“Well, I’ve always been into art of some kind,” tells Martha ‘Jean’ Jackson. Jackson lives with her husband of nearly 69 years, Jack, at Heritage Health and she spends a portion of her days fulfilling her artistic side by designing and creating note cards for sale in the nursing facility’s gift shop. Jackson says that her granddaughter, Amber, had made cards and “she thought Grandma would like to do it.” So, Amber contacted a local Stampin’ Up! representative Sue Scheets who taught Jackson about card-making. “I just started making more and more cards, and I liked doing it,” tells Jackson. “I went to classes in her home and then sometimes she (Scheets) comes and we talk and have a little tête à tête. She is a lovely person.”
One reason Jackson likes to hand make the personal cards is to keep her mind busy; she has a very active mind and wanted to have something to do while in Heritage Health that was “worth something.” When she sits down to make a card, the artistic side of her brain takes over, she says, adding that she doesn’t like to look at other patterns, but prefers to completely create the look of the card on her own. Her room at Heritage Health has a whole station set up with all the components: cardstock, designer papers, and all sorts of stamps, ribbons, lace and punches. With her skills attained in past painting classes, she’ll dab extra color of paints to embellish the card – or she’ll add different “gadgets,” such as brads that can turn for additional effects. “It’s a lot of thinking and planning beforehand,” adds Jackson. She tends to create in layers, harmonizing colors and incorporating lovely ribbons and adornments to create a theme for a certain occasion – or just a generally decorated note so that the sender could add their own sentiment. For those cards on which Jackson does stamp a message, she tries to use uplifting sayings, including ‘delight in life,’ ‘happiness always’ or ‘fabulous friend.’
Looking through the different cards with Jackson was fun – she really has handcrafted cards for most any event. Plus, it’s obvious that she enjoys making the cards and it gives her that feeling of “worth.” She was excited as we went through her creations, exclaiming, “Just wait ‘til I show you this next one!” “It’s so enjoyable! When you get done, you feel like you’ve really done something,” reveals Jackson. Every one of her cards she makes now has a leaf stamp on the back, along with the text, “Hand Stamped by JEAN.”
You can discover some of her handmade cards in the gift shop at Heritage Health. Jackson wanted to share her designs, so she had asked the gift shop if she could use “whatever talent I have as one of my givings…my donation to help.” She receives nothing monetarily from the sales. Rather, the “gift shop money is used directly for the residents,” says Sue Hayes, Activity Assistant at Heritage Health. Hayes explains that volunteers add to the monthly stipend, allowing the purchase of bingo candy, hospitality cart items and manicure supplies – allowing the monies earned from Jackson’s card sales to help out her fellow residents. Seems to me a “thank you card” is in order for Jackson.