Three days ago I realised that there's only 5 weeks to the deadline for posting overseas in time for Christmas and I hadn't even thought about this year's Christmas card.
I don't have time to make my 80+ cards individually by hand, but I do like to send out cards of my own design, so I compromise by creating one piece of artwork then photographing it. The image can then be used to make many cards quite quickly.
After a few hours thinking and rough-drawing ideas, I decided a robin eating a berry that looked like Christmas pudding would be fun, so I wet-felted a piece of felt from white merino. When it had dried I loosely needle-felted into it the robin's colours with merino wool then I wet-felted the whole thing for just a few minutes so that the robin was still fluffy.
I used free-motion stitching, with black thread, to sketch in the details and a few hand cross-stitches to finish off the Christmas pudds.
Stitching on felt will compress it, so when I stitched an ever decreasing circle of black to 'draw' the eye, it made the orange felt around it stand a little proud and this gave a good effect.
The only part of the picture that is not felt or stitch is the white dot in the eye (the glint).
I prefer to photograph my felt outside, under light cloud, so that I can get true colours. This can be very time-consuming and frustrating with the rapidly changing English weather, but so worth it for a good result.
Until last year I had my images processed into photographs, then stuck them onto card. They looked good but it did take several hours, so last year I used thinner card and my home printer to produce my cards. It was time efficient but I didn't think the finished card looked as good as previous years. So this year I'm going to upload my image to an online card producer (fingers crossed) because each card will cost no more than it would if I had to buy the photographs, card, envelopes and double-sided tape.
Not only have I made my Christmas card artwork, I've also made a piece of Christmas wall art. Bonus!