Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Holidays - Valentines For Veterans

Hello! Being a crafter of greeting cards, Valentine's Day is a busy holiday for me, and my annual contribution to the Valentines For Veterans program is one reason why. I first learned of this program in the Annie's Mailbox advice column, which is the renamed version of the Ann Landers column. Every year the call goes out in Annie's Mailbox for people to bring or mail valentines to veterans in VA hospitals around the country. Because of the distance involved, I opt to mail my valentines to the closest VA hospital in my area, but it would be fun to deliver them in person some year and meet the recipients!

I make two dozen every year, so by necessity I want something simple.  A couple of weeks ago I found a package of vintage paper doilies at a thrift store and thought it'd be nice to cut heart shapes from them to mount on a red background. I wasn't sure what to use for that background, but then I remembered that I had some bland off-white art paper that could be dressed up with paint (I wouldn't have bought this paper on its own, but it came as part of a grab bag-type purchase that was a terrific bargain). 

I used red and dark pink acrylic paints on this boring paper, which you can see below, drying before being cut up:

Not quite so boring now!

And here's the finished card:

Supplies used: white cardstock, painted art paper piece, vintage paper doily edged with red marker, stamped saying on vintage notepad paper with red StazOn ink.

And here's a close-up:

I liked how the painted paper turned out. Adding paint and brushing it across the paper roughened up the surface and gave it a canvas-like look. I don't know why I didn't think of dressing up this bland paper with paint earlier (I've had it for several years by now), but better late than never, I suppose. 

As I don't normally purchase paper doilies, I don't know if these vintage ones were better made than brand-new versions, but they were certainly cheaper. The lace-like effect is certainly pretty enough, but I learned that bits and pieces of the doilies would come off while being cut. I would glue these back into place as needed, which was a bit of a pain, but I persevered and got my two dozen done. 

I then wrote a short note inside each card, placed the cards in envelopes and mailed them out in one box earlier today. In years past I've gotten thank you notes notes stating that the veterans enjoyed their cards. I appreciate the thanks mostly as proof that my cards arrived at their destination, but it always gives me a good feeling to do this. Our service men and women gave of themselves to keep us safe here and abroad, so I feel this is a small payback on my part.


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