Thursday, July 19, 2012

Christmas in July: Part 4

It's hot outside, but really never too early to plan ahead for the winter holidays.  Welcome back to Christmas in July! Please use the search feature to find the others in the series.

Each of the next three cards incorporates paper folding techniques as well as stamping.  Consequently, I must show you both the inside and outside of the cards.  Click on the image to enlarge them.  These cards are among my favorites.  Enjoy!

2004 This card began with inspiration from an RSM contributor.  I was so charmed by the artwork of Michelle Ward's "12 Days of Christmas" images that I ordered them as soon humanly possible.  Next, I set to work folding prototypes, figuring out how to get the size of paper required to display all twelve images, and experimenting with image placement.  Twelve Days is a lot of days to organize into a neat little package.

When I was satisfied with the layout, the real work began.  Out came the straight edge, box-cutter, and bone folder.  I scored, glued, cut and folded in the evenings after the kids went to bed.  My final solution for the foundation of the images required piecing together three sheets of standard printer paper, per card.

Next came painting.  Mostly during school hours (I was homeschooling at this point) when my students were busy, I'd whip out the watercolors and set to work.  This part seemed to take an eternity, but I was loving the results.

That done, manymanymany woman-hours of painting later, I faced a new problem.  How to "use" this nifty folded storyboard?  See, I had jumped into this thing without a plan.  I originally thought I would devise a way to make the storyboard unfurl when the card was opened--somehow.  I forged full-speed ahead with the stamping, cutting, folding and painting with no consideration of how the final result would work inside the card, or if it would work.  Now was the time to figure all of that out.

All of my attempts failed miserably.  I was really stuck.

Cue the fabulous Husband, again!  While discussing the dilemma with him on the phone(!), he came up with idea to attach the whole thing to the front of the card and to make it look like a gift.  (Did I ever mention that I'm married to a Genius?)  I cut out squares of green card stock and attached the folded-up "12 Days" underneath.  This entire (rather thick) assembly was then glued to the front of the (red) card, along with a generous length of gold twine.  The twine, anchored directly to the card, was then tied into a bow on top of the paper "sandwich", keeping it from unfolding.  Lastly, a tiny, stamped gift tag was attached.

Inside the card was the expected "Merry Christmas" greeting and a photo of the kids.  I gave no hint about what lie underneath the golden bow!  I sent them off, and worried that the surprise package on the front of each card would go unopened.

To my great surprise, however, the phone started ringing just days after the greetings were mailed.  Delighted recipients on the other end of the line were bubbling with enthusiasm for the card.  They recounted their moment of discovery with me, and then we laughed together.  I was humbled, and so very happy!

This post got way long, so I'll continue with 2005 in another post.
Stamps used:  RubberBabyBuggyBumpers/StampFrancisco (tiny tag), Stampington (Set of 12 Days of Christmas stamps SKU: M4743 if you're as enamored with them as I was), 100 Proof Press (alpha)

Part 5 on Monday...

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