31 Days of Halloween–Day 8

Happy Monday, creative people! And because it is Monday, I am feeling not-so-ambitious. I spend every weekend, all weekend (in the autumn season, at least) doing professional photo sessions, so, by Monday, I’m a tired baby. So, today I am going to “phone it in” so to speak, and offer up some fun downloadable  note cards with some goals for using them, that I hope I myself can follow.

First up is Soda Pop in his mask. I love this shot. It is one of my favorite for the book I HATE HALLOWEEN (which you can purchase here) and I’m seriously considering making room for a nice canvas print of this one for my wall. Soda just looks so mysterious in his mask, and I love the green and black color palette.  All the notecards are sized 4×5 to fit in invitation envelopes.  They will print out 5×8, and you fold them in half on the top of the image.

Next is my jack-o-lantern illustration from (guess what) I HATE HALLOWEEN. As far as illustrations go, this one is in my top ten. I love the way the color in the shot is focused on the cut-out portions of the pumpkins, just as it would be if it were Halloween night and we were out walking the streets with our bags of candy dangling by our sides.

The third one is also from the book, and it is the cover shot. When I was a little girl, I loved kitties, but I could never have one because we had an allergic family member. But I simply LOVED them. So, one Halloween, I asked my mom if I could make a kitty cat jack-o-lantern, and she helped me map it out on the pumpkin. Every year, to get in touch with the little-girl-Tracy, I make sure I cut a kitty cat jack-o-lantern using virtually the same design as I did back then, and this one is it. I hadn’t planned on using the photo as the book cover. I rather thought I would use an illustration of sorts. But, when it was all said and done, and I was looking through sketches of work that I might use, the photo of the kitty-lantern kept coming to mind, and I decided it was the perfect fit for the book. When I saw it printed full size on my first book shipment, I have to say I agree with my decision wholeheartedly.

So, now you have 3 pieces of “stationery”.  Print them out on high quality cardstock, matte photo paper or even a glossy or luster photo paper at the highest print quality. Now, what to do with them?
Write. Write a letter to someone you need to talk to, but haven’t made the time. Write to someone to say thank-you for something that meant a lot to you. Write to just say “hello”, or “Happy Birthday” or “Happy Halloween”. It doesn’t matter who you write to, really, or what the message is, but put pen to paper and write something to someone, slap a stamp on it and send it the old fashioned way. I still get a thrill when I receive a 1st class letter addressed to me in flowing handwriting, and I bet you do too. I don’t take the time to do this the way I should.

I think it is the rare person who writes letters these days, and a stamp, even at 45 cents, is a bargain. In the days of unlimited calling plans, poorly spelled emails and even worse, abbreviated texting, a letter is a rarity, a precious thing that is so tangible. I have a letter from my Grandmother, a couple years before her death from dementia, and it means so much to me to have that little piece of her, such a PERSONAL thing created by her flowing hand. We need to give that gift to people as often as we can. So, print out these cards. Write a note on them, or, maybe, better yet, write the note on a separate sheet and tuck it inside so the card is more like a GIFT to the other person. You could even go so far as to double your money and stick a self-addressed stamped envelope in there as well, so you can be almost assured of receiving a reply. I’m going to start doing this—and including my kids as well. I’m even thinking about having a “correspondence hour” once a week, where everyone in our family creates little letters for others, and drops them in the mail with no thought of getting something back. Our children have missed the magic of opening the mailbox and finding something special in there just for them. I want them to have it.
So, take these cards, download them, save them, print them out for your own personal letter writing campaign. Get a pen that feels good and right when you grasp it in your fingers and communicate in that beautifully archaic language, the handwritten word. I’m going to do it right now.

All images featured today are from “I HATE HALLOWEEN”, which can be purchased here. It’s a very funny book, and features my cat, Soda Pop on every page.  Please find Bug Summer on Facebook here, and become a fan–post pictures of your own Halloween projects there as well!
Until tomorrow…