Monday, December 30, 2013

Mom's Christmas Card

One of my greatest joys but also one of my greatest challenges is making a Christmas card for my mom every year (I used to make one for my dad, too, but he passed away in 2011). Last year herself was the only card I was able to make, thanks to my surgery followed by my fall and broken leg. I was happy with my cheerful little Santa scene card and it was really just right for last year, but this year I wanted to do something very different for Mom. We lost my eldest brother quite suddenly and somewhat unexpectedly this past June, and that has resulted in a great deal of change for us all. We are all working to find peace, and I hoped to add to Mom's peace with a special card.

When my brother was small my mother, father, and he lived in a lovely wooded area with rolling hills and frequent visits by deer, raccoons, squirrels, and chipmunks. My mother often talked about how they would all often spend hours watching the deer visiting their apple orchard, even in the early autumn snows. I wanted to recreate a little piece of that time for her, to give her a little closeness to both my dad and my brother.

I created this large three-dimensional shadow-box card with pieces of heavy white card-stock (when flat it measures 8.5"x5.5", and when opened is 2" deep and 6.5" wide). I covered the base with a textured blue card stock and then I created three interior layers for the inside of the box. I cut the windows with Spellbinders Nestabilities dies prior to the assembly, which was accomplished with the help of a strong liquid glue and strong tape.

The biggest issue in making the card was making sure to have accurate and clean cuts and scores. The interior layers had to be able to lie perfectly flat with the card when closed and stand perfectly when the card is open, so even small error in measurement would be obvious.

I decorated the box using a mix of Memory Box, Cottage Cutz, and Frantic Stamper dies and a few carefully-placed pearls. A satin bow finished the card front, and a pocket on the back for a gift card finished the back.

On Christmas Eve at my Mom's home, with my surviving two brothers and my two nephews gathered, Mom shared the card with them all. My nephew snapped a photo of the card with his iPhone using a table lamp as a side light, and shared it on his Facebook, along with a very sweet comment. I think his photo shows the dimension of the card better than my photo did, so I asked him if he would allow me to share his photo, too. He readily agreed.

So, I would like to credit my nephew Alan Arsenault, who is a talented professional photographer, for this photo. Of course, this is just an iPhoto snapshot...and though FABULOUS, I don't want you all to think that it is indicative of his best work! You should check out some of that at his blog!