Some days it feels like I live my entire life on the computer, but when it comes to the holidays, I'm an old fashioned gal. Every year, I design and illustrate a garden-themed holiday card that I mail to my clients. While it would be much simpler, not to mention greener, to send an electronic greeting, it is an honor to help create something as personal as a garden for another person and I want my card to reflect that. (Although honor or not, I usually opt for a funny message, because that's just how I roll.)
But as I don't have all of your addresses, you'll have to settle for the computer version. Click on the images to see a larger view.
If you're interested in the mechanics, here's the process. First I come up with a theme. The idea of creating a card based on the 12 Days of Christmas came from fellow designer Sharon Peterson a few years ago. It takes more than a good idea, however, as I have to make sure the concept is simple enough that it's within my ability to illustrate and communicate. For example, I've had an idea of creating a card based on a graphic novel - because really, it's about time someone exposed the gritty underbelly of the gardening world - but so far it's just been too complex for me to figure out how to implement.
Once I've sketched out the idea and decided on the message inside, I make the illustrations. In this case, I drew each of the 12 day pictures separately, imported them into photoshop, and duplicated each picture to create the tree's layers. Despite the number of pictures, this year's card was easier to draw than most. I even included a little shout out to Facebook friend and succulent expert Debra Baldwin for my day 12 photo. I tried to make an echevera but it ended up looking like a blue pointsettia, so I settled for a cactus.
Once the cover art is laid out, I import the file into Zazzle and add the text. The first few years I did everything myself, including printing on my own color printer, but using a store like Zazzle is much easier, and it also lets me post the cards for others to buy as a few designers have expressed interest over the years. You can see cards from previous years here.
Seasons Greetings, everyone!