Wednesday, October 12, 2011

In the Meadow

To start off, I have a fun story for you that was spurred on by PTI's "In the Meadow" coming in the mail. I fell hard in love with this set. And I think it goes back to my love for the song "Sleigh Ride". It seems like it is the song illustrated in my favorite form--stamps!

Being a diehard band nerd back in the day, I was thrilled every holiday season when the sheet music for "Sleigh Ride" got passed out. It seemed to be a perennial favorite and year after year, it was included in the holiday program.

The woodwinds got a primo part. It is so very lively and spirited. My fingers seemed to fly over those clarinet keys. An absolute thrill to play. And it was all punctuated several times with a member of the drum line "cracking the whip". One time in particular was at the very end of the song. We'd wait to hear it before we finish off with the last few accented notes. That whip crack signaled the end of a fabulous musical ride. I was always breathless, exhilarated, and transported.

Yes,  I realize I'm totally showing my nerd card here.

So here I am thinking about playing "Sleigh Ride" the other day while washing the dishes. And then it dawned on me--I just happen to be married to one of the guys in the high school drum line. I stopped what I was doing, turned to my beloved (whom I knew played a lot of the "auxillary" instruments because a) he can't read music after 8 years of band and b) was chosen for certain parts because he was so enthusiastic and never held anything back), and asked, "Hey, when we played Sleigh Ride in band, was it you who made the whipping sound?"

He just grinned at me. "Yeah, it was me. And I've been cracking the whip ever since Baby."

Eye roll. So much for romance, huh? But funny none the less. And apparently, it wasn't an actual whip but rather two 2x4 boards clapped together. Go figure. All my illusions have been shattered. I think I'll go cry in my cup of hot chocolate.

OK. Back on topic. Stamps. In particular, Nichole's amazing "In the Meadow". With it fresh out of the box and just to warm up, I made a card with the sleighing child. It really wasn't supposed to be for the release, just for my own amusement. What amazed me when it was all done was how effortless it was to create. And it turned out--not that I'm tooting my own horn here--stunning. I loved it. Guess I was using it for my group project after all. :)

Our assignment was also to create a "wrap". Which means a fancy way of decorating a gift. You see us do it all the time. To go with my theme--the one that really choose me--I thought about packaging up something warm and toasty. Target always has fun knee high socks...and thus the idea was born.

What I ended up doing, was buying and packaging up two pairs of knee highs. I took a paper towel cardboard tube and placed it in one of the socks. The toe and heel are stuffed up the hole, as make things look nice and neat. I went ahead and stuffed the matching sock up the bottom as a plug. Works well and looks presentable.

Another set, which you cannot see, was stuffed in the top of the tube and the main wrapping sock was gathered at the top of the tube and tied with a Pure Poppy grosgrain ribbon.

Maile's new Wine Tag and Tag Sale #5 were decorated to match the card. With the tube in the sock, it's just a bit too tight of a fit. Not a problem, just snip the back of the Wine Tag and it fits better and nobody is the wiser.

Other additional details from the card--the snow slope dies. Run a glue pen over the edge and dust with fine glitter for a realistic look. Delightful.

So, I'm thinking this whole sock and tube idea can be used in a variety of ways. Imagine giving tube socks to an athlete and using the All Star Team stamp set? Or socks and candy? Or when it is a little more in season, matching socks, gloves, and hat? Target and Old Navy will have these types of matching items here soon. Another month or so. A little early when I was looking, so I had to go with straight up socks.

Ok, hope you enjoyed this fun, economical, and "green" project (hey...we recycled a piece of trash with the paper towel tube, right?). Be sure to check out all the other delightful projects on the PTI Design Team blogs. Lots of lovely things to see, I've no doubt!

Nichole Heady
Jessica Witty
Betsy Veldman
Dawn McVey
Heather Nichols
Lisa Johnson
Melissa Phillips
Michelle Wooderson
Maile Belles
Danielle Flanders


Stamps: In the Meadow, Fillable Frames Additions 1
Dies: In the Meadow, In the Meadow Slopes, Wine Tag, Tag Sale 5
Cardstock: Spring Rain, Stamper's Select White
Ink: Pure Poppy, Ripe Avocado, True Black
Patterned Paper: Men of Life
Button: Ripe Avocado
Baker's Twine and Glitter
Pure Poppy Grosgrain Ribbon


  1. Lovin' what you girls are doing with this stamp and die set! The more I see, the more I want it! Thanks for some great ideas.

  2. Erin, you are so very clever. Love this idea. The child sledding down the snowy hill reminds me of my dear childhood. We'd be outside for hours taking in the fresh air and fluffy white snow going up and down the hills. The patterned paper used was the perfect choice!

  3. I love your projects today - who would have thought that you could package socks so beautifully? And I _love_ band stories! Yes, I'm a fellow band geek. It's too funny that you never knew your husband was the whip cracker! I always found out how they made the sound effects, but that's because I played bassoon and was much closer to the percussion section than you would have been with the clarinets.

  4. Loved your Sleigh Ride story. Beautiful projects too.

  5. Amazing presentation, Erin! You were right about being in trouble tonight. ;)And just a side note... I can TOTALLY relate to Sleigh Ride and Band. I also played clarinet and the whip sound was also made by two boards smacking together. They must teach that at the "band teacher school". Teehee Just thought I'd share some inner nerdyness with you.

    Beautiful work, as always! Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Great story, Erin! That song is exhilarating! Your card and gift tag are very nice. :)

  7. Wauw, very very lovely!! Gorgeous images and perfect that you can cut them out!!! Love what you made for today!
    Hugs, Wendy

  8. Love the wrapped socks, love the socks! I'll be in the US in November and a shopping trip to the Target is already on my to-do list, my favorite store when I lived in Tucson.
    Love the card too. This is going to be a very popular release.

  9. Absolutely love both the card and the project! I'm always looking for new and creative packaging! Saving this idea for sure!

  10. That is a great card and such an ingenious way to wrap socks......was almost going to say 'boring old socks' but these are very trendy indeed....this is a great idea and thanks for the idea. Oh yes, we can get fancy socks over here but hey, I'm sure Targets are a tenth of the price!

  11. Gorgeous this set so much too!
    Loved your story!

  12. Love the presentation,so clever! Toot, toot away! Your card is stunning. Love the band story.

  13. Oh Erin, your reminiscing made me laugh out loud. Both my hubster and I were band nerds too, and I remember my favorite part of "Sleigh Ride" being the fake horse whinny that a trumpeter always did near the end! Too funny.
    And feel free to toot your own horn all you want! It's your blog and that card is spectacular.

    Dana (I can't comment on your blog from my office for some reason)

  14. I LOVE this idea!!!! So much so that all the women in my family will be getting knee high socks for Christmas as a stocking stuffer!! (Pun intended :) ) Thank you so much for the inpsiration!!!! Love it!!

  15. I love the cute card, Erin. So, I finally got to see the Maile's wine die around the paper towel roll that you mentioned (teased) on the PTI forum. Such a great idea.

    Erin, I love all your creations. You can toot your own horn because I toot it for you all the time.

    Thanks for the story too.

  16. This is such an adorable idea!!! You are awesome!!!

  17. This card invokes feeling...the fun of the joys of winter.

  18. The tube socks tube-adorable! Being a nerd is cool now, don't you know? Your story was great-your hubbys comment-hilarious! Classic husband-ism. Cute projects, all. Guess I'll be buying a bunch of socks this Christmas!

  19. LOVED your story and LOVE your sleigh ride cards. I love silhouettes so I am holding my breath waiting for this release!

  20. Your posts always crack me up because my brain works the same!! I was a clarinet girl too and you are so right about that song and when we were at open house 2 nights ago in the music room I was talking about it because they had the wood blocks the kids were playing to imitate the horse gallop ...... okay back to why I am here....... LOVE THE PACKAGING you are so creative it kills me!!! Great idea to do this with hats and mittens when winter comes!!! ROCK ON ERIN!!!

  21. I love getting cute new socks! You just made it all the better with your cute packaging.

  22. I love the tube of socks you made. It does conjure up many possible gift ideas. Sounds like you and your husband are both very witty and enjoying life together.

  23. I'm with you, Erin, I've fallen hard for this iconic set just based on the beautiful DT samples! I was a chorus nerd, and we sang this song, along with other classic Christmas songs, every year!!

  24. Way to wave the nerd flag, Erin!

    I still get a giddy feeling when I hear Sleigh Ride, especially performed live. My fingers start itching to play too, making me a bit envious of the members of my old woodwind quintet that have kept up their chops. It's been been almost 10 years since I picked up my bassoon though, so I'll just live vicariously through the Boston Pops.

    And I just adore your card -- the stamped pattern in the sky really makes it for me.

  25. What a cute story to go along with the great projects! No apologies about being an nerd are needed. Both of my kids were band nerds, my son the drumline captain and center snare and my daughter played flute and also keyboards. Both have done really well in life, they both finished college and credit their band years with the discipline needed to be successful. I loved those years along with them!

  26. It's stories like this and awesome projects that make your blog one of my favorites! Let your band nerd flag fly!! I absolutely adore your card and the sock project is so clever.

  27. Fab.U.Lous!!!! I love the sledding little boy! And OMGosh...."Yeah, it was me. And I've been cracking the whip ever since Baby." - your DH had me howling!! :) I love that I can read your blog and totally "hear" you.

  28. what a clever way to package those adorale socks. and i loved your band story! i always enjoy reading your blog and hearing about your family-and seeing your fabulous craft projects!