Grandma’s Valentines

February 17, 2009 § 4 Comments

I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day for some reason.  Not so much for the romantic, foo foo stuff, but because I loved it as a kid.  Until my sister was old enough to go to school for a full day, my mother was a stay at home mom.  She lived the dream as far as I’m concerned, keeping a beautiful, comfortable house, raising her children with an almost wolven voracity and zest for the task.  She was the classroom ART MOM, she produced home cooked meals six nights a week (thursdays were ‘find your own dinner night’), she taught Sunday School, carpooled, helped with my sixth grade Country Report on the underappreciated Luxemborg.  When we got up for school, she’d have our clothes laid out, our Buddig turkey lunches packed and our breakfast toastin’, or snap cracklin’, or whatever other breakfasts do. 

In fact, every year, on the first day of school, my father would put off getting ready for work (and who doesn’t?) in order to video tape his daughters in their back to school outfits, gripping their new totebags, sporting gigantic clear acrylic glasses frames, eating their breakfast.  And who are these kids and people who ‘don’t eat breakfast’ or “can’t eat in the morning’ or ‘just give me my coffee’?  I don’t know if I’m an intense dreamer or a hopless kicky when I sleep, but I wake up RAVENOUS.  In my view, there is never ENOUGH breakfast.

None of this is the point.

The point is that if there was a holiday, my mom did a li’l somethin’ to recognize it.  Be it green milk in our cereal on St. Patty’s, making Easter Egg sugar cookies, or a small pink and white gift at our place setting on Valetine’s day.   We got a little bit of candy, and a card, and then something fun like the new Garfield book (score!) or a Strawberry Shortcake doll.  It made the day a little more fun and special.

So now that Charlotte’s on the scene, I was excited to not only put together a little gift for her, but to make gifts for Grandmas and Grandpas to receive in the mail.  Who doesn’t like a package on Valentine’s day?  Way back in December, I saw a tutorial for Exploding Scrapbook Boxes as a last minute Christmas idea.  Having already been pushed over the edge of sanity preparing for Christmas, I squirreled the link away for another time.  Turns out Valentine’s Day was perfect!





After a night of nerve wracking measuring and cutting (the directions were in crazy METRIC! Imagine the horror), it was full frontal creativity with these little buggers. In addition to pictures of li’l Lala and her Mom and Dad, I threw in a few quotes including one of my favorite Erma Bombeck nuggets:

A grandmother pretends she doesn’t know who you are on Halloween.
— Erma Bombeck

With the exploding boxes out of the house and on their way over the river and through the woods, my craft table is clear and ready to take on the next three projects: The Everyday Work Tote, The Family of Three Diorama and Charlotte’s Art Portfolio/Storage System, which I’ll be happy to show you once they’re in any kind of presentable shape.

So anyway, Valentine’s  Day was a success…oh, except on Friday, the 13th? I chopped off the tip of my finger while making a stirfry.  Never let it be said I don’t bring a bit of flair to the holidays!

a grim accident scene photo captures the grisly aftermat

a grim accident scene photo captures the grisly aftermath

When my mother called to check on the state of my finger, she asked me which finger I had cut.  I said “my right index finger”.  She was quiet for a moment and then asked, “Is that Pointer or Tall Man?”



Typesetter Drawer Scrapbook

January 16, 2009 § 3 Comments

AKA:  A Zillion Tiny Dioramas

I love things with little “compartments”.  I was at an antique fair once and saw an antique pharmacy cabinet, about six feet square, with no less than a hundred drawers all labeled with various medicines and poisons.  And you know back in the day they had the best medicine names.  You weren’t taking Terapolaprazamin, you took “THE LAUDNAUM”.  What I wouldn’t do for a little Laudnam some days…

But we’re getting off topic, and the topic is my first big craft project of 2009.  It’s The Typeseter Drawer Scrapbook.  I found this drawer at the Sandwich Antiques Market last summer and Meredith and I immediately started brainstorming on what to do with it. 

At first I was just going to line the back with different papers and paint it, but slowly I began to think of other “small” things that could go in the compartments. So now it’s going to be a tiny (and huge) scrapbook, each little box a different thing about me.  Not onlydo I plan to fill some of the boxes with pictures and journaling, but I’ve been making little memories out of Sculpey and fabric and felt.  I want it to be something that will hang in my living room and start conversation, not just about me, but about everyone in my generation. 

Of course, the first stop was my wedding:

I aged the photo with some distressing ink and scratched it up with a pin.  It’s one of my favorite wedding photos since it’s so candid.  A friend took it, not the photographer. (Don’t get me started on the photographer).  Then I made a Christmas scene:


I found an old scrap of paper in a collage pack that had the origins of the name Charlotte, if you can believe it, and that will definitely be mounted in here, and I also cut out a teeny map of our neighborhood.  It’s slow going, but I love that there are really no boundaries to the creativity.  Every day I think of something else to put in there!

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