Saturday, September 3, 2011

Happy Birthday Jill!

Well, last night was a magical night of celebrating my SweetFriend Jill's 40th birthday!
Jill and I have been friends since we were 14, we've been roommates, we've been in each other's weddings, had our babies together and have shared countless amazing moments in our lives. 

Back in time a few months.
A week before my 40th birthday, much to the ignoring of TrueLove's commentary "She doesn't want a party," Jill stubbornly surprised me anyway. I thought we were going to a casual lunch and then getting massages, which I was very excited about! 
Thinking, "She really shouldn't be doing so much. 
I just want to slide this birthday right under the radar." 
However, she is sweetly stubborn, and celebrated ME the way she wanted. 
She made a slick and quick suggestion for a change of venue from our usual lunch. 
Then, as we approached the table, 
I saw a bunch of my friends 
waiting for me.
Tears welling up. 
I saw sophisticated floral arrangements that Jill designed, gifts, and "oh jeez! I should've known she was up to something!" 
I felt so loved!
After dessert we hustled over to the massage appointment she made for us and on the way she gave me the 
I cried!
She gave me a photo album of our lives together with the inscription
"Forty Things I Love About Nicole"

OK. You might not know this about me yet, BUT I love to scrapbook. 
Please don't judge me. It's just it combines pictures, 
pattern and color, 
and I just love the idea of using simple things 
to enhance photos, 
which really are, 
tangible memories! 
So I love it. 
Even if it's not cool.
 I admit it. 
I love it so much that usually the whole month of April 
my house is overtaken by paper and pictures, 
because I never let anyone help me put together my kid's programs' Year Book. 
I hog all the fun! 
So, I had just finished 
putting memories together for 20 other families
 and I open my gift,
just for me!
I cried!
So touched!
I can truly appreciate 
the hours of combing through life's memories 
to find just the right ones, 
but the added joy of her compliments and thoughts
about me
was beyond words.
No gift could top it.
A True Treasure!

Sooo, I couldn't wait to get her back with love, memories and fun thoughts! 
So this is what I made for her. 
I wish I would have thought of this for all of my 
but maybe I still can!

This is a repurposed Nancy Drew book.
I was lucky enough to take a class at Scrapbook Territory on Fourth Street in Berkeley.
The book has been painted and embellished into high Heaven, stuffed with memories, stories, and love.
I want to show it to you as inspiration.
I was delighted to take scrapbooking to a more refined level.
So here are a few more peeks.

Inside cover.

Front page.

I love that she laughs at my jokes!

That page on the right was fashioned from a paper lunch bag and acts like a pocket.

Beautiful paper clips attach photos. I did this a few times because I knew that she hadn't seen some of the pictures I had. She has the option of framing them since they are loosely attached.

Here I attached a series of pics. I love these!

I am a junky for beautiful paper! I used a plethora of patterns, colors and sizes to make each page stand out from the last. Here I have a small ticket size card that I made and embellished both sides. The story on the back was a very personal one, so I opted that she could remove it easily and tuck it into one of the pockets or envelopes found in this book. I staged it where she would find it easily.

There is a whole galaxy of trinkets available out there. Here's one that I love. I positioned it on the back inside cover so that she'd end on a fun note. (Get it? the paper under the broach is piano music!)

I can't show you every page. After all, this is for my SweetFriend. I just wanted to give you an idea of how full and stuffed with fun this baby is. One of the pages in an envelope is filled with little jewels, card and fun things that remind me of her.
There are so many things you can do with a handmade gift like this.
I hope you feel inspired.
I'm already dreaming up the next one, collecting things, and combing through boxes of photos.
When I get to that point, I'll try and show you some tricks, but if you ever find a class on how to make these little dreamy books of memories-TAKE THE CLASS!
You want to take a class because they hook you up with everything you need and demonstrate products that I never would have looked at prior to the class.

Dear Jill,
You are such a special person. 
There truly are not words for the beauty you bring to this life 
and to the people who share it with you.
This world is blessed to have you. 
I hope your birthday is filled with all the tenderness 
and joy 
that you shower on others during their special celebrations. 
I hope your heart captures for at least a moment, how dear you are to me. 
This book is a piece of my heart. 
And I hope you enjoy it forever!
Lots of Love,

I am passionate about packaging!
after putting a piece of my heart into that book,
the packaging needed to set a tone.
I will do a future posting on my obsession with ribbon 
and my long term relationship with the ribbon wall
at Richard's Craft Store.
I started by taking my gift to the ribbon wall so that I could
choose colors that complimented the home spun
vintage vibe of the cover.
Layering ribbons is one of my signature tricks 
for dressing up
a gift.
I felt like this gift was asking for three ribbons.
A wide 2" satin gold ribbon, a 1" church punch pink color,
and the top layer that gorgeous chocolaty brown 
vintage looking lace.
I then took it all over to my sweet friend Missy at
Twigss Floral Studio
and asked her if she had any ideas for the fabric.
Use your resources.
 A floral designer 
a person with the joy
and knowledge of how to make
all kinds of things look pretty
and are often delighted to share their expertise.
After fussing over a few boxes 
she uncovers about a 1/2 yard of burlap.
We wrapped a plain shipping box
with the burlap,
finessed it until we got the look we liked,
I layered up my ribbon and just knotted it at the top.
When you layer ribbon
sometimes it makes a bow look big and sloppy.
A simple knot worked!
Also, I had planned to hot glue my ribbons together, 
a painstaking risky plan,
but Missy suggested her turbo-sticky industrial strength
invisible glue dots. 
I just tacked a few pieces is select spots
and the lay of the ribbons 
turned out beautiful.
Once we tied it up
I felt like it needed some sparkle.
I thought a fresh flower might be nice 
but it would not have lasted 
until the party.
So I walked down to a little vintage boutique
on Prospect and found
a broach 
that finished it off

Of course, 
The broach becomes part of the gift too!
I decided to show you this
not just because
it's pretty,
but also because it shows how 
the package really sets the stage
for what is waiting inside.
And in this case,
it was a bit of a group effort!

1 comment:

  1. Nicole what an amazing job you did!! It inspires me.Thanks for posting it! Kathy R