Sunday, April 28, 2013

Let's try this again.

Every year it seems I come back to this.  LOL.  THIS time, I am truly going to get to work on this.  I wanted a place to put my cards and notes and thoughts and this is perfect.  So, I guess I will try to tackle it once more.  :)

I have gone back through my cards that I made early on and am chagrined at how simple they look and, well, I admit it, amateurish.  Hey, I never said I was an artist.  But I've always been creative and wanted to improve.  Since I've gotten into card making and stamping, I needed an outlet for the number of cards I was making.  One can only send so many cards to friends and relatives before they start looking at you funny.  Who sends a card for Happy Candy Corn Day, I mean, really?

So, I found Angel Stampers for Soldiers on line or maybe it was mentioned in one of my many stamping magazines.  Yes, there are magazines that are just for the hobby stamper besides the scrapbooker (is that a real word?), and they have their own magazines too.  Anyway, ASFS was a charity asking for hand made cards that were sent to the troops.  It was started by a lady who made cards and wanted to send cards and letters to her nephew when he was deployed.  She soon learned some of his friends almost never got mail so she decided to send them some as well.  Long story short,  her project blossomed into a network of card makers across the country sending cards in to her which she boxed up and sent to troops overseas that had requested care packages or cards and letters.  Well, after her nephew's 4 year hitch, she decided to quit.  It was a huge project by then, her nephew was no longer in the service and  face it, she had a real life besides her hobby.  I was sad then, but after searching for other outlets on line and in magazines, I found  OPERATION WRITE HOME.  It sounded like this was another great group that took in hand made cards that were then sent to troops overseas so they would have something nice to write home on.  It was the answer to my obsession prayers.  It's an excellent excuse to go to the craft store and drool over paper, stamps and embellishments too.

It wasn't long before I found someone on the OWH website that lived locally and we got together somehow and that has evolved into twice monthly group meetings where we put together cards for our Heroes from card kits we make and bring to these.  It's usually two hours of fun, friendship, giggles and putting together great cards to send in to Sandy (President and CEO of OWH, and our West Coast Shipper).  AND we usually write a few notes to the troops ourselves to include in the boxes.  There is always a need for notes/letters of thankfulness and encouragement, or just to say hi, to our brave men and women that are serving in the armed forces far from home and their loved ones.  Like with ASFS, there are still service men and women that don't get any mail.  Can you believe that?  It's the least we can do to include notes to THEM when we send in boxes of cards for them to choose from to write home on.

So, this is a little background on this blog and my work and what gets my juices flowing.  LOL.  Since I started making cards over ten years ago for myself, and the last 5 or so, of also making cards to send to the troops, I've made leaps and bounds in my design, color sense and just craftsmanship, I think.  I would post some of my earlier cards from the Angel Stampers for Soldiers days, but let's just say they were rough drafts...very rough.  The ones I've been making since I found OWH are a lot better.  Being surrounded by so many talented people sharing their art and love on the OWH website and the Facebook page can't help but rub off, and it has helped boost my confidence and my art.  It's such fun to check out other blogs too and see the beautiful art that is being made.  I am often humbled, because Lord knows there are folks out there that are far more talented than I, but I can rub elbows with them, so to speak and learn from them.   Goodness, just looking at the beautiful pieces of art makes me feel good too.  How can that be wrong?  I've learned, this is where I want to be.  These are my people!

Anyway, I just wanted to stop by today and get my thoughts together...this is a work in progress and hopefully I can learn to corral my art, my passion, my thoughts...to help me improve and continue to grow.  AND to continue to make more beautiful cards to donate to OWH so someone, somewhere can have a bit of "pretty" or "funny" or "sentimental" to write a note on and send home to a loved one...a family member, or a child, a BFF or their sweetie.  Who doesn't like to get a hand written card?  I know I do.  Stay tuned.

PS  Thanks for visiting.