• Taylor

    Another story submitted to us by email. Thanks for sharing, Shari!
    My favorite aunt growing up was a sweet, sweet lady. Her farm & family were always our vacation go-to. She nurtured us with food and love and she was my spiritual role model. We were pen-pals, thousands of miles apart. I learned to fish, ride horses and hang laundry on the line at her place. She also was my wedding escort/witness.
    In her last year on earth I travelled to visit her. Her memory was gone. Sadly, she didn’t remember me, so we listened to her ramblings for a while. Then she paused, looked at me with recognition and said, “Oh! You’re the one who sends me those nice home-made cards!” And then she was gone again.
    THAT is why I hand-craft cards.

  • Ree Donnelly

    Oh, Charlie…this story has touched my heart. My Dad passed several years ago, and so has my Mom and then 2 years ago, my dear sister. I have cards from them, and absolutely love the idea of engraving their signatures in jewelry!!
    I also plan to have them tattooed one day.
    Lots of love to you, sweetheart.

    • Charlie Ludwig - TE Social Media Coordinator

      So sorry to hear about your loss. It’s an awful experience no matter what age it happens. You really realize how sentimental cards can be when it’s all you have left. The tattoo idea would be a great idea. Thanks for reading. 🙂

  • Marisela Delgado

    For Charlie: My name is Marisela and my dad died when I was 27. I’m now 48. My birthday is in September and because my dad was much older than my mom and very ill, he was not able to join us for my birthday celebration. When my mom handed me a birthday card from him and I saw his scrawly signature (his hands were too weak to hold the pen), I broke down and cried. It made me so sad. I knew he wouldn’t last too much longer. He died 2 months later in November. I still have that card. It’s the only one from only him. Nothing beats a handwritten message. Sorry about your dad. =) your friend in San Antonio, Texas

    • Charlie Ludwig - TE Social Media Coordinator

      Aw what a touching story and I can absolutely relate to it at as well. You never truly realize how important something so simple can be until it’s all you have left. So sorry to hear of your loss. Thank you for reading my story and sharing your own with me. It’s comforting. 🙂

  • Kirsty Vittetoe

    Thanks for sharing the sweet story, big hug!

  • Lisa Christensen

    The stories are so inspirational! Thank you for the experiences, to Charlie: Losing a parent is one of the hardest things to go through I lost my mom at age 34 a month before I had my third child, Depression hit me hard, and I was left to figure things out… Turning to Creativity helped me through the mourning process.

    To Candy C: You have inspired me to have a basket of handmade cards available to the women at my church, as members of our church we are assigned families to fellowship, most of the time they are families that turn into be some of the best friends I have, Your story has inspired me to keep giving my cards away… Thank you for that.

    I was inspired by the questions that was asked at the end of this blog post: how are you sharing homemade joy? I responded to that question in a blog post, I feel like the world needs more joy. Check out my blog post at http://www.maydreamrose.com/2017/11/how-are-you-crafting-homemade-joy-to.html

  • Kathy H

    What a sweet story. So sorry for your loss Charlie. I lost my Mom when I was 20, many decades ago. I lost my Dad just this year. I cherish the notes I have from both of them.

    • Charlie Ludwig - TE Social Media Coordinator

      Thank you Kathy! I’m so sorry for your loss as well. It hurts to lose your parents at any age I would imagine. I’m so happy to hear that you have notes from them. That is definitely something you’ll appreciate having and pass on. Thank you for reading! 🙂

  • Jean marmo

    Your story is eye opening. For years I created scrapbooks for my kids that include all cards we have given them as well as memorabilia from our lives. I now have a 7 month old granddaughter and I have started a tradition of writing letters to her after each of my visits. They live across the country and I don’t get to see her all the time. I write to her about her achievements, her likes and dislikes, and my hopes and dreams for her. I plan on giving them to her when she is old enough to appreciate them. I decorated a pencil box and am filling it.

    • Charlie Ludwig - TE Social Media Coordinator

      Thank you, Jean! Wow, that is an amazing and thoughtful thing to do for your kids and granddaughter. I’m sure they appreciate them (or will appreciate then in the future). It’s wonderful to think ahead and to do something sentimental like that. Keep up the amazing work you do. 🙂

  • Janet Sisk

    Thanks to Charlie for sharing her story. I lost my mom when I was only 9 years old. I have a couple of letters that she wrote to me and they are priceless in my mind. There is nothing like the written word to share with others. Seeing a person’s own handwriting is like a healing touch from them. It is something tangible that they actually touched. I make a point of making birthday and Christmas cards for my family members every year. Somehow knowing that a little piece of me will be kept is comforting. Thanks again for the great story. 😀

    • Charlie Ludwig - TE Social Media Coordinator

      Hi Janet! I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to read my story. It truly means a lot. I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of your mom at such a young age. That had to be devastating for you. I completely agree. There is not much that compares to a handwritten letter or card. That’s so wonderful that you and many others make cards for the ones you love. Keep doing amazing things. 🙂

  • Marjorie Dumontier

    That’s such a beautiful story. Lots of love for all my paper crafters fellows everywhere in the world. Love from France, Marjorie

  • Taylor

    This story from Candy C. was emailed in. Thanks for sharing, Candy!

    I started making cards when I was out on disability for depression. I wandered into the local stamp store (having a handful of stamps from as long as 25 years earlier that I didn’t quite know what to do with) and was immediately drawn in. As with many people who are depressed, I’d been socially isolated, and this was a community I could be part of. I joined the store’s club (although making a dozen identical cards is not my preference) and took almost every class that was offered, usually taught by sales reps. It was my home away from home.

    I ordered artisan papers online, bought cardstock in bulk from a printer’s supply company. About the time I returned to work, the store closed when the owner retired. Scrapbooking was proliferating, which meant that I could now by cardstock in more than six (dark/neutral) colors. Printed papers became a thing. Die cutting began to move from the classroom to the home. The possibilities expanded.

    My return to work ended after three years as I resumed my disability status. A friend from the stamp club got colon cancer; I mailed her a handmade card every day until she recovered. My brother had a layoff, divorce, and heart attack. I mailed him a handmade card every day until he was back on his feet. I made card sets for my massage therapist, who saw me through some very tough times. After several hospitalizations, I learned how to deal with my diagnoses and started going to a nearby Unitarian Universalist church. I made some friends through the church and realized that although I can’t contribute as I’d like to financially, I could contribute to the church that has given me so much by making cards to send to members. Some agree that the root of happiness is to work and to love, and this involvement with the church fulfills those needs in a way that works for me. Some of the cards are thank-you cards that our board sends to members who’ve made exceptional contributions of time or talent. Others go to home-bound members to assure them they are part of the church community. Still others go to encourage members who are facing challenges or transitions.

    A friend who is a minister at another church has asked for any extras, a request I am happy to meet. I also use my studio as a way to entertain a few crafty friends who don’t have card-making resources at home. I enjoy helping them put together cards for their friends and family; I like seeing how they’ll use my materials in a way I never would have imagined. The ability to express how much I care for friends, family, and community through a fun creative activity gives me a healthy anchor and great joy. To share the things I’ve learned (which makes me appreciate them even more) and bond with friends makes me happy. The classes have been largely replaced by online resources. The local craft stores have closed, but I enjoy comparison shopping online, which offers a much broader choice of products from around the world than a single brick & mortar store could carry. Blogs and Pinterest and YouTube are an endless source of new ideas and inspiration. And, truth be told, I could probably craft until the end of my days with the inventory in my studio (though I might need to replenish adhesives).

  • Linda Fornshell

    What a lovely & touching story. How wonderful that you found those cards from your dad and had jewelry engraved using his signature! Thanks so much for sharing this sweet memory…

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