I’m a creative, experienced, multi-purpose artist and art director
who can take projects start to finish in a variety of styles.

Good designs sell –
my designs sell out!

Saturday, May 17, 2014


I decorated recipe boxes as gifts to the ladies in my office.  I won't claim to be the best at this, but I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself.  Are recipe boxes retro enough?  I usually try to cooperate with illustrationfriday's word for the week, but after all this time with little wooden pieces it seems a shame not to show off what I've been doing with my spare time.  Besides, all of these patterns are variations of themes that have existed next to forever.  Doesn't that count as "retro"?  Okay, it's a stretch, but I don't cheat very often.

I'm tired of playing nice with people this week.  I'm sick of being a responsible peacemaker with people who make me mad.  Why am I always the one who has to suck it in?  Hence, migraines.  If everyone did their share of sucking it in we'd all have a more manageable load and I wouldn't have headaches.

I've always had more than my share of responsibilities.  I got them at home, and I got them at school.  One of my early "jobs" was selling milk and ice cream at lunchtime.  This started when I was a painfully shy 5-yr-old.  The 6th graders were twice my size and I had one of my many moments of thinking that adults are lazy and nuts.

5¢ for white milk, 6¢ for chocolate, 10¢ for ice cream.  My little hand struggled to hold the coins.  Then I had to roll the coins, tally it all up, and file my report each day after reconciling the remaining dairy products against the $ amount I took in.  I'll have you know that I was never under or over in 6 years of money changing.

An older girl smiled at me and I started risking some eye contact with others.  After a while I appreciated my freedom while other kids were stuck in class through all those multiple lunch periods while I had about 2 1/2 hrs of pleasant money counting + my own lunch and recess.  Teachers didn't want me back in class, so my demonstrated ability to shoulder responsibility got me more freedom to wander halls, playground, and library.  I was best buds with the custodian and helped him roll up gym mats and climbed the rope to my heart's content.  It was a double edged sword.  I had freedom, but I didn't want the responsibility, and often felt lonely.

Making a painfully shy child speak with every kid and teacher in the school every day was rather torturous -- until it wasn't.  Maybe selling milk at such a tender age is a direct precursor to me being able to manage an office.  I learned some people skills and got some respect from my peers.

Sometimes I wonder if adult neglect allowed me to stretch my wings in ways that other kids never get to try?  That early responsibilities taught me that I really can do anything?  Or the flip side of it, which is that adults are lazy and nuts.  I'm pretty sure nobody would let this kind of thing happen nowadays, and in some ways I think that's too bad.  All I really know is that this is my life, and since I can't change it, looking at the positives beats looking at the negatives.  Just like a week of migraines forced me to turn off the tv and glue little wooden pieces on recipe boxes, which gave me much-needed time to think out better ways to handle the migraine inducing people.  See, it's all good.  The flowers are blooming and my ladies have pretty boxes too!


  1. Is there anything you can't do? Huh. Love the boxes. And yes, recipe boxes count as retro in my book. :)

  2. I love your boxes! Where did you get the wood to decorate the boxes? What is a recipe box made from? Metal? Wood? Do you buy the recipe boxes, or do you make them yourself? You don't have to answer all that, but maybe just the first question...?

  3. I bought wood recipe boxes at a craft store for about $2.50 each. The wood I used to make the patterns was leftovers from a project we did at work where people wrote the names of their loved ones on the 2" x 2" squares of wood veneer. We glued those names on a big wooden cross, but some people just sent those squares back without names on them. It seemed a waste not to put the blanks to some use. I've got another project in mind to use up more of them. If I get it finished I'll post that too. Thanks for the comments!

  4. These turned out beautiful! The ladies will love them!

  5. Wow Linda the boxes are gorgeous and the ladies must have been thrilled to receive them. They certainly count as retro to me, they remind me of the cherished jewellery box my parents bought home from Italy for me when I was 16. It has lovely wood inlay patters like yours. I'm glad you have managed to sort you headaches in more way than one. Happy week to you x

  6. Aw thanks! The ladies did seem pleased with getting the boxes. It's the least I can do after all they've done to help me out when I took over when the last boss died. They've been wonderful and I wanted to say thanks :)

  7. The boxes are really pretty. Good luck with those pesky migranes. Allergies are my nemesis lately.

  8. I read in a book on children's mental development about research done (I think) in the sixties by the Smithsonian about the childhood of creative geniuses. A common characteristic in their childhoods was the chance to spend plenty of time alone with their own thoughts and projects.. It sounds like you got a chance to get more of that precious alone time than is generally permitted kids in our culture.

  9. I understand allergies too Sharon. I hope you feel better too.

    Maybe my teachers read that book about giving kids time alone? It seemed there were a lot of theories about what to do to kids for their education when I was in school. Some of those theories were downright wrong. Even so, I think I'm mostly glad I had the free time and the responsibilities?

  10. I can see those recipe boxes on an Etsy account commanding top dollar. Just sayin' :)

    More interesting facts about your childhood! I can see your little self doing business. In one way, it appears cute and precocious. In another way, it seems sad based on your memories of it - almost like a touch of child labor.

    I hope you'll grow out of those migraines. There's still time. :)

  11. I probably could get somewhere with Etsy if only I could keep interested in projects after I do a few (or one). The child labor was kind of sad, but it also made me feel good too. Probably contributed to my work-aholism. I'm working on that :)