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• Saturday, January 17th, 2015

Living so close to Willow for so long has been kind of an immersion project–a chance to experience raw, day-to-day life “her way.”   It’s been beautiful.  But one lesson I had trouble adjusting to was the guilt I felt when I couldn’t recreate things the same way she does because I didn’t have a lifetime of practice in creating beauty out of raw materials.  I was used to craft kits, lessons, and tutorials.  Willow has learned to see everyday items in new ways.

Josh has been good for me in that respect.  He has taught me that imitating her results isn’t wrong. It’s not “cheating” but using what skills and materials I do have in ways that I find pleasing–even if it means I buy those materials.

She’s been making thank-you cards since Christmas–for obvious reasons.  She told me that she and her mother always spent a lot of time creating beautiful cards for after birthdays and Christmases.  It seems strange to do that for someone in your own home, but it’s beautiful too. So, I got the “thank you card” bug and decided to take her design and create it “my way.”    But first, I want to share what she did–just because the work she puts into something as simple as a thank-you card is truly remarkable.

I came into the kitchen a few days after Christmas and she had piles of stuff all over the table. A couple of brown paper bags, cardstock, a piece of burlap I remember from a bag that she used to have hanging in the barn.  It held small garden tools, if I recall correctly.  It tore a while back and then it disappeared.  I assumed that she’d burned it.  Apparently not.  It was all washed and ready to use.  Then there was a little dress that Kari had torn and stained.  I couldn’t imagine what she was doing, so I asked.

“Making thank-you cards.”

Yes my mind did immediately think, Of course you are.  So, I poured myself a cup of coffee and began watching.  Her cardstock was white–plain and boring. She cut each piece in half with a x-acto knife and folded it.  Then she opened them flat again and cut pieces from the brown paper bags–just a bit bigger than the card base on each side, but the same height.  I started to ask why when she pulled out rubber cement and began slathering it on the cardstock.  Then I saw why.  It would have shown a tiny bit of white if she hadn’t made it a little bigger.  She trimmed it up and voila–a “kraft” paper card base.  I would have (and eventually did) just bought kraft cardstock.

The next thing she did was to take another piece of cardstock and wash it with a robins egg blue.  This she pinned to the mini clothesline she has hanging on the wall over the stove.  I’m used to seeing dish cloths or towels drying there.  Paper–who knew?

While it dried, she folded a scrap of the grocery bag and began cutting.  It took a few tries, but eventually she managed to cut the shape of a butterfly that satisfied her.  With that, she traced it onto white paper and cut out a dozen or so butterflies.  Let’s just say it took forever.  Chad and the children arrived home from their visit to the park in the middle of this, so she had to put it all away.

The next afternoon, at nap time, she started again.  She cut the sheet of paper into eight equal pieces and then cut a notch out of the bottom of each one to create a flag.  She said, “I saw one like it on the Pinterest that Mom uses–just that little notch, but isn’t it cute?”

“The Pinterest.”  Only Willow.

Then the assembly began.  She wrapped each flag with a strip of burlap, and then ripped the lace from the upper ruffle of Kari’s little dress.  I thought she’d pull out the iron, but she didn’t.  She just used the edge of the table as a sort of iron, and pulled the lace back and forth across it until it laid flat.

Once the flags were assembled, she began writing.  A simple “thank you” on each card front bottom is all she used.  Just the kraft card base with the word written in brown was enough.  But once those were done, she glued her flags to each one.  Then she pulled out the butterflies again.  On each one, she’d hand sewed–through the paper–white seed pearls.  She said they were leftover from a bracelet that broke when she was a little girl.  I was afraid to ask if they were real pearls.  I thought she might actually say yes.

tycardIn the end, the cards were lovely.  I wanted to make my own.

So… I bought the following:

Kraft cardstock-  (4 sheets at .50 per sheet from the paper store)
Blue cardstock- (1 sheet at .50 per sheet from the paper store)
Spool of burlap- “ribbon” from Christmas clearance at Walmart (1.00)
Glue-backed pearls- (6.00 for enough to make 50 cards!)
Pink printed paper- (1.00 from the paper store)
Glue runner- (3.00 from Walmart)

And I borrowed a friend’s butterfly paper punch.

Sure… it wasn’t “free” like half of Willow’s stuff was.  But it’s mine.  and I love them.  And I love knowing that the card tucked into my husband’s lunch today, thanking him for taking such good care of me on days I’m too worn out to even look at the stove, shows the love I feel for him in the work I put into it.  And that’s the most beautiful thing about Willow’s ways… they reflect her heart.  For some people, it would be a handwritten note on notebook paper.  For others a phone call “just for nothing.”  Others might do it by baking muffins or sending a note on Facebook.  But for Willow, it’s sharing her creativity with the person she wants to honor.  And we all know that as she works, she prays for us.  Isn’t that the best part of all?

beccasiggy

 

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3 Responses
  1. Betty Landesman says:

    Aww Willow. I wish I had your mind and creative ideas. I love your thank you card.

  2. Brenda says:

    Simple, yet, elegant. Wish I had that kind of creativeness. I’m a “see it” “do it” person.
    Love Willow!

  3. MS Barb says:

    Beautiful! I need step by step instructions &/or diagrams for my cards & scrapbooking! LOL!

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