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The Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap!

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Last Friday I received an email telling me who my swap partner is! Great timing because I finished the front part of the card yesterday (while listening to The Dogs of Rome by Conor Fitzgerald).

This is the first time I’ve had to make a postcard without using my digital tools. I loved it, of course, as the tactile experience of working with actual materials is always a joy. The only hard part is that the cold rendered my fingers semi-frozen and while tapping on the keyboard or holding on to a stylus doesn’t make that a big deal, trying to hold a needle does.

It’s also the first time I’ve had to stitch a postcard. Since Do What You Love and Paperphilia teamed up for this project, integrating paper was suggested and of course, I jumped at the chance to use my new found fave: used teabags!

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I decided to use a dish towel I found in Ikea (it was on clearance!) that already had a cross-stitched design. If you’d read past blogs, you’d already know that I’m a bit of a failure when it comes to cross-stitching. When I found the Ikea dish towels, I knew I had to take them. I also knew I’d never use them for drying dishes. I’m big on serendipity.

Since this year’s theme is CREATE, I thought I’d share the fun of creating something from the teabags. I cut up one of the teabag sheets into four pieces and used one of them to make a tiny tea bag. I filled it up with dried lavender (when you order products from Annmarie Gianni, they always include a little organza bag of dried lavender) so it wouldn’t look like a sad, empty teabag. I also added a half folded sheet and a flat one to sort of show the “evolution” of the teabag from tea-drinker’s delight to crafter’s treasure stash.

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You’ll also notice from the picture above that I started out with a rose but later on switched to the daisy stamp. I love making the teabag roses but it proved to be a bit overwhelming. I had no issues about it being too thick because I already decided I’d send the postcard in a container of sorts but it just didn’t work. Instead, I used the daisy stamp (also in place of the rose stamp that’s in the first photo) on the other teabag sheets as well as on the cloth.

I love neutrals and and I also love pops of color so I decided to add the blanket stitch edging in a happy blue aqua-ish color. The copper-colored beads are musts for me. Copper is my metallic color of choice next to an aged platinum. I tend to insert it into paintings and all sorts of projects whenever possible.

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At this point I thought I was done with the front but the longer I looked at it (as Commissioner Alec Blume got into more trouble), the more it said it wasn’t. So as I listened to Blume’s conversation with the daughter of a mob boss, I sewed on the rest of the stamped daisies and beads. Then it didn’t look right so I snipped the stitches, removed the beads, and just glued on the daisies.

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I turned my attention to the back of the postcard and decided I’d add some outline stitches to simulate the lines you sometimes see on the back of postcards.

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I wrote the name and address of my swap partner on strips of teabag sheets and glued them on. The finished post card is now in a bubble envelope ready to be sent out this week. I had a blast making the postcard in spite of the accidental jabs with the needle I gave myself. In fact I loved it so much, I was thinking of making more hand made postcards to send to whoever is in need of a snail mail hello. Another ambitious thought says a little voice running around my brain but well, who knows?

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