Rose: Christmas Cards

For the past six years (wow, has it really been that long?) I have been making handmade Christmas cards. The idea sparked when I was in graduate school studying bookmaking and creative writing. I decided to put my skills to the test and made a few booky cards for friends and family. Unfortunately, I don’t have photos of the cards from years past. So I am trying to document it now. This year’s card focus was simple but elegant: trees with a 3-dimensional twist.

I got the idea after attending a cardmaking night at the Paper Source in town. While this wasn’t one of the cards we made, another crafter at the store had some up with a similar design. What I liked about it was its simplicity. By using different shades for the trees, you can create an interesting layered look. Making one of the trees 3D gives it a little pop, too. I made all elements of the card by hand. I punched out nearly 300 trees and enough background paper for nearly 100 cards. I glued everything down and added stickles glitter at the end (that gave it a nice pop). And I embossed a Merry Christmas onto the front. I alternated between red and green backgrounds. (Note: While one of these trees is brown, most of them were a shiny gold. I ran out by the end).

I also sent a few special cards (one being to my mother, which is not included below. Sent it before I could snap the photo). The middle and right cards were made at the craft night. I came up with the first card thanks to some leftovers from another project.

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I might like the design with the snowflakes best of all — and I only made 3 copies of that one! I ended up running out of cards and needed some for my coworkers, so I whipped these together. Not to spoil the surprise, but I might make this version next year … I love it!

Do you make or send cards?

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a healthier holiday

This past week was a doozy. First, it was a holiday week – a fourth of July day off in the middle of the week. Before that, a baseball game. After that, a wedding. And after that, a picnic with my mom. I crammed a lot into a very short space of time, and I’m tired.

Admittedly, these weeks both excite me and stress me out. As a social creature, I love interacting with others and having company. But it can be really hard to make healthy choices when running from event to event.

My mindset about this week was simple: eat as well as possible, avoid overindulging, and move my body when I could. While I wasn’t 100% perfectly clean in terms of eats (much wine was consumed July 4-5), I felt better this year than last. Quite frankly, last year isn’t too hard to beat (it involved a break-up followed by a Gossip Girl marathon and lots of potato chips. I’m in a much better [and happier] place now.)

So if I was grading myself, I’d earn a B-. I drank too much wine at a wedding, and I ate lots of processed food yesterday. But I didn’t eat too much. And I even got in a workout or two (and lots of dancing). It will all even out.

On an even brighter note, I got to rock a dress I haven’t worn in years, and my weight is the lowest it’s been in a while. I do weigh myself weekly, which I think is healthy, but I try not to obsess too much. Nevertheless, it felt good to see that number again. Even better to dance my heart out at that wedding.

My best friend and I before the wedding.

My best friend and I before the wedding.