I can finally share the cards I made this year, now that Valentine’s Day is over! (I didn’t want to share these pictures before, as I didn’t want people to see the cards here before they received them.)
This year I decided to really simplify my cards, as I didn’t have a lot of time to dedicate to making them, so I decided to do some Valentine themed drawings, and then colour them with watercolour. I used heavy cardstock, rather than watercolour paper, so the ink would come out smooth and crisp. After letting the ink dry, I went over with the watercolour, then trimmed them and that was that. I made sure to take some scans of them as I might turn them into some card designs in the future. I think that some of them would work OK for “just because” cards, not just for Valentine’s Day, what do you think?
And of course, I had to share this delicious coconut and chocolate tart that I made in honour of the day. I decided to do some food photography, because it turned out so pretty! Of course that cocoa powder made a huge mess all over the place, but it was worth it for some photos 😉
Anyways, I have nothing else to really say, so I wish you all a great weekend! Here in Alberta it is a long weekend, so I am looking forward to that extra day off. See you all next week!
Hi everyone! Just popping in to let you all know that I’m holding a giveaway over on my studio Instagram account. There are only a few entries so far- so if you’d like to win a 5×7 print of my new design, “The Peacock” and an original artwork bookmark, pop over to @theartyologist_studio to see how to enter!
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.
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.
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!
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?
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!