I missed out on the first ATC swap Cora organized, so when this one came around, I thought I'd give it a go. An ATC, or Artist Trading Card, is anything you can fit on a 2.5 by 3.5 inch card. Basically the size of a playing card. I've often thought of making one, but had just never gotten around to it. So, here is the one I made. There are so many that wanted to try it, Cora split us up into three different groups of 6. We will send them to her, she will divide them up and mail out 6 different ones to each of us. It's basically an idea I have made before on summer cards, for OWH, but the smaller canvas to work from made it a bit of a challenge. I hope the ladies like this one. It was fun to make.
The bunny in the inner tube is popped up with thin dimensionals.
And here is the card I enclosed for Cora, my coffee drinking friend, for doing this fun swap.
In light of endeavoring to try new things, I went to the Peddler's Pack LSS in Beaverton OR today to take a class on the "explosion card." It folds flat, but when you open it up, it has all kinds of pop up things in it that pop out of the top of the card that is now a box with the lid open. We had a few of these show up on Seongsook's Stampers a couple of months ago and I even got one from Nancy Keller (from SS) in our "Out of the Box" challenge. This is the one she sent me.
Isn't this pretty!
This one below is the one I made today in my class. It says Happy Birthday on it, in case you can't see that. It was a pretty small stamp. I love all the different little pieces on it. Tiny packages on the sides with card stock ribbons, ribbons around the sentiment, ribbons on the other side panels and a ton of happy balloons and a pinwheel that explode out of the top of the box. It was made with a Sizzix machine and die, but I know there are YouTube videos on how to make one without. It did take quite awhile to make just this one, so it not something I probably would make a lot of. There is baker's twine tied off around the balloons, and there is a back panel where you can write a brief note. Folded, as long as the embellishments aren't over the top of the "box" flaps, it fits into an A2 size envelope. They did give us a large envelope to go with it. And I would probably hand deliver one like this or mail it in a bubble wrap envelope anyway. It was a lot of fun to make.
On May 12th, we got the news from Sandy with the May Situation Report from Operation Write Home, (http://operationwritehome.org/finishing-strong-campaign/), that OWH was going to end operations by the end of the year. Our last cards to Sandy will have to be delivered to her by August 1st. Sandy said she used to send out 250 flat rate boxes of cards a month to contacts overseas, but that has dwindled down to 60 and still falling. It means our men and women are coming home, or are already back now with their family and friends, and this is a VERY good thing. The original purpose of the organization, the reason for the non-profit status in the first place was to send cards to units that didn't have access to cards or stationary...those in combat zones that didn't have a post store (PX) to go to where they could get some. Of course, there will always be troops overseas on bases that are already established, but those do have the ability to get paper/cards/stationary to write home on. And we're hoping they do! But the news that our favorite charity was closing up shop stunned us all.
This news hit many of us hardy card makers very hard. And it's taken many days to process what this means for all of us. This has been our passion and obsession for the last 5, 6 or 7 years. Sending hand made cards to our troops in harms way and has been the thing driving many of us to continue to make lots of cards, to have gatherings with friends to produce many cards and write letters and notes to the service men and women, and frankly, justify our need to buy more card/art supplies! But it was inevitable and really, we have to remember that the reason is a good one. I just wish all of them could come home and we didn't have to send them overseas in the first place. But I suppose there will always be a need to have a US presence in other countries. We have embassies everywhere after all, and the military bases in friendly countries. Someone has to stand guard. God bless them all and protect them.
So, this last week, our local group associated with East Woods Presbyterian Church has had 2 more meetings where cards were produced to fill those last few boxes we will be sending to Sandy. I went to this week's group at an LSS, Molly's Craft Shack. Molly, the owner, opens up her crafting room for us to make cards and has even helped out with a lot of the assembly of card kits. I hope we can continue to go there for fun gatherings. She has said she hopes we continue as well. It's good for business after all. LOL
Here are some cards I made into kits for our meeting on the 18th. Esther says they are all packed up and on the way to Sandy now. I brought in 56 already finished cards and 15 in three kits that we put together. With others contributing, the box contained 248 by the time we were done, and 132 Any Hero cards. Esther says she has a bunch in another box already and we hope to fill that before the deadline. We have one more meeting planned at my friend Mary Benson's Assisted Living home, Brookdale at Fisher's Landing, on Monday the 25th. Then next month, I think we're still planning on meeting at Ellen's on the 2nd Tuesday evening, and at Molly's Craft Shack on the 3rd Monday of the month.
These first five are Any Hero cards that will be used to write encouraging notes of thanks and appreciation to our troops. Those go in the boxes with the blank cards Sandy sends.
These three were kits that I took to the group on last Monday that were made up into cards and put in the box Esther mailed out.
This one is a card design I put together after I got home Monday and several of these will go out in the next box to OWH.
So, I continue making cards for OWH, but at a much slower rate, and I'm trying to branch out into other avenues for my crafting. I've gotten involved in a FB group, Seongsook's Stampers, and we have challenges every month or so to try a new technique, or new theme, and send one card to one other member of the group. The names are chosen at random, so you aren't just sending to the same person and this way we get to know everyone a little better and get a variety of wonderful cards. And everyone shares their cards they are making or have received by posting pics on FB, and I'm having the best time. Everyone in this group is so talented and encouraging and helpful. This is so much fun and my go-to group every day. You know, after sending cards out to family and friends for so many years and not getting many back...this is a treat because I have gotten so many lovely cards and look forward to going to the mailbox again! Yay for the USPS.
But I digress. I just wanted to jot down a few thoughts about OWH closing and post some of the cards I've made recently that will still go to the troops. Now, what am I going to do with all those patriotic stamps I have stock piled? :)
I have been working on Any Hero cards this last few days and had thought of using military campaign ribbons for inspiration. It's turned into a lot of crafty fun, AND I used up a bunch of scraps too. I still have some "ribbons" left for another card making session, but I made 20 so far. I hope you like them.
This month is also another ODBD Challenge on the OWH website and the theme is embossing. So with the embossing on some of these, I am going to enter mine there too.
Here's my inspiration:
I'll be writing letters in these and will share with my stamping/card making friends Esther, Ellen and friends that get together a couple of times a month to put together cards for OWH.