I've been following Anne Butera's blog for some time now. She's a watercolor artist, and not only do I love her artwork, I love her philosophy of life. Each Monday she posts "Joy List Monday" where she shares the joys of her week: "a reminder to stop and pay attention to the little beauties and graces that make life magical and to set aside time for gratitude each day." In addition to following her blog, I signed up for her JoyLetter. Early in February, I received an invitation to participate in a Handmade Joy Exchange. Here's Anne's description of the project:
The concept is simple. Make something by hand (with joy and love) and send it to the person with whom I've matched you up. You can use any medium, any technique... In the past participants created using embroidery, metalsmithing, paper cutting, paper folding, crochet, knitting, sewing, painting, assemblage...
I signed right up, and by the end of the month, I'd received a name. There weren't any social media links included in my match, so I asked Anne if she had any information that might help me create something appropriate. It turned out I would be creating for a young lady, twelve years old, which definitely influenced my choice of project. I also learned that she was interested in drawing, journaling, and painting so I decided to create a sketchbook for her filled with multi-media paper which would hold up to paint, collage, or whatever she might want to throw at it. I included six divider pages, each with a quote about creativity, and decided to personalize the cover. Since I'm primarily a cardmaker, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to include a set of cards. I decided to create cards that could be colored by Sedona, and included a set of die cut sentiments so she could choose among different occasions if she wanted to turn them into greeting cards.
One interesting this about the exchange was that you were not paired with the person you created for. My Handmade Joy gift was waiting for me when we returned from our March road trip. It came from California, and is from another watercolor artist. You can find her beautiful work here on her Instagram account. I love every item in my package: a notepad, two beautiful handsewn journals, and two watercolor cards. They were packaged beautifully as well.
This turned out to be a very satisfying and rewarding project. I'd sign up for it again in a flash. Tomorrow you'll be able to see Anne's blog post about the project, and a summary of all the wonderful projects that were created. I'm quite sure it will be worth a look!