Constructive chaos

One of the difficulties in living overseas, and having so many of our friends scattered to the four winds is keeping in touch. Whilst Facespace and Twitter are fabulous, they’re poor substitutes for ‘real’ communication and I often find myself taking the easy/ lazy route of leaving a quick message on a friends wall rather than writing a proper email or sending snail mail. I’ve been trying to rectify this of late.

I’ve a gorgeous friend who lives in San Francisco with whom I swap  notes, cards and presents at random times during the year, but with a particular focus on birthdays. One year this wonderful lady even crafted me my first every birthday cake in the shape of a blue whale! So as it’s her birthday tomorrow I’ve been creating this card. It’s horrendously late this year but as she’s currently holidaying in Australia, I’ve taken a little longer to put her gift together. I’m hoping it’ll be at her abode waiting for her when she returns!

I’ve embroidered this card using DMC embroidery floss onto a gloriously thick 400 gsm 100% cotton paper. But you can use any thick card you have handy.

To make it, I printed and overlaid the template I’d created onto the cotton paper and using a large sharp needle I pierced through both pieces (remember to put something underneath that you don’t mind getting holes in or you’ll end up punching ‘Happy Birthday’ into your table or desk!). Take your time and try and line up the holes neatly as it makes a huge difference to your finished product.

I also punched through the corners of the card to show me where to crop the card later. This means that you don’t have to worry overmuch about the outer edge of your card whilst you’re doing the embroidery; as it’s likely to get a little battered during the embroidery process.

I then embroidered the center of each letter randomly followed by the outside of each letter. For this I used one strand of embroidery floss and a very fine needle.

To begin and end each thread, I used a small amount of strong, quick drying glue to stick the thread to the reverse of the card. This was so that there are no bulky knots.

When I’d completed the embroidery, I trimmed the card down using the marks I’d placed originally as a guide, a metal rule and a scalpel (you can use an x-acto knife, I just prefer the accuracy of the scalpel blade).

I then scored the card so it would fold nicely.

Here’s what the reverse of the card looked like. You can cover it with a paper insert or glue a piece of fabric over it if you want  a really neat finish. I quite like the constructive chaos look!

And here’s the finished product!

 

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