Monday, January 05, 2009

I dream of card-making

Now that Christmas is over and all the cards have long since arrived, I can tell you how much I love making Christmas cards. For the past few years I've had friends over in November or early December to make a mess, try out any of the crafty ideas that have been floating around our imaginations all year, and get a head start on the Christmas eating and drinking (the mulled wine is as essential as paper and ink...).

I love it because it's a concentrated afternoon of playing and making, and although we're each working on our own card designs, it feels collaborative. For one afternoon, my apartment is like a studio for that design collective we never quite formed.

Well, one-half design collective and one-half preschool – when it comes to card designs, I like to go back to the basics. And nothing's more basic than potato stamping! Cutting into a potato, coating it with ink and stamping away... you definitely can't be precise. Given that messy, spontaneous, intuitive art is my favourite kind to make, I love it. Here is a sampling of potato-stamped cards I made over the past few years (not the best specimens, as these are the leftovers, but you get the idea):

This year though, I didn't buy any potatoes. I had recently been to Urban Source on a Main Street scavenge with my sister and a friend, and had filled a bag with totally random stuff which seemed destined to end up on Christmas cards somehow. I sat down with no plan and ended up making these:

An army of dreams – castles, houses, buildings, each living in their own bright, windy, blue sky world. I started by tearing and folding a piece of the coolest textured foil, from Urban Source, pink on one side and green on the other. Then I scribbled some blue ink on paper, placed the castle over it, and stenciled dream above. And then replicated it 30 times. The castle and sky felt dreamy, I was dreaming of holidays, and wanted to send everyone sweet dreams for the year. This fit with my pattern of making cards that are bright, fun, hopeful, usually minus the red and green and super-Christmas-y stuff.

I really got down with the Christmas crafting this year, making some other fun stuff for presents too – a mobile recycling old jewelery, 3D letters, etc. – which I'll post about soon. Happy New Year!


Anonymous said...

Hi Meg,
I really enjoyed reading about your Xmas card making, all the details. Makes the card even more special. Thanks for the post.

Anonymous said...

Meg, I still have your card on display. I love it. It reminds me to dream, dream BIG (those castles in the sky)! I love your writing about your process. It's all so much about the process when it comes to creative flow. Cathie