Paper Boxes – a Mother’s Gift


Hand folded paper boxes can be found all over my house.  I have so many in my studio and they dot shelves and drawers and cabinets , they are handy for storing all sorts of things – paper clips, band aids and triple-antibiotic oinment, push pins. I also use them for packaging my smaller hand-made items like bookmarks and bling, or jewelry. Some just sit and adorn. I love them all.

Once upon a time, I used them as an instructional tool when I was a corporate trainer. I called it “Box Training.” Box training day was usually on day 2 of a 2 or 3 day training. I’d have a room-full of Lawyers, Engineers, CEO’s, Admins, or maybe just one or two docket clerks. It didn’t matter. Box training was mandatory. I showed them how to think outside the box! Get out of your normal skin and do something with something you might not normally think to do. How ironic that that is my true passion – repurposing and upscaling. Take two pages of a calendar and turn it into a box. Oh the puns I made ran rampant but I won’t go into them here because they were typically applicable only in the oh so exciting world of intellectual property.

What’s more important to me about these boxes is who “trained” me on them. Who taught me to make them? My precious Birth-Mother, Patrice.

I was just watching a 20/20 episode on reunions of birth families and, after hearing for yet another time how sadly the reunions turned out, I cried at the JOY of my reunion and thanked God. My own particular reunions were incredible and remarkable. That is another story for another page. Back to the boxes….

My precious Mother, taught me to make these boxes as she said a precious woman in her life taught her. These boxes are my legacy. The first gift she ever gave me was handed to me in one of these boxes – I still have it. I’ve lost count of the number of boxes I’ve made since she taught me this easy task of folding a square piece of paper into a box… but I will never stop making them. Each box I fold has a little bit of Patrice and little bit of me in it. They mark my life in a very special way.

Patrice has moved on to folding cranes now. In fact, I believe she is the world record holder of folding cranes and the tens of thousands she’s folded are works of art adorning Dornbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon. I don’t know how to fold a crane…. yet. But I guarantee she still folds boxes.



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