Thursday, 19 December 2013

The Greatest Gift You Can Give: Yourself

"The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.”  Benjamin Disraeli

As this is my last post prior to Christmas, I wanted to write about something that I believe resonates with many of us at Christmas given that everyone's lives are even busier at this time of year and sometimes "connecting" can be hard. 
According to Emma M Seppala in her article "The Greatest Gift You Can Give: Yourself"  (I hope you read this article) people benefit from giving by connecting with others.

Humans have a built-in need to relate, resonate, and mirror each other. In a world increasingly dependent on technology, we can lose touch with important human connections. The gift of giving of oneself increases intimacy and reduces the likelihood of loneliness.

Giving connects us in a tangible way. It makes us realise we are not alone.
Giving doesn’t have to be complicated or grand. It can be a warm smile or a gentle hug. Fifteen minutes of attentive listening can be as valuable as a one-hour massage. Listening - it's a very powerful tool but unfortunately not well utilised. Stop talking about yourself or wondering what to say next.....actually Listen.  Rather than sending a text or an email which can be a cop out, pick up the phone and give some minutes of your time.  I think we can all be at fault for this.

If we give from the heart, in a desire to connect, then we seize a common occasion and make it special, which is much different than if we give to a great cause out of obligation or self-importance.

You also don’t have to have a structured system of volunteering and philanthropy to enjoy the benefits of giving. It can become a habit you develop over time until it becomes an integral part of your life.
Start by paying closer attention to the people you encounter during the day. Soon you will recognise an opportunity to give. Having said that, it is nice to also spare a thought to people at Xmas who truly have far less than you.  Buying a few extra groceries that cost very little and donating them to a charitable organisation can give great joy to a family in need.  
Happy
After all, it’s not how much we give, but how we give. 

May your Christmas be happy, safe, filled with love, laughter, champagne, chocolates and way too much food.

With Love
Gessica X

(Certain extracts from this article were taken from a post on Tiny Buddha. A gorgeous website with inspirational stories and quotes).

Friday, 13 December 2013

Fashion & Art by Susanne Bisovsky

Susanne Bisovsky from Austria isn’t just a fashion designer. Her designs are pieces of art in their own right. The combination of exquisite embroidered & printed fabrics, lace and beading are just so splendid. Her designs aren't to everyone's liking, it is more about her artistic approach to her designs that captures attention. Plus her photography is art too as you see in all the photos below. This is where ART + FASHION blend beautifully. The photos below are designs from her Frida collection a couple of year ago, obviously a homage to the great Frida Kahlo who I am obsessed with at the moment(I am reading a book on Frida Kahlo). Hence why I decided to write a post on Susanne. Do jump on her website to view her other collections. The photos I am sure you will agree are just divine....worthy of framing.  The last photo is a shot of her studio in Vienna. Enjoy.......
I "want" the black tulle skirt and the embroidered tops and oh the tapestries on the walls in all photos!!
Love Gessica






Friday, 6 December 2013

Christmas Table Decor

When it comes to table decorating I absolutely love doing it.  In my past profession as an events stylist I always enjoyed decorating smaller events at private homes or restaurants. The table d├ęcor was my favourite part. No matter whether I was in Milan or Sydney, I would look to nature to collect pieces necessary to create a spectacular talking piece.......... fruit, vegetables, flowers, branches, stones, shells, foliage etc etc. 
As Christmas is in a few weeks, I decided to write this post on some simple ideas for Christmas table decorations whether you're having a warm or cold Xmas.
I do think angel wings attached to back of chairs is quite a lovely fun idea. These wings can be bought from any cheap bric a brac shops. Generally the colours to choose from are white, red, black. But lately I have seen bright blues and greens too.  And they're cheap!
Branches embedded in a pot with fruit, bows, birds, butterflies, Xmas balls hanging from them.
Or even hand written notes on lovely paper pinned to the branches
Candles wrapped with vegetables and ribbon on a platter. Floating candles in large jars filled with water, greenery and berries. Both very easy and effective.
Fruit centrepieces are gorgeous. Spray fruits in silver or gold for effect or leave plain and polish with some olive oil.  If you'd like to do a large arrangement as in photo above you can either a) bind them together with wire: weave the wire through the centre of each fruit (like beading a necklace) until it's long enough to wrap around in circles until you have your desired effect. Place a jar in the centre if it makes it easier. Or b) pierce a bamboo skewer through each fruit and at the other end push the skewer into florist foam. To fill in any gaps between the fruit add greenery.
If having a beach Christmas, why not scatter some white shells and silver balls over a white tablecloth. It's fresh and cool.  
Some more ideas for using shells above. Strings of small shells wrapped around glasses, shells painted gold or silver loosely scattered on table. Branches running down centre of table with shells and Xmas balls hanging from them. There is so much you can do with shells I could go on and on. 
If you have one, make use of your fireplace with some greenery, fruit, candles and Xmas balls.

I do Love a staircase laden with candles of all shapes and sizes.
 

There is so much you can to make a table look beautiful on Christmas day without going overboard with expense. Again look to nature!
If you are hosting a party and would like my decor advice, email me on stylebygessica@gmail.com
 
I'd love to know how you're decorating your table for Xmas so do drop me a line.
 
Bye for now
Gessica X