Now You’re Speaking My Language

We realized in all of this new house hubbub we never shared what we gifted each other for Christmas. Fishsticks! (No, we didn’t give each other fishsticks, I’m just practicing our resolution to not curse around the baby anymore).

Sherry wins the “best gift” award this year. In continuing her efforts to grow our art collection, she considered a couple of Richmond-themed pieces (including this one that we’ve always liked) and finally ended up getting me this awesome Richmond Type Map:

It’s a colorful map of our fair city made up entirely of identifying text. See what I mean?

The black grid is made up of street names and the colored area behind them are the neighborhoods. So if you’re equal parts Richmond enthusiast, map connoisseur, and typography lover (like me) it’s basically the gift trifecta. And if you love cardboard mailing tubes as much as Clara seems to, the packaging is the icing on the cake (if you can’t watch the Vimeo video below, find it here on YouTube):

Oh, and some of the proceeds of each map go to a local kids art charity called Art180. We haven’t picked out the perfect spot for it in the house yet, so for now it’s joining the pile of frames in the family room that are sitting around waiting to be hung.

I was a close second (aka last place) for the “best gift” distinction this year. Given Sherry’s growing love of tea-drinking I finally got her a proper tea kettle (no more microwaving) and two new mugs. The kettle is the Chantal Loop in cobalt blue (which seems to be our color of the moment given that it’s actually pretty similar to the backs of our built-ins). And the “Tunnel Vision” mugs are from an NYC-based dishware shop called Fishs Eddy. I figured it was a nice nod to the city where we met (NY) and the state where Sherry was born and raised (Jersey, baby).

Of course gift giving isn’t really a competition. But if it were, there is one area in which we’d tie. When my sister drew Sherry’s name in our “Petersik Sibling Gift Exchange” (which keeps the adults in our family from going present-crazy because we each just have one person to shop for) I suggested that she get Sherry a new Three Designing Women stamper with our new address on it (we both loved saving our hand and using our old one to mail out things like thank yous and holiday cards). Sherry apparently had the same thought and ordered one for me too, which I opened about ten seconds after she opened hers.

Since they’re customized gifts we can’t exactly return one, but at least we chose two different designs (my sister ordered the design on top, Sherry ordered the one on the bottom). So for now we’ve decided to just enjoy being able to mix things up when it comes to stamping our return address on stuff. And Sherry actually loves the one on top more than the one she chose, so she’s happy about the whole overlapping gift snafu.

So that’s how we Santa’d each other this year (well, with a little help from my sister). What about you guys? We’d love to hear what you guys scored – especially if it’s home related. Any ceramic animals?


Mollie at The Paper Cafe is generously offering a special 15% discount on all Three Designing Women stampers through Monday, January 10th. Just enter code YHL15OFF2011 at checkout. And if you ordered yours yesterday (Jan 6th) or already today (Jan 7th) you can apply the discount retroactively by contacting Mollie directly (


  1. says

    My southern beau did really good this year, getting me a gorgeous leather weekender bag….for the house, I got some sheet sets and money to put towards fixing my toilet. A girl’s gotta flush you know! All in all, pretty great Christmas. Of course the gifts are just a small part of it ;)

  2. says

    Those are lovely gifts!

    As a tea lover myself, I always appreciate a good kettle. If Sherry ever gets into drinking loose-leaf tea, I would really recommend one of those tea brewing teapots (like this one:

    One of my favorite gifts this year was a print my boyfriend got for me on etsy:
    I think it’s the most adorable thing in the world!

  3. says

    I got that typography map for Christmas, too! I LOVE IT! I shrieked like the biggest nerd when I saw that mailing tube on the porch, and it taunted me from under the Christmas tree for a week until I was allowed to open it!

    It’s at Ben Franklin now being framed – so excited to hang it! :)

  4. says

    My hubby scored major points for remembering I wanted a sander! He skipped the black pencil skirt and tights (that I also asked for) but I didn’t even care when I opened the sander!!! And he’ll benefit when I refinish that desk of his.

  5. Jamie M M says

    I got my husband a wall sized world map (which he’s been itching for since moving into our new home a few months ago)
    And he got me my new studio lights so i can officially start doing my photography the right way!

  6. says

    Check out Gene Ploss’ store on Etsy for a GREAT way to make a hip & modern family “tree”! I bought one for my sister’s family for Christams, put it in a nice black frame with a thick, white matte from Kohl’s &, bada bing bada boom, best gift ever! You guys probably need one. :)

  7. Stephanie says

    After moving into a new house is September, we actually asked for a bunch of house related things. Many gave us the essential Pottery Barn gift card (which we love). We also got a new grill and a small fire pit so that we can fancy up our backyard!

  8. Rhiannon says

    That is just the cutest video of Clara. The belly laughs and shrieks are so awesome, but her face at the end just makes it! I love the map but the tea kettle has to be my favorite! I love the cobalt blue! I actually have very bold cobalt patterned curtains I made (no sew) for my kitchen window and I think that kettle is the perfect kitchen accent. Thanks for finding it for me!

  9. says

    oooo I like the stamp idea–way cooler than your average address label…I’m going to have to look into that once my husband and stop apartment hopping and decide to settle down somewhere…

  10. says

    What great gifts! Hubby and I only exchange stockings with each other… this year he received a 1922 map of the Netherlands (where his father’s family is from) and I received some new pieces to add to my mini ceramics collection… similar to Sherry’s white ceramic animal obsession, only smaller! :)

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