Wednesday, 10 December 2014

"By Invitation Only" - December 2014

"Christmas-Gift Giving
if Money is no Object......"

that's the subject of this month's BIO post

I'm running late with this post.....
....running just a bit out of time.... 
preparing homemade little presents which are always appreciated

Nevertheless - if money would be no object
I would shop for my best friends and family members 

Frank Smythson Ltd.
more simply known as Smythson, of Bond Street
is a British manufacturer of luxury stationery, leather goods, diaries
and fashion products based in London, England.

Smythson opened his first shop on 29 September 1887 at 133, New Bond Street, London. 
The current flagship store is located at 40 New Bond Street, London. 
Clients have included the current Royal Family, Queen Victoria and many other now deceased royals, 
many UK Politicians and Prime Ministers, Sir Edmund Hillary, Madonna, and Grace Kelly 
(and many other well known clients - as well unknown ones like me :-).

Stationary Bureau

Printed brown calf leather. Gold brass hardware. Six pockets. Blotter.
Two sheets of White Wove blotting paper.
Wafer Address and Telephone book. Black ink pot.
50 sheets of Kings Cream Wove writing paper.
50 Kings Cream Wove correspondence cards.
25 matching envelopes.
£ 1 525


Frank Smythson made history in 1908 when he created the world's first practical, portable diary.
From its stitched spine and supple leather binding to the clean,
crisp leaves of Featherweight paper and glint of gold,
Frank's original design remains virtually unchanged to this day.

2015 Portobello Diary   
250 £ right  -  £ 210 left


2015 Soho Diary - £ 230
Berry diary bound in printed calf leather. Enamelled gold-finish slide
Week-to-view layout with notes page
End notes
Gilt-edged, pale blue Featherweight paper.
Slip pocket

all available here:

‘I never travel without my diary. 
One should always have something sensational to read on the train’.
Oscar Wilde.


Gentlemen's Accessory Box

Printed brown calf leather. Nubuck calf leather lined. Brass fittings
Compartments for jewellery and dressing accessories;
form small sections for cufflinks and collar stiffeners,
to a drawer with 4 watch pillows.
 £ 1 525



Back to "earth".....
got to rush to finish - rap and pack
 my homemade/handcrafted gifts

Socks - knitted my "thoughts" into....


Home-baked Christmas cookies....

....hand-picked/-collected and -cracked walnuts from our garden....

...filled into old French jam glasses...

...nearly ready to be rapped in cellophane,
provided with a little bunch of Myrtle, Rosemary, 
twigs of our yew tree and with lovely ribbons.
And - plenty more to create - to do....


As wonderful as it can be to buy and give (and to receive!) luxurious presents
when "money is no object"
at the end
the point of a gift should be to let someone know that one is thinking of him or her.
It's not to show how much the friendship matters by spending a lot of money.
Most the time, during my whole life, I don't buy presents - 
I just invest thoughts, my heart and give my time. 

Talking about "time" - 
now I've got to dash off.....
running late - not only with this post....
...also with rapping and packing....and.... 
....creating more little presents


Please visit Marsha to read all interesting posts of our BIO-Group,
posts about gift ideas, funny ones, 
luxurious ones....and....and....

By Invitation Only


In this sense....
My best wishes to all of you for a lovely Pre-Christmas time.
Stay cool - keep warm - wherever you are!



Sorry, cannot resist to finish this post with a quote:

 "But it is a cold, lifeless business when you go to the shops to buy something, 
which does not represent your life and talent, but a goldsmith's." 
~Ralph Waldo Emerson, 
"Gifts," Essays, Second Series, 1844


  1. Leave it to you to show us the beautiful, warm & delightful little foodstuff gifts! So well imagined and photographed.
    I didn't know about Smythson's but now I've fallen in love. Those beautiful boxes, really something to be treasured forever and then passed on. Sounds like you are in the spirit completely and I am so happy for you. Doesn't matter that you're late, I enjoyed reading every single word. Merry Christmas, Karin !!

    1. I can tell you, my dear Marsha, that you will fall in love with Smythson!
      Lucky enough - I'll get every 2 years a diary!!! That's my little luxury! Don't need it every year....but here and there... it's just QUALITY !

  2. Hi Karin, I love beautifully made luxury gifts from heritage brands. But your homemade gifts are even better - they are from the heart, wonderfully thoughtful and something that you put yourself into. I can't imagine a better thing to receive. How lovely.

    I know that feeling of running late! I always feel like I'm three steps behind during the holidays. But I'm trying to just enjoy the magic and wonder and trust that it will all come together.

    Merry Christmas to you! XO

    1. Thank you for taking one of your "behind steps" to commenting!
      I know - I know - and we all know - every year the same procedure of Christmas-rush.....
      do we ever can get out of it ?????
      And yes - on Christmas eve we wonder how we got everything together at the end - ha-ha!

  3. BEAUTIFUL......those diaries!!!!MERRY CHRISTMAS..................loved your quote too!And you are so right about as we age the lists get shorter.All we need is another DAY to share with FAMILY and FRIENDS.........and the pouches!

    1. Yes, these diaries are to die for!
      I'm so agree with you, we need another few extra days, not only around Christmas time,
      I think just in general during the whole year.....

  4. Your homemade goodies look exquisite! One of those Smythson stationary sets would inspire me to pick up a pen more often, that's for sure.

    1. Yes - to pick up a pen and write by hand - that's the philosophy behind Smython's creations.

  5. The Smythson stationery bureau is I would love that...I love writing ;)
    Wishing you and your family a very happy christmas, Karin. xx

  6. Do you know Karin …. I LOVE stationary …. my husband doesn't understand it but I could spend hours in a stationary shop and Smythson's is one of the finest…..
    BUT …..
    it's your homemade gifts that I love the most. Your walnuts will taste delicious and I love the way that you have put them in the old French jam glasses. That is the best kind of present …. one that someone has taken the trouble to make ….. just beautiful. XXXX

  7. I recall the first time I was in France as a teenager (il y a longtemps, je vous assure). I was in awe of the "papeteries" where all manner of notebooks and stationery were to be found. Such pleasure! I love your selection of the very handsome stationery bureau. Classic.

    And I couldn't agree more that the gifts that matter most are not about what we spend, but what we give of our selves. (Who doesn't love a truly thoughtful gesture or homemade cakes or cookies?)

    Wishing you a wonderful holiday season,

    D. A.

  8. Your quote is perfect - so true. To have the ones whom I love all together around the Christmas table is the best gift anyone can give me. As for physical presents, there is nothing nicer than something that is handmade.
    May the peace and joy of Christmas be with you throughout 2015 Karin. Bisous

  9. Bonjour chère amie,

    Les plus cadeaux sont ceux qui sont réalisés avec le coeur...
    Joli billet.
    Joyeuses fêtes à vous et à tous ceux que vous aimez.

    Gros bisous ❄︎ ♡ ❄︎

  10. Dear Karin,
    I love your handcrafted gifts just as much as the Smythson suggestions!
    Who doesn't love receiving anything that a loved one has put their heart into making!

    The Arts by Karena

  11. Such a lovely post Karin - just the perfect balance of dreaming and down-to-earth goodness!
    Happy Holidays,
    Bien Amicalement,

  12. A lovely post! Smythson, home-made knitted socks, and home-baked Christmas cookies... I would be most happy to receive any of these! Love the Emerson quote glad you finished it... represents your life and talent.... lovely! Happy Holidays! Rié

  13. Nice post, things explained in details. Thank You.

  14. It was very useful for me. Keep sharing such ideas in the future as well. This was actually what I was looking for, and I am glad to came here! Thanks for sharing the such information with us.

  15. Hello there! Extremely good article! I’m a usual visitor to your blog. Keep up the fantastic work.

  16. I can see that you possess a degree of expertise on this subject, I would like to hear much more from you on this subject matter. I have bookmarked this page and will return soon to hear additional about it.

  17. A single point I just would like to say is the fact your Blog is so valuable for us.