Cruisy birthday

How do you celebrate your birthdays? I like to spend them sewing bits of raffia on to a skirt and weaving fake flowers into a hair garland.

Actually, that’s not really how I like to spend them, but this year I didn’t have much choice. As usual I had left things to the last minute prior to a big event, “things” being the costume and “big event” being my Caribbean Cruise themed fundraiser for TRAFFIC, which I decided to hold last Sunday (ie the day after my birthday).

Yes, a whole lot of generous and cool people dressed up as if they were going on a cruise, had a heap of fun and raised $1250 for a great cause! And some of them even sang and danced, didn’t they Kyra??!

As it was also kind of my birthday celebration, I got a few presents. My friends are all pretty well trained now and know that most of the time I prefer for them to just donate money to a worthy cause such as TRAFFIC or practically any animal/environment charity, so I don’t get many physical presents any more. But I thought I’d do a round-up here of what I did get as they might give you some ideas if you are looking for things in the eco/fair trade/DIY vein – gifts that keep giving, you might call them.

If you’re a good photographer or have graphic skillz such as I do not possess (yes, this blog is WAY overdue for a makeover, I am aware!), this super cute tile might give you some ideas. The graphic of the cat has somehow been printed onto the tile and there’s a hook at the back to hang it up, or you can just lean it against a wall and … LOOK INTO ITS EYES…

Terrible photo but interesting idea – gourmet scented pens in tropical flavours (to use on the cruise of course! But I admit I have not even opened them for a sniff. Yes, I was one of those annoying kids who saved the “good pens” for special occasions). They’re by Smens. And a notebook from Seven Women, a group about which I will no doubt go into greater detail in later posts as the founder, Steph, is a friend and an extremely inspirational person!

This blue scarf made from yak wool is also from Seven Women. It’s not quite chilly enough to use it yet, but it won’t be long. And the necklace is vintage, a gift from a lady after my own heart when it comes to making statements with accessories…

It’s kind of ironic for me to get this card because I hate chickens, but I do LOVE how Oxfam uses them to help communities so that makes it alright! The other card is also from a charity but I’ll have to put up the details later.

I love this card from Hope for Women… the lady’s hair is all made from pressed flowers! And the bracelet is sweet too.

Speaking of sweet… can’t go past mini muffins and a ceramic bowl as a great gift for any occasion (hint, hint). I didn’t get a chance to eat them during the “cruise” so I took them to work the next day to share, with the disclaimer that I had not made them (as if anyone were in doubt, with my baking record!). When I told the muffin-giver, she said “oh, they’re so easy, you could have passed them off as yours”… Don’t you love how my friends have so much faith in my cooking abilities?

And last but not least – technically this was not a birthday present as I won it in a competition, but I got the news that I was the winner the day before my birthday so I’m including it in the present count.

It’s a mochila (bag) from Society Collective which I have been lusting after ever since I interviewed one of the founders a few months ago for the current issue of Peppermint.

How could anyone NOT lust after these gorgeous colours!? (The colours in the second shot are more accurate, sorry about that first picture!) If you like what you see here, I would highly recommend you look at their shop as it is a treat for the eyes.

How about you, do you have ideas for gifts that keep giving? Share them with us!

By the way, a big thank you to all the lovely people who contributed prizes for the “Caribbean Cruise”: The Green Coconut for the refreshing coconuts which we all enjoyed and the organic coconut sugar and berry nut seed blend raffle items; Smooth Spa for the spa voucher; Omah’s for the restaurant voucher; Zoos Victoria for the Beads for Wildlife accessories; Poplin & Panache for the men’s shirt voucher; Conscious Chocolate for the delicious chocolate and of course, HONEY BAR, the excellent venue which the generous staff provided free of charge. They’re always so helpful whenever I think up hare-brained schemes for fund-raisers!