This year’s card ended up being relatively simple, though it didn’t start that way.
I started work during the weekend after Thanksgiving. My initial thought was that I would start with a picture of snow covered trees at the golf course I’d taken last winter while cross-country skiing:
So, I started the whole day to night conversion, converting it to a blue-ish duotone, then adding a couple of gradient layers on top to darken the sky. Then I draped lights over the trees. I was looking for a Boston Common type look:
The problem was, it just wasn’t working for me. The lights weren’t tied properly to the trees, and it all felt very static. They didn’t look like real trees with lights, and the light on the snow wasn’t tied in well. I suppose I could have made it work, but I’ve done this several times before:
(I think the 2008 and 2009 cards worked well, and the 2015 card was a swing and a miss.)
So I decided to start over, and found this image I’d taken with the phone of an ornament on last year’s tree:
Changes were minimal this time. I darkened down the light, and made it greener, as it was printing a blue. I blurred the background a little to give better separation, made the bell a little more vibrant, and may have sharpened the foreground a little — I don’t remember.
This year, I decided to invite Mum to join me on cards sent to people we both knew. I knew she would want to send out cards to a few people, but I also knew it would be difficult for her. So I set up a card interior with text from both of us. I ended up saying something to the effect that we wished we could see people, but that COVID was making it impossible. For people my mother doesn’t know, I made a separate revision of the text to something more appropriate.
The night before, I printed a bunch of outsides, then put the cards back in the printer and ran off the shared insides, then came downstairs and set up an assembly line in the dining room. I would sign each card, often times with a note, then hand it off to her for signature and sometimes a note.
Overall, I’m pleased with this card, though I think they would have turned out better with different card stock — all Staples had was embossed stock, and it simply doesn’t print as well. Something to remember for next year.
Merry Christmas, everyone.