I love getting snail mail.  (I think everyone does really.)  But there’s only one thing I love more getting snail mail, and that’s sending it.  I enjoy letting my friends and family know how much I love them and how awesome they are.  What better way to do that than to write it out and stick a stamp on it?  I like to take it one level further by making the cards I send out by hand.

Using blank note cards, scraps of pretty papers left over from larger scrapbook pages, stickers, gems, and other embellishments, I try to make each and every card a little work of art.  I see it as a challenge to make each one as unique as possible – otherwise I just get bored with the whole process.  I usually spend longer planning the card than I do actually assembling it because to me the layout is the most important part, followed by the materials.

Here are some examples from Christmas:

And here are some examples from Valentine’s day this year:

Finally, here are some miscellaneous examples from some other occasions:

Why do I go to such great lengths to make greeting cards?  Well not only is it a fun creative outlet for me, but I never know what kind a difference a small gesture like a handmade card or a hand written letter might have in someone’s life.

When I was 16 years old, I was going through a very rough time emotionally.  I was struggling with under-treated OCD and suicidal depression at the time, and on this one particular day, I was feeling like harming myself, but something made me decide to get the mail.  I almost never got snail mail at that age, but when I peered into our mailbox there as a hand addressed envelope waiting for me.  Inside was a letter that literally saved my life that day.

That day I became so obsessed with figuring out who had sent the timely and exceptionally kind letter, that I was totally distracted from my dark thoughts.  (I did figure out who had sent it by the way.)  Someone else’s heartfelt consideration for me a few days prior, came in my hour of need.

It made me realize that small kindnesses like these can change someone’s whole life just as it had changed mine.  Someone else acted as God’s instrument and was an answer to my unarticulated prayer, so now years later I try to send out home made greeting cards as often as possible never knowing what effect I may have on someone I don’t even realize is in need.  I figure at the very least I’ll brighten someone’s day.  Just like someone did for me, I hope to pay it forward and forward and forward.

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