artwork

Valentine’s Day is Coming (And a Free Printable)

Valentine's Day is Coming (And a Free Printable), the artyologist

Raise your hand if you love Valentine’s Day as much as I do! I don’t know why I love Valentine’s Day so much. . . but I really do! I think it is the sentiment behind the event- and also the fact that it is such a Victorian holiday. Whatever the reason, every year I send out Valentine’s cards (this year I was a bit late… oops!), wear pink, and bake something in the shape of a heart, just because.

And, because I love Valentine’s so much, I thought that I would share another free printable this year, especially since I had so much fun doing that last year, and because I can’t send all of you dear readers a Valentine of your own (I wish I could!). If you haven’t gotten a card yet for someone special, but would like to give them one this year, click on the download below. I hope you enjoy it and I’d love to know if you decide to use it!

Click on the download below and print it out on a standard 8.5×11 page. For personal use only, please! 

2018 Valentine Printable, The Artyologist

Valentines-2018, the artyologist

The Lost Art of Christmas Cards & a Free Christmas Card Printable

lost-art-of-christmas-cards-the-artyologist

Every year, at the beginning of December I start thinking about Christmas cards. Actually that’s not quite true, I start thinking about Christmas cards right after Christmas the year before, when all the Christmas stationery goes on sale! Every year, I go through the cards after the holidays, and pick out my favourite one for the next year. (That might be a bad habit to have. . . I’m a stationery hoarder. . . ) And then, fast forward to the first week (or second if I’m late) of December of the next year, I go through my address book and write greetings, and put a Christmas postage stamp on the envelopes and off they go, winging their way across the country!

In this era of texting and technology, sending Christmas greetings has become somewhat of a “lost art”, as has all mail, and it’s really too bad, because there is nothing quite like receiving a handwritten note in the mail, is there? One of my favourite parts of my day is stopping at the mailbox to see if there is anything in it. More often than not, I am like Charlie Brown, calling “hello in there” with no response, but nevertheless, I do still love it! I guess I’m a Victorian girl at heart. This might be because I read Mrs. Sharp’s Traditions at an impressionable age and ever since then, I’ve adored all of the old fashioned holiday traditions.

But, this year I started thinking, when did Christmas cards come into popularity? The Victorians “invented” Christmas as we know it today. Many of the traditions that surround Christmas came into popularity in the 1800’s, such as Christmas trees, which had before then been found mainly in Germany. And Christmas cards are another one of those traditions that became popularized in the Victorian era.

gift wrapped, the-artyologist, free christmas card download

So, after a bit of reading, I discovered that what started the tradition of Christmas cards was actually one man’s laziness, and ingenuity. Traditionally, at Christmas, people used to send Christmas and New Year’s letters. In the 1840’s with the advent of an economical postal system (the “Penny Post”) people started taking advantage of the mail system, and sending out their Christmas and New Years letters with abandon. This was great, but in Victorian England it was rude to not reply to a letter you had received. In 1843, Sir Henry Cole started receiving tons of letters- he was apparently very popular and was in the position of having too many friends. Feeling overwhelmed by the pile of letters stacking up, he devised a way to reply to the senders, with the first ever “Christmas Card”. He commissioned an artist to create a card for him, with the message “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you” written on it, and then, he simply wrote each person’s name on it and sent it out. It took a while for Christmas Cards to catch on, but once they did, they skyrocketed in popularity and today we can’t imagine Christmas without cards. Although the popularity is waning these days, I do still see plenty of stationery and cards this time of year, so many people must still enjoy this tradition. If you want to see the first card and history, you can read more here.

free christmas card download, the-artyologist

So, all that to say; I love Christmas cards, and any kinds of cards really, so I decided that it would be fun to do a free Christmas card printable! This is an illustration I did last year, which I have made into Christmas cards and present tags, since I know that many of you don’t need cards. Print these out on some nice cardstock, and voila!

Download the Christmas Cards Here

Download The Christmas Tags Here

And, while I’ve got you here, I’ve not found Christmas cards to do very well at sales in the past, but is that something you would be interested in me adding to my shop for next year? If so, let me know!

Do you enjoy sending and receiving Christmas cards?

The Artyologist Shop, December Update

Well, this is long overdue- not a shop update per se, but an actual blog post! A couple days can easily turn into a couple weeks if you are not careful . . . and here we are. Well, I’ve been working on so many things lately- it seems like I’m doing everything all at once and not really getting anything accomplished. I have recently added two new designs to my shop though, so I thought I might as well put up a quick update, and hopefully next week things will quiet down enough that I can get some proper posting in! Who am I kidding. . . the closer we get to Christmas, the more things there are to do 🙂 Is December a busy month for you too?

So, first is my new “The Heavens Declare” watercolour and hand lettering. You can get this one as a print (in various sizes), as a phone case or as greeting cards. I offered note cards of these at my recent Christmas craft sales- and they all sold out!

The other one I have added to the shop is this below, titled “Little Library”. Unfortunately it is only available as a greeting card, because I painted it too tiny to be a print. (Prints start at 8″x10″ and I painted this at 2″x2″. Note to self: paint larger things!) But, it works quite well as a card- for all my fellow book lovers out there!

Well, that’s all for now. I hope you all have a great weekend and see you next week!