I should have called this blog post “Random Acts of Depecheness.” 😉
Here’s where the story all began. I bought my Cricut Expression machine in 2008 and watched as Provo Crafts released newer, potentially better versions of the machine over the last six years. I was tempted by the Imagine machine, curious about the Gypsy tool and liked the colors of the newer machines. Mine is just cream-color and grey. I’ve always been a little disappointed that I couldn’t cut my own illustrations or clip art with my machine. Sure, there was software out there that would allow you to make custom cuts but I didn’t feel comfortable going down the road of potentially voiding my warranty, so I didn’t research it. Instead, I longed for a Pazzles machine (but it was more than twice the cost of my original Cricut Expression) and later was very intrigued by the Sillhouette machines but never did anything about it.
Fast forward to late January 2014 when I opened a surprise email from Cricut. They were releasing a new machine that would write, score, cut and would allow me to CUT MY OWN FILES!!! How cool is THAT?!? All of the Cricut cartridges I already own and all of the images I’ve purchased from Cricut Craft Room would work with the Cricut Explore. How exciting! I watched the official Cricut Explore announcement video and daydreamed about the possibilities and then tuned in at 9 PM February 11th to watch it debut on HSN. It was nearly sold out by the time the piece aired and the first hour was frantic and not very informative about the machine. In the second hour of the program, more information was divulged. I took the bait. I ordered it. I’d stashed away some “crafty cash” for a moment like this and excitedly ordered the new Cricut Explore!
It arrived late February and I’ve really enjoyed using it. The first custom project I made was a card with three triangles. Look closely and they resemble primitive D M letters. It’s an adaptation of Depeche Mode’s current logo, which seems to change with every album they release. As a very longtime fan of the band, I enjoy creating cards and art inspired by DM for friends across the world who love my favorite band. I’ve never met many of these friends in person, but through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, we’ve become a family of sorts. I lovingly call the group of friends who also love DM “Depechies” and this will be the fifth time I’ve done a special project like this “For the Masses.” It brings me joy to do kind things to others, and I started getting excited about making some DM stationary for some of my Depechies.
I had the current address for a few Depechies, but sent private Facebook messages to others to get their address for the first time or to request a current address. It was fun to see the different responses! Some replied IMMEDIATELY. Perhaps they know that when “Cards By Stephanie” asks for your address, something good is going to be sent. 😉 Other friends were very curious about what I was up to but I didn’t give it away. Some haven’t see my private message yet. One made sure it was really me asking for her address (probably because hackers and spammers are so prevalent). Three others generously offered to “pay it forward” and send me something – even though they had no clue what I was up to!! ❤ Finally, some just read my message and did not respond.
What started out as a mental list of four girlfriends I’d send a few cards to quickly turned into making 94 cards for 29 friends!! After getting to number 29, I concluded there were still a lot of DM friends whose address I didn’t have and I began to feel bad for inadvertently leaving some friends out. I didn’t exclude anyone on purpose, but when I started estimate the cost of postage, I told myself I had better stop requesting addresses. A few more addresses trickled in after my Mailing for the Masses, so I’ll be making more cards this weekend and will send out some more packages on Monday.
I realized I’d committed to doing more than I’d planned! I’d made 64 cards at first and thought I’d have enough for everyone to get at least 3 cards and envelopes plus have some leftovers for me. However, as I started counting the friends who’d given me their address, I realized I needed to make 32 more cards! I swiftly ordered hundreds of envelopes from Amazon, as my supply was nearing depletion with this project. I took a few days to assemble the cards, take pictures of them, stamp the outer envelopes and hand write all the accompanied notes. It took all weekend to finish up, but I was giggling with mirth for much of the time. It sure is fun to work on happy surprises for unsuspecting friends.
70 sheets of cardstock, at least 125 envelopes, lots of stamp impressions and 29 handwritten notes later, I was ready to take them to the post office! I took my giant tote bag to the nearest post office and smiled as I mentally kissed the envelopes goodbye. My art was headed on a secret mission! I hope my friends will be delighted when they receive their packages and that they’ll enjoy blessing others by sending them some Depeche Mode themed happy mail!
Update: I’ve heard back from 62% of the recipients and I hope the rest of the packages get delivered soon! My friends were surprised and happy when they received their surprise.
If you liked this post, why not surprise a friend with some happy mail? I encourage you to do something to make a long lost friend smile. You’ll feel good and they will, too.
Thanks for reading my blog!