The Big Reveal, DIY and a Message

After almost sixty hours, my annual Christmas cards are done. Whew! I smiled while dropping them into the mailbox and imagined my friends and family opening up my little art project. Time is at a premium and many don’t even send store bought cards. We live in an electronic age where communication is at our fingertips. We make contact through texts, tweets and Facebook. Very few pick up the phone and actually talk to people anymore. Everyone is too busy.

I am a dinosaur in today’s world. I plodded through the week while drawing, printing, cutting, and pasting. My gift to others is not just about the card. It is about the love  and time it takes to create them. Each one  took over 45 minutes. Yep, That was a little overboard. Thanks to Timethief, I have a wealth of new ideas for next year and promise to start in July!

The Process:

First I decide on an activity. My family is found skiing in many of my cards, but I wanted to come up with something unique for 2013. It has been an exceptional year in some ways, but I was derailed by breast cancer. When I thought of the concept, Dancing on 2013’s Grave, I laughed out loud!

Yes Wild Riders. I am ready to dance once again. Did you miss me?

First I sketch my ideas. Once I have a workable drawing, I use tracing paper and a marker for a final copy. I  hope to capture the likeness of everyone. I only draw once a year, so I am always a little nervous when I start. Sometimes the illustration just works like this year when it only took two hours. Other times, I find it challenging to recreate the shape of the eyes, the nose, the mouth, and the jawline. There’s always some printing involved. Thank God for the invention of the inkjet. I used to run back and forth to a commercial printer in a neighboring town to get the pieces camera ready.

2013 drawing

Final

final

While perusing my Sabuda pop-up books, I discovered two of his creations spun. I loved the idea of moving in this dancing card. I had no idea how many hours I would tack on for a little quarter turn. But it rocks, literally!

The Pieces and Parts:

I had to figure out the mechanism. I made several prototypes that failed. When I used card stock, instead of flimsy paper, I had my Eureka moment. I made it all one unit, printed them, and cut them out.

spinning mech 1

tombstones

spinning mechanism

pieces and parts

There was a lot of trimming involved with the front cover and the message inside, but I had to add the snowflakes!

front of card

Of course there had to be mountains. We are the Colorado Lindaus after all. This entailed more printing and trimming.

inside of card

I printed the illustration as large as possible.

illustration cut out

Assembly:

I folded 95, yes, 95 sheets of red cardstock in half. I glued the front cover and then the inner sheet with the message.

finished cards

After they were dry, I glued down the tabs.

gluing spinner to base

spinner 3

I glued the illustration onto the circular tab. DONE! Wait. I had almost 300 snowflakes cut out. I glued one above the mountains. Now I was DONE!

Front of Card 2013

Inside 2013 Christmas card

My Holiday Message:

Prioritize your time in 2014. When I was first diagnosed, I wasn’t sure I would live to see Christmas! I feel very grateful the cancer was caught early. Find your passion and don’t give up! Balance work and play. Spend quality time with family and friends who support your dreams. Like the dinosaurs, we only have a short time to plod around on this earth and most want to leave a lasting impression, not just a pile of bones.

5m37b

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all!

What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Contest winners Lame AdventuresMary D. Pierce, 4 AM WriterPegoleg, and Kecia Adams guessed correctly (or were close enough), and will receive a card! Click on their links and check out their fabulous blogs.

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About susielindau

I am a Boulder, Colorado writer and artist who loves adventure both real and imagined. Come with me. It's always a Wild Ride!
This entry was posted in Holidays, Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

107 Responses to The Big Reveal, DIY and a Message

  1. Susie, These are gorgeous! What a treasure for your friends and family to receive. They will cherish it always. Your talents never seems to end. Although I am reading this as I catch up on all the blogs I missed during the black out (so I am very out of date), I am really glad to be able to dance on 2013’s grave as well. Keep on rock’n.

    Like

  2. Pleun says:

    Supercool card! Inspirational! I’m sure the receivers will appreciate your efforts ;-) Have a great and healthy 2014!

    Like

  3. Your talents are endless!

    Like

  4. Wow. What a card! Congratulations on such a beautiful little moment you’ve send out to so many. Hallmark ought to be knocking on your door.

    Like

  5. I like over the top people! I hope a few of your lucky friends keep their cards.

    Like

  6. Pingback: Jumping for Joy! Literally… | Susie Lindau's Wild Ride

  7. wow is right! a truly impressive project!

    Like

  8. Michelle says:

    That’s pretty awesome! Merry Christmas to you – I’m so glad you’re here to enjoy it!!

    Like

  9. Hi Susie!
    Came by earlier but didn’t get comment sent due to dogs crashing into things!
    So cool. That “half turn” you struggled with had to be ice skating.
    I used to start wrapping Christmas presents after Halloween as each was a similar individualized little piece of artwork. (Sometimes the item inside was a bit out-shined – but the wonder is important for Christmas. Except somehow that irritated my sister-in-law. So stuck on bows for her now)
    Your message is so important. One of the best I’ve seen this season (hmmm, looks like I’ll need to stock up on ink for the printer to attempt this…but so cool.)
    Jingle on, Susie. You add a lot of merry for us all!

    Like

    • susielindau says:

      Awww! Thanks so much Phil and for all your support throughout the year. Your guess was close!
      I have seen some pretty amazing wrapped gifts. I bet yours are amazing! Ignore your sister-in-law and blog about them next year!

      Like

  10. 4amWriter says:

    I really love the images — I bet your cards are amazing. I feel really honored that I get to see one, touch one, in real life! I can’t wait!!

    Have a merry Christmas–I’m sure you’ll get lots of dancing in! :)

    Like

  11. The Regular Guy NYC says:

    Wow. I am absolutely amazed. You should do this as a side business and make some extra cash!

    Well, 2013 is almost over. So much has happened good and bad. Let’s look forward to a better 2014! Merry Christmas!

    Like

    • susielindau says:

      Thanks so much Phil! I had thought about the card business before I started writing almost three years ago.
      Absodanglutely, I am ready for an amazing year!
      Hope your Christmas very Merry!

      Like

  12. OMG Susie! You are amazing! Hope you are living it up this Christmas, and good riddance to 2013. Wish you all the love, laughter and good health a new year can bring…and then some. Xo

    Like

    • susielindau says:

      Awwwww! Thanks so much Alarna! I am glad to see this year go. It is ending on a great note, with great health, my son graduating last weekend and my daughter on the Dean’s list! Things are looking up!
      I wish you the very best in the New Year too!
      xxooSusie

      Like

  13. They are amazing, Susie! A whole bundle of love delivered to the door. Merry Christmas to your lovely family x

    Like

  14. The Hook says:

    Wonderful sentiments for the holiday season, Susie.
    Merry Christmas and all the best to you and yours, my dear friend.

    Like

  15. Fabulous cards … yet again, o creative one! This holiday season will be all the more meaningful given the tremendous challenge you all faced. You are the gift that keeps giving, Susie, with your fabulous outlook, endless talent, and magical ability to bring people together. No wonder we all love you so much! Warmest wishes to you and your family!

    Like

  16. pegoleg says:

    I am DElighted to receive your card, Susie, but even more delighted to have gotten to know you so well this year we practically went on vacation together!

    I’m praying that 2014 is fabulous: blessed, happy and healthy for you and your family.

    Like

  17. Laura says:

    Holy crap, you’re really good! I didn’t realize you were an artist too… good for you for being a dinosaur, the cards are little treasures! I am forever spending lots of time on smallish things that I could never sell for enough to make up for the time. But that’s not the reason I make them, as you would understand. Great job :)
    Merry Christmas! x

    Like

    • susielindau says:

      Thanks so much!
      I can sooooo relate! This is the first year that I kept track of my time. Thank god, I didn’t do any extravagant entertaining! I would have been just a little stressed!
      Merry Christmas to you!

      Like

  18. The Guat says:

    Dude. You’re amazing. I can’t even believe the Martha Stewart abilities you pulled off here. Dude. Definitely a wow-effort. :) Have a great Christmas!

    Like

  19. Gede Prama says:

    visit, read the article and thanks for posting your article is quite good and we hope that all our friends all success and thank you all, greetings. (This is a good thing) :)

    Like

  20. PapaBear says:

    I didn’t realize that artists were dinosaurs, or was that dinosaurs are artists…I get confused easily these days !!! Happy Holidays to you and family, Susie. :)
    Paul

    Like

  21. Widdershins says:

    Another ‘one word’ … Wonderful!

    Like

  22. Laura Hilger says:

    This is wonderful Susie and the cards turned out lovely! Good on you! Happy New Year!!

    Like

  23. Dave says:

    The cards were pretty amazing, Susie. Even assuming I had the patience to make them (I don’t), I lack the skill. Great job…do you ever have that “and how do I top that feeling” from year to year?

    Like

    • susielindau says:

      Thanks so much Dave!
      This is the only artwork I do these days. Writing has taken over, but gives me the same satisfaction. I do get a rush from creating something out of nothing.
      I compete with myself and that’s why I have stuck with pop up cards since I started creating them! I always loved them as a kid.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  24. marydpierce says:

    WOW!! You are wonder, Susie. I’m so happy to have won one your amazing cards – they are truly a work of art. As are you (far from a dinosaur)! I have a glass fronted cabinet in my den where I keep my treasures, which is where your card is going. Thank you!

    And thank you for blessing us with your courage, charm, and wit throughout what was a tough year for you. Happiest of holidays to you and your lovely family, Susie.

    Cheers!

    Like

    • susielindau says:

      Wow! I am honored Mary. Thank you!
      It was a Wild year and I’m glad it’s all behind me. On to the next great adventure! Thank you for all the support throughout!
      Merry Christmas to you!

      Like

  25. Austin says:

    Wow! That is awesome. Anyone who is fortunate to get one of your Christmas cards will be blown away!

    Like

  26. Wow, you’re my hero. That’s a looooooottttt of work. I hope your friends appreciate the love and effort you put into them.

    So glad you’re here to dance another year. Cyber world and Colorado would not be the same without you.

    Merry Christmas!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    Like

  27. You are so creative and crafty – love old school:) I am a stocking freak and love to find unique items for the person. Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year – Be Blessed My Friend:)

    Like

  28. Whoa, what a card Susie! And I am among the winners? Double whoa! I wish you, Danny, the kids and Roxy a very Merry Christmas from the warm and sunny San Francisco Bay Area (back in the Apple for Bew Year’s). And good health to you in 2014 buddy.

    Like

  29. Seriously wild and cool cards! I hope you & family have a great Christmas!

    Like

  30. tedstrutz says:

    This is my favorite post of the year from the Wild Child!

    Like

  31. You blow me away with your amazing, home-made cards. I love the message of balancing work and play. To answer your question, my favorite holiday tradition is watching my son open his Christmas presents. He just turned 11 and still believes in Santa. Don’t know how many more years I can get away with it. But I have a back-up explanation that might keep him believing for the rest of his life.

    Like

    • susielindau says:

      That is a very good plan! The spirit of Christmas is alive and well in the Lindau household even though I have adult children.
      Thank you so much! They were a huge project, but they worked! Thank God!
      We all have to make time to play and spend time with friends and family. Life is so short!
      Merry Christmas to you and your family!

      Like

  32. Maggie C says:

    I’m so impressed! You rocked 2013. Can’t wait to see what 2014 brings.

    Like

    • susielindau says:

      Thanks Maggie C! Well, its going out with a bang! I’m glad I got through 2013. When I look back, it is pretty surreal, but it is ending a very high note!
      Merry Christmas to you and your family!

      Like

  33. timethief says:

    Your card is perfect, Susie. I love the idea of rocking in the New Year with your family and I’ll definitely be joining you. I felt all warm and fuzzy when I knew we were both making our own cards – thousands of miles apart but on the same page, so to speak. Life is too precious not to savor every moment of it spent with loved ones.

    Like

    • susielindau says:

      Coming from you, that means a lot. Thanks so much!
      I don’t think many will get the cliche- dancing on 2013’s grave, but they’ll get that we’re happy this year is over!
      We’re kindred sisters thousands of miles apart and yet there we were, cutting and pasting away!
      Merry Christmas to you and your family!

      Like

  34. I don’t think they make a word to describe this! Such detail and care and love you have put into these creations! How satisfying it must feel to see the end product. Amazing! xo

    Like

    • susielindau says:

      Thank you so much Maria! They are the one art project I create during the year. Before I started writing, almost three years ago, I considered illustrating cards to sell. I even had a couple of sketches worked up. I shelved the project and started painting scenes with words instead!
      I wish I could send them to everyone.
      I love the feeling of dropping them into the mailbox. Ahhhhhh!
      Merry Christmas to you and your family!

      Like

  35. Julie Catherine says:

    Susie, I’m so impressed! Awesome cards and love the theme – if anyone has a right to dance and stomp all over 2013 it’s YOU! Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas, and all the best for 2014! ~ Julie xoxox

    Like

    • susielindau says:

      Great to see you Julie! Merry Christmas to you and your family.
      It just popped into my head. It was a miserable year for many although my family had a great year. I am glad to see it go! ….stomps while dancing on graves….. :)

      Like

  36. These are really special, Susie! Love your drawings. What a lot of work you’ve put into these cards. Treasures! Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    Like

    • susielindau says:

      Thanks so much! It’s weird to me how drawing is like riding a bike. I thought it would take forever to get the likeness. I got very lucky!
      Next year, I plan to create a flat card AND a pop up so I can send more out.
      Merry Christmas to you and your family too!

      Like

  37. jan says:

    you are amazing, but more than that, you are an inspiration to all, and a really great writer! xo, jan

    Like

  38. tomwisk says:

    As per your example I sent out all of my cards. I made sure I signed them all and left an appropriate message. Mailed them, patted myself on the back. Got an e-mail from my younger niece, she got an envelope but no card. Rummaged around and found her card in the holding area. E-mailed her message and holiday wishes. Yep, senility is setting in.

    Like

    • susielindau says:

      HahaHa! I’ve done that before! Danny’s mom got an empty envelope one year. We brought her a card when we visited Wisconsin!
      I am so glad I inspired you and am sure your family and friends were happy to receiver them!
      Merry Christmas Tom!

      Like

  39. John says:

    You are amazing!

    Like

  40. Anonymous says:

    Susie they turned out great! I love mine and appreciate all the work you put into them. Great article! Love ya Karin

    Like

  41. wow… I have received a few of your cards and cannot believe the amount of love and creativity that goes into them.. well done susie and merry christmas

    Like

  42. colonialist says:

    One cannot help being deeply impressed. I just hope the recipients do realise the time and skill and inspiration and love that went into them!

    Like

    • susielindau says:

      Thanks so much!
      If a person has never created art work, it is hard to imagine how long any project takes. Next year, I plan to cut these hours in half! It’s a plan anyway.
      Merry Christmas to you and your family!

      Like

  43. El Guapo says:

    Another beautiful job!

    Merry christmas and a happy new year, to the Colorado Lindaus, and wherever their travels take them!

    Like

  44. Cayman Thorn says:

    Wow! Those cards are way more impressive than anything Hallmark puts out. Not even close. You are so scary talented, young lady.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours. And a very kick ass New Year.

    Like

  45. Sophie Moss says:

    The cards are beautiful, Susie! So happy we got to hang out in person a few times this year! Hope you’re staying warm in Colorado. :)

    Like

  46. Roman says:

    Рад встретить интересного человека!
    Вам не нужен еще один друг?
    Пишите. :)

    Like

  47. tw says:

    Inspirational! I love the thought of dancing on 2013’s grave. Wishing you all a Rocking 2014 and beyond

    Like

  48. liliandruve says:

    Awesome! Well done!

    Like

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