- Associated Press - Sunday, September 11, 2016

ORANGEBURG, S.C. (AP) - Scoring boards, paper cutters, glue runners, decorative cardstock, a cutting and embossing machine and a multitude of rubber stamps are just some of the card making items that can be found in Linda McGannon’s craft room.

That’s where she carefully constructs expressions of love, thanks, sympathy, congratulations and compliments for those she hopes will receive joy, inspiration or encouragement.

“It’s a hobby, and you have to be interested in it because it’s time consuming. The hardest part for me is coming up with the idea, but once I get the idea, I’ll get supplies together and come up with five or six cards using those same things,” McGannon said.

She started making cards about a decade ago, initially doing very simple ones made from cardstock that featured a single, stamped image. She eventually graduated to more elaborate cards that included, for example, trickier folds, embossing and the use of dimensionals, or double-sided adhesive foam dots that add depth and dimension.

“I like to do a lot of creative things. You can add different stamps. There are so many stamp product lines available now and, of course, you can find anything on the Internet,” said McGannon, adding that some of her multi-layered cards feature intricate cuts, ribbon and other embellishments, along with decorative Washi tape.

“Washi tape is sticky so all you have to do is apply it and then trim it to fit the card,” she said.

McGannon said she usually doesn’t write sentiments to go in her cards, but noted that “lovely writing pens” are available for those who want to try their hand at adding sentiments to cards.

One of her messages, however, was featured on a card by Cards by Anne, an international greeting card company specializing in hand-calligraphied cards with philosophical messages. The Wexford, Pennsylvania-based company is owned by Anne Kertz Kernion.

“Every year the company has a contest and people submit quotes, and her readers vote on which one they like best and which one they would like to see her design a card around. My message was chosen for the card design, and the cards are sold throughout the world,” McGannon said.

McGannon’s simple message was: “There is no greater gift than a good friend.”

She actually began card making after being influenced by her good friend Carol Cassone of Orangeburg.

“It’s a lot of trial and error, but Carol really got me started and introduced me to a lot of product lines. There is so much stuff available, and I just enjoy doing it,” said McGannon, who also draws inspiration and ideas from what she sees on YouTube videos, Pinterest and other places.

“I’ll look through those and be inspired with a certain style. It’s never the same because it just doesn’t turn out that way, but it’s inspiring to get an idea of how to use your stamps,” said McGannon, who also uses watercolor pencils and/or ink on certain pieces.

In addition, she uses fine- and wide-tipped Copic markers for coloring stamped images she may include on a card.

McGannon gave this reporter a hands-on lesson in making a folded “thank you” card with two layers attached on top of it, along with an embossed stamped image, ribbon and colored stamped image. Dimensionals were also used to make the stamped images look as if they were popping up from the card.

The lesson included use of McGannon’s Cricut Cuttlebug manual die cutting and embossing machine to produce clean, crisp cuts and deep, even embossing.

“You can use it to make impressions, emboss or to cut out shapes from dies. I think the main thing is to work on each individual element first so that if you make a mistake on something, you don’t have to trash the whole card,” McGannon said. “Then the very last thing to do is just assemble and put it together.”

Part of the finished card was the stamped message: “Thanks so much.” The letters was given a shiny gloss with the use of embossing powder and an embossing heat gun.

McGannon’s pointy-tipped Cutter Bee Scissors delivered a precision cut for the twine she used to tie around the card for embellishment.

“I think card making is all about being creative. It is relaxing, too, but I like creating things,” she said.

Cassone said, “It’s like a small, simple pleasure that you can manage. It’s fun just creating something small because I’m not an artist.”

“There’s crafty people and there’s artistic people,” she added, smiling.

McGannon makes birthday cards, thank you cards and sympathy cards, along with congratulations and “thinking of you” cards.

“I try to stock up on my birthday cards during the summer, but I haven’t done that well so far this summer. I start to look forward to seasonal things. I like to do Halloween cards for my grandchildren and I do like to do Christmas cards every year,” she said. “I’ve done invitations, too.

McGannon added, “I just hope that people get joy from a card for whatever it is. You create something every day.”

___

Information from: The Times & Democrat, https://www.timesanddemocrat.com

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