The Threads That Weave Us Together
If you know me, you know I’m a Hallmark, Disney kinda girl. I actually do countdown to the Christmas Movie Season each year! I watch them over and over starting TONIGHT till the end of December. It’s Hallmark’s 10th Anniversary Season Premiere, and I’ve been watching since day one! Although my husband will not admit it in public, he watches with me with me and loves them, (sorry Jimmy- I had to let the cat out of the bag). When I think about all the things that fill my joy meter- Hallmark is one of them. Repetitive? Silly? Cheesy? Unrealistic? Simple -minded? Yep, and I love it! If I want real life, all I have to do is turn on the news or go to the mall. These days, I don’t like much of what I see in the 'real world'. Respect, integrity, and old-fashioned values just seem to be rare these days.
I long to travel back to days gone by. I cherish my fading memories of growing up in Brooklyn, New York and living in a small apartment above my father’s butcher shop. Mamma Jenny, my fraternal grandmother, lived downstairs in the apartment behind the store, and all my relatives lived within walking distance. My Uncle Andrew and Aunt Sadie owned the bakery two doors down, and I had hot, fresh Italian bread, straight out of a one hundred and twenty-five-year-old, coal fired oven, every single day. I played with my cousins in the open lot on the corner from the second I got home from school, till the streetlights came on. I would wait and watch for my mom to get off the train on the corner subway from work every single night. My mom worked in Manhattan at ABC Studios when I was young- one of the few moms that worked back then. She was gorgeous- had that Marilyn Monroe vibe... a woman way before her time. I was surrounded by family- never had a babysitter, never was left with a friend- always family everywhere you looked.
Here is my dad's butcher shop- that little boy is him! I just can't! My papa, and I believe a delivery boy next to him. The door on the right led up to our apartment.
And here is my block, Starting from the left is Sadies Dry Goods Store, then my dad's shop, our neighbor's apartment house, and the bakery! If you look close to far right, you can just about make out that great lot we played in! Such bitter sweet memories.
Hallmark reminds me of those days- especially the holidays. Everyone would dress up their store fronts and homes with those big, bright, old-fashioned colored lights. People brought special “holiday foods” to each other, and I would be cooking with my Mamma Jenny the entire month of December! We went shopping on 86 Street with our metal shopping carts, and the store owners would give the kids treats as the Nonnas and moms shopped. And yes, there was ‘real life’ in those days. My parents had continuous arguments, mostly about my mom wanting to move to Long Island to get us out of the “city” and into 'good schools'. My dad didn’t like change, and he didn’t want to leave his mother behind. She refused to move from the apartment and butcher shop that was built with grit by my papa, who I sadly never met. Well, my mom finally won, and we moved to her dream home on Long Island into a house my father had built for her, when I was sixteen. It was a beautiful home with a beautiful view, and the beach across the street. I was excited, mostly because I knew how much my mom wanted this.
It really wasn’t until I got older, and wisdom crept in, that I realized how much I missed that old lot, the fresh, hot Italian bread, a daily freshly cut Rib Steak, or my father’s handmade Italian sausage if I so desired. Not to mention my big, loud Italian family living so close. I didn’t realize the gifts I had like walking to my cousins to watch tv, play cards, walk to the stores, help make wine in the cellar or fresh pasta in the vintage kitchens. Oh, the cooking, if you know anything about Italians- its ALL ABOUT THE FOOD! (But I’ll save that for another post.) I often wonder if I would have my joy meter if I grew up in today's world with a phone in one hand and a video game in the other....... I believe not.
Without even realizing it, Tamara has created a ‘Makers Hallmark’ of sorts. From the papers she carries, to the projects she creates, to her beautiful farmhouse decorating style, we are drawn into that warm, cozy, old time joy. Even her little shop in the back brings me home. I was lucky enough to visit her and spend time in her house and the little warehouse in the back. I remember thinking to myself- Hallmark, this is Hallmark! Buffalo check, patinaed old doors, rescued dogs, beautiful quotes and family pictures on her walls….AND A TRACTOR!! MY TRACTOR!!!! What joy!
Which brings me back to the opening quote from another one of my favorite Hallmark shows- Chesapeake Shores. Our vast and different paths have brought us all to this place, this craft, this store owner and friend. I believe that’s what draws us here to Country Craft Creations. We all share that need of memories- longing of times gone by, wishing to have one more day with loved ones taken too soon, and just old-fashioned, Hallmark Days and Holidays.
We love the realistic, warm, cozy graphics and patterns that companies such as Authentique wraps us in. We now hurry to make the precious, small gift boxes that Tammy creates to give to a neighbor, the mailman, the girls at the salon, the custodian at your child’s school- or to put in your child’s lunch box to share with their friends… I loved when she suggested in that video to just leave a basket by the front door to hand out. Can you imagine the look on the UPS driver when you hand him one?
We, as scrapbookers actually hold a small key to changing the world when you think about it. For when our children go to school with a little box, decorated just for them, filled with a few chocolates, and simply hand them out for no reason, other than to say; “Hi, Have a great day, Thanks for being my friend, I saw you were having a bad day yesterday and I thought this would cheer you up” they become the givers of the world, the listeners, the kind hearted. Imagine the life lessons our creations can foster. What a gift we as makers give to our children when we teach them how to give from our hearts… Simply priceless.
So today let’s celebrate the paths that led us all here- the friendships we have made, the laughs we are given, the concrete projects Tamra teaches us that hold dear the intrinsic memories that give us such comfort when needed. She has created a real Hallmark Neighborhood for us- and I am so grateful for it.
I urge to share the joy with some of these easy, quick projects Tamra has created.
This is the link to Dove Chocolate box. I loved this one because it holds more chocolate than most and makes the perfect gift. https://www.facebook.com/AuthentiquePaper/videos/384945559082707/
This is the K Cup gift box, which is just gorgeous, and so different! https://www.facebook.com/AuthentiquePaper/videos/2352722591609171/
Did you all see the live she did yesterday showing the new Creatology papers!!! OMG !! GORGEOUS!!! You will receive a full set of directions and everything you need to complete the projects as is or put your own spin on it, if you like. That’s what I did with last one. I loved the idea, but I had the time to add a few more things to it, and add my personality to it. Tamra loves when you run with her ideas, another special quality of hers.
Here is the link to the kit and the video! https://www.countrycraftcreations.com/collections/project-kits?sort_by=created-descending&fbclid=IwAR0EYC6Mu6mdxu1rQq5YJS9Isl9ciDY5_vjh6hGVWc0q0ZutrYOCOIXJ9rI
I wish you all a great weekend that will fill your joy meters!