Sunday, December 5, 2010

gift wrapping ideas - basic fabric wrap & homemade gift tag

I'm busy wrapping myfuroshiki fabulous floral gift sets ready for the Ilkley Arts Market next Saturday and the Christmas Charity Craft Fair in Saltaire on Sunday, using a basic, otsukai tsutsumi, wrap.  Here's how it's done.

Gather the items to be wrapped - in this case the bag handles, wrapping instructions, little origami crane (a tiny treat) and larger furoshiki

and place in the centre of the wrapping furoshiki, across the diagonal (I've folded the larger furoshiki around the handles etc to make a neat pile).

Starting from the bottom corner, roll the gift up in the furoshiki.

Start to tie a reef (square knot) bringing the lefthand corner over then under the right hand one.

Take your gift tag, if using.  I've threaded some beads and a bell onto a piece of ribbon and knotted it to form a loop, then threaded on a pretty piece of card (you could cut up and recycle last year's cards for this).  The decorated ribbon can then be reused as a little decoration or as the basis for another gift tag.
Thread the ribbon onto the left hand corner of the furoshiki wrap

and complete the reef (square) knot by bringing the lefthand corner up over and then under the right hand one.

And that's it, a pretty, easy, eco-friendly gift wrap!  

ps These sets are also available on Folksy and Etsy, and in red and green fabric - please take a look.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Take a moment

(photo by Heidi Burton)

It can be so busy at this time of year - presents to choose, gifts to wrap (with furoshiki, of course!) cards to write and family and friends to visit.  This afternoon, however, I'm going to take a few moments and settle down to browse through the winter issue of UK Handmade Magazine

It's packed full of interviews from UK based designers, Scandinavian inspired articles and treats as well as a wealth of useful business articles, events, tutorials and reviews - and it's free!  I am so impressed with all the very hard work that Anna Stassen and Karen Jinks and the rest of the UK Handmade team voluntarily put in to create such a high quality magazine.

And, being online, it's available immediately, at the click of a mouse and is carbon neutral - the perfect treat!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Snow go!

Well, the snow is still with us and a heavy fall on Wednesday made the roads too treacherous for me to venture out to the Baildon at Christmas craft market.  This was such a shame as it was a lovely event last year with a great atmosphere.  The same spirit seems to have prevailed this year though with some, more local, crafters truding through the snow and bringing their stock by sledge, in order to take part!

Tomorrow our son was due to have run in the ESAA Cross Country Cup final.  We were really looking forward to this as, having been held in Newquay in Cornwall last year, it was in the slightly more accessible Alnwick this year and, even better, in the grounds of Hogwarts :)  itself ...

(image via zoewanamaker)
which at the moment looks rather more like this ...

(image via ESAA)

... and so the race has been rescheduled to March.

But, GOOD NEWS, this does mean that myfuroshiki will now be at tonight's Eclectic Stitch

... weather permitting!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas is coming!

We've woken this morning to a very pretty wintry scene with clear blue skies and a dusting of snow on the hills and roofs.  I'm looking forward to making the Christmas pudding, following our traditional family recipe and, looking back to when I blogged about it last year, my tradition of being a week late in making it (apparently Stir Up Sunday was last week!).

Whilst the pudding is steaming I'll write our Christmas cards to family and friends who are overseas so I can get their parcels posted in time to meet the Royal Mail's recommended last posting dates.  I'm always surprised to find how early they are:

International Airmail

Monday 6 December South & Central America, Caribbean, Africa, Middle East, Asia, Far East (including Japan), Australia  and New Zealand

Friday 10 December Eastern Europe, USA and Canada

Monday 13 December Western Europe


Wednesday 15 December Standard Parcels

Saturday 18 December Second Class

Tuesday 21 December First Class

I will, of course, post myfuroshiki orders as soon as I can.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ta da!

Time for a little bit of furoshiki-ing in a day packed full of sport (cricket, cross country - well done, Thomas! :) - and rugby to come).  Just thought I'd sneak in a couple of pictures of our new style wrapping instructions, which form a wrap in themselves.  Perhaps a little fancifully I was thinking of kimono belts - with the paper folded to show two different layers and everything held in place by a recycled offcut of fabric, left from when I hemmed the furoshiki.  Must dash to watch the rugby and wrap some more...


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Folksy festive sampler

Just heard that we're likely to have snow this week - definitely time to settle down inside, with a nice cup of something warm, for a browse through the folksy festive sampler.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Reusable by design

 A new addition to the family - a very warm welcome and big cheer for my sister Olivia's gorgeous new venture, cloth&card!

Olivia and I started out together with myfuroshiki in 2009, but this year Oli has branched out to develop the concept of co-ordinating recycled, reusable cards, hence the creation of cloth&card.  She has a beautiful range of gift wraps and matching cards made from fabric and recycled card available through Etsy and the Australian Made-It site including some lovely Christmas fabrics. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Gift wrapping inspiration

And here are links to a couple more treasuries, one drawn from Folksy and one from Etsy, packed with gift wrapping inspiration ... and featuring myfuroshiki silk furoshiki.  Thank you, Esme

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fabulous furoshiki

I'm so pleased to have come across a small stock of fabulous printed silk dupion which I've made into some luxurious furoshiki.  The colours and designs of these silks are beautiful and the fabric is a joy to wrap with.  They would make the perfect wrapping for a precious Christmas or perhaps wedding gift.  To complete these special wraps, are handsewn tiny pouches each decorated with a beaded ribbon to carry a special message.

Some of the smaller squares would make beautiful pictures, framed in a dark wood frame.  The larger squares can also easily be folded and knotted to create unique evening bags.  

These fabulous furoshiki can be found on Folksy and on Etsy and featured in these lovely treasuries:

If a FELTED ACORN or 500 of them fell in a forest would the DEER FOX or OWL hear it?

  Christmas - Everything Else Style!

fine small gifts

Thank you Luxe Plumes, Crafted Roots and abingh20!





Sunday, October 24, 2010

Stocking up

What a glorious autumn day!  Bright blue skies, traces of frost on the stone walls, golden, red and brown woods, the soft purpley, blue and green of the hillsides and that hint of cold that energises you into preparing for winter.  A great time for stocking up and settling in - we went to visit my mother yesterday and came away laden with jars of homemade chutney and jam. 

I've also been replenishing the stores at my furoshiki and have that happy sense that our website and all our shops - Folksy, Etsy (US dollars), Coriandr and Dawanda (euros) are now stocked with the full range of our own design, hand screenprinted furoshiki.  These are the perfect size for reusable gift wrapping, be it a couple of jars of jam, some homemade biscuits, or a fruit loaf (my mind is definitely in provisioning mode!).  If you're spoilt for choice, there's now free UK delivery on all orders over £10 and a flat rate of £2 p&p on orders of £10 or less - so no excuse for not stocking up yourselves!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

UK Handmade

Fresh off the presses is the Autumn edition of UK Handmade magazine - and I've just been having a quick browse as amongst arigumi creations, japanese inspired cupcakes and halloween cats, it features instructions for a furoshiki wrap from us. Happy wrapping!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Time for a break!

Myfuroshiki will be closed until 1 September whilst Oli and I recharge our batteries ready for an exciting spring / autumn. Here's a sneak preview of some of the things we've been working on:

Fabulous silk furoshiki, for luxury gift wrapping, evening or wedding bags

In keeping with furoshiki's environmentally friendly ethos, we're introducing a range of our own design, organic cotton furoshiki.

and creating some 'boro' (rag) furoshiki from (well washed) recycled fabric.

Happy holidays! Mich

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Bradford Treehouse Cafe

Just a few photos from a fun day at the Bradford Treehouse Cafe where there was glass making, face painting and other activities plus a few stalls ... and some delicious flapjack. Thanks to Kat aka Mrs SewandSew for organising the market.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Pretty Party Bags

My social life has gone completely to pot, but Lily and George are the veritable party animals. George's 1st birthday party is coming up this month and I was wondering if there was a more eco friendly alternative to the conventional plastic party bags. Here are some of the furoshiki party wraps that I've been working on which are available on Etsy. Each has a pretty fabric tie attached, so you simply fill the centre of the wrap with goodies and then scoop them up inside and make a bow around the top to form cute little party treat bundles. Pretty, original and reusable!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I love handmade

Handmade things have that extra something special, that extra bit of imagination, effort and care which makes them so unique. Kev Connell of DigTheEarth celebrates these in his I Love Handmade blog which brings a daily dose of handmade loveliness. Today's post featured the work of the extremely talented Buri Boo, winner of Leeds Emerging Artist Award 2010, who was at yesterday's Folksy party - and last Friday's post was a myfuroshiki flexible furoshiki bag! Thank you, Kev, for including us in such great company!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Recycle, recycle

A special piece of recycling for today - a return visit to a previous post on how we recycle when making furoshiki and their accessories.

We try to recycle in various ways, using recycled fabric (such as ex-display curtains) for furoshiki bags and using fabric remnants for patchwork, ties and pom poms. My favourite though are Oli's card creations, made from left over fabric and old packaging. The cards are in themselves reusable - simply replace the paper insert - and come with their own message for the recipient:

"Please reuse me again & again. A gift for the planet, as well as a friend."

A selection of cards is available on Etsy - with free shipping!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

See Jane go green

Very appropriately for Recycling Week, here's a blog I just came across which is well worth a read. Written by someone who describes herself as an 'average Jane', it covers a range of environmental issues and actions we can all take to go that little bit greener.

The author likes Kathy Reichs and furoshiki - and even mentions us - she should be good and she is!

Recycle week: 21 - 27 June

We try to recycle where we can and it's very easy to do with those items which crop up on a regular basis - paper, glass and tins in the recycling bin; vegetable stuff on the compost; plastic and card to the local recycling centre and, when it's available, fabric into furoshiki :)

Other things though tend to accumulate and so inspired by Recycle Week, I'm going to do what I've been meaning to do for ages (ever since the sun starting shining in on all those dark corners of clutter!) and start a big clear out! My son's outgrown bike is going to his cousin and I'm finally going to find out what best to do with various unused electrical goods. Unfortunately I'm not near a BHF Furniture & Electrical store but if you are (there are more than 90 across the UK), you can donate old electrical items in your home that are in good working order and help them raise money for their charity. To find your nearest BHF Furniture and Electrical store or for more information please visit

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Find out about Folksy

I'm very excited to be going to my first ever Folksy party next Saturday. Organised by the Jo from Glassprimitif, this is part of the Shorn Keighley exhibition.

12 members of will be selling their craft and handmade items in the Keighley Arts Factory from 10am to 3pm. The gallery is open to all, so please come along to see some of the handcrafted loveliness of

Ruby Spirit Designs :: Mrs Sew and Sew :: Quernus Crafts :: Northfield Primitives :: Glassprimitif :: Angels & Butterflies :: Print for Love of Wood :: Dig The Earth :: Adeegan :: Pamdas :: My Furoshiki

Find out about Folksy
Keighley Arts Factory
North Street
Keighley, BD21 3DF

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My flexible furoshiki two handled bag

And here are the links to the instructions for the other bags shown: grocery bag, loop handled bag, ring handled bag, summer purse and the drop bag, plus some ideas on different fabrics to use. Happy wrapping!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

Saturday, June 12, 2010

My flexible furoshiki ring handled bag

Made for smart sauntering!

And here are the links to the instructions for the other bags shown: two handled bag, grocery bag, loop handled bag, summer purse and the drop bag, plus some ideas on different fabrics to use. Happy wrapping!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My flexible furoshiki bag fabrics

One of the (many) great things about making furoshiki bags is that there are so many beautiful fabrics to choose from and each one gives a slightly different effect. Here are some that we've tried:

2 lightweight cotton fabrics - in this case, one hand screenprinted with one of our own designs - form a reversible furoshiki for a super versatile bag, with twice as many looks. There are more examples of Olivia's creations in our Etsy store.

A single layer of slightly firmer cotton creates a soft summery bag. I love these tied in the style with two loop handles, which can be adjusted to open and close the bag.

Lightweight calico, for an everyday, hardwearing bag. These have been handstamped with our logo.

I'm also planning some calico furoshiki with designs screenprinted in opposite quadrants. This gives a very quick and easy way of changing the look of a furoshiki bag, particularly a drop or purse style one - by just changing the diagonal on which it's folded, a different element of the design becomes visible.

Lightweight furnishing fabrics are also ideal for the metre square furoshiki (as in our Folksy shop) and the ones with larger scale designs are very effective. They also make great picnic tablecloths.

Really any square of fabric can be used as long as it's not too bulky to knot and not so slippery that the knots work themselves loose; a silk scarf or, as suggested by Audrey's Cat, a piece of kimono fabric could make a stunning evening bag.

And here are the links to some bag tying instructions: two handled bag, grocery bag, loop handled bag, ring handled bag, summer purse and the drop bag, plus some ideas on different fabrics to use. Happy wrapping!