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. 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



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


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


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.


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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