There is something rather special, I like to think, about hand-made birthday, anniversary and other greetings cards. That is why I persist, during the fortnightly craft sessions I attend, to endeavour to listen to the
Lovely Linda, our group leader, when she describes a new technique which can be applied to any and every imaginable greeting. All I need to remember is that old adage - Less Is More.
Sadly not all the cards I make are good enough (in my opinion) to make it onto the doormats of my friends and family to mark Significant Events. Those are the ones I keep secreted away in the sideboard drawer, partly as a reminder of a new crafting
technique I have (sort of) mastered but mostly as a dreadful warning to self that, had I not added more glue, another layer of paint, an extra ribbon, or rather a lot of additional embellishments, I might have produced a card which could have been posted off,
proudly, to the next person on my ever growing Birthday List.
I can’t say I haven’t been told. Many is the time one of my fellow crafters can
be heard to advise: “Less is More” as they watch me plunge my eager fingers into the button box or the container holding tantalisingly sparkly and multi-coloured sequins. I never learn.
There is always somebody who proves the exception to the rule. Step forward, granddaughter Lilia (younger of the Twinkles by one important minute) who has covered virtually every millimetre of the beautiful Mothering Sunday
card she gave me.
Each of the Trio of Rampaging Rascals made me a card. I am impressed (and very, very grateful) that their mother, Middle of the Darling Daughters,
managed to stop them Rampaging for long enough to produce such splendid cards. She has thoughtfully ensured that the drawing on each card carries a title, in case I can’t quite work out the subject matter. I will leave it to you, dear reader, to decide
how important labelling can be.
Young Faris’s card is titled “Garden.” My Rascal knows how much I love my garden so it is a perfect choice.
On the front of the card are three creepy crawlies - a bee, an ant and a beetle. Or, possibly, a butterfly, a spider and a ladybird. This confusion on my part is nothing to do with my youngest grandson’s artistic skills and everything to do with my poor
knowledge of All Things Entomological. Faris’s garden also sports a tall, tall flower (maybe a reference to my sunflowers, I wonder?) and a splendid hedge over which the insects hover. He has been clever enough not to add “just one more creepy
crawlie” as I might have done. Instead his composition, so lovingly drawn, is a perfect representation of a garden.
Tala’s drawing is labelled “Chicken
Walkers” and her mother has added a question mark. Whatever the Chicken Walkers may be, they feature on the front, both inside pages and the back of her card. No, of course I didn’t ask - did anyone dare to question Picasso on his works of
art? Indeed, good old Pablo once said: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist when he grows up.” And so say all of us, especially those for whom “Less Is More” is a tricky concept.
Which brings me to Lilia’s card, the front of which is titled “A Circle” and which depicts, well, a circle in green and blue. Another circle, in green, red and orange decorated the
back of the card. But it is inside the card where our Artist Extraordinaire has really excelled herself, covering almost the entire surface with her composition. Her mother has helpfully labelled it: “A storm.” It is here, most of all, where Lilia
has demonstrated to all unbelievers that More Can Be Perfectly Acceptable.
Three very special hand-made cards, each one very different but somehow summoning up
the character of its little artist. Faris’s is thoughtful, Tala’s is cleverly thought-provoking, Lilia’s is delightfully One Of A Kind.
yes, I meant to say - I never actually got to open my cards myself as the Trio insisted on opening their cards for me, so excited were they to see my reaction. I am sure I won’t have disappointed them, with my exclamations of surprise and delight.
I reckoned it was certainly not the time for Less Is More.