As it is Christmas Day and you are all out there celebrating, this is my first chance in the past few days to put my feet up and update my website. I won’t take long of your time, after all who wants to spend longer than necessary on their electronics when they could be spending this special time with their family?!? That said, this is also all of our chance to stop, look around and think – how could I have done this better?
I haven’t sent Christmas cards this year. I like to have new stock every Christmas and somehow, between the realities of life and a feeling of bah-humbug towards the holidays I resisted buying or making my own this time. It wasn’t until the last minute yesterday, in the middle of wrapping presents, that I thought what a shame it was that I didn’t even have a couple of cards to hand for the people I would be seeing over these few special days. What follows is an account of my quick fix solution:
For my immediate neighbours who also happen to be great lovers of nature I chose to re-use a card design I came up with around last year’s Christmas and which has never seen print before now. It is a quick ink drawing of a fox in the snow (to be further developed into a more interesting illustration in the future). As this is a photo of the original while drying, with salt on it to absorb the excess water, the ‘snow’ is completely accidental. I like it! I placed a quick clip art Christmas lights border around this drawing and printed it on card paper.
For family members we are seeing tomorrow, I made a quick card and parcel decorations from pre-made seasonal designs. Using a small eraser, I carved a simple holly leaf pattern which can be stamped on as a simple repeat pattern into a wreath. This is a great idea if you need quick and versatile decorations for your Christmas stationery as it leaves room for you to be playful with your designs and personalise them as you go along. For the card, I inked up a reused block of polystyrene featuring an older design. I came across it by chance and realised that just like the fox it hadn’t been used before. That said, drawing on polystyrene is one of the quickest you could do – it makes for a quick and reasonably durable stamp (a bit like an un-evolved relative of lino-cutting, but no printing press is necessary). Once dry, I added in the gold highlights and glittery glue by hand. My lettering needs work on so calligraphy will be firmly on my list of things to improve during the next year. You can always tell a steady and experienced hand from the novices (like me!) out there!
That’s it for now – when you are pressed for time next Christmas, remember that there are always quick creative solutions to hand. It is worth giving them a chance!