The Joy of Greeting Cards

creativity, memories

In an age where everything is instant and downloadable, wouldn’t you agree there is something special about receiving something in the mailbox?
I love seeing an envelope addressed to me and then looking to see who it’s from, where it was postmarked and I also enjoy looking at the stamps.

Vintage Unused Christmas Stamps

But when something comes in an envelope the 2nd part of opening it in anticipation of what’s inside is the real treat.
Some years my family has made handmade Christmas cards to mail to our friends and family. This was one of those years and they were less than perfect, little hand cut gingerbread men covered in glitter. Even though they weren’t perfect, we went with it and mailed them because I knew they would bring smiles to our friends. Some friends may have wondered, What Were They Thinking? Other’s may have smiled at their silliness and there may have even been a few who cursed us for the glitter~
I participated in a card card exchange this year with a photography team I belong to, Female Photographers of Etsy or FPOE.
I received beautiful cards, some were handmade and most included a photograh made by the sender.
I sent this photograph in a wallet size to all of my team mates.

If I were to purchase something to display cards in my home, I really love this wine cork board.

Handmade WIne Cork Board in Vintage Frame by:

But what to do with all of the beautiful cards when we are done displaying them?
My fellow photographer friend and paper crafter, Lisa Bonowicz shared what she does with hers. She binds them, almost like mini scrapbooks. I love this idea, I wish I would have started doing this years ago. I am thinking you could even add a recipe card for what was served that year on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Favorite cookies etc.
And I especially love the idea of being able to go back and see the handwriting of people I love.
Lisa’s photography can be found at Lisa Bonowicz and her paper crafting can be found at The Orange Sparrow.

ArtTales an AMAZING freestyle RECYCLING-FABRIC Crafter-Artist

ArtTales, crafters, creativity, eco-friendly, LEFTZ, molly O'Bryon-Welpott, owls, plush animals, recycled art, stuffed magazine, trout season, upcycled, whimsy

Fishing season, specifically TROUT season, will start very soon in Pennsylvania and if you live near any lakes, rivers or ponds in PA, you know this is a BIG DEAL!
I found this amazing shop on Etsy recently when I was looking for other artists in Pennsylvania and the uniqueness of her shop…. (HOW MANY PEOPLE DO YOU KNOW THAT MAKE STUFFED TROUT) not the taxidermist kind and not the edible kind??? Probably NONE!
But she does:)

“The trout idea sprung up because of my Uncle, who is an avid fisherman.
Men need to have plushies too ;)”
LEFTZ is the name of her shop.
Unlike myself living in rural Central Pennsylvania, Mary lives in the suburbs of Eastern Pennsylvania. She would love to someday live on a farm and that is also reflected with her mice and owls.

How does Mary approach a new piece?
“Each one starts out as a totally free form design (without a pattern) I love to collect fabric from yard sales, thrift shops, and remnant shops. With the added charm of vintage trims, vintage buttons, and with their signature missing left eye, LEFTZ are born.”
LIZZY the plush Owl

What are LEFTZ?
“LEFTZ (pronounced le-ft-e’s) are handmade plush softies made with reclaimed/upcycled material from yard sales, thrift shops, or my family. These eco friendly plushies are stuffed with recycled plastic shopping bags and are unique in their own way. Their good eye is made from layered vintage buttons. I don’t use patterns just my imagination o.X”
When I asked Mary if she displays her pieces in her home, she passionatly answered, “Absolutely! I have mounted plush on my studio walls, a full-sized Canadian goose, and an 8ft plush alligator hanging from my ceiling. All my other plush are on bookcases in my studio.”
From the magic and success of her work a viewer may think she has been doing this forever, but that is not the case. “I started sewing seriously in June of 09′ Before that I had tried to make quilts but the blocks never seemed to line up correctly. I can’t follow a pattern to save my life!”
I am a firm believer that is how some of the BEST arts and crafts are formed is through giving up using a pattern or list of rules and ArtTales proves it.
You can see a selection of the plush creatures that have been chosen for the vol. 4 summer issue of STUFFED Magazine. It will be out in July and can be found at Barnes & Noble.