My True Love Gave to Me: Snowflakes and Chaos

CoverLast January, my husband decided we should sell our house.

I laughed, in an unhinged, hysterical way, especially when I realized he wasn’t lying. I called him a wingnut, an ingrate, and possibly some other things, and then ate a whole box of Chicken in a Biskit crackers. I’d been handed a depression diagnosis the week before. The WEEK before. I wanted to spend the spring resting, trying to heal, Netflx-binging, and building Sims 3 houses so I could light them on fire (it’s not as bad as it sounds).

BUT … the SOLD sign stood proudly on our curb in less than two weeks.

I steered my “MAKE ALL THE THINGS” desires toward decorating our new place. I find great pleasure in upcycling and repurposing items, so I spent/spend a lot of time at thrift stores. And on Pinterest. Where I have an alias. When I start on a design/craft/painting project, I have a basic idea of the materials I’m going to use, but I’m completely open to wherever my whims might take me. I save EVERYTHING, and I love “happy accidents.” If I screw it up, I can fix it, make it something else, or use it as firewood. No one ever has to know.

Last June, I wanted to do some large art pieces, so I did my usual creative warm up exercises — brainstorming, engineering, measuring, discarding, and asking “what if” (out loud) one hundred times. My OCD husband became a little  … twitchy. I looked around at the detritus of canvas, wood, paint, brushes, paper, cardboard, and sandpaper, and I had a revelation.

I create best in chaos. No matter the medium, I create BEST in CHAOS.

What is more chaotic than a first draft?

I’m making MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME creations to decorate my office. In case you want to make your own, I’ll be posting tutorials here! And let me tell you, there is crap EVERYWHERE, and it is fabulous. I keep losing the scissors and the masking tape and the wired burlap ribbon and the tape measure and it couldn’t be more edifying.

Sometimes you need to step outside your own art form, shake up your comfort and confidence levels, and purposefully make your odds of coming close to perfection low. Rediscover how to remain firmly grounded in the joy of simply TRYING.

Speaking of trying …



 1. Find a book. I used family member’s books from the 1960’s that have sentimental value, but smell like tobacco smoke.

Perfect solution!FullSizeRender

2. Use a die cut stamp of your choosing. I picked a snowflake to die cut book pages and shimmery golden card stock.



3. I have a husband, two boys, two cats, and a puppy, so I chose plastic globe ornaments for durability. Somebody’s getting cracked over the head with one of these suckers before school’s out.




4. Glitter. We don’t DO glitter in this house (as my story references, it is the herpes of the craft world). I really wanted to give these an extra dose of sparkle, so I dropped half a teaspoon of glitter into one half of the ball, sprayed a very light glue adhesive on the die cuts, put the snowflakes in the ornament and closed it. Then I SHOOK IT.






I tied the tops together with gold ribbon, curled it, and hung the ornaments on the tree with golden hooks!







I’m going to try some silver paper and glitter later this week.

Coming soon … prodigious use of a glue gun!


  1. Wait wait. I can understand drowning your sims, but setting their houses on fire? No thank you. (Do you have The Sims 4 yet? It’s pretty great.)

    My mom smokes and I have tons of smoky family items–intrigued! Those ornaments are adorable and not too hard, I think I could give those a shot! I always wanted to be crafty.

    Staying tuned for more craft ideas, but we moved recently…where’s my glue gun? Hmm. Glad you’re having fun 🙂

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