Buying a card off the rack can be handy during the hustle and bustle, but taking the time to create a one-of-a-kind salutation can make someone’s day.
The day I stamped my first handmade card, my husband and I were visiting Chattanooga, Tenn., for our second wedding anniversary. We were walking around the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel and we came across this wonderful shop called Little Lace Lady. As soon as we stepped through the door, my husband knew he was in trouble.
Not only were there beautiful souvenirs and knick-knacks, but half the store is devoted to rubber stamps, decorative paper, scrapbooking supplies and other crafts. It just so happened that a free card-making class was about to begin. My husband was in a generous mood and agreed that I should take the class while he explored the train.
I had never stamped before and as soon as I made my first impression, I fell in love. I couldn’t believe how exciting this one little act was. I can still see that little hedgehog with a flower in his hand smiling back at me as if to say, “Welcome to stamping.” We colored him in with art markers and then–as if that wasn’t enough–she let us use glitter. I thought I would bubble over with joy. After completing that card, I was hooked. That night I was so excited that I actually went out and found a Michaels arts and crafts supply store so I could start making cards immediately.
That was almost nine years ago. I have no idea how many cards I’ve made since that first one, but I do know that card making remains my favorite craft. There is something so special about a handmade card. When I peek in my mailbox and see an envelope from a fellow stamper in the stack, I go for it like a kid in a piñata frenzy. I can’t wait to see what beauty awaits.
Most of my card-making friends start with the envelope. A decorated envelope signals something so heartfelt waiting inside. When you open a card that was handmade specifically for you, it is such a special feeling. I keep all of the handmade cards I receive. They are little pieces of art made with the utmost of care from people I cherish.
On the other end of that spectrum, I believe I gain just as much by making a card for someone else. When you invest the time to make a card, you think about that person during your creative process. You might choose a color they like or an image that is of significance to them. Throughout the process, the recipient and the occasion are at the forefront of your thoughts.
Devoting your energy and creativity to this activity in the name of someone you care about has weight. It connects you to them and it is such a beautiful way to share a sentiment with someone.