On November 7, 2018, my 7 month old son first started crawling with intention. For the first time ever, he was able to cross a room of his own volition.
On November 8, 2018, the town we lived in was enveloped in the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history.
Before the fire, I had spent years and years acquiring all the supplies necessary (and, let’s be honest, most of the time not necessary) to do all the different types of crafts I loved – knitting, weaving, cross stitch, sewing, and so much more. I had thousands of dollars worth of materials gathered lovingly over the course of nearly 15 years. In a single day, all of that was gone. Wiped off the face of the Earth along with our entire home.
After the fire, with the help of our excellent insurance and some serious good fortune, we were in a rental house and I started replacing all my crafting supplies. I bought mountains of yarn, gathered all sizes and styles of knitting needle known to man, found a new sewing machine and fabric to go with it, and I even replaced my cross stitch supplies and started working on a nerdy wedding sampler to eventually hang on our new walls.
Then the apathy hit. I couldn’t understand why, but my motivation to use all my new crafting tools and materials was fading fast. I knew I still wanted to create things, but my drive had disappeared.
That’s when I discovered paper crafting. I had been intrigued by the concept in the past, but never moved forward with it. But with our insurance payout and my husband’s approval, I treated myself to something I’d had my eye on for ages – a Cricut Maker.
I started with their tutorial projects using materials included with the machine, then quickly moved on to a variety of projects made available through Cricut Access. I loved all the card designs and started making fun, custom cards for friends and family for all occasions.
But that wasn’t enough. I wanted to customize my cards somehow, so I did a few searches for tips and tricks on YouTube.
Oh boy, was that a mistake! I fell right down the rabbit hole and started ordering sentiment stamp sets right away!
But even that wasn’t enough! With more time and more compulsive YouTube watching, I became fully entrenched in the Wonderland of Card Making. Now I’m obsessed with practicing my Copic coloring, stamping images crisply and perfectly, ink blending backgrounds, and sending my handmade cards to anyone and everyone.
Finding card making has given me a new lease on creativity. It has given me something new in a time when “new” meant “replaced.” It has given me a drive to reach out to friends and family who are struggling to provide them with a little happy mail and a reminder that they aren’t alone. And it has given me insight into a new community of loving, kind, and thoughtful people.
I’m still healing from the pain of all we lost and the deeper pain and irrational fear of how much worse it could have been. I’m not certain I will ever get fully past my experience on November 8. But I am certain that I’m improving, one day at a time and one card at a time. (Okay, sometimes two cards at a time!)