A Writing Contest about yourself.

Hmmmm, do I show the PRIZES first?  Do I set out the Contest Rules?

I’ll do the Prizes first.  DISCLAIMER:  These Prizes are (sort of) new and unopened, never used.  They are from my stash.  Because some of you live out of the US and all items being posted have to clear customs I am keeping the prizes small so they will travel well through the postal system.

FIRST PRIZE:  A “Believe” chipboard word and a wooden block.  The wooden block is to be attached to the chipboard word so it will stand upright in your craft room.  There may be some sanding involved on the wooden block….to get the Jeff Foxworthy thing off before you attach the chipboard piece.

"Believe" chipboard with wooden block.  First Prize

"Believe" chipboard with wooden block. First Prize

SECOND PRIZE:  A Stampin’ Up! Hostess Stamp Set titled “Silhouette Sentiments”.  It is an unmounted set.

Silhouette Sentiments Hostess Stamp Set - Second Prize

Silhouette Sentiments Hostess Stamp Set - Second Prize

THIRD PRIZE:  A 6″x6″ canvas covered frame to alter.

6"x6" Canvas covered frame - Third Prize

6"x6" Canvas covered frame - Third Prize


This is a “Writing Contest”.  I’m a “Nosy Parker” and I love to find out why and how people get started doing the things they do.  You will write a Blog Post, on your blog, and answer these 10 questions.  Leave a link to your Blog Post in the COMMENTS section of this Contest Post.

  1. How long have you been crafting?  Not just card making, scrapbook layouts, or altering items.  Crafting in general.
  2. What was the first item you created, on your own, and personally purchased all of the products?
  3. Who inspired you to begin your first project?
  4. When you got serious about your craft who benefited from your creativity?
  5. Over the years, how many craft things have you tried?
  6. What brought you to paper crafting?
  7. What is your most favorite tool to use?
  8. What is your most favorite product to use?
  9. Do you listen to music or watch television when you craft?
  10. What have you created that you loved so much you just can’t seem to part with it?


  1. Contest begins January 14, 2012 and runs through January 31, 2012.
  2. All entries must be posted on your blog and all 10 questions must be noted, in some fashion, on your blog entry.
  3. Leave a link to your blog post in the COMMENT section of THIS post.
  4. I will NOT be replying to any of the comments you post in this COMMENT section.  I will go directly to your blog post and leave a comment there.
  5. Length of your answers to the questions is up to you.  However, I do hope you can elaborate a bit more than just using one or two words to answer each question 😀
  6. You can add photos to your blog entry if you choose to do so.
  7. The deadline to enter this contest is at 8:00 p.m. Central Standard Time in the US on January 31, 2012.
  8. Winners will be announced on February 1, 2012.

Have fun with this.  You can be as private as you wish to be or as open as you are comfortable with.

Since I am automatically disqualified to win this contest 😀 I will begin to give you an idea of what to think about when telling your story.


I began crafting at the age of 15.  Sewing was my introduction to creativity.  I have been crafting for about 41 years now.

The first item I made was a bright orange floral jump suit with Elephant style legs.  I had saved up my $3 weekly allowance for a month to purchase the fabric which displayed dinner plate sized white flowers on an intense orange background.  This was in 1969 and the Elephant style leg in pants was the “In Thing”.  I purchased the pattern, a pair of very sharp scissors, the straight pins necessary to pin the pattern to the fabric, and the spools of thread to complete the outfit.

My Home Economics class had a fashion show set up with the local 4-H Club and we each were going for the trophy.  We all had walking lessons to walk the runway in our fabulous garments.  I was so excited to do this I could not be brought down from the ozone 😀

Now, mind you, I have always been large.  At 15 years old I weighed in at 190 pounds.  The bright orange jumpsuit I made with the huge flowing legs I was sure was going to be the winner of the entire show.  A journalist was at the fashion show along with a newspaper photographer.  When I got a look at myself from a photo placed along with the article you probably can imagine my shock at seeing what everyone else saw!  Ginormous is all I can say.  After a few tears I put the jump suit away and never wore it again.  My love of sewing did not get put away.

The person who influenced my interest in sewing was one of my Foster Sisters.  Frances Taylor-Fry.  That girl could take a piece of fabric and create the most wonderful items without the aid of a pattern.  She was amazing and I wanted to be just like her.

After I got out of the Foster Home and began living my own life I continued to sew.  My children were the first I sewed for.  I made their onesies, the plastic protectors that went over the cloth diapers.  Later, as they grew, I made all of their clothes.  It was cheaper to make their clothing than to purchase it at that time and I loved going through the fabric shops to pick just the right patterned fabrics.

Later in my years of sewing I made Joe’s shirts.  He likes to have two pockets on the front of his shirts, something that is not easy to find, and he likes to have short sleeves.  Nearly everything in his size has long sleeves and don’t fit him well.  I made all his shirts for about 8 years.

I made Joe's shirts

I made Joe's shirts

And my daughter's Prom Dress

And my daughter's Prom Dress

I started out sewing which later lead to crocheting, then knitting.  I began embroidery at 22 years of age, then that changed to Counted Cross Stitch, Candle Wicking, Lace Net Darning, Needlepoint, and finally Plastic Canvas work.  My interests changed and I took up acrylic painting of plaster objects, which only lasted for a little while.   I have delved into so many crafts and had not found anything that held my interest for long.

My introduction to Paper Crafting came while I was out doing my “Day Job”.  I rode with Joe for almost 2 years before I began driving myself.  During the time I rode with him I took tons and tons of photos.  I found a book on making scrapbook pages in 2001 at a home improvement store and I became interested in this craft.

I have one Favorite Tool and it is a clear grid marked quilting ruler.  That thing gets used constantly in my paper crafting.  I’ve had the metal 17″ rulers and the wood 12″ rulers but I really like my clear grid ruler.

My Grid Ruler

My Grid Ruler

My most Favorite Product to use is a Scotch ATG Gun.  I love that thing.  Seemingly endless supply of adhesive and it is really easy to reload when I run out.  I balked at the initial price of it but after I considered how much money I spent in purchasing refills for the smaller adhesive tape runners I had the cost of the ATG Gun and then some.  Yes, it would be considered a tool but I love the adhesive products that are used in this gun.

My ATG Gun

My ATG Gun

I listen to a local radio station sometimes.  Mostly I listen to Native American music.  Navajo and Cherokee.  The drums and flutes of their music help get me in a meditative place.  The heartbeat of the drums calm me.  This music has the opposite effect on Joe.  It grates on his nerves and unsettles him.

The thing I am most delighted with are the plaster houses I painted many years ago and have them displayed at Christmas time under our tree.  The many hours I spent making each house cause me to wonder at my sanity.  I have no desire to do that again but I do so enjoy looking at them.

Painted plaster houses

Painted plaster houses

Okay, now it is your turn 😀

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gardenpinks
    Jan 14, 2012 @ 13:08:15

    I am in awe Leslie – you made Joe’s shirts? You made that gorgeous prom dress? Is there no end to your talents? If I got two seams to match I was doing well 🙂 I am very impressed. My stepdaughter was also very talented in the sewing department and she used to make little outfits for her baby sister – Keri was 12 years old when our first daughter came along – and Keri made no end of little dresses out of clothes she and I no longer wore. Rod taught Keri to knit when Keri was about 10 year old and so Keri also knitted Trudi hats, scarves and matching mitts. Now Keri is knitting for her own gandchildren after a long absence from knitting!

    Oh Leslie now you want essays! It is a long time since I did ‘proper’ writing:) Not since my days of writing for the local newspaper!

    Where has Linda gone to? Hope she joins in with this one and the domino challenge.
    Love and hugs
    Lynn x


    • Message In A Fold
      Jan 15, 2012 @ 07:14:27

      What do you mean? A long time since you have done proper writing. I have had the stories of reconstructing and remodeling your home in my head since you wrote them. Wonderful stories…er….essays on taking an old empty building the cows used as a shelter and left evidence behind to the beautiful home it has become.

      Thank you. This is going to sound, quite possibly, heretical but sewing was my first introduction to feeling a bit like God. Creating something without form into something of value. I guess that is what has attracted my attention so long in this paper crafting thing.

      Your Keri sounds like an amazing woman. You have some fond memories of her younger life with you and Rod at home. That is wonderful. Good to know she has continued being creative and now has grandchildren to shower her love on 😀

      That Linda has some tricks up her sleeve 😀 How she has ever figured out how to upload photos to your ISP thing is totally beyond me. That girl is magic I tell you 😀 I do hope she joins us in the Domino Challenge.

      Love you – Leslie


  2. gardenpinks
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 13:24:05

    That is where you will find my essay Leslie; brilliant exercise for those little grey cells! I was quite surprised by how much I did do but it was known as good housewifery and not crafting! I became quite expert at darning and patching, taking up hems and replacing zips, making basic cushion covers, aprons, peg bags and turning worn sheets into pillowcases. Then there was all the ‘special’ cakes for birthdays plus sweets and chocolates I made for Easter and Christmas 🙂

    Love and hugs
    Lynn xx


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