December 17, 2012

New City, New Holiday Card

Despite the fact that we have had some warm weather here in Philly lately, it's beginning to look like Christmas again. We still haven't had a chance to decorate our tree yet, but I've actually completed construction of my cards ahead of schedule this year! I had a lot of time on my hands a month ago, so I really took the opportunity to power through assembly prior to Thanksgiving.

I knew I wanted to use my new city of Philadelphia for a theme, but I really struggled with coming up with this year's design. I didn't have a problem when I did a Chicago-themed card when I first moved to the Windy City, but I really struggled with how to capture the iconic elements of Philly in a holiday card. I had several ideas - tracing the skyline, lights decorating the Liberty Bell, a stylized outline of the LOVE sculpture, but none of them seemed to be quite right.

I finally landed on a design that I thought incorporated the Philly theme in a fun way. The card itself is a riff on a pop-up card that I did a few years ago, but I added a little more design to the front and cut out a bit of work by learning how to trace lines with a razor. 

So, I incorporated two icons of Philly into my card: Ben Franklin and the Liberty Bell. I found a little clip art profile of Ben and turned him into a silhouette.


My husband randomly got a cute bumper sticker promoting Nutella, so I scanned that image in for the Liberty Bell.

Then I used all the little tree templates from a few years ago to cut out new trees in new patterns. Cheating? Maybe. All the work was still there - the only difference was that I didn't have to re-create the Powerpoint document that I used for the templates.

Creating the backing paper for the popup used to be the most labor intensive part; all that measuring, line-drawing, and cutting is a lot of work. Then I figured out that you can just use one that you've already cut and trace the lines with a razor blade to cut all that pre-work out. Just watch those fingers!

Finally, fold the backing and glue everything together to get the final product.

I have to admit that I'm a bit disappointed in this year's design. It lacked the spark of an idea that usually comes to me at some point during the year. Maybe it's because I came into this year with a theme and an agenda and just boxed myself in. Maybe it's because I'm just running out of ideas. In any case, I'm hoping that next year will bring a more fresh and exciting design, but I'll try not to worry about it for now.

Happy holidays!

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