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Why I like to make my own cards

December 18th, 2003 · 1 Comment

It was my friend Katherine who got me started into the world of paper creativity. Her handmade cards impressed me: colorful collage and ink, personalized, warm and fun to receive. They were thoughtful, speaking to me through their simplicity of the heart and hands that shaped the paper.

I asked Katherine once why she made her own cards, and she replied that it was easier to make cards than to buy them. By the time you spend the time to shop for the perfect card, you could have created it. Seemed logical to me; I could recount quite a few times feeling frustrated, reading through card after card and coming up empty, none of them saying exactly what I wanted to express.

She inspired me and I began making my own greetings. I started with rubber stamps. But collage and paper art always intrigued me. I’d see cute 3-D cards in stores, like those ones with wedding dresses, made out of fabric, complete with pearl accents, hung on wire hangers. Flowers that popped out or fuzzy baby booties you could touch. Or reading children’s books inspired me as well, looking at the paper art illustrations.

I’m not sure how it all happened, but I think sometime about a year ago, I decided to try my hand at making collage cards. I never studied rubber stamping so I didn’t have the range of skills required to make those cards look the way they should. Stamping began to lose its appeal to me for I was so imperfect at it. I also longed to invent my own designs rather than being confined to use ones someone else had made in a factory.

The array of papers and letters and various other tools I had seen for sale in stationery stores, all kinds of scrapbooking supplies, proved to be too tempting to me. I confess I have made major investments of my hobby fund and pocket money, but I’ve also produced quite a few cards in the past year and had a lot of fun being creative. I like blogging and writing but there is something about working with my hands, cutting paper into shapes, playing with color, thinking of a new texture to add, a way to tweak a mouth or beak, improvising with my supplies, that helps me relax and laugh. I do enjoy it. So much so that I’ve even thought about creating a company for me to sell cards. I don’t know if I have the time for it, but it would be fun. I even started to make a portfolio of samples.

Since this is a season of cards I thought I’d write a bit about cards, and share one with you. Here is one I recently made for friends who are expecting their first baby in the spring:


Working with the hands speaks of the heart. What I hope I’m doing through these cards is talking through textures, sharing laughter, passing on blessings to people with paper, as Katherine blessed me.

Tags: journal

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Katherine // Dec 21, 2003 at 7:39 am

    I wish I could post a photo of the 31st birthday card you made me. It must be the pinnacle of personalized greetings and love and labor in a card. To those following this post: It is a huge sundae made out of foam, tissue paper and handmade paper of all colors, with literally 31 flavors of ice cream in a dish, and a spoon made of shiny silver paper. Each color of paper represented a specifically listed flavor, which in turn stood for a alliterative blessing. I was agog and highly blessed by your creativity and care, Julie!!! For someone who loves bright colors and lives in a family of ice cream devourers, it was the creme de la creme of birthday delights. A captivating card. A personal profession. I would buy stock in your company. 🙂