BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — Debbie Reimond is the creative type. She’s been crafting since she was a kid and has no plans to stop. In fact, she’s not sure she could stop even if she tried.
After 40 years of construction and factory work, Debbie retired in the spring and has spent her retirement enhancing her crafting skills.
“This is what I want to do for the rest of my life,” she explained. “I just want to create. I retired so I could create.”
Debbie – who creates all kinds of art pieces, from crocheted blankets and figurine clothes to concrete installations and gourmet marshmallows – has branched out to 3-D, light-up shadow boxes. DeLIGHTS by Debbie are personalized pieces for people of all ages.
Debbie saw a version of the product on the internet and chose to put her own spin on it. Changing out battery-operated fairy lights to USB-powered LED lights and adding small pops of color to the white paper layers. She made notes of the feedback she received and turned the products into pieces that could be enjoyed day and night.
“A lot of people said you couldn’t tell what it is during the day, and I thought I could start detailing them and make them look good during the day and night,” Debbie said.
Sometimes, though, it’s hard to find the right balance. Too little color and the piece isn’t visible during the day, but too much doesn’t allow for the light to reflect well at night. She’s learned that each piece must be created based on both the wants and needs of the customer.
A customer tells her what design or theme they want – silhouettes, sports, patriotic, holiday, animals, celestial, fantasy, movies and more – and then Debbie helps them figure out what they need. If the design will primarily be used as a night light for kids, more color is appropriate as it stays a little dimmer at night. If it’s meant to be displayed in a space typically only seen in the evening, less color is needed.
“You name it, I can do it,” Debbie said. “I’m 99-percent sure I can create anybody’s dream shadow box.”
Each dream shadow box currently costs $50.00 – a price Debbie is hopeful to maintain considering the rise in prices on some of her supplies.
A shadow box consists of the box itself, eight layers of paper, spacers and the LED lights, complete with remote. That doesn’t include her time to design, cut, assemble and detail the final pieces.
“They’re all handmade, one at a time,” Debbie said.
The process can be time-consuming. For some pieces, she has designs she can rework to create the product, but for others she has to seek out the best ideas and convert the imagery or she has to draw it herself.
“I’m really proud of the Waterville Bridge one. That was really one of the first ones I ever made on my own and it was very difficult to figure out how to do that from scratch with no help,” Debbie said.
She drew a replica of Waterville’s Roche de Boeuf bridge as a keepsake for those in the area to remember it by after it was announced the bridge would be removed.
Many of Debbie’s pieces are used not just for décor, but also as keepsakes and ways to remind customers of precious memories. She’s done silhouettes of newlyweds, paw prints and names of animals that have passed away, and other sentimental pieces.
Photos of additional pieces she has created can be found on her Facebook page, DeLights by Debbie. Some of her pieces can also be found at Rae Ray’s Décor and More in Perrysburg or at several craft shows across the area.
“I’m planning on doing one show a month to see how it goes,” she said.
Debbie currently has plans to be at The Create Art Community Fest on Saturday, August 6 in Whitehouse, the Maumee Summer Fair on Saturday, August 13 and the Roche de Boeuf Festival on Saturday, September 24.
It can be difficult to properly showcase her light-up creations outdoors, but it’s a challenge she’s ready to take on if it means she can continue doing what she loves.
To discuss custom pieces, Debbie can also be found at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (419) 343-8516.