Guest Post- Mary from Dogg and Pony Show

Hi all! Merry Christmas Eve!
Hope you are enjoying time with your families.

I have another fabulous blogger guest posting today.
Mary blogs over at Dogg and Pony Show and she has a lovely post to share with you all.
Take it away Mary!

Hi! I’m Mary from Dogg and Pony Show.
I started trying out sewing at an early age, about 10 years old – probably due to the fact that my mother used to sew matching outfits in different colors for my sister and me. My first “sewing” project was to use multi-colored kleenex tissues for fabric to make doll clothes out of! I carefully cut out holes for the doll’s arms and tied some ribbon around her waist to keep her clothes on; I even had a box that I would lay out her “clothes” in so they wouldn’t accidentally get used as tissues!!

My mother then taught me to sew on the sewing machine, how to use patterns, and gave me her fabric leftovers to use. This opened up a whole new world for me! For many years, I made almost all of my clothes, sewing for others, and my family received handmade items from me for Christmas often. From there I tried other crafts and sewing techniques (smocking, embroidery, etc.) and love creating different projects, and collected many craft items.

We have a furbaby that my husband and I adopted from the Humane Society when she was 7 weeks – we had planned to foster dogs, and she was our first foster pet. That goal was short-lived; we fell in love with her, kept her, and now I am a dog-lover! Her name is Inukosan which means, “little miss dog” in Japanese – Inu for short. Last year we started dog agility classes with her. Often half of our living room has some of her training obstacles in it, since it can get too hot to practice outside. Inu has also spawned my interest in creating doggy crafts too! We have started going to dog agility competitions with our RV and Inu – hope to be able to compete with Inu soon.

I love learning, and reading about what other crafters have made – the cyber world is great for that, but I still collect craft books. My lace and ribbon weaving technique was just published in the online publication Dec. 2010 Papers and Pixels. My blog reflects my interests – papercrafting, sewing, Stampin’ Up, dogs, and the Trail of the Painted Ponies.

Whether you have wrapped all your gifts for Christmas giving, or are finishing them up today, wrapping presents can be fun if you are a little bit creative. I got an early start in gift wrapping, since one of my job tasks in my first real job at age 16 was to wrap customers’ gifts. The owner had an awesome tool that made beautiful bows, but the trick was to practice pulling out the loops so you ended up with a fluffy bow. By the time my part-time after-school job ended, I could quickly and efficiently wrap gifts and tie on attractive ribbons and bows. My mother would ask me to wrap the family’s Christmas presents because I was pretty fast, and told me, “don’t look in that box; that’s your present!”

So Christmas presents have become one of my favorite times to use a theme to wrap all the gifts in – I would choose a color theme and then buy only gift-wrapping papers, ribbons, and tags in those colors. Color themes I’ve had fun with have been lime green and pink, purples, silver and gold, red and green…When I became more interested in papercrafting, I started making some of my own papers, tags, and designing ribbons. Here are some pictures of my last year’s presents – can you see what my “theme” was?

Here are some of the presents I wrapped for this year – one theme is masculine,

and the other is feminine.

With the internet, there are oodles of ideas for making last minute items to wrap presents with, as well as unconventional gift wrapping ideas, alternative gift wrapping, and stylish DIY gift wrapping – I am such a packrat and hate to throw away pretty things that might come in handy to put on a present…recycle them! But buying things post-Christmas that you can use on presents is great too – this year I used snowflakes and snowmen.

When I think of gifts and presents, I am reminded by that saying:
“The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it is called the present.”
Out of curiosity, I checked online to see who is credited with saying that….can you believe it, not only were there several slight variations of it, it has been quoted by several folk, among them was Eleanor Roosevelt, Bill Keane (the cartoonist), and even someone named Babatunde Olatunji (??). The saying supposedly comes from an ancient phrase and in “modern English,” it is: “the tide abides for, tarrieth for no man, stays no man, tide nor time tarrieth no man” (…).

As far as the “presence,” I enjoy the holiday “presence” and “presents” – I love designing and putting together “presents”…making each one special for just that person…having the recipient think for just a minute before tearing it open, “oh, it’s too pretty to unwrap.” And hope that the gift I wrapped makes them not only feel special for that instant, but that they can sense my “presence” in the way I designed the “present” just for them.

This quote pretty much summarizes my thoughts on presents:
“The manner of giving is worth more than the gift”
(Pierre Corneille, Le Menteur; retrieved 12/18/10, from

Hope you will take a second look at some of those pretty presents you might receive!

Thanks so much Mary for guest posting today!
Everyone go visit Mary’s cute blog and give her some love! 🙂

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