I have made cards, mostly just for Christmas for friends and famliy, since a pre-Christmas, Christmas meal with my flat-mates when I was at college and realised that I had forgotten to buy any to go with the presnts. Being an art student, I had a useful supply of stuff in my bedroom, coming up with some card, a gold ink pen, gold paint and a wine cork, and 5 speedy minutes later I had elegant gold holly leaves wit golden berries on black card Christmas cards. They were received so well, that I made them for everyone I sent cards to that year. 28 years later & it has become a ‘thing’. I have to make our Christmas cards. My cards haven't always been ‘cards’, some have been designed to hang on the tree like the ones inspired by a Harry Potter film - I painted cork coasters dark blue, stencilled a gold crescent moon on one side and on the other were little spots of glittery stars, they hung from gold thread and were weighted with gold beads and a little bell. Others have been stitched, like the clove scented hearts with part of the ‘Little Donkey’ carol printed onto them. Another year it was the front of the Boots catalogue that inspired the design, interlocking Christmas trees. I'm afraid I don't have any pictures of thse past creations.
I decided to make some cards for sale this year when I went to the Handmade Fair at Ragley Hall. I had a beautiful display of lampshades but knew that not everyone would want one (sadly!) so I made some cards from painted and stitched fabric left over from lampshade making. I hate waste and couldn’t just throw these painted pieces away, So I had been keeping them thinking that one day they would in useful... I decided to buy 100% recycled card stock & envelopes which are made in the UK. Being a fervent supporter of the reduction of single use plastic items, I didn't want to put them in cellophane envelopes, so I had some paper strips printed saying that the card is a Needlesmiths Original, that it is a hand painted, on recycled card, & made in the UK. It also gave me somewhere to stick the price label. They were admired and lots of people bought them. As a supporter of the ‘Just a Card’ campaign & now participator, I was very pleased with the reaction. Each one is a different and tiny artwork, I have gone on to make more and they form a regular part of my stock now. Many have been taken home to be put into frames and not sent to anyone as they are ‘too nice’!
As I make cards but am not a ‘card-maker’, I have only recently discovered another movement ‘Naked Cards’, and as you can see from the sidebar here I have 'Taken the Naked Card Pledge'. This campaign encourages card-makers not put their cards into plastic sleeves. Some use ‘paper belly wraps’ which turn out to be that strip of paper I had ‘invented’ to keep my card and envelope together and to put a price tag on!
I’m really pleased to support and be part of two great networks and grateful to be supported by the many visitors to events, fairs, and the Studio Barn, who buy “Just a Naked Card”.
Do support the 'Just a Card' Campaign if you can. You can find them on Twitter & Instagram & Facebook. And of course if you can support an independant artist, designer, retailer or gallery, then all the better!
More again soon
Author - Me!
I am a ‘Creative’ - designer/maker/teacher/writer, Art/Homewares/Creativitea Craft Kits/The Needlesmith.