Monday, December 01, 2008

Day 1: Make Christmas cards.

We're finding it hard to get into the holiday spirit here, as it's my first December in the summertime. It just doesn't feel like Christmas, and I'm lagging behind in my usual fever for Christmas cards. I am a huge fan of occasion cards (birthday, anniversary, holiday), but getting started this year has been hard. Luckily, I imposed an external deadline on myself that helped get the juices flowing. We signed up for a Christmas card swap for Ellie. She makes and sends 10 cards to 10 children (assigned by the swap organizers), and she will receive 10 cards from 10 different children. The only conditions are that the child has to make/decorate the card and the cards have to be mailed the first week of December so everyone will receive their cards on time. Ellie's cards will go to Missouri, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Texas, Nevada, Michigan, Australia, and Japan. We can't wait to see where the incoming cards were postmarked!

Today was a great day to make the cards for two reasons. One, we have met a wonderful babysitter, and we asked her to come a few times during the day while I'm home so Ellie and Stephanie can get comfortable with her; today was the first day. She is in university to become an elementary school teacher, and she could not have been more enthusiastic about helping Ellie make her cards! Two, we have made a family activity advent calendar, and today's activity was (as in the title) "Make Christmas cards". Watch for additional advent calendar activity posts (hopefully one per day if I can be organized enough!) mixed in with regular-style posting for this month.

Without further ado, I present Ellie's cards. Notice the minimalist, modernist approach interspersed with forceful application of glitter glue. I will disclose that she did not cut the shapes herself (though she tried!); however, we felt the shapes still fit the criteria for the project as the shape and color was dictated by Mademoiselle Artiste.

Now I'm off to attempt to make the rest of our cards. I tried to commission more by Ellie, but after 10 cards, her creative juices were fully tapped and she moved on to dancing ballet around the living room. Maybe I should try that too...


When I looked through my address book and counted up for Christmas cards, I came to the sudden and marvelous conclusion that we needed to make lino-cut cards this year. Forget the fact that neither of us has done lino cutting since grade school! Supplies were bought, lino was cut down to size Only black printing ink available. What to make? While fiddling with non-traditional designs, I came up with the Australian Magpie for the obvious reasons of black and white contrast, it's something from here, and this place is new this year. Riding on the wave of Ellie's card creations, we got down to business once the kids were in bed, and ya know what? I'd forgotten how much I enjoy printing! Although the block is the same, each print is different. Most are imperfect (uneven ink, lines down the middle...), but that's the nature of the beast! I say let's embrace imperfection and enjoy the handmade quality! At least, I ask you to keep that in mind if you receive one of the funky ones. Happy Holidays!

1 comment:

Karly said...

Love Ellie's cards! And yes, I totally think you should give dancing ballet in the living room a chance...Ellie just might be onto something! :)