When I'm not making art and thinking about art and experimenting with new art supplies, I'm at my day job in a very, very busy NYC hospital. I recently had an interview with a major department head for a different position in the hospital. Afterward, my supervisor whipped out a selection of three thank you cards, suggested I choose one, and then had me write a quick thank you note, which I hand-delivered. I was impressed with her quick thinking and advance planning and realized that although I have created lots of beautiful cards over the years, I don't actually have any on hand at home or at work to pull out at a moment's notice. So, I decided to gift my supervisor with a set of handmade cards and envelopes and make a few for myself while I was at it.
Like many artists, I have an ever-increasing pile of gelli prints, scrapbook papers, interesting magazine pages, and painted paper experiments, plus a ton of scraps that are just pretty to throw out.
I decided to mix and match and cut and paste and see what happened. I stamped some appropriate words --happy birthday, congratulations, and thank you-- onto deli paper to add to the cards. Deli paper is great because you can make a bunch of stamps, select the best one, then glue it on to the card. The deli paper is nearly invisible if you use matte medium or heavy gel medium on it.
I started with a big stack of plain white index cards. Once I folded them in half they were just the right size for card making.
Next, I took one of the white index cards and cut a window the size of the half-folded card, then used it to "audition" my papers to see which pieces would make good card backgrounds. I marked the areas I selected with a pencil and cut them using my cutting mat, metal ruler, and an Exacto knife.
I mixed and matched and cut and played with the pieces. Once I found an arrangement I liked, I snapped a quick picture so that I wouldn't forget the placement, then used a glue stick or heavy gel gloss to adhere the pieces. Using words and images stamped onto deli paper avoided having a stamping accident or imperfection ruin the card.
|A section of an experimental gelli print made with Seth Apter's StencilClub December 2017 Borderlines and the recent June 2019 June Pfaff Daley StencilClub Aboriginal Design made a cheery birthday card.
|Stencils by Gwen Lafluer were used for the yellow and blue print and the strip of blue and white paper.
|The yellow paper was made with the StencilClub Aboriginal set, and the floral paper is one of my own fabric designs, printed on paper.
|Center: the envelope template; left, the envelope front; right: the folded and glued envelope with an unexpected modern print on the inside. The paper had been gelli-printed on both sides.
|The left view has track marks from my brayer. In the center photo, I auditioned two different kinds of lace to cover it. On the right, the final envelope with its card.
|The envelope on the center top was created from some printed deli paper that was gifted to me in an art trade by Christy Anne Clark, a member of the StencilClub.
- Ornament Wallpaper Stencil, Nathalie Kalbach
- June 2019 StencilClub, June Pfaff Daley, Aboriginal
- December 2017 StencilClub, Seth Apter, Borderlines
- Not Afraid to Try, Gwen Lafluer
- Art Deco Flower Medallion, Gwen Lafleur
- July 2019 StencilClub, Valerie Sjodin, Rex Ray-Esque
- Web of Roses, Mary Beth Shaw
- Beautiful Halo, Pam Carriker
I hope this inspires to save your scraps and your imperfect prints--they might just make the perfect card, and you'll be ready for any card-needing occasion that might arise!