A Thank You card with meaning

Searching for the perfect card can be an arduous task. Just walking into a Hallmark, or venturing into the card-section of any store, seems daunting. There are so many cards! You stand there, looking at the upper-third of every single card to decide which one to pull out, look at the front, read it, open it up for the inevitable tacky punch line, and then you look at the back to ultimately realize it is more money than you'd like to spend for the sentiment.

My feet hurt just thinking about it.

That is why I decided to make a Thank You card instead of buying one. In late-December Eliza and I stayed at my brother's house in North Carolina. We enjoyed ourselves and they were more than gracious hosts. I thought that reason enough to send them a Thank You card for everything they did for us.

At first I didn't have any idea what I wanted to create. I did some [simple Google Image searches](http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&q=thank you card&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi) for inspiration. After paging through countless results, refining my search over and over, I finally came across this image. The idea is simple enough. One animal per letter. Neat. Then it hit me... instead of an animal per letter what about an activity that we were grateful to have done with my brother and his family?

Thank You card

That is what this Thank You card attempts to represent. Although, I look at it now and wish that I spent a little more time on the alignment of the circles but, save that one minor detail, I'm happy with the way it came out.

The card was created using a three-step process. Pencil sketch, color with crayon, and then outline the objects using a marker. After I asked Eliza to quickly trace some quarter-sized circles (she actually used a 25-cent piece) I made some simple pencil sketches of the things we wanted on the card. In order from left to right: playing basketball, visiting wineries and enjoying wine, watching football games, making soup, Eliza and the kids building a gingerbread house, taking photos, the cozy fire, and making cupcakes. There were many other things we enjoyed doing during our visit, but hey - I only had 8 letters.

After the sketches were more or less in the form you see them now I crudely colored the entire thing in using crayon. I haven't colored in years so this was sort of interesting. I'd like to work on coloring a little more but I'll get back to that at a later date.

After I finished the coloring I redrew all of the outlines using a fine tipped black marker. This helped to define the objects, bring the coloring to some focus with hard edges, and make the card stand out a bit more.  I also then drew in the letters at the bottom of each circle.

Oh, the photo represented on the card was inspired by a real photograph we took though I changed the color of our shirts to make each person stand out a bit. Eliza's favorite color is yellow so that is why her shirt is that color. You're welcome babe!

This was a fun project to put together. Whenever there is a purpose and a little bit of thought behind something it is a much more rewarding experience to create it and give it away. I'm looking forward to the next excuse I have create something like this again.