Tag Archives: Ohio

My First Holiday Home & Gift Expo

20131201-153914.jpgI appreciate everyone who has stopped by the Scraps of the Soul table at the Holiday Home & Gift Expo in Kent so far today! A lot of great vendors in a really nice venue at the Fairways here in Twin Lakes. I’m excited to have had the opportunity to be involved with this event. Only a little more than one hour to go!

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For the Love of Simplicity

It was February 2007, my junior year of high school, when I recall an unexpected crafty lecture from my pre-calculus teacher.

Back then, numbers were more my thing, but a late afternoon lesson on formulas and processes I guarantee have escaped my memory ever since often failed to retain my interest and attention.

So, naturally, when my teacher digressed from mathematical equations to explain a simple method for making Valentines, I neglected my doodling and tuned in.

As monotone as his voice could be, his short demonstration intrigued me. How could my pre-calc teacher remotely know anything about handmade cards? By that time I had quite a few Christmas card designs under my belt, as well as countless birthday cards thrown into the mix, so clearly I knew what I was talking about when it came to paper crafting. But to a point, as it turns out, my teacher packed a few tricks of the trade up his sleeve as well.

Folded Heart Valentines

1. Grab a piece of red or pink paper. Fold it in half.

pink paper

2. Use a pair of scissors to cut a half-heart shape into the folded paper, starting and ending your cut along the fold. 

cutting heart shape on pink paper

3. Discard the scraps. Unfold your paper heart, sign your name and voila! Behold your simple Valentine and deliver it to your loved one.

folded heart card: "Happy Valentine's Day! Love, Lindsay"

I remember laughing about that “lesson” at the time, but also feeling relieved to enjoy a break from pre-calc on a random afternoon. Although my teacher’s Valentine idea was rather simple compared to handmade card designs I had created before, I’ve realized that sometimes simplicity is all you need to brighten someone’s day.

As Valentine’s Day approaches toward the end of this week, I look forward to my next visit to McKay Bricker to check whether my Valentine’s Day cards have been a hit with the shoppers of Kent. In the meantime, I’ll shamelessly indulge in The Bachelor‘s dramatic “love stories” this evening with some friends.

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The Cards of Christmas’ Past

past holiday cardsI knew I kept those extra Christmas cards for a reason.

The other day, I sifted through handmade cards I had created as long as six or seven years ago. It was interesting to see how my designs and materials have changed since then, how my cards have improved and how my creativity had puckered out, in some cases.

Although these cards represent extras I made – or had forgotten to send to certain people – I figured why not reuse them to create something new?

First, I cropped the front of each card to avoid sloppy handwriting or messages I had written inside. Then, I pasted the design onto a new blank card that fits the envelopes I have on stock. cropping a card

I also used extra stamped pieces from one of the designs I created last year to quickly put together a few additional cards.

Christmas stamps

Yesterday I delivered my new Christmas creations to McKay Bricker Framing in downtown Kent to see whether they’d like to sell more of my cards this holiday season. I noticed a few of my other designs I had dropped off last month still sat on the shelves among dozens of other artists’ handmade cards, but the employee I talked to said he’d try to find an extra stand to display my Christmas cards alongside other holiday designs. The handmade card nerd in me is excited to have my own display stand.

Yet, the procrastinator in me has yet to start this year’s Christmas card collection. Surprised?

2008 Christmas card

Perhaps while I’m resting from multiple Turkey Day feasts next weekend I’ll gather the energy to get started. Until then, here’s to hoping more early bird Christmas card shoppers scope out the local scene these next few weeks for their 2012 holiday greetings – or early 2000s designs in disguise.

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A Pet Peeve

Halloween had yet to pass by when Christmas-themed decorations, lights and clothing hit the shelves and racks at nearly every department store I’m familiar with.

It takes a lot to anger me, but early Christmas decorating, premature holiday radio tunes and most of all, those tacky, inflatable Christmas characters that too often invade the front lawns of residential neighborhoods are really irritating.

Why take the time to blow up that giant Santa Clause and his Rudolph companion when Northeast Ohio’s infamous winter winds and heavy snowfall will ultimately flatten them to the ground anyway?

So although the Dec. 25 festivities strike a nerve when they creep up into other holiday seasons earlier and earlier each year, in my book, there is one Christmas tradition that is excusable come early November: holiday card preparation.

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Chantel and I made another trip to the Hollo’s Papercraft store in Medina County this weekend – I’m thinking it will become a yearly tradition for the two of us as I peruse my handmade card business and she her homemade cake business. As you may assume, I was unreasonably excited for our shopping spree from the day we planned it about two weeks ago.

“You would get too excited over something like that,” says my brother. Obviously he just wouldn’t understand.

So I primarily stocked up on paper (you pay by the weight – so much cheaper than other chain craft stores, it’s worth the drive!) for my annual Christmas card collection. I made the count the other day and it looks like I’ll be making approximately 80 cards this year. Yikes. So maybe Christmas doesn’t seem too far away after all…

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But this time I also bought some cellophane bags to improve the packaging of the cards I plan to sell on Etsy and in downtown Kent.

20121104-221026.jpgI could have spent hours – and much more money – in Hollo’s, but I limited myself to stick to the basics this time and in the meantime, I’ll plan another trip sometime within the coming months. I’m sure Chantel won’t complain, either! (It turns out Hollo’s cake packaging products are pretty cheap, too!)

Happy scrapping!

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Monday motivation

20121022-124036.jpg I could see the checkered flag waving in the short distance, the finish line just a few paces beyond it.

My stomach had began cramping just a few moments ago, as I entered the final leg of the race. By that point I had established a very slow, yet steady pace – an old lady shuffle, if you will – but I had not stopped running at any point along those 3.2 miles behind me. That was my one goal.

So although I felt like I could pass out, throw up and/or collapse all at once, I kept chugging along until the end. I thought to myself, “Why stop now?” as I remembered past moments of more extreme pain while I trained myself to run longer and longer distances. Modern English’s “I Melt With You” serenaded me as I crossed the finish line to greet my mom waiting on the other side.

All that time I spent searching through my iTunes to perfect my running playlist have apparently paid off.

That mindset was the motivation I had been building up all these months. And it’s a similar feeling of motivation when I work on my cards, scrapbooks and other creations for fun, for gifts or for profit. Just keep going, enjoy it, and you’ll benefit in the end.

So, here’s to a week of productivity.

What motivates you to start working on any given project? And what keeps you going?

PHOTO: My expression of relief as I crossed the finish line at the end of my first 5K race in Akron, Ohio, on Saturday, Oct. 20. (2nd annual Race Around the Park, to benefit the Knights of Columbus; Schneider Park, Akron)

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Day one

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Today marks the first full day my handmade cards spent in the McKay Bricker Framing shop in downtown Kent.

I stopped in during my lunch break yesterday afternoon with eight card samples in my hands, and within 10 minutes, I had showed off my cards, received approval from the employee at the counter and signed the consignment form. Done and done.

In the meantime, I’m excited to begin selling my cards. From local shops to Etsy, I plan on experimenting with different outlets and locations to see what works best.

My next step: Determine a name for my handmade card collection and begin working on my online Etsy shop.

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El Anatsui Gravity & Grace exhibit, Akron Art Museum, Akron, Ohio

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September 30, 2012 · 5:08 pm