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It's All About Feeling at Home
A few years ago, my good friend Dannette, invited me to a card making event. I have an aversion to "parties" which I dread that require you to expend huge amounts of money for products you end up giving away. Little did I know when I joined her, that I would actually enjoy myself enough to pick up a new creative hobby, and make new friends.
The hostess, Wendy, was warm and personable, and my introduction to her was warm and welcoming, I had to pinch myself to see if I wasn't in a dream. She insisted that I get my car and park it in her driveway, as snow was expected. When I returned, she ushered me in to introduce me to her family. Little did I know this was just a prelude to the wonderful world of Stampin Up!, and that she was actually advancing in the organization.
Her daughter, equally as gracious. asked if I would like something to drink, and led me down to the room where we would be creating some holiday cards. She encouraged me to pick the place I would like to be and set out something for me to read until the other guests arrived.
She disappeared and then reappeared quickly with something to drink, in my case, water. I asked her some questions about her, and she sat down to chat. I found that her personality was well developed, and that she had a sweet confidence that was flourishing in the care of good parents. After a meaningful conversation, she exited back upstairs to receive the other guests on her mother's behalf. Of course, they were treated in the same way, it appeared a normal practice in this exceptional household.
Within minutes, we were settled in the craft room, and handed out all sorts of colorful paper and items that I now know are referred to as embellishments. . We were gently, completely and in my case repetitively instructed on the fine are of making personalized Christmas and Thanksgiving Cards. Although my first attempt was quite awkward, I soon became enamored with all the colored paper, ribbon, tools and other supplies offered by Wendy our hostess and her delightful daughter Mackenna.
As I mentioned before, I personally have an aversion to "marketing" parties which is what I was expecting having "trapped" a few people into them in my earlier days. That's what I was expecting, and I couldn't have been more wrong. I received a simple gift of love that night, of care, which called me out of hiding in my comfortable little home and into a wonderful family of women who do this all the time and have taught me techniques even in my most awkward moments.
I discovered that I was able to give and receive again, and it just plain felt good. I climbed in bed and slept like a baby, and woke up eager and ready to face a new day. I was more optimistic about the day. I carried that fun time in my heart and the thoughts warmed me throughout the cold winter day.
The next day when I woke up, a funny thing happened: I decided that I needed to make cards again, only this time for everyone, all throughout the year. So I called my new friend, and made a date to do it all over again! Then I went to my friend Dannette's house and she showed me how to store everything, and how some of the more advanced tools worked.
I found out there was so much more to learn, and experience, and I had this anticipation building up. There had been no pressure at all to purchase anything, but I wanted to find out what I needed to begin to create my own designs, so I asked Wendy for help. It is now two years later, and my friends are offended if they don't get a home-made card from me for their special days.
Now I am motivated to make cards for all my affairs.. When it comes right down to it, I realized how much money I have spent on cards from the store over the years, and it doesn't make sense. The gas, the time, and rarely finding what I really wanted to say in the cards I purchased, not to mention the cost, and how many times I forgot to get them at the last minute.
Then I thought of Mackenna, and how she and her mother must have had so much fun together, making and coming up with new card designs. I thought of my daughter, and granddaughters, and their creative abilities,
I am packing up some things to send to them for their holidays season, and I am going to incude some things for them to make cards too. The joy is contagious, I have a whole new outlook on winter and am really looking forward to the holidays.
When that is all over, I will get busy with all the cards I need for the New Year!
I think often on how a simple gift of love like genuine hospitality made me feel in an unfamiliar environment that night and the lasting impression it made on me to be accepted and drawn into community. I was reminded that I too, can help refresh weary travelers in the journey of life (whether physically, emotionally or spiritually weary), and more prepared for the next things that come in life. I reflected on how the simple gift of creating something new together can serve to connect us with hope that despite any difficulties, life will go on. As we chattered away happily at the tables, I come to know more about my comrades on this journey called life and together, we find solutions, share information, and encourage one another. It doesn't get much better than that.
I was reminded that we can learn new things along the way, no matter how confident or incompetent we might feel at the moment. The opportunities are there, but sometimes we have to make time to step out to embrace them, and not make excuses for avoiding them because of past mindsets. Even if we find that it isn't something we are drawn to, we can still enjoy the experience if we stay present. I had an absolutely wonderful time, and continue to as I make cards with different groups and women who love what we do.