In the Cards

This book was a work of the heart for me, and took me on a bit of an emotional roller coaster. My mother-in-law, Kay, had asked me to make this for my husband cousin’s son Carson’s baby shower, a week before she passed away unexpectedly. She had found the idea of making a mini book out of a deck of playing cards, in an issue of Paper Crafts from a few years ago. She left everything organized for me, including the photos and cards, and a list of the order to put all 18 of the baby pictures of each of the members of the family. We had discussed it with excitement so many times, and we were so ready to see the baby. Unfortunately, the first time *I* saw the baby, was at Kay’s funeral.

I created a pocket that has a special note for Carson, about this book, and about how the family loves him so. It also tells him about how his great aunt Kay had planned the project, and was so excited to meet him.

I “tested” punching the binding holes on a few of the extra cards. The cover is Gauche Alchemy ouchless cardboard, and trimmed to just the right size, before distrezzing a bit, and binding with my bind-it-all. I thought the 1″ white o wire was perfect with the black, white and red theme.  It was a challenge for me to fit my embellishy style on such a small area, but I decided to just keep it simple. I think that simple really worked.

The book is in chronological order from oldest member of the family (at the time, it was Kay, at age 72), to the youngest. This is a super way of memory keeping baby pictures of generations of those that have grown up and been added to a family. It gives a child perspective about what each of the members may have been like when they were their age (or younger, obviously).

Kay had left the instruction that her brother, Bill, and my husband, Ken should be on the joker cards….as they are the family jokesters.

I am usually thrilled to share my handmade gifts. This time….I was just terribly sad. I knew (and I was right) that it would take the happy vibe out of the celebration, but it really was a special gift, and it seemed like Kay was there with us, enjoying the moment. The album made Lauren cry. That was hard.

When thinking about how I would wrap this little mini, I thought a plain box wouldn’t work. So, I pulled out a cardboard box I’d found at Hobby Lobby a long time ago, and altered it to match the mini album theme

I had my daughter prep it for me with some gesso, and after it dried, I misted it with black Dylusions mist, and bright red mist by Clearsnap.

I didn’t mind that it ran a bit, I thought it made a neat graffiti style look. I wrapped the box with a bit of seam binding, and then added some  cool Washi Tape.

Adding some playing cards, punchinella, washi tape,  a zipper trim, a grunge board swirl, and a crocheted flower made the top of the box look like it is fit for a King.

I’m so glad that I had the gift of making this special little album. I hope it is something that Carson can look through in many years, and feel the love that came from someone who never got the chance to meet him.

This is simply a gratuitous baby love photo, of the gift recipient. Isn’t he just so sweet?


Have a lovely day, Gnomies. I’ll be back soon with something special.

~Blessings, A

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5 Comments on “In the Cards”

  1. Scraps says:

    Oh, wow–such a great idea and a fabulous project but I can definitely see the bittersweet. Thank you for sharing, Amy!

  2. Dara Lynn says:

    What a beautiful mini to cherish!!! I had to stop for a second when I saw Great Granny Mary Etta with Kay….. I have a grandmother named Willie Etta and a Great Aunt Kay that I never got to meet….we lost her to a drunk driver. It certainly jarred a special place in my heart…as I have pictures of Kay when she was a baby and Grandma Willie Etta holding her…Your mother in law would have truly been very proud of you Amy Lynn – your bloggy friend Dara Lynn!~

  3. Lynne W says:

    What a gorgeous mini and box!! I’m sure that your Great Aunt Kay, knew exactly what she was doing when she left this project in your loving hands! Bittersweet….yes! Thanks for sharing your mini and the beautiful story behind it.

  4. Chipper says:

    That is just beautiful. I am so glad that she had it all prepared. The gift comes from the two of you even though it was you who made it. It would have been an emotional task and I thank you for sharing it with us. My daughter asked me last night why people die. The mom of one of her friends unexpectedly passed away on the weekend. I really didn’t know what to say.

  5. WOW!! This truly is a work of the heart and brought tears to my eyes. It is spectacular and I know your family will cherish it. Just wanted to stop by and say welcome to the PP DT! Have a blessed week! Melisa


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