What sensation evokes the warm, comforting feelings of childhood for you? For Elaine Dimino, it is the texture and colors of rich fabrics that remind her of numerous trips to the fabric store with her mother, Gloria. Hours were spent touching bolts of cotton, satin and wool and selecting just the right buttons and trim to set off an outfit. Then off to home for the ritual of bringing her new dress to life through the whirl of the old foot-pedaled Singer sewing machine that once belonged to her beloved Grandmother, Eleanor.
Many years passed before Elaine realized she needed a break from double shifts as a critical care nurse in a large Philadelphia hospital. Once again she turned to fabrics for creative comfort and stress relief. Elaine decided it was the right time to turn her passion for fabric and design into her new profession. She started covering boxes with the fabrics and findings Eleanor had saved over the years, and has never looked back.
Gift Boxes by Elaine turned into a family affair. Elaine teamed with Gloria to develop techniques and patterns that give Gift Boxes by Elaine their special feel and design. Together, they selected wonderful fabrics, trims and filigrees to craft a hand-made collection of distinctive gift boxes in wide range of colors and decorative touches. Elaine’s father, Tony, emptied many a tank of gas on trips throughout Upstate New York, ferrying Gloria from fabric store to fabric store, though his favorite assignment was to cash the checks from the sale of Gloria’s boxes! And her sister, Ann Marie, a shop-a-holic when it comes to fabrics, is always on the search for new designs. She also is the webmaster and has found a second profession in writing descriptions for each new creation on www.giftboxesbyelaine.com.
Elaine still works from her Center City Philadelphia home, which is crammed with boxes, fabrics, trims and findings.....where closets hold more boxes than clothes. She has made many friends on the craft show circuit, enjoying stories about the special gifts presented in her boxes and many ways they have been used over the years. Not recommended – using them to store two frogs – much to a mother’s horror!
Sadly, Elaine’s parents both passed away in 2012, having lived full lives, enveloped with the love of their family and friends. Some of you met Gloria on the show circuit and many of you purchased her boxes over the years, including the zodiac ‘birthday boxes’ as she named them. She took such pleasure in knowing her boxes caught the eye of a customer and would be used for a special occasion, gift or memory box. Thanks to all of you who purchased and treasured her gift boxes, helping build her ‘box fund’ over the years. You made Gloria and Tony feel rich in so many ways.