My sister-in-law makes THE most gorgeous handmade cards. They're quite intricate, with cut-outs, fake jewels, rubber-stamped embossing, and goodness knows what else. I love to receive them on holidays and other occasions, and I've saved every single one of them. She also makes her own Christmas card tags, which you can see on the left. (Can you tell I didn't have a picture of one of her cards?)
I knew she had to have a lot of tools to make these little wonders, but I had no idea how many or how expensive they were until I hit the craft store yesterday.
You see, over the summer, I bought a bag of kraft tags at a yard sale. One hundred and thirty-five of them to be exact. I thought they'd make cute bookmarks for the goody bags I plan to make for my book-release signing at Barnes & Noble when A Crafty Killing comes out in February. (Goody bags go over well with readers and with the store--who hopes the readers will buy/order the books represented in the goody bags. It's very tempting to me as the person who gives them out, too.)
Anyway, I'd asked my friend Joanna Campbell Slan, who not only writes a mystery series about scrapbooking, but has also written several books on how to make scrapbooks, what I should do. Holy cow! Her directions took up an entire page, and she assured me what I wanted to accomplish was an "easy" project. (I'm afraid I don't have Joanna's crafting talent, experience or confidence. Like my sister-in-law, her projects are true works of art.)
Still, I journeyed to the craft store to see what was what. I chose a rubber stamp, embossing powder, embossing ink, and a hot gun to make the ink "puff" up. Holy smoke again! The total was already over $50. That would make my project (of 50 goody bags--less the cost of ribbon and the business cards, and the glue) a buck a piece. I figured by the time I bought everything else, they'd be about $1.50 each.
Hmm. I put everything back on the shelf and wandered the store. Maybe I could just put stickers on the craft tags, but I couldn't see any stickers that screamed Artisans Alley (where a good chunk of the story takes place). Maybe I could just put some glitter on the cards.
Maybe I'll just forget the whole idea and just tie the bags with ribbon like I did with the bags I did for Chapter & Hearse.
Some people are born with the "crafty" gene and some aren't. That's why the heroine in A Crafty Killing bakes. It's something she loves to do and it's something she's good at.
I think I'll just stick to writing.