Mt Lebanon Magazine

710 Washington Rd
Pittsburgh, PA 15228

Mt Lebanon Magazine

The official magazine of Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania

Handcrafted healing

Cards share a sentiment, celebrate a special occasion and serve as a vehicle to say thank you. They make us feel cherished and remembered. But what if a card could also fundraise for a scholarship, heal the maker and create a community? The handmade greeting cards made by Veronica Schmerling, the creator of GUB Cards, do just that.

four greeting cards, one says happy birthday, another says cutest couple ever in various colors
Handmade GUB Greeting Cards

Veronica makes each card unique by collaging, painting and arranging a composition. Nestled in her home office in Mt. Lebanon, surrounded by various papers, glue, paint and embellishments, she creates her one-of-a-kind cards. She draws inspiration from nature, museums and magazines, but most importantly, the paper itself, the primary material, as it comes in various colors, textures and patterns. Using colored paper can set the tone for the greeting card, whether it’s designated for a birthday with a cake on the front or a vase with flowers lending to say, “Thinking of You…” Either way, a card is needed for every season in life.

a bookshelf and desk in a home office, with a window and trees in the background
The official GUB Card work station, where all the cards are made!

For Veronica, there is an intuitive approach to card making, which makes it cathartic. Cards represent healing, memory and most importantly, her daughter, who, as a little girl, had a stuffed ladybug named “GUB.” The name and ladybug are stamped on the back of each card to share a memory of Veronica’s daughter.

The first unofficial GUB card was created soon after the passing of Veronica’s daughter, Elizabeth “Liz,” who was diagnosed with brain cancer. As a way to say thank you to a friend, Veronica crafted a handmade card. The friend was delighted to receive it and encouraged her to design more. Through experimentation, practice and many cards later, Veronica hosted her first card party. Friends were charmed by the cards, so more were requested. With this boost, Veronica continued creating the delightful greeting cards. Designing up to 500 cards and hosting two card parties each year, she creates with purpose, and alongside it comes healing.

pink GUB stamp on the back of greeting cards
Back of every card with its ladybug stamp

Following Liz’s passing, Veronica, with her husband Jon and son Bruce, established the Elizabeth S. Schmerling Endowed Scholarship Fund at Washington University in St. Louis. The fund, which has over 500 donors who have made more than 1,400 donations, awards as many as three scholarships annually to students studying architecture who have excelled academically; shown innovative thought and approaches to the science and art of architecture; and demonstrated a commitment to the study and understanding of architecture that serves as an inspiration to professors and peers alike.

All proceeds from the GUB card parties are also contributed to the scholarship fund. Over the years, the yearly donation from GUB has grown not only from card sales but also through the generosity of anonymous donors. Additionally, two of Veronica’s artistically gifted friends have used their talents to contribute to the scholarship fund. One friend in Ohio, whose son was Liz’s classmate, is a talented quilter who holds an annual raffle for a handmade quilt, and all of the proceeds go directly to the scholarship fund. In Mt. Lebanon, a needlepoint canvas artist has added to her line of canvases a “GUB Collection” based on Veronica’s designs, with a portion of the proceeds from the sales donated to the scholarship fund.

Liz’s memory drives fundraising efforts, as she loved learning, enjoyed her university and always shared the purpose of design and architecture. Her legacy lives on through her mother’s creativity, community support and students furthering their architectural studies.

a brown wooden cabinet and shelf that contains crafting supplies
Crafty supply nook

Comments

  1. Author’s gravatar

    Love the unique composition of each card and how a portion goes to the Elizabeth S. Schmerling Endowed Scholarship Fund. What a meaningful project! I’ll need to pick some cards up this summer.

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