In recent weeks, Romy and I have been enjoying a little post-prandial crafting at our big glass table in the kitchen - and I've shared some of our attempts at making in earlier posts
We've been going at Romy's pace and she's really enjoyed the process. We keep buying a few more 'bits' when we pop into town. And today we went shopping again and this time, called in to 'A LITTLE bit of BRITAIN' - a shop in Alcala la Real that started off, as its name suggests, as a place where the expats in the area could buy their Tetley teabags, Bird's Custard Powder and various other necessities that some folk just can't live without. It's owned and run by the wonderful Alan - invariably friendly, helpful and good-natured - and he had the great idea of opening up some additional space for people to put their second-hand goods for sale. The Spanish haven't ever really grasped the idea of 'second-hand' and on their version of ebay, the prices people want are ridiculous and unrealistic. A lot of expats move out here and find they have all the 'wrong' stuff for their new homes. A lot of expats move back to the UK and decide not to take all their stuff back with them. Alan's shop works a treat and now, the local Spanish folk are recognising what a brilliant idea it is!
I digress, I believe. Ah no, I know why it was important to mention Alan's shop. It's because once a month, he moves all the secondhand furniture to the farther reaches and holds a Saturday market - renting out a 'stall' to anyone who has anything to sell. Some months, it's really good, with clothes, plants, food, (occasionally a chocolate stall!) and jewellery, as well as bric-a-brac and other second-hand items. I usually try and get there on a craft market day. There are sometimes people there who sell cards too. And in the shop, Alan always has a wide selection though some of them are not very inspiring and I asked if he'd be willing to sell some of ours in his shop - and, being Alan, he said yes! And now I get back to my thread...today we took our wares in to the shop. I asked what sort of cards were most in demand and unfortunately, he said it was 'Sympathy' cards...
So, when we came home, Romy agreed that I should make some sympathy cards - the idea didn't really inspire her. The night before, I had been looking at some new ideas on the internet and spent 17 minutes of my life watching a video on Youtube. It's not possible for me to embed the video for you to have a look, but here is the link.
I was so inspired by this piece that this afternoon, I sat down and made a 'With Sympathy' card that I'm rather pleased with.
The card was a nice cream colour, on which I painted a watercolour background in teal and pale yellow. Then I made a flower stamp out of foam, and, using a pencil, made some imprint 'dot's. We had some teal ink by pure chance so I stamped the flowers randomly and lightly onto the background.
Then I ran a fine strip of ribbon down one side - which, with retrospect, I shouldn't have done...
The heart was cut from a loose page out of my Oxford Dictionary of English in Current Usage and I put it on a piece of foam before sticking it on to make it stand out a little. Then I pencilled around the edged and then blurred them a little.
I had bought the leaf skeletons from the UK and put one onto the other corner to provide a little balance.
Then with a silver pen, I added some squares - though these don't show up too well on the photo.
I wrote 'with sympathy' across both sides of the card, which has a centre opening.
It was a deeply satisfying card to make and the photo doesn't really do it justice. I feel as though I have really learned something...
My second attempt was slightly different and I didn't do a watercolour background, but made another foam stamp - this time using a heart shape.
Using the teal ink, I covered the whole of the card but made the shading random.
I added a few of the flower stamps using the only other coloured ink I have - which is red. I wasn't sure how this would look but decided to use a pinky-red piece of embossed paper on top. This I cut out with some scissors Romy and I bought today in town - cost all of 64c! Again, using a pencil, I went round the edges and smudged the colour to darken the frame of the centre card.
Another leaf skeleton and a strip of cream card to write 'so sorry' on.
I do hope these cards don't fly off Alan's shelves soon but I also hope that they perhaps convey a little more personal touch than some of the cards that are available at the moment.
And I couldn't stop there. So I made one more card this afternoon. It's an 'I Love You' card and says
You are .... always on my mind and in my heart.
Again, the inspiration is from the beautiful Art Journal that Rach0113 created and shared. Thank you Rach0113! You are amazing!!
I can't tell you the pleasure I have had in making these three cards today. I'm alight with ideas and plans for more and more cards...
How I wish the good folk of Alcala were full of a burning desire to send cards to each other. I must start making some in Spanish too...Maybe it'll catch on one day - they do seem to be getting the hang of second hand goods!
(Forgive my indulgence. You don't need to comment on this post - but I really needed to write it!!)