The making of Holiday Card 2013

From the 1700 (or so) folks who receive my Holiday Card in their non-virtual actual real physical mailbox each year, I generally get two reactions: “How cute!!” (meaning, of course, my baby dragon in his various get-ups) and: “Nice photoshop!”

Someone who is so old-fashioned as to make a card, write in it, put it in an envelope, put a stamp on it and take it to a post office is likely not going to partake of Photoshop. I pride myself on my pictures being genuine.

In the case of 2013, I wanted my little guy to be the star, the ‘angel’ often found on the top of Christmas trees. The wing question was finally solved when I accompanied my young friend Jasper to a Warhammer store in London last fall, where I purchased their two largest dragons and found that a Dark Elf Dragon’s wings were the perfect size for my iglet. I painted them myself, while he watched curiously (the iggy, not Jasper).

My next worry was the halo – where to get something round, glowing, and the proper size? I ordered lumistick bracelets – the kind one might wear to a Bieber/One Direction-playlisted sleepover, but they were too big, and cutting them down had some unfortunate alien-blood-like effects. A finger-ring size would be too small to be a believable halo for a 4-foot lizard, so I brainstormed with some friends, and we came up with the idea of another kind of ring. I will now leave it to the reader to imagine what sort of ring might fall between a bracelet and finger ring in size (my product suggestions continue to be rather more risqué these days).

So, I took the ‘ring’, and doused it in gold glitter. My little angel now had the perfect halo!

The wings, though perfect, were problematic. Although my iggy deals with various hats and occasionally costumes once a year, there was no way I was going to attach some plastic wings onto him. So I came up with suspending them and the halo on wires tied to popsicle sticks.

Here is an idea of the real background:


But I’m not so anti-photoshop as to not change an impossibly dorky background. So the end result was this:


Much more festive!

As for the back of the card, again, only the background is changed. Obviously, I wouldn’t take a tropical reptile into a Canadian winter climate. The setting is a photo I took on St. Joseph’s Island, Ontario, at my aunt and uncle’s house on a Christmas morning long ago. (That house was sold this spring, thus the little tribute).Image


I aim to continue along these lines: namely, having a real photo each year, and getting hand cramps from writing nearly 2000 cards.


Special Thanks to Lizard Wrangling and Photographer friends Adrienne Lloyd and Deniz Hugues. Deniz hand-sewed his Nutcracker Prince costume in 2012!


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