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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My Life Box - Configuration Box

April 19th and 20th I went to two workshops in Westbrook, CT ( brought about by Beautiful Impressions) of Tim Holtz's called Journeys of the past and Configuration of the Imagination.

This is my Configuration of the Imagination (Configuration Box) project. It is a box of my life.

Note the dangling charms hanging from the top spin of the book, those are of my favorite books (I love to read) The Hunger Games. It is of a Mockingjay, white rose, berry,etc.

Here is a look at the tag book hanging on the left.
(Sorry about the shadows, I took these pictures on my porch).

The bottom tag with the blue/purple is part of the tag I wore during the workshop. 

That ticket is my lucky ticket I won a stamp set with. 
The top is a picture of Beautiful Impressions and the bottom are of the place we had the workshops.

We all had numbers for purchasing reasons and I was #11.

The flier I saw from Beautiful Impressions about Tim Holtz coming. 

April 19th was the book signing and that is just a picture of what he put in my book.

The 20th was the workshops.

The top shows the kit (for class 1) and the bottom is what it should look like when done.
(I call it class, they call it workshop....same thing to me.) 

The top is the configuration box before and the bottom is suppose to be after.

Top is picture of us in class and Tim Holtz on the bottom.
(They may have had "Tool Tim" on TV but I had "Tim Time!")

It looks sick in this photo but that is a tattered flower on top. 
It also says, "Tim has a great..."
On the bottom it says tag it says, "Sense of humor"

Pictures with Tim and Mario (bottom is them with me). 

Now on to the box....

Note the little reddish book in the bottom left. It is the 'key' to this box. 

What is written in it, I'll explain...

Here is a closer look at the top half.

Starting from the top left to right. 10/15/59 is my birthdate. Do you remember View Masters? A childhood treat we had when we were young. This one is of Disney again, signifying youth. It is hard to tell in the photo but there is a bear right after the date and one sitting in the corner by the light. That is because right before I was born my Mother told my brother she would buy him a bear when she went into town. She ended up in labor and had me so when she brought me home my brother thought she brought home his bear and he called me "Bear" for quite some time. The light (which does work) is so you can see, just as when I was born, a new person was seen. The butterfly, just as it was in a cocoon (womb) it emerges able to live on the outside (birth).

Next to it is the word "Memories" and has a cage hanging with a lot of white pearls but a couple black. I have mostly fond memories of my childhood but like most people there are some dark times (like when my parents split).

Next to that is a charm that says "Sweet 16" with a car under it. Yep, I got my licence then. Also the wing on the outside is because that is also when I thought it was time (timepiece) to spread my wings and fly. It is when I moved out on my own, when I had to be creative and start my own journey.

In the second row: My name with a bottle of dreams in the corner and the words "in dreams we catch glimpses of life larger than our own". Which really sums up my teen years since I was married and had 3 children. I was full of dreams for not only my future but my children's....and my dreams for them were certainly 'larger' than my own.

Next to that I have a blue star with a domino (3 on one side and 2 on the other) in front that says, "You're in the Army". That is because I come from a long line of military (men mostly). The 3 is because I have 2 brothers and all 3 of us went into the Army. The 2 is because I have 2 sons and they both also joined the Army.

Next to that is a charm of $5 with the three wishbones and the 40 on the ruler in front. When I was 40, all my wishes didn't come true and all I had were them, my 3 kids (3 wishbones) and about $5 in my pocket.

Next to that is RIP Mom and George (my step-father). I don't think it needs explaining nor the "Not all of Life is a Joy". In the filmstrip is the earrings I (and my oldest son) bought my mother when we went to the Grand Canyon. She loved them earrings and never took them off....they were taken off after she passed.

Here is a closer look at the bottom half.

It is hard to see because of the angle but there is a 50 behind the head of the statue. When I turned 50 I felt old and things I liked to do didn't seem important any longer. I kept my dreams, wishes, wants, all locked away (keyhole). What good were they, they never came to reality. I guess to sum it up, mid-life crisis. The metal sign across it says, "Reality has limits, Imagination is boundless". I was feeling the reality part but then a light went off (the bulb on its side) and everything came together and I was able to move on. 

The family tree has 13 leaves. I have 12 grandchildren (1 not born yet) but I put 13 because I know Danny and Christina will have another (even though they said Damien was all they were having). The key is to unlock my dreams so I can have them again. I also have a wedding ring and "Jerry" which is my husband. All the dogs and cats are because we have been adopted by many of them. Currently we have 3 dogs and 2 inside cats and 7 outdoor cats. Feeding all the outdoor cats is fun because I also have every raccoon, possum, and skunk coming over too. (My dog cornered one skunk and needless to say we smelt like a skunk for weeks). You can't see it good but there is also an owl in there on the left for Jerry's and my first real date. We were waiting for a flea market to open and sitting in the car talking, listening to the owls hoot. The bed headboard has "You made your bed, now sleep in it." We say it meaning, make sure you know what you're doing because you (and you alone) are responsible for the outcome of it. The tag on the back wall says, "No journey is too great if you find what you seek". How true it is! My journey is proof of that. (This is actually part of the tag we wore with our names the day of the workshop but I thought it was so fitting I included it here because I couldn't have said it better myself!)

On the bottom is the book that explains all that I have just explained and next to that is NC with "future" and a farm scene. This is because Jerry and I bought some land (farm) in NC and we plan on moving when he retires (in the future). Jerry loves pigs and he wants to get a pig.

Next to that....Time Ends (for me). 

So there you have it, My Life Box. 


  1. I love this it is so beautiful and what I great way to show what brings you joy in life!

  2. What beautiful a job you did, Sue! I had no idea how detailed this project was as you were talking about it. It is such a treasure and you did such a great job telling so much about your life with it. I hope you feel good about the completed project, because it is so well done and quite creative!

  3. Ok Sue, lots of questions. Could you please tell me the answers when you have time either in my Fiskateer email or fiskars chatty crafters post?
    1. How did you make the front "book page" type cover? How is it adhered to the box to look like it is a book binding?
    2. How do you keep all the items - light bulb, pig, key, etc adhered so they don't fall off or out?

    Your life box choked me up! It tells quite the story. I don't think I am brave enough to make one. I have a different plans for mine. Thanks so much for sharing yours and helping me by answering my questions AND inspiring me!!!

    1. Hi Kelly, Thanks for the comment. To answer your questions...

      1. The front of the book is a sheet of paper. I used Tim Holtz but take a sheet of paper of your choice just make sure it is thick vs. thin. By this I mean you want something thicker than say printer paper because you need to cover the front with glue and thin paper will just wrinkle and not lay flat. I used Glue N' Seal by Ranger/Inkssentials. Just 'paint' an even coat with the box cover with it and lay your paper on it. Press it down, smooth it out and let it dry. (It doesn't take long.) I also used some designs/letters which are grunge also from Tim Holtz but you can use anything on the cover. I used the Glue N' Seal to add them too.

      Before you ask, the edges of paper are 'sealed' to the book with a type of tape that Tim Holtz has. It is similar to Washi Tape. (This is also done on the inside of the box edges where each box is set into it to make it seamless and around the outside of the box.) I had to use the Glue N' Seal to keep the tape down because I live in high humidity, the tape just lifted up/didn't stay stuck. I suggest you save yourself the aggravation I went through and just use the Glue N' Seal on each piece as you're putting them down.

      3. The papers are in the box with the Glue N' Seal but the 'pieces' are glued in with clear E6000 which you can get at most craft stores or even Walmart. I love this glue but to be honest with you, it does smell until it is dry. (If you're sensitive to the smell you may want to do this step on your porch or open a window). I mean it isn't going to knock you over but it does smell like say...model glue. Good thing is once it is dry, I don't smell it any longer.

      If you have any other questions please feel free to ask.

    2. Oh...I almost forgot. The binding of the book (on the outside) is a strip of that canvas (sticky on the back). All I did is paint and ink it and then apply it. Super easy to make look 'old'.

  4. This is great!
    Thanks for sharing!


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