Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Cards...

When I was a little girl my family got loads of Christmas cards. My mother always displayed them in the living room. We had venetian blinds and the cards would be slipped on them with the picture showing. We had windows across the front and side of the living room and by Christmas they were completely covered with beautiful cards from friends from all over.
This blog will include instructions on how to make your own Christmas cards.

I decided that I was going to "try" to make my Christmas cards this year, even though I really don't send out many cards. You know how you have so much energy at the beginning of the holidays and as the days tick off it slowly fades. I think too that because we are "artist" we think that we are expected to do a Christmas card. After New Years I usually have forgotten about my lack of making a card. Even in December I will tell myself, just make it a New Years Card, but after that I just put it out of my mind.

I started out trying to decide what I wanted on the card and settled on a manger scene. The first thing I did was get my little manger scene out with the Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus figures. I wanted the composition to be different so I placed them in various ways and photographed them. I had sat them on a damask pillow sham and in the picture you could see the swirls in the damask. I played with the picture in photoshop trying all different "artistic enhancements" until I got the photo the way I wanted it. Then I proceeded to paint it. The painting took various stages some I like and then some I didn't. I finally decided to photograph the painting and see if I could decide where to go with it. Well... that helped me a little. At this point though I had the photograph that I would use for the card.

PowerPoint is my program of choice for getting things lined up and holding them where they need to be, but you can use any program. Word works fine too you just have to set different margins but you can insert pictures very easily with it too. I inserted my photo of my painting and also some text and arranged it so that I could get one card out of a letter size piece of paper. I used a photograph paper because I liked the glossy richness of color that the final product produces. With this method all of the sides visible on the card are the good side of photo paper, it prints everything on one side.

As you can see from the photo of the layout piece, after printing it is ready to fold. I first fold the letter size piece in half so that the picture is folded to the correct height. Then you just fold it in half side ways to make your card. When folding I use a bone (I think that is what they call it) to produce very tightly folded edges. Then all you have to do is put it in an envelope that I bought a box of called Invitation envelopes they are 5-1/2 Baronial - 4-3/8" X 5-3/4".

So now you can all run right over to the computer and start making your cards.... they don't have to be Christmas cards. I like this method because it is so hard to get your painting printed on the blank greeting cards exactly right. You can do this with any paper that is a little bit heavy.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanakahua to you all.... Sally

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I can't believe it....

Well... I really can't believe that it has been almost one month since I have written in my blog! Not that anyone has noticed but me. I have thought alot about it but it is like I said in a previous blog, you just have to start writing and it will happen. We will see...

The holidays bring lots of activities and I have been quite involved in them. My holiday dinner was Thanksgiving and everyone (18 of us) came up to the mountains for a wonderful day of food and family. Becky and all of her family came up and spent the day, along with Melisa's parents, Mike and Nancy. We really had a great time, everyone brought great food; with turkey, stuffings and dressings, ham, sweet potato souffle, garden vegetables, and only Katy can make pumpkin pies, just like my Mother's with real whipped cream.... so we ate and ate.

The "kids" had fun riding on the four wheelers and little motorcycle. Which at one time seemed huge when about 6 year old Michael got it (his feet didn't even touch the ground). So it was time for Alexandria to learn to ride it and Bailey had a little want to, but not quite a I'm going to. Alexandria did really good, started right out real steady; it was only later that she saw a tree and her Dad. All part of the learning curve but she mastered riding pretty quick. Michael has graduated to the four wheeler, even though he still zips around on the motorcycle when he has to share the four wheeler with someone else. He even took Nancy (Michael's Nana) on a ride around "Terrebonne" (our place) to show her all of the mountain activities and views. The kids were able to come the evening before Thanksgiving and didn't have to go home till the Sunday after. We had a really great family time. After the last of them left, Terry said, "that was a wonderful time"... it really was and I wanted to curl up and go to sleep. You really have to stay busy (as a mother) all of the cooking and cleaning, it really isn't noticed by anyone else but you. Really is worth it though! I can always nap later.

My sister will have Christmas and we will all go there for lunchtime dinner (hope that clarifies the time). I always think about my mother and talking about dinner and supper.... I think I can have dinner at lunch but supper is always in the evening? So Becky will have the "elegant" Christmas, she will have everything decorated to perfection and we will have another wonderful time.

I love Christmas. Trying to keep the commercialism out of it is very hard, but with the economy maybe it will make people realize what is really important. To think that it all started with that little babe in the manger, and the gift that we have all been given through that baby Jesus.

I hope that you all enjoy each day of this season of Christmas or Hanukkah, may you all be blessed with love, peace, and joy... Sally