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What to do with Old Greeting Cards

art therapy

Greeting cards are glorious, but they end up presenting a dilemma. Once you’ve enjoyed their sentiments and displayed them long enough to gather dust, what the heck do you do with them?

  • Throwing them in the recycle bin feels rude.
  • Throwing them in a little box in the closet works for a while, until the little box becomes a big box and the closet becomes the garage.
  • Keeping them up for display too long transforms the dust they gathered into corrosion. It also confuses house guests when they see a birthday card sent to you in May that’s still on display come October.

There must be another option. There is.

Make a Greeting Card Collage

The greeting card collage idea came to me when our art therapy group was assigned the topic of
SPIRIT – and mom had just so happened to have sent me a box of my baby and childhood greeting cards she found while cleaning out her basement.

The two worlds merged beautifully.

Childhood cards worked for the SPIRIT topic for several reasons (as you have to explain to the doc who heads the art group):

  • They were given in the SPIRIT of love.
  • They portray the SPIRIT of family.
  • Baby cards are especially a propos, as babies are new SPIRITS fresh out of heaven.
  • Most of the folks who had given the cards were now dead, and thus SPIRITS themselves.

Pretty good, eh?

greeting card collage

Tips for Making a Greeting Card Collage

Gather your supplies:

  • Canvas or some type of foundation
  • Mod Podge or other quality collage glue
  • Paint brush to apply the glue
  • Scissors to cut out portions of cards that catch your eye (like the freakish 1970s illustrations of baby faces)
  • Gaggle of greeting cards

Set the Theme

You can certainly make a hodgepodge Mod Podge collage with snippets of cards pasted randomly all over the canvas. Or you can pick a theme, as I did.

My overall theme was an angel (more SPIRIT). I cut the card snippets to look like feathers in the wings and picked particularly striking sentiments to serve as the angel’s face and body.

The face contains childhood writing from my brother in a smeary green marker. I cut it into a skull shape to add an edgy feel to the angel. The body features a funny card sentiment, again from my bro. It’s a pithy phrase about how having a sister is fabulous, especially if you can’t have a hamster.

Start Cutting and Pasting

The rest of the process is pretty straightforward. Set aside time to go through each card, snipping out sentiments that are near and dear, make you laugh, contain freakish 1970s illustrations or otherwise catch your eye.

WARNING: Do NOT attempt to go through old childhood memories on a weekday before work in case you’re overcome with emotions as I was.

Paste your greeting card snippets on the canvas, give the final product a finishing coat of Mod Podge, and then prop the whole thing on your séance table or couch back so it can sit around for months and gather dust.

Yep. My project backfired for a spell. Instead of having greeting cards on display gathering dust, I now had a whole greeting card collage on display gathering dust. Don’t fret. I found a permanent home where it’s now nestled nicely. A place where I aim to dust frequently.

Enjoy!

Like the collage idea? Get inspired by other rynski art.

greeting card collage
Greeting card collage detail from right wing.
greeting card collage
Greeting card collage detail from left wing.
greeting card collage
Greeting card collage freaky 1970s face.

 

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Cranky Today? This May be Why

jiminy crankball cause of crankiness

You know those days. You wake up annoyed and cranky, ready to drop-kick anything that gets in your way. What the heck is going on? There’s a good chance you’ve been invaded by the Jiminy Crankball.

What’s the Jiminy Crankball?

The Jiminy Crankball is a small, fuzzy invasive species that makes people cranky. He usually crawls in through the left ear, first infiltrating the brain and then moving throughout the rest of the body.

How You Get It

The Crankball species is especially adept at pinpointing weaknesses and certain circumstances that are basically begging for members to invade. These include lack of sleep, being hungry, or getting a $290 parking ticket in Phoenix.

Any annoyance that disrupts your normal routine can invite the Crankballl, as can stepping in cat puke and listening to bad house music.

Oh yeah, you may as well set up lawn chairs for the Crankballs during the monthly womanly thing. That’s when they come around in swarms.

How You Get Rid of It

The only way to eradicate the Crankball is to address and resolve the weakness that let him enter in the first place. Get some sleep. Eat some treats. Deal with the parking ticket. Get back into your normal routine. Clean up the cat puke. Shut down that godawful music. Take a hot bath and a nap.

What Else You Need to Know

Crankballs are highly tenacious, breed quickly, and are extremely contagious. Let them fester in your body for days on end, and you’ll end up surrounded by people who are equally as cranky as you are. It’s like going to work when you have the flu only to infect the whole office.

If you’re not sure of the exact weak point that let the Crankball in, try extra sleep or a healthy meal anyway. You can also talk to others about your crankiness. Crankballs prefer to live just under the skin in the dark. When they’re subjected to attention, laughter or light, they tend to rapidly flee.

Need more helpful hints for dealing with difficult things? Check out the rynski guide for dealing with jerks.

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How to Instantly Lose $290 at the Local First AZ Fall Fest

beware of things that bite

This is an open letter to Local First Arizona after 19 of the Arizona businesses that attended the Fall Fest each ended up with $290 parking tickets after parking in a dirt lot as instructed by Local First AZ.

The violation? Parking on Non-Dust-Free Lot or Area. 

Talk about having a teed-off, 117-mile ride back to Phoenix that evening!

Please Note: The headings were not part of the letter sent, but added to make it easier to read.

Here Comes the Letter

Hi Thomas,

I am one of the 19 Local First Arizona vendors who received a $290 parking ticket from the City of Phoenix after parking in the lot at 1102 N. Third Street as specifically instructed by Local First representatives. As you know, this ticket was issued on Nov. 4, 2017, to a number of vendors attending the Arizona Fall Festival.

The ticket was accompanied by a note from your organization instructing me NOT to pay the ticket and to instead request a hearing.

Since the note stated that Local First AZ would help us businesses fight the ticket, I am confident your organization will indeed provide assistance since this fiasco is in no way the fault of the vendors who were following your precise parking instructions.

Double Woe for Tucsonans

Because I run my writing and art business out of my Tucson home and making the 4-hour round-trip drive to Phoenix would result in loss of full day’s loss of wages, the assistance I require includes:

  • Requesting a court hearing on my behalf
  • Showing up for the hearing on my behalf as a representative as I cannot sacrifice yet another day to drive to Phoenix and back
  • Successfully fighting the ticket at the hearing, explaining how Local First AZ is responsible for the parking violation since the group instructor vendors to park in the aforementioned lot
  • Payment of the $290 fine by Local First AZ if the hearing is not successful on behalf of the vendors

Triple Woe for One-Woman Show

I am a small, single-person operation. Attending the fair required a lot of time, effort, energy, resources and money. While the overall experience was satisfactory, that satisfaction was quickly annihilated upon finding a $290 ticket jammed beneath my windshield wiper after the event.

While Local First AZ is an organization aimed at helping local Arizona businesses, this parking ticket fiasco hurts them dearly. I do hope your organization steps forward to correct the problem on behalf of the handful of local businesses that were merely following your instructions.

All the Blah Blah Enclosures

Attached please find a copy of my vehicle registration and the parking ticket. I am NOT mailing back a request for a hearing, as the ticket indicates this action should be taken ONLY by registered vehicle owners who can show up in court (or risk a default judgement being taken against them).

For Local First to request a court hearing on behalf of the registered owner of the vehicle, the ticket says to:

  • Call 602-262-6785, press 3, then 2

Please confirm you’ve received this letter and that the actions outlined are part of the Local First strategy for helping the businesses to which you’ve promised assistance.

Thank you,

Ryn Gargulinski | Ryndustries

Booth W40: Books, Art and Wheels

local first az fall fest
Rynski at the fall fest in happier times before the $290 parking ticket
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How to Pick and Paint a Boat Name

paint boat name

You name your kids. You name your cat. You may even name your houseplants. It thus only makes sense that you name your boat. Tradition says you not only have to pick a name for your boat, but you have to paint that name on the boat before you head out on the wild blue waves.

Skip these important steps, and bad things can happen. Your boat may sink, crash, smash, capsize or fall off that flat edge of the earth that sits just below the horizon.

Basics for Picking a Boat Name

Boats have long been given women’s names, so you might get strange looks if you name your boat “Gus” or “George.” Two theories are behind the female names used to adorn boats, and one is pretty boring. So I’ll mention the cool one. The cool theory stretches back to ancient times when watercraft were named for female goddesses and other mythical beings.

The tradition kept going, with female names expanding to include important historical figures, popular female names, or names of the women near and dear to the captain’s heart.

When naming your boat, you want to avoid:

  • The most popular names, such as Serenity or Serendipity, which make it look like all you did was review the most popular boat names instead of using your imagination
  • Names that indicate sinking, crashing, smashing or falling off the earth, like Disaster Dame or Sinking Sally
  • Names based on someone or something you may not like in a year or two, although boat names are easier to cover than a tattoo
  • Names you’d be embarrassed to paint on the back no matter how endearing they may be, like Cuddle Bear, Honey Boo Boo or Pumpkin Butt 

Basics for Painting the Boat Name

A few quick dos and don’ts I picked up from painting the name on my beau Bob’s boat take care of this one.

Do:

  • Pick the proper paint for the job, such as a hearty marine paint or no-nonsense sign paint
  • Practice a bit so you know what you’re doing
  • Sketch out the name in colored pencil first so you don’t run out of room
  • Adjust the letters as needed as the paint drips when you lay it on too thick
  • Cover the deck below your paint job, unless you’re a fan of paint-splattered decks

Don’t:

  • Pick a color that easily fades or is not immediately visible
  • Make your letters so little you need a microscope to see them
  • Try to fit too many letters into too small a space; shorten the painted name if the official name is too long
  • Try to paint the boat while you’re cruising down the lake

The Final Results

When the picking and painting of your boat name is done right, you can end up with glorious results for years to come. As you can see, the wonderful Captain Bob picked a name based on a woman near and dear to his heart – and then threw in his sweet sense of humor giving sirens a nod so they wouldn’t sink his boat. Betcha this vivacious vessel named SyRyn won’t be falling off the edge of the earth anytime soon. Love it!

boat name painting tips
One last tip: Only go in the water once the paint is dry.

Got a house, boat, houseboat or other large item you wanted groovily painted? Contact Rynski.

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