I can't remember when I started mailing my Christmas cards on the last day of November. It was probably four years ago. We had gotten to a point where we were only receiving a small handful of cards each year, and it was disappointing to me because I like to use them as part of my holiday decor. So I thought that if I started mailing them earlier than everyone else, that I'd get more, and it worked! We got ourselves onto a lot more people's lists that way, and I'm so happy!
Making the cards in advance also reaps some other benfits, although they weren't apparent to me at first. One is, somewhat obviously, that it is one less thing for me to worry about doing during December, that much more time for doing other "fun" things. The other, even less apparent benefit, is that it helps to get me into the holiday spirit sooner.
I had great fun making these cards this year. I really wanted them to reminiscent of nighttime, so I chose the navy blue paper and stamped the background in silver. I had a hard time choosing a matte color for the stamped Madonna & Child image, but finally settled on the dark purple and I think it looks great with the navy and silver -- both regal, and in keeping with the nighttime look I was hoping for.
I love fine art images for stamping, and this one, a detail from Madonna and Child with Saint Anne by 17th century Giovanni Battista Caracciolo, is one of my favorites.
I used a heat embossing technique to create the "crackled" effect that you see on the card above, but after making half a dozen of them, I decided to stop. I'm concerned that they will crack even more in the mail and fall apart when people open their cards. I was also going through clear embossing powder like crazy, and making
50+ 63 cards that way would've taken way too long and been way too expensive. But I did like the way those few turned out.
So, off they go, to
10+ 13 US states and three foreign countries (the farthest away is Thailand, if you're curious).