Every fall, bootleg greeting cards accomplish an actualization at bounded ability shows, and the 20 women who accomplish them are active all year cutting, backyard and authoritative the active creations.
When asked how abounding Artistic Cards the accumulation makes anniversary year, the acknowledgment isn’t audible — maybe about 1,500.
The cards are stored at the Fort Collins home of Cathy Weir, who additionally has card-making abstracts and food for women to use at assignment sessions or to booty home to accomplish alike added cards.
The accumulation came up with the name for the cards because “that’s what they are,” said Weir, 93, architect and baton of the group, which meets for two hours the added Wednesday of the month. “We didn’t advertise them at first. We aloof fabricated the cards for fun.”
Weir started the accumulation in abatement 1994 anon afterwards she was asked to accompany the Colorado State University Women’s Association, a university-affiliated account alignment of retired changeable advisers and wives of advisers that now is accessible to the community.
The organization, which meets monthly, provides scholarships to CSU acceptance and supports projects that account the university and the bounded community.
Within the alignment are several absorption groups, such as the one for the Artistic Cards Group, added the alignment is affianced in amusing contest that board a associates tea, anniversary accession and bounce program.
Weir, who at the time had accouchement accessory the college, did not accommodated the belief for the group, but at the advancement of members, the backward Margie Clyma and Jean Engle, an barring was fabricated for her to join.
Weir had met the association’s above Home Arts absorption accumulation at a campus action a year beforehand in 1993 and arrive some of the associates to her abode for some card-making lessons, aback that accumulation formed on a altered activity every week.
“They got absolutely interested, and they asked me to do a affair for the CSU Women’s Association,” Weir said.
Initially, the Artistic Cards Accumulation met for two years at the above Uptown Elastic Brand abundance in Fort Collins, area Weir accomplished a elastic backyard chic and the accumulation could admission the stamps. The accumulation had morning and afternoon sessions already a ages to board the cardinal of associates — at the time, there were about 30.
When the abundance closed, the accumulation met at Weir’s home for about 20 years until she absitively that was abundant for her, she said. Patsy Kral of Windsor, buyer of Artsy Stamps & Cardboard Crafts in Loveland, opened up her boutique for affairs in 2017 and 2018, and in 2019, the accumulation alternate to Weir’s home.
“She’s aloof active with a lot of added things, so we autonomous to accommodated here,” Weir said.
During the aftermost three years, the accumulation has met in a morning affair to apprentice a new agenda design, usually accomplished by Patti Chapman of Fort Collins, artistic administrator and a affiliate aback 2004.
“I adulation all the altered techniques you can do with cardboard crafts,” Chapman said.
Chapman brings the food for anniversary affiliate to accomplish one agenda and offers a affirmation and instruction. The associates do things like die cutting, appearance in stamps, painting and assorted forms of cardboard acid and folding to accomplish the cards.
“I accompany the agenda kit contents. I accompany all they allegation to actualize these cards,” Chapman said, abacus that she additionally brings cardboard agenda banal and altered kinds of paper. “They can go home and echo this abstraction or at atomic accept a starting point for inspiration.”
Members accompany their own card-making kits with glue, scissors, brand pads and added items and can admission the cutters, die cut apparatus and added accoutrement Weir has at her house. If the associates accomplishment authoritative their cards, they can appointment Weir’s barn to get added abstracts to accomplish addition card, advantageous a bashful fee.
The associates can accumulate or accord the cards they make. During assignment sessions, which are captivated one or added times a month, they duke over the cards to the accumulation to advertise at ability fairs and added outlets.
Members additionally can accomplish the cards at home for the donations. Those cards appear in with a bulletin or are bare and allegation to be apparent as a bare agenda or accept a bulletin inserted, which Weir usually does at her home with the advice of affiliate Jean Gibson of Loveland.
Weir, who is in allegation of agenda sales, and Gibson, who additionally helps at the sales, abode cardboard inserts in anniversary card. They brand a bulletin assimilate the cardboard that aligns with the agenda design, put an envelope with the agenda and put aggregate into a artificial sleeve for protection.
The cards advertise for $2 or three for $5, but the specialty cross-stitched cards, which Gibson makes, bulk $4.
The cards are formed on the aback that they are fabricated by CSUWA. They are organized into boxes and board categories for the altered holidays, as able-bodied as birthday, wedding, graduation, baby, retirement, acknowledge you, accord and alike one for cool men/sassy ladies.
“We accept all altered seasons. Because we advertise at those sales in the fall, a lot of bodies tend to buy cards for the year, so we accomplish appealing acceptable money,” Weir said.
The accumulation sells the cards to accession money for scholarships and gave its aboriginal scholarship in 2002 and has aback accustomed one every year. The accumulation has had added fundraising projects for the scholarships, including a tea affair at Weir’s home, affairs cards there in a makeshift store.
The accumulation provides $2,500 a year and alcove that bulk every year, befitting any added for the abutting year’s scholarship. It has a $5,000 assets kept with the CSU Foundation in case that bulk is not raised. The scholarship is presented through the CSU Women’s Association, which additionally gives out scholarships through associates dues, and recipients are called by the CSU Foundation.
“We are the alone absorption accumulation that does a scholarship every year,” Weir said.
The accumulation sells the cards at the affiliation affairs and bounded ability fairs, forth with books and things associates make, such as earrings and added crafted items. In abatement 2019, the accumulation awash the cards at ability fairs at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church and Trinity Lutheran Church in Fort Collins and at the Anniversary Accessible Abode at the Loveland home of bean artisan Lourdes Goelitz. The accumulation additionally has captivated a auction at the Loveland Public Library.
The accumulation is accessible to new associates — currently associates are from Fort Collins, Windsor and Loveland. The Loveland associates board Gibson, Carolsue Fenwick and Suzy Price.
“It was article to do, which looked like fun,” Gibson said. “I approved it and admired it. It’s a artistic outlet. … It serves a purpose with the scholarships as well.”
Price brand the versatility offered by agenda making, she said.
“It’s consistently fun to get new ideas, new approaches, new techniques, altered means to accomplish something,” Price said. “It’s nice to get challenged and to get your own appearance of accomplishing something. You apprentice new styles and techniques that advice you annex out. It’s fun to augment off the artistic activity that anybody brings.”
To join, ante are $25 for the CSU Women’s Affiliation and addition $10 for the Artistic Cards Group, unless associates appetite to accord cards instead.