Monday, January 14, 2013

Don't You Just Love Clever Ideas?

Perhaps because I don't think of myself as a particularly clever person, I seem to be fascinated with what I consider to be the clever ideas and creations of other people and other cultures.  During my long career at Neiman Marcus I was able to see many clever ideas become merchandise to be carried in our stores and catalogs.  I remember the year the Pet Rock hit our selling floors for the Christmas Season.  I remember the mood rings that were quickly snapped up in the '70's.  We also sold a very pretty gold-tone costume ring that had a hinged domed cage which opened so that any one of six colored stones could be placed inside to coordinate with one's mood or wardrobe on any given day. 

This weekend I received two items which I think are especially clever.  My son and his family live in Tokyo, Japan; and he visited me this weekend.  He brought me a sweet note from my daughter-in-law accompanied by two thoughtful gifts which she had to know I would enjoy.  The Japanese people package everything so beautifully that before I even know what is in a package I am intrigued.  The first item was a packet containing small rectangles of paper.  Actually, the rectangles are paper soap.  I think it is an extremely clever idea because we all know there are many times when using restrooms we find soap dispensers to be empty.  Now I can carry this little packet in my handbag to be prepared when that happens.  While my hands are dry I will remove a single piece of paper, then turn on the faucets and as I begin to wash my hands the paper will turn into soap.  Is that not clever?

The other gift she sent to me is called "fashion paper" and is something I had not previously seen.  The paper is printed with a very pretty, delicate, pastel floral design, and is folded into squares about the size of cocktail napkins.  Each piece is meant to be used to wrap a small gift, and I think it is a very clever idea (especially coming on the heels of the recent holiday season when each time I wanted to wrap a small gift I had to cut into a huge roll of gift wrap paper which was cumbersome as well as wasteful).  So now I am eagerly looking forward to the next gift-giving occasion so I can buy small presents and wrap them in my "fashion paper."

What about you?  What are your favorite clever ideas and items?  Please share them below in the comment section.

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