Sunday, July 17, 2011

Long-Distance Grand-parenting with a new Twist

I was having a conversation with my elderly dad the other day and the subject of long distance relatives came up.  He seemed a bit intrigued that folks these days go to such measures to stay in contact with their children and grandchildren who live many miles away. 

"I don't remember people doing that so much when I was younger,"  he said.  "People would just write a letter once in a while, but you just kind of lost touch."

Well, these days it's much easier to keep in touch with distant relatives than it used to be.  I used to tell my kids that I was as close as the nearest telephone when they were far from home. And now cell phones make long distance calling much less expensive.  But I an totally sold on my little apple ipod with facetime capabilities.  One touch can connect my husband and I face to face with our little grandson in another state in seconds.   We can look at Sammy's booboo's and even blow kisses at him.  He can show us his latest favorite toy, or we can just make funny faces at one another and share some giggle time. There is just something about eye contact that makes all the difference in the world. 

If you have loved ones who live too far away to visit frequently, I highly recommend one of these little treasures.  Actually, it takes two of them, one at each household.  But I deem it one of the best investments we have ever made.  It keeps us connected in a whole new way and now we don't have to feel like  strangers in our grand children's lives.

Thank God for technology!  But lately I've been wondering what it would be like to facetime on the new iPad with it's nice large screen rather than the 2 inch ipod screen.  So, what next?  A hologram of Sammy in our living room?  Or maybe one day we'll just 'beam' on over from one location to another.  Technology is a fascinating thing.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Creating Greeting Cards

After going for a month or two without doing anything crafty, I found that my enjoyment of life was a bit diminished.  It seems that creating things is just a part of my nature that cannot be denied.  There is just something about watching an item take shape and color and become something of use.

My latest passion, (and I've had many), is working with paper.  I never thought of paper as a craft medium that would capture my attention.  That's something I did in grade school.  It didn't seem like something for a mature adult to play with.

Well, maybe I'm not a mature adult after all, or perhaps I was just wrong about paper.  Several family members have given me gifts of scrapbooking supplies along with ,of course, some scrapbooks.  I dabbled with them a bit and then laid them aside.  At one point, while in a cleaning, decluttering frenzy, I gave all my scrapbooking supplies away. 

Having come across a tote of family pictures about a year ago, I decided to take up scraping again and try to put the best of the pics in a pleasant, interesting format.  Not long after, my daughter sent me a lovely handmade card which caused me to start taking notice of other cards I received.  I noticed that the handmade ones were so special.  They were more personal and unique.  An item to be treasured as a special greeting from someone who goes the extra mile to choose or to make the card themselves.

It seemed to me that making a card would be sort of like creating a mini scrapbook page, only without the pictures, and with a personal sentiment added.  So I began making cards for special occasions for my family and friends. 

I am particularly fond of the iris folding techniques and love to come up with my own unique templates as well as use patterns I've seen on the internet.  Iris folding is a rather time consuming technique, but the effect is an image with dimension and resembling the iris of a camera.  Just changing the patterns of paper or the colors can change the whole look from one card to the next.

Die cut shapes and stamp and ink lend themselves well to unlimited designs.  I never know just how a card will turn out from beginning to end.  I just kind of wing it usually with no specific pattern in mind.  A piece of paper here, a ribbon there and voila!  a card has been born.  It's fun.

So now I have an ever growing stash of greeting cards and I need to do something with them.  Hence my online shops at Etsy and Artfire.  My user name in both of those shops is  RenysDesigns.  So stop in and have a look.  Maybe you'll see something you like, or think of a custom card you would like to have created.  My prices are very reasonable since I'm really just looking to support my habit.  And tell your friends.  I would appreciate it.