Often when my mind is trying to work through the knots of a problem, the sensory experience of working with my hands creates a kind of concentration that allows a part of my mind to let go. I have discovered that I not only enjoy — but crave — physical, tactile things, especially when I have some kind of emotional stress.

It’s fun when one of these creative outlets also happens to be something for someone else.

Recently, a wonderful friend reached a huge milestone in her life, something that she had been dreaming of and working towards for years. Linda Camacho had been striving to become a writer as well as a literary agent, and she just recently made the official transition.

As someone who left a corporate career to start this unexpected and unpredictable journey of writing, I remember how scary and exciting it felt to have the first step in a dream become real. I believe in celebrating moments. Punctuating them. Skipping in the middle of a stride at good news. Hanging up the phone and doing a happy dance.

Through backchannels I found that some of Linda’s favorite things include The Velveteen Rabbit, the color green, and dangly earrings. So I attempted a hat trick and pieced together green book earrings of The Velveteen Rabbit as a yay-you-did-it care package.

I kind of figured it out along the way. They are flawed but made with love. Note: these aren’t waterproof. Who knows if they will last? Hopefully the feeling I had when I made them and mailed them will. Here’s how I did it (from someone who doesn’t even have pierced ears):

Take a small piece of photo paper.
Print two covers of your favorite book in the final size you want.
(Tip: making photo cover first and sizing Sculpey to cover makes this easier.)
Get some Sculpey.
Shape it to the size of the photo book cover into the form of a book.
Use a library card to make ridges into the sides for pages.
(Tip: you can use any card, but a library card has good vibes.)
Using a long, sharp pin, poke a hole through the center of each.
Bake and cool Sculpey according to directions.
Paint small clay books and let dry.
Thread the hole in the center with jewelry head pins.
(Add beads if you like.)
Loop end of head pin through earring hook. Wind around to close.
Paste book cover image on with PVA or other strong bond.

Do a happy dance!