I’ve been sending out handmade cards on the most regular schedule ever, and it feels pretty good. In this digital age of quick tags, handles, emails, and Facebook messages, I feel like the act of sending or receiving a card through snail mail, handmade or not, has taken on a deeper meaning. At least for me. Earlier this summer, I received a thank you card from my niece, which I don’t believe has ever happened before, and it made me so happy! Our neighbor, who is also becoming a sweet friend, has dropped several cards into our mailbox since we met, and it really warms my heart! I’ve been sending handmade cards to my Aunt and Uncle for awhile now, and yesterday I just received the sweetest phone message from my Aunt telling me how much she appreciates it. It is a great way, if not the best way, in my opinion, to make a loved one’s day super sweet. I think the non-occasion cards seem to say, “I’m thinking of you often, not just during the holidays.” And these types of cards can be crafted at the gentle pace that suits me well. The mad rush of Christmas card making can really stress a crafter out, don’t you agree?
With all the mailing, I’m running out of cards haha! So as it was time to make some more (and fast!), I picked up a 5×5 Authentique paper pad that I fancy right now because it’s got lots of bee imagery! Side note – if you are interested in bees, I’ve been posting lots of video snippets on Instagram if you haven’t hooked up with me there. The more I learn about these guys, the more wonder I experience as I move around my growing pollinator sanctuary. A great book on honeybees that I just finished and would like to share with you, A Short History of the Honey Bee: Humans, Flowers, and Bees in the Eternal Chase for Honey. Another book I refer to often when identifying bees in my California garden is titled, California Bees and Blooms: A Guide for Gardeners and Naturalists. There’s a huge, fuzzy orange bee that I often see in the spring – it’s so huge and its buzz is so loud that I’m often startled by it and I get the chills haha – now I know it’s a male carpenter bee. The female is shiny and black! Xylocopa varipuncta. Can you feel my enthusiasm through my written word? 🙂
OK back to my cards! These cards were really fast. I didn’t think much about the patterned paper coordination, simply trusting that the designers at Authentique knew what they were doing when they put the collection together. The die-cuts were all crafted using dies from Eileen Hull’s newest collection with Sizzix. The ones I’m sharing today are all Bigz type dies, oh yeah!
This adorable pansy above was die-cut using the Flower, Pansy die.
The Sizzix sandwich for all the Bigz type dies I used in these cards is as shown above – put cardstock and die between your cutting pads and send this sandwich through your Sizzix Big Shot.
The long decorative petals in the flower above were die-cut using the Flower, Heart & Soul die. The nested die-cut shapes in this one blossom give a nice pop to the card. And a beloved button in the middle is all I add to make the card extra special.
A added a little bit of subtle interest on my background mat using leaves of the same hue die-cut from the Leaves, Spring die, also designed by Eileen Hull. If I had to choose one die from the collection, it would be this one. Leaves are useful for projects throughout the year, and this one is a Bigz, which means you can easily die-cut lots of non-paper texture-rich pieces with it, too. Love love love the jagged style-lines!!! This was an afterthought for my card because I had stamped some letters that got smudged (dagnabbit!), and I didn’t have time to do a new card, so I simply adhered some leaves on there and voilà!
A little ribbon here, a few small banner shapes with scrap pieces,a brad, a stamped sentiment. Really easy.
I think these flowers and leaves have such cool scallops and jagged style lines that they would be awesome in a monochromatic project with sanded edges to highlight the lovely shapes!
I hope you find some time this summer to mail a few cards out to folks you care about. Great activity for kids on vacation, I would think. See you back here soon!