Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas Cards: Part One

I'm excited to report that the Streicher elf workshop has kicked into gear for the upcoming holiday season. 

Which is just another way of saying that I started to work on my Christmas cards tonight. While I love to receive any kind of card at all, I'm a firm believer in sending out handmade cards. Every year, I come up with a design, set to work, and try to get several dozen cards made, written out, addressed and mailed off before December 25. It's a challenge, but this year, as always, I am hopeful.

I began the process by painting some gold designs on white paper. Well, let me back up. First, I painted the white paper white. I sounds like overkill, doesn't it? But a layer of white acrylic paint on top of the paper accomplishes two things: 

1. It creates an opaque barrier so that when I eventually glue this paper on dark blue card stock, it will still look nice and white.

2. Also, the paint lends a soft, layered texture, which is far more interesting that the flat, plain paper alone. 

See? My methods may require some explanation, but eventually it all makes sense, doesn't it.

My next step was to create a template for the dove who will be flying across my Christmas card. You have to imagine that the image of bird will be too big to fit on the card - the tips of her wings and the end of her tail will be cropped away, so to speak. That's why the template doesn't exactly look like a regular bird.

If that is difficult to imagine, stick with me for a few more paragraphs. You'll see. 

Then I used my template to trace doves all over my painted page. Generally speaking, I tried to get the golden bits on the wings of the bird, keeping its fuselage - I mean, body - relatively white. 

I cut out all those paper doves, creating a lovely pile of gold-patterned confetti and giving myself a handache from the scissor-overdose.

Armed with my trusty glue stick and a few episodes of Teen Mom 2: The After Show, I got all the doves glued onto the cards, which I had previously cut from the aforementioned dark blue card stock. 

As you can see, I still need to do a bit of scissor work to trim the overlapping white paper so that it's even with the card stock. And it wouldn't hurt a bit if I erased those extra pencil lines, would it. 

So far, so good. 

But this is just step one - I have several more hours of work ahead of me before I am ready to address and send out this year's batch of holiday greetings. Still, I'm quite excited about my progress. At this rate, I may actually get them mailed out before February. 

Stay tuned.

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