Tuesday, 9 January 2018

New Beginings with the Joy of Sets

It feels like ages since I contributed to one of my favourite sites, The Joy of Sets and this month the theme for the monthly challenge is New Beginnings. I felt I had to take that as a sign that I should create and submit something and so here is what I came up with.

Now this is perhaps not what everyone would automatically associate with new beginnings and I did think, birth, wedding, spring but then decided that this was more appropriate. Perhaps because it's relevant to me at the moment.

Whilst most people would associate a bereavement card with endings rather than beginnings I wanted to turn it on its head for two main reasons, the first being that during the recent very sad loss of my 18 year old nephew I received so many gorgeous cards offering sympathies and condolences and they each warmed my heart immeasurably. I know the tons of cards my sister received did the same for her. I was compelled by the way I felt receiving them to determine to send out more cards myself as acts of kindness in future and to take that a step further and really work on maintaining existing friendships and building blossoming ones. So for me bereavement cards took on a kind of symbol of new beginnings in my approach to relationships with people who matter to me.

Secondly I do feel that whilst a death is an end of a way of life for those left behind it is also the beginning of a new one, we can move forward in light and love and gratitude and we can be changed irrevocably by the loss of a loved one to greater or lesser degrees. Our family will never be the same, our children are altered, my sister is that woman none of us want to be but for sure we will all move forward as different people changed by the loss of someone so special to us. We all are thinking more about our priorities in life and so in that sense this card seemed fitting for the remit. Unusual but fitting.

Also I didn't send my sister a card or any other family member just because of proximity and in some ways I felt a little lighter after I wrote in this card imagining it was a card to us as his loved ones left behind, needless to say I'll keep what I wrote inside to myself but please do enjoy the front.

For this I used a base of extra thick Very Vanilla measuring 8 x 6 scored to create a classic fold 6 x 4 card front. I then added a layer of Tranquil Tide cardstock measuring just an eighth of an inch smaller and then a layer of this gorgeous dotty Tranquil Tide and Dapper Denim DSP from the Eastern Palace suite which measured five and five eighths by three and five eighths. I used a Woodware decorative corner punch on all layers and the outer corners of the base, front and back. Before gluing on the DSP layer I glued on a strip of Very Vanilla which measured 5.5 x 0.5 inch wrapping it around the back of the DSP layer before using Tombow liquid adhesive to fit it in place.

Then I used the With Sympathy stamp from the Better Together stamp set and a little leafy floral embellishment from the Lots of Lavender Stamp Set currently free as part of the Saleabration promotion Stampin' Up! is running. I heat embossed these onto Very Vanilla using silver embossing powder, preparing the card surface first with my embossing buddy and stamping with Versamark before sprinkling on the powder and using a heat tool to make a gorgeous sentiment.

I attached the sentiment layer with dimensionals and used the corner rounder before I did so to just make it a little more interesting.

Inside I used another of the stamps from Better Together, stamping in Tranquil Tide "may your sorrow be eased by wonderful memories". To finish off I added a dab of Wink of Stellar to ever other row of the dots on the DSP which doesn't show up so well on the photos but looks gorgeous in real life.

There is a tutorial on my You Tube channel showing me taking this card from basic idea to finished project which you can see by clicking here.

As the loss of Ben inspired the thought which made me create this card, it seems fitting to mention that there is also a montage of images and tributes to my nephew and a link to a just giving site where donations for the charity he supported are being collected to give people fleeing impossible domestic situations a new beginning too. I'm also going to pop in a link to the organ donation register as it was so important to Ben to donate his organs and save other people's lives and give them a new beginning, something he did much sooner than he ever thought he would and finally  a link to Type 1 diabetes symptoms, he died after failing to be diagnosed by 7 professionals so please be aware of the symptoms and challenge doctors and nurses if you think there is a problem they are missing.

I'm looking forward to seeing all of the other entries.

Stay safe.

Andrea x

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