Practical Recycling – Central Park

Practical Recycling – Central Park

Hi there!
Thanks for stopping by on this rainy day.
It’s raining cats and dogs here!
On the rare Sunday when we are at home, it’s roast dinner day,
and I love making it all lovely and homely.
Lamb today.
There’s nothing quite like feeding a bunch of grateful men, 
is there? Mark, his friend Deklan, Dave and my brother Steve certainly fit that bill!
Then Grace called from New York, 
so she was in the kitchen chattering away on Facetime, 
and catching up with her Uncle Steve & Co. 
Here she is, having a lazy Sunday in New York…
Cor I do miss that kid.

My brother, aka Sherlock, observed that she still had her fairy lights up round the window from Christmas.
Her response was that anybody living in bleak New York today would be happy to brighten up their room with some twinkling lights! Bless that kid!
But there we have it. 
Acceptance is the key to all my problems today.
Today was a kind of last Sunday roast before Mark heads off to California too!
Blimey! You’ve got to wonder what I did so wrong, 
that my kids want to live so far away!
Or maybe I did it right, 
and they have the courage to go for it and JFDI.
But when the meal was eaten, 
and Dave was chilling, 
and my brother had gone home, 
and the lads went to play X-Box,
I decided to come upstairs and spend an hour with Grace 
(virtually, in my mind, you understand!)
I was given a rather lovely box of posh chocolates for Christmas.
The Box was just too nice to throw away!
Look! Really solid, too.

and the inside is gorgeous!

So I decided to tart the box up, 
hide the Fortnum and Mason labels, 
and refill it, to send to Gracie.
Nothing amazing. 
Just a practical approach to recycling!
Covered the base with our double-sided adhesive sheets.
Cut a piece for the front, to hide the writing, too.
After yesterday’s blog with the Mountains and Perfect Pearls, I thought I’d use the gilding flakes instead. 
Needed something completely opaque, to hid the printing!

Easy and classy.
Gold Gilding Flakes…

Silver moon required.
Punched a large circle out of the wax paper, positioned the aperture where I wanted the silver moon, and added some silver gilding flakes through the hole.

and added some silver gilding flakes through the hole.

That’ll do for now.
I have an idea to draw a scene…
Lid first though.

So I have kept the wonderful, elegant gold leaf print 
which was on the box to start with,
but covered up the chocolate writing bit.

Works perfectly with the beautiful inside, too.
The bottom’s as nice as the lid!

But I want to try something.
Can I emboss, or score a picture into the gold gilding flakes?
Only one way to find out….

Bridge, bunting, hills, this is cool!!!

I’m using a fine embossing tool, and it scores like through butter.
Really smooth.
I have used a rooftops mask to set the scene too.

Add a few birds…

and trees.
This is supposed to be Central Park!

Next question I have:
Can you stamp on gilding flakes?
Yes, with an Archival ink pad.
So Amazing Grace’s New York Box is nearly ready to fill!

 Add my signature trees on the front.

Add a message on the back…

Find the perfect matching tissue paper for the inside.
Whatever is going in here needs wrapping!
It’s Grace’s 25th birthday in March, you see.
Practical recycling.
but more importantly, an hour spent with Grace.
I believe when we make something with a particular person in mind, be it a card, a painting, a knitted scarf, whatever, the time invested in the gift is tantamount to time spent with that person.
Now I can’t be in New York today, but I CAN be with Grace.
You understand.
To cheer myself up, I found the Youtube when Grace and I went boating in Central Park last October.
Want to watch?

Time to book another flight methinks…

much love.

62 thoughts on “Practical Recycling – Central Park

  1. How wonderful. A very special box to fill for a special girl. I often ask myself the same question as you. Then tell myself that we did it right, giving our son all the tools in his box to live 'his' life. Will always love him oodles and be there for him though!
    Thank you Barbara, I love your daily blogs.

  2. Ah your beautiful Grace. Wonderful gift box you have created for her, can understand you missing her Sad that Mark is leaving too but that is our job, to make them confident independent young people. So you have obviously succeeded in that task. I hope Dave is on the mend and that you all stay well now. Enjoy the rest of your peaceful Sunday. xx

  3. What a lovely extra gift. I really enjoy making handmade cards and gifts to loved ones and special friends, no-one else will have such a beautiful gift box. Your blog is such a pleasure to read x

  4. What a wonderful box now it looks stunning with your inspiration try not to be sad they love you as much as you love them and look at how they are worldy wise and all the memories they make with you and you with them rest after your lovley family meal xxx

  5. That's lovely Barbara, I'm sure Grace will really appreciate it and the time and effort you've put into making it. I bet she keeps it to use as a special memory /keepsake box. Yes Barbara, by the looks of it, you did it very right with both your kids, you should be so proud of not only them but of yourself too. Make every moment you get to share with them the best quality time. And they'll never be far away with all this modern technology, like Grace sharing your family time today. Take care, love Brenda xx

  6. What a fabulous box it is and especially after your special touches! What ever goes in it will be gratefully received I am sure!
    It is sad when our children grow up and move away but they do that as we have given them all the necessary confidence and personality to stand on their own two feet! Grace and Mark still know that there is a loving home to come back to should they ever need to!
    So don't be sad for too long Barbara! You done good with both of them! Xxxx

  7. ooh love a bit of up-cycling Barbara!! How lovely and I am sure young Grace will enjoy every mouthful of whatever you put in the beautifully decorated box – especially when its chocolate bars from home and not Hersheys!!!

    Roast lamb….. I bet it was lovely – Ive just had chicken!! – think I would have preferred the lamb though.

    Don't be too sad about your children …. you have moulded them in to what they are so be proud – its only a plane ride away xx

    Much love
    Kim xx

  8. Thank heavens for Facetime!! I have my eldest daughter in Australia and sometimes I yearn for her to be home – and then suddenly there she is in the kitchen and we just chat. How wonderful is that. She has the courage to be so far away 'cos we gave it to her – you've done that for your children too. Clever you for the gilding flakes on such a posh pox. Whatever is in it will be even more special now. xx Margaret Col.

  9. Well this has made me cry! My really good friend down in London has just been told she has 3 months to live, and on her bucket list is a trip to come and stay with me in my guest house in Inverness. Sadly she is too ill to come, so I'm doing her a box with a virtual stay to help her fulfill her wish – a little bag of my homemade granola, some shortbread tied in tartan ribbon, photos of her room and places we would have gone to, some of my home-made muffins etc etc. My sister is coming up next weekend and will take it back down for her to enjoy. But your beautiful empty box has just made me think of how much I will miss her, and how brave she has been over the last 3 years of her fight with the dreaded cancer and it's her birthday tomorrow. Best get started on filling my own beautiful box once I've stopped blubbing! I'm sure Grace will love hers X

    1. Oh Susan, that's so sad. First Barbara so missing one of her children and the other about to go and now your very sad news, got me blubbering too now. Hope you can get down to spend some time with your friend. Thinking of you, love Brenda xx

    2. Susan I'm sure your friend will love her box and a bit of your home for her to share. I hope you manage to get down to see her and have some happy times with her again to keep in your memory. Sending you a big hug and one to your brave friend too xxx

  10. You have done a brilliant job as a mum and that is why they have the confidence to move around the world and come back when they are ready!! You will be in their thought most of the time they are away too. Now this box today! I wish my pals could see it they would laugh their heads off because I am such a sucker for a beautiful box, and when I give them a gift in a beautiful box and they have taken said gift out I get the box back! They know me so well! I usually use the boxes to store all sorts of things in, usually related to craft of some sort! They may get it back again with a different gift in now! I have been known to buy something just so I can have the box it comes in! I know, what a saddo! Hope healthy people know reign in your household! Take care. lots of love V X

  11. I think you must have done the right thing – they lead their own lives but always know you're there to come back to when they need you. The fact Grace was able to join in your day today was marvellous! What a fantastic box and what you turned it in to – now, what's going to go in it I wonder…….

    We had lamb for dinner today and Mum came over – raining cats and dogs too! x x

  12. Pass the tissues! What a sweet blog and brings back so many memories of care packages travelling the oceans to me. I remember when I was coming home for the first time in two years, I phoned home and said I want a roast lamb dinner with all the trimmings and some of Mum's home made cherry and coconut fairy cakes! We didn't have Facetime or Skype back in the 70's ~ just good old snail mail and telephone calls.
    The box is a lovely idea and gift. I have a pack rat tendency towards good boxes and use them for special cards and memories, so I will now be looking to cover them too. Wasn't that something, the way the inside was done out too?

  13. Vey well done, Barbara!
    I did something similar with an empty beautiful cupcake box.
    Instead of recycling we call it "upcycling" in Germany. Do you use this word as well in english?
    have a nice start into the new week
    Rolf xxx

  14. Such a wonderful idea . My son is in New York also for a week . Usually in Montreal at McGill,university . Long way but love FaceTime . Doreen remembers too the 70's when just an occa phone call and mail .

  15. Hello Barbara

    The box is beautiful and you have brought up your two children beautifully. They know where home is and that they are loved unconditionally but they have the strength and confidence to follow their dreams. My youngest child lived in Tokyo for over six years and we only saw him for two weeks each year but he was happy and that was all that mattered.


  16. Always believe that you have done it right. Your two lovely children keep coming home to you but have the courage to go out into the world and find their own path in life. I am sure Grace will love such a present full of your love for her. Get that flight booked soon, you deserve it. Hope Dave is feeling better. xxx Maggie

  17. Ah Barb, I know how you feel. My children always wanted to move away and yes it does make you feel like 'what did I do wrong?' Especially when I see all my friends children still live close to home or at home. I look at it that we gave our children the wings to fly, to explore and make something of themselves, to see life as an adventure and make the most of it. I wish I did!!! This doesn't always help but its a start, I guess the time to start worrying is if they went and did not keep in touch, after all, our greatest wish is our children are happy. If they are then we have done something right. Like you said, you can always book a flight.

    Take care, oh and a stunning box.

    Love & Hugs

    Jacquie j xxx

  18. What a gorgeous box, and what you've done with it has only enhanced it, Grace will be over the moon with it. You've got me craving a roast now.
    I love your outlook, spending time with Grace by making something for her. You have definitely done a great job with your kids, they have the confidence and self relianceness (is that a real word?) to go off and do their own thing. Job well done xx

  19. Lovely altered box. I save all likely boxes ( and most other things) including the Clarity packaging. I always have ideas but none as gorgeous as this. Grace will treasure it so much.

  20. Hi Barbara Well what a coincidence, we had roast beef today and as we were dishing up we were asking our daughter if she is counting the roast dinners until she leaves home for university in September! She has lots of choices but loves the course in Aberdeen. Which is at the other end of the country so no popping home for roast dinner and clean washing! As others have said if you have done your job well then they can fly the nest and know where home is still. The box is beautiful(too nice to throw away) and it sounds like your Grace time was well spent today. Grace will love the box and whatever it contains, book the flight, can you make it for her birthday? Love the you tube clip!
    Take care love Diane xxx
    Ps better buy Dave some more chocolates to aid his recovery! Xxx

  21. Hi Barbara

    Love your 'new box' what a great idea to re-use but personalise it. I guess you will fill it with chocolates for your daughter.

    My granddaughter makes handmade chocolates which are lovely and usually makes them for my birthday and puts them in a lovely box. Makes a very beautiful and personal present for anyone.

    lol Barbara W

  22. Beautiful. I too remember getting food parcels from home. Cadbury's cream eggs, walkers cheese and onion crisps, caramacs, PG Pyramids, LOL. They were great and all in recycled boxes. But the best gift of all was the courage to spread my wings, and an open door to walk back through when I needed to and believe you me I knocked on that door a few times, as did my sister.

  23. The box is beautiful Barbara, just like your daughter. It's lovely that you have brought them both up to be so independant and unafraid of the world. You must be so proud. I'm dreading the day my boys go. My eldest has applied for a few soccer scholarships in America and has trials in a couple of months, and if he doesn't get in he is joining the RAF. So either way he will be gone!
    Thank goodness for technology eh! Xxx

  24. You did nothing wrong Barbara. You just made them independent and that's why they return whenever they can. What a lovely box, Grace will be amazed with what you've done to it. It's beautiful. Get that flight booked soon Barbara it'll be something lovely to look forward to. xx

  25. I love what you did with that chocolate box, prettied up with love to send something nice in to lovely Grace. You have made your kids confident enough to feel they can be independent young adults and although it is hard you are also happy that you have done the right thing and enabled them to live their own lives. Our son went off to Australia a few years ago so I understand how you feel. Hope Dave is feeling a lot better now. x

  26. Hello Barb, what a beautiful heartfelt gift, what you say is so true, when we make something for a particular person, we do so with them in mind, and pour a lot of love into it. I am sure that you are very proud of both Grace and Mark, and no matter how far away they are physically, they will always be in your heart. Glad you had a nice roast dinner with the "boys". Take care. Bx

  27. Hi Barbara. Love the box, the picture inside was even better than the outside. It now looks gorgeous, Grace will be delighted when she sees it. Get that flight booked so you can hand it over in person : ) It may have been a bitter sweet meal yesterday for you but Mark will take that special feeling of home where ever he goes. Take care.

  28. Hallo liebe Barbara,
    du hast eine wunderschöne Box für Grace gestaltet. Ich bin sicher sie wird sich darüber sehr freuen.
    Ich finde es schön das du Traditionen pflegst und deine Lieben verwöhnst mit einem tollen Essen. Die Kinder werden flügge und sie erkunden die Welt. Für uns als Mütter ist das eine sehr schwere Zeit. Bedeutet es doch loslassen und das fällt glaube ich jeder Mom schwer.
    Deine Kinder stehen ganz sicher mit beiden Beinen im Leben und Wenn ich das Video sehe wo Grace alle Kraft zusammennimmt um zu rudern, dann kannst du wirklich Stolz sein.
    Ich wünsche dir und deiner Familie von Herzen alles Liebe und Gute. Ganz liebe Grüße Hugs Silvi

  29. Hi Barbara your box is amazing and it's a great way to recycle too. I'm sure Grace will love it filled with birthday goodies too.
    It's so hard isn't it when our kids are far away but I think it's that we did a good job of bringing them up that they have the courage to do these things. Our two are far away so I know how difficult it can be .
    Take care
    Jackie x

  30. I know the feeling about kids Barbara, one of mine is in Atlanta, and I haven't seen her for ages and ages.
    Love what you did to the box, I think you should sent pics to F and M to show them you how recycled it.

  31. I agree, we bring our kids up to be strong so that they experience a full and interesting life. I miss mine, but just sending a gift, writing a letter or skpe-chat makes feel a whole lot better.

  32. Hi Barbara
    You ve been my inspiration – I brought my first stamps from you 20+ years ago ( and im still buying them !)
    and i remember your two little ones ( then !) running around. My daughter 25 like yours is off to new zealand in a few weeks on her own ! We bring them up to be independant and wait for the grey hairs ! you say things like you ll have a great time and inside your thinking please god keep her safe ! Thats what we do as mums ! love your stamps, stencils and your blog – it bring me sunshine on a rainy day ! it always makes me smile, take care god bless Rose xx

  33. What a sweet gift for your girl. That box is beautiful. I too have a lot of boxes and containers saved for the perfect project. Just hoping I get to use them all before I die and then when someone has to clean out my belongings, they won't say "what was she saving all this junk for?" Only a true romantic would understand the reasoning.

  34. A lovely box Barbara, the embossing and stamping on the guilding flakes gives an awesome finish, must give it a try. Grace is going to treasure it, I bet the contents will be special too! Anne x

  35. This is such a special,beautiful keepsake that will be even better after you fill it. I love receiving handmade things, but I also get a lot of satisfaction from making them as well. XX

  36. Hello Barbara, this is the first I have posted but I just loved the made over box for Grace and the video is brilliant. I believe you have done something right as you say that your children can move away from you and live their lives bravely!! We have a daughter ( 38 years old) who lives in Portugal. we had never been to Portugal!! She loves it out there but I miss her sooo much.
    Love the blogs, videos and think you are amazing!! 🙂

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