Saturday, December 17, 2011

Carved Christmas Cards

I've been making personal Christmas cards for around 10 years and I've never grown weary of it. Shortly after Halloween I relish the time I have to start playing with ideas and gathering material. It's interesting to see how my style and family has evolved over the years. Take a look at past years over here.

This year I thought I'd try something completely different and carve our portraits. I picked up some Speedy Easy carve lino and used my slightly neglected carving tools. For the text I used a couple of erasers and tried out a variety of colours.

I had never carved a portrait before this attempt. While I was really excited to give it a try, I was also slightly terrified that I would muck it up. Considering this is my first go at it, I'm happy with what I accomplished. I think the carving of my daughters turned out the best but I wish I'd given myself a bit more time on mine and my husband's portrait. In the new year I'd like to continue with carving to work on my technique and try different materials and paper.

While I was in a carving mood, I also carved a pine cone into an eraser and created a set of cards for my mail art friends. Two small pine cones printed in white on brown card stock with a cream insert and a stamped holiday message.

Two pine cones on the front.

A cream card and stamped greeting on the inside.

 Do you make personalized cards each year? If so, share a link, I'd love to see them.

... J


  1. Hi Jeannine! Nice to see all the cards you made. I was so happy when I received my pine cone Christmas card. Are you using stamp pads for ink or rolling color out with a brayer? I ask because I've been trying with the brayer but achieving mixed results. Your colors look nice and even. Lovely work!

  2. Hi Kimi! I've been using a stamp pad so far as all my carvings have been fairly small. I have various kinds of stamp pads, some from dollar stores, some from the sale bin at Michael's and some that were full price at Michael's. I think the white, which I paid the most for, is the thickest and best quality of the bunch. I was actually thinking of using a brayer and ink in the new year. Have you used extender or retarder with your ink? I saw this when I was doing research and the site suggested it helps smooth out the ink and will either extend or shorten drying time.

    Thank you for the kind words in your comment!

  3. Oh! I just remembered. Yellow Owl Studio did a short tutorial video about using ink for stamps. They take some ink out on a palette then put down some felt. Then they push the stamp into the felt. It brings enough ink through the felt but not too much to be chunky. This would work well for small carvings.

  4. Thank you for gifting me one of these lovely cards! last year was the first year John and I sent out a christmas card. With the whole OOAK i haven't even thought of it and xmas is already on the doorstep. Might have to send a happy new year card or something, but who knows. I usually write a long sarcastic letter that in some facet chronicles the adventures of the past year. Its more so for me & john to remember than it is for anyone else haha. I love the portraits and the carving! You always have such fun with your xmas cards... this year is no exception!

  5. Hey Jessica! You're very welcome. Happy New Year cards sound great. I've always liked the idea of happy solstice or new year cards. You already gifted me a pretty awesome & hilarious Christmas card with my Etsy purchase. It's hanging on my mantle right now.

  6. Your personalised cards are wonderful - I loved looking through your archive and seeing the different styles and approaches you've used. I think this years are my favourite though!

  7. Thank you so much, Emily.

  8. I loved getting the pine cones! So special!
    And special card this year. I did start some, but never finished. Somehow we muddled through, though.


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