Happy Monday everyone! I am so excited to kick off some fun project sharing with you all today. I spent the weekend editing photos of all the projects I created for CHA using my new products. I am kicking off the sharing with the one that means the most and set the tone for how I decorated my little corner of the Spellbinders booth. This piece is all about Ruby’s story…
I would like to introduce you to Ruby Tutterow. She was my husband’s grandmother. To say he loved her would be an understatement. She was “the” grandmother. Ruby and her husband Alva had three sons and 5 grandsons. The grandsons were all pretty close in age and spent a lot of time together with their grandparents. There is always a smile in my husband’s eyes when he talks about his grandma and grandpa and the memories they all made together.
I never met Ruby, she passed away before I met my husband, but I have always loved listening to him talk about her. Many who knew her said she was truly a beautiful person inside and out. If I could change anything about my story with David, it would be that I had met him sooner so I could have known Ruby too.
When David’s grandpa Alva passed away, some of the family gathered around some boxes of things that belonged to Ruby and Alva, each picking a few things that reminded them of grandma and grandpa. David grabbed a pack of Uno cards and a box of dominos to remind him of game nights with grandma and grandpa.
There was a vintage red autograph book in one of the boxes that caught my eye. I love vintage papergoods and books, so to have a piece that belonged to family was a true treasure to me. I flipped through it and saw that it was from the early 1940’s. Autograph books were really popular back then and people would write notes to family and friends in them. During that time Alva went away to war and Ruby went to work at a local ammunition factory. The autograph book was full of messages from the women working there to Ruby, many of them started out “Dear Ruby…”. There were fun quotes and poems and remembrances of the fun times at the factory.
The note on the first page is the one that melted me the most, it was a note from Alva to Ruby-
My Darling Wife, Love is a hum bug, Beauty is a blossom, My love for you, Will never be forgotten.
When the opportunity came up to design a product line, I knew one thing I had to make if nothing else… a background stamp made up of those little notes written to Ruby with the one from her husband front and center. Ruby and Alva were married for 57 years before he lost her to cancer. He lived 7 more years without her, still full of love for his bride until the very end. Being able to make art with that note of love to Ruby from Alva makes me smile.
I truly believe that when we create projects we include a bit of our heart in them. I wanted to do the same thing in creating products. What an incredible thing that people all around the world will be making art with this stamp and that the memory of Ruby and the memory of Alva’s love for her will live on through that art. Truly, his love for her will never be forgotten, just as he predicted.
As my husband says, the idea of it gets his “feels” all teared up. Now that I am a bit teared up too, let me tell you about this frame…
The base of the project is a wooden shadowbox frame. I have had this frame in my stash for a while, but I believe it is from Walnut Hollow. I wanted to cover it with paper that would feel vintage but still have some vivid color. I used Echo Park’s For The Record collection which I have had hoarded in my stash for several years. We hoard paper for just the right project and finally, I found the one that it needed used for.
After adhering the paper to the wood (I used Ranger Ink’s Glue n Seal), I sanded the edges to make them look and feel more vintage, time-worn, and well-loved.
Inside the frame there are several layers. I love building collages with lots of layers! I love to include lots of textures in those layers too. This one features a vellum layer that helps neutralize the background so that it doesn’t compete with the focal layers above it.
Above the vellum there is a layer of aged muslin and cotton batting stamped with the Dear Ruby stamp. Each layer has a base of heavy cardstock or matboard and lots of foam tape to create lots of structure and depth.
Next there are more layers of paper and lace elements. I scanned and printed the note from Alva to Ruby on a piece of cardstock. A Deco Edge Envelope is clipped to the note and into the flower arrangement using a Tim Holtz Memo Pin.
I love to add embellishments to signify meaningful things to the collage. In this case, I added three vintage buttons for Ruby’s three sons.
I also added a Tim Holtz Stencil Mark (retired) with a 5 to signify her 5 grandsons. I painted, sanded, and inked the Stencil Mark to make it look nice and vintagey. I added a vintage hat pin, button card, and a scrap of old linen to add to the vintage look.
A fun note to share, the bit of linen and lace that you see is actually from the same piece of a vintage dress that the Big Fabric stamp is created from.
Finally, I added a cluster of vintage millinery style flowers die cut from crinoline using my Pom Pom, Pinwheel, and Shabby Posies. The crinoline and Crinkle Ribbon were all dyed using Distress Ink, Spray Stain and Paints. The flower centers are a mix of vintage and new (Marion Smith Designs). The vintage pearl sprays are a treasure I picked up during a visit to The French General in Los Angeles.
I will have new tutorials soon for making the flowers using my dies. In the meantime, you can check out my previous flower tutorials that feature Tim Holtz flower dies.
This piece sure makes me smile. This photo of Ruby, one she had taken to send to her husband while he was away at war, is so special. I find myself staring at it and thinking about how beautiful she was. What a special piece this turned out to be to honor her and her memory.
Thank you for letting me share Ruby’s story with you and for letting me tell you about this project. I hope it inspires you a bit to think about creating projects with memory and heart that you can fill your home with!
PS. The ship date for all of my products is April. They will be available at stores worldwide (independents and online) and online at www.spellbinderspaperarts.com!