Layers of Meaning
My mother turned 83 this week and I made her a birthday card. Making cards has become a ritual for me. Some are handmade, others a combination of handmade and computer elements. But in each one, I like to incorporate bits of meaning.
For my mom's card, I started with the first letter of her name, and then added a few elements: 8 diamonds (one for every decade), 3 flowers (one for each year after 80), and one heart (for good luck and love). Then I added diamonds to represent her children, (6 children, 4 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren).
I'm not sure she (or anyone else I've made cards for) would see or catch the meaning behind the symbols without me pointing them out, but as I make the card it allows me to really consider the person's life, likes, and how much they mean to me.
When I started making cards I worried they weren't polished enough. With this card, the letter isn't perfect, and there are things I would change were I to do it over, but I've discovered that's not so important. Letting go of making things perfect leads to finishing what I started and having something to give away. And people like handmade cards. It makes them feel special . . . which of course, they are.
I start with pencil, then draw over with pen, erase the pencil, and use color sparingly. Most of the time I use color pencil, sometimes watercolors.
Do you make your own cards? Post a comment and tell us about your process.