The creative process behind the family Christmas Card

So it’s less than a week until Christmas and I still haven’t sent out my Christmas cards.  It’s been a long tradition of mine to make my own.  I start thinking of ideas earlier in the year, keeping my eyes out for possible photos to use, sayings I hear, but it is not until that creative process strikes does the Christmas card come together.  This year it seems to have hit a little later than usual.  Oh, I have had a couple of ideas (one you might  have seen — the photo of the Christmas tree lights), but once I printed it – it just wasn’t it.  I had been tinkering with one of my dog photos.  Even after I took it, I thought that would make a great card, but it was going to take a lot of work; the background was all wrong.  So, I had the photo and the idea, but I was missing one key element.   What I needed/wanted was a fireplace.  I don’t have one of my own to photograph, so I took to Google.  I searched on fireplaces, Christmas fireplaces, mantels, hearths; you name it.  then there was the issue of size of the images, most were just too small a resolution.  I gave it a rest, thinking I just wouldn’t be able to get the idea I had in my head to work. A few days later, while on the phone (can’t remember who I was talking to), I began to google fireplaces. This time I keyed in Christmas hearth and in the images were some wallpapers. Wallpapers are almost always of good resolution.   Perfect.  There were lots of traditional scenes and then here was one simple yet colorful (orange and yellow, hardly Christmas colors) drawing of a fireplace, a white tree, a couple of stockings and a window.  So I thought instead of trying to get my traditional dog photo to work in a traditional fireplace photo, what if I make my dogs a little untraditional.  I opened the image and went to work in Topaz.  I used Topaz Simplify, played with the intensity/saturation ever-so-slightly, and that’s all it took – it really was just too simple.  I placed my dogs in front of the fireplace.   The end result.

 I want to thank the person(s) who created the perfect background.

and I want to wish everyone
 a Very Merry Christmas and Holiday Season
 and a healthy and prosperous
New Year!

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