I recently talked about an email I got from a lady named Cheryl. She was asking me about her level of card making.
More to the point, she was asking me questions that sounded like she was feeling judged by her card making. You can read the about the first question she asked here.
The second part of Cheryl's email was this…
I feel like all of my cards have to have some kind of fun fold, or something crazy with it. That seems to be the cards I see online that have a lot of likes and hearts. Are my cards only good if they are spinning, folding, etc?
If you have ever felt like Cheryl, keep on reading.
If not, that's okay too, you don't need to read on.
Ahhh… you're still here…
So let's chat about that.
We will start with a concept that I am working on in my personal life A LOT lately. I have to remind myself of this all the time, not even kidding – like 5-7 times a day.
Here it is…
My journey is different from their journey.
Let me share with you something that's been going on. It has nothing to do with card making.
My daughter is a senior and plays volleyball. So senior night is quickly approaching. Last year, the moms of the two seniors decided to do a bit more for their daughters that night. And they put together bags that had useful items for the girls for college.
I thought this was a fun idea. This year, I started the conversations with the other senior moms. My thought was bathroom type stuff for college. Bathrobes, slippers, shower caddies. All the moms agreed that would be fun and I asked everyone for a budget amount, as this was supposed to be fun, not put anyone out of their comfort level.
We are in a season of life I am referring to “practical”. If it's not practical, I don't want to spend money on it. Between Matt possibly retiring in a few weeks (that's another story!) to college visits around the US with Emily, it will be a very, very tight financial year for us. We all have those years, this isn't a pity party.
But Emily will need those bathroom items, so why not do that rather than do-dads that will stay here at the house and collect dust while she is away at school.
One mom didn't come back with a budget at all after me reaching out several times. There are many ways that could be interpreted, so the other moms and I decided we would just do a framed picture of the girls to give them and some fresh flowers.
That's what we agreed to.
We were going to cover the cost for the girl with the mom that didn't reply.
It's somehow turned into something incredibly more, and more than I wanted to spend. It's on impractical items that are adorable and fun, but now it's outside my comfort zone as far as not fitting into my “practical” head space and outside the budget I set.
And very easily I could feel less than for not wanting to do these other things. Hold tight, I did feel less than for a bit. But I got past it.
I share that story not for any reason other than to say again, my journey is not everyone else's journey.
The same thing happens with card making, believe it or not.
We see all these ideas of all these elaborate cards that are out there and we can quickly feel like our creations are less than.
Your card making is your journey and no one else's.
If you find joy in making a simple card, make a simple card!
If you don't like the time it takes to make some of these crazy fun folds that are out there, girlfriend, I hear you!
You are like me then. I can appreciate all the time and effort and talent that some crafters pour into their card making and I can celebrate that with them. I don't have to judge them for their extra free time, their limitless budgets, their nothing. I can sit there and give it a thumbs up or a heart on social and instantly go back to making what brings me joy.
I used to make all these crazy over the top cards. Heck, I even taught a monthly class called Advanced Cards!
I was in a different season of life then. Those kinds of cards brought me joy back then.
Now they don't.
I may make a handful of them a year, but it's not my go-to style.
Your cards are beautiful no matter how simple or complex they are because YOU MADE THEM!
Time is our most precious resource, in my opinion.
When you take your most precious resource and turn it into joy – that's a wow.
And let's track that joy for a moment….
The Joy Journey
The joy journey starts before you even make a card. It starts with an idea you have or a desire to use a certain product.
And that creates a joy spark that moves you into your craft space.
You make a card and you enjoy the process – another joy spark.
You address the envelope and know that this card is going to someone – BAM – another joy spark.
It travels through this chaotic systems we call the postal service and *hopefully* it arrives on to the person we listed on the envelope. We won't even try to call that a joy spark.
Then your friend, your family member, your whomever opens whatever kind of mail receptacle he or she owns and there is an envelope.
That envelope isn't junk mail, it's not a bill, it's happiness in an envelope. There's another joy spark.
Then they open it, another win in the joy spark category.
Then they put it out for a while, sometimes it's displayed forever, which means ongoing joy sparks!
ALL OF THAT because you chose to make something.
That's a powerful journey, right?
So if you really honor all of that joy, can you see how it doesn't matter if it opens in 12 different ways or does a whirly twirl when opened?
It doesn't, it just doesn't.
You Create Joy
You see, the card stock doesn't have joy. The stamps don't have joy. The scoring board to make all those folds doesn't have joy.
YOU have the joy. YOU bring the joy. YOU use the stamps and card stock that create the joy. And YOU share the joy.
And that's a beautiful thing.
Share Your Joy More!
Rather than stopping yourself from making those cards that you feel are less than, step into making more cards that bring you joy and share it with more people!
Step into the light of spreading joy through your card making!
And if you don't want to do it alone, do it with others.
Where This Post WAS Headed…
When I started this post, it was to answer Cheryl and share some delightful Halloween cards. Where the journey of typing all of this out for you has taken me to that last point.
If you don't want to do it alone, do it with others!
That right there, actually all of this, this is all one of the biggest reasons that I started Stamping Family and why Stamping Family is still going strong.
That site is filled with joy!
It's filled with card makers sharing their cards and sharing the joy of card making.
They do this through their galleries, they do this with their questions, they bring the joy into our card making Zooms.
We have card makers of all levels, all skills, all kinds of supplies… but the one thing they all have in common – they want to make cards that bring them joy! That's our glue.
The other stuff we have in there, those are features.
What we bring though, that's the good stuff.
So if you want to experience that kind of card making joy, and not do it alone, join us. We are fun, I promise! I leave every Zoom feeling better than I entered, and I look forward to each and every one of them.
The doors for Stamping Family are open right now. They will close again to new registrations. I do that because it's how I found brings me joy in the tech side of the site. I open it for a bit, then I close it for way more than a bit.
It's a lot of a lot to have it open. And I tend to lose joy in the tech world of it.
So I decided to do not to that anymore. It's not a marketing scheme, it's how I continue to show up for the members, because I'm not bogged down in the tech heavy side of the site.
It's your choice to join us, and I sure hope you do.
If you chose not to, we're still good. And I hope you have really reconnected through reading this how joyful your card making is for you and for those who you share your talents and time with.
My friends, I will share those Halloween cards, this just went in a completely different direction today!! XOXO, Meg