Nolichucky West

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The Snail Mail Project- Christmas Greetings

 

“ Peace on Earth”, a beautiful and relevant sentiment on a vintage card Mother had saved in her big trunk. Today it is very peaceful in my corner of this earth. It’s sixty-five degrees on the porch, and quite sunny. The leaves on the pomegranate tree are beginning to turn yellow. The kitchen is warm and sunny as well. I am roasting our Halloween pumpkins and starting a batch of pumpkin bread.  Christmas music is playing in the backround, Raffi is singing. He is a preschool favorite that I still enjoy hearing on my Christmas playlist. I sing along.

Mother saved old greeting cards and so do I. As a teacher I would set them out along with scissors, glue, paper, and markers to let the children cut them up to make cards of their own. This year I once again created a grown-up version of the same project. I have large boxes full of the old cards and I look through to find just the right image.

I chose one box to sort through. Some are birthday greetings, some were sympathy cards, some were vintage, and a few were from last year.

 

This card was there in the box too. This one was created by a student. The outside is a message the child cut from an old card and glued to folded construction paper.

 

The inside shows a handwritten message.

 

This year I decided to make greeting cards with the shape of holiday trees on the front. The trees will be made from strips of old greeting cards. The pile of cards, a small paper cutter and scissors are assembled here. I can work on the porch today and enjoy the crisp air and cooler temperatures.

For this project I’ll be using, old greeting cards, a paper cutter, scissors, decorative edge scissors, vintage rick rack, my sewing machine, a star punch, card stock, envelopes, glue, a ruler, washi tape, scraps of colored card stock, rubber stamps, water color pencils, a small paint brush, postage stamps, and writing utensils. It seems like a lot of supplies, but they are all things I have on hand.

Some cards are cut into strips and the message inside cut out as well. The other cards will be saved for another project.

 

I sorted the card strips by color and trimmed the messages. I trimmed some of the messages with decorative edge scissors.

 

To make my trees more festive I am adding vintage rickrack. I’ll be using plain white card stock for my cards, and as usual I need to check to make sure my design ideas will fit into the envelopes I have on hand. The card stock was folded so the card will have an outside space for the tree, and an inside space for the message.

The next step is assembling the trees by sewing them on to the front of the card stock. I find sewing on paper really quite interesting. When sewing on paper I use a regular or decorative stitch and I often use a contrasting color. You can hold the paper in place with double stick tape, but I take care to place the tape where I will not sew through it as that will leave a sticky residue on the needle. For this project I chose not to use the tape. Stitching through paper dulls the needle, so I make sure to change  to a new one before I resume sewing on fabric.

 

I measured to find the center of the front of the card. This is where I will begin sewing the card strips and rick rack to the card stock.

 

The card stock is opened up so that I will only be sewing down the front. I put a strip of washi tape on my sewing machine so as to guide the stitches straight down the middle of the front of the card stock. I put the needle into position and pressed the button on my sewing machine for the  setting that has the needle end each time in the down position.

 

As I slowly began stitching I positioned the card strips alternating with the rick rack, stopping frequently to position the next card strip.

 

So there’s card strip, rick rack, card strip, etc. I’m stitching slowly all the way down.

 

The outside of the card is covered with the stitched-on strips and rick rack. Now it is time to trim it to the evergreen tree shape.

 

Using a scrap piece of paper I made a template for the evergreen tree shape. I trimmed the bottom strip to form a tree trunk.

 

After the card strips were trimmed I used the star punch and a tiny scrap to make a star. It was then glued on to the top of the tree.

 

A scrap piece of card stock was trimmed to fit behind a message, and they were both glued to the inside of the card.

 

An additional message was glued to the front. These five are finished. Next I’ll be adding a handwritten message to the inside.

 

It’s time to decorate the envelopes. I will be stamping some images, and using washi tape and vintage postage stamps.

 

Once again I purchased charming vintage postage stamps from Pack and Post. I decorated each envelope differently, it’s been awhile since I used some of the rubber stamps so I just had fun trying them all.

 

Here they are waiting to be addressed. Some will go across town and others will be traveling across the country to the dearest of relatives.

I have some more holiday greetings to write so they can be off on their journey. I’ll be handing them to our letter carrier any minute and waiting patiently to see what he what he will be handing me!

Thank you for listening. Take care

 

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