Q: Did the employee give me the tin?
A: No. I might have hinted to her that I liked it but no, I didn't get the tin.
As a Human Resources Manager at my day job I have a variety of duties including processing payroll, managing benefits and all things related to employee policies and records including ensuring that employees are recognized on their anniversary with the company. Over the years we have given a variety of gifts for years of service and we currently give a $20 gift card to employees every year (they have a choice of a variety of stores) and then we give additional gifts at 5 year intervals.
Somehow I ended up responsible for picking out and purchasing the watches, probably because everyone knows I love to shop. Not really; I hate it! It's very nerve racking to pick out such a personal item, especially because we have our company name engraved on the back of the watch along with "15 years". In other words, the watch cannot be returned. The good news is that we usually have 1 or maybe 2 employees with 15 year anniversaries so I don't have to buy too many watches each year.
I recently picked out a watch for an employee and it came in the tin pictured above. Here's another look:
How stinkin' cute is that? The watch was very nice as well, but I really wanted the tin!
The worst part of this whole story is that when I had my 5 and 10 year anniversary we didn't give the current gifts so I didn't get a t-shirt or sweatshirt. I think I got a tin of popcorn . . . I love popcorn but I would have rather had one of those shirts! I did get a watch, and I'm quickly approaching my 20 year anniversary (how did that happen??!!) so I will get to pick a gift out of a catalog, which will be fun!
As a crafter I tend to see patterns everywhere I look, which is both a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing because things that other people look at and see trash, I see treasure. It's a curse because I have a LOT of treasures! It's really hard to throw things away when you think of them as potential projects.
That's what happened to me on Monday. We were short staffed at work so I volunteered to help open the mail, which on Mondays is a very big job. I ended up with a huge stack of envelopes to open and almost all of them which checks that came in security envelopes.
I don't know if you've noticed, but security envelopes have come a long way baby! As I open the envelopes I kept noticing that the insides of the envelopes were actually very pretty and I was surprised at the variety of colors and patterns. Next thing I knew I was carefully setting them aside and even went so far as to remove some from the trash.
I brought them home and carefully cut open the envelopes and then refolded them so that the pretty insides were now on the outside.
I ended up with quite a stack. The best news is that if the project in my head turns out as well as I think it might I know where I can get an endless supply of additional envelopes!
So, now you are wondering what I plan to do with them, right? I have an idea for a mini album, and I'm talking really mini. I recently bought a book about Japanese book binding, and I think that would be a great way to bind this little album. The book is from a great Etsy seller, Erinzam, and its a beautiful book full of 128 binding projects.
I just got the book yesterday so I haven't had a lot of time to study it yet, but I hope to do so over the next several days and then I'll try out one of the many binding techniques. Of course I will show you how it turns out, so stay tuned!
I'm excited to announce that I just listed a new mini album in my Etsy shop called, The Birds. It's a mini album made from the pages of a vintage (1964) bird watching book. The illustrations in the book are awesome and when I saw it I just knew it would make a great mini album.
The cover of the album, shown here, is a page from the book showing one of the great illustrations and featuring a hand stitched bird. The page has been mounted on a piece of chipboard to make it sturdy enough to be the album cover.
Like my other mini albums this one comes with an embellishment set. This set includes some tags, playing cards, and button embellishments all featuring birds. There are also two handmade quote bubbles, a journaling card from October Afternoon and a paper bird from Martha Steward crafts.
I gave one of the albums to a friend of mine for her birthday because she is definitely a bird watcher! She has started adding photos and embellishments to her album and it's super cute!
There are only two albums available, so if you are interested you should not delay!
I recently purchased a piece of pegboard to hang in my craft space in my on-going effort to make better use of my space. I had planned to paint it a nice, safe color that would blend in with the room but my friends (who are awesome by the way) convinced me to make it a fun, inspirational color. So I did.
My first thought was yellow, because that is my favorite color. However, when I thought about it some more I realized that when it comes to crafting I tend to pick this pretty teal color over and over again! So I went to Wal*Mart and bought a can of paint in this fun color.
Because it's not warm enought to paint outside I set up a painting area in the basement. I put each end of the pegboard on a box to get it up off the floor and then I started painting! I painted two coats to make sure there was good coverage and it's been drying for a couple of weeks. Now I just need to figure out how to hang it on the wall and I'll be in business!
I am really lucky. I had the opportunity to spend last weekend with 6 other women doing crafts. Not just a regular weekend either - a Thursday night to Sunday night weekend. It was grand.
This is a bi-annual event - every April and November a group of us go to Northern Minnesota for a crafty weekend. The number of attendees varies - we have jobs, kids, extended family. There are sporting events, weddings, work, life - that sometimes get in our way, but we all do our best to block off these two weekends so that we can spend them together.
This particular weekend was especially impressive because all seven of us were able to go! That was a record number for us and we had to do a little revamping to all fit in the space but we did it and we had a great time.
Everyone else in the group scrapbooks while I work on other projects, which usually involves mini albums and/or cards, usually for my shop. This past weekend I made birthday party invitations for a sweet little boy that is about to turn one. I also made some cards and tags and then I put together three copies of The Office, a mini album for sale in my Etsy shop. I've already given the invitations away but here are a few photos of projects I worked on.
I finished a few other projects too, and still managed to spend time visiting with friends, eating wonderful food, and I even got a few hours of sleep!
I hope your weekend was productive, fun, relaxing and full of good things.
As I mentioned in my last post the Guest Book that I recently made to be used at 2 different bridal showers was made using a BoBunny Bare Naked Album. The album was 6" x 6" and contained a number of pages, some that had spaces for the guests to sign and some that contained pictures of the bride and groom as they were growing up.
This Guest Book was a custom order, and although I know the mother of the groom I don't know either the bride or groom so when I got their photos I wasn't sure how to go about using them. Should I use quotes about love and marriage? Should I do pages with them separately? Should I ask for more information about the couple to use in the book? Hmm, lots of questions!
As usual, I let all of this bounce around in my brain waiting for inspiration to strike. I find that I often do a lot of thinking about projects before I actually begin and usually that just ends with me having more questions that answers. I finally decided to just sit down with the photos and really look at them and a funny thing happened. I was able to find photos of the bride and groom doing similar things, even though this was when they were little kids and way before they fell in love. Once I realized that the book just fell into place and I decided to match up the photos and let them speak for themselves. Here are the pages. As before, please note that I took the pages out of the book to photograph them and each page is leaning against the open book.
I finally spent some time crafting this weekend - it's been so long since I've actually worked on a project!
I recently had a custom order for a guest book to be used at two bridal showers. I always struggle a bit with guest books because there's the usefulness factor vs the cuteness factor. If I could just make it cute than I would do it one way, but since it needs to be both cute and useful I struggle with the basic design.
For this book I decided to use a Bare Naked Binder from BoBunny. It turned out to be a great choice and I think I'll pick up a few more so I have them on hand for future orders. If you aren't familiar with this binder it's made of heavy chipboard; the binder itself is chipboard with a fabric strip on one side. Inside are binder rings that open and it comes with 6 chipboard pages. I also had an extra page pack and I used a few of those too.
Here's the cover of the album - I covered the chipboard portion with patterned paper and then added a ribbon just for fun. You can see the fabric strip I referred to on the left side.
The couple had such a cute engagement photo that I had to use it on the front cover. I did tack the ribbon down with adhesive just to make sure it stayed in place.
Next I had to decide how the guests would sign the book. As a host I enjoy having the guests write a little note along with their name, and I'm ok with them writing here and there rather than in a row. However, as a guest I like lines to write on and I just want to write my name because there's too much pressure to come up with something clever to say! For this book I did a poll to see what other people like and the response was overwhelming that they prefer to write on a line. I'll be honest here . . . I only polled one person (thanks Mom!). So now I needed to figure out how to provide lines for the guests. Here's what I came up with.
I used Ali Edward's font to write Guests and somehow managed to get it to print right where I wanted it! That took a few trys. The paper I used is called Booknote and it's from BasicGrey. Love this paper! It does have lines, yet they are kind of soft lines so you could use it however you wish.
Because this guest book will be used at more than one shower I made six pages like this. They are all on the front side of a page, and then I decorated the back side of each page using photos of the bride and groom as they were growing up. I'll show you those pages in my next post!