Back when my kids were babies and my time and energy was in short supply, I did very little sewing. In those days I did lots of rubber stamping instead (which was also quite the trend at the time) and it was a great project for that phase in my life. I could easily stamp and color and assemble little masterpieces in not a lot of time and with not a lot of attention and still have something beautiful without investing days or weeks of work.
In addition to the creative outlet cardmaking gave me, it also kept me stocked with blank cards for any occasion. I'd only design the front of the card and I'd leave the inside blank. Then when something came up like a birthday or Mothers Day or the need to send a thank you note, I could customize the inside.
This is the card I made to send out for Mothers Day this year. Not only do I give cards to my mother, my step mother and my mother-in-law, I also send cards to each of the women I carried for as a gestational surrogate, as a nod to the special bond we share. I made eight cards this year and honestly it took very little time at all.
The fun an unexpected twist of this card comes from using an old page from a book to stamp and color on. I used a page from an old Nancy Drew book, but you can use any old paperback you don't mind sacrificing (just make sure the content of the words on the page is appropriate, ahem!).
One blank card (or cardstock for folding your own blank card) One page from an old book Scraps of decorative paper A rubber stamp with the image of your choice An ink pad with permanent ink Colored pencils A ruler Glue dots, a glue stick, or double stick tape Scissors
To make the card:
Using an ink pad with permanent ink, ink up your rubber stamp and stamp the image in the center of your book page.
Be sure to clean your stamp as soon as you finish stamping your images. If you're not familiar with caring for rubber stamps, use a more-than-damp-but-not-quite-dripping piece of folded paper towel to clean the ink off the rubber part of your stamp. Don't worry too much about getting the wood wet, it won't hurt it (you can see the water mark on the wood of my stamp in the picture below). On the other hand, try not to stress over getting the rubber or even the wood totally clean - it's OK if it's stained from the ink, as long as there's no residual ink on the stamp.
I'd like to say that no one will judge you for having unpristine stamps but I can't guarantee that. It happened to me (no joke). When I was doing a lot of rubber stamping back in the day, I'd often go to rubber stamping groups where we'd meet and work on projects. My attitude toward my art supplies is to use and enjoy them - I have them to be used and not to be displayed so if they get dirty or worn in the process, I'm fine with it. In fact I'm more than fine with it, I love to see evidence of well-loved art supplies - that means art has been made and what could be better than that!?!
Anyway, one evening we were talking about child rearing and I was mentioning that I considered myself a fairly strict parent and one who stuck to the house rules and routine with my toddlers, when one (childless) women said she was very surprised to hear that. She said she'd had me all wrong, she thought that I was a very permissive parent (ummm, what?!?). I asked her what gave her that impression and she very sheepishly said she'd made that assumption based on the fact that I didn't mind getting my stamps full of ink. She thought if I was lackadaisical with my rubber stamps, then surely I was with my kids as well.
Well huh. There are plenty of reasons for people to judge me but never did I think it would be that one.
So be forewarned.
Once your ink is dry on the book page (this usually takes only a minute or two), color your stamped image. I colored this one with colored pencils (using different shades on top of one another to blend the colors) but you can also use magic markers or paints.
After your stamped image is colored, trim it from the book page. You can use regular scissors or decorative edge scissors, but I like the look of a torn edge. I place a ruler in the spot I want the torn edge and rip the book page carefully downward against the edge of the ruler.
After your stamped image is at its finished size, use your scraps of decorative paper to layer with and highlight the stamped book page. It's better to stick the sheets together with glue dots, double stick tape, or a glue stick because regular bottled glue will be too wet and will make your paper bend and buckle.
Finally, attached the layered image to the front of the card.
Enjoy your fine work!