As I close out my posts for 2015, I have to level with you. These cards that I made for a friend who commissioned me to make his holiday cards nearly killed me. This was by far the hardest and most challenging paper crafting project I have undertaken to date. With all the complex inking and accuracy demanded on a white background, it really tested my ability and sanity. I ended up ruining a lot of cards in the process--stray ink or a line of poor coloring could ruin a whole card. I fixed some by adding snowflakes in the right spots, and ended up making a few cards with just snowflakes.
Before I started my salvage operation a few days after the main nine hours of work over Thanksgiving weekend, I had a mini breakdown. I was completely doubting my skills and whether I could ever be really good at this whole paper crafting thing. Sure, I do believe I am pretty good at the whole paper cutting thing and design part, but stamping, inking, and coloring? The parts which are so much closer to drawing? Drawing which I gave up last February? I have been making slow strides back towards any work with a stylus, but this nine hours almost broke me. Had anything really changed? Was I about to fall off this path, too? I felt better after sleeping on it, of course. Then, I sold cards at two events and got lots of compliments on both my cards and on my drawn postcards from 2013. I also received three commissions for cards as a result of those cards, sending my confidence back up a bit.
I'm telling you this because at the close of this wonderful year of art and self-discovery and learning, I am glad this happened. I am glad I pushed myself so hard that it hurt. I am glad I did something insanely hard and failed at some of the battles, but won the war. I never pushed myself this hard with drawing my comic. I never loved my comic the way I love this. I am happy to have found something that challenges me and to which I accept the challenge. Thanks again for everyone's support. You have helped make this year great.
Ok, back to the cards. I knew going in that this design my friend requested would involve lots of difficult inking that would demand consistency between cards. I followed the instructions posted by the Frugal Crafter after her friend Jody to make a DIY stamp positioning tool (the "real" one is super expensive). My version which I show below was not perfect, but it really helped me with these cards, I don't think I could have done it without it.