Friday, December 30, 2011

A TAG TABLET HOLDER gift for a friend

I wish that I'd taken more photos of the Tag Tablet Holder that I made for my friend, Sherry. (I was in too much of a hurry as I completed it with NO time to spare before leaving to pick her up for dinner.) We traditionally treat the "birthday girl" to DINNER ONLY, but I wanted to give her a little handmade gift and all needed supplies were already in my stash. The only investment was my TIME and I was HAPPY to spend it on making a little gift for her.

About the Tag Tablet Holder...the tags have hidden button magnets that work to keep the holder closed. It opens to reveal pretty papers adhered to both side panels and a lined mini-legal pad secured to the middle panel. (SO sorry that I don't have photos to show!)

Sherry seemed to LIKE IT so I was a very HAPPY paper crafter! (grin)

Thursday, December 29, 2011


My mom LOVES my paper crafts, so I try to make her something for EVERY major occasion.

She is a TRUE ARTISAN, not just a hobbyist, as am I. Mom has created BEAUTIFUL ceramic pieces, pencil portrait drawings, hand painted boxes, plaques, signs, furniture, coat racks -- sooo many things! My home is FILLED with her crafts and with antique furniture that she has restored! (When setting up my home, I had the GOOD SENSE to purchase from her shop rather than to buy "new stuff" from local stores.)

Mom knows that I never-EVER want her to buy me gifts for CHRISTmas and birthdays! Instead, I ask her to "make me something," or, now, to "give me something that she has already made." A CHRISTmas neared, Mom asked, "Deb, what do you want for CHRISTmas?" to which I answered, "Whatchu GOT?!!!" We both laughed and laughed, then went on a "house tour" until I settled on a smallish rustic vintage bench that she had restored years before. Though it was "earmarked" to be part of my inheritance, I decided that I would like it NOW, so it is nestled on the floor near my antique pie safe -- PERFECTLY at home!

Back to Mom...she does FABULOUS needlework, having embroidered blankets for each of her grandchildren and many of her great-grandchildren. Though her hands are now crippled with arthritis and she is unable to paint, she just completed a GORGEOUS embroidered baby blanket for a grown granddaughter who has not, yet, become a mother. Mom knew that she would not be alive for the baby's birth, so made a blanket "in advance." It was a true LABOR OF LOVE.

My talents are MEAGER (an understatement of GREAT proportion) in comparison to my mom's, yet she admires my paper crafting efforts. Too sweet.

Knowing that she loves birds, I kept that in mind while making her 2012 Paper Bag Calendar and many of the pages feature owls, sparrows -- birds of all kinds. (Did I mention that she ALSO bakes?? And was a TERRIFIC seamstress??? HA!!)

Here are a few photos of her calendar book:


I made Bag Book Calendars for Benny, Jer's step-mother, her daughter, Jan, and HER daughter, Karlee, (three generations) as little CHRISTmas gifts this year. We don't exchange gifts, but I want them to know that even though Jerry Sr. is now gone, it doesn't mean that we no longer care about them.

Over a year ago, Jer's step-sister, Jan, who is a preschool teacher (as I was, until recently), saw MY bag book calendar and requested that I make one for her, so it's my desire to make one for them all, each year.

Below are four photos of each calendar book -- of the cover, inside front cover, inside back cover, and the back cover. Every other page just has Top Note die-cuts from decorated paper with a monthly calendar adhered atop.

This first one is Karlee's:

The second book is Benny's:

And, the last book is Jan's:

Here they are, ready to be mailed. I thought they looked SWEET and INVITING!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


As seems to be my USUAL response, I was simply NOT satisfied with Sherry's birthday card from yesterday's post. Something about the LEAVES just seemed OFF.

So, a few minutes ago, I browsed through my past postings and came upon a card that used a Martha Stewart "twig" punch. EUREKA!! I just KNEW some twigs would make ALL the difference in my newest card -- and I DO believe that I was right!! (grin)

Here's the NEW & IMPROVED version...

And, here is the inside which I kept simple, using a smaller corrugated die-cut heart with centered jewel.

Okay. I'm happy, now.

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Birthday Card for a BEAUTIFUL Friend

Sherry's birthday was November 17th, but each year we wait until after Thanksgiving to celebrate together, when life is in lull-mode between Thanksgiving and CHRISTmas. It seemed anti-climactic to present her a l-a-t-e BIRTHDAY card, so I omitted a theme from the card front and will write a personal note inside instead of having a printed sentiment.

Hers is the VERY FIRST card created in my new crafting studio!! "New" as in refurbished from what was previously the "preschool room" during my seventeen childcare years and a "sitting room" for Jer and me prior to that. It, also, served as a "nursery" for my last two children until they were old enough to occupy bedrooms some distance from their mama. And, originally, it was the west end of a large living room until, approximately twenty-three years ago, when we decided to construct a dividing wall . (Hmmm...I wonder how long it will serve as my special craft room?)

Honestly, it felt ODD to be sitting in privacy, surrounded by my cardmaking supplies, instead of monopolizing the dining room table with family members traipsing in-and-out on treks to the kitchen. Weird experience. Not BAD...exactly. But, definitely NOT (yet) comfortable.

Well, here is the FIRST FRUIT from my "garden" retreat. Ha!

I still have a few paper flowers made from a worn-out children's book, so put one to work on Sherry's card. I used a kraft card base and a cream panel, roughed-up and edged with "wild honey" Distress Ink. A page from 7 gypsies' "collections from the journey" paper pack was torn and distressed with "wild honey" and "brushed corduroy" Distress Inks. Some dotted kraft S.U.! punched petals were reshaped into leaves and tucked beneath the flower.

A couple lengths of earth tone "ticker tape" were adhered along the left side of the panel, topped with a distressed corrugated die-cut primitive heart and layered buttons, along with a tuft of mocha tulle. Bottom-right is a cluster of sparklies and a half-pearl.

Hmmm...this FIRST card may not be publication-worthy, but I'm not ashamed of it -- and I have HIGH HOPES that Sherry will actually LIKE it!! (grin)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Birthday Card for my 30 year-old son!!

My Trey-Trey is THIRTY!! (I absolutely NEVER use his old nickname now that he's an adult, but I'm a bit nostalgic for my lil fella...sniff.)

Since Trey's passion is deer hunting, I made an appropriately themed card. Son #3, Colson, was of the opinion that I should include a BULL'S EYE on the deer graphic. Ugh!! I-DON'T-THINK-SO!!! I just featured a handsome buck with NO reference to shooting him!

I penned a lil prayer for Trey which I used as the inside sentiment. As a husband and father, he has many demands on his time and I thought it a "timely" reminder for him to choose that which is GOOD over that which is simply FUN. (He makes the determination. Heaven FORBID that I should PREACH!! grin)

In addition to his card and gift, I made him a batch of his FAVORITE sweets -- chocolate no-bake cookies!! He told Colson, "Nobody makes 'em as good as Mom!" Aaaaw!!! Too sweet! (And, a GREAT way to get future batches!)

Here are photos of his card...