Sunday, March 14, 2010

Perfectly Imperfect--Handmade Cards

I had something a little bit bizarre happen to me a couple of weeks ago. I sent someone a card from my stash. It happened to be handmade, but not by me. In fact, it wasn't quite my style, but I couldn't bring myself to toss it because it had a certain "cute" appeal. But as often happens, I was down to the wire and a card needed to go out, so presto! The not-so-elegant-but-clearly-handmade card was signed, sealed and delivered with a heartfelt message inside.

A few days went by. I opened my email and found a message from the recipient of my "not-quite-perfect" card.


She raved on and on about "how did you find the time to send me a handmade card"? Hey, I didn't want to spoil it for her, so I didn't say, "Uh, I didn't make it."

Instead, I started thinking. I thought about why that card mattered to her. Clearly, she didn't care that it wasn't perfect. She cared that I had put some time and thought into creating a one-of-a-kind artifact just for her.

I remembered a time when a public relations agency I worked with sent me a cute hand-drawn note congratulating me on my pregnancy. Yes, that was nearly 21 years old, so the gesture stuck with me. In fact, I could almost tell you about every handmade card I've ever received. They are very, very difficult for me to toss away. Even if I don't like the artwork, there's such a personality to each of them, so much love in all of them, that I find myself wanting to hang on to them.

So today I was in a bit of a rush. We're having one of those family weekends where nothing is going quite right. And I needed a card to send my aunt, whose birthday is St. Patrick's Day. I could rush to the store and buy one. But in the same amount of time, I dug into my stash and created the one-of-a-kind card above, telling her how lucky we are that she's part of our family.

It ain't perfect. Or...maybe it is!

PS To all our friends in the UK, Happy Mothering Day!

PPS I just put "A Crop to Die For," the dinner mystery play featuring Kiki Lowenstein up at If you are looking for a fun special event, this is it!


Camille Minichino said...

Handmade imperfections are my signature!

Thanks for sharing Joanna.

Linda O. Johnston said...

The handmade cards sound delightful, Joanna--perfect or not!

Betty Hechtman said...

The vibe you put in something when you make it is what makes it so special.

Thanks for sharing the card

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

I think perfection will keep you: frazzled, worried, and definitely unpublished!