I’m ready to show this online now because almost everyone in the family (and some friends) should have gotten them in the mail already. I made this Christmas card by updating an old, classic volvelle mechanism. Some of you have seen these in antique movable books before. There were ribbons you’d drag around an arc to make a circular image change. In my version, as the panel is pulled to the right, the center of the full-page image automatically dissolves into a new circular image around the center hub. In this case, a snowglobe image appears around the curious floating snowball.

I tried to integrate the art on the center hub with the other images somewhat since it is a necessary component of the design. Humor is always my angle with our annual Christmas card and this happens to be the 20th one! I can hardly believe that. I actually ditched one very over-ambitious idea before deciding on this one. I hate to admit it but spending time doing all these special things with small children around the holidays really eats up the paper engineering productivity hours. I may revisit the earlier concept next year and I’m hoping that no one does anything similar before I can get back to it. Unfortunately that has happened to me once or twice before. Too many creative, talented people out there! Anyway, I was hoping to find a novel way to represent a snow globe from paper differently than it has been done before. I think I’m over those really clever, ubiquitous paper globes [and other shapes] made with all the die-cut parallel slats. Have you seen them? They are beautiful but I like to experiment with other approaches. It doesn’t help that I’ve made a ton of those “crossing planes” designs for my day job either.


Oh yeah, I just remembered – I couldn’t find a good image of a snow globe base to use so I built this one in a 3D modeling program. This allowed me to see it from the position I wanted and to light it properly. I digitally rendered it photo-realistically so that it would fit with the photography. I don’t think I’ve ever done this on a holiday card before but I like having the flexibility of being able to make the missing parts in a scene.  Working with photography in pop-ups is pretty challenging as a general rule. Most pop-ups are illustrated for a reason.  In fact, I may illustrate the card next year as a stylistic departure from what I usually do.

Snow Globe Christmas Card
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