Card Making? Whatever for?
Involved in many crafts since childhood, I scoffed at the 'new craft' on the scene some ten years ago, and probably even longer than that.
I remember thinking of it as a child's hobby, putting stickers on card, not a 'proper craft'
Real Crafts were: hand and machine KNITTING including Aran Sweaters: SEWING; (my daughter's debs dress and her graduation ball dress, my sister-in-law's wedding dress); CROCHET; baby clothes, shawls, ponchos; EMBROIDERY: Irish Dancing Costumes hand embroidered (marathon task)also for my daughter, and so on and on.
Card making...Child's Play - UNWORTHY OF THE TITLE CRAFT.
Then 8 years ago cancer treatment forced me to put aside all crafts.
Lack of concentration played havoc with every effort I made. Not even a simple scarf seemed possible to knit, so strange since I had knitted for 50 years, since the age of 9.
Flicking the TV channels I 'found' Dawn Bibby, teaching and selling card and scrap booking materials.
Initially I viewed it because I did not want to spend my time in bed, or just sleeping or ..or.. or...
The frustration of being unable to do anything for months got me down. (Those who have been in that position for any reason understand what I mean)
Still holding my views on Card Craft, I thought I would try it, asking myself (glibly) 'what could go wrong with it...such a simple activity'. Oh! How wrong I was.
My first attempts were disasters. Those I keep as 'how-not-to' approach card making. So many mistakes, no success, almost gave up before I started. Why I continued I do not even remember
Back then I usually did not give up, or give in, always tried my best to master the task, not have it master me.
Basics I learned watching Dawn Bibby on TV. Then I purchased some kits from her, and began to have a little satisfaction, and eventually a tiny bit of success. I made a few cards I did not need to hide.
Encouragement came in those early days from my brother Berney. His enthusiasm spurred me on. Card making began to grow on me! Surprised and pleased I 'found' some card making magazines in a newsagent in my city. Ideas go leór, and some came with free papers. Great, now there was help.
One such magazine displayed stamps which appealed to me. I emailed asking if they had an outlet for their wares in Ireland. Woodware answered promptly, giving me 2 contacts here. Imagine my reaction; a shop approximately 12 miles from my home.
When I talked to Kerry (the owner) via 'phone, I was gob-smacked to learn her shop was and still is dedicated to crafts, and she gives weekly lessons there. A shop just for crafts?
Kerry's shop is in a very small town Spiddal Co. Galway. Named 'An Siopa Buí' (the yellow shop), it is one in a small craft village facing the Atlantic Ocean.
When I eventually drove again, I paid a visit to Kerry and Siopa Buí. Aladdin's cave? You bet. That was perhaps 7 years ago now, and Kerry and Siopa Buí have become an important part of my life. Her classes are fun, she has a great ability to enjoy life while I am more serious, so I laugh when in her company. Her encouragement is catching.
Now I consider myself a Card Maker, not super, but reasonably good. Some siblings actually keep every card I make for them, one even displays hers in her living room.
For special events I make cards for family members and friends. I have made cards for: New Babies; First Holy Communion; Baptism; Confirmation; Weddings; Sympathy; Ordination; Christmas; Easter; St. Patrick's Day; Birthdays; Congratulations; Anniversaries; and Get Well.
I LOVE THIS CRAFT NOW... no longer think of it as an impostor using the name craft. Whenever I sell a card, the donation goes to Charity, either cancer or Christian Aid.
My next challenge? 2 very special wedding cards. My lovely niece Alanna is to marry March 2nd. It could be a lonely or a sad day for her, because her Mum, my sister Carmel died 4 years ago. Of course her dad and brother will be beside her, and many aunties uncles, cousins too. The other is for our son Enda, who will marry in August.
Now the only craft I pursue is CARD MAKING AND SCRAP-BOOKING. What a turn-around! It has taken over my house though...anyone else got that complaint?
Been there, done that, worn the T-shirt. So I understand what it is like for others having treatment.
I volunteer weekly at a residential cancer care residence, for people who need several weeks of radiotherapy. Many live 3 and 4 hours (or more) from our city, Galway, and have 6 weeks of therapy on average, 5 days weekly.
This wonderful facility is a home-from-home for patients, and many have so enjoyed their classes that they have continued card-making since returning home.
I look forward to Tuesday nights and enjoy the group working and chatting and making friends with each other. This fabulous centre operates on donations only, and there is no charge to the residents.
Of course those in a position to do so give generously, others fund-raise, and locally there is some community involvement such as myself, and now my friend Catherine comes to help me. She is great, and good fun, helps to make our 'students' laugh and they love her.
Kerry kindly gives some 'class products' to me for the centre, eg inks, and is generous to the residents who go to shop with her.
There is only one thing missing now: A LOVELY LIGHT AIRY WORKSPACE, LOTS OF STORAGE AND WORKTOPS, FOR ME: AND THEN - CRAFT BLISS.
Probably I could continue this with much more 'chat' about Card Making and me. But this is enough and I hope it will give those who read it some hope, two-fold hope.
A. Persevere and your skills will improve. At 67 years I still try to improve my skills by attending classes with Kerry, when I can.
B. There is life after cancer; I am in remission for 7 years now. With hope and prayer almost everything is possible.
With kind wishes to all who read this, and
May God Bless each of you with good health.
Christina says ...
Oh Cepta my friend what a story... and one you have shared with me before... and you always make me feel humble and very grateful to have good health.
To explain to people ... I started Card Making Magic almost four years ago and Cepta was the very first person to comment on the very few pages that where there then.
She was also the very first person to ask me a question and the very first person to add a card into my newly formed Gallery... way back then.
Over the years we have kept in touch and shared lots of stuff and Cepta is very dear to me in her unfailing support over the years of me ... my website and now also the blog.
I will always be eternally grateful to her and the lovely emails she sends me from time to time and Cepta I really wish you and your card making all the very best.
You are an angel xxx