Unorthodox Crafts
 
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I never intended to make cards. Of course, I never intended to make anything, so I guess that isn't saying much! I was already really busy making earrings, purses and scarves and did not need another craft - especially one that required an investment in new materials.   But several years ago, a few months before Christmas I bought some foil origami paper, thinking it would make good holiday earrings. Unfortunately, it was too flimsy to use for earrings.  Determined to make some type of holiday earring, I started making Christmas tree earrings instead.  LIGHT BULB MOMENT!!  I could use the foil paper to make Christmas trees for cards.  After a few trials to figure out the right size tree to put on a card, and an investment in blank cards and envelopes, a new craft was born. 

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But wait!  I am Jewish!  I need to make Hanukkah cards also!   Fortunately, there are LOTS of origami Star of David patterns.  Unfortunately, most of them are really boring.  I realized that in order to make a good card, the origami needs to be flat enough to fit in an envelope, but  three-dimensional enough to make it visually interesting.  Finally, I found a pattern which I liked.  The first star I folded took me 45 minutes!  Oh well, it was a labor of love and I knew I would get better at it.  And since there is not a large market for Hanukkah cards in Maine, I did not need to have a huge supply.  Ironically, I could not use the foil paper for the stars, so I had to invest in new origami paper.  Happily, the new paper I bought for stars also worked well for trees.  And since I already had the blank cards and envelopes, I was all set.

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Having entered the world of card-making, I was primed to make a Valentines Day card.  The search for an appropriate origami heart was even more difficult than the search for the star had been.  But it was winter and I was recovering from back surgery.  Unable to do much else, I sat on the couch surrounded by paper and folded dozens of hearts.  The pattern I ultimately chose uses a large rectangle rather than standard square origami paper.   OMG, more paper shopping!!  I finally found beautiful large double-sided origami paper which is perfect for the heart.  Fortunately, this paper also makes good earrings, so the scrap does not go to waste.  Then I decided that this card needed to be more of a gift - I added a magnet to the back of the heart so it could be kept as a refrigerator magnet (yup, I had to invest in magnets also...). 

After successfully marketing the Valentines cards I thought I was done with new designs.  I had a request for an origami birthday card, but could not come up with a folded-paper cake or candle which worked, so I abandoned the search.  Then earlier this year, as I was shopping for card-stock to use in the heart cards, I remembered a card which I had purchased years ago.  Suddenly, I was determined to learn how to make it.  I call it a Forever Card,  but you can find instructions on-line if you search for "Never Ending Card."  My first few were very rough - I did not have the right type of card stock or glue or paper-cutter.  But I mastered the techniques and bought more materials: better glue, tape-runners, several different types of paper-cutters, and TONS of paper.  I also purchased some photography (from Maine photographer Nance Trueworthy) to make the cards suitable as souvenirs for our summer tourists.  I have made hundreds of cards and still totally enjoy the process.  They are challenging and fun to make - the options for design are endless.  People often cannot put the cards down once they start playing with them, so the marketing has been easier than I anticipated.    And they are fun to teach - I hold classes in my home and my "students" have made fantastic creations. 
 I love having an excuse to buy more paper - as addictions go it's a pretty harmless one!  I would say I am done designing new cards, but I don't like to tempt fate.  I never know when or where inspiration will strike.  If you are interested in purchasing cards or scheduling a card class (I will teach any of the designs - but the Star of David is really difficult), call or e-mail.
 


Comments

Nancy
04/08/2014 20:02

I read your blog. If you wrote it yesterday, we were both writing about "light bulb" moments on the same day. I thought that was intereresting.

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You truly have the natural talent and the creativity. All these crafts you've presented were unique. I've never seen an earring made of origami. I am quite amazed on your designs. There were plenty of designs available online. I would probably try creating origami. I also have a friend who bought an origami book. Then we can both try creating one.

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02/02/2017 05:56

I think none of us really intended to do the things we are able to do well. Each one of us just happened to be in the right place at the right time when the knowledge and wisdom on how to do things was being given freely by each other's destiny. Once we discovered what we could possibly be good at, that's when we work hard for perfection. We are all destined to be good with at least one thing.

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04/08/2014 20:03

whoops. interesting.

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12/04/2015 11:05

Nice cards!

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12/10/2015 04:37

These cards are looking perfects for gifting someone special.

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sweto
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02/22/2016 08:35

Having entered the world of card-making, I was primed to make a Valentines Day card. The search for an appropriate origami heart was even more difficult than the search for the star had been. But it was winter and I was recovering from back surgery.

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03/22/2016 05:33

The video and this article which you shared for us is really good because I am also want to make some type of cards but I have no skills how to make a good card. But your article help me in making these type of cards which you shared in your article.

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