#247–Creating cards is addictive . . .

Six weeks ago, I had no cards. I only had books. Then I decided to do three cards with my Haiku poems that I had written about the Coronavirus situation. That was such fun, I did another card where I used my “Sleep! What sleep?” poem. I wrote about that in last week’s blog. I thought that would be it as far as creating cards.

Then I remembered two photos from a trip I took to Cornwall back in 2006 that I always thought would work well on cards. Up to now I’d only designed cards that used poems I’d written. That way, what I was doing went along with me being a writer. And at the gallery, I’m only juried in as a writer.

I checked, and it was okay for me to do cards that had photos and no poetry, as long as they were on card stands with other gallery members’ cards. I would not be able to have them at my space where my books are displayed.

So I went ahead and designed my two Cornwall cards. Two friends and I spent two weeks in Cornwall where we stayed in one location and saw different towns, hiking trails, estates, gardens, and pubs each day and then another week was spent on a sampler tour of the rest of the U.K.  During our stay in Cornwall, we took in at least three activities of the Daphne du Maurier writers’ conference. We signed up before leaving for England.

One of the activities was a hike to a place famous for its Scrumpy cider. The hike was cross-country—right through cow pastures filled with cows and going over stiles when we encountered fences––as we climbed up over a ridge. I stepped out of the group to get the photo of our group climbing. It was quite an experience and was similar to an experience in one of du Maurier’s writings. As we crested the ridge, we saw the empty chair. I was mesmerized by it and thought of all kinds of reasons for it being there.

Heading down the other side, we ended up in a narrow canyon with a small river at the place that served the apple cider Scrumpy–– their claim to fame. Apparently, this hard cider was developed in western England and originally was rather harsh to the taste and made from unselected apples. Any batch of apples would do. But I had read that Scrumpy had become more refined over the years, less harsh.

After the long hike, I was thirsty and had great anticipation. But when I actually drank some, it was the most awful stuff I had ever tasted. And I generally like cider—hard or not. This time, I settled for water. This Scrumpy must have been made the original way—definitely harsh. Everyone else seemed to enjoy it. Perhaps, the Brits have a taste for that sort of thing.

Both Cornwall cards are from that hike. I enjoyed designing them and liked the way they turned out. Once they were done, I figured I was done with card making. When they arrived in the mail, I put them in their clear sleeves, stickered them with price and number, and took them to the gallery and put them on the card stand. I thought I was going to be given six slots, but it turned out to be 12. Since I used one slot for bundles of three Coronavirus Haiku cards tied together with a bow, that meant I had room for five more cards if I wanted each slot filled with a different card. Hmm!

That evening I went through my 4,000+ photos and found five that I thought were good enough. I designed a daylilies card. I made it small with a background that I think complements the daylilies. I loved this photo because two days after I took it, the deer ate the blossoms and did so from then on. I never got to see more than one blossom at a time after that. So this photo was the only way to see more than one blossom.

The next day, I designed the other four. Actually, I did no designing. I simply uploaded a photo and that was it. No words, no background, easy peasy! I just let them have the white paper they were being printed on as the background. And I loved the way they turned out.

One of the four was my favorite photo from Devil Cat where Groucho is sitting on the 6-inch balcony railing with his tail hanging down on one side and a front leg on the other. Good thing, he has good balance. It’s a long way down.

Another horizontal photo was the Yaquina Bay Bridge. I must have taken at least 20 shots of that bridge over the years, but this was the only one I considered good. I took the photo on a rainy day when I was doing a trial run before one of the Lane Community College Outward Venture trips to see the historic bridges. I would be leading the trip. It rained until just before Newport and by the time I got to where I wanted to have a photo op on the trip, the sun came out and the clouds were breaking apart. It became a photo op for me right then. It is a beautiful bridge from any angle and my second favorite of the coast’s historic McCullough bridges. My favorite is the Siuslaw River Bridge right here in Florence.

Then I did two vertical cards. One was my favorite rhody photo. It is of ‘Mrs. Furnivall,’ and I used it in my blog post “#241–Rhodies, glorious rhodies” about six weeks ago. On the day, I  was taking photos to use in that blog, I really worked to get just the right background, composition, etc. on several photos. But not on this one. I just snapped it and moved on to another plant. Who knew it would turn out to be the one I liked best.

The other vertical is one of my favorite shots from The Oregon Coast Guide to the UNEXPECTED!!! It was taken at the O.H. Hinsdale Rhododendron Garden near Reedsport. I thought it wouldn’t turn out so good because no matter how I tried, the white rhody blossoms kept getting in the way. And, of course, that’s what makes the photo so special.

These last five cards arrived in the mail yesterday, July 1. I got them all packaged with their envelopes in clear sleeves and stickered and in packs of 10 before dinner. And this morning, I went to Backstreet Gallery and placed them in their slots on the card stand. They all look fabulous. I am so pleased!

I still can’t believe how happy these cards have made me. Even if nobody buys them, it has been such fun creating them. And when I was on duty last Sunday, I sold three “Sleep” cards and someone else said she would be in to buy two “Sleep” cards tomorrow.

I’ll keep you posted on how they do and if I decide to do any more cards. . . .

There’s this bridge picture I have of the bridge open with a ship going through at sunset. Might make a nice card. Hmm!

About crossingsauthor

Judy Fleagle spent 22 years teaching 1st and 2nd grades and 21 years as editor/staff writer with Oregon Coast and Northwest Travel magazines.Since 2009, she has written five books: "Crossings: McCullough's Coastal Bridges," "The Crossings Guide to Oregon's Coastal Spans," "Around Florence," "Devil Cat and Other Colorful Animals I Have Known," and "The Oregon Coast Guide to the UNEXPECTED!!!."
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