This post is about something more serious… something more purposeful and meaningful than what I’ve shown thus far. In response to the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, a fellow artist felt the call to find a way to offer support. Jessica Brogan, of In Search of Dessert, wanted to make 26 inspirational card decks… one for each family who lost a loved one. She put a call out to anyone who wanted to help, and I was honored to answer.
In this creative journey, I was assigned a quote to place onto each of the 26 cards that I altered. Once finished, the cards are sent to Jessica, where she will place one of my cards into each of the 26 inspirational card decks, and in turn, send them on to the families. Each family will receive a deck full of 30 cards, each individually altered by an artist who added paint, glitter, fabric, love, positivity, healing energy, compassion… whatever the artist had to offer.
My original thought was to simply document my process to show here… but it became an overall healing journey for me instead. I have kept myself quite removed from the situation as a whole… I don’t read the news… I don’t watch the news… I pretty much live in my own bubble. I thought I was doing a good job of keeping my heart guarded from the “what if’s” in relationship to my own kids… basically… I didn’t think I was as impacted by the event as I turned out to be… and creating these cards helped me face the reality of our reality head on… while there isn’t much I can do to help from here, I can make art for them. So, I made art.
First, scrounge around the house looking for random cards! Next, use mod podge to glue them to scrapbook paper that I found at a garage sale. I would have just used gesso to create a blank surface, but I ran out and was too lazy to run to the store before starting. Did I mention that I don’t have much patience either? When I want to do something, I want to do it now.
Cut, cut, chop, chop.
Since I wanted a blank surface (more or less) for the other side, I decided to cover it with book paper. A friend of mine makes purses out of vintage hardback book covers and gives me the inside paper (score!), so I just raided my stash.
I found this book full of stories for kids and I thought it would be perfect.
Using the mod podge again (do you see that huge gallon of it? I bought it from someone on craigslist! Double score!!), I glued the paper to the other side of the cards and cut each one out when they were dry.
Now for color. I decided to start with stencils and used 4 different colors of spray paint. My oldest son walked into the room when I was spraying and became very concerned for the safety of his siblings. He warned them not to walk into my office because they could DIE because spray paint is a DRUG. I’m not sure where he got his information from… but ok! Sounds good to me :). Haha!!!!
Then I added circles of color using this piece of metal from a scrap yard that my friends at Makeshift Accessories gave me.
More texture! I used stamps (from the thrift store and craigslist) with brown & black ink pads and also rolled a candlestick (thrift store find) through ink to add the honeycomb design. I ended up breaking off the outer layer of the candle, but it still worked as a flat stamp.
I didn’t want to do too much to the back of the cards because I liked the transparent nature of the paper, so I used a heart stencil (craigslist) to add some love.
Now for the words… my quote was “Tears soften the soul, clear the mind and open the heart and we are shedding them with you.” I wasn’t sure how I wanted to outline the words though. I could use a black paint marker and blend it in (top left), or a pen to draw sketching lines around (top right) or a gray paint marker for a more subtle blend-in (bottom). After much debating, I went with the sketching lines… I felt like it was more personal in some way.
I signed each card and voila! They were finished.