A Personal Note
Happy Monday (or Sunday night, depending on when you read this). We're home safe and sound and will get our Furry Golden Sunshine out of the kennel Monday afternoon. I can't imagine the wagging and whimpering and shedding and licking that's about to happen to us. She's never been separated from us for this long.
Let's discuss the concept of unity. It's Monday, and I have two cards that illustrate the idea pretty well, so why the heck not?
First, I made a white-based card, with a white stamped layer and a cherry cobbler scallop border. My idea was to play with two sides of a card space...image on one side, sentiment on the other...to achieve balance.
Sadly, it was a good idea that shouldn't have seen the light of day, mainly because the resulting card lacks unity. Unity is what brings a whole card together. Unity comes from all the parts relating to each other in a pleasing way. Unity is vital to clean and simple design.
Unity is the same as a happy marriage; everyone relates, everyone gets along, everyone sleeps in one big bed. On the above card, there's a big strip of duct tape running down the bed.
This is not unity.
So I used the same basic layout but brought the image and sentiment together on a single panel, or bed, if you will. Also, using the colored card base helps tighten the focus on the image and sentiment. Please note that the green ink matches the card base much better in real life...for some reason, the camera or editing software makes it look much darker than it is.
Another thing I like about this card is how the scallops make more sense, echoing the dots of the tree much better than the swirls on the tree in the first card. That echo enhances the sense of unity, too. A more graphic font on the sentiment might have worked better, but I really like Papertrey's Signature Christmas, and this little Noel fit. Plus, I like the curvy contrast to the graphic dots of the tree.
My marriage is a little eclectic. But we get along surprisingly well.
So here's an informal challenge for you: make over a card you've already made to enhance the sense of unity. It's fun!
Some of you have told me you opt for mass production of a single card design for your holiday cards because you would spend too much time deciding who got which card. I, on the other hand, would go certifiably bonkers making more than about five of any single design, so I end up with about 120 unique cards to mail.
Cassandra asked if the amount of bling on a card affects my choice of recipient. Well, Cassandra, the short answer is no. In fact, I have no system for who gets what cards because it would take a ridiculous amount of time to fret over it, and I prefer my holidays to be as fret-free as possible.
Sometimes bulky cards with big bows or knots or lots of bling go to people who are also receiving packages from me, or they are hand-delivered to local friends and neighbors to prevent damage in the mail.
For some recipients (very close family and friends), I do pick a Christmas card that I think they would appreciate...one that might be special for them or that, as soon as I finished, made me think, "Gee, Liz would love this card!" Often, these are the simpler cards because so many of my artsy friends and family have said they love my simpler designs. But I truly don't worry about how much money or product goes into a single card destined for any particular person. For me, every handmade card I send is special.
Once Christmas cards leave my hands, their fate is decided by the recipient. I don't worry about it. Some people keep them forever, most probably pitch them as soon as Christmas is over. My sister actually frames my cards and uses them as Christmas decorations. That's pretty cool, but she's my sister. She HAS to love me. I seriously wonder if I would have a different attitude if a single Christmas card took three hours to make. As it is, the CAS style means that I rarely have more than an hour in a single card (and most are WAY quicker).
I keep all the handmade Christmas cards I receive, posting them on my inspiration board in my craft room for a time and then putting them in photo boxes to keep.
Do you consider the amount of time/money/product you put into a Christmas/holiday card when you make one for a specific person? How do you feel about your cards' fates at the hands of recipients? What do you do with handmade cards you receive?