You may not see any of neighborhood artist Laurie Garza’s works hanging on the wall of a museum, but you may get a piece in the mail.

Garza makes handmade cards in her home. Each card is a one-of-a-kind original design by Garza. After receiving the cards, recipients can frame them.

“I think when people see my cards, they see it’s a little work of art,” Garza says.

Garza began her card-making artistry about six years ago, when she suffered a running injury. She needed something to fill her time while recovering, and as a child, she recalled making cards. So she decided to pick up the abandoned hobby.

As she distributed the cards to friends, more people requested them. And by word of mouth, she developed a following and a business.

“I’m a small-time artist,” Garza says. “I have no formal training.”

She participates in about three shows every year, including one in her home in January to show her Valentine collection. Her cards are sold at two galleries, the Craft Guild Gallery in North Dallas and Gallery 12 in Coppell. She also sells them from her home.

“Right now, it’s a hobby that pays for itself,” Garza says.

Garza works with pen and ink, watercolors and paint. She also makes collages from anything she can find.

“I love it when people give me things they’re going to throw away,” Garza says.

She handles special requests and even does wedding invitations or graduation announcements – but only is she wants to.

“If it gets to feeling like work, I reassess,” Garza says.

She listens to classical and big band music while she works in the front den in her house, which has been converted to a studio. A closet that used to house clothes now stores her materials.

“I wanted to work in a space that was open to the rest of the house,” Garza says.

Originally, she carried supplies around in a basket and worked wherever she wanted to in the house. Eventually, Garza set up a cardboard table to work on, then graduated to a large white desk that takes up a majority of her studio.

Garza, who is a crisis counselor for Dallas Independent School District, spends about 20 hours a week on the hobby. But when she retires, she wants to do it full-time.

“It meets an emotional and creative need,” Garza says. “It’s something that keeps me alive and challenges me.”

For information about Garza’s cards, call 324-3900.