Friday, 12 December 2008

Crafty Christmas

I decided to make Christmas cards to send friends and loved ones this year, completely forgetting that cat-hair gravitates towards pritt-stick like docile iron-filings obeying a stern magnet. It seemed such a good idea at the time…

I have a rather sizable collection of art and craft materials – mainly from my time studying illustration and discovering the delights of a cheap University shop. But my hoarding started way before then – somewhere in my cupboards I have vicious smelling bottles of ancient poster paint, painted pebbles and shells from random holidays, and scrap-books full of cut-out cards. One day all my collection will be in one place and I will be able to throw manky bits away, sigh happily and create wonder with the rest of it. At least that is the fond hope. In the meantime, I keep a selection of useful bits easily accessible, things like tissue paper, card, beads, and shiny material, basically stuff I can play with should I feel inspired.

Did I tell you I used to sell hand-made cards? I left a job after two years, sick of not being creative, and decided that I would make cards and sell paintings. I threw myself enthusiastically into this idea, and although I made some foolish mistakes (never buy cardboard frames and then put them somewhere they will warp), I did have a shop selling my designs, and I had a stall on a farmer’s market. It was fun, but not a way to make a living - at least not how I did it!

Anyway, I decided that I had all the ingredients to make Christmas cards this year, so to speak, and it was silly to buy a new packet when I had everything to hand. Of course though, I had to buy more Pritt-stick, as my old ones had dried to a crisp, and then I had to buy blank cards and envelopes, as the ones I had were tiny. And then there is actually sitting down to make them... so far I have spent £3.50 on this venture, and it has taken me a whole day to produce ten cards.
Maybe not so economical in the long run, come to think about it. I more than likely could buy a box set of cards from Woolworths for about ten pence, given their sad state of affairs. But will they have bonus cat hair? I think not.

These are my main designs so far (I generally create a few designs I like, and then repeat them, occasionally switching the colours around). The sheet music on the top card is from one of my favourite songs (hymn?) The Holly and The Ivy, and the empty tag on the second card will be for the person's name. The candles on the next cards are made from beads. I have another ten to make, and then that is it for this year - no more! Anything I do at the moment that is not a) job-hunting or b) editing makes me feel guilty and worried, but card-making today was a lovely distraction!

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