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The Art of Repurposing Holiday Cards

Holiday Card Leftovers (No, it’s not about the turkey this time!)

Every year, I am left at the end of the Christmas, Hanukkah & Kwanzaa holiday season with a mass of beautiful cards, none of which I can part with much less throw away.  I am not my exhausted mother, Mrs. Claus, who would toss out the cards after updating address changes, noting births & deaths and then pack away the Christmas tree & ornaments by New Years Day.

Okay yes, I am ‘that child’, a hoarder but in a ‘nice way.’  You see, I just can’t give any of you up.

You have sent out the most beautiful, creative cards with your thoughts, hopes and dreams for years.   Even if a card wasn’t the most artsy or pricey one, it was special because it was important for you to send it out and therefore, it is important to me.

I read each note and every letter because you took the time to write down your best thoughts even when your year might not have been so hot. Because you made the effort, I can’t give you up.  I enjoyed reading about your year, what was important and what you are looking forward to this new year.

And then I found a box, a nook, several files, another nook, other boxes, other files, other nooks and part of a closet, all filled with holiday cards, birthday cards, Easter, anniversary, get well and everything cards!!!  I had filed you away and stored you away until you were everywhere!!!  I was out of control.

Years of cards were overwhelming the house & me, although the dogs didn’t seem to care one way or the other. Then came the idea.

As much as I loved the cards, some were ‘keeper’ cards of family and friends long gone and I would save only those.  The next set (pile?) contained the most artful & beautiful cards that were too good to gently, gently… be put in the t… r… a… s… h….    And everything else went to card heaven.

The idea – Re-purpose cards to live on as exquisite bookmarks or gift tags:

  1. Access the best part of the picture, crop it and cut it.
  2. Punch a hole through a corner or center of the top.
  3. Thread a matching satin ribbon through the hole.

Not only could I could pass on the gift of beauty that you had given, but the loving thoughts that you had infused into the original card could now be passed on to others in a never-ending ripple of positive energy.

Just one other thing, surprisingly enough, I can’t seem to be able to take down the twinkling, winking Christmas tree.  Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Easter will be here soon.  Maybe I’ll take the tree down around then, or not….

A guest post by CE Instructor Ann L. Leslie. About: Ann is a professional artist, author, and instructor with a bachelor’s degree in radio and television. She is a nationally renowned stained glass artist and member of the Illinois Artisans Program. The only Granddaughter of Indian Agent Fremont E. Lange, Leslie is adopted Lakota and Cherokee. She is a ‘Pipe Keeper’ and a Reiki Master Teacher whose job it is to help those in need and serve as a bridge between cultures. An active volunteer and civic leader, Leslie has also served as advisor to The Mantle Rock Native Education and Cultural Center of Kentucky, managed a Native American gallery, and is a lifelong member of The Keepers of the Sacred Tradition of Pipemakers in Minnesota.

Ann will be teaching several art classes in the spring, including: Australian Aboriginal Aerial Desert Landscapes, Japanese Sumi Painting, Navajo Healing Sand Paintings, Cherokee Storyteller Gourds, Tibetan Mandalas and more! Click here to register for her classes. Details for these and all our spring Lifelong Learning Institute courses can be found in our Spring LLI catalog or on our LLI website. Also, look for Ann’s classes on art, natural disasters (she’s a member of Community Emergency Response Team “CERT”) and the “Kindness Project and Compassion Games” in our upcoming Summer InZone catalog.


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