Sunday, December 13, 2009

Traditions (part one)

Christmas 2009 - featuring my efforts at hand marbling

Every year since the middle of my teens I've made my own Christmas cards. I can hardly believe that I've been doing this for almost three decades now – as I never set out to create a multi-decade tradition

If 'life is what happens when you're busy making other plans' - then traditions are things that sneak up on you and unexpectedly announce their presence.

Christmas Card circa 1983 (this is one of my earliest - so don't give me a hard time about it!)
I remember making these - it took me about a day to make each one (see subsequent development of rules below...) This card is also significant as it sparked my interest in the craft of calligraphy (mind you I had NO idea how calligraphy was done - these rather pitiful letters were hand-drawn)


these days I hand make around 50ish Christmas cards– and over the years I've developed a set of 'rules' that govern the making of my Christmas card collection

rule 1. each card must be hand made (only minimal mass reproduction techniques may be employed)

rule 2. each year's design must be unique – never before used and never to be used again

rule 3. the materials of each card must be unpretentious and not precious

rule 4. the entire collection of cards must be able to be made in a single day of construction – so only very simple designs and techniques can be considered

rule 5. the card design must capture the 'zeitgeist' of the year ( by this I mostly mean what is happening in my little world....)

Christmas Card of 2004
features my then very pregnant tummy wrapped up with a Christmas bow...
the 'Unwrapped Presence' was of course EJ

Its a fun and delightful challenge and a tradition that I enjoy immensely – In giving a handmade card I feel that I am giving my friends and family a moment of time – a tangible token of our relationship.

This year - I'm adding a new part to my Christmas card tradition – I'm posting a digital version of my 2009 card here, at flickr and on my fb page - a gift of sorts for all my online friends and with it I'm sending everyone a special Christmas greeting –

peace, love and joy to you and your loved ones.

From ronnie by the creek


  1. fabulous, Ronnie. I feel slightly shame-faced because I've ducked responsibility for Christmas this year: it's too hard with moving house at the same time, so I'm going to do a digital card instead. Merry Christmas! Sara x

  2. I would love to know how you did that marbling. Can you do a workshop?

  3. oooh goodness jane - I'm at the stage before beginner in marbling - I doubt I would ever know enough to lead a workshop - but if you drop in to the studio here at the creek sometime I'll happily share what I've picked up so far... you know how to reach me!

  4. Lovely card Ronnie, I just finished mine today. I should follow your rules - this time mine was a what can go wrong, did go wrong, episode but 70 cards will go in the mail in the morning. Whew! I love the tradition but sometimes wonder about my sanity.

  5. Stop being so organised, I'm getting crankier by the day about Christmas.

    [beautiful effort, though]

  6. A beautiful tradition, and they are always beautiful cards. I feel honoured to be included in your group of friends and receive one of beautiful cards! Only 5 sleeps now! Ann


thanks for all your lovely comments - your words are greatly appreciated xx