07 September 2023

Early Snow

I'm pretty good about crocheting and stiffening snowflakes. I'm not so good about stringing them.

It's not that I don't like stringing them. It's more like move-on-to-the-next-snowflake mode. I also photograph every snowflake I create, and for the last couple of years, I've been photographing every snowflake on multiple color backgrounds for my digital snowflake temperature quilt panels.

Strings get in the way.

In more ways than one.

I discovered prior to my "snowflake party" last month that strung snowflakes can be a huge time hog. It took me more than an hour to detangle the hundred or so snowflakes in my decade-old stash to prepare them for donation. I should have snapped a photo, I know. Suffice it to say, I got the majority untangled before my volunteers arrived to help me begin packaging the snowflakes for donation to tornado and flood survivors in Alabama.

I invited the local missionaries from my church for lunch and stringing/packaging. We spent two hours stringing about 130 snowflakes and packaging them and the already strung ones.

Operation Christmas Ornaments from Near and Far has requested that each handmade ornament donated be placed in a resealable bag along with a message stating from whence the ornaments originate. Oh, and a message of hope and/or love...

I had been looking at other donations to get ideas for the messages we would be inserting. The first thing I decided was to hand write them instead of computer-print them. I tried to imagine what would be the most meaningful to me if I were to lose my home and then receive something as a gift from a total (and anonymous) stranger.

I thought of the cards I've received over the years following the death of a loved one, particularly when I was working at the newspaper. I received so many cards when my little sister was killed from all over the world from people I likely never will meet in person. I still have every single one. 32 years of safekeeping. They mean that much to me.

Sometimes there were typed messages, and those were nice, too. But the handwritten messages made me feel like someone -- often a total stranger -- took the time to sit down and write something with pen in hand specifically for me.

I confess, I am not that good anymore at writing messages by hand. I do it online now. I send my greeting cards via the site that prints them. I often include messages I type myself. Even my "Love, Deb and Brett" is typed. This snowflake donation project has made me wonder if perhaps I'm doing it wrong... Perhaps the messages I send each month should be handwritten. Particularly Christmas cards.

However, I'm faced with an economic viewpoint. I can pay to have the cards mailed to me so I can sign them by hand, which, I sadly admit, would be another drain on my time. Then pay to mail them again a second time. And then there's the time factor. Mailing them to myself and then to recipients would add an additional week or two to the delivery process, depending upon how much of my liesure time work gobbles up, especially during fourth quarter.

So for my own greeting cards, I'll keep sending them the way I have been doing for now. But for my snowflake donations, I want to do handwritten messages.

I printed up a bunch of my snowflake fabric designs on my own cheap little printer at home, on paper, and then cut the paper into 8ths and 16ths to make my snowflake messages. One goes in each bag with a strung snowflake.

Another time hog, but I used up all my colored ink! It often dries out because I don't use the printer often enough. I'm so happy not to have wasted this batch of ink!

I decided a brief but heartfelt message would be best, not just to budget my time, but also to KISS. Keep It Simple, Silly! I wrote "Love and prayers from Colorado" so many times, I actually ran out of ink in one pen!

I mailed the first package (yes, I do plan to send another to one of the other two states as soon as I string more snowflakes) last week.

Last weekend, the snowflakes were received. This is so motivating, it will help motivate me to get the next box in the mail before the Halloween deadline!

1 comment :

Dusty words lying under carpets,
seldom heard, well must you keep your secrets
locked inside, hidden deep from view?
You can talk to me... (Stevie Nicks)

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