I know that I said that I was going to limit myself to one posting on my blog each day, but today I am going to post twice. I’ve been waiting for Erica to get back from her honeymoon and to give her her gift before I could post this. I am excited and want to share.
After we moved to Colorado, I became interested in scrapbooking. I should say, more accurately, I began scrapbooking because I had been interested in it for several years. I have a number of scrapbooks that I am working on and I have three albums from our trip to Disney with my in-laws a few months before Chris was diagnosed.
Chris has asked me to take lots of pictures. When Chris was a teenager he lost his dad after a freak snowmobile accident on New Year’s Eve. He told me that he wished he had more pictures of his dad and he didn’t want our boys to feel the same way. So, I take lots and lots of pictures. As I have time, I create scrapbook pages.
Due to our small living space, scrapbooking is a challenge. I like to have all of my things spread out around me and I tend to make a huge mess. Chris would say that was an understatement – I take over the entire kitchen table. And when I start to scrapbook, it takes me several days to finish a project. I can’t seem to work on one page at a time, I need to do several. It is a lot of work just to get everything out that I will need and then I have to clean it all up. Someday I will have my own space that I can use for scrapbooking and organize everything so that it will work with my crafting style. Until then, I will have to continue using the kitchen table.
Just over a year ago I was working on a page of Chris’ grandparents and his dad, as a kid. I couldn’t find embellishments that I liked that didn’t cost a fortune and I was SO frustrated. Scrapbooking for me means that I buy stuff on sale and look for cheap materials whenever possible. I have quite a collection of stuff and almost always can make due with something I have, but this time I couldn’t. I ended up purchasing something that was WAY too expensive and still wasn’t exactly what I wanted.
As a result, I started looking into making my own embellishments. I discovered Quilling. Quilling is the art of paper crafting and it has been around for a very long time. It doesn’t take much to get started and is generally inexpensive. It is detailed and can be challenging, but even a beginner can make some beautiful things. As I was Quilling, Michael came to see what I was doing. He LOVED Quilling. In fact, he liked it so much that I bought him his own tool (about $5 at Hobby Lobby) and he began helping me. He also made all of his teachers Christmas gifts (with some help).
Quilling is beautiful when done carefully. I use a quilling tool, toothpicks (to apply glue), tweezers (fine point) and very sharp scissors. I can quill circles for a long time, but working on making them into something is an activity that I can only do for an hour or so before I start getting frustrated and lose my concentration.
While I started quilling to embellish my own scrapbook pages, I have yet to do that. I quilled a design on a plain corkboard for my desk for last year, made a picture for my mom’s friend, did picture frame mats for my parent and my in-laws, helped Michael with his teacher gifts and made Erica’s Wedding present.
Erica’s Wedding present was the result of me having too much time on my hands and not feeling well enough to do anything. I’m not sure if I thought of it when I was fevered. However, it turned out to be beautiful, even if it took much more than I expected. Of course that is the way most of my projects go, so I shouldn’t have been surprised.
My idea was to quill the words LIVE, LAUGH and LOVE and mat them in individual frames, then to quill flowers along the mat of another frame and design it with a space for a picture of Erica and Les. It was a great idea, but it ended up driving me nuts. It wasn’t the quilling that was the problem either, it was cutting the mats. First, I hand measured everything to make a template. Then used a craft knife to cut the template to the right size. I had difficulties using the knife and a ruler and cutting straight. Then I had difficulties with the glue and the paper sticking to the weight I used to flatten things out. Finally, I couldn’t cut anything without messing it up. I would attempt to finish one mat a day – and it would take 10+ attempts to get one right. I was beginning to regret this project. Then I got a plastic template for rectangles – it worked somewhat better, but it wasn’t great. Finally, I got the cutting tool that went with the plastic rectangle template and it was AMAZING. Two mats plus inserts in 10 minutes or less.
I had given Erica the first frame (LIVE) a few days before the wedding. She loved it. I told her that she would have to wait to get the other 3 until she was back from her honeymoon. And they turned out beautifully, if I do say so myself! Saw Erica last night and was able to give her the last 3 frames. She was so excited! She said that she knows where she is going to put them and couldn’t wait to get a picture of her and Les so she could put it in the frame.