Hallmark and American Greetings have nothing on these two.
In between moments of concentration, casual chit-chat and laughter is heard round the room when my mom and her friend, Jan, get together to craft. What’s their forte? Greeting cards. Of all shapes, sizes, patterns, colors, and for all of life’s moments.
They’re quite skilled, come up with never-ending ideas, and have bags and bags full of paper, cutting tools, tape, patterns, and embellishments like rhinestones, sequins, ribbon, stickers, and more I can’t tell you the names of.
Cards that fly out of their hands are both simple and ornate, but they put immense care into each one. They are meant to be appreciated, shown off for a while, and maybe even saved — more than I can say about most greeting cards. And when you really look at them, you can see the time, effort, and love put into each fold, each added sparkle, and each stamp or embossed design.
The cards they make that impress me the most are ones featuring Iris folding, which is basically a way to fold different colored paper to form a design that results in having a blank space — or iris — in the middle. Until my mom sent me one, I’d never seen it before and it blew me away. I’ve seen her and Jan use this technique to create flowers, sailboats, animals, ice cream cones, winter clothing items, and even Geisha women.
Apart from making them on their own time, they try to get together once a month with their other friend, Nancy, to socialize and construct new creations. Sitting in on a crafting session can be pretty amusing, as they pretend to pick on each other and share smile-inducing stories throughout the hours. And believe it or not, they don’t even indulge in any alcohol during these moments. I personally think wine should be part of each gathering, but thinking twice about that makes me wonder if cards would turn out a bit… less than perfect!
These ladies are pretty serious about card making, and watch out if you’re ever with them when a sale pops up at Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, or JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores. “Just wanting to look” quickly turns into buying extra supplies for at least an hour. However, they all share their items between each other without hesitation, so when you think about it, they have an endless supply of everything they need at all times.
One of life’s joys is to be with friends you love and enjoy doing something together, and I’m glad my mom and Jan have that. I think it not only gives them a creative outlet, but also keeps them young, engaged in life, social, and provides fun memories to recall. I hope to have something similar with a friend or many friends when I’m older.
Bonus! If you’re interested in purchasing individual or sets of customized, hand-made cards from Jan or my mom, they take orders for any occasion! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Do you craft with your friends? What do you create? Let me know in the comments below.