Cards done

I have finished my stepmother’s gift, and I am pretty happy with the end result.  They are simple and pretty and the whole project cost under $10.00.  I made 50 cards in all. The next project on my crazy agenda is a messenger bag for my 17 year old sister.  I finally have everything I need to get it made.  I will be working with canvas and leather and other materials I have never used before, such as fusible webbing.  Also, I have actually never made a bag before.  Sooo.. fun?  Wish me luck.

some of my handmade cards

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Card Making and Trash Picking

Today two things happened.  First, I actually started a Christmas gift!  I started making cards for my Stepmother.  I had the idea to make every occasion cards for her, as she is the sweet & thoughtful type.  She once sent me a “Thank you” card for a “Thank you” card I sent her for a gift she bought me for no reason.  See my point?  So. I thought it would be great to make cards for her and a cute box with dividers to keep them in.  So, after a 2 hour trip to the craft store (with a unamused toddler, we will call her Sweet P) I was able to get all the supplies I should need for the aforementioned card project, a messenger bag for my sister, curtains for my mother-in-law and 2 Dora backpacks for my nieces.  I also got some beautiful cream georgette for a “remains to be seen” project.  How much did I spend?? Well, I’ll tell you, $10.83.  My secret,40% and a gift card.  It was my birthday in November.  So, yup I am still consuming, but I hope this will be last of it.  I am flying straight from here on out.  The majority of the materials needed for these projects I actually bought at a thrift store.  Such as the curtains for my mother-in-law.  I am a big fan of getting things from the thrift store and repurposing them. But, I will save that adventure for a later blog.  Back to the cards, they are adorable.  I finished all the “Thank You” and started on the “Congratulations” during Sweet P’s nap time.  I had the idea to deconstruct cards I have received and have been hoarding for years to make new cards.  Wedding cards are perfect for this because they have so much “going on” with multiple layers and inserts and such.  At first, I questioned if it was some how sacrilegious to reuse my wedding cards, but then my practical side won out.  The cards are just paper, it was the thought that counts.  So…those cards are getting to bring joy twice!  I hope to finish the cards tomorrow and I will post pictures of the finished project, unless they are hideous and then I will steal photos from someone else’s blog and pass them off as my own.  The second big event of the day??  As, I was leaving the house to pick up my hubby I saw something good poking out of my neighbors trash.  I casually walked by and what did I find? 2 rolls of unopened-never-been-used-Christmas-wrapping-paper!! Score!!  I threw those bad boys in the stroller and lifted my head high, because there “aint no shame in my game!”.

 

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I want more by buying less.

“The Holidays” are approaching.  Christmas mania is in full swing.  Black Friday, Cyber Monday, now is the time to buy.

It seems everyone wants to sell me something and hoping to save me money by doing so. My friends and family need to know I love them, and that love needs to be shiny and/or plastic, most likely “made in China” and sent to me with “free” shipping from California. Stockings are being hung by the chimney with care with hopes that an Ipod will soon be in there.  Never am I so repulsed by the consumer culture than in the month of December.  The constant bid and beg for my dollar makes my already clenched fist even tighter around it.  It makes me question, “What is this thing worth if they want it so badly?”.

They have teams, agencies, analysts and psychologists all working together to figure out what/who the consumer is, they want to understand us, so they can take our money.  They are working like little elves around the clock to create the perfect toys we won’t be able to resist.  They are creating a need in us, that previously did not exist.  Isn’t this called manipulation.  Are they doing it to make our lives better, do we really need this “new thing” to be happier?  I would say maybe I do not.   I feel like so many people are broke right now, myself included, that the need is strong.  We want to be able to buy things for the people we love, we want them to be happy, we want to be happy even if it is only for a day.  I bet my kid would love a play kitchen for $151.00 from Toy R Us and I would love to see her face when she opens it…But, why would I spend that much money just for that one moment?  She has true simple joy everyday, it doesn’t need to be bought.  Why am I trying to buy joy? It feels like trying to buy air, when it is free all around me. So, here I am wondering if I could do better.  Be more creative, thoughtful, and joyful by consuming less.  What if instead of spending countless hours out shopping this month I stay home with my family and  be with them?? CRAZY! I am 33 years old, I own a home, I have a really wonderful husband, a crazy happy baby, and one stinky cat.  I have enough.  I want less stuff and more joy, so from here forward I am anti-consumer.  I will make Christmas this year, after all isn’t the thought that counts. I feel a little crazy and wish I thought of this 6 months ago, with Christmas being in 4 weeks and all.  Also, I am not a crafter.  Carolanne Ingalls I am not.  I have desperately wanted to be a crafter but historically  I lack the follow-through it takes to make baby clothes, quilts, jewelry, candles, soap, scarves, etcetera.  So, this is going to be personally challenging and potentially embarrassing.  I am counting on the nonstop holiday stimulus to keep me angry motivated enough to succeed and books from the library and other peoples crafty blogs for the know how.   It won’t be easy, but I doubt it will be has hard as they make it out to be..right?

 

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