. Choose wording to fit your particular festivity and you’ve created something really unique.

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inspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 9inspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 3aTable Inspiration_Reviving Charminspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 7inspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 4cinspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 12Inspirational tabletop_Reviving Charminspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 14ainspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 6inspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 10Old book pages can also be cut and fashioned into a tag that to serve as a creative place card. Don’t forget to incorporate empty spice vials with a fun message contained inside. Your guests will love it. inspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 11

I love how camera focused in on the word “muzzle”. Is it trying to tell me something!!!??inspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 8

There were several mobiles hanging above the dining table displaying additional words of wisdom. If you are somewhat of a DIYer this could actually be fairly easy to make. It would be time-consuming, but easy. inspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 16

Words to live by…”Integrity…Live in such a way, that if someone spoke badly of you no one would believe it.”

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I am a firm believer in purchasing thoughtful gifts. So naturally, one of the things I enjoy the most about the season is the art of gift giving. From hunting down the perfect gift to meticulously wrapping it and ultimately presenting it to the recipient…I enjoy each aspect.

I always kick off my holiday shopping the day after Thanksgiving. Fortunately, this year I was able to get most of my shopping done over the long Thanksgiving weekend while vacationing in San Francisco. Shopping early is key for best selection plus it’s also a strategic move on my part so I can focus on other aspects of holiday preparations during the remaining weeks leading up to Christmas. Two birds, one stone….

gumps at christmas

Christmas shopping this year at Gumps, San Francisco. November 25, 2016.

After purchasing gifts the next step is wrapping. I will admit to putting a lot of thought into wrapping and spending way too much a lot of time picking out “just the right” wrapping paper and all the decorative accouterments to coordinate with it. I usually pick a gift wrap theme each year. Past years have included color combinations such as black/white/red, red and gold,  fuchsia and silver, and blue and white, to name a few! This year I chose to use festive red, white and green gift wrap that I designed myself. This was the first year that I designed my own wrapping paper and it has been fun to see how people react when I mention that I created the pattern and had it custom printed. I find that people really do enjoy the thoughtfulness that goes into a beautifully wrapped gift. In case you missed it,  you can read about my gift wrap traditions and my bespoke gift wrap in this post. 


Bespoke wrapping paper designed by Reviving Charm.

This year I will also be adding small gifts to our dinner table to be part of our Christmas tablescape. I love the idea of having a small unexpected gift at the dinner table so that everyone has a little something extra to take home. Hosting dinner on Christmas Eve for our family has become a new tradition since moving to our seaside ranch home almost four years ago.  When it came time to plan for decorating this year’s Christmas table I wasn’t looking for anything formal. In fact, this year I am going ultra casual with what I am calling a “Crafty Christmas”. I decided to place a small gift at each place setting and came up with the idea of filling miniature brown paper bags with individually wrapped snack packs of trail mix for a (semi)healthy treat.


Treat bags all lined up like little soldiers.

I decorated each bag with a casual Christmas theme which includes a hand painted miniature clothespin, letterpress tag, ribbon and a fresh sprig of boxwood. The placecards are from a favorite Etsy shop of mine that I highlighted in this post.


A little something for everyone!

Every year we also find a “little something” to pass out to our neighbors on Christmas day. It’s fun delivering gifts to our neighbors to spread an extra bit of Christmas cheer. This year we picked up splits of Italian

I added cotton ribbon from Studio Carta and a festive letterpress tag.  Voilà…instant gift!christmas-gift-ideas-revivingcharm_com

Giveaway alert…

The underlining theme of this post is all about the spirit of giving. Not only do I enjoy sharing gifts with close friends and loved ones, but I would like to share a little something with one lucky reader of my website. As a way of saying thank you for spending your time with me I am giving away one copy of a hardbound monthly journal featuring twelve different watercolor pagoda images. Each of the twelve images are beautifully illustrated by Edward Andrew Zega and Bernd H. Dams to enjoy throughout the new year. To learn more about the illustrators, check out their website.reviving-charm-giveawaypagoda-journal-giveaway-via-revivingcharmandrew zega and bernd h dams watercolor journal


ENTER: There are two steps to this: (1) You must be a current subscriber to this website. To be eligible, be sure to sign up; and (2) You must leave a comment in this post with your email. I want to learn more about you so please tell me what features about Reviving Charm interest you the most. You must complete both steps in order to be eligible to win. Please note that comments to this post will not be made public and are for my eye’s only.

The winner will be selected from those who have subscribed and commented by midnight (Pacific Standard Time) on January 1, 2017.  The winner will be announced by email.  Winner must be 18 years or older. You’ll be disqualified if you don’t follow the rules.

And remember…since sharing is caring…be sure to pass this along so your friends and family have a chance to win and enjoy some new reading material offered here at Reviving Charm! Good luck! 


Can you believe that Christmas is only just a few short weeks away? Besides the hustle and bustle of the season, one of the things I enjoy the most during this time of year is wrapping gifts. One of my fondest holiday memories growing up has to do with wrapping gifts with my mother. Each year she would retrieve a single box that contained every holiday gift wrap supply imaginable. We would gather all the gifts purchased and wrap everything in one sitting. Having everything in one place took the stress out of gift wrapping and it is a method I continue to use to this day.

Christmas is far and away my favorite holiday. I love everything about it, from the event that inspired it, hoping for a white one, to wrapping presents. But mostly I love having family and friends gathered, and sharing traditions.   –Ellen Hopkins


This year I decided to take things one step further and design my own gift wrap through Spoonflower. I started with a relatively simple watercolor pattern in festive colors to try out the process and check the quality. I used Spoonflower many years ago to make my own fabric (with great results, by the way) so I wasn’t shy about using their site to create my very own gift wrap.

After painting my design and loading it to the Spoonflower site, I received my very own design printed on a roll within a matter of a few short days. The quality of the paper is amazing and the process was relatively simple that I might actually invest some time to create additional designs. I love the thought of being able to gift something wrapped in a paper that I designed myself.


If you want to purchase your very own “Yuletide Watercolor” gift wrap designed by yours truly, you can purchase it HERE. Each roll measures 26″X72″ and has a smooth satin finish. Alternatively, you can design your own gift wrap. If you do, be sure to send me an email and share your designs with me. I would love to see what you come up with.


My very first gift is wrapped and ready to go and I am looking forward to seeing how the recipient reacts when I tell her that I designed the gift wrap myselfI hope she likes it!


In a recent post I mentioned wanting to do something creative this past weekend, although at the time I wasn’t quite sure what that was. If you follow along on Twitter then you already know that I ended up spending some time this past weekend marbling paper. I have always been intrigued with the ancient art of marbling and have always wanted to learn the process. The beautiful free flowing swirls of color have always captivated me. It was my first attempt and with no “real” supplies on hand, I learned that you can create marbled paper using nail polish. Yes,  you read that right…nail polish. And with nail polish you can marble just about any surface. I gave it a shot and was pleasently surprised at the results considering that I was able to create something unique with very basic supplies. Not knowing if the nail polish version would be a success or complete failure, I decided to start small and make a series of gift tags. If you want to see my gift you can check them here and here.

After my poor man’s attempt at marbling I am seriously thinking about taking a marbling workshop on a future trip to Italy to learn the “real process”.  I admire the marbling process; it is such a beautiful craft and I would like to learn the traditional method. 

The day after I finished my marbling experiment project, I started doing research for a few upcoming blog posts. I don’t think that it is a coincidence that I stumbled upon the website of Snedker Studio, a design studio based in Copenhagen owned by Pernille Snedker Hansen. Pernille is a talented artist that has translated the art of marbling into wood. I’m sure you will agree that Pernille’s designs are spectacular. 


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 pattern: Green arch

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I strongly recommend that you take a look at the video below to see Pernille’s process of marbling wood in motion. You know someone is a master at their craft when they make it look so simple.


catherine-duchess-of-cambridge-wears-a-sprig-of-shamrock-PIN ST PATRICKS DAY REVIVING CHARM

I absolutely love the color green. Each year in honor of St. Patrick’s Day I trade in my favorite nail color (currently a very sheer pink, “Mademoiselle” by Essi) for a bright metallic green.  I sport the green for one day only and my short manicured nails provide just enough of the vibrant hue to ensure that I don’t pinched! This year (before I realized I would be going on vacation) I was trying to find a creative way to incorporate the color green into my St. Patrick’s Day wardrobe without having to buy a whole new outfit (although when is that ever actually a bad thing?). Then I remembered seeing pictures of Kate Middleton sporting a shamrock corsage. What better way to incorporate the color green while making a stylish fashion statement After all, if its good enough for royalty, its good enough for me!

You have a few days left until St. Patrick’s Day. How do you plan on incorporating green into your wardrobe on St. Patrick’s Day? If you have time and are crafty enough, I suggest making your own shamrock pin. -XOXO, V.


The Art of Gift Giving: How to Create a Gift Wrap Ensemble 

A dear friend of mine is having a milestone birthday. Our schedules are so erratic and won’t allow us to meet up before her big day so I decided to send her a surprise birthday package. The goal was to create a lovely package using items I already had on hand in my studio. When it comes to gift wrapping, the details can be an artform that convey a message of thoughtfulness just as much as the gift itself.  Afterall, who doesn’t appreciate a beautifully wrapped gift?


A vintage rhinestone broach is secured onto a hand tied bow.


I am mailing two separately wrapped gifts in one box. I need to explain something about one of the gifts so I enclosed a small gift card.  I cut a perfect square of wrapping paper and adhered it to a blank gift card to create a cohesive look. I was able to create a matching envelope seal using a round paper punch. This is a trick I use a lot because it adds a nice finishing touch. Afterall, it’s the details that can change something ordinary into extraordinary.


I also included a birthday greeting on a letterpress notecard that has a lovely seafoam green design that seemed to match the gift wrap perfectly. Luckily, I already had these on hand.  I have found that is a good idea to always have a bit of all purpose stationery in my studio for upcoming events and holidays or any surprises that might come my way.  My stationery stash has been a lifesaver!

These notecards are are available through Missive Press, a boutique letterpress studio in Northern California that is quickly becoming one of my favorite go-to places for blank letterpress notecards. The quality and designs are excellent and the weight of the cotton cardstock is perfect for everyday correspondence.  Missive Press definitely provides a wonderful product at an affordable price that doesn’t break the bank like some of my other favorite suppliers of letterpress stationary. You can shop Missive Press through their website or Etsy shop. I can’t wait to see what other designs they come up with for the upcoming holiday season.  I am already eyeing their Christmas gift tags.


Each Day Is A Gift Quote1 IMG_0770

Since the gifts need to be mailed I decided to dress up a plain brown shipping box by lining the inside of it with a bit of gift wrap paper. This adds a little extra detail to the overall design and defiantely makes it feel like a coordinated ensemble.  Hopefully, when my dear friend opens her gift it puts a huge smile on her face. I just wish I was there to see it!