Christmas cards in September! Is it too early? I have been busy on Christmas cards for over a couple of months now. It is essential in order to have them ready for when people want to buy them.
Click on any of the images to see a larger version of them.
For years I have really enjoyed my “bauble” cards. Initially drawn using pen to get the outline and painted in watercolour afterwards. There is a slight shimmer on these cards and gold glitter for the top and string.
For this year I have stuck with a Green Bauble and a Purple Bauble colour scheme. Different colour papers have been used to layer up the paintings and coordinate with the baubles. They are now available to buy in my shop, however I have only painted 8 of these in total. One pack of 4 Green Baubles and one pack of Purple Baubles, and when they are gone, they are gone!
I have previously painted snow scenes of both Cornwall and Switzerland. I do enjoy them, even if we don’t get snow very often in Cornwall!
The paintings of Switzerland bring back happy memories of our holiday to Switzerland in February/March 2018. These are from photographs that I took whilst on the train, read my blog post on Snow in Switzerland if you want to know more.
They are all originals and once they have gone, they are gone – view my Christmas Cards for sale to see what is currently available.
This is quite a different departure and have more of a graphic feel than the cards above.
I have used a mix of blue watercolour paints and silver cosmic shimmer pixie powder to create the background. The snowflakes have been die cut out of old christmas cards – I am always keen to reuse material where I can. Then finally I have stamped the words “Merry Christmas” on the front, with a greeting inside.
These are now available from my Etsy store and have proved very popular with the first set disappearing just 2 hours after listing! Check out this link: Snowflake Christmas Cards if there are any still available. At the moment I have only created 12 and I am not planning on creating any more, so when they have gone – they are gone!
Update on where you can buy them
They are now for sale and are proving popular. The Snowflake Christmas Cards are available on Etsy for just £10 for a set of four. The snow scenes are also available on my website, and will also be listed on Etsy, for just £5 each.
My watercolour cards can either be a blank card, for your own message, or a framed painting!.
I produce a lot of 6 x 6 square cards using my tiny watercolour paintings. I think it makes a great card if you want a keepsake. However have you thought about framing it for an inexpensive gift?
This is a great option because you can choose the frame that you think will suit your recipient. This has proved popular with my customers but the question I am asked most is – what frame to use?
What frame to buy?
This is a really difficult question to answer.
First of all it depends where you buy the frame – online or in your local store? As I have customers from all over the UK it will depend on what stores you have locally. For example, I love IKEA frames but our nearest store is Exeter!
The second problem is that some stores change their stock! IKEA being the exception. But a few years back Tesco did a great square frame, with a generous white mount and an aperture that was 95cm. It suited my paintings perfectly, in fact it was my template for deciding the size of painting. It is almost impossible for me to keep up with the various sizes, some cards sell quickly, others not so. They also don’t use the same sizing! Some use imperial i.e. inches, others use metric i.e. cm.
If we take this card of a painting of Wheal Coates. The card is 14.8 x 14.8 cm or 6 x 6 inches (approximately). The painting itself is 10 x 10 cm (4 inches).
Small 6 x 6 inch frame
In this example I have used the original Tesco frame. It has a large white mount and the painting sits inside the aperture , although you do loose some of the image. I think this option looks great.
Hobbycraft do a 6 x 6 inch box frame, that is frequently on special offer, so it means you can give someone a great present for under £10. On this option they do not include a mount so the card itself is used as a mount. This does mean the whole painting is visible.
Another option is to use a more expensive frame. This one from Wilko is 27.4 x 27.4 cm (6 x 6 inch) is a black bevelled frame. It has a very defined mount and the painting sits inside. I really like this option for anyone where a black frame would suit their decor.
Large 9.8 x 9.8 inch frame
How about a bigger frame? This one is currently available from IKEA – they don’t tend to change their stock as fast. The frame is 25 x 25 cm (9.8 x 9.8 inches). The mount is 12 x 12 cm so part of the card will show through and gives the impression of a double mount. It makes a strong statement.
So you can see there are just so many options! Which one would suit your needs? This is why I think it is best to leave to option to you to match your decor.
Other cards to frame
The options above are all using the 6 x 6 square card but how well does it work with other sizes?
I have cards that are A6 in size and these fit really well into IKEA’s Ribba small frame. These could make a nice series of paintings for either yourself or a gift. Have a look to see what original watercolour cards are currently available to buy.
This idea uses my printed cards. The cards, printed from a selection of my paintings of Cornwall, are A5 in size and fit nicely inside an A4 frame. Again in this example I have used the IKEA Ribba frame, which has a large white mount that sets off the print well.
Explaining mounts and apertures
To briefly explain, the frame is the outside edge that you can buy to suit your decor. These will in a variety of sizes, and they can be shown in metric or imperial, so the measurements tend to be approximate . Some frames include a mount, whilst you can choose the colour you want, usually they come as white. This is the material that surrounds the painting/photo, and gives the image “breathing” space. A small painting inside a large mount can either enhance the image or make it look lost. The aperture is the “hole” or space, that is inside the mount for the image to be placed in. Some frames, usually box frames, may not have a mount. If this is the case the card surround can be used as the mount. However at the time of writing this ASDA have a great 6 x 6 box frame with a mount for just £2.50, that would fit my cards very well.
Here is a diagram to illustrate the difference the size of the frame / mount etc can make to a card. The same 6 x 6 card, with a 100mm painting could fit 3 different sized frames. In this example the painting would fit inside the aperture of the small frame. The whole card will be shown, if you choose the medium frame. Whilst, in the largest frame, a small area of the card and painting will be displayed inside the aperture. As mentioned earlier, stores change their stock to meet design trends but a quick online search will help.
Ready to buy a card to frame?
I have a range of blank greeting cards, at various sizes including A6, A5 and Square cards. Have a look to see what is currently available to buy either on my website original watercolour cards as well as on Etsy. Remember as they are all originals, whilst I do paint some scene several times, they will vary and some scenes I don’t paint again. I also have a of quality printed cards of popular paintings.
I hope this has been helpful, the frames I have used are available at the time of writing this post – July 2023, but as mentioned, this will probably change.
As a thank you for your patience whilst I was not taking orders recently I am running a Sale off all my stock that are currently available to purchase.
From Sat 27th May–Sun 4th June use the code HOLIDAYMODE to get 20% discount, this applies to all of watercolour my paintings, cards, print and miniature acrylics. It could be time to treat yourself (or someone else)!
Here are some that are included in the sale but visit my Shop page to see them all.
Here are some that are included in the sale but visit my Etsy Store to see them all.
I am also offering a Sale on my Etsy Store, on all my cards and smaller paintings. There is 25% Sale off everything from Sat 27th May–Sun 4th June.
I have been experimenting with a new product – Watercolour Gift Tags. On my Etsy Shop a customer has the option to mark their purchase as a gift. I thought it would be nice to combine my crafting skills with my paintings and have a gift tag made from watercolours.
I had great fun creating various tags using old paintings. These are paintings that for various reasons, I wasn’t that happy with as a final product. As I love card making, and similar activities, I experimented with using sections of these paintings as a gift tag. Another idea was create tags that relate them to my products or brand. Above are my initial experiments, which were great fun.
Using small sections of paintings
Sometimes I can paint a picture that includes a little gem – perhaps a boat, but the overall painting just doesn’t work. So I decided that I could use these little gems and turn them into gift tags.
My initial test was using a lovely a “Miss P Loves” long die, with a narrow image. This is set against a coloured background and stamping a sentiment “Just for You”.
I was delighted with how they looked so I proceeded to make more. Using matt and layers allowed me to use some quite small paintings. I also added a faux reinforcement where the hole for the ribbon goes.
Using a painting for the whole tag
I love to paint, or sketch, outdoors but I find end up with so many paintings. These are perfect for using as a whole tag – these above use my Sizzix die for the shape. This die has a lovely faux stitching effect on the outside edge that I like.
On this gift tag I was using up a small piece of paper, the perfect space for a little painting to become a tag. It is quite simple but I did enjoy painting it. It would probably match one of my paintings of Logan Rock / Pedn Vounder beach.
The third option uses a small tag die from Crafters Companion. Some of my paintings are of iconic Cornish scenes, such as Godrevy Lighthouse, St Michaels Mount, to perfectly match with a painting. This could make a really nice gift offering for a special present. On some of the gift tags, where there is suitable space, I have stamped the words “Just for You”. I will monitor interest and feedback to see if people like this.
I frequently use A6 watercolour postcards whilst out and about for my sketches and these lines already printed on the reverse. In this instance the backs may either be blank or stamped “For” and “From”. Again I will monitor feedback to see if people prefer them blank or with words.
Finished with twine
I have used a natural jute twine to attach the gift tag to the present. This is in keeping with the scenes from nature that I have painted.
Testing on Etsy
Currently only available on my Etsy shop to gauge interest with are 3 options.
Some cards or paintings have an additional option to buy a gift tag
You also buy tags separately as a pack of 3
Alternatively select “Gift” option on checkout and receive a free gift tag which will be picked at random and won’t be a cornish scenes.
I have enjoyed making them, but will people like them! I will report back at a later date.
I have introduced a new product line – A5 printed cards. I already have a range of greeting cards , in various sizes including A6, A5 and square cards that I produce myself, using original watercolours. These are very popular as it is an inexpensive way of owning a piece of original artwork. You can also make them into inexpensive presents by purchasing a frame.
As mentioned in my previous post, I am struggling to paint at the moment due to recent eye surgery. That has meant I am struggling to keep up with demand, although I have managed to paint a few of these little paintings. So I decided to get some A5 printed cards of my most popular paintings to help meet demand.
Initially I have chosen 8 paintings, 4 in portrait format, and 4 in landscape format, to gauge the amount of interest. If they prove popular I will get more paintings/designs printed.
They will be available individually, as well as in a 4 and 8 packs. There are two 4 pack cards – one features West Cornwall beaches.
These beaches are all from St Ives Bay – such a glorious location and a clear favourite with people. There are two of Godrevy beach, one with the lighthouse and one focusing on the water; looking down on Hayle beach from the Towans and the harbour beach at St Ives, looking across to Smeaton’s Tower. Other beaches that spring to mind for future cards are Sennen and Porthcurno.
They have been printed by St Austell Printing Company on Premium 300gsm FSC card from sustainable sources, the inside is blank for your own message. Each card will be supplied with a quality white C5 envelope. I can’t wait to see how popular they are.
For the month of July I am running a Summer Sale in my Etsy shop and offering a 20% reduction on my smaller original watercolour paintings. These come already mounted to fit a standard 9×7 inch frame – so you can choose your own frame.