The Christmas Cards

The Christmas Cards


My first printed Christmas card started from a small sketch I made in Mrs. Holloman’s algebra class. Instead of paying attention and making sense of x and y, I was doodling in my spiral bound notebook. I started an image of a girl, gave her wings, and then a brass instrument. I am pretty sure I had just received a couple of poor progress reports (failing notices, back then) from my algebra and science teachers, so I brought my sketch along with them to lessen the blow when I showed my mother. Of course she was not happy about my poor performance in core classes, but she did like my drawing enough to ask me to do it in ink so she could have Christmas cards printed with it.

My Angel, ca. 1971
My Angel, ca. 1971

Back in the early 70’s there was no Office Depot or Kinko’s where one could have almost anything printed and purchase office supplies without a sales rep coming to the office. Mother took it to Office Supply Company to find out what it would cost. Printing it was not terribly expensive, but 500 envelopes were. They figured how to print the image on an 8 ½ by 14” ivory paper and fold it to make a self-mailer. I don’t know how many she had printed, but there are still some at her house.

I started making cards again using a Gocco Printer in the 90’s. I wrote parts of my favorite Christmas carols and songs in Uncial and addressed the envelopes (which I could purchase at Office Depot) in Italic. Then I did small paintings and had cards printed at Kinko’s. Recipients told me that they kept them and were waiting on the next card. So I can’t stop making cards now, can I?

Several years ago, I thought it would be a good idea to use the original angel blowing on that brass horn in a different format. The card was labor intensive. The angel was printed on vellum paper, tied with gold ribbon to a background of music (Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!) which was on heavy ivory paper banded with gold. Definitely over the top, and I am glad that I still have one.

I will post some of the old cards during the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, I am waiting on delivery of my newest edition…

Author: Dana Mosby

Dana Mosby has been making art since the age of two. Her first project involved crayons and the wall of her parents' home.

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