So, a while back, I heard a story on this here internets. And it touched me. I heard that someone I know was having a sad time, and I immediately wanted to sit down and do something. Was this lady a friend? More like a friend of a friend or an acquaintance.
But, I feel like I know her, through her youtube videos, ustream shows and tweets. I know she likes to build things. I know s
he is not a big fan of chocolate. I know she loves her craft stuff as much as I do, but sometimes really has to talk herself into using it. And is always there with advice or recommendations. And the more I thought about it, the more I felt I did know her. Although I wasn’t sure she would remember my name if she heard it again.
But, my heart hurt so much, I felt the need to do SOMETHING, if just to bring a single smile to her face.
So I sat down to make a mini album for her. (everyone loves/needs a mini, right?)
Colors were a problem for me to pick. But after some advice, I decided neutrals were safe. So, I spent my evenings watching videos, measuring and re-measuring, and trying to instill good thoughts into this mini for my friend. And the more I thought about her, and got to know her, the more she had my full admiration and respect.
I had only successfully completed one mini before this, but
it was this design, and I knew I could do it, as I had done it before. It is the All Occasions Mini Album by Kathy Orta. So I pushed forward. It was crooked. Some of the pockets weren’t as deep as I liked. Some papers I had to cut twice. Some nights I would say to DH “why am I doing this? a child could do better! Her stuff always locks so ‘finished!’ She will hate this and say “who sent me this junk?””
He would patiently respond to me, that she would love it, that I was doing something nice for her, and recognize the artistry and the effort that went in to it.
So, the hard question: to under decorate or over decorate? People can have very definite tastes on these things. But I knew that she is a person who likes things very busy and chunky. But what if I did it wrong?
Easy. I would make the base for her (the book) and include everything she could ever want to put in. Then it would be a kit, and she could make it to taste as she went, or on a rainy afternoon.
I enlisted a mutual friend for her address, and with a bit of nerves, I sent it out in the world, hoping it would find a happy home.
What were my hopes? A single smile. That is it. I didn’t care if she smiled when she got the package, and then tossed it. I would never know. All I wanted her to know was that she was respected, admired, and loved by many. I wouldn’t have been hurt if I never got a thank you. (if I overstepped by sending something, it could have been possible.) I suppose a letter may have done the same thing. But the whole time I knew that This was important. To think one day I could make someone smile and feel good and know she was important to us.
Well. It arrived safely. The next thing I knew,
I got a message she was streaming opening it, LIVE! My heart stopped. What if she hated it? Could she hide her disappointment, disgust in front of everyone? This was not good!
But of course I had missed it. That was ok, she had taped it. I asked my friend, “did she like it? I am just going to watch now…”
She replied, “She loved it, go watch!”
5 minutes in “are you sure she liked it? She wasn’t just pretending for the camera?”
“Dar is as genuine and real as she seems. She loved it. Just go watch…” was the reply.
And I did.
Mistake #1- I should have put the letter on top of the box. And not camouflaged it to match the tissue paper (oops!).
Mistake #2- Remember my intention, to make some one smile? Yeah, it did that. And then made her (and everyone else) cry. The things I wrote in admiration, and in encouragement, really touched her but not in the way I intended. And then I felt like a creep.
When DH got home, I made him watch it. And I cried with her for the second time that day. “But those were the good kind of tears! You did good!” he said.
And he was right.
DH knows that I tend to be quiet and shy. “Did she embarrass you? By broadcasting I mean.” And I thought about it. Yes and no is my answer. I didn’t do it, so she could put me in the spotlight (uncomfortable!) and show all her friends. A quiet thanks would have been MORE then enough. But, it brought her joy, a bunch of our mutual friends together, and if she was going to cry, she wasn’t alone. She had a whole ‘circle’ around her that do love her. And isn’t that what it was all about? And she does SO MUCH for everyone else, I was happy if I could do something small, if imperfect for her.
So, the end, right?
In the mail this week, I got this.
She HANDMADE me a card! I wish you could see the color and the detail and the texture and the layers on this! No picture will ever do it justice. It is perfect! From the way she put her name in the return address as ‘ArteDar’ to the perfect colors, to the round(!) stamp, to the words that made me tear up. An unexpected gift that went above and beyond.
That is the awesome-sauce kinda lady she is. This is the lady I am proud to call my new friend. =D
If you would like to see the recording go and watch. But it’s ustream, so I am not sure how long it will be up for…