July 25, 2014

Making a scrapbook from a wine bag

I was asked to create a going away present for one of our administrators. They wanted a scrapbook, but not an ordinary one, that could hold photos and quotes from all of the principals in our school district.

When they asked me to do this, it was near the Christmas holidays and the stores were already full of holiday stash. I was shopping at Big Lots and came across these awesome bags intended for holding wine bottles...
They're a dark purple with a fabulous metallic prism effect. When folded in half, there are 5 surfaces, front and back, for adding pages and a bonus pouch in the middle for a pullout pocket. I folded each one, cut a piece of coordinated background paper from this pack I got at Michael's.

And they ended up looking like this...

This is one of the pouch pockets.

I cut the rope handles and planned a way to use them in my binding. I gathered all six bags and measured the depth, length, and height to determine how big my scrapbook was going to be. I used foam board to make the outside. I'd give dimensions, but it was based on the bag I purchased, and would only work with that bag. It was simply a matter of stacking the bags on top of each other and measuring them, allowing for the "middles" to be pushed closer together where they are bound.
To bind the bags to the scrapbook, I tied each one by wrapping the cord around the folded bag onto the spine of the scrapbook.
I frayed the ends of the cord just for interest and texture. Each principal provided me with pictures and quotes, so I added them to all of the pages and inside the pouch pockets.
I embellished each page with stickers and the end result was beautiful! I kind of had in my head what it was going to look like, but the actual end result was much better than I imagined. I think the color choices were a big part of the success.
In the end, I decided it needed a box to stay stored in, so I used more foam board to create one. I just measured the finished scrapbook, and came up with the measurements for my box.
I Modpodged more of the same background paper all around the sides and top. Note: Modpodge on foam board creates bubbles, but it isn't horrible. Just not perfect!

The finished box, is embellished with buttons and stickers. I also added some purple satin ribbon along the edges of the box to cover up the score lines in the foam board.
My administrator friend was thrilled with her gift! Tada!

The whole process wasn't all that difficult, but I will admit, it was time consuming. Mostly because I was creating it as I went, but I was very happy with the end results.

July 21, 2014

Dear Jane

A commercial flashed as I was watching TV and it was a promo for a Queen Latifah’s show. Jane Fonda was a guest and they showed a little flash of a moment of Jane walking out on stage. Holy Shit, she looked amazing! I Googled Jane Fonda Queen Latifah and whoopty do, up popped several still pictures of Ms. Fonda on set. Here she is at 77 freakin years old! SEVENTY SEVEN!

Yes, I know we could all look that good if we had unlimited funds and access to the best plastic surgeons, but before you judge, let me remind you of these faces… who also have big bucks and docs at their beck and call and, well, you know… they look different. That's the nicest thing I can say. I do believe genetics has served Ms. Fonda well.

After Googling her age, because I was curious, I tripped over her quote regarding aging and emotions:

"But I find my emotions are way more accessible than they were when I was younger and I've come to feel it has to do with age. I have become so wonderfully, terribly aware of time, of how little of it I have left; how much of it is behind me, and everything becomes so precious.
"With age, I am able to appreciate the beauty in small things more than when I was younger perhaps because I pay attention more. I feel myself becoming part of everything, as if I bleed into other people's joy and pain. Maybe, without my being conscious of it, there's the reality that in a few decades (if I'm lucky) I will be in the earth, fertilizing some of the very things I look at now and tear up over."

I love that! I too feel more weepy now than I ever have been, and well up at the silliest things. I have also become much more aware of my time left on earth and realize the insignificance of things that I once thought so precious. Like stuff I have collected. I have looked around my house with older eyes and no longer see treasures. I see stuff, that’s only value is to add a little pleasant aesthetics to my every day view. I now yearn for the things money can’t buy like Time; Solitude; Tranquility; Joy.  And maybe, just maybe, I’d like to get rid of the turkey neck I inherited genetically (thanks dad). I want Jane’s neck, and her hair, and that fabulous smile. 

Dear Jane, 
You kind of scared me in the 60’s, but I think you are and always have been a beautiful woman.  Seventy seven, Jane! Dayum! 
OK, you are officially on my fantasy dinner with fantasy friends list. You’re in good company. Who would you like to sit next to? Your choices are…

Bob Keeshan (a gentle hero from my childhood)

Fred Rogers (although it’s hard to picture him without also picturing Eddie Murphy & SNL, he is another gentle hero I admire)

Marilyn Monroe (I want to apologize to her for all of society who ate her up and spit her out)

Jane Goodall (flawless dedication to her cause)

Walter Cronkite (I trusted him as much as I trust God)

Mohammad Ali (charisma at its finest)

And me. 

I promise not to stare too much. Ha! Who am I kidding! I’m going to stare the crap out of you after I hug the crap out of everybody else. Call me.