by Fae Rowen
Before I get started, I want to remind you that on Wednesday we'll be announcing the winner of Linda O. Johnston's latest book in her Pet-Sitter Mystery series, HOWL DEADLY. Good luck to all those who commented on her Networking and Writing Organizations blog last week.
On Friday we'll announce the winner of Michelle Diener's debut book, IN A TREACHEROUS COURT, from the readers who commented on her blog Using Real People and Events in Fiction. It's not too late to read her blog if you missed it and make a comment. Good luck!
I don't consider myself artistic in any way, but I started making greeting cards years (okay, decades) ago. My friend, Dee Gruenig, gave me my first rubber stamp and taught me how to use it. Well, her career in the rubber stamping industry rocketed, and I acquired more stamps and techniques.
Now I have one bedroom devoted to nothing but my card making supplies. And it's filled to overflowing. My cards have evolved from simple, rubber stamped images to embossed, glittered, feathered, ribboned creations that are a joy to make.
But my real joy comes from giving my cards away--as birthday, get well, and special occasion messages to my friends--and as gift packs. I often donate a pack of cards to organizations I belong to as a door prize or raffle item.
One time a pack of ten of my cards earned $100 for Hurricane Katrina relief. That made me quite happy. Another time I visited a professor to whom I had given a card three years before. That card was displayed on his credenza. More warm fuzzies.
These days everyone who receives a card tells me I should sell them. I certainly make more cards than I can use or give away and still appear sane. But I worry that selling them would make card-making seem like a job.
You crafters out there know that you never get paid for the time you spend making your art. Then there is the trouble of actually selling them--to a boutique, at a table at a farmer's market or swap meet, or online. That's the daunting part for me. And it would take time away from my writing.
However, I could use that money to buy even more feathers, Swarovski crystals, interesting cardstock and envelopes. And more people would be able to enjoy them. I feel like those commercials with a person on each shoulder, whispering into my ear.
I guess it's a little like putting your writing out there and hoping someone--or many someones--will pay the money to buy what you've carefully, lovingly crafted. Yep, I'm the one that Laura, Jen and Sharla tease and say, "What? Are you waiting for someone to come to your door and ask to buy your book?"
Maybe it's time to put my cards and my writing out there and see what happens.
What do you think? Spread the joy and deal with the hassles of selling and distribution, or continue as I have been? (Change can be scary.) Would you pay $5 for a handmade card with no catchy poem inside? (Heck, you're writers, you can make up great lines to personalize a card!)
Next week--Part 2 of Crafting Handmade Cards: The Process