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DIY T-shirt Necklace

DIY T-shirt Necklace
Repurpose your old t-shirts with this incredibly easy DIY necklace tutorial.
DIY T-shirt Necklace Steps 1-3
What You’ll Need: Two t-shirts | chain | clasp | scissors
Step 1: Cut out six strips of your t-shirts about 1 inch wide.
Step 2: Take three of your strips and bundle them together.  Form a loop (as illustrated above).  This is the first step in creating a sailors knot.
Step 3: Take your second bundle of strips and arrange it as shown above.
DIY T-shirt Necklace Steps 4-7
Step 4: Weave the second bundle of strips over and under the first as illustrated above.
Step 5:  Pull your knot tightly from both sides (ensuring that you have the same amount of material left on each side) and your knot will look like this.
Step 6: Once your knot is in good shape, flip it to the side and separate the strands into three little bundles of two strands, as shown above.  Begin a flat braid.
Step 7: Once you have reached your desired length or end of your fabric, take one of the strands, wrap it around the braid, and firmly knot.
DIY T-shirt Necklace Steps 8-11
 Step 8: Take another one of the strands, and slide on your chain.
Step 9: Firmly cross this strand over and tie another knot, so that the chain is now on a loop of cotton.
Step 10: Cut all of the ends off, leaving just one strand.
Step 11: Wrap the one strand of cotton around and around, covering up the cut ends and knots. Tuck the ends of this last strand back through the braid.
DIY T-shirt Necklace Step 12
Step 12: Repeat steps 6 through 11 on the other side of your necklace. Measure out your chain and add a clasp at the end.
…Viola! You now have a chic statement necklace at the mere price of two old t-shirts.
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Ballet and Fashion: Perfect Partners

Famous photography by Andy Warhol

While it’s said that ballet originated as a form of dance in the 15th century, it has long been seen as more than just performance art – ballet’s stylistic elements have gone on to contribute to societal trends in both fashion and beauty.  After Audrey Hepburn slipped on her shoes for the classic film Funny Face, we became hooked on the heelless ballet flat.  Iconic polish empire, Essie, has made their perfect shade of “ballet slipper” pink near legendary, and the “ballerina bun” tutorial may be more common in the blogosphere than it is in the studio. Whether you’re grabbing inspiration from tulle, wrap sweaters or the genre’s soft color palette, ballet continues to influence our self-expression. This collection illustrates how far ballet has come in popular culture and the impact it has on our personal style.

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Which aspect of ballet has influenced your style the most? The flirty, tulle skirts, classic colors, elegant flats or conservative updos?
Two dancers of the Ballets Russes in costumes by Coco Chanel, from 1928.

"Chanel designed costumes for four productions, notably Le Train Bleu in 1924 and Apollon Musagete (Apollo, Leader of the Muses) in 1929. According to Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel's current creative director, she, "…helped Diaghilev to stage (his ballet) again after World War I in 1919". Designing costumes for dancers was perfect for a designer whose clothes liberated women and allowed them to move more freely. She once said that, “I have always tried to give women a feeling of being at ease with their time.” Read more at Suite101: Fashion History – The Influence of the Ballets Russes on Fashion

Some of Chanel's costumes for Le Train Bleu, 1924

 

The allure of the ballet bun

"Although the bun hairstyle is synonymous with ballet, it owes its origins to the women of Ancient Greece, who created a hairstyle now known as the Greek knot. A simple, low-lying bun knotted at the back of the neck, it was typically adorned with jewellery as a status symbol for wealthy Greek women."

"The bun’s crowning moment came in the Victorian period. The 19th century saw many variations of the bun. “Apollo’s knot” was popular during the 1820s and 1830s, and consisted of a middle-parted, high-sitting bun, complimented with corkscrew curls around the face and ears.

 

The Lure of Perfection

THE LURE OF PERFECTION: FASHION AND BALLET, 1780-1830 offers a unique look at how ballet influenced contemporary fashion and women's body image, and how street fashions in turn were reflected by the costumes worn by ballet dancers. Through years of research, the author has traced the interplay between fashion, social trends, and the development of dance. During the 18th century, women literally took up twice as much space as men; their billowing dresses ballooned out from their figures, sometimes a full 55 inches, to display costly jewelry and fine brocade work; similar costumes appeared on stage. But clothing also limited her movement; it literally disabled them, making the dances themselves little more than tableaux. Movement was further inhibited by high shoes and tight corsets; thus the image of the rigidly straight, long-lined dancer is as much a product of clothing as aesthetics. However, with changing times came new trends. An increased interest in natural movement and the common folk led to less-restrictive clothing. As viewers demanded more virtuosic dancers, women literally danced their way to freedom.

THE LURE OF PERFECTION will interest students of dance and cultural history, and women's studies. It is a fascinating, well-researched look at the interplay of fashion, dance, and culture-still very much a part of our world today.

Valentino designs costumes for 3 ballets

"Valentino Garavani…emerged from retirement to design and create costumes for three upcoming ballets." "Sarah Jessica Parker, a former dancer herself, helped plan the event and knew Valentino's airy design aesthetic was a no-brainer match for the demanding requirements of performance-ready costumes."

The Ballerina Project

The Ballerina Project grew from the idea of New York City as a magnet for creativity; each photograph is a collaborative work of dance, fashion design and photography played out against the city's landscape. Dane Shitagi is the both the creator and photographer of the Ballerina Project.

2010 was a big year for fashion & ballet

Chanel sent dance-inspired looks down their spring runway, and Black Swan rocked the silver screen.

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Los Angeles Guide: Hollywood

LA GUIDE: HOLLYWOOD
First Stop: Hollywood
HollyWoodLand
Erected in 1923, the famous Hollywood Sign originally read “Hollywoodland” to advertise a new housing development in the hills above town. In the beginning the sign was lit up at night by thousands of light bulbs that were maintained by a man who lived in a cabin behind one of the L’s. The development didn’t survive the Great Depression with the “H” falling off due to neglect. In 1949 the city of Los Angeles bought the sign, repaired it and removed the “land” to represent the movie industry and it has become an international landmark ever since…
Back Of Hollywood 1977
It’s rare when an artist can own a word or an image from popular culture so thoroughly. Andy Warhol may have shown his first Campbell’s Soup cans here in Los Angeles, but for me, much more powerful is the sway Ed Ruscha’s paintings hold over the Hollywood sign. “Hollywood”—a word, a picture, a fact of our city… It’s rare when an artist can own a word or an image from popular culture so thoroughly. Andy Warhol may have shown his first Campbell’s Soup cans here in Los Angeles, but for me, much more powerful is the sway Ed Ruscha’s paintings hold over the Hollywood sign. “Hollywood”—a word, a picture, a fact of our city… Ed Ruscha: “Back Of Hollywood” 1977
Sophia Loren and Jayne Mansfield
Sophia Loren and Jayne Mansfield at the 1957 Golden Globes.
Peg Entwistle “Mysteries & Scandals”
“Mysteries & Scandals”, here’s the story of Peg Entwistle. An aspiring and discouraged actress who committed suicide by jumping off the Hollywood Sign in 1932
Sunset Strip
The Sunset Strip stretches 1.6 miles through the heart of the City of West Hollywood from Doheny Road to Crescent Heights – but it is more than just a mile-plus stretch of road. It is an iconic locale where fashion, music, architecture, and a unique history combine. It is also known for its trademark array of huge, colorful billboards. This one was taken by photographer, Larry Jandro in 1974.
Wood and Vine Hollywood
Located on Wood and Vine (Who would’ve guessed), this restaurant/bar is a gem. I went there for some after hour drinks (A pink champange concotion) and was pleasantly surprised by their after hours menu. The patrons at the restaurant still present raved about the dinner menu. I will definitly be going back for dinner and drinks next time. Full report to come.
Amoeba Hollywood
Amoeba is the world’s largest independent record store and the location in Hollywood is my favorite. Not only is it such a great time scouring through the rows and rows of records, but great performers hit the stage for low-key free performances all the time, such as Amos Lee and Local Natives.
Jimi
Sound Check…Hollywood Bowl…Aug,1967
The Drais Hollywood
The Drais Hollywood is a club in the W Hotel on the corner of Hollywood Blvd and Vine. The Drais has a nightclub, upstairs pool area (overlooking the heart of Hollywood) and a restaurant. I have been to the Drias nightclub for a birthday party and for a fashion show at the pool area. Although drinks are rather pricey, both nights didn’t fail to impress. I haven’t experienced the W Hotel myself, but I hear it is a great spot for a little R & R after a night on the town.
Joanie Labine, the first female DJ at the Whiskey
The Sunset Strip Whisky was founded by Elmer Valentine, Mario Maglieri, Phil Tanzini, Shelly Davis, and attorney Theodore Flier. Though the club was billed as a discothèque, suggesting that it offered only recorded music, the Whisky a Go Go opened with a live band led by Johnny Rivers and a short-skirted Joanie spinning records between sets from a suspended cage at the right of the stage. When, in July 1965, the DJ danced during Rivers’ set, the audience thought it was part of the act and the concept of go-go dancers dancing in cages was born.
SUNSET BLVD, MELODY ROOM 1960
Melody Room is Now the Viper Room
The Pantages Theatre
The Pantages Theatre is by far my favorite place to catch a show in Los Angeles. My favorite aspect of this theater is the art deco decor, since the building was founded in the 1930s. It really represents old Hollywood to me. I have caught many critcially acclaimed shows from Wicked to The Producers to the Lion King there. Catching these off broadway productions at the Pantages is always a thrill and a break from the normally night out in Hollywood.
Lumineers and the Henry Fonda Theatre
I recently went to the Lumineers Concert this fall at the Fonda Theatre. It was very similar to all of the old theatres in Hollywood with a slight goth twist (Art deco fixtures with vampires murals painted throughout). There really wasn’t a bad seat in the house and a fews bars throughout, including an adorable rooftop terrace overlooking Hollywood.
Unami Burger Hollywood
I love Umami Burger, particularly their manly burger with a side of sweet potato fries. Although there are quite a few locations, this one is my favorite. It is a little hard to spot, since it’s tucked between an Urban Outfitters and Free People (Hello Dinner and a shopping trip), but I have never had to wait at this location (something Umami locations are notorious for).  Plus it is a cheaper and delicious alternative to a fancy dinner before the night activities Hollywood has to offer. Be sure to try one of their mixed cocktail creations if you’re craving a spirit on the side.
otbHeJrJRbE#!
/Looking for a good day party? The DO OVER at Lure (Located behind Ameoba Records) has everything a summer party needs: good music, a killer taco trunk, sangria, and good vibes. Last time I went I enjoyed tunes spun by Jazzy Jeff (yes, the guy from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) and had a grand Sunday. Although it is supposed to be a summer party, they seem to throw year round events and put on a weekend bash (the Sleep-Over) at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs.
Mumford and Sons at the Hollywood Bowl
The Hollywood Bowl is one of my favorite venues to see a show. I normally hate big stadiums, but the sound at the Hollywood Bowl is amazing. I recently saw Mumford and Sons at the bowl and although I was far (see picture) I received a front row experience because of the brillant sound. Also the bowl is one of the only L.A. venues that allows you to bring food and drinks (booze too) into it. Just make sure it isn’t a contract event beforehand.
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Story Of African Wax Prints

A (super) short history of wax prints in Africa

“Wax print fabrics actually originated in Indonesia and were exported to the Gold Coast and then spread over West Africa into Central Africa. They became extremely popular and over time the Africans customized and personalized their own designs. Today, African wax print fabrics are primarily made in Ghana or Mali, and they have a strong cultural, social and economic importance.”

African Women in everyday cloths

These prints may seem dramatic to Europeon & American eyes, but the vibrant colors and patterns are everyday fair for many people in West African countries. For the women picture here, all in a day’s work!

SPRING 2012 READY-TO-WEAR Burberry Prorsum | African Prints

The trend toward wax prints on the runway has been brewing for several seasons, with designers of all backgrounds using the vibrant prints in their collections. Still, it was the Burberry S/S 2012 collection that gave the trend the office “industry” stamp of approval.

Juanjo Oliva S/S 2010

Spanish designer Juanjo Oliva was ahead of the curve for the wax print trend. He studied design at IADE in Madrid and got his professional start as an illustrator for companies like Zara. Oliva launched his first collection in 2004 and has since shown every season at Madrid fashion week.

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Me wearing layered wax print clothes worn as floor length skirt.

I’ve used my styling perspective to glam this look up a bit, but these cloths inparticular are actually the humble variety that women and men  in the south of Nigeria wear as an equivalent to loungewear. You won’t see it much in the city, but those that live in provincial areas often wear a an unsewn square of wax cloth with a casual top (like a t-shirt) around town.

My mother used to carry me in a wax print wrap like this

This woman appears to be using her wax print cloth primarily for style, as it’s layered over what looks like a jersey fabric wrap. In my family the women traditionally carried their babies in cloth wraps, but the babies were situated on their backs, not in the front. Believe it or not, I have memories of being on my mom’s back while she’s standing on the stove cooking for the family.

Leila Adu. Photo by Leon Dale

Leila grew up in New Zealand, but has Ghanaian lineage via her father. During our shoot we chatted about how this was her first foray into exploring that side of her heritage through style

Political statements in wax print

Modern wax prints have more than just abstract designs. Like the one show here, they might have political or social statements embeded in them. Some even have photos included in the design.

FAIR+TRUE Fair Trade African Print Bustier Dress

Wax print products are prime subjects for companies that peddle “fair trade” wares. The idea is that the people who make the items, in developing countries, are paid well – rather than exploiting the vast differences in economic power between the producers and consumers of the item.

Stella Jean wax prints collection 2012

Growing up in a Nigerian-American household I always had access to plenty of wax print cloth and sewn outfits, but I generally reserved these for special occasion where other West African families were gathered. As I got older and started developing my personal style, however, I began experiementing with combining the fabrics with jeans, tees, and other run-of-the-mill American fashions.

I love how Stella Jean puts the clothes in context for customers without watering down the style.

wax-resist-dyed on cotton cloth

“Wax prints were produced across Europe and exported to Africa, with African Customers driving the trade. Since the 1960s factories have been established in Ghana and other African countries from Senegal to the Congo. Today, all of the European factories have closed down, except Vlisco in the Netherlands. The Manchester-based factory ABC (Arthur Brunnschweiler and Company) transferred its UK production recently to a sister company in Ghana. However ABC designers in Manchester continue to create patterns for the African wax print factories and visit local markets to gain inspiration and market feedback.”

via britishmuseum.org

Gold print fabric

“When a design in metallic ink is rolled over the top of a printed or solid colored fabric a GOLD PRINT is the result. Sometimes the gold design is tied in with the images or design on the cloth, sometimes not.”

via africanfabriclady.com

Vogue China

Here we see a wax-like print layered with two other prints. The trend arose during a more general trend toward heavy use of graphic prints and other “ethnic” textiles.

women in Central African Republic

Not all of the prints show here are wax prints, but they demonstrate well the variety of color and pattern that’s common to the aesthetic in this part of the world.

Selfridges Nigerian Fashion Christmas Window

“Selfridges just launched a pop-up store that presents some of the top Nigerian designers. The pop-up store is organized by Ndani, a Nigerian Fashion Project to showcase the best of Lagos Fashion and Design Week.

5 top designers are presenting their clothes and accessories: Jewel by Lisa, Lanre Da Silva Ajayi, Eki Orleans, Odio Mimonet and Tiffany Amber.”

via africanprintinfashion.com

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Review: Sugarlips Window Embers Top

Our personal style often comes in the form of a contradiction: boho glam, sporty & chic, classic yet trendy. Stylish e-tailer Sugarlips’ descriptor is no exception. “Flipping” through the site is the equivalent of raiding the closet of your slightly older (and sartorially wiser) cousin, who somehow manages to make an embellished peter pan collar look tough. Simply put: “the edgy girlie girl.”

Needless to say, when the generous folks at Sugarlips offered to send me an item of my choice I was thrilled. After mentally and physically bookmarking a long list of items, I chose the Window Embers top – a flirty, burnt orange peplum covered in small, flattering pleats. I should preface this by saying that I am well aware of the current popularity surrounding the peplum. One might even go so far as to call it a “peplum frenzy,” as you rarely walk into a clothing store these days without seeing at least one rack of artfully flared fabric. I, however, had yet to take the plunge. I’d been tempted – sure, but the thought of accidentally drawing attention to my hips scared me straight and my courage maxed out at gentle a-line.

When my package from Sugarlips arrived I noticed a few things: one, this was definitely a quality item. While the back of the top is quite sheer, the front (and entire peplum) contains an added layer that gives the shirt a little more heft. It’s 100% polyester, so it has a bit of give to it and should keep its shape quite nicely. The color is indeed in the orange family, coming closest a burnt sienna, which is lovely for the cooler months. I hesitantly ordered a small, as I am usually right between a small and a medium, but the top fits perfectly. The zipper up the side is helpful, considering the seam where the peplum begins does not stretch at all and hits right at the waistline. I chose to style my new shirt with my classic Gap jean jacket, recently purchased and admittedly perfect Club Monaco Alexi Pant, my Bass & Co suede ankle boots and an H&M fur vest since it’s still pretty chilly out there (evidenced by the snow.)

Sugarlips Day&Night
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Other options? When it comes to styling for daytime, I love paring the Window Embers top with colored denim in similarly rich shades and gold accessories. Lace-up booties and a simple leather tote draw attention to the delicate details without clashing. For night, I like the idea of throwing some leather into the mix, along with colorful accessories and printed pumps – a pair of edgy, Art Deco earrings keep things interesting. Interested in your very own Window Embers top? Head over to the Sugarlips website and take a peek at their adorable merch – I’ve got my eye on the Signed By Scarlett dress & Frolic in the Forest top…happy shopping!

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Best Beauty Gift Sets for Giving

Beauty Gift Sets
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When it comes to last minute shopping, my go-to gifts are almost always beauty related. Whether it’s stocking stuffers for mom or that secret santa you just can’t crack, a pretty little box o’ beauty is enough to make any girl swoon. Make no mistake – one size does not fit all. Would you dare give your au natural sister a set of artificial skincare products? I think not. The good news is that during the holiday season our favorite brands really lay on the loot, most offering stellar deals & discounts. The bad news? All those gift sets can be a real pain to weed through. I’ve pulled my favorite into one collection, as has fellow OTY Expert Heather. Don’t forget to check out what our community members are quick to pick when it comes to gifting. Read of for a taste of the magic.

1. For the Flower Child: Claudalie Divine Oil Set
If the aforementioned crunch rang any bells, try grabbing this gift set from Claudalie. The company prides itself on creating a natural and environmentally friendly product, and for each Divine Oil that is purchased a tree is planted in the Amazon.

2. For the Lipstick Lover: Obsessive Compulsive Lip Tar
Beauty blogs are a buzz with this infamous product. Combining the “longevity of a lipstick with the easy application of a gloss,” this Lip Tar gift set is not for the faint of heart.

3. For the Beauty Beginner: Sephora Prestige Luxe Brush Set
If you’ve got a buddy who just needs to go back to basics, surprise her with this excellent brush set – it’s amazing what a great set of bristles will do. It’s pricey, so reserve this pretty prez for those you truly adore.

4. For the Hard Worker: L’Occitane Hand Cream Bouquet
Winter can be tough, and it’s even tougher on our hands. I never leave the house without (at least) one tube of hand lotion. Gift this yummy set of mini hand creams (in scents like almond, mango and rose petal) to keep her running smoothly.

5. For the Nail Art Enthusiast: Sephora by OPI Tinsel Town Collector’s Set
You know that friend whose nails are always polished to perfection? Well I bet she’d swoon over these dazzling shades from Sephora by OPI, packaged in miniature bottles that help avoid the dreaded dry-out. Conveniently, OTY is giving this set away in our holiday nail art contest, so shoot us an entry and you just might win it for free.

 

This Weeknd: 12/14
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Make: DIY Gift Tags
Though I might be in the minority, I find the annual task of purchasing holiday cards to be one of the most enjoyable parts of the season. I could spend hours in the local Papyrus piling boxes upon boxes of cards onto the checkout counter. Needless to say, I’m left with an awkward amount of leftovers each season. The solution? Trim your favorite designs into gift tags! If you’re like me you’re constantly running low, and finding (cute) gift tags don’t come cheap – so start snippin’!

Snack: Peppermint Bark Popcorn 
In need of a healthy(ier) snack to dole out during the holidays? Look no further. Cookie and Kate has whipped up a batch of treats that are a little lighter than your average christmas cookie. Salty, sweet and everything in between, this snack will quench your craving for chocolate without giving you a stomachache.

Wear:
I love a good party dress as much as anyone, but why not try spicing up a pair of pants for your weekend shindig? These satin haram-esque trousers will have heads turning, especially when paired with art deco accessories and a sultry smokey eye. Lest we not forget to channel Miu Miu with a sparkly shoe – because nothing gets you going like a little glitter. Click the collage above for info on picking up these gorgeous pieces.

Watch: The Family Stone
There’s a tradition in my house when it comes to festive films. While we all have an appreciation for classics like It’s a Wonderful Life, when the snow starts falling I prefer a more contemporary take on the holidays. If you have yet to see The Family Stone, all I can say is: you’re in for a treat. Starring Diane Keaton, Luke Wilson, Rachel McAdams and SJP herself, Family Stone will make you laugh, cry, and most of all – it will make you thankful for what you’ve got.

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Style Radar: Nifty Necklaces Made in BK

Click to read about what’s on my Style Radar this week…

Style Radar: Hook and Matter
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Expert Corner: Holiday Gift Guides Galore

Gift Guides Header
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This year, our experts have everyone covered on your shopping list – literally. From the foodie to the fashionista and even that confused artist friend of yours, there’s a gift to be found for everybody in their collections. Here’s the breakdown:

1. Under $10 Stocking Stuffers: Curated by our London-based expert, Heather, these are some great last-minute gifts to grab that won’t empty your wallet.

2. For The Travel GirlYou know that jet-setting friend you envy oh so much? Even she deserves a cute little gadget for the holidays found by our global expert, Lilian (who definitely knows a thing or two about hopping planes, trains and automobiles).

3. For The Crafty Girl and DIY DecemberHave a pal who loves to roll up her sleeves and experiment with her creative side? Our resident beauty expert, Emily, shares the cute, crafty necessities of the season while Calli, or DIY guru, shows you how to make a gift or two yourself.

4. For the FashionistaThere’s no better personal shopper than our style expert, Rebecca, when it comes to scouring the best finds for that fashion-obsessed friend who just has to be sporting the latest it-items.

5. For the AdventurerHave an outdoorsy pal who’s into things like hiking, camping, nature, etc? Then definitely take a look at Emily’s gift guide for the adventurous at heart.

6. For the Foodie (Part 1 and Part 2): We’re so into food here at OTY that one collection just didn’t suffice. Both Rebecca and Heather have some seriously mouthwatering finds for the foodies in your life.

7. For the Confused Artist: I think everyone has at least one of these artsy friends and Jame’ hit the nail on the head when it comes to finding them the right presents for the holidays.

8. For the Homebody: Emily knows exactly what to get for those who just want to stay in, cuddle up and watch movies all weekend long. (And who doesn’t want to do that?)

9. For the Interior GuruFor that person with the enviably decorated home, impress them with these chic interior accessories found by Rebecca.

10. For the Beauty BabeHave a friend who loves to experiment with beauty? Heather has pulled together the best makeup sets on the market this year.

BONUS: Now that your shopping’s all set, you still need to wrap those presents! Check out Calli’s DIY December Gift Wrap collection on Oh That’s You for creative ways to package up your presents.

 

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