Custom Card for a Girlfriend…from her Boyfriend!

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Hello Blogging Friends!

We finally got a bit of rain, which we really need! It has been a bit chilly in the early mornings, which makes that first cup of coffee tastes even better! October is just about gone, and the holidays are here…in the retail stores at least! I know many people are working on their Christmas and holiday gifts and I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone has been up to. It will be fun to read your blogs in the next couple of months! I am also working on some ideas and projects, which I will share later, since some of them are surprises. But, for now I would like to share a card I was asked to create.

It is so wonderful to receive e-mails from men requesting me to design a card for them. I recently received one from a young man, asking me to create a custom birthday card for his girlfriend.
How thoughtful, and how lucky this young woman is! He stated that she was going to be celebrating her 22nd birthday and wanted a card that had roses. He also requested that it be simple, but sweet!

This is the card I designed for him.

birthday card for 22nd birthday, card for girlfriend, card with roses,

As with all custom cards I create, I sent him a picture to be sure it was what he wanted. His response…..”Yes! That is perfect. It looks amazing!”

I think he liked it, and I know his girlfriend will love it. Not necessarily because I designed it, but that she received a card from her boyfriend that he ordered several days before her birthday! And, he ordered a custom card for her! What a guy!

My customers are wonderful! A huge “Thank You” for allowing me to create special cards for the people you care about!

Thank you for visiting my blog! Wishing you all a wonderful, creative day!

~~ Vickie

Custom Cards & Cursive Writing

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Hello Dear Friends!

My posts have not been as consistent these last few weeks, but I have been reading what most of you have been posting! We all know how much time it takes to prepare our blogs and it seems that recently other projects have kept me away from my blog. I miss posting and hearing from my readers, so my goal is to get back into my routine of posting once a week! I also post some fun items and share what other creative people are doing on my HorseMark Cards facebook page, which I hope you will visit soon! Now, on to my blog!

A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from a customer asking me if I could personalize a card she found on my website. Of course I said Yes! She composed a personal message and asked that I ‘write’ it on the inside of a card and mail it for her. I was happy to do this, but when I sat down to write the message, a thought occurred to me…does the person know how to read cursive?
Since I had no idea of the age of the person or where he was educated, I did not know if he was taught cursive writing. In the end, I printed the message on the card.

personalized, custom card

It was a beautiful message of love, and I believe the romantic style of cursive would have been more appropriate for the lovely message. I felt it inappropriate to ask if they knew cursive, but now I feel that I should have been more specific on the style of writing I used. The customer was extremely satisfied with the card and the printing looked very nice.

This experience prompted me to think about current views on cursive handwriting. I know many schools are no longer teaching cursive to our youngsters, and many more school districts across the USA are considering deleting this class. Many people think it is not relevant today, given that keyboards have taken over our writing tasks. However, there are also many people that think learning and writing in cursive is a positive learning experience. Cory Turner wrote an interesting article on this for nprED that is worth reading.

This experience got me to thinking if other languages and countries still use cursive. I knew Mr. Google would know, so I did a bit of research for my own curiosity. Many other countries still use cursive and I found it very interesting when I began my research. I did find some articles that have been written recently. Lisa van de Geyn wrote an interesting article for Today’s Parent. Another article I found was written by Katherine Collmer.

cursive wrirting, can you read in cursive, can you write in cursive

I do believe cursive should be taught and used in our world today. There are a variety of reasons that are mentioned in the above articles and I do believe we can keep skills from the past and incorporate them with our current technology. Moving forward doesn’t always mean that we need to replace skills, we can just add new skills!

When I began this blog over two years ago, I knew I wanted to have it be a ‘Creative’ blog. So, talking about cursive writing fits right in. After all, it is a very creative skill!

Thank you for stopping by for a visit today. Your comments are always appreciated. Wishing you all a wonderful, creative day!

~~ Vickie ~~

PreSchool Teacher Thank You Card

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Hello my Creative Friends!

It is always nice to receive a card in the mail, but it is extra special if that card you get is personalized.

I was delighted to get an e-mail from a mother requesting a thank you card for a preschool teacher. (Actually, she requested three thank you cards. I will share the other two later!) The customer requested a card that included crayons, letters, and numbers.

There is a very fortunate preschool teacher that will receive this thank you card that I designed just for her! It was so fun to create and I am pleased with the results. What do you think?

teacher thank you card, card with crayons, letters, numbers

I would love to create a personalized card for someone you know. Contact me at horsemarkcards@gmail.com with a couple of details and I will design a card for you!

Thank you for stopping by for a visit. Enjoy your creative day!

~~ Vickie ~~

Re-Purpose Cotton Rounds & Candle Holders

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Hello Dear Readers!

Life and other activities have kept me away from my blog duties in the last several days, I hope to get back to my regular posting schedule soon!

In the meantime, I did want to check in and share something different that is a bit creative. (That is what my blog is all about!) We are all looking for ways to use items in different ways; aka re-purposing. Well, I have have a different way to use those little cosmetic cotton rounds and a candle holder!

A friend gave me a lovely cactus planter as a hostess gift. (I have wonderful friends!) There was a drain hole in the bottom of the planter and I needed something to set it on. Re-purposing came in twos! I used a candle holder as the stand since I didn’t want anything flat or too high. Since the candle holder was slightly curved, it could hold a tiny bit of excess water that leaked through the soil. As an added precaution, (I am one of those people that always have a plan ‘B’) I decided it needed something extra to absorb excess water. Cotton round to the rescue! Since the cotton rounds are inexpensive, I can replace them as needed. I love using items in different ways!

cactus planter, repurposing cotton rounds, using candle holders

Do you have any other uses for the little cotton rounds or candle holders? It would be nice to share your ideas and comments ~ I love hearing from my readers!

Enjoy your Creative Day! ~~~ Vickie

Around the World Blog Hop!

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Hello!

I would like to ‘Welcome’ you if you are a first-time visitor to my little creative corner, and say ‘Welcome Back’ to my regular readers. The support and encouragement from readers like you is what makes blogging so worthwhile. I have met so many friends from many parts of our world since I began my blog about two years ago. It is exciting to share ideas, create, and learn from others!

HorseMark Cards, Around the World Blog Hop

Around the World Blog Hop

Today’s post will be a bit different since I am participating in the Around the World Blog Hop. My invitation to be a part of this fun blog hopping event, (my first!) was given to me my Thea. Her blog, Time with Thea ,is one of my favorite blogs! She always has such wonderful ideas and tutorials on gardening, making wreaths, organizing, and so many other DIY projects and techniques. She has a lot of wisdom to share and has more time to devote to her blog now since she has recently retired from her teaching career. Once you visit her blog, you will want to stay for a long visit! She is also one of the most generous and supportive bloggers. Thank you Thea for this invitation and all the creative ideas you share!

decorating, DIY projects, gardening

The Around the World Blog Hop involves answering a couple of questions so readers will better understand the process of each blog and the person behind it. Each participant invites another blogger to join the hop the following week. I have invited Tayna, the creative blogger behind Mrs. Hughes to join in on the fun. I have been following her blog for several months. She has a love for vintage sewing and shares lots of ideas on sewing, patterns, DIY projects and tutorials. You will love the dresses she makes! A visit to her blog will be very enjoyable and inspirational! Look for her post next week!

vintage sewing, wreath from thread spools.

So, now I will get on with my questions and answers as I participate in this fun blog hop! (I switched the questions around a bit, as I thought it flowed better with my thought process.)

Why do I create what I do?

Well, this is an easy question to answer….I enjoy it! I remember when I was much younger, I loved to make my own paper dolls. (Remember paper dolls?) So much time would be spent on coloring and creating different outfits for them. I think I had a couple of dolls, but I made several tops, bottoms, dresses, even shoes for them. I really enjoyed the designing, coloring, and cutting process!

So, fast forward a few years (well, maybe more than a few) and I find myself sitting in my ‘creative’ room cutting and coloring and designing handmade cards. It is relaxing for me to color and I love to fussy cut images from papers. Many of my cards have layered effects, which add dimension. Most of my coloring is done with colored pencils. My attempts at blending with the different markers have been not been successful, but I think the pencils add enough color. Maybe someday I will take the time to learn blending with markers, but for now I will stick with my pencils!

When my eldest son went off to college several years ago, I sent him cards for encouragement in his studies: Thinking of you, various holiday cards, and Get Well :( cards. I even sent him a card when he joined his fraternity! When he returned home, I found that he had saved every card I sent! My heart swelled two sizes that day! It made me realize that receiving a card in the mail really means something. (Of course, I also sent cards to my youngest son when went off to college. He saved his too!) These college cards were created almost eight years ago! Wow. I can see how I have evolved in my card designs over the years!

cards made for college student,

Like so many before me, I began creating cards to give to family and friends. Through the encouragement and support of my husband and two sons, I created HorseMark Cards so I could sell my creations online and share with others. There is some logic behind the name ‘HorseMark’. My last name is Horsfall and I wanted to make my ‘Mark’ in keeping in touch with the people I care about.

Our world is so filled with technology, which I love, but it seems the use of the old fashioned snail mail has slowed even more. I would love to be an influence in changing that. I do know some younger people are starting to send cards and that is so encouraging! Sending and receiving cards via my mailbox on the street is my social media!

What am I working on?

I am always working on ideas for creating new cards, but in recent days I have been working with fabric instead of paper. My nephew and his wife are expecting their first child next month, so making a baby quilt for them has been my main focus. I chose three prints from Jo-Ann’s that I just love. I had enough fabric left over to make my first bib. When I finished it I thought it was too small, then realized that babies are small!

I used a Speedy Baby pattern I found at Taffy Jane’s and I love the way it looks. Free motion quilting is on my list of things to learn. I have only tried it on practice items and it still needs a bit of work, so I just used simple straight line stitching to finish this special baby quilt.

I love to have things coordinate, so I used some of the left over fabric and created a baby card to match the quilt and bib. I must say, I am really pleased with how it all came together. What do you think?

Baby quilt, bib & matching card

Baby quilt, bib & matching card

Since Christmas is just around the corner, I have also been busy at my sewing machine making coasters using a pattern I found from Karen at Sew Many Ways. (Visit her blog and you will stay awhile! She has so many creative ideas to share!) I have been making many of these coasters from different fabrics to give as gifts. They are so easy and quick to make, and they launder very well! I lay them flat to dry, and they are ready to be put to good use again!

Yes, the holidays are approaching and I have also been creating a few harvest and Christmas cards. I must admit, getting into the holiday spirit in September takes a bit of encouragement, so I visit the Christmas section on Pinterest to help me get motivated. How many of you have used Pinterest for motivation?

christmas cards, christmas coasters, christmas thank you cards

Holiday Coasters & Cards

How does my craft differ from others in this genre?

I like to make my cards simple, yet different. Some require more detail and time than others, but I enjoy creating them all. The one type of card that I really love designing is to take an invitation and use it to create a card.

wedding cards. cards created from invitations

My favorite cards to create from invitations are wedding cards. You can see two wedding cards I designed from the invitations here and here.

I have not seen many people who take invitations, cut them up, and create a very personal and original card. So, I guess that is one way I differ from other talented people who make cards.

How does my creative process work?

Wow! That’s like asking me how do I think? My mind wanders frequently. It seems that I am always thinking of something else when I am doing something entirely different!

There is so much inspiration I receive from looking at what others have created. Sometimes I may take an idea from one person and combine it with another to come up with an entirely different idea for a card. I may think, if ‘they’ did ‘that’, why couldn’t I do something similar or do ‘this’ using ‘this”. (Does that make sense?) Whenever an idea pops into my head, I make a note of it immediately. (It seems that my mental filing system gets a bit mixed up these days!) Once I have an idea written down, I come back to it later and see how I can implement it. I love the creative process!

Many times I will think of a new idea from an item I see on my work table, like a scrap of paper left over from a die cut or punch. The light bulb goes on, like it did when I created these ladybug and purses cards. I love those creative moments! Don’t You?

cards with ladybugs, cards with purses, using oval shapes

There are so many talented people who make many creative cards and handmade crafts and share them on their blogs. They are wonderful and provide so much inspiration for me. I hope the ideas and cards I share on my blog inspire some people too! My blog and website keep me very busy, as I am always learning something new. It is challenging at times, but I still enjoy it!

Thank you for visiting today and letting me share a little of me and my creative corner of my HorseMark Cards world.

Look for another Around the World Blog Hop post from Tayna, the talented blogger behind Mrs. Hughes next week! Of course, you can always visit her anytime!

Enjoy your creative day!

~~ Vickie

card with squirrel & acorn

Thank You for Visiting!