Be well, do good work, and keep in touch. Garrison Keillor
In the 1990s I started rubber stamping. And I loved it so much that eventually it became a business – first I started a sales rep company and worked for many vendors, then one of my vendors hired me to work for them. I taught classes, did demonstrations, even wrote a book. I look back on that time of my life with great fondness, but I learned a very valuable lesson – sometimes turning something you love into a business makes you lose your love for your hobby. For a long time I had no interest in making cards or anything related to that activity. I’ve slowly been getting back into the swing of things and even had a wonderful time teaching a group of kids to make a waterfall card. To see their eyes light up when they successfully created a card that moves was pretty thrilling! Here are a few examples of some cards I made during my “other” life:
These darling images were drawn by Shelly Comiskey, who is first and foremost an incredible clay artist (check out her Facebook page – Simply Shelly Designs). Her rubber stamp designs are sold exlusively by Whipper Snapper Designs – and they are all darling.
At any rate, lately I’ve been thinking about sending out greeting cards. I still don’t have a really strong desire to make my own (although that may happen again someday!). I have been sending e-cards – particularly from Jacqui Lawson (jacquilawson.com), who does charming and delightful moving interactive e-cards; as well as an astounding advent calendar that perfectly captures the wonder of Christmas. But I still miss sending out a card that someone can hold. There’s the excitement of getting a piece of mail that isn’t an ad or a bill, and knowing that someone made the effort to pick out, purchase and send a card. But cards are expensive, and I don’t know about you, but I rarely have a stamp in the house anymore.
Along comes my sweet friend Pam – Pam is a distributor for a company called Send Out Cards. Now I have to admit that Pam has told me about this company several times and although I was interested, I never made the effort to really check into it. That is, until last Saturday. Pam and her daughter came over to spend the day with me to learn how to make candy. And did we make candy! Fudge and caramels and layered peppermint bark and homemade Butterfinger candy bars and meringue nuts and homemade hot chocolate! Whew. But more to come on that later (with pictures and instructions!). Late on Saturday when we were all in a happy, sugar-induced haze, Pam and I started looking at Send Out Cards online. And I have to tell you, I’m hooked.
This is such a wonderful concept. For a basic fold-over 5″ x 7″card just like you find at the store (Send Out Cards calls this a two panel card), you’ll spend under $1.00 including postage. I signed up for the “pay as you go” package, which cost me $15.00. For my $15.00, I received 20 points and $5.00 in my expense account. The expense account is used for postage (as well as gifts if you choose to send one). Each basic two panel card costs 2 points. You also have the option to send a postcard, 4 panel card or a “big” card which is 8.2″ x 11.5″. There are literally thousands of cards to choose from, in every type of theme and category – funny, faith, love, holidays, you name it. You can add your own pictures to your cards and any message you like, with a nice selection of fonts. The program is very intuitive and easy to work with – I had so much fun I sent out 4 cards on Saturday. Once you have created your card, you simply put in the address of the recipient, and send it. Send Out Cards prints it, puts it in an envelope (unless it’s a post card), stamps it, and mails it within just a few hours. I’ve added a link to my blogroll for Send Out Cards.
So now I’m off to send a few more cards. Can’t wait to to hear the reactions from my friends and family! And, I think this is going to make Christmas much easier.