Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Boxing Day

I'm quite obsessed with houses. I've been doodling them since my childhood and seeing a little house, a toy... a well done birdhouse... always makes me smile.
These are gift boxes I made from recycled shipping boxes. I snatched the idea from a recent Craft: magazine and ran with it. (I just can't keep it simple apparently!)
This was a grocery box that was pretty much covered with writing, so I covered it in choice papers and vintage scrap for my mom, who loves Victorian and old-fashioned looking things.
This was for my sister and we tucked Asian-themed gifties inside. I used various recycled scraps - the roof is made from heavy weight paper ads from a graphics magazine.
My personal challenge in making these was letting go of perfection. I really like tidy edges and symmetrical things, but using packing boxes doesn't allow for that. Plus, it's hard to get better as you go as each box is different and things glue differently to them, they cut differently, and so on. So, wabi sabi, right?

I hope the boxes go on to find another life in their new homes or even travel on as gifts to other people. I like thinking about them on little journeys into the future.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tagging Back

I've always been enchanted by the concept of random acts of kindness. I like surprising people, but I like to keep it simple. And I like to be surprised in return. That's why I'm a big fan of www.sendsomething.net. There are no strings attached. You post a profile and see if the universe sends you something- a random act of kindness. The other fun part of the site is that you can generate random addresses and surprise someone back. Or you can search for different interests or key words and get a list of people that fit your search.

In late fall I received a fun handmade postcard from a woman in Pasadena, California. I set it aside and when I had the time, I painted and collaged a piece to return. (Mine is the one in front, her card is in back.) I wrote a brief note on the back, packaged it in a clear cello mailer with goodies tucked inside and sent it along to sunny California.

I like the simplicity of just sending something and expecting nothing in return. I find the idea of moderated 'trades' or a site like www.postcrossing.com too confining. (oh, and don't get me started on swap-bot.com - a place in my opinion that wrings the joy out of creating!) These formal places don't suit my busy life or my need to just make someone's day... without expecting something in return. And I suppose I also learn, each time I send a small, original item, the beauty of letting go.

But a tag back or tag forward is always wonderful!