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An Short Update and Musings, A Few Cards and Much More
Well Christmas Day is past, and we spent it quite quietly, just my parents and myself being here for breakfast, Christmas dinner, and supper. Although one sister, her husband and one of their children came over in the morning, and my brother, his wife, and their boys called over just before bed time. The other sister and her husband having been for a short visit and light lunch on Christmas Eve.
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been working on a few non-Christmas crafting projects, in between doing Christmas things – just to get a bit of balance and not to get too stressed out about Christmas. I started writing this post a few days ago, but now that it’s Boxing Day and I’ve got more time I thought to just sit in bed with nothing that needs doing I thought it would be an ideal time to just take my time and finish writing and publishing this.
As it’s Christmas I’m sure it won’t be any surprise to anybody that my thoughts over the last few days have turned to the reason for the season – remembering the birth of Christ and celebrating his birthday. Of course we’d had our family Christmas service at our chapel the Sunday before last, when my two youngest nephews had a few parts in the nativity play as well as singing a duet while I played the guitar for them. And our minister was holding a communion service for members of all his chapels in town on Christmas morning (I couldn’t go to this because of preparing the Christmas lunch though my father went). But the feeling I’m getting more and more lately is that very few people care about the reason for the celebrations – they just want to have fun, eat a lot, drink more and get so drunk they don’t remember any of it in any case. I find that very sad.
Of course I like the fun things about the Christmas celebrations. The Christmas Tree – but with a star or an angel on top reminding us of parts of the nativity story, as well as the decorations reminding us of the gold and other expensive gifts the wise men brought with them. And the giving of gifts to each other is also a reminder of the gifts given to Jesus, as well as his teachings to think of others, not just ourselves. So much of Christmas celebrations are symbols to remind us of other things – even if some of them were borrowed from earlier celebrations initially, and even if many don’t want to know about the reason for some of the Christmasy things.
(If you click on the thumbnail images you can have a look at a larger image of each item.)
(Clicking on the text links below each set of images takes you to the pages where you can see some of what I used to make the cards. Where these linked pages are on the CUP site you will usually find a longer description of how I made the item at the bottom of the page.)
- Jiggy goes back to school Stamp by Janette Padley and Christmas Reds by Mary MacBean (The digi stamp image was printed out onto 300gsm Super Smooth white cardstock at smaller than the size provided. The background was printed onto a 250gsm linen textured cardstock. I then coloured in the digi-stamp using my ProMarkers. The colours I used were: Red, Berry Red, Cardinal Red, Forest Green, Chestnut, Wallnut, and also Antique White and Dove Grey FlexMarkers. I took an A4 sheet of ale yellow pearlescent cardstock, scored it using my Hougie Board, and folded it in half to make my base card. I trimmed the background to fit the card front, leaving a half cm border all the way around. I trimmed the coloured in digi-stamp and went round the edge using the same Red ProMarker I’d used to colour in the image. I then matted it onto a gold pearlescent cardstock and trimmed it to leave a small border before I stuck it directly to the front of the background using finger-lift tape. I’ve not added a greeting yet as I don’t know what language it will be needed in.)
- Hexagonal Pyramid Grey Garden Cat Card Front by Triselda Watts (I printed the design out onto 300gsm Super Smooth white cardstock and cut out the pieces. As I’ve been asked to make more cards that are shallow enough to go through the post on a standard letter stamp I decidd to only use the base layer and two of the hexagon layers. I took a Square card made from yellow, pearlescent cardstock. Stuck a strip of white lace down around 1cm from the left hand edge using ultra tacky tape. I then used finger-lift tape to attach the base layer and 1mm deep, double sided, foam tape to attach the two hexagon layers. I finished off by attaching some green and white sticky back faux pearls. I’ve not attached a greeting yet as I don’t know what language or occasion the card will be needed for.)
- Black and white image from a “Collection of 3, A6 Black and White Sketch Pads” of Lili of The Valley images (I took the image and coloured it in with my ProMarkers. The colours I used were: Budding Rose, Satin, Mint Green, Blush, Raw Sienna, Pressed Leaf, Canary, Grass, Meadow Green. I then used my Hougie Board to score twice around each edge of the image, once as a decorative feature and once to use as a cutting line. I took a background from my crafting stash and did the same on that, giving a mat with a 1cm border around the trimmed image. I took an A4 sheet of pearlescent cardstock, put on a strip of green Coredinations cardstock down the left side 1cm away from the spine. The matted image was stuck directly to the card front using finger-lift tape. I decorated using some punched paper flowers and some white sticky back pearls.)
- Beautiful White Horse on Beach Oval Pyramid Card Front by Triselda Watts (I printed the sheet out onto 300gsm Super Smooth white cardstock and cut out the pieces. As I’ve been asked to make cards that will go through the post on an ordinary stamp I split the layers and decided to only use three layers for this card and use the rest on another card. I took an A6 blue base card. Stuck on a background from my crafting stash over the spine so that it covered most of the front, just leaving a small border of the blue cardstock. I matted the largest of my chosen layers onto holographic silver paper and trimmed it to leave a small border. This was then attached to the front of the card using finger-lift tape. I used 1mm deep, double sided, foam tape to attach the other layers. I’ve not added a greeting yet as I don’t know what language the card will be needed in.)
- Black and white image from a “Collection of 3, A6 Black and White Sketch Pads” of Lili of The Valley images and Vintage Shabby Roses Backing Paper by Ammie Sanders (I took the image and coloured it in with my ProMarkers. The colours I used were: Denim Blue, Satin, Yellow, Walnut, Grass, Bright Green, Black, Cool Grey 5, Raw Sienna, Henna. I printed the background out onto 300gsm Super Smooth white cardstock. I trimmed the coloured in image and the background. I then used my Hougie Board to score and mark the background to make a central panel stepper card. I stuck the coloured in image to the central panel using finger-lift tape. I embelished the card by attaching various shaped I’d made using Martha Stewart clay and moulds. These were attached using glue gel. I’ve not added a greeting yet as I don’t know what language it will be needed in yet.)
- Different angle of the same card to show dimension.
I’ve decorated another old box that held chocolates. If you’ve been visiting my blog regularly you’ll have seen the boxes I decorated earlier in the month. The previous boxes were to hold a selection of assorted greetings cards as gifts, but this one is for me to store some of my hand made embelishments in until I’m ready to use them. I’m sure there will be a few more boxes to work with after Christmas so I may make a few more and keep my punched and shaped flowers in a different box to the embelishments I’ve made using Martha Stewart clay. It would be simple enough to re-label the box by re-printing the name panel with different wording.
- Floral Delight Mini Theme by Janette Padley (I took elements from the kit into one of my graphics packages and moved, resized, etc., until I was happy with my layout, adding the text “Hand Made Embelishments” before printing the created A4 design onto 300gsm Super Smooth white cardstock. I trimmed the sheet to the right size to fit the width of the box and down two sides. I took my box lid and put white cardstock on two, opposite, sides using glue gel. I then scored my design and attached it over the top and down two sides of the box, again using glue gel.)
- Different angled photo of the same box.
- Different angled photo of the same box.
DECORATED BOOK :
I’d bought a “Project Book” because I wanted somewhere to keep cards I’d receive in “Card Swaps” as well as keep notes of ProMarker colours I’ve used when colouring in, or bands from balls of yarn when knitting, until I’m ready to type up the details. The “Project Book” has several sections and lots of lined paper. So I’m going to keep one section for covering the lined paper and putting in hand made cards I’ve received, and use another section for notes. I’ll be removing the notes pages when I’ve typed them up, which means that, with those pages removed there will be more room in the book to allow for the depth of the cards. At least, that’s the theory, and it’s working OK so far.
- Lush Green Mini Theme by Janette Padley (I took elements from the kit into one of my graphics packages and duplicated, resized, cut, moved, etc., until I had a layout I was happy for the cover of my book. I typed in the words “Cardiau A Crefftau” – which is Welsh for “Cards and Crafts” – and then printed out my design onto 300gsm, Super Smooth, white cardstock. I also printed out an A4 sheet of two different backgrounds from the kit. The two backgrounds were stuck to the book front, rounding the corners of one on the right, and then using a strip of the other down the spine, snipping into the background to get it to go between the spring spine. I then wrapped a piece of American Seam Binding, that I’d coloured with a Frosted Leaf ProMarker, around the book beore sticking the decorative cover on top. I used a quick grab wet glue to attach everything. I went round the edge of the decorative front using a green Martha Stewart glitter glue and used a clear Wink of Stella brush pen over the title panel.)
- An angled view of the book front cover attempting to show the shimmer on the title panel.
- Christmas Rose Journal Kit by Janette Padley (This is an inside page from my “Card and Crafting” book, which I’ve made ready to attach a Christmas card I received in a card swap, that is currently hanging with our other cards in the sitting room. I took several elements from the kit into one of my graphics packages and resized, moved around, etc., until I had an A4 page layout I was happy with. On another page I put a couple of the “flower” elements, the panel and another element. Both the pages were printed out onto 250gsm, Super Smooth white cardstock. The main page was trimmed and I used a punch to round the corners, and the elements on the second sheet were cut out. I don’t want too much bulk on the page, so I used the quick grab wet glue to attach the sheet to a page inside the book, and glue gel to attach the elements practically flat to the page. With the panel I only put glue along three sides as the bottom element is tucked under the bottom of it to hold it in place. I wrote the date of the swap on the panel – Tachwedd 2013 being November 2013 in Welsh.)
- This shows how the bottom element un-tucks from the panel. I intend to write the name of the swap partner who sent me the card inside this after the Christmas cards get taken down and I attach the card on the page.
I’ve decorated two little cakes for Christmas. My father is a diabetic, so can’t have an ordinary, shop bought, Christmas cake, or ordinary icing or marzipan, but my niece bought him a small cake which is baked with no added sugar (with only the dried fruit in it for sweetness), and I then made special marzipan with ground almonds and fruit sugar (which in small quantities is OK for him as it takes longer to break down in the body and doesn’t get into the blood stream as quickly as processed sugars), and then I put a very thin layer of this over his cake, with a couple of cake decorations on top to make his cake look festive – so that he doesn’t feel he’s being left out. (I also made him special mince meat and made him a dozen mince pies – again with just dried fruit soaked in pure orange juice with some butter, rather than the shop bought mince meat which has a lot of suet and processed sugars in them. And a small Christmas pudding, again with no added sugars.)
Of couse, that small quantity of specialist cooking was my limit before my bad health deteriorated, so I bought in mince pies, Christmas pudding, and a cake for the rest of us. This time I bought in just the cake, not a decorated cake, and bought a block of marzipan and a ready rolled icing to decorate myself. On with the marzipan first stuck to the cake with a mixture of apricot jam and brandy, then on with the icing. I then used the off-cuts of icing to make snowflakes to stick round the side of the cake. These were cut out using food grade cutters.
My youngest nephew had been with me a couple of Saturday’s ago and he’d helped me make an assortment of chocolates. One of the moulds I’d got was one with all the letters of the alphabet on, and we’d made chocolates with all the letters needed to spell out “Nadolig Llawen” – which is Welsh for “Happy Christmas” – and these I then put on the top of the cake. And that is the stage the cake is at in the following pictures when I finished my part of the decorating.
We’d also used food grade silicone moulds to make some chocolate “branches” which are to be used to make twiggy arms for two icing snowmen to go on top center once the boys made these out of icing.
If you’ve missed any of my pictorial guides you may want to go and have a look at the different sections I’ve created, and the pages of information I’ve published on how I do various things. The two areas of guides I’ve been working on this year were:
MAKING THINGS EASIER!
No time to write anything in this section today, but I do have a few more ideas to write up for the new year, so I hope you’ll keep popping in to have a look at my blog in the future to catch my future posts.
One thing I am thinking of doing is putting all my previous “Making Things Easier!” sections into a page to make a quick reference possible – another thought of something to do in the new year.
Have a look – here – at my whole shop Siop Crafftau MAES MIERI Crafts Shop on craftybob.com.
You can find a list of all the Designers currently offering a 20% discount on the downloads they sell via CUP by clicking – Here!
As I’m writing this there are some 10 designers with a 20% discount on all their designs – remember that it isn’t just the samples shown on the “Designers currently on discount” page that have the discount, but all the discounted designers designs.
CUP Mailer – Here are the links to the mailers sent out by the team at CUP HQ since my last blog post:
- Friday, 20th December – Here! – FREE Volume 76 Downloadable CD, Whats HOT this week, 8 New Froms & Happy Christmas
- Monday, 23rd December – Here! – Monday Community Selections, FREE CD, 49p DIY Card Kit, Happy Christmas!
Craftsuprint have a Mailer Archive where you can go to get links to mailers sent out over the last few months. This can be seen by clicking – here.
(Thank you for reading this blog post. I hope you like what you’ve seen and read – You should find a box below where you can leave a comment if you feel like it – but due to the fact that, like many I’m sure, I’ve had some problems with Spam/advertising posts that are absolutely nothing to do with the content of my blog, I now moderate all comments before they go live. Genuine comments will go live when I’ve checked through the list – usually a couple of times a day.) (Thank you to every body who’s left comments on my previous blog posts. I really do appreciate them all.)
If you can’t see the comment box then there should be a link that says “Responses” and clicking on that will bring up the box