Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Stop Poking Me With Your Elbows!!

I've been getting massages since the 80s.

I am one of those people that develops world record back knots.

Some of this is my artist personality - I can sit for five hours watercoloring a tiny squirrel to get it *just* right. I don't realize that there are humans and animals that require food, or that deadlines have come and gone or that I haven't moved my neck in four hours. I just get... lost.

Part of it I think it just genetic. I think some people's muscles knot up and some people's don't.

Someday I will win a Nobel prize for correlating my horseradish allergy and aversion to seafood to back knots. Then I will curse the shrimp cocktail eaters with my whole face and my million dollars.

In the meantime, I try to cope with massage.

When I was slaving away as an awesome child laborer in the health food store my mom and her BFF ran in Bryan for $1 an hour (BTW - John Mackey, before he hit the big time, delivered to our store), I met the first great massage therapists of my life. These people were born to do this work and they were GREAT at it. We also had a reflexologist who worked in the store. Oh, to find a good one in Austin!

So I started there, and then went on to have massages everywhere - Santa Fe, New York, a fun B&B in Fredericksburg, Lifetime Fitness, Massage Envy and a million others.

And for many years, the experience was the same. Massage therapists used their fingers to untie my knots. It was - while sometimes painful - an excellent experience. And then, sometime in the 2000s, massage took a dramatic turn for the worse.

Someone started teaching people to start poking all of us with their bones.

For YEARS I've been getting massages where NO ONE uses their fingers to untie knots - they are all digging their pointy elbows into me, or "massaging" me with their radius and ulna.



You are making something that used to be awesome painful and scary. You aren't feeling my muscles, and I am only feeling your pokey bones. QUIT IT. I have a pokey bone or two I might retaliate with!

Here endeth the rant.

NOW - speaking of getting obsessed and doing something for four hours straight, that happened to me yesterday. (Which is why my back hurts and I'm protesting modern massage methods.)

I saw this glorious exploding pyramid box project on Splitcoast and I had to try it for myself.

Because it was SO elusive on the Googlewebz, I had to just wing it. If ANYONE knows who made this project - it was a sample from the Stampin' Up! convention in Brussels - please let me know - I'd love to give him/her credit - I fell in LOVE. (UPDATE - the artist contacted me - YAY! She is the incredibly talented Jo Blackman - here's her post about it. It was a design contest entry at convention. Thank you Jo - you are amazing!!)

My engineering skills - well, I'm lacking in the math and all, but I think I did okay! :) Here's the inside of the box - the outside looks just the same.

Pin It

Pin It

Here's what I figure out. You can make a perfect triangle exploding box with a piece of cardstock that is 10.5" X 12". Mark the center on the 12" side and cut from the corners to this point to form a triangle. Then, fold one point of the triangle to the center of the opposite side. Do the same with the other two points. You now have a triangle box - BOOM!!!

To make the DSP triangles for the inside and outside, cut pieces that are 5.5 x 4 11/16. The 5.5 side is the base of the triangle, so on the 5.5" side, mark the center at 2.75 - cut from the corners to this point. Boom - triangles! You need six of these to cover both sides of each side of the box.

For the tree - I used 16 punch outs from the Tree Punch - I just lined it up at the edge of the DSP so I wasn't getting the stem - just triangles. Fold each triangle in half, and glue each to another folded half. 8 make up the bottom layer of the tree. For the top layer, you'll insert a folded triangle into a crease in the bottom of the tree. Then add the next one in the next crease and make your way around the tree.

I used three stars punched out of glimmer paper for the topper - be sure and line them up precisely and hold them for a bit while the glue dries. Tombow Mono Multi is a MUST - don't use any other adhesive!.

Then, I deconstructed some cottonballs. I covered the base triangle with glue, and stuck down my fluffy "snow." Then I put a BIG puddle of glue in the center, stuck my tree into it and used my bone folder to put some more cottonball fluff around the base.

If you look at the second photo you'll see I added some glimmer paper snowflakes - the ones that look like jacks - on top of the snow - LOVE.

I colored some rhinestones and stuck them on my tree.

The points of the box are the same on the outside and the inside. I stamped with Holiday Home the little houses on watercolor paper and die cut & colored them with reinkers. I stamped the sleigh image right on the All is Calm DSP with Lost Lagoon.

Now the only thing I can't figure out is how she made that little topper to keep it closed - can you figure it out? I tried a folded circle but it was too small and the box popped open. Let me know if you figure it out!

Whew. Now I really need a massage!

I hope you try it - it really is adorable in real life.

But get up and stretch while you're doing it. :)



  1. Boom, Boom, and Boom! You did it and it is awesome and such a magical inside. What a gorgeous gift that would make for Christmas .....doesn't even need a gift inside.

    My sis is going to the massage therapist for knots in her neck. Sorry about the use of their pokey bones, though. Someone has to mess up everything, huh? :-)

  2. Hi Lydia ...... Jo made this. You can see it here .... http://jo-joscraftyblog.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/convention-part-5.html Teri xx

  3. Hi Lydia It was Jo Blackman from the UK who made the exploding tree box :)

    your version is lovely :D

  4. Hi I am the creator of the triangle box. As regards the top I drew a triangle and cut it out. I then drew around it to have three connecting triangles with a little extra to join it together. It had a flat bottom at this point so I added in the points to add a bit more interest. I made it up as I went along to be honest so have no real measurements but I did keep my hand drawn templates for the box should I feel the urge to make another. My triangles were made from the card stock you find in the back of the DSP packs. I am glad you liked it. Jo x

  5. what a gorgeous project you have made Lydia.
    Gr Karin

  6. I can so relate to the elbow thing - who came up with that idea? Not a fan! Love the box. I will have to try your instructions. So cute!

  7. The exploding triangle box is sooo cute! I love the little scenes you created inside and out. Pinning this since I will have to wait to try it when I have very relaxed shoulders so I won't need to get elbow massaged!
    Thanks for sharing your talent! :)

  8. OMG, thank you for sharing this, I'm making one this weekend, too coollllll, thanks so much for figuring it out and I can't wait to see Jo's tutorial on Splitcoast....you rock girlfriend.

  9. Your box is fabulous. You are amazing.


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