Calling all beautiful free spirits

This is one of my favorite designs – it’s featured here on a magnet and appears on a card, too. Mermaids are so wildly popular now (and forever 🙂 and the “feminine power” message was inspired by two dear swim buddies of mine. Hannlis Hawk and D. Clancy are both life-long swimmers and ~ at 93 and 80 respectively ~ credit their good, long, amazingly-active lives in part to the joy and vitality they gain from swimming. Nearly every agreeable day of the year, Hannlis’ bright white hair can be seen gliding along in the sea surrounding Miami Beach. Irma sent this little mermaid packing to her son’s in Rhode Island, where she took great pleasure in sitting on the shore, watching him surf. An Irma evacuee myself, last weekend I joined D. for morning laps in her building’s second-story terrace pool, tucked among the towering high-rises of Chicago. Lovely.So Cardthartic’s Sales & Fulfillment Center crew wants me to tell the story I’m about to below because they believe we could all use a smile after this past month of such sad, international tragedies. Until Miami Beach is more back to its gorgeous normal, with no schools of poor dead (and naturally quite stinky) fish and debris still up and down the shoreline, I’m enjoying hanging with our amiable team up in the corn and bean fields of central Illinois. My colleagues can all sense I miss coastal living … along with ocean swimming, they know I love sitting down by the water with my muse, Miss Josephine Barker, writing our cards.

At the sea is where I am most in touch with that “beautiful free spirit deep within us.” In the warmth of a setting sun, I’ll sit with my toes in the water and MJB on my lap and do some wordplay. I go through print-outs of possible photos and Joanne Friar’s great Meanings of Life illustrations, and then scribble the words that speak to me. More and more often, something one of our eloquent Cardies has written to us will come to mind, and I’ll marry that sentiment with an image, then ask permission to publish. Very fun.

Just between us, my own best messages come to me while skinny dipping. When no one is around, I swim way out, hang my suit over a shoulder and have a nice, long swim. One day, a man I didn’t know but had often seen walking the shore passed by as I was out there just leisurely treading. He waved. I waved. He yelled, “Why do you swim so far out?!” I called back, “Because I like skinny dipping!” Taking that in, he yelled again, “And you don’t want anyone to see that you’re not wearing a suit?!?”  So pleased that he somehow understood, I hollered back, “Right!” and, quick as that, “Then you’re not out far enough!”

~ jodee stevens
founder & chief creative officer

PS: One last reminder to your own beautiful free spirit … this coming Monday, September 25th is the cut-off for our donation to Direct Relief. If you are not among the many who have joined in already, half the money you spend on our cards before then will be donated to this great humanitarian aid organization in your name. Thanks for considering!

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