This is my crafty, creative, crazy life! Sometimes I just like to Hide n' Go Scrap!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A gift for the Boss that has everything!

It's that time of year again, when my co-worker and I ask each other, "What are we getting our Bosses for Christmas?"  We work for a guy who owns real estate and his wife works with us in the office.  These are the quintessential "people-that-have-everything-they-ever-wanted-or-needed-so-what-the-heck-do-you-get-them" people!!  Last year we put a lot of thought into their gifts and while I think they really appreciated them, I am just not sure they got any use out of them.  I really hate to get people gifts that will sit around and be useless (unless they're collector's of useless crap), so the challenge was on! 

I knew I wanted to get them an awesome experience, something to do that, hopefully, they'd never done before.  You know, create memories instead of accumulate more stuff to set around.  But again, they are goers-and-doers, they like to be active so I knew this challenge might not be easy to accomplish. My co-worker, who happens to be one of my really good friends, thought of a rock climbing experience.  We researched it and found a local indoor rock climbing place and it was affordable; however, I thought that's good, but I just don't think that's IT.

Then it hit me...a helicopter ride! Again, we researched it and made calls, but it was too expensive!!! 

That idea led me to my second idea...a hot air balloon ride! Once again, we researched it and while it was not as expensive as the helicopter ride it was still out of our reach since we waited too long and Christmas was only one payday away.  This was my favorite though, so I told my co-worker-friend that we need to save up for next year and do this! Which makes me really happy since we won't encounter this dilemma for at least 2 more years!!! 

Next, I looked to my trusty friend Google.  Google is my go-to in any case of searching.  I simply typed in "giving the gift of an experience" you may laugh but anyone who knows me knows I am champion Googler.  I Google for all occasions and all bits of information I don't know.  My co-worker and I can start to search for something at work and I inevitably find it first, which really irks her. Or, I can allow her to search something and when she doesn't find it I will go right to it; again, this really irks her.  So in this search I found a website that specializes in gifting experiences, that's in their tagline!! I scrolled through tons of pages and found everything from Indy car driver for the day to hiring a personal chef for a special meal.  You can even fly a fighter plane in a simulated air fight and you don't have to have a pilot's license.  There were so many choices but alas they were either not close to home, a little bizarre or too expensive.    

That's when I found it; I hit 'next page' and there it was staring at me.  I sheepishly said, "I think I found it."  To which she replied, "What?"  I am sure she wasn't confident in my announcement since I had just rattled of a litany of crazy experiences that we'd never choose.  But, when I said,"a murder mystery dinner show!" she actually paused with careful consideration.  That pause spoke to me and said, "Ding ding ding we have a winner!"  After little debate and hesitation we agreed, this was definitely IT! 

Feeling that the presentation of any gift is the most exciting element, I knew exactly how I wanted to present it.  That, and we didn't have time to wait for shipment of the certificate in the mail.  This is how we presented our bosses with their experience last night at our Christmas dinner.

It's an altered cigar box!!!

Because we were giving them a murder mystery dinner show experience we thought using Clue as our theme would be fun!

I used a glitter chipboard frame to highlight the title Clue.  I used layers of flowers and inked them to make them look rustic.  I also placed the arrow in the bottom right corner and foot print stickers because I thought it was cute.

This cigar box had writing on both outer sides so I painted the bottom half of the box black and then applied distressed crackle paint for a really cool effect!  I also applied distress stain onto the dried crackle paint.

I lined the inside with red velvet paper.

This is my favorite part! I envisioned a card that opened from different sides announcing the gift.  This is the top, I thought the blood splat and question mark would have them really wondering what they were getting!

After lifting the top of the card straight up, this was the first thing they'd see.  That was the name of the website we purchased from, but again, with them not knowing that they'd still be in suspense.  I also placed a line of rhinestones along the bottom that made it sparkle.

The first flap opens to the right, revealing the next, pictured here.  This was on the emailed certificate and I thought it was very fitting since I'd originally Googled for gift "experiences!"

The final flap opened to the left to reveal the gift inside!  

Now we included the certificate that was emailed to us under the shreds at the bottom of the box so that she has her purchase code and directions on how to redeem.  But I was so excited to create what I envisioned and even more excited that they REALLY liked it! My boss even said she may have me make another so she can gift it to her Mom and Step-Dad since she was having a hard time figuring out what to get them!! (Hmm...I know the feeling! LOL)

Until next time, I'm going to...
Hidn' GScrap!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Twilight Altered Cigar Box

I wanted to share the Twilight themed Altered Cigar Box I created for a swap. Recently, I have fallen in love with cigar boxes; and, altering them is a great outlet for collage-style (which I love) creativity!

My partner in this swap picked Edward as her theme. 

This is the what I created:

I used a cigar box that was already black to begin with.  I used deep red rose paper to cover the top for the background.  I used bling to give it some sparkle and I also added dimensional flourishes and roses. I chose to place the pictures onto tags because I also love to create tags!

 This is my favorite quote from the entire series so I just had to include it too! How perfect that it happens to be an Edward quote! 
(It doesn't appear so washed out looking in person.)

 I used glittery foam letters for his name and found the perfect silver trim to accent the box all the way around.

For the inside I had this vision of a collage using lots of different Edward pictures from all the different movies; I think it turned out quite dreamy!

I used red velvet paper to line the bottom of the inside and small black trim to go around the inside edges.  The trim gives it a more finished appearance.

This is a close up of my collage. I also turned this picture into my desktop background on my computer at work; how nice to look at Edward all day long. I used gem hearts, dimensional gel flourishes and roses for accents.

I had so much fun creating this treasure for my partner; I was actually quite sad to see it go. But I know she will enjoy it and I can always create more whenever the mood strikes me! I think next I may try to do one for each movie in the series, that sounds like therapeutic fun for sure!

Now I will leave you with a close up of my favorite tag from the front of the box, enjoy and until next time be sure to...
Hidn' GScrap!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

A New Creative Outlet

I love to read.  I feel like I must admit that the Twilight series is what delivered my passion for reading back to me.  After returning to school a little later in life, I only read textbooks for so long that I forgot the joy you can find in building some one's whole world inside your head, while reading a great book! Once I finished the Twilight series (and developed a healthy attraction to both shape shifting wolves and sparkly vampires), I moved on to the Sookie Stackhouse novels, devouring them in no time.  Then, I branched out.  Hesitant at first, I stayed with more vampire series and then eventually moved on to paranormal related stories.  There is one thing that I find in EVERY book I read.  I find this in each book partly because humans do the writing; the thing I find in every book I read is....MISTAKES!!!! Everyone makes mistakes, there's nothing wrong with the act of making error, but I always thought that the job of a proofreader/editor was to correct the mistakes and make the author look good! 

Some books contain way more mistakes than others but inevitably every book has them!  While I am reading, if they are minor mistakes, or if the story is THAT good, I can overlook a lot but sometimes it's a deal breaker - I have literally sat a book down, and either never to picked it back up (if the mistakes are too numerous to get by) or left it down for a really long time.  Which leads me to announce my new creative outlet.  OK, so this may not be construed as a "creative outlet" for some but I am over the moon with excitement!  I have always wanted to proofread a book, before it is published.  You could say it's on my "bucket list." 

After reading one of my many vampire tales I noticed that the author was on Facebook.  Sooo, I looked her up, I friend requested her and I wrote her a long private message!  I asked her questions about the book writing process, publishing and, of course, proofreading.  My friend request was accepted right away, but my message never garnered a response.  After two weeks, I brushed it off and thought, "oh well she must not be into sharing info and helping someone out like that."  Lo and behold, some more time passed and I actually got a response.  Turned out that my message went into some security file and she totally overlooked it.  She felt bad and returned a very nice and very lengthy reponse answering all my questions and sharing a wealth of information with me!  We exchanged several messages and at the end of that string of correspondence I was a wee bit deflated.  I had gathered that most proofreading is done in 2 days, fast turn around.  I knew that this would never come to fruition for me because I am not a speed reader! (Now, my friend Kim, I think she could read the Bible in an afternoon - yes, I am exagerating but she reads really fast!)  I thanked the author profusely for sharing her knowledge with me and I started to let that dream go.

THEN, almost a month later I get an email from the same author.  She says she is trying to determine her release date for the 3rd book in her series and wondered how long it would take me to proof it for her.  I was confused, then I remembered, I never told her that I wasn't a speed reader, how kind of her to think of me though.  When I told her that I had to let that dream go she looked back through our messages and admitted to seeing where I had gotten that impression.  Come to find out, 2 days is usually what the big publishing houses can deliver but for "Indie Authors," they can afford more time than that!!! Can you guess my reaction...I was overjoyed, elated, brimming with excitement!!! She agreed to my request of a week and would send me a copy shortly.

Sooooo, tonight concludes my week and I am so excited that I have actually gotten to proofread a book before it is published!  I enjoy proofreading so much and I actually have fun doing it.  I know this may seem small and insignificant to most, but it makes me feel great knowing that someone may read this book and enjoy the read without focusing on a mistake that otherwise may have been there glaring them in the face, daring them not to set the book down!

Now that I have concluded my role as a proofreader, this week, I can go back and...

Hide n' Go Scrap!