Creativity Corner Creative Living

Colourliving’s Alternative Gift Guide

November 18, 2013

The newspapers, magazines and adverts are filled with ideas for Christmas gifts and whether we like it or not, it’s not long now till the big day! So dear readers, I’ve been thinking about what it is I might like to receive and the gifts I would recommend here on the Colourliving blog. It isn’t always easy to come up with the perfect gift for everyone on our list. Many people end up buying something random which can feel a little impersonal and dare I say it, a little unsatisfactory to the receiver. This year I’m proposing Colourliving’s alternative gift guide.

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My regular readers might know my love for creativity, wellbeing and all things educational. In the past few years there’s definitely been a shift towards people wanting to create more time and space, to switch off from the pressures of modern life. There’s a real surge in people wanting to make things with their hands, learn new skills, invest in themselves and find purpose in their lives.

With this in mind I have a few alternative suggestions that just might change your view of gift giving this year. This gift guide strays from the traditional shop-bought presents. It’s based on experiences, educational endeavours, thoughtful actions and time as gifts. It’s meant to try and create memorable experiences for both the giver and receiver.

So, how do I go about buying a present? I look at the person I’m buying a present for and ask myself a few questions! (please feel free to add to this list)

What do I know about them?
What do they love to do?
What have they mentioned they would love to do, if money or time would permit?
What kind of things could they use help with?
What would make their life easier?
What would be a memory I could facilitate that they wouldn’t forget?
What would they like to learn?
Would they like to learn something new but fear the prospect of it?
What do they like reading?
What do they do in their free time?
What might be some of their dreams for the future?
What wouldn’t they spend money on themselves?
What would they enjoy but maybe would never think about?
The list could go on and on. I think you get the gist!

Go on, why not break in that new notebook you bought or got as a present:-)
Now let’s get creative…..

Some of these gift ideas below are off-line and therefore location based. Many are on-line, to be enjoyed by everyone around the world. They are merely my curated list of suggestions that I’ve tried first-hand or had great recommendations for. Feel free to take these as a springboard for your own ideas and selections. Why not find similar classes or courses in your own city? The list below serves as an inspiration and I hope that there’s something here for everyone. Have fun and happy gift giving!

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I find that giving someone a subscription to an interesting magazine can have a wider effect. Many of these publications celebrate so much more than just a magazine and are treasure troves in themselves.

Hole & Corner – is a bi-annual print magazine devoted to “celebrating craft, beauty, passion and skill”.
Smith Journal – is a quarterly publication aimed at men and read by all sorts of interested folks. A guide to all things creative, intriguing, genuine and funny.
Another Escape – is an independently published magazine that is inspired by individuals who are creative and inquisitive. Inspiring, uplifting and insightful, it offers readers the opportunity to discover something new.
Monocle – is is a global briefing on international affairs, business, culture and design. 
Libertine – is a multi platform lifestyle brand for widely interested women. Their mission is to redefine the women’s media landscape by celebrating inner life over outer appearance.
Gentlewoman – is a bi-annual magazine that celebrates modern women of style and purpose. It showcases inspirational women through its distinctive combination of glamour, personality and warmth.
Gather is a bi-annual food magazine, fuelled by recipes and full with insane food porn. In addition to all the photos and recipes, you’ll find a few essays and a crew of heavy-hitting photographers, designers, artists, and writers backing the whole project.
The Art of Eating – is a quarterly periodical, delving deep into how the things we eat are produced. Each issue has a theme which guides the content. It’s been around for 25 years!
The Runicle Spoon – is described as a quarterly(ish) food zine, this handmade delight comes from three ladies out of D.C. Their goal is to capture the pleasure and playfulness of eating through imaginative, delicious (and sometimes made up) recipes, illustration, storytelling and collage.
Uppercase – is a magazine for the creative and curious. It sparks the imagination and inspires creativity.

Alternatively you can give a Stack subscription. It’s a unique service that brings together the best independent English language magazines from around the world and delivers them direct to your home. Every Stack delivery is a surprise – you never know what you’re going to get next, but you do know that it will be an excellent independent magazine that you probably wouldn’t otherwise have found.

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There’s very little to beat learning a new skill. It’s fun, it builds confidence and can lead to a new career.

The School of Life – is a cultural enterprise offering good ideas for everyday life. They offer a variety of programmes and services concerned with how to live wisely and well.

I’ve been to numerous events. Why not look at some of the great stuff they offer:
Bibliotherapy – Take your reading life in hand with their prescription reading service. They offer this service for adults, parents and children.
Therapy – Life MOT, Career MOT, Relationship MOT, Creativity MOT.
Classroom – explore their eclectic and varied classes on offer.
Sermons – these are fun and informative. I can’t wait to attend this one.

How to: Academy – provides compact courses. They run workshops, evening events, midnight master-classes, business breakfasts, dinner-debates and weekend courses. Subjects range from build a bicycle in the morning, make a movie in a weekend to start an online business. They will shortly be streaming many of their courses on-line.

The Academy is new so I’m looking forward to trying some courses. Here are some that caught my eye:
How to: Makeup (A Masterclass for Teenagers) – what a great idea for Mothers and Daughters.
How to: Negotiate – I use this skill everyday in my work and in life. Great skill to have!
How to play Killer Chess (in an evening) – This is for competitive Dad’s as well as for anyone looking to brush up on Chess.
How to: explore Japan (via it’s museums) – This is for those who are planning a trip of a lifetime, and those who want to absorb Japan without leaving their armchairs.

How to: Remember – Yep, for those who could have a little help with their Memory.

The Idler Academy – The latest offshoot of the Idler is the Idler Academy. They teach old-fashioned subjects such as calligraphy, grammar and Greek philosophy at festivals, clubs and houses across the country, and run a series of courses and events at their London headquarters.

Calligraphy workshop: calligraphy at Christmas – Put your calligraphy skills to creative use to delight friends and family in this practical workshop with a seasonal theme.
Beyond Mindfulness: Eastern Wisdom in everyday Life – A six week course with novelist Tim Lott on the best of Eastern philosophy.
How to Draw – A perfect course for both beginners wishing to practise visual art and for more experienced artists who would like to refresh existing skills and gain ideas.
Ukulele for Beginners – Danny Wootton’s course will cover theory as well as practice. As well as learning contemporary pop songs, you will learn a bit of classical ukele.
Philosophy in 12 Key Steps – A twelve week crash course in philosophy, ancient and modern, western and eastern, examining key thinkers and key texts.

The Amazings – Learn from an Elder. You’ll find online classes to inspire your next project and teach you the skills to master your craft. Each film is the product of an unique collaboration between different generations of crafters. They come together to share their knowledge, stories and skills and charm us all at the same time.

They started off with classes in their own homes but have since gone into online courses. There was a great course on Mushroom foraging… of course no longer available through an online class. Here’s my selection:
Make a Scrapbook Keepsake -Discover how to turn an old read into a special keepsake. You’ll learn how to create secret pouches and pockets within a hardback, so you can hide secret messages and gifts for yourself or loved ones. It’s a novel take on traditional scrap booking.
Big Knit a Weekend Bag – It’s fast, it’s simple, it’s colourful – it’s big knitting. You’ll learn how to use giant needles to knit a bag in just an afternoon. No previous experience of massive needles required.
Needle Felt a Furry Friend – Got a fantastical creature living in your mind? Bring it to life with needle felting. You’ll learn you how to invent your own characters and make them out of felt. 
Make a Mosaic Flower Pot – You’ll be shown how to transform a plain flower pot into a beautiful piece of art that will survive dozens of winters and really show your plants off.

Upcycle charity shop Shirts into a Dress – Bring out the thrifter in you with three ways to revamp, reuse and recycle a man’s shirt into a dress.

Skillshare – “The traditional way of education forces square pegs into round holes. It’s a one-size-fits-all solution that forces people down a predetermined path. Our mission is simple. Reunite learning with education and make it accessible to every single person on this planet. Anyone can learn anything, at any age, at an affordable cost, anywhere in the world.”

Here are some courses I’m already doing and others I will enrol in.

Learn InDesign: Layouts, Type and Images – Great intro to InDesign.
Map Making: Learn to Communicate Places Beautifully – Maps in all formats, shapes and sizes. A true eye opener!
Digital Illustration: Communicate with Colour, Pattern and Texture – Great way to learn digital Illustration.
Flip it! make magazines on Flipboard – Flipboard is great. Making magazines on it is even greater!
Basic Watercolours: Learn painting with PaperFashion – Do you love watercolours? Do you love shoes? If yes, this is for you!
Paperfashion: Illustrate your favourite Runway Looks with Watercolour – Just gorgeous and so creative.

Guardian Masterclasses – From novel writing to journalism and photography to blogging, find a course to match every interest and level.

Here are some that appeal to me:
Creative Writing Courses – Choose from a variety.
Food and Drink Courses – Choose from a variety.
Culture Courses – Choose from a variety.

How to write a Blog that people will want to read – Spend a weekend in an eighteenth century weaver’s house in Spitalfields and learn how to write a blog with The Gentle Author.

Photography Courses:
City at Dawn – Photographing cities at dawn is a photographers paradise. The light is incredible and the city is virtually empty.  There are plentiful opportunities to create stunning images.
London School of Photography – A great selection of different photography courses.

Online Photography Courses:
Extremely Essential Camera Skills – Take creative control of your camera and have more fun with photography. A great resource I dip into from time to time.

Guided City Tours:

Vayable – An excellent idea for those wanting to explore a city with a true local.
Scooteroma – specialises in unique and exhilarating guided Vespa Tours of Rome.
Bike Copenhagen with Mike – does what it says on the tin!
Alternative London Tours – Gary created Alternative London as a fresh and exciting new approach to the London tours market.

Themed Walking tours: another great way to see and discover a city, even if you live there:

Art Deco in Bloomsbury Walking Tour (Architecture in the Machine Age) – I’ve been on this tour and Yannick does a great job.
London Trails (Walking Tours with Old Maps) – Using old maps to help you find disappearing and lost London. Each walk is round a specific, often over-looked London neighbourhood. Great!
Street Art London Tours – Their knowledge of the street art scene is very deep and has been experienced first hand through their relationships with artists and not read in a book.

Design, Interiors and courses for the Home:

Abigail Ahern Design School – With a twist from the norm, Abigail’s alternative design school breaks rules and creates new ones. Sharing her inside knowledge, decorating secrets, tricks & tips, Abigail shows you how to create seductively stylish spaces overflowing with personality. You’ll find online and off-line courses.
I was fortunate to do a class in Ms Ahern’s Home so highly recommend either online or off-line.

Megan Morton School – In a world of information overload, Megan’s Styling MasterClasses, and all the other classes at The School, will ignite your inner creative and help you discover the magic that happens when you work with your hands and your heart. Tuition from the best-of-the-best craftspeople inside the industry will give you insights into the coveted worlds of craft, styling and design.
If I were in Australia, I would run to do some classes there.

The Decorcafe: All about helping you to create a more individual home that suits you and your family. Fun and affordable ways to create the home you love!

These caught my attention:
Furniture Restoration and Advanced painting – I’ve had a taster session with Louisa from Westegg. She’s simply brilliant!
Painted Furniture Workshop – another popular course with Louisa.
Create the Home you love – This home workshop series is a fabulous way to build your skills and confidence to create the home you love and share your ideas.

West Egg Interiors – owned by Louisa Blackmore, hold regular workshops on all aspects of home and interiors including furniture painting, furniture restoration, interior design, a cushion masterclass, how to make a roman blind and lots more.
Colour Your Home – Where to find colour inspiration; Understanding colour; Using colour effectively in design; Relationship between colour, light and materials; and Develop a colour scheme.
Paint like a Pro – Create an authentic French country look using chalk paints.

Cass School of Design Short Courses – I’m a big fan of their courses. I can recommend Cass School highly!

Here’s a selection.
Furniture Restoration – This is an introductory course in the restoration and repair of wooden objects and furniture.
Gilding for Beginners – The course aims to offer those who wish to gain an introduction to the skills of the gilder, or to refresh or extend their skills, an opportunity to do so.
Woodcarving for Beginners – This 4 week course is designed to give beginners the skills and opportunity to become confident carvers.
Loose Cover Cutting – The course encompasses the practical fundamentals of making a loose cover for an armchair.
Introduction to Leatherwork – This short two-day course is to give you a taste of learning to work with leather, providing a practical guide with emphasis on hands-on application.
Sketching Interior Spaces – This course is designed to give individuals with an interest in interior design/architecture an opportunity to develop their drawing skills in sketchbook format. I’ve taken this course and cannot recommend it enough!

Everything Green – from growing your own food to learning about everything green!

Start growing food at Home – Connected Roots provides a service that will install your urban garden, help you maintain it (with tips and growing knowledge from others growing themselves) and will help you reach a market to trade anything you don’t want or have to much of.

Roots, Shoots & Leaves – offers a range of grow your own vegetables and gardening courses, rural skills and craft courses.

Here are some that stand out!
How to grow Chillies – This is a fiery taste workshop! You’ll learn how to grow, cook and eat chillies from around the world.
How to create a Flower Garden – You’ll be shown you how to prepare your plot and how to grow in pots too, from choosing what to grow and planting seeds, to on-going maintenance and when to harvest. Flowers from March to November.
Interpreting the Past | The Story of the Designed Landscape –  This course will look at some of the main garden design styles through history and look at the key design features that define them, and how they influence garden design today.

Health and Nutritionchampioning the holistic, natural healing approaches and the healthier side of food, here are some suggestions for you.

Deliciously Ella – You’ll make a range of delicious gluten free, plant-based dishes and a wonderful dessert and then spend the last 45 minutes or so having a beautiful dinner and enjoying everything you’ve cooked!
Jayne Totty – Nutritional therapist Jayne Totty of Supernourished offers classes and workshops demonstrating how to add fresh and energising foods into any diet.
Central Street Cookery School – An exciting and unique venue for all food lovers, located in the heart of London EC1. They offer inspiring cookery classes.
Radiance – For a New Year’s cleanse, not a diet!
Naturopathic Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Reiki – This is where I go to be treated!

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This can be one of the most valuable gifts you can give. 

South Bank’s Alternative Gift Guide – Give your time to be one of their Winter Festival Volunteers; give your skills by taking part in the Get Your Knit On! project, helping to knit blankets for vulnerable older people in London; give a coat to someone who needs it more than you as part of their Coat Tales installation or give a different type of gift this Christmas by buying something from the Gift of Giving charity shop in Spirit Level.

Other charities you can participate in this Christmas:
Crisis – The National charity for single homeless people
Shelter – The housing and homeless charity
Volunteering at Christmas – some more ideas!

This list is by no means exhaustive, but if I don’t stop now I would be here till Christmas!
In view of this being an extensive list, there’ll be no new post on Thursday. I do hope this has given you a little inspiration for your gift buying. Enjoy! See you all on Monday x  



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  • Reply mel November 19, 2013 at 1:26 am

    Tina there are some FAB ideas here. I hate to think the amount of landfill created for Christmas each year. I especially love the idea of of “how to makeup” – seriously how many teenage girls need to know how to do this properly? ha! I can personally account for Megan Morton’s The School, after her NZ roadshow – wow! Nothing better than learning. Have a great week Tina! M xx

    • Reply tina November 19, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      Thank you so much Mel. I think all presents go as long as they have been considered. However, I do think there’s far too much stuff around and an experience can be life changing.

      Yes, I rather liked the ‘how to Make-up’.
      I did list Megan Morton’s School because you and Catherine’s experiences. Thanks M xx

  • Reply Catherine November 19, 2013 at 1:52 am

    Hi Tina, you’ve outdone yourself with this post, such fantastic ideas, I love all the healthy cooking courses and have been wanting to make something with big needles for a long time. All the suggestions are so good, you’ve given me a few ideas and got me excited about Christmas gift buying which is usually something I dread. Thank you for all your work in putting this together for us. Xx

    • Reply tina November 19, 2013 at 2:18 pm

      Oh, thanks Catherine. I’m so chuffed you Aussies are so supportive of this….
      I’ve also wanted to make something with big needles, ever since Chi posted about it.

      You know me and healthy food:-)

      Pleasure love. This list is meant to inspire and serve as a Springboard…. glad it did the job. happy Christmas Gift Buying xx

  • Reply leah of sang the bird November 19, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Tina this post is amazing. I have a similar view to gift giving (and receiving) as you. I love giving thoughtful, inspiring gifts, and this post has given me some great ideas. Thanks for planting the seed xx

    • Reply tina November 19, 2013 at 2:19 pm

      Oh, thanks honey. I feel so supported by my Australian followers:-))

      Why am I not surprised?? We often think alike!
      Happy to plant a seed and thank you for reading xx

  • Reply Igor November 19, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Wow, Tina, now this I call an alternative gift guide! You always leave me speechless with the amount of valuable content you share! I think I’d love the blog writing class and of course everything ‘green’ – great ideas!! I had something similar in mind for P and I, there are lots of cool classes around food in Paris:-)

    • Reply tina November 19, 2013 at 2:23 pm

      Haha. Yes, not a cushion is sight:-) Oh, maybe a workshop on how to make one…
      Aww, thank you so much, that’s so generous of you to say.

      The Blog writing class comes highly recommended by Shone from she’s been urging me to do it!
      I love the Gentle Author and his blog!

      Ha. Couldn’t leave the ‘Green’ out, could I?? Of course, dedicated to you! I’ve actually got in touch with Connected Roots and asked them to come and consult me…
      Am sure you’ll find something great for you and P..

  • Reply Parisbreakfast November 19, 2013 at 10:46 am

    I love the magazine idea
    The gift that keeps giving

    • Reply tina November 19, 2013 at 2:23 pm

      So true.
      Thanks Carol.

  • Reply debra finn November 19, 2013 at 11:54 am

    A great list of ideas Tina. Brilliant. thanks x

    • Reply tina November 19, 2013 at 2:24 pm

      Thank you Debra:-) Hope you’ll find something useful for yourself or your loved ones… x

  • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar November 19, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Tina! This is SUCH an incredible list of thoughtful gift ideas. I can see how much time went into compiling this list, so thank you for giving us all so many wonderful ideas. For me, I’d love the photography courses as this is an area I’m still trying to get better at!

    • Reply tina November 19, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      Thank you Will!
      Yes, it took ages, but for a good cause, right?

      Photography is one of those subjects that I think one could learn something new forever. I totally agree. Am always looking to improve.

  • Reply Lucy November 19, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    What a fabulous list of gifts! I am going to buy a few of these things right away for my nearest and dearest! Thank you for sharing x

    • Reply tina November 19, 2013 at 2:27 pm

      Hello Lucy, thank you for stopping by.
      Oh,I’m delighted this list has helped out… I hope you enjoy and feel free to leave feedback afterwards.

  • Reply Louisa Blackmore November 19, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Wow Tina, this is THE gift guide this xmas. Thank you so much for featuring west egg, a lovely surprise on a chilly tuesday morning! xx

    • Reply tina November 19, 2013 at 2:29 pm

      Ha. Thank you Louisa:-) You’re most welcome. Was very impressed with the taster session I had with you.
      Happy to warm up your Tuesday. Hi to Alfie x

      • Reply Louisa Blackmore November 19, 2013 at 3:17 pm

        he says hi back, well actually it was more like a snort. he’s currently living it up sprawled across my handbag, he’s such a weirdy x

  • Reply Rebecca Portsmouth November 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    VERY inspiring – quite a few of those links have been saved – including map making, ukulele learning and drawing. Thank you.

    • Reply tina November 20, 2013 at 1:51 pm

      Thank you Rebecca… oh, and a belated Congratulations to winning the Kinfolk subscription from Chi!

      Great. I’m hoping people will bookmark and use it as a guide throughout the year. #notjustforchristmas
      The Map making is brilliant. The Ukuele fascinated me as I had just read a great article in the Hole & Corner magazine.
      and drawing.. what can I say? I LOVE drawing.

  • Reply owl's house london. November 19, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    what a fabulous list! it’s such a great idea as the present goes well beyond the day it was given. I can vouch for The School of Life and the Idler – both wonderful. And I am hoping someone will see this and buy me ukulele lessons so I can teach my son 🙂 jane

    • Reply tina November 20, 2013 at 1:54 pm

      Hi Jane. Glad you’ve experienced both The School of Life and The Idler Academy. Great aren’t they?
      Hahaha. Give me some clues and I’ll casually drop them a text:-)

  • Reply Chi @ 106 November 19, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    My first thought is the amount of time and care that you put into this post. You’ve always been a very generous blogger but you have truly surpassed yourself with this post. It’s a wonderful gift in itself, you sweet girl! 😀

    I have the same approach to gift-giving myself. I feel experiences/acquired skills/giving of one’s time are far more valuable than stuff especially where my little girls are concerned. Not everyone gets that so I will be emailing this to a few people and retweeting it for sure.

    Thank you, darling! 😀 x

    • Reply tina November 20, 2013 at 1:58 pm

      Thank you Chi, that’s such a compliment!

      I knew you would… keep sharing and referring back to.
      I wonder did you spot the BIG Needle Knitting course?? I’m definitely doing that!!!

      Thanks honey xx

  • Reply Francoise Murat November 19, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Thank you for sharing Tina – you are one of the only few blogs I read regularly – always so much information, always quirky and definitely always different to everyone else. I admire your dedication and your continuous dynamism and verve for life! Vielen Dank 🙂

    • Reply tina November 20, 2013 at 1:59 pm

      My head is getting bigger by the minute:-)) Thank you for always supporting my blog!
      My pleasure…. Gerne:-))

  • Reply Nicola November 20, 2013 at 12:18 am

    What a brilliant post full of brilliant ideas, if there was an Oscar for blogging I’d award you with it now x

    • Reply tina November 20, 2013 at 2:02 pm

      That made my day…. I don’t need an Oscar, knowing that it inspires people, might make their gift giving easier AND the receiver happier is my OSCAR!
      Thank you darling x

  • Reply geraldine November 20, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Wow! You’ve really got an amazing, well researched guide here. Thanks for sharing it, many wonderful ideas. I need to have more time later today to click on to all the links. Thank you for sharing your ‘little black book’ of things to get and do. x

    • Reply tina November 20, 2013 at 2:04 pm

      Thank you Geraldine:-)
      I’m sure you’ll find something you’ll like. I thought of you when suggesting the Chess class (not needed in your family:-)

      Ha. Yes, my hard earned ‘little black book’ of things to get and do… Pleasure x

  • Reply Gudy Herder November 20, 2013 at 11:47 am

    So well written and amazing sources. This is the perfect guide any magazine should publish! Will certainly pick some ideas from here! Tina, congratulations on this post!

    • Reply tina November 20, 2013 at 2:06 pm

      Thank you Gudy! I hope you’ll find something of use…. Happy gift giving.

  • Reply michaela November 20, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Really fantastic post Tina – you really are very generous with your knowledge! I still feel indebted to you and Chi for introducing me to Skillshare – I’ve had some great fun learning bits and pieces on there – what I like about Skillshare is you don’t have to complete things in a strict timeline. My first course took 6 months for me to complete (it was meant to take one month), but when you have a busy life it’s nice to know you can go back to it whenever the mood takes! xx

    • Reply tina November 20, 2013 at 2:07 pm

      Thank you Michaela. You always make me laugh…

      Glad you found Skillshare. It’s truly magical and I know exactly what you mean…. I have yet to finish my projects. It goes with my notion of being ‘an eternal student’:-))

  • Reply Gerard @WalnutGrey November 20, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    What a stupendous gift guide Tina. I love the very notion of it. A resource to refer back to again & again I think!

    You say “many people end up buying something random which can feel a little impersonal and dare I say it, a little unsatisfactory to the receiver.” I wholeheartedly agree. I know it can sound ungrateful, but I hate receiving gifts from people that I will never use. They’ve wasted their money & I’m left feeling a bit disappointed & miffed.

    Per my last comment, I’ll be checking out some of those mags 🙂

    Thanks for all the effort you put into this! xx

    • Reply tina November 20, 2013 at 2:11 pm

      Well, thank you Sir Gerard.

      I knew that would appeal to you:-) I think we think the same…
      My regular readers know that on my 40th I ‘blatantly’ had a Birthday List.. I had just moved home and didn’t want to risk loads of presents I wouldn’t use.
      It was a win win situation. My friends and family were delighted that I made their lives easy and I was ecstatic about every single gift I got and still have!!!

      Magazines were definitely with you in mind….
      Pleasure love. Anytime xx

  • Reply Tracey@chalkboard living November 20, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    Tina this list is excellent and will be coming back here to check these out for birthdays too.

    I LOVE a thoughtful gift. The art is so lost these days. I dislike very much the lack of surprise or genuine thought from many people nowdays or totally innappropriate gifts. I mean why bother. Just give cash if you can’t be bothered to think!

    • Reply tina November 22, 2013 at 5:39 pm

      Oh Tracey, that’s so great. I had hoped people would use this also for Birthdays et cetera.

      You and me both!!! Hahaha. Couldn’t agree more. Would be happy with an an Amazon voucher for a fiver if I can choose a Book I want:-)
      Hopefully lists like this one will prompt people…. x

  • Reply Gina November 22, 2013 at 8:11 am

    Wow! Amazing! This post is awesome and I am so glad I found your blog through Jacintha @ Urba Pixels. I am thrilled with all your suggestions and your post is a wonderful gift in itself. It has given me so many ideas {and wishes/dreams for myself} Quite inspiring! I am off to read more of your posts ~ love your blog! Full of good stuff. Thank you!

    • Reply tina November 22, 2013 at 5:41 pm

      Hello Gina. Thank you for stopping by…

      Thank you so much… that’s the idea. If you know what you would like, it’s easier to drop a hint. Some of my Xmas presents will also come from this list:-)
      I’m flattered and I’ll be visiting your blog shortly.

  • Reply Alison Sye November 22, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    Wow Tina, you must have spent ages getting this list together. It’s brilliant.
    The two best gifts, without doubt, my children were ever given were magazine subscriptions. A Beano subscription for my son when he was six (and he still has the same collection now, which he keeps in a box – a boy after your own heart, Tina). And, about 5 years ago my friend’s daughter gave my daughter a pile of Animal Actions (the young RSPCA mag)that she had already read. She loved it, so Grandpa got her a subscription for her birthday. Now it is a tradition, he renews the subscription every year for her birthday.
    The Gentle Author is one of my absolute favourites.
    Have a great weekend, lovely lady,

    • Reply tina November 23, 2013 at 11:08 am

      Hello you. Yes, still exhausted from it:-))

      That’s so nice to hear. Love that your son is a magazine collector:-) and how niCe that your daughter gets her ‘Animal Action’ subscription renewed every year.

      What wonderful education and long-lasting presents.

      Yes, Gentle Author is brilliant!
      Thank you xx

  • Reply caroline @trend-daily November 23, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Fab fab list Tina! Much time and thought on this has really paid off. Magazines and courses are just perfect. Have a lovely weekend! Xx

    • Reply tina November 23, 2013 at 11:11 am

      Thank you Caroline:-)

      Magazines and courses have really been one of my favourite things for as long as I can remember.
      Happy weekend xx

  • Reply Anya Jensen November 25, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    I love this list Tina – again makes me have to relocate to London so what’s not to love:) Far better than the usual handbags, perfumes and earrings. Happy Monday love,

    • Reply tina November 25, 2013 at 7:21 pm

      Hey you… haha, as if you need further reasons to relocate!
      Happy you like the gift guide xx

  • Reply Doris November 30, 2013 at 10:32 am

    What a fantastic guide Tina! So well considered and very original! I’ve bookmarked this page for future reference 🙂 Thank You. xD

    • Reply tina December 1, 2013 at 5:02 pm

      Thank you. Glad it might come of use… x

  • Reply Holly December 1, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    This here will be forever bookmarked, and useful for years to come. Tina, thank you SO much for putting these ideas together. Really brilliant and unique and inspiring. I can imagine it must have taken a long time to write and link up, and I am so grateful 🙂

    Courses and classes is something I never really thought about as a gift before. But with all the fabulous online classes that exist nowadays, and all the ones you listed here, it makes perfect sense.


    • Reply tina December 1, 2013 at 7:14 pm

      Oh, thank you lovely! LOL

      So glad people might treat themselves to a class or course or consider it as a gift. We are all eternal students and learning a new skill is so empowering.

  • Reply Lena December 4, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Excellent ideas! I don’t feel like shopping at all this year. I have a feeling that I will give lots of “alternative gifts” to family and friends. With my in-laws we decided to skip gifts for adults in the family this year and pick a charity that we all donate to together instead. That’s a nice alternative as well.

    • Reply tina December 4, 2013 at 6:11 pm

      I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes one can have too much stuff:-)

      Nice idea re: donating to a charity… and so much more worthwhile!

  • Reply Louise - 30s Magazine January 21, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    I need to bookmark this one and go through all your tips. Too many good ones to explore!

  • Reply tina January 24, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Pen away…. I still refer to it all the time:-)

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