Thursday, November 30, 2006

Christmas Card Collage

Today seemed like a good day to begin making some of the *annual* homemade cards I send out each Christmas. They are usually limited in number by my attention span. I gathered my refuse: printed envelope interiors, date due slips from the library wastebaskets, a Chinese or Japanese newspaper, and photocopies of fabric. And my glue stick.

I cut 8.5 by 11.5 sheets of 140# watercolor paper in half and did a bit of trimming with my decorative scissors. I made them the best size to fit into a manila envelope I have in bulk. The two here are: Left/first made. Right/last made.

These were quite enjoyable to put together. The *graphic* quality must be uppermost in one's thought process and the lights and darks must be very strong. There were a number of things I wanted to add but they didn't move the design forward. In fact, I had to actually *put* those weak elements in the trash to keep me from trying to use them on each piece.

This tradition of little trees for Christmas began in 2004 when I made tiny quilted fabric trees for 10 lucky friends. They kept them out all year. Last year everyone got a watercolor tree. and this year a paper collage. Now that I recollect: one person got an angel last year and another got a chicken. To reflect personal interests.

Halfway through the trees, I wanted more variety and so I took more stuff upstairs to my husband's office and photocopied things in black and white. If I have any advice here--use what you initially collected. Having too many choices makes for a messy thought process. Less usually works out best. I know there are lots of you who believe more is better but that rarely works out for me.

I have all my ArtShare art finished and ready to be mailed. I just have to prepare myself for the POST OFFICE. Our postal employees have had some instruction in customer service in the past few months and they are actually cheerful and helpful. This change in behaviour causes customers in line (always a long line) to stand and glaze over. Some even leave the line -- possibly believing they aren't in the right building.

I asked for 2 cent stamps on my Monday visit and when I paused to think about my answer to "how many do you want" the postal gentleman assured me that I could have as many as I wanted. You can imagine how this would startle unsuspecting customers.

Note to Edward: The British/PBS productions of PD James novels are excellent. They follow the books exactly. The only *fly* in the ointment is that the last two use all different actors and directors and they aren't as good. Murder Room is one of the new ones. Avoid it. They should be available on DVD at your local movie rental place or library.


Deborah Boschert said...

Brilliance! I just love love love the trees. Tree-tastic! What great elements you gathered! Very lucky friends.

Beate Knappe said...

Just wonderfull - I love this pice of Art

Samantha said...

I like the dark ones with dots. Appeals to my eyes.

kathy said...

you've been busy! I think these trees are so cool. I'm always attracted to color (as I know you are too) but these are striking in their simplicity of color and line. And probably all from the wastebasket.!

Miriam said...

what a super idea!

Cindra said...

These are fabulous! And not the traditional looking "Christmas" trees.

Unknown said...

Absolutly wonderful Christmas cards! What an original idea. It is so cool that you take the time for these.

Kim Carney said...

those are adorable, and since I did not do the illustration for my cards yet...might have to borrow this great idea ;0 Have been running around the house trying to find something I could photograph for the card. Running very very late this year

Lewis said...

Dear Joanne!

I am a UK based online art teacher and I would love to show your inspiring tree card designs to my students. Would this be ok?
Kind regards