Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tis better to give

One of my husband's colleagues had surgery this week.  (All is well.  Recovery is proceeding in a positive fashion.)  When the work group went to visit her in hospital, they wanted to take a gift.  I volunteered making a gift basket.  Considering she and I both suffer from the same sinus condition that causes us to be VERY sensitive to perfumes/fragrances/scents, I was given the job (and a budget).  [Full disclosure:  I went over budget.  Just a wee bit over budget.]

The whole process took about an hour of running to four stores.  Once home, it took about 15 minutes to put the basket together.

First, the offspring and I ran to Cofers Home and Garden to grab a hydrangea.  I was hoping they would have them in stock.  They have a great selection right now.  ($24.99)  They have a gorgeous white, single petal with fluted edges.  I prefer to give people plants they can transfer to the yard and enjoy for years to come.  Our next stop was Michael's for basket.  Lucky for us (didn't know beforehand) baskets are 1/2 off this week!  (One in picture: $12.50; shredded paper filler: $2.99)  Then we ran over to Target to grab magazines, nail polish, and Neutrogena Fragrance Free Hand Cream (I love this stuff).   The final stop was Trader Joe's for snacks and goodies.

To put the basket together, I first soaked the hydrangea in the sink and allowed it to drain.  I wanted to make sure she didn't have to bother with watering it again until after she was home.  I placed the pot in a gallon ziplock bag to keep it from leaking in the basket.  Next, I cut a section of brown postal wrap (I keep rolls on hand at all times).  I ripped a thin section down the side of each edge of the paper to give a more "natural" look.  I placed the pot in the center of the prepared paper and pulled the sides up around the pot, securing them with paperclips.  I placed the plant in the basket.  I used some of the shredded paper filler to fill gaps around the pot in the corner of the basket.  Next, I rolled the magazines and used a rubber band at the bottom of each to secure them.  I placed the bag of chips in the basket, followed by the magazines.  I used a hunk of the shredded paper to fill underneath the food items and give the basket a fuller look.  I placed the remaining items and back-filled with the shredded paper filler.

I think it turned out well!

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