"Paper Dolls" keep active with crafts

Wednesday, May 6, 2015
MADELINEDEJOURNETTadvancensc@sbcglobal.net Four members of the "Paper Dolls" gather at a member's Strafford country home to put together a book. The women made a road trip to a Kansas City workshop to learn how to make the book.

On the Road

A lively group of retired ladies in the Springfield, MO area have found a most pleasant way to make sure that their retired years keep them on the move and connected with friends.

The group of five women call themselves "The Paper Dolls," a label which refers to their skills with craft paper and all the embellishments thereof.

MADELINEDEJOURNETTadvancensc@sbcglobal.net Ann helps Dee use a "chomper"to cut the edges on her chipboard. The girls use many specialized tools to make the work easier.

"A friend of mine asked me if we left a trail of glitter all the way to Kansas City, after our recent trip to a class," says one of the ladies. "I said, 'Yes we did--so we could find out way back!'"

This reporter met up with four of the ladies at one of their homes, nearby in the beautiful hills of Strafford, MO, which is part of the greater Springfield statistical area.

The purpose of the meeting is to go over the instructions they took down in a recent book-making class and, thus, create their first example of a fancy book.

MADELINEDEJOURNETTadvancensc@sbcglobal.net Every craft session requires a lunch break with the girls bringing delicious dishes!

The logistics involved in such a project are impressive, as each lady loads up her supplies into a rolling suitcase, equipped with cutting utensils, paper, and all the embellishments required. They unpack in the dining room of Ann's beautiful country home. Food for lunch is taken to the kitchen, as this is to be an all-day affair.

Each participant pulls out the printed instructions and their hand-written notes, along with various cutting utensils and materials. Step by step, they begin with such items as ink, glue, score tape, chipboard, "corner rounders," and many other specialized devices that create a significant clutter.

"We're making a mess on the floor!" says Jean.

MADELINEDEJOURNETTadvancensc@sbcglobal.net At the end of today's crafting session, the girls gather in Ann's living room to choose their next project--the embellishment of a cigar box. Laughter is an important part of each activity!

"That's what vacuum cleaners are for!" says Kathy.

Sometimes the ladies employ the use of other non-craft tools for their projects.

"Does anyone want to borrow this foot callous thingy to file off their edges?" asks Ann.

"Not me! That smells like your feet!" laughs Dee.

"How do you know what Ann's feet smell like?" responds Jean.

And so it goes, throughout the morning, until someone says, "Is this a breaking point? I'm hungry!"

After a delicious lunch of items brought in by the participants, the ladies are back at the craft table.

The advice is as profuse as the glue:

"You have to hold your mouth just right..."

"Be careful not to get glue in your hair..."

"Just cut off a 'tee-ninesy' amount!" ("tee-ninesy" is defined as less than one-eighth of an inch!)

"We have to get far enough today to put the pages in the book, because I have no clue what I'm doing!"

All the ladies agree that the crafting is an "addiction."

Ann admits that she has been involved in the "paper craft" for twenty years.

The Paper Dolls travel to Branson, MO, and Kansas City to take classes and buy supplies, but much of the equipment is available in Springfield or online.

Each of the four "dolls" who were present for the April 10 activity in Strafford was making a book for their sisters or grandchildren. Ann was using copies of old family photos for her creation.

The "girls" have been together since Dec. 14, 2012.

Ann expresses the feelings of the group, when she says, "I just hope that, when I die, my husband doesn't sell my supplies for what I told him I paid for them!"

Friendship and fun are the key ingredients of this lively group, who have found a way to keep their minds and bodies active in retirement.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: