A New Appreciation

My current project is sorely taxing my creativity and definitely making me question my otherwise good judgment. ITMan and I will be married 20 years on December 28, and I have something very special planned as a gift for both of us, but it’s not exactly something that fits in a box and is easy to wrap. (And no, I’m not telling what it is yet just in case he decides to do something completely out of character all of a sudden and read my blog!)

I wanted to make a small scrapbook-type presentation for this gift so that I could give it to him a few days before. For this particular gift, he does need a little bit of advance warning, and I didn’t want to just tell him about it. So I went searching for a handmade journal or small scrapbook thing online and could only come up with one thing that really spoke to me and it was a whopping $160! Um. No. Beside the cost, it was a full journal with 50 pages and all I really needed was about a dozen, if that. I don’t want to write a novel, after all!

So I thought “Hey, I’m a creative person. I’m crafty. I have…stuff…in my studio that I can use. Yeah, I can do this!” So I found a little scrapbook folder type thing with ten pages in it at the craft shop and bought some pretty papers and other bits and then dug through all the stuff in my studio to add to it. Should be easy right?

Or not. This was sooooo not as easy as I thought it would be. After a major false start that involved removing glued-on paper in shreds and uttering a few lots of colorful metaphors, I finally got through it. I never did get into the groove of it all, and I wondered why I didn’t just buy the journal thingy…over and over again.

I used a lovely piece of silk shibori ribbon from ShiboriGirl, bits of other ribbons and antique lace from my stash, a little strip of webbing that has a definition of love on it that I’ve had around for years, and some nice linen fabric on the edges. There are things I would do differently if I did it all over again. It doesn’t sit closed nicely (it kind of pops open a bit when you lay it on the table), the back looks upside down because I didn’t reverse the papers when I glued them on, and it’s held together with almost nothing but glue dots and love, but it’s done and only a few hours later than I’d hoped, and IT Man will undoubtedly not notice the flaws:

I have a new appreciation for all you people who do such incredible things with paper and mixed media every day. You are all amazing! I’m a much better artist in fabric than in paper, and the frustration level was definitely high today. I swear I could have made a whole quilt faster than this thing! And I still have to do all the inside pages! But I have to clean up the mess first:


11 thoughts on “A New Appreciation

  1. Hi Nadine,

    I completely understand your frustration! I tried to make a small 8″ x 8″ scrapbook for my husband and I when we got married a couple of years ago. I think I managed to make two, very amateur-looking pages. The rest of the supplies still sit in a basket waiting to be used. I’m sure it will never be finished.

    A friend gave me a 12″ x 12″ wedding scrapbook as a gift. I *know* that one will never be started on!

    I’m sure ITman will love the gift though!



    1. Hey Kelly! I sure hope he loves the gift! Like most men, he’s difficult to buy for…and I’ve used up all my creative gifting energy on this anniversary event, and his Christmas is just sorta “there.” 🙂


  2. *giggle* Lovely mess, sweetie! You know that Torrie used to do those book things, right? I never could get it…. but hers looked neat. In fact, I bought a book about doing them – it’s upstairs somewhere. I opened it once. Nope. Not my thing after all.

    I’m a much better website crafter than anything else any more. Even cross stitch doesn’t grab my interest. And we ALL know I don’t do quilting! Nor do I sew clothing.

    Your completed project is LOVELY though! I know ITMan will enjoy not only the presentation but the actual gift!


      1. Er. Yeah. I’ll see if I can find the book…. And who knows on the cross stitch. I might yet work on it. I still have to send you the list of the DMC colors I need from you.


    1. Hi Rian! Yeah, it was a little bit fun, but only the embellishment parts with the ribbons and lace. Figuring out how to make it all stick—not so much.

      Thanks for the anniversary wishes!


  3. Phew! So you’re human like the rest of us, then!

    Every time I try something like that I expect it be be quick and easy – and it never is.

    Happy Anniversary!


    1. Hey Emma! It’s probably our expectations of “quick and easy” that bite us in the butt every time. If we just set reasonable expectations… 🙂

      Thanks for the anniversary wishes!


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