It was not my intent to avoid the retail shops this Christmas season, but Christmas came and went and I managed to avoid the shopping frenzy. A couple of years ago we started pooling names for Christmas gifts. The idea being that rather than get gifts for everybody, we’d draw names, and get one gift for the person who’s name we draw. We used Drawnames.com create our Secret Santa gift exchange. Among the items on my recipients wish list was something homemade. I spent a few days thinking about what I could make. No shortage of photos, but I wouldn’t want to give somebody a photo that might not suit their needs. How about photo note cards? I’ve been producing note cards off and on for close to 40 years. I stopped a few years ago when the printer I used broke and the replacement wouldn’t take the fine art paper I was using. I had also decided that trying to print my own artwork was not productive, given the time and expense of maintaining the printer and such. I got to wondering if the Epson XP-810 I currently use would take the fine art paper. So without too much effort Santa went to work selecting images that he thought would suit the recipient, and after a few hours work he had an elegant batch of note cards, each with a photo representing something from the Eastern Sierra. The only thing Santa’s work shop was missing was envelopes, so a quick trip to Office Depot one morning produced the missing item.
Don’t expect these to be available in any retail outlet soon. To make this work Santa had to print the cards by hand feeding one sheet at a time through the rear paper feed. About 30 percent of the cards had to be scrapped due to ink smudges appearing on some cards. Perhaps not something that’s viable as a commercial effort, but fun to create a gift that was truly something of a personal expression and something the recipient will enjoy.