Uncommon Cards by Jeanne Williamson

Another book review. I’m having fun with these! A little backstory- I received an email from the publisher of this book, asking me if I’d like a review copy. I said yes because the author is a local Boston area artist, a friend of a friend, although I’m pretty sure I’ve never met her. So yes, I got the book for free (how cool is that!) and if you click on the link I will get a few pennies.

Uncommon Cards: Stationery Made with Found Treasures, Recycled Objects, and a Little Imagination

The book came in the mail just as I was ramping up for Renegade and I was thinking- I am way too busy to deal with this now. I quickly paged through it though and was immediately impressed by two things-  1. there is pull-out card stock in the back so if I’d wanted to, I could have gotten started immediately. 2. it looks like a book that presents an idea and shows you how far you can go with it- not a mish-mash of many different techniques. I like that. But really, I had no time. So I passed the book to a friend who has a 12 yr old niece visiting who loves art projects. Here is what they made and their review.

7:9:ryancards

Ryan says- “I’ve never written a “formal” review but here’s what India and I thought after making 5 cards (with materials from the book and some of our own).

Learning how to sew onto paper to create cards was interesting and intriguing to both of us. I personally had never considered stitching directly onto cards, nor did I realize how easy and fun it could be. India thought of it more as a task, but she did get creative once we were immersed in the project. I read through the introduction and materials pages and loved Jeanne’s personal stories of creating her own wedding invitations and scavenging for materials. I never noticed how great a square foot of plastic netting could be (see pg’s 20 and 42), or how wonderful it would be to have sushi tonight if only to be able to get my hands on the fake grass that Jeanne uses to make the Sushi Grass Landscape card on pg 22. How adorable is that?!

The instructions were clear throughout the book. India did have some difficulty with adjusting to sewing on paper which leads me to think that this book is better suited for an advanced beginner/intermediate sewer. Some of the techniques are time consuming and sewing on paper is a lot like embroidering, you can see every stitch. There are no hems to hide them. Because of that, each stitch creates a hole in the paper that cannot be undone, as Jeanne does caution. You have to work slowly and map out your stitches if you want a professional looking result.

In short, I would buy this book. It’s well written and well thought out and it is clear that the author enjoys the art of card making and is comfortable with sharing it. India and I were both inspired; India with the idea of letting her be as creative and resourceful as she likes and me with the simple idea of stitching on paper to make beautiful custom cards.”

Wow- sounds great, right? Well, I’m still busy but when I saw what they had done, I needed to try my hand at it. I paged through the book and marked some of the projects that looked inspiring. I pulled out my box of weird ephemera and papers, grabbed some trims and made a pile of goodies on my desk. I personally have a hard time reading directions and find it impossible to keep things as clean and simple as the projects in the book but I had fun and tried some things I never would have thought of on my own.

7:9:mimicards

I too feel like the next time I need a card I will approach make one with a little more creativity.

One more thing. You know this review I did back here about the sewing machine accessories book? (My husband says it is a book about have more fun with the tools you already have!) Well, now that I know what an edge stitching foot is for, I am using it ALL the time now. It is my new favorite sewing toy!

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