featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Monday, March 13, 2017


Author TR Fischer grew up in Colorado. After moving to California and sampling life in San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles, she and her husband moved back to the Denver area. That didn’t satisfy, so the city-dwellers bought some land and took up raising buffalo. Each day is an adventure, on and off the page. Learn more about TR and her books at her website.

When my kids were young, I loved creative projects. Every year at Christmas, I bought sweatshirts, ironed on holiday designs and painted them in with fabric paint. And on every special occasion, I kept a camera nearby so I could capture the things I didn’t want to forget. As the kids got older, we had accumulated boxes of photographs.

I attended a party where someone was selling scrapbooking supplies. I didn’t spend much that day but I came home with a plan. I would conquer those boxed photos and create beautiful scrapbooks for my kids. I would document their every achievement in annals worthy of whatever prize one gets for scrapbook artistry.  Wait! Why not get each of them a book of their own and we could do it together. Yes! It would be great fun. I bought paper and pages and all manner of things.

After schlepping myriad supplies from whatever closet I’d stored them in, setting each child up at the dining room table with photos I’d picked out just for them, I waited for the blissful wonderment to descend. I’d imagined us chatting and laughing about the fond memories while we documented them.

Cut to reality:

I flitted from one child to the next, helping them choose a theme, cutting the patterned paper they chose into every shape imaginable. No one was happy with the results and at the end of the session, I felt stressed and exhausted. Surely it would go better the next time. Nope.

I’m not the kind of person who volunteers for painful experiences I can get out of, so I kept taking pictures but gave up on the dream. Maybe one day I would find time to do it myself.

A few years ago, I came to terms with the failure and got over it. I scanned all the photos. Then I stared into the closet filled with paper and stamps. I couldn’t bring myself to throw it all away and knew I’d get nothing if I tried to sell it. I still loved craft projects. I realized nearly everything could be repurposed making greeting cards.

I’m no pro, and I prefer simple designs. Above are several cards I made a few weeks ago. I hope it inspires you to take another look at what you have sitting around and seeing if you can find another purpose for it, something that brings you some joy or pleasure. Most of the time when I send people a handmade card, I get some sort of thank you—a text, a Facebook message or phone call.  They’re touched that I took the time to create something for them.

If you want to try your hand at greeting cards, here are a few things you’ll need to get started:
·   Aileen’s Original Tacky Glue—there are plenty of options, but this is my favorite.
·   Pre-made cards or cardstock you can trim to size. I buy these from craft stores when they’re marked down. Current also sells colored envelopes that are great for birthday cards.
·   Stamps and stamp pads. There are millions to choose from and they’re always on sale somewhere.
·   A good paper cutter with an arm that extends for measuring the paper. I have two—one of which is always in stock at my local Tuesday Morning for $6.99. When the blade gets dull, I just replace the whole cutter.
·   Embellishments of your choosing.

A Few Helpful Tips:
·   I usually choose a theme first and make a few cards that are similar to each other.
·   Cut anything that needs to be cut and lay out your design. Then reverse them and glue them onto the card in the right order.
·   Don’t worry if it’s not perfect. People will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Feel free to reply with any questions and I’ll respond as soon as I can. I have a greeting card board on Pinterest, too. I’d love to connect with you!

Happy crafting!

A Man Around The House
A mountain of problems and painful memories have Tara Jones in their grip. The moment she graduates, she plans to escape her small town and make a fresh start. On the way to her nursing final, Tara watches in horror as a car crashes in front of her. The driver is the same man who bribed her for a haircut a few days before. The one she can’t stop thinking about.

Bo Michaels is not looking for female entanglements. He’s too busy chasing a real estate deal he believes will catapult his career. After totaling his car, Bo wakes up in the hospital with a metal contraption holding his leg together. No walking, no weight bearing, no nothing—for six weeks. Estranged from his family and having no close friends, Bo turns to Tara for help.

Tara reluctantly agrees to care for Bo in her home. The money she’ll make might enable her to pay off a debt to a frightening man who won’t leave her alone. Neither the nurse nor her patient anticipates the lightning that strikes their hearts. Just as a fragile bond develops between them, the town and shadows from the past threaten to destroy it.

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Angela Adams said...

TR, you have an intriguing background, and it would make a great background for a novel. Thanks for the post, and best wishes with your novel.

TR Fischer said...

Hi Angela,
Thanks for stopping by! Yes, life always provides something to draw from when I'm writing. :)