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Mother’s Day Gift Idea: A “Time To Create” Box

post by Andrea

One of the things I think all women crave more of, especially women that love to create, is time.  And if you’re a mother of young children, this rings even more true.  My husband always seems perplexed each year as to what to get me for Mother’s Day, and I’m admittedly not much help.  But this year I created in my head what the perfect gift would be.  An afternoon off, to sit around and make stuff.  Projects I’ve been meaning to get around to, new beads I’ve wanted to play with, pretty paper that’s just itching to be used.  A crafternoon if you will, made even better by a box of plenty, filled with fun and pretty items to craft and create with.  It doesn’t get much easier or convenient than that, right?  Below is what my perfect crafting box would look like, and how I created it, but really, you can adjust it to the needs and interests of any special woman in your life.

You begin of course with a lovely box.  Add some shredded paper so items don’t shift all around, and then layer a few sheets of tissue paper over that.

Begin filling the box with your items, largest at the bottom, and build up from there.  The color scheme of this box was based primarily off this nautical themed paper I found at Paper Source, with rich shades of navy, crimson and jade, offset by a soft shade of pool blue.  Paper crafting is an easy and stress free way to spend the afternoon, so the majority of the items in the box center around paper crafts, with a few fun extras throw in.

Stamps and stamp pads are an easy and inexpensive way to create personalized stationery, so several of each were added in, as well as a stack of simple white card stock and kraft paper envelopes.

Gel pens in coordinating colors and a genius of an invention, the glue pen, were included.  Personalize your note cards by writing a message with the glue pen, then sprinkling some glitter on top.  The aquatic and polka dot paper is cut out and used to line envelopes, a simple, yet festive touch.

A few added odds and ends include bottles of nail polish, glitter, and some interesting beads, just in case I want to do something different.  The beads are used to make a funky keychain so I can find my keys in my purse, and why yes, a manicure with a bit of glitter is called for.  And if you have a keen eye, you might have noticed the wrapped coffee gift card up top.  A good coffee drink is essential for any creative afternoon.

In case you do want to create a box similar to mine, here is a list of resources:

While this box was pretty much made for me and my interests, you can create something with just about any theme in mind.  Specialty spices and non-perishable food mixes from Williams Sonoma for the foodie in your life.  Fabric swatches and coordinating thread and a new sewing pattern for the seamstress.  For the gardener, you could even think outside the box and give a pretty terrarium filled with all the necessary items to create one like Nicole’s.  Whatever is in the box though, it will surely be appreciated if given with the promise of just a little extra time to herself.

Three Years Old (Eleanor’s Yearly Photo)

I took a monthly photo of Eleanor in the same Eames rocker, in the same spot in my living room, every month for two years. (I’m currently doing the same thing for her little brother, August, but in a different room.) I kept her outfit simple so that the focus would be on her as she grew, not what she was wearing. When I came to the end of my two-year project, I decided to keep the tradition going, but to switch to yearly photographs at that point.

My baby girl turned three on Sunday. Here is her yearly photo.

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Handpainted Wooden Clothespin Dolls

I made this motley crew. Not to be confused with the Crüe, though that would be rad.

Eleanor is old enough now to be interested in arts and crafts (YAY!), so we’ve been doing a lot of little projects lately. Beaded bracelets, pom pom critters, painted birdhouses, braided pipe cleaner things, and now, clothespin people. Most of the time, I let her do her thing with a little supervision and a little guidance, but I couldn’t resist making a bunch of these myself.

I’ve missed making pretty little things for the fun of it.

Eleanor plays with them all, the ones I’ve made mixed with the ones she did and the ones from daddy, too. Here, they are exploring the icy landscape of a Star Wars toy that was Brandon’s as a kid. Hoth, maybe? I have no idea.

Reunited, and it feels so good.

Brandon made his first, and he used a sharpie (markers bleed and feather on the wood). He says he would have made his better had he known I would be photographing them. Eleanor used paint for a few, but markers are better for a toddler (no drying time), so I encouraged her to use them as much as I could. I used craft paint for mine, because you know I am hardcore like that. Also, Brandon says all of mine are hunchbacks. I say it’s better to see the arms from the front so they don’t look limbless. Tom-ay-to/tom-ah-to.

I put together a roundup of all my favorite clothespin and peg dolls, but I did it after I made mine. Now that I’ve seen how many good ones are out there, I might have to get my hands on some different shapes to expand our set.

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