Long story, but I'll get to the card in a moment. Back at the beginning of this year's lock down, I could see that we would be required to wear masks at some time (although I didn't think it would take as long as it did to be mandated.) The prospect of using disposable masks with all the extra waste (and expense) involved didn't appeal at all, so I investigated how to make my own. Now, I'm not a sewing person. I do decorative stitching where the holes are set up in advance (paper embroidery, cross stitch, hardanger etc) but apart from replacing buttons and putting up a hem, I don't do what I think of as 'practical' sewing. But, I found a basic design that could be done with hand-sewing, and gradually adapted it to something I was happy with. I got to the point this summer where I'd made around 80 masks for family/friends and charity, but I was conscious that they would be neater and probably more robust if they were machine-sewed. At this point, I asked my local craft group for suggestions of what I might need - especially given that the masks I've been making are the pleated type and by the time you include extra side bits for the elastic and a three-layer construction have up to 12 layers.
One member, a lovely lady called Barbara, who is probably the most experienced of the group with sewing machines, contact me and offered me one. It was given to her by the family of a neighbour who sadly had to go into a nursing home, and she'd been waiting to offer it to a new home for a couple of years. And not only did she give it to me, she delivered it and spent about three hours getting me started on using it. So, obviously, I wanted to do something to say, 'Thanks!' And that's the story about this card - except to add that Barbara loves sunflowers and has decorated a number of her possessions with them.
I started with a Brusho background. I spritzed the card and sprinkled three colours, then, while it was still wet, I did a little zig-zag brushing with a fan-shaped brush to even the colour distribution and encourage a little more colour mixing. When it was dry, I added the sentiment (Woodware stamp and Versafine ink), and lastly a sunflower which I made using (mainly) dies from the Susan's Garden Sizzix collection. The only die addition was the stem which is from a Julie Hickey die set. It's probably a little curved to be a sunflower stem, but it was the perfect length for the card.
And that's it - a sunflower thank-you card. I do hope you can join us this time.