art + photography

all posts related to artwork I’ve created, or photography

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?

Life Lately and an Everlasting Bouquet of Flowers

Life Lately and An Everlasting Bouquet of Flowers, on a chair

Well it’s been a busy month. October, I mean, not November. We’re only 5 days into November. Well, it’s been busy too, actually now that I think about it. . .  Anyways, I am finding myself sitting in front of this computer screen, again, trying to write this blog post that has taken me far too long to write. And I have been reflecting on how the changing circumstances in my life have changed my presence here on the internet, and how I have been neglecting this little blog. (Being a responsible adult is cutting into my creative time. Seriously, why so many dishes?!?) So, just some point form thoughts, bits of updates on things, and some links to blog posts, or articles that I found interesting.

  • These flowers were given to me as a housewarming gift from my sister at the end of September. I just threw the last of them out last week- I couldn’t believe that the cut flowers lasted 4 weeks!
  • Part of my busyness in October was because I was preparing for an exhibit that I have up for the month of November, at a local library. It’s not really an “exhibit” as it doesn’t have a single theme or inspiration, as it is comprised of anything I had ready to show, which was a mixture of photography and watercolour. I have a few pictures of that display, here on my studio instagram. It was a bit difficult to take the photos, because of the poor lighting, but at least I got a few!
  • I haven’t been very good at keeping up with my studio and shop lately, but I was able to set aside some time this weekend to plan and prep some things for that, and I’m going to (hopefully) be better at keeping up! I have some new pieces in the works, and if you’d like to stay updated on what I am doing art-wise, I would love it if you follow me over at my instagram @theartyologist_studio!

Life Lately and An Everlasting Bouquet of Flowers, bouquet on chair and details

  • This little quiz that Mariam of the Petite Bijou shared in her instagram story the other day is fun. It’s only three questions, but I took the quiz and was pleasantly surprised by the results. I have been trying to create a more defined and cohesive wardrobe, as I’ve talked about before, so finding out which colours look best on me, was rather helpful. I got: “Rich, earthy shades of red, orange, yellow, green, and brown, peach, coral, and red violet, warm grays (mushroom, taupe) and off-whites, periwinkle and teal”. Well, most of those just happen to be colours that I am drawn to anyways! Did you take the quiz? What colours did you get?
  • This post by Bianca of The Closet Historian is a great one, about blogging and how she grew and then shrank her blog. This is something I have struggled with along the way too, with my own blog. Trying to stay true to what I want to share, but also trying to juggle what people want to read. And not getting too obsessed with the numbers. If you have a blog, do you struggle with “the numbers” too?
  • I have been feeling a bit discombobulated lately, and I haven’t been doing many outfit photos lately or even any blogging. Since moving, I have had a hard time coordinating with my sister to do photos. That and it’s basically winter now, and so it gets dark so early. But, I am trying to get back in the swing of things, and post regularly again! I have some ideas for posts, so now I just have to do them.

Life Lately and An Everlasting Bouquet of Flowers, sculptural bouquet

  • This article about smartphones was completely eye opening. If you have 10 minutes, read this article. Seriously, do it. While I would not consider myself to be as addicted to my smartphone, as they talk about in the article, I do notice myself sometimes getting a little too attached to it, and am taking steps to reduce my screen time. (Hard to do when your job and your hobbies all involve computers!) Anyways, it is a great article, so I would definitely recommend it! Do you struggle with smartphone addiction- what do you do to reduce your time spent on your phone?
  • Fashion Revolution recently released a podcast about “Who Made My Clothes”. I actually have not found the time to listen to it yet, and I am planning to this week. If you’d also like to listen to it, you can find it here. UPDATE: I just listened to the podcast today, and it was a really great investigation into the garment industry. It kind of does a whole overview, then focusing on specific issues, and also gives some great examples of how we can enact change in the industry. I would definitely recommend listening to it! There are 3 episodes of about 25 minutes each.
  • Is it seriously only 50 days left until Christmas?!?! Not that I’m trying to jump things, but I am getting ready to do a couple of Christmas craft shows this month and next, and the Christmas season is just rushing at me! It’s a lot of work involved, doing Christmas sales, but it’s a lot of fun too, as I do them with my sister.

So, that’s a bit of what I have been up to, and I think that’s all I have to share for now. I hope you have had a lovely and relaxing weekend, and that this next week is a good one for you too!

Life Lately and An Everlasting Bouquet of Flowers, flower details

Photo Journal: Fall Time at the Farm

Photo Journal: Fall Time at the Farm, apple trees and an old fence, the artyologist

Happy first day of Fall everyone! I’m not going to lie; fall time is one of my favourite seasons, and I don’t particularly rue the end of Summer. Well, I’ll miss the green trees and the flowers in bloom, but I will not miss the heat!

Besides there are plenty of reasons to love fall time. Here are a few which I just thought of now:

  • It is harvest time, which means there are tons of delicious vegetables and fruits to enjoy.
  • The changing colours of the Autumn leaves bring to life that quote, “Autumn is a second Spring, where every leaf is a flower”. This season is the most colourful season, I think.
  • We are no longer baking to death from the heat! (can you tell yet; I don’t like the heat.)
  • You can have a cozy fire burning in your fireplace. Not only does it keep you toasty warm, but it’s rather comforting too.
  • It is tights season, so I can pull out my mustard yellow, sheer polka dot and opaque black tights again!
  • Ok, I’ll join the bandwagon: it’s pumpkin pie season.
  • And, for me personally I love fall time because it’s my birthday 🙂

Do you enjoy Fall, or do you think of it only as a precursor to the dreaded Winter? What is your favourite thing about this season?

Ps. These photos were taken last month at my uncle’s farm. So, they aren’t technically “Fall” photos, as you can tell by the still-green leaves on the trees, but I think they suit the harvest theme well enough to share today anyways!

Photo Journal: Fall Time at the Farm, the artyologist, apples

Photo Journal: Fall Time at the Farm, the artyologist, hawthorn

Photo Journal: Fall Time at the Farm, the artyologist, hanging-apples-with-fence

Photo Journal: Fall Time at the Farm, the artyologist, overgrown-places

Photo Journal: Fall Time at the Farm, the artyologist, apple branch

Photo Journal: Fall Time at the Farm, the artyologist, wood-and-apples

Photo Journal: Fall Time at the Farm, the artyologist, old fence detail

Photo Journal: Fall Time at the Farm, the artyologist, hawthorne

Photo Journal: Fall Time at the Farm, the artyologist, caragana seeds

Photo Journal: Fall Time at the Farm, the artyologist, apple-branches

Photo Journal: Fall Time at the Farm, the artyologist, caragana seeds detail

Photo Journal: A Quick Trip to Calgary

A Flying Trip to Calgary, the artyologist, calgary tower

Last week I took a much needed holiday. Originally it was supposed to be a five day getaway, spanning from Saturday to Wednesday, but when I got back home, my new work computer hadn’t arrived yet (my other one had been sent back, since the hard drive was having problems), and so I was “forced” to take an extra four days off 😉

A Flying Trip to Calgary, the artyologist, three friends

My friend Chantelle and I planned a while ago to go and visit one of our college friends in Calgary, as she is working there for the summer. Since Chantelle has been wanting to visit Calgary for a while, and I grew up in the area, we both thought a holiday in the city would be fun. I have already shared some pictures of Heritage Park, last week, and if you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen some of these already, but today I am sharing some of the other pictures I took during my little trip to Calgary.

Inglewood, Memorial Park and Lougheed House

A Flying Trip to Calgary, roses and memorial park, the artyologist

I spent three days in Calgary, as the first two days were spent at a family gathering, so my first day in the city was Monday. We wanted to tour the Glenbow Museum, but when we found out that it was closed, we decided to go shopping in one of the older areas, a neighbourhood called “Inglewood”, instead. However, one thing we didn’t plan for was that almost everything is closed on Mondays! All of the art galleries and many of the shops we passed by were closed, which I thought was rather strange for a large city. Thus, instead of browsing, we mainly wandered around looking at old buildings, ate lunch in an English style pub, walked around Memorial Park, and then traversed the grounds of Lougheed house, because, (you guessed it) the house was closed! Even though we did get caught in the rain towards the end of the day, it was still a great time spent exploring and spending time together. And a note to the future- don’t go on a trip to Calgary on a Monday!

A Flying Trip to Calgary, the artyologist, live-as-nobly, war memorial

The grounds at Lougheed House, below.

A Flying Trip to Calgary, the artyologist, stone-fence-post- lougheed-house

A Flying Trip to Calgary, the artyologist, stone-fence-lougheed

Heritage Park

A Flying Trip to Calgary, the artyologist, school and village, heritage park

The second day was spent at Heritage Park, and though I did already share some pictures of the historical settlement last week, this week I am sharing some photos of the village. We had perfect weather for our day at Heritage Park; sunny, but not too hot and although at first we had thought we would spend only half the day there, we ended up spending seven hours at the park, and still not seeing everything! My favourite parts of the day were watching the street theatre my friend was in, buying a twenty-five cent newspaper which was printed on a 150 year old printing press, and visiting the Famous Five centre in the replica of Nellie McClung’s house. It was great to see the rooms where they discussed women’s right to be considered “persons”, especially since I could see the real Nellie McClung house from the apartment I was staying in. The attention to detail at Heritage Park is fascinating, and as you walk through it, you don’t feel as though you are in a park, since all of the buildings are ones that were moved there, or are authentic reproductions of historical places.

A Flying Trip to Calgary, the artyologist, nellie-mclung-house

Nellie McClung’s house above, and, below, a photo of her and Emmaline Pankhurst.

A Flying Trip to Calgary, the artyologist, photo-of-nellie-mclung-emmaline-pankhurst

A Flying Trip to Calgary, the artyologist, tea-room-at-nellie-mclung-house

A Flying Trip to Calgary, the artyologist, village and gelato heritage park

The village main “street”, strawberry ice cream from the ice cream parlour, and the ranch house (below).

A Flying Trip to Calgary, the artyologist, ranch house, heritage park

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The Cityscape

A Flying Trip to Calgary, the artyologist, calgary city skyline

The view from the balcony.

The third day, Wednesday, was, sadly, the day that Chantelle and I had to leave. After one last look at the view off of our friends apartment balcony, we said goodbye, and then headed downtown (which was only a few blocks away). Chantelle and I wandered around downtown for an hour and a half, before we left the city, because we wanted to be able to see the skyscrapers, and “experience city life”. I loved seeing the contrast of the old and the new. All of the historical sandstone buildings with a backdrop of metal and glass behind, is such an interesting sight. We also loved walking through the “+15” skywalk (which connects many of the buildings in the downtown core) and walking past, and almost going into, a building that was being evacuated! Whoops! (we were wondering why all of those people were milling around!)

A Flying Trip to Calgary, the artyologist, downtown

A Flying Trip to Calgary, the artyologist, old house in calgary

Above, just a random pretty house I saw, and below, the boarding house across the street, which was overshadowed by many tall apartment buildings.

A Flying Trip to Calgary, the artyologist, house across the street, calgary

A Flying Trip to Calgary, the artyologist, house across the street, calgary skyline

Then, after our feet were almost worn off, we left the city and headed for home. We stopped for lunch in Lacombe on the way home, because Chantelle has always wanted to see that town, and then the holiday was over!

It was a very short trip to Calgary, but it was so wonderful to just get away for a while. I don’t really like traveling, but because the nature of my day job is that I am almost always “on call”, it was actually really wonderful to literally walk away from my computer and leave the phone behind, and focus on other things for a while. And, because I wasn’t at home, I was able to take an actual break, without work staring me in the face!

Have you ever taken a very quick roadtrip somewhere? Do you like to travel, or are you a homebody? Have you ever visited Calgary?

A Walk in the Woods

two-cabins, a walk in the woods, the artyologist

I am not a camper, by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, this image here is actually a picture of me. 😉 However, every once in a while, I do go camping, or off to camp, and my church’s Family Camp weekend is one of those exceptions. And so, I spent Canada Day long weekend (which also happened to be Canada’s 150th birthday!) at a camp in the woods, getting attacked by killer mosquitoes, getting sunburned, getting heat exhaustion, avoiding a roaming bear and experiencing a severe lack of sleep. Despite all of these things though, I had a great time, and ironically out of my whole family (who do enjoy camping) I ended up spending the most time at the camp. I brought my camera along, which I was glad about, as there were so many pretty sights. Here are a few snapshots from my weekend at camp, and from a walk in the woods. (A quick walk in the woods, as we didn’t want to meet up with that bear!)

butterfly, the artyologist

dock-and-flag, the artyologist

canoes, the artyologist

cabin-2, the artyologist

white-flowers-and-rock, the artyologist

tree-and-lake, the artyologist

wild alberta rose, the artyologist

dock-1, the artyologist

fireworks, the artyologist

butterfly, the artyologist

forest-flowers, the artyologist

flowers, the artyologist

reeds-and-rosebud, the artyologist