Wednesday, January 9, 2013


In these days after Christmas, when we are plugging in our new toys and returning sweaters that might have fit in 8th grade, it occurs to me that I need to think more intentionally about gifts.

Here's why:

This No. 4D Small Parts Cabinet was a gift from my college pal Joyce. The label says Suggested uses: Home work shop, sewing room, child's room, stock room, gas stations, radio shops, watchmakers.

Truth be told, I am a small box junkie. But this is not just any kind of industrial gray box. No, ma'am. This is a creatively inspired box collage, pieced from Joyce's heart. 

Its contents are about me, about Joyce, and about what can inspire us. And what can make us laugh. ("We have a kitchen because it came with the house," says the strip of paper in the corner.)

It's about writing in colors and maybe adding French fleur-de-lis ribbon to a quilt that I  finally started making last week. (Joyce and I chose the fabrics for this particular project, oh, two years ago. Maybe longer.)

It's about mother-of-pearl buttons from her Mom's button box. And pictures of Joyce's parents, heartbreakingly young. (This was the drawer that made me cry on my birthday. I can only manage a quick peek every once in awhile.)
The last drawer has a new pair of embroidery scissors, Glue Dots and this picture:

This would be Joyce successfully creeping me out with the notion of a hand, which happens to be hers, plunging naked into a candy bowl. The setting was our daughter's wedding in August, and yes, I am in therapy, possibly forever, because of it.

So, 349 days to get my act together, if the Christmas Countdown Clock is to be believed. I don't know if I can rise to a box collage of this caliber for everyone on my list, but try I shall.

Any gifts stand out for you? Or are you just as happy with a bottle of aftershave and a Florida fruit basket? Leave a note in the comments section. And please, for me, always use the candy scoop.

Each week Naperville Now participates in Mrs. Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. This week we are studying the letter H. See what other Alphabetarians are writing about here.


JDaniel4's Mom said...

This is such a wonderful gift! What a great idea!

Carol L McKenna said...

What a marvelous gift ~ she certainly knows you ~ Wow!

(A Creative Harbor) aka ArtMuseDog and Carol)

Claudia Willison said...

What a beautiful gift. Love the hand :) Stopping by from Alphabe- Thursday - mine for letter 'H' = Hands @ ImagesByCW

edenhills said...

What a wonderful thoughtful gift. That's the kind of gift I like. Otherwise, I am just fine without a gift.

Judie said...

Hahahaha! We would be best friends for sure!! A fabulous gift that makes me drool! Just thinking about the possibilites makes me tingle!!! Enough said!!

Pamela said...

What a special gift! So beautiful and thoughtful. :)

Lola said...

Hi again!

Terrific, thoughtful gift!

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great Alphabe-Thursday and weekend too,

Visiting from Alphabe-Thursday

Tina´s PicStory said...

nice H shots! happy H-day :)

EG CameraGirl said...

You have such a thoughtful friend and role model. :)

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

I love getting a gift that obviously had some thought put into it...

debra said...

Wow what a friend! :) That's awesome! : )
I got a cold from my grandson...that's the gift that's lasted the longest so far, ha ha

VBR said...

What a gorgeous gift! You must be so pleased with it.
Isn't it wonderful when you get a gift that someone has put a great deal of thought into?
Lovely, just lovely.

Joyce said...

Hi, I am Joyce, finder and filler of the 4D Small Parts Cabinet. I loved every minute of finding things I knew Sue would love, starting with the vintage fleur de lis sequins I unearthed at the giant Sandy Schor Beads booth at the quilt show in Houston. I am honored to have my gift featured in Naperville Now. The photo of my hand in the candy is a reference to the fact that I predicted the candy bar at Anna's wedding would be beautiful, but barely touched by the end of the evening. Right on the first part of my prediction, wrong wrong wrong on the second part. Also I know how Sue feels about people touching publicly displayed candy wit their (dirty!) hands. So I had the rare opportunity to make her both laugh and gag. My hands were clean, by the way, and I did not actually touch the candy. I thought about plunging my hands into the bowl for the photo, but feared that would result in Sue having to plan and execute the reception all over again. Just on the basis of nausea. Love you, Sue Sue!

Irene said...

I love small boxes and baskets and fill them ip with miscelaneous items until they are full and I have to move on to the next one causing me to have to gather many and disperse them all over the apartment although I do clean them out sometimes. Maybe they will be discovered in an archeological dig in a few millenia. Your cabinet looks great and what a thoughtful gift it is.

Pride In Photos said...

I too love little boxes with drawers etc. Aaaahhh...sigh! It is adorable.
Laurie @ PrideinPhotos

Sharon said...

And don't double dip.

Nancy said...

When I turned 40,( I am certain it was just last year?), my BF sent a huge package to my house. Inside were 12 small gifts each one wrapped and bearing a tag with a time of day. The idea was that each hour of the day, on my birthday, I would have a package to open. It was great fun. The gifts were small but personal things that meant something special to me. I loved every minute of that day as each hour I stopped and opened another tiny box. I still remember it with a smile on my face!

Jenny said...

What a wonderful box!

This is the neatest gift!

I'm going to keep my eyeballs peeled for something like it!

Handy AND fun!

Thanks for the smile.