Hand-Lettered Christmas Cards

For the past several years, I have made hand-lettered Christmas cards for several of my friends at college.  I’ve shared some of those here.  This year is the first year that the designs were 100% my own, and also the first year that I’ve incorporated color.  I went simple in the color department- black pen on white paper, with some bright red.  I’m going to apologize in advance for the poor camera quality- I didn’t finish the cards until just before our gift exchange, so I rushed to get pictures and they didn’t turn out well.2015-12-05 19.12.09This first design was quite simple and more graphic than the others.  I liked the idea of a somewhat “busier” background, with a bold message in the middle.

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I was really happy with how this one turned out- I played around a lot with the lettering for ‘night’ and love how it turned out.

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I really love this one as well.  I think this is the most “fun” of the designs, and it has a certain childlike feel to me.

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Although I like this one, it’s not my favorite.  It feels a bit too unbalanced to me.

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This is another favorite.  I actually wasn’t sure I liked it until I added the stripes to the “jolly”, then I discovered I really loved it.

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This is the design and lettering I’m most proud of!  I thought of the idea when laying in my bed last weekend, not wanting to get out of bed.  I’m really happy with the way it turned out!

Life Lately 12-26-2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt has been more than a month since my last Life Lately post, and lots has happened since then, so I figured it was time for another one.

Enjoyed…Christmas and my birthday yesterday.  It feels very strange to be 20 now.  It’s like I’m grown up or something.  I’m not sure I like it.

Had a good time…with my family yesterday.  We opened our presents in the morning, ate some breakfast, then just hung out for awhile.  My grandparents, my cousin and her fiance, and my aunt and her boyfriend came over for dinner.

Baked…a lot the past few days.  I made my great-grandmother’s rolls (cinnamon and plain rolls).  I made my grandma’s almond bark.  We baked and decorated several different cookies.  Baking is one of the things I miss most when I’m at college, so I always love to bake when I’m home.

Sad about…the fact that I have to return to college in just one and a half weeks.  I don’t think I’ll be ready.

Recently read… The Christmas Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini.  It was a nice, quick Christmas read.  I enjoyed it.

Received…lots of wonderful gifts.  I got some new boots, shoes, a Brita water bottle for college, and some other cool stuff.  My grandma and grandpa gave me, my sister, and my cousin some really old bone dishes that originally belonged to my great-grandmother’s parents.  They are really gorgeous.

‘Tis the Season: Hand-Lettered Christmas Cards

For the past several years I have wanted to make Christmas cards for my loved ones, but I just never seem to be able to actually get around to making them.  For the past several years I have also been slightly obsessed with hand-lettering.  I have never been big on doodling, but when I do doodle, it is usually working on my hand-lettering skills.  My sketchbook has a number of practice hand-lettering sketches.  If you put Christmas cards and hand-lettering together, then this is what you get:

2013-12-06 08.22.06Now, although I am a kind-of art major, I don’t have any formal training in hand-lettering of any sort, even calligraphy.  So if I can do these, so can anyone that has a bit of artistic ability.  Please note that these did take me a very long time to make and I would not want to make them in bulk.  I needed five cards, which was about all I could have handled.  You could, however, scan the originals and then print them onto other cards if you wanted to make a lot.

2013-12-06 08.22.36I simply looked up hand-lettered Christmas cards on Pinterest, and used those as my inspiration.  The designs are copied, not my own (just to clarify).

2013-12-06 08.21.19Some of the designs were much simpler, others were more complex (and harder to do).  I drew a basic outline first in pencil (very lightly), then went over the outline and filled in/bulked up as needed to copy the originals.  I used a SharpiePen, but any super-fine-tip marker/pen should work- I would recommend the kind found at art stores.

2013-12-06 08.22.53Although it was time-consuming and made my thumb go numb for a couple of hours (I don’t know why it did that, but it’s fine now!), it was fun and I am really pleased with the results.

2013-12-06 08.21.46My personal favorites are the first and last ones pictured here.  So, if you’re looking for a super-special card, these are your ticket!

**Throughout the month of December I will be sharing Christmas-y things.  You can check out my previous Christmas-related posts by clicking on the links below:

A Christmas Tradition: Cutting Down the Christmas Tree

DIY Hand-Decorated Ceramic Mugs






Thanksgiving Recap and ‘Tis the Season

Christmas trees

Image from Pinterest

First of all, I’d like to wish a late Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!  I hope you had a lovely, relaxing day filled with good food and family.  My family celebrated with my mom’s sister and her family and my grandparents.  For the past few years, we have had a combined Thanksgiving and Christmas celebration, so there were gifts involved as well as our Thanksgiving meal.  It was nice to get together with everyone and we had a good time.

But now, onto the fun stuff!  For me, the Christmas season is the most wonderful time of the year!  And now, since Thanksgiving has passed, it is the Christmas season!!  And with that, I have a little story to share.

Every single year, since I was born, my family bundles up to go get our Christmas tree.  Having a live tree is a big deal to us, since my grandpa has owned and operated a cut-your-own Christmas tree farm since before I was born.  Each year, we head up the hill to the farm.  My grandpa used to sit up there, but now, although he still plants and cares for the trees, only the people that know about the farm go up, so he no longer hangs out up there all day.  We are usually among the first to pick out our tree.  We sometimes pick out our tree and cut it down in the same day, and other times we simply pick it out and put a tag on it to claim it, then come back another time to cut it down.

A couple of years ago, we actually went after dark and picked a tree out using the lights from my dad’s truck.  Luckily, it still looked good once we got it inside.  This year, we just barely beat the dark.  It was dark by the time we arrived home, but there was still enough light out when we picked the tree.

We decorated our tree tonight.  Getting and decorating our tree is one of my favorite Christmas traditions, ones that I definitely hope to continue when I someday have a family of my own.  We had a lot of fun this year, as we decided to go through ALL of our ornaments and get rid of the ones that had seen far better days or that we didn’t really like.  Some were a bit funny to look at now, especially some of the ones my siblings and I made as little kids.  We also decorated some of the house.

I am so excited that the Christmas season is here!  You will probably hear a lot more about it in the weeks to come.