Gift Idea for Young Collectors

Here's a fun gift idea for kids.   Our granddaughter has loved horses for a really long time.  She collects pictures of them.  SOOOOO... Choose a colorful 2" binder (Bright pink's her favorite color.)  Get the kind with the clear sleeves on the cover.  This was at Target for @$4.50. 

I think the "D" ring type is the best so the pages lay flat and don't get messed up.

Find some dividers.  I already had these "like new" extras on hand (because I never throw anything away)    but I saw some on Amazon for about $1.00.

OPTIONAL:  Clear sheet protectors are about 10 cents each on if you want to use them.  (I LOVE them and use them for everything, so I buy them in bulk at Costco.  Weird, I know.)

Gather some photos or magazine clippings of whatever will be collected in the album... Kitties, airplanes, trains, whatever they love.  (I went through a box of old photos my parents had taken in Montana.)  Take a sheet protector and cut it in to two pieces.  Get rid of the part with the holes.  Use double-stick tape to place the pictures on one of the sheets and then slide it into the cover. 

You can do the back side too.  (If you don't care about the color of the cover not showing, then tape them to any blank piece of paper and slide it in.)

Make a title page.  Find a picture to use, get some colored paper for a "frame."  Print a sheet of paper with a cool font.  Tape the photo to the colored paper, and the paper to the white page.               

Insert and you're done!

I love my sweet Lauren Girl and I love that sometimes there's time to make a gift. 

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The Perfect Gift

What do you give to a loved one with Alzheimer's Disease?  Of course it depends on what stage they are in, and what their interests are, but I can tell you our family knew exactly what Gary would love this Christmas.

The gifts fell neatly into 3 categories so I will highlight a few so you can be inspired for your future gift-giving.  And you don't need to wait for Christmas or Birthdays with a dear one who has dementia.  They will appreciate a blessing at any time, since they live in the moment.


One of our grandsons made up the owl pillow which has several different fabrics. Gary enjoyed feeling the felt eyes.  The red fuzzy pom-poms were tied around a different gift and he enjoyed lacing it through his fingers.  Of course there are multiple types of interesting things to handle from wrapping paper to ribbon and boxes on Christmas morning.


The Memory Book was my gift to Gary.  I use to create these books.  I've made several over the last year, and I choose a format that is simple and easy to read.  Today I looked slowly through it with Gary and he really looked at each page.  His eyes going from left to right, from page to page.   (Click here to read more)

The little memory card is full of digital photos from our daughter Sarah and her family to be loaded into Gary's digital photo frame.  I've shared about this great tool before here.

The Disc is loaded with Bible verses.  They are being read by our daughter, April and her husband, Jon.  They are reading them very slowly and clearly and leaving a pause in between so Gary can absorb them with his slowed thinking. The Word of God does not miss it's mark and I KNOW it is still nourishing Gary's soul even if he can't find the words to confirm it.  Today when I was playing the CD for him, he was sitting very quietly, and I believe he was listening.


Of course this category is always appreciated.  Thankfully, Gary still has a good appetite, though he must be fed most things because he gets distracted and forgets to finish eating.  However, when being given bites of Cinnamon Roll yesterday, I evidently was taking too long in between bites (this time I was distracted), and he almost took a bite of a present he was holding instead.  It was obvious that he wanted the next bite of C.R. and we all had a good laugh. Some of his longtime favorites are represented here...Cinnamon Rolls from Sarah, Chessmen cookies and Shortbread from April, and Date Pinwheel cookies from my mom. The marshmellow Snowman is from the Grandkids and he will like it too, I guarantee.

I hope those of you who are currently caring for and loving someone with dementia, will be able to find many ways to love and serve them that they will enjoy.  We are so blessed, especially if we tone down our expectations, and keep things simple.  (and don't forget to laugh!) Gary and I both had a wonderful day yesterday and I trust you all did too. 
Gary's hugging his Memory Book right after I helped him open it. 

You know what they say about rabbits...

Yep, bunnies multiply like crazy in the Spring.  That's especially true here in Friendly Valley.  In fact, they're all over the lawns, come Summer.  I've already seen some footprints near our front yard.  Well, my little Boochie Bunny, has been reproducing too.  I am excited to be able to share my latest painting with you all, in the form of note cards.

Spring Bunny Note Card
He's available at my Etsy store as an individual card:  Spring Bunny Note Card
Or in sets: Spring Bunny Note Card Set of 4

Spring Garden Note Cards
I had fun choosing 3 more Spring-Themed paintings to join Mr. Bunny in the Spring Garden Set: 
Spring Garden Note Card Set of 4

I've been looking forward to creating these note cards for several months, and am so pleased that they are finally ready.  My wheels are turning and there will be more to come.  Many thanks to our good friends Steve and Denise for the idea, and their encouragement in this direction. 

Merry Christmas Gary!

Gary is a man who works with his hands.  He enjoys holding and grasping things.  He loves to keep his hands moving, working, exploring.  Gadgets, pliers, key rings, and, increasingly, fabrics.  He has always appreciated nice textures.  I remember walking through department stores with him, and how he would feel the soft fabrics hanging on the racks.

These days, it seems his fingers are covered with velcro.  If he is near a towel bar, he clings to the towel.  If you are helping him dress, he clutches the t-shirt, jacket, or sweater.   I believe he feels secure when holding on to something.  Then he eventually starts manipulating it and seeing how it feels.  He'll pick up the kitchen towel and "pleat" it or fold it, watching how it lays against itself.  If you try to remove it, that's when the clutching begins. I wanted to find him a small "therapeutic" texture quilt so he would have something to hang on to, or enjoy while sitting.  

You can find plenty of  "tactile" things for little babies, but they are juvenile looking.  Many "therapeutic" items are feminine or too complex, etc.  SO I decided to make a unique little quilt specifically for Gary.  It was his Christmas present.  With Alzheimer's Disease, you never know how something is going to be received, but I couldn't have been happier with his response. 

I hope this quilt can be adapted for other A.D. patients, and maybe the close up photos can give a better idea of what I did.  I just kind of made it up, so there's no pattern, but basically I bought the minimum (6") strips of fabric, and I bought them all off the clearance table at Joanne's.  I chose a slightly heavier backing fabric, that had several colors, which I used for the color choices.  I tried to include as many different textures as I could.

Some of the seams have a separate fold sewn in so he can feel the "edge".  The width of each strip is 2" with 1/2" seams.  The over all size is a 26" square.  The boarder is the backing material.  I would recommend using similar weight fabrics, and I think it will need to be dry cleaned, because I am certain all the fabrics do not have the same washing instructions.  When done, I top-stitched around the edge of the border where it joins the strips.  The whole thing cost about $10.