Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Sister Swap - Part Four, Fourth Quarter

Moving right along as we finish up the year.

October, to me, means one thing - Halloween.
And that's the THEME I went with.
All things spooky:
black cats
spiders and spider webs
and definitely some bats.

The happiest place on earth,
according to my sister.
That is why I chose this PLACE photo
for the October tag.
She and her family love The Magic Kingdom.
They were there and helped celebrate
the 45 year anniversary.

Just like October means Halloween,
November means Thanksgiving,
therefore, that was my THEME for this month.
Not only did I always think of family on Thanksgiving,
but now it is even more memorable.
I will always think of my sister on this day.
You see, I couldn't be with her
as she stood at my father's bedside
as he took his last breath on Thanksgiving evening.

On their many trips to/fro Disney World,
they passed this "balcony."
As they were returning from one of those trips,
she took this picture.
Yes - I had to use it for the PLACE tag.
I don't think I'd be very comfortable
taking a rest in one of those lawn chairs.
How about you?
Actually, I can't help but wonder
if anybody actually sits there.
If they do, they're crazy
because it looks like it's about to fall.

I have to give a shout-out to my friend, Lynne.
She made this flower and "rusty" leaves
for me many years ago.
I've moved it from spot to spot
and it never felt comfortable anywhere I placed it.
The colors are perfect for this tag
and I decided to part with it
and now my sister can enjoy it for years to come.
Oh - and now the flower is "comfortable" here.
It told me so!

December THEME?
You guessed it.
What's not to love about this little girl?
I couldn't resist.

My sister's pictures for this month
were difficult to choose from.
Initially, I chose one the person one.
Then I changed my mind and chose the thing one.
But finally settled on the PLACE photo
since I spend so much time there
(and so does she.)
Not only do we spend our time there,
we spend all of our money there as well.

The inside of the back cover
needs some explaining.
Once we decided to swap tags,
I kept obsessing on how I was going to do mine.
I didn't want to just "make tags" ...
I wanted them to be extraordinary.
But for the life of me, I couldn't figure out how to do that.

On New Year's Day 2016,
The Runner and I went to the mall.
As we were aimlessly walking around,
I looked up and saw the tags hanging in the window
at Banana Republic.

My heart skipped a beat.
Marched myself right inside
and asked what they did with the decorations
once they took them down.
(I knew that would happen soon
since the theme was 'Christmas'
and gift-giving,
which was now a thing of the past.)

The person I spoke with didn't know
so I asked if there was a manager on duty.
Sweet Kendra soon appeared from the back
and told me she "thinks they throw them away."

Gasp again!
I briefly told her what I wanted them for
(without going into too much detail - you know how
non-crafty people's eyes glaze over
when you 'craft-talk' ... and I didn't want to bore her.)

Politely, I asked if I might be able to have them.
She took my name and number and said she'd call.

That's exactly what I thought as I walked from the store.

!! RIGHT !!
Four days later, I got the call.
The tags were in a bag with my name on it
and I could pick them up any time I wanted.

I was a mess that day
but didn't want to take the chance that they be thrown out.
So I fluffed as much as I could
spare the time to do it
and out the door I went.

As I walked down the mall concourse,
my heart was beating so fast.
With each step, I kept saying
"please be there - please be there - please be there"
And they were.

Late Spring, I stopped in to see Kendra.
I thanked her over and over once again
for her generosity.
I promised, once the tags were finished,
I'd bring them up for her to see
(which I did on the day they got mailed.)

I had to do a "shout-out" to her and to the store
and decided the inside of the back cover
was the perfect spot.

Actually, this picture was one of the ones
I took and sent to my sister
... and she used it on one of her tags
as a PLACE tag.
(Check out her blog - she posted it on December 4.)

I need to back up just a bit
to describe my work on these tags.
You see, my sister is an over-achiever.
Every month she'd say,
(in her best "neener-neener-neener" voice, I must add)
"I just finished my THEME tag for this month."
"I just finished my P/P/T tag for this month."

At one point, I even told a little white lie.
Told her I was caught up and would be finished
in plenty of time.
(I think she bought it!)
I later confessed!
I am pretty sure I heard a big sign of relief.
She said when I told her that,
she worried that she'd not be finished in time.
Just sayin' ...

Was I in a state of panic?
You bettcha!

I'm sure you knew this - we moved in July.
Prior to that, I was in the process of getting rid of stuff
and preparing for the move.
And then the move and the unpacking.

One thing led to another and I still hadn't started.
Then it was the big Christmas push in The Playground.

One rule was "the tags must be postmarked
no later than December first."

Know when I began?
November 19.

Yikkes ... will I finish in time?
Or will I have to beg for an extension?
Counting the fronts and backs of the covers,
I had 28 tags to complete.
Then photographing and mailing.

I did it.
They were in the mail on November 29.
One day ahead of schedule.
I actually bound it and gift-wrapped
it on the counter at FedEx!!!
I was that down-to-the-wire on this swap.

My sister's "Partner in Crime"
came through.
Was there ever a doubt in your mind?

Haha ... lots of doubts in my mind.

The printing on the front cover
(The Girl Who Has Everything)
and the printing on the outside back cover
were tags from Banana Republic.
I thought they were perfect.
Because, you see,
we are each other's Partner in (Art) Crime.

Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture
of the "binding"
so I asked her to take one for me to post.
(Just so you could see how I did it.)
Nothing fancy - but it holds them together.

Thanks so much for seeing me through the process
and looking and the pictures she took
and my interpretation of each one.

Once again,
if you are interested in seeing
the PERSON, PLACE and THING photos

that I sent to my sister.
And which photo she chose for her tags,
as well as her THEME tags.
Then I invite you to visit her blog at

and see the tags she created for me.
She will be posting from now until Christmas Day
so be sure to follow every day.

Next year?
Oh, don't you know,
we've already got the ground rules etched in stone.
Come January first, we'll be starting.
Hmmmmmmmm - wonder if that's when I'll start
or will I wait until November?
Only time will tell ...

1 comment:

  1. Great job! I knew you'd get all of the posts done! (Not to mention the tags, too!)