Pay It Forward Craft Exchange – Part 2

I finally had some time today to follow through on my pledge to send the first three people who responded to this post a handmade gift. It’s been on my mind off and on recently, trying to decide what to make. First of all, I didn’t want to attempt something too complicated, too time consuming or create a mess that would take forever to clean up. Secondly, I didn’t want to have to purchase any new supplies, instead I wanted to try to use materials I already had on hand.

I started off with one of my old standbys, making cards, but after the third one I realized I wasn’t very enthused by how they were turning out. Then one day I was inspired by one of the blogs listed to my blog surfer. Diane Aldred, an English artist, makes really beautiful hand-bound books. They are way too fancy for me to ever attempt, but I liked the idea and began to consider how I could simplify it down to something more manageable. Also, if there is one thing that our household never lacks, it’s paper. Graphic designers just love paper. We collect it, we hoard it and more often than not, what once seemed so precious eventually just sits around gathering dust.

In the end, I decided to recycle some small 3.5 x 3.5 inch Neenah Paper samples and make them new covers. First I cut out a piece of old burgundy colored cover stock that we’ve had since college. Then, using a swivel bladed x-acto, I traced out an abstract cherry blossom design for the front. To highlight the cut-out I simply sandwiched a contrasting piece of pale yellow paper between the cover layers. Et voilà, a handmade piece was complete! And lucky Anne, she’ll even get a matching organza bag that I’m recycling from here for being the first to respond. 🙂

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4 Responses to “Pay It Forward Craft Exchange – Part 2”


  1. 1 Anne August 27, 2007 at 10:05 am

    wow, it’s so beautiful! you are a very talented person, emily. i’m very lucky to know you.

    thanks!

  2. 2 pricklypearbloom August 27, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    I love Neenah!

  3. 3 Tracy September 1, 2007 at 12:42 am

    Your books are absolutely darling. I’m a graphic designer myself, and of course have a huge love for paper as well. I love the simplistic cover design you created on those. I stumbled onto your site as I am researching a trip to the painted hills. And Viola! this cute website appears,I read you are a graphic designer too with a love of the outdoors and crafts and animals. I’m 31 and work for a small ad agency downtown and lead a very similar life. I find after working the 9-5 my creative inspirations fizzle by the time I get home. I always wondered if I didn’t have a creative job if I’d naturally find more time to conquer the laundry list of ideas and projects I have brewing. Any who just wanted to say hi, and it was a fun little happy accident to stumble onto your site. By the way what did you think of the Painted Hills? Any fun places to stay or camp there?

    Tracy Holstad

  4. 4 Diane September 2, 2007 at 8:43 am

    I think the idea of putting the book in the organza bag is sweet. These books are so tiny it is wonderful that you can be so precise and neat. Really lovely work.


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