Friday, December 9, 2016

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Limners

The best laid plans of mice and limners often end in a sorry tale. Christmas Spirit knocked on my door late last year if memory serves me decently. Plans to be at the head of the card line this year had a skid and a bump on the runway of my desk, but here I am, as determined as ever to get my homemades done and out on time. My Christmas in July put me way ahead of y'all with gift-giving! I'm still giggling over that fast one I managed to pull off! (I can hardly wait for my When Hell Freezes Over project!) My advent post idea isn't quite dead in the water, pinched nerve be danged! I feel holiday cheer sneaking up on me--making the back of my neck all goose bumpy. It's cold in Katy! The heat is on. It's 38ยบ F here, and I hope it snows. If it does I get to finish my cards, bake gingerbread, make a pot of white bean soup, and read for as long as I want because I'll be housebound and guilt-free. Well, maybe, after I re-do my cards.

I loaded my little butcher's tray with the tools I needed after I'd drawn the first set. The idea came attached to the memory of Mama's gumdrop tree. I resented her for that sorry gumdrop tree Christmas--until recently. It was a bleak Christmas past memory that I've finally allowed to see the light of day. Disappointment is a bitter lesson learned young but it sticks hard and fast, and I'm pretty sure I've unconsciously paid it forward. Parents think three year old babes don't remember but they do. 

For every thing there is a season, and everything has a purpose. My memories of the gumdrop tree remain the same, only the emotions associated with it have changed. That little tree was singularly unique, and today it'd do well on any design or DIY blog. My mama taught me to be creative. She had a style all her own; too bad I was a tomboy. She taught me how to color without breaking too many crayons too. She'd get a kick out of hearing me tell y'all this. She probably doesn't even remember that year.  . . . Coloring is such fun. Colored pencils, markers, and paint can make you the greeting card artist Hallmark wishes they had in their employ! Nothing is as personal as homemade.

My best laid plains meant I wrote the same poem over and over again on every card. In longhand. It meant re-writing it twice each time because no one writes in pencil . . . Would you forgive me if I did? 

All drawn and ready to color--I discovered old address labels from a family reunion mass mail stuck on back with my home address. Think RSVP! And proof that I hoard paper. For sure the labels refuse to budge. The postcard stock is a dream so I tried a cover-up with markers and tape. It doesn't work. Such waste.

Of course I couldn't find the first set of new postcards I bought this summer. Nope, I had to break down and open the well-wrapped twin set that's been hiding since October. Another misplaced, well intended gift. Thank goodness for forgetfulness and accidents, yes? Please note the Halloween colors, all the tape, and where to snip instructs. I'm so glad paper doesn't spoil or come with a sell-by date.

These artist tile postcards are totally different from the others. They don't take FineTec well though, which is sad because their shine is so holiday-ish. The backs take to ink like a duck to water. Wait. Water slides off a duck's back, right? . . . The song in that Ashley Madison commercial just interfered! I like that song. Do you? It's the perfect ear wig ear worm! I Googled ear worm out of curiosity. No idea why. NPR has an interesting article on the subject; it's not too long and not too technical, but it didn't help much because now I have to find the song on iTunes again just to see if I bought it the last time I searched for the lyrics! And it's so short for all the botheration. So. Do you like it too? Seriously.

As I said, I have to start over. One down--24 to go. I like the first first card better. Aw, gee. Guess what. There are 25 postcards in this postcard book. 25! Get it? I sent 25 Christmas in July gifts and now I get to make 25 Christmas cards! Ta-da! Queen Elizabeth is a reminder that patience is a virtue. She helps me remember the patience Anna took to create that lovely folded book she made just for me. That means I won't mind re-drawing and coloring 24 more cards, writing 25 new copies of that same poem, or licking affixing 25 holiday stamps. I'll have them done and rubber band-bound by Monday. Do you bind your mass mailings? Do you post them loose? I like to believe mail handlers prefer them bound. Um . . . any tips for unsticking labels? 

Happy holiday and Christmas carding!

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