Gifting

Our Top Picks: 2016 Calendars!

The right calendar is a great way to decorate any space and  keep you on track with your goals Ji and I love to gift calendars for the new year and here are some of our favorites for 2016. We've decided to focus on "food" because that is one thing that brings us together, fills us with joy and energizes us for life. And... it's not too late you got 11 month to go!

BITA's LOVE for GIFTING

 When you find just the right gift for a person and see their face light up, it's an exchange of appreciation and love that is so unique.   One of my favorite memories as a child was going greeting card shopping with my grandmother and watching her write out messages for special occasions.  No matter how much we were struggling, she always had the determination to give something unique and special. She always thought of others, especially on occasions that weren't as glamorous or joyful.  My mother did the same, often writing notes or encouragement or even making or cooking something by hand to celebrate moments. These examples have shown me that gifting is a way to live life passionately, connect with others and show love. Ji and I get extremely excited about creating and finding unique gifts and words to gift to others. It is a passion that fuels our brand and we are excited to continue to share it with you!

Gratitude Gifts: Printable Recipe Cards!

There's nothing better than showing gratitude for those who create the food that brings us all together! We figured a perfect gift for those family members or friends would be to keep all those unique recipes in one place.  I know how important it is for me to preserve my family's recipes and these  free downloadable & printable recipe cards are an easy and affordable way to do that. Another great way to gift these is to write out your favorite recipes and gift them as a bundle to a friend or family member!

October Gift Ideas: Festive Cookbooks!

WIth candy and sweets on our brain this month we are featuring of our favorite cookbooks that have amazing desserts and other yummy recipes. These books are great as hostess gifts or for any occasion!

Sunday Suppers is the perfect cook book for wholesome and cozy gatherings.  Karen's seasonally inspired recipes are simple to follow and so yummy you'll want to try them over and over again. This book is perfect for those who love to host dinner parties with friends and family.

Forest Feast is my all time favorite cook book. Ji bought me this as a birthday gift and I've since bought it for at least a dozen people. Each of the recipes in this book are simple  and perfect for a festive gathering. Although they are vegetarian recipes, these dishes make great side dishes for you meat eaters and the book has yummy desserts, appetizers and even cocktail recipes!

Gift Wrapping 101!

This week starts our once a quarter feature of Dina our gift wrapping guru as a guest writer! She'll be sharing amazing wrapping tips and projects to inspire you year round She is starting with sharing basic tips for getting your wrapping technique down!

Let's start with the basic supplies:

  • Sharp scissors (preferably used only for cutting paper)
  • Double sided tape (I prefer Scotch brand)
  • Good quality wrapping paper, specialty decorative paper, or vintage finds
  • Ribbon or twine
  • Bone folder

I love to wrap gifts!  I love it because itโ€™s another way of showing the recipient how special they are and how meaningful the gift is.  I put as much or at times more effort in how I present the gift than finding and purchasing the gift itself.  To some it sounds crazy, but to others who feel the same way, we are giddy over the process.

It doesnโ€™t matter how little or extravagant the gift is, I choose my method of wrapping according to the personality of the recipient or what I feel fits the gift.  I prefer a โ€œless is moreโ€ approach to styling my wrap, choose very special supplies and execute the wrap the cleanest way possible.

Although the supplies are basic, the quality of your supplies will speak volumes when you begin to wrap your gift.

Scissors:  I have several types of scissors and keep specific ones for specific projects.  Itโ€™s important to have sharp scissors so that you donโ€™t tear your paper (some may be delicate and thin) and only keep them for paper cutting.  For example, you donโ€™t want to use โ€œhouseholdโ€ scissors that have been used to cut wire or tacky tapes because they ruin the blade and can tear your specialty papers. 

Tape:  The secret is out!  Double sided tape is the key to keep the look of your wrap clean and crisp, while showcasing your beautiful paper.  I always use Scotch brand tape and keep it in a heavy weighted dispenser.

Paper:  Letโ€™s talk paperโ€ฆI love, love, love paper!  For me, this is the best part of wrapping.  I love the feel and texture of good quality paper because it creases and folds wonderfully and has a distinct way of โ€œwrappingโ€ around your gift.  My first love was the brown โ€œmailerโ€ paper you would find in rolls at the office supply stores.  This was many, many years ago before the Kraft paper craze began.  I remember coming across this paper and realized that the thickness it has was key to how I wanted it to feel when someone opened my gift versus the thin paper you would normally find.  I used this paper for so many years and would adorn it with vintage ribbons and beautiful, natural finds from my backyard garden to use as toppers.  Today you can find so many different and unique types of quality papers.  You can buy handmade papers by the sheet (this is my favorite) or rolls of solid or decorative papers. My favorite places to find papers are Paper Source, Sugar Paper, Jonathan Wright and Company, Soolip, and Artist and Craftsman Supply.

Ribbon, twines & such:  Since I prefer to decorate my wraps more simply I like finding beautiful and natural adornments that stands alone.  I search for delicious hand dipped silk ribbons, double sided satin ribbons in rich colors, unique textures and materials from different places.  Twines are great to have too.  They are simple yet fun and just the right kind of touch depending on the gift and paper choice.  My favorite toppers (to name a few) are things such as pinecones, twigs, leaves and branches, and herbs.

Bone folder:  This is a must!  This tool will help make crisp creases and is a great extension of your fingers when folding the tight corners.  Any bone folder will do.  You can get the classic shape or a thicker, Teflon bone folder used for bookbinding.  

Once you have all the basic supplies youโ€™ll be ready to wrap a gift at any time!  

-Dina 

The Giftwrapping Guru

A few months ago we did a gifting project highlighting the amazing gift wrapping talent of our dear friend and fellow maker Dina! This month we'd like to share a bit more about her passion and talent. In upcoming months we'll also be having  her post some fabulous gift wrapping inspiration and tips! We recently sat down with Dina and her furry friends to learn more about where and when her love and skill for gift wrapping began. Take a look below!

Dina with her doggies Sophie, Jack and her kitty Zeus!

I. When and how did you discover a love and talent for gift wrapping?   Was is it something you had to practice to learn or did it come naturally? 

I discovered my love for wrapping gifts when I was in high school.  I realized that I must love it if I was willing to wrap every gift that was to be placed under our Christmas tree every year.  Well after high school I realized that I might have the talent for it when I no longer wanted to use โ€œsticky bowsโ€ as toppers and decided to search for something different from my backyard.  I had these huge trees and 2 of them were Pine trees.  I would pick up sticks, pinecones and beautiful leaves to adorn my gifts โ€“this is when I knew I had found a great love of mine!

What came naturally to me was problem solving the uniquely shaped gifts, but the actual โ€œartโ€ of wrapping definitely came with practice, practice, & more practice!  I had to practice to nail down technique and how to measure efficiently. 

2. Your wrapping style is much more than just about picking pretty paper. There is always another amazing dimensional and creative level you add to your presentation. What elements do you think of in order to take your gift wrapping to the next level? 

I actually try to keep it simple.  I always make choices based on the person Iโ€™m giving the gift to.  I choose my color or design choices with what I think they will like or what matches their personality.  Then I think of a unique or clever way to show my love for wrapping their gift & add a little surprise of some sort. 

3.  Is there an occasion you enjoy wrapping gifts for the most? 

Absolutely, itโ€™s during Christmas!  I get to wrap a bunch of gifts at one time and for several days, making choices for so many different people and pets too!

4.  What are some the standard tools you use and best types of paper you would recommend? 

Standard tools are: 

1.      Sharp scissors for cutting paper

2.      Sharp scissors exclusively for cutting ribbon

3.      A bone folder

4.      A heavy tape dispenser

I feel the best papers are the heavier weighted papers and fine, handmade papers.  I buy my paper from Paper Source and small stationary boutiques.  I prefer single sheets to rolls and love the classic craft paper.

5. What would you advise as first steps for someone who wants to get a gift wrapping technique down? 

My advice is measure twice and cut once.  Itโ€™s all in the measurements.  If you measure correctly before you wrap the paper onto the gift, it will make wrapping much easier and more enjoyable.

Gifts for Beach Lovers!

It's officially beach time! It's hard to live in LA and not love being near the sand. We hope you are all enjoying your summer and want to share some gifts for the beach lovers in your lives!

First up is the MBC Party Pack Maison Jar Tumbler with Bamboo Lid. This stylish jar is perfect to keep yummy drinks cool at the beach or for any beach themed party.

I absolutely love this Urban Outfitters Flamingo Float. It's a fun and super cute gift for anyone who loves the water. Great for the pool or beach!

Everyone needs great beach towels and we love these Chance Reserve & Seaside set. They are perfect for the beach or for a beach themed room at home!

A Swell Summer Gift!

We are sooo excited to share this month's gift feature with you! Ji and I stumbled upon this gem while having some girl time after a meeting or what we like to call a "creative product peruse "which really just means  an excuse to check out awesome boutiques and be inspired by new products we see. And of course shop!!! These super fun S'well water bottles not only look amazing but are perfect for keeping your drinks cool this summer. They are great for exercise, a picnic, a walk around town , at work or what sold us was that the largest size (25ml) can hold a full bottle of wine and keep it cool  for 24hrs. Need we say more?!  This is a perfect summer or year round gift, as they also keeps drinks hot and don't sweat or leak. You can check out all the great styles and perks of these bottles here

Fun Summer Party Hostess Gifts

This week we want to share one of our favorite fun summer hostess gifts.  I love gifting a unique dish for that person's next get together! Gama-Go, a company that "designs gifts with personality" ,  has some of my favorite unique items for light-hearted summer party gifts.  They  began as  a small  silkscreen printed t-shirt  shop in San Francisco in 2001 and have since grown to a design shop for gifts that will for sure make you chuckle. Some of my favorite Gama-Go dishes are below!


Make Your Garden Meaningful!

May flowers are here and we know a lot of people in your life will have gardens that are blooming. Keeping with our motto to Make It Meaningful, this month we wanted to share a gift that will bring inspirational messages to any garden. These painted stones are a great  decorative addition to any garden! You can easily make these yourself or purchase them at shop like Happy Emotions , whose style we absolutely love!

MAKE THIS MOTHER'S DAY SWEET AND BRIGHT

 Matchbox Kitchen and BITA have handcrafted a special gift basket this Mother's Day to help you celebrate the women who light up your life.  Our new basket comes with violet or yellow tulip trios, delicious and festive orange blossom or lemon watercolor cookies, and a handwritten note to the recipient.  Our yummy cookies may last one sitting but our colorful blooms will bring sweet memories for mom year round! The last day to order our baskets is May 3rd. To place an order please go to the mk/bita tab on our website or click here!

The Perfect Gardening Gift!

With lots of flowers on our mind this month, we wanted to give you an idea of a unique gift for the flower lover in your life. Pretty gardening aprons are hard to find, but two companies we love are changing that. Hedley and Bennett create handmade, high quality and eye popping aprons that are both fun and extremely durable. We love their dedication to picking the best fabrics and bringing amazing designs to a garment that is often overlooked in those departments. Any flower lover in your life will also love Emily Thompson Florist's apron. As a floral designer herself, Emily offers beautiful denim & leather and canvas & leather aprons. Emily also offers one of kind gardening and floral arrangement accessories that could a great add on for a wonderful gift. We hope you spread floral love this season with these fun gifts!

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Sweet Basket : MK/BITA

We believe Valentine's Day is an important day to celebrate with something that is a unique statement of your affection for someone special in your life. We've teamed up with Matchbox Kitchen  to bring you a gift that is  a sweet and long-lasting statement to your loved ones. Each basket comes with a beautiful, handmade peony flower in two colors, delicious rosewater or chili chocolate shortbread cookies, and message to your sender that we handwrite for you. The yummy cookies will last one sitting, but our peonies will last a lifetime as a reminder of your love and appreciation! To order or to find out more info go the mkbita tab on our website! Our baskets are available until February 8th.

Gifting Inspiration For The New Year

There is always something great about starting off the New Year with inspiring words and images to guide you daily. I find opening a new calendar and seeing all the days available to achieve, grow and experience  so therapeutic. I am definitely a planner, and inspirational calendars bridge my need for scheduling and visual inspirational.  Nowadays you can find inspirational calendars for almost any interest or focus. They make fantastic gifts for anyone, especially yourself! My favorite part of inspirational calendars is being able to reuse them in extremely creative ways. Share the gift of inspiration and creativity with two of my favorite 2015 calendars below!

1Canoe2's  handdrawn Great American Authors letterpress calendar features quotes from famous novels and amazing silhouette illustrations. I just love the colors and patterns they used! This is a perfect calendar for the writer or avid reader in your life. 

There is nothing I love more than motivational quotes. This calendar by Graphique holds truly inspirational words for anyone and the simple drawing and bright colors are a great touch to such powerful words.

You Are The Pen To My Journal

Great journals  can be perfect gifts for almost anyone. This month we decided to share our favorite journals that are great to keep your journaling spirit alive or to inspire almost anyone to start to unload their soul through journaling. 

The best things about journaling is that it is such an open form of expression.  Although I don't have the drawing talent, I've also fallen in love with sketch journals and they are perfect inspiration for the artist in your life.  

Guided journals and journals for short reflections are great gifts for almost anyone. Not everyone enjoys long, blank pages and these are great to spark the journaling bug for someone.

I also love journals without lines and that are decorated beautifully. It inspires me to express myself in any way: by writing, by pasting pictures or anything that comes to mind. 

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There are so many journals out there that can fit anyone. Here are some of our favorite journals:

Presentation Matters: I Carry Your Heart In A Glass Case

I carry your heart in a glass case
Protected but transparent enough to show the world
Who I am, because you loved me
I am so grateful for you Mom
Happy Birthday 

Giving and creating meaningful gifts is at the core of BITA's purpose so it only made sense for us to share ways we like to make simple gifts into touching mementoes. We also love  to celebrate presentation techniques in gifting and how much it matters to the gifting experience. We wanted to start our Presentation Matters posts with our gifting focus this month after we fell in love with glass tiered cases. They are perfect gifts and jewelry displays but also can spruce up any table or home decor layout. 

 Vintage Glass Jewelry Box from English Cottage 

Vintage Glass Jewelry Box from English Cottage 

 Personalized Glass Jewelry from West Elm

Personalized Glass Jewelry from West Elm

We found our three tiered set at cute shop at Fire Fly in Abbot Kinney.  As soon I saw it I knew it would be the perfect gift for my mother's birthday this year. I wanted to add some simple loving words to the cases so whenever my mom used them she would be reminded of how grateful I am for her and the love she has given me. This would add a meaningful touch but would also make the case a decorative piece.

To make it even more special we reached to a dear friend of ours and one of the most creative women I know, Dina Barias. Dina has an amazing talent for gifting wrapping and we will be featuring her on some of our gifting posts to showcase beautiful and creative ways to make your gifting wrapping more meaningful.  My mother lives on the East Coast  and since I was shipping her the cases, Dina created this beautiful, safe to ship masterpiece below. She made my words into elegant cards with her amazing calligraphy. You will learn more about Dina and her gift wrapping techniques in an interview we do with her for our Design feature this months but  look out for more posts on creative gift wrapping in our presentation matters series! 

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Useful West Coast Souvenirs

As an avid traveler, Iโ€™m always thinking of unique souvenirs to give my loved ones to ensure they share a piece of the amazing location Iโ€™ve just come from. I personally love cheesy souvenirs and have a collection that I hope to fill a huge bookcase with one day, but for others I really strive to find unique souvenirs that they will use often in hopes that it will inspire them to visit that place.  As I acquaint myself better with the West Coast, Iโ€™ve noticed that it is best captured in the one of kind souvenirs local artists have created to give new comers and tourists a representation of what these cities are like. This month for our gifting feature I want to share some fun useful souvenirs from the four cities we are highlighting. We hope you love them as much as we do!

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 USA Map Fabric Wall Decal

USA Map Fabric Wall Decal

San Francisco is an artistโ€™s playground. With breathtaking architecture and landscapes and appreciation for art and healthy living on every corner, there is a free spirited and expressive joy everywhere you go. Petit Collage, a local design studio that is gaining huge success with brands like Target and Bloomingdales, brings to life San Franciscoโ€™s notable attractions in vibrant, animated prints.  Her playful, modern drawings come printed on wood, as iPhone cases or my favorite as a pop out drawing that stands on its own any flat surface and makes for a fun project for any age.  

 San Francisco iPhone 5 Hard Case

San Francisco iPhone 5 Hard Case

Petit Collage was created by Lorena Siminiovich, a childrenโ€™s book author and illustrator. Each item listed above is printed on recycled stock with vegetable inks that speak to San Franciscoโ€™s value of sustainable living and production. I look forward to seeing what other prints of cities Petit Collage come out with soon!

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 Seattle Skyline Socks

Seattle Skyline Socks

Seattle is another West Coast city bursting with creativity. I have been to numerous cities in the US and seem some awesome souvenirs but never have I seen a souvenir like Skyline Socks' designs. I fell in love with this artistโ€™s creative idea to capture landmarks on such a basic but perfect medium.  The best part about these cozy, cute and simple souvenirs is that by supporting this local artist you also support those in need in the Seattle community. For each sock you buy, Skyline Socks donates a pair to those in need. These socks come in vibrant colors and patterned designs, some with just a clean print of Seattleโ€™s famous space needle and others with lifelike images of Seattle Mountains or the Seattle Downtown Skyline( these are my favorite!). These socks are certainly more a fashion statement than just a souvenir. Skyline Socks really lives up to the Seattle appreciation for art with these one of a kind socks. 

  Seattle Skyline Socks

Seattle Skyline Socks

Skyline Socks are located in Seattle and created the brand to inspire awareness, giving back and celebrating your city in a stylish way.  They encourage everyone to โ€œPut on for your cityโ€ and have designs for many cities all over the U.S including New York and Washington D.C. Itโ€™s so refreshing to see more creative companies giving back to the community and I truly commend Skyline for their unique designs and caring business model.

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 Portland Breweries Playing Card

Portland Breweries Playing Card

Portland also is able to boast of beautiful landscapes and a culture that supports the arts. As in Seattle, we also found a perfect souvenir on a popular medium. Illustrated playing Cards hand sketches and prints their playing cards of city landmarks right in Portland. The crispness of these sketches are what really make makes me love them. Just from looking through one deck you can view 52 images of how beautiful Portland is. They have versions that cover all of Portland and have major landmarks like the Portland Art Museum, Skidmore Fountain and then a version that is focused on Portland Breweries, Mississippi Street, and the Albert Art District. There is also a deck called the Secrets of Portland and it comes in watercolor pencil that are truly breathtaking images right in your hand. Anyone of these series makes the perfect Portland souvenir. 

  Portland Landmark Playing Card

Portland Landmark Playing Card

Aaron Trotter is the artist behind these beautiful cards. He sketches these on location and is influenced by Renaissance artists. He describes these cards perfectly on his website โ€œthis is really not about playing cards. Itโ€™s about Art.โ€ Aaron truly captures the Art of Portland and various other cities effortlessly and Iโ€™m so looking forward for his series of many other cities!

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 Randy's Donut Single Card 

Randy's Donut Single Card 

Here in our city Iโ€™ve fallen in love with Ink & Smog's urban letterpress prints! Their illustrated black and white prints are so well done that the buildings and the monuments feel like they are jumping out of the page.  Ink & Smog effortlessly captures all of the buzzing life and significance these places carry for our city. Their products are perfect souvenirs that represent the creativity present in all of LA, especially in the buildings and signs that make up our unique landscape.  You can gift a set of postcards, greeting cards or my favoriteโ€”framed prints of their awesome La La Land city designs.  

 LA Westside Neighborhood Postcard Set

LA Westside Neighborhood Postcard Set

All of  Ink & Smog's prints are hand done, initially with a machine they built from scratch in their living room. They have recently expanded into a new shop with a new printing machine after a successful Kickstarter Campaign. We are looking forward to see what other prints they come out with and so glad to hear of their new chapter and success!

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