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Holiday cards bring season’s greetings to Homewood’s front yards

This year, residents will shine a spotlight on their holiday greetings as the Holiday Yard Cards Project returns to Homewood.

You can’t miss these beautifully decorated 5-foot by 4-foot cards, and when the sun goes down, spotlights help passers-by enjoy the decorated cards and read the special messages.

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Teri Cann, who spearheaded this year’s cards project, stressed that artistic talent wasn’t a requirement, but time and patience were.

Since October, Homewood residents and painters from neighboring communities have been working on the cards in a storefront at 18063 Dixie Highway. The $98 fee included the plywood board, the metal supports used for the card stand, paints, brushes and aprons. The only special treatment is a base coat of house paint on each board to protect it from the elements. After that, the cards are unique.

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Each painter brought in an image they wanted on their card. Cann used a projector to enlarge the image so that it was sized for the 5 X 4 plywood board. She then set the board upright and helped the painter trace the image onto the plywood. That traced image is what the card designer used to bring the card to life.

Some cards carry only a picture. Others have pictures and message — anything from religious to holiday greetings. Morgan Williams of Glenwood selected the saying “Love Doesn’t Melt” for her family’s card with snowmen. Michael Scarpelli designed his card in a “Mambo Italiano” theme. The card was a gift for his aunt who hosts a traditional Italian dinner over the Thanksgiving weekend. And Paul Kramer of Homewood decided Snoopy would be perfect for his card to the delight of his young children.

Even staff at the Homewood Public Works created a card depicting every piece of heavy equipment working to build a snowman.

Cann says she has a soft spot for holiday yard cards. The project was brought to Homewood by her mother’s neighbor, Jamie DeVries, who had enjoyed working on them in his hometown of Zeeland, Michigan. The Homewood community enthusiastically welcomed the yard cards, and DeVries made many friends through the project that was sponsored by the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District starting in 1997. DeVries’ sudden death in 2004 left the holiday yard project without a leader.

DeVries’ daughter, Anna, now does marketing for the Village of Homewood and she shared her dad’s working files with Cann, who recently relocated from Arizona.

“Knowing the cards history and that there was a vacancy made me think ‘I can do this!’ Anna’s enthusiasm opened many doors; we knew this was meant to be,” Cann said. “It’s great to be back in Homewood.”

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