Christmases Past, Cards Sent, Exhibit Ending

39 years of making home made cards, and I cannot remember them all. There were a few lean years, years I couldn’t afford it, didn’t have the time, should have been working instead. But I never missed a year.

I made have homemade cards for family birthdays and events since I was in kindergarten. When I was sixteen, I decided to mail my own Christmas cards instead of just being a name on the family card my mother sent out. We were making lino cuts and prints in art class, and so my first card was a lino cut, holly berries maybe.

The cards have evolved from those simple one- or two-color linoleum cuts, to hand-colored photocopies of pen and ink art, to printed cards, often with enclosures and usually with a story to tell. They are labor-intensive. Cards have included folding, gluing, stapling and even sewing.

I have gathered tree twigs, donning headlamp to pick a few more samples late one night, and terrified the neighbor, who could not figure what that little light was bobbing away up in the woods.

I mixed and packaged mulling spices, researched the history of riddles and learned about weather lore.

Each year a new idea emerges. Then comes the fun of researching the subject, figuring out how to construct the card, and finally putting it all together. To select colors, create or find art, choose the envelope and make a label takes time. In order to be finished in time to mail the cards in December, I
usually need to start in early November. But I think about next year’s card all year long.

The entire process is done in the spirit of sharing. I think of Christmas cards as little gifts. They give me the pleasure of making them, and I hope they give a moment of happiness to the recipient.

The Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor has a display of cards in their reading room, delightful pen sketches by Jim Grover, and a selection of my cards in a glass case. The exhibit will be up until January 15.

Jesup Memorial Library
34 Mt. Desert Street
Bar Harbor, Maine 04609
Tel: (207)288-4245
Tuesday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Closed Sundays and Mondays


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