Repurposing a greeting card

3:26 PM

Turn an old greeting card into wall art

Another hectic week over here!
Mumbai is going to polls for the State election on Wednesday, and for an obscure reason, Ishita's school decided the kids needed to have this Tuesday off as well. As a result she will be in school only two days this week. Friday being the parent teacher meeting. Then, we have a three weeks long Diwali vacation. Needless to say that all the blog schedule and work plans I had are pretty much going out of the window. To keep Ishita busy in this heat today I took some old bits of cardboard out, lined the dinning table with old newspapers and let her go wild with her poster paint while I got busy with a project of my own.

a card and some cardboard

I am in the habit of saving cute greeting cards my family and friends send me. You know...just in case. I have two that are particularly cute and wanted to use as wall decor for a while. And with my working on the study a lot these days, I found a use for them. And because it would just be too simple and so un-me to just use a bland generic photo frame to display them, I made one.
All I needed for that little project was a piece of packing cardboard (I save these from old shipping boxes) and of course an old greeting. After cutting my cardboard to the desired size and shape, I used acrylic paint to first pain a blue background. Then I glued the greeting in the center before adding a painted pattern to my blue background.
I did that pattern in two steps. First I used a teal acrylic paint to paint barely visible circles and flowers on the blue background. Then, I used a pink glittery 3D liner (I love that stuff...I really do!) and drew twirls and swirls with it. I finally added a few finishing touch with a pearly white 3D liner.

The whole project took me an hour tops. Once the glitter all dried up, I took some double sided paint and "hanged" it on the wall in our study. And yes I took a picture, but the lighting was completely off, and I really really need to wash the giant doodle Ishita scribbled on said wall before taking a more decent picture and sharing it. Thing that is unlikely to happen before we get back from vacation.

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  1. Anonymous5:23 PM

    We used to send greeting cards on new year. These days people wish new years on phone and that is about it. Greeting cards are generally gifted by lovey dovey couples to each other at Valetine's Day. There are so many ways to communicate these days, facebook, whatsapp, sms. Back in those, days there was something personal in sending someone a greeting card or postcard/inland letter.

    I always found how people used inland letter and postcards very interesting. Even ordinary people wrote such beautiful language. I specially liked the way my mother wrote to her mother. She used to pour out her feelings for her and her brothers in the letter. Kind of reassuring her that she is allright but worried about the well being of her brothers. The salutations used and writing style of those days was very intimate but formal at the same time.

    The idea was to present the emotions in such a way that nothing is left out. The letters reached their destinations after a long time. People even wrote on the margins of postcards/inland letters, if something important was left out. Nowdays, communication is so instant that people do not need to be articulate.

    Written word requires certain intellectual effort on the part of the writer. No wonder people are unable to write even two lines properly in any language even in English which we are so proud of. Forget our native tongue which we have never bothered to teach our children.


    1. There is still a HUGE greeting card culture in Switzerland and most of Europe, we don't just exchange them on Christmas and Birthdays, but also along with special gifts, to wish a person back to health and of course each time you receive a gift, or have been sent a card it is customary to send a "Thank you card" they really don't have to be super expensive and fancy, many are just generic card with a pretty photography and no text. And in the cases of gifts they are often handed in person, giving a gift with no card is considered rude still.

      This card above was written by my sister who sent a scented candle to me via my cousins who came to visit me a few years ago, it was more of a "postcard" type of greeting as it had no flap, the text just was on the reverse. What my sister wrote was something along the line of "I just saw this scented candles and thought you might like it" which is something you would find on most cards that go with a gift.

      Growing up I had pen pal, it was a big thing in the 90's and you could register with an agency that would assign one to you, I wrote to my pen pal for years before loosing touch, she was based in The US so letters were taking a bit of time to travel and it was really really fun to wait for mail. I also remember how special it was to have your own stationary paper sets, and they had many with pretty patterns and cartoons on them for kids too, because writing letters was something we learned to do from an early age. That art died, I am pretty sure of it, people write emails nowadays, but as convenient and fast as it is, it will never be the same.

    2. Oh and one tradition that was big growing up, and apparently still is very popular nowadays is to send a postcard from your holiday place, every touristic place in Europe sell pretty postcards with quality picture of the area so that people back home can see how the place you are vacationing at looks like. I remember packing an address book on holiday to send them to all my friends, and my parents made us sign the ones they were sending to family member. It was super exiting to get postcards from all your school friends during the two months of Summer vacation, even if all they went was a few tows away to their grand parents place, they would send a card, and we would keep these in shoeboxes because they were so special to us. My mom was a bit sad not to see post cards readily available in India the way they are found at every street corners in cities in Europe, because our family back home was expecting them, it took us days to find an emporium that had a few simple ones. I have a cousin that used to collect them and asked people she knew to send them. I also had an online friend in an expat forum who asked me to send her from Switzerland when I went back there to visit so she could have one from there as well :-)

    3. Anonymous10:23 AM

      Greeting cards were mostly associated with new year wishes. We never knew any other use of a greeting card. Then Hallmark and Archies introduced us to the world of "I love you" cards and soft toys. There were cards for all purposes "sorry" to "happy birthday". They also became more expensive. Those who had to impress their girlfriends bought those cards, keychains and soft toys and promoted the card culture. I find the idea of gifting a grown up person a soft toy absurd. Cards I understand but soft toys, I don't know, seems very "cheesy" to me. But people were encouraged to express their feeling through cards. Then technology became cheap and bulk SMSs proved more convenient. Since the concept of love is alien to Indian culture, anything that helps the cause of love is always welcome be it bollywood or cards. At least there was some formal method to express love.

      We on the other hand, watched these events unfold from the sidelines. Our mental antennae was just not tuned to catch "love" frequency I guess LOL.


    4. Gifting a stuffed animal for valentines is cheesy in Europe too, something that teenagers might do, adults steer clear of it, and gifte their loved one flowers and a card instead, or take them to a movie or play for the occasion.
      In Switzerland we also have condolences cards to send to the family of the deceased and it is something you do sent to even acquaintances if you didn't go to the funeral. National papers do publish death announcement so that near and far ones are informed and know when the religious service will take place as well. These cards are very sober, usually small, with a white background and a very sober painting or drawing picturing flowers or a church in black and grey tones, or sepia tones for the more "colourful" ones. The recipient usually send back a very simple thank you note receiving them, but it is accepted that the grieving family might have too much on their plate to send them promptly or at all. A condolence card is more of a "I may not be there right now, but rest assured I share your grief and am in thought with you" kind of card.


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