Wednesday, November 23, 2011

52 Weeks of Mail: Week 2, Follow Your Dream

Back in October, my friend K and I were taking an online class together called Mondo Beyondo.  It's all about figuring out what your big dreams are and how to make them real.  One of the lessons mentioned a book called The Wishing Year: A House, a Man, My Soul by Noelle Oxenhandler.  I read it pretty quickly, and decided that K might like it too, so I packed it up for her. 

Since I was doing 52 Weeks of Mail, I figured I should also include a nice card.  So I made her one:

Basic Grey has some really cool greeting card kits, which contain all the fixin's for 8 greeting cards based on their paper design lines.  The kits have all the papers, conveniently cut into the right shapes and sizes, die cuts, rub-ons, and chipboard embellishments, plus detailed step by step instructions on how to assemble each card.  You don't even need scissors - just some strong adhesive!

I *love* these kits because it's a quick and easy way to make a handmade card, and it helps me get over the initial fear and paralysis of having a blank page staring me down.  Then I can get creative and embellish and change certain parts while keeping the basic idea.

For K's card, I added some super-cute epoxy letters from KI Memories to spell out "dream" and the little rub-on border with the flying bug (bees? butterflies? No idea.) across the bottom border and a tiny spot at the top.

A couple of things I learned from making this one:
  • When applying rub-ons to uneven surfaces, be patient.  It will work, but go slow so you don't break the pattern. 
  • Putting letter stickers in a line with even spacing isn't as easy as it seems like it should be.  Use a ruler or make them delightfully uneven by exaggerating their placement.  As opposed to just a little crooked :)
 So, are you doing 52 Weeks of Mail yet?  Share your links!

Monday, November 21, 2011

52 Weeks of Mail: The Beginning

Hello, poor neglected crafty blog!  I've missed you so much.  But I have a cool new project to write about!  52 Weeks of Mail was started by the Etsy Greetings Team, a group of card sellers.  It's a weekly challenge to handwrite a letter to someone and mail it, with real stamps in a real mailbox.

This was a perfect way to push me into making more cards, and of course, spreading a little love around the world, too.  Back in the Dark Ages of my childhood, we didn't have this newfangled invention called e-mail.  We had to write letters, with a pen, barefoot 10 miles in the snow.  Each way!

I loved writing letters as a kid, and my mom encouraged it.  I wrote to my relatives in India, to other kids I had met at summer camps, and even to a penpal or two I found in Metal Edge magazine, who liked the same cheezy 80s hair metal bands as me.  Mike in Calgary, you rock! \oo/

It started back on Oct 9, and I'm a little behind, of course, so I will be playing catchup.  Fortunately Christmas is around the corner and I've already got a bunch of handmade cards ready! 

Standard personalized stationery with a little zing!
But first, the beginning! It just so happened that my friend G bought one of my handmade copper zipper pulls for her diaper bag in anticipation of her baby's arrival.  So I figured I'd include a little handwritten note to her to kick off my 52 Weeks.  I was scrambling around to find a card, and realized I could make one pretty quickly from some personalized stationery I've had since 2005 (yeah, seriously). 

I used my fancy Fiskars Border Punch to make the scalloped border, then found some coordinating red paper with a subtle pattern and glued a narrow strip to the underside of the front of the card to "fill in" the border.

And that was it. Simple, but just a touch of handmade goodness.  I wrote to wish G and her family happiness and sleep with the arrival of their baby.  Because what new parents couldn't use a little more sleep?

It's not too late to join in!  If you decide to get in on the 52 Weeks of Mail goodness, blog about it and drop me a link here so I can see what nifty things you've sent out!