Those of you who follow me on Facebook know about the little project I’m working on these days. As we find ourselves more isolated than we’ve been in FOREVER, we have to find ways to keep touching, reaching out, connecting with people. I’m doing that by handwriting a short note of encouragement to about three people each day.
I asked my Facebook friends to send their mailing addresses—and they really came through! Some even asked me to send a note to someone else whom they knew would benefit from some #encouragingwords.
I ordered extra stamps, organized my pens, selected a few rubber stamps, and made a pile of cards. Using my paisley Zentangle(R) notecards, I am doing two things:
I write a personal note, something I hope is unique and encouraging to the recipient.
I offer them the option of coloring the card and sending me a photo of the finished result.
I wanted to make this experience active, interactive, a blessing to the people who receive a card. The few moments it takes to color the little illustration on the front are moments of calm refreshment. The brain gets to take a break from the worries of the day and just make something. Color is a mood-changer. And it’s a personal way to make something that never existed before. We are all creators at heart.
Here are some of the glorious results, from people all over North America:
And more come in every day. I hope you enjoy seeing them, because I want to post them here as a gallery of joy. This kind of connection, for me, is a heartfelt craft. My heart is in it. As you can see, the recipients’ hearts are in it, too.
If you would like to receive a card from me, please use the contact form on this site or email me directly at
About a week ago, I spent eight hours in a classroom with twenty women. We colored. We shaded. We erased. And we did all of this with Copic® markers. When we were finished, each of us was certified as a Standard Copic Marker Designer. This means we are allowed to teach the techniques (the basics only) of using these very special markers. TEACH? Not yet. I still need a lot of practice before I feel adequate to teach anyone how to use them.
Here are a few key details:
Choose the right paper. If paper is too porous, the blending can be muddy and you will use a lot more ink.
This is more than coloring. This is more like painting—mixing colors, adding colors, saturating.
Don’t be afraid to “mess up” the marker. They practically clean themselves!
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. There’s a marker that ERASES boo boos!
Here are a few of the practice pieces I worked on.
If you’re like me, you enjoy doing more than one kind of craft. In the winter, I get busy with yarn and sewing crafts. In the summer, I do more outdoor projects. But all year long, I love doing papercrafts. It’s the only kind of crafting that I’ll find classes to take that help me learn how to do it better.
Last week, I went to an all-occasion card-making class. Here’s a selection of the cards I made there:
I’ve been on a card-making craze ever since. I decided to make several different kinds of cards and then create a box for the set as a gift for my stepmother. It all started with butterflies and went on from there. The box is a pre-made wooden one I bought at Michael’s. I covered the bottom with red felt, so it won’t scratch any surfaces. Then I cut paper pieces for the top and some flower cutouts from the Secret Garden paper collection, and matching paper for the inside bottom. On the top I attached some 3-D butterflies. Here’s a look at how it turned out:
Then I made 10 cards to fill the box. The cards are of all sizes and shapes and themes. I wanted her to have lots to choose from. Here are two of them:
When the box was full, it was ready to be given. Dear Carol loved it! I think I’ll be doing this more often for friends and family as gifts. Now she’ll have some cards to choose from when she needs to share her wishes for a happy birthday, a thank you, a thinking of you, or a note of sympathy.
I’ll be posting lots more card-making and paper-crafting ideas over the next few weeks. Check back often for some pretty photos—and some step-by-step “how to” directions!