Today, I welcome Jennifer Smith-Kirk to the blog to chat about how crafting – in particular, making cards – has elevated her life to a whole new level. I have known Jennifer for many years and love her positive spirit! Here she is, at the door. Do come in and join us.
Firstly a huge thank you to lovely Christy Birmingham for allowing me to write a guest post. A little about me, firstly my name is Jennifer Smith-Kirk, I am in my early 50’s, and through various circumstances I have found a hobby card-making that has become my passion.
I have some disabilities and was diagnosed with Pulmonary Sarcoidosis just over 10 years ago, Sarcoidosis in an autoimmune multi-system disease, which affects my eyes, joints and skin. I have overcome 2 major strokes & 2 mini strokes I was at the time in retail management with a large team of staff under me. I hung on to work mainly in denial until poor health took over, then I was no longer well enough to do my job.
I have had to learn to walk again twice and I am now left with right sided weakness and I walk either with a cane or a 3 wheel walker depending on how I am as it changes on a day to day basis.
I am married to a wonderful, patient caring man who is loved by my friends and family. He encourages me and on days that I want to disappear as I am quite often in pain he manages to lift me up.
Once I finally accepted my health status a friend who I call my sister suggested I try hand making cards because I was making the ones from a PC program, mainly because I could not always find what I wanted in the shops etc. I joined a craft class and have never looked back. When I can I go to a monthly craft club where you are surrounded with like minded people and we mainly finish projects we started at home or elsewhere or have a huge catch up chatting, laughing etc and it is 4 hrs of uninterrupted time just for us, bliss.
This is one of my favorite cards, “Stunning Blue Masque on Flutters.” I love the mystical feel of this image and the colors really speak to me.
Over the years I have sold my cards at many craft shows, schools, community centers, car boot fairs etc health got in the way because it often involved long days, but now I do a weekly indoor market on a Thursday, fortunately my Husband does all the fetching and carrying and he helps me with selling my cards.
From years of doing craft shows etc., I have amassed quite a few customers who still order cards today as well as friends and families. I really cannot believe people buy my cards, but card making for me is very therapeutic, it takes me to another world where I can block out pain and discomfort.
I was a make-up artist so hopefully with a touch of makeup to the outside world people see me first and not my disabilities. Crafting is my passion and I have been doing it for just over 10 years and love every minute except for the times I wish there was more hours in the day and that my body and mind fall into step but it works with how I am feeling.
The card above is another of my favorites. I call it “Vanity Fayre.” When I bought this image, the idea of this card was there instantly. I love to embellish my card and add detail to hopefully enhance the image.
I hope that at least one person with health challenges who reads my post that it encourages them to try to do something that stretches them and gain satisfaction from it. When I personalize a card and give it to the recipient, it is a joy especially when their faces light up, that feeling is priceless and it lifts me up and adds to more positive energy.
One last card to share!
Thank you for reading.
Lots of love,
49 thoughts on “Craft Awakening (Guest Post)”
Your cards are amazing ma’! And your hubby is a sweet super-hubby!. Iove crafts and I you keep biggering! :-D
Thanks for taking time to check out Jennifer’s cards! Her attention to detail is fantastic :)
What a great job you’re doing, Jennifer, congratulations! You could create personalized tarot decks, too.
Ohhhh that’s another great idea for her ~You’re a creative spirit, Alessandro!
I really think she could do wonders with tarots; they are quite inspirational. Thanks for sharing, Christy.
And thank YOU for the brilliant suggestion, Alessandro! I’ve notified Jennifer of it ;) She’ll likely respond to your comments here
I really think she could do wonders with tarots; they are very inspirational. Thanks for sharing, Christy.
The only thing more amazing than your cards is you!
Wow! I am inspired. I’ve always known creativity is a path to wonderfulness.
Thank you, and thank you Christy for introducing us to Jennifer!
Your cards are absolutely amazing but not nearly as amazing as you. You are in inspiration to all women.
Nodding with you, Isabelle! Thanks for taking time to encourage Jennifer here ♥
Very impressive and oh so beautiful, Jennifer; you really are indeed a wonderful artist. :)
Great blog 👍
Thank you thereviewauthor 😊
I look forward to what direction your guest post will take, we just met and hearing your perspective and surely about your newly released book.
Today was a good health day and I look forward to many more. If you have emailed me with no response, my mail issues are on the mend however I discovered a Stalker has an eye on me. A large pocket of emails are floating in cyber space calling my name.
The only function I think I’ve forgotten is how to post and not reflect my links, is that a menu function where I set up a Guest menu and link thru a ? URL you send? I’m confident you can help me with learning the settings again.
Talk soon. You provide direction on when and any how’s and we both are winners. M
These are really impressive and a pleasure to see. :)
Thank you Graham in hats 😊
Hi Jennifer :) What amazing cards you make. They really are nothing you see in the shops and they are so detailed, intricate and also full of life. Good on you for not letting life’s challenges get in the way of being productive and doing what you love doing. Congrats on selling so many and setting up shop too. We need more people like you who live to make others happy :) <3 Thanks Christy for sharing :)
Thank you so much Mabel, I am really happy to read your comments 😊
Wow! Talk about empowering! Jennifer is a pillar of power, resilient, and so talented. The cards are exquisite! <3
Thank you so much dgkaye, I really appreciate your comments 😊
The pleasure was mine. :)
Thank you so much beinpickii 😊
I find this so inspirational. These cards are beautiful, real works of art and the story behind them is amazing. Christy thank you for sharing. Jennifer…you rock x
Thank you so much shehannemoore 😊
You are kindly welcome x
Hello Christy! I am so excited to see Jennifer here! Jaye is a positive light in my life and a wonderfully supportive friend. She is also very talented and creative. These cards are beautiful works of art.
Jaye, I’m sorry for all you’ve been through and continue to go through. You were born to make cards because these cards make people happy and that’s what you do best. I wish you continued success. And by the way, you look stunning in that photo. Love ya! <3 xx
Thank you so much Vashti, you are always so supportive of my crafts and a lovely friend 😊
Thank you ztevetevans 😊
I arrived by way of John Fioravanti’s re-blog on Words To Captivate.
Your work is beautifully crafted, your passion and dedication clearly evident, and your determination to rise above challenge both humbling and inspiring. The beauty inside of you flows easily into the art you create.
Stunning Blue Masque on Flutters her electric colours and leads me inevitably to the Fairy Princess Ball and mystery, revelation, Harlequin, and polite tease, whilst Vanity Fayre had my mind conjuring images from a different age, a Victorian age: of top-hat wearing gentleman and well-heeled ladies with laced favours taking morning constitutionals and perambulations through polite societies or attending Derby Day at the Races with plush and pose, pantomime, and panache :)
Your cards are an absolute delight, a testament to the nature of the artist creating them – bursting with bright colour and radiant with warmth, each card with a unique story to tell.
Thank you for sharing your craft, and to Christy for giving you opportunity to do so.
In all ways for always and in all ways always take care Fayre Lady of Cards.
Thank you so much Dewin Nefol, your kind comments really touch me 😊
My pleasure. Your artful craft is inspiring, thank you! I’ve bookmarked your site with intention to purchase at a future time. Your cards make wonderful gifts in and of themselves. Beautiful work indeed, thank you.
Thank you Fraziersracket 😊
Hi Christy. It’s nice to meet Jennifer. Her cards are lovely too. Hugs all around.
Thank you Teagan, nice to meet you too 😊
Thank you John that is so kind of you :-)
My pleasure! My wife, Anne, is busy poring over your site!
Wowwww So Nice!
Thank you Miss B Blogz Things Ovet 😊
I am so impressed with your talent and your determination in the face of debilitating physical challenges, Jennifer! Thank you, Christy, for hosting Jennifer today!
Thank you so much John that means a lot 😊
You’re welcome, Jennifer!
Thank you Christy for all your support and for being so generous allowing me to write a guest post, Happy Easter x x x
It’s my pleasure. You deserve the spotlight, Jennifer! I love the outpouring of support that I am seeing in the comments here for you. Happy Easter!
I am more than happy with the comments it is amazing, thanks to you Christy 😘😘😘