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The home of exuberant amateurism.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas to you Cards

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy, peaceful, prosperous and creative New Year.

If 2011 was a crapper for you too, then let's believe in the miracle of Christmas and that next year will be full of wonderful surprises, peace and prosperity with a large daily helping of joy, excellent health and happiness.

If 2011 was a fabulous year for you I hope next year is even better.

I have told Santa just how good you've been this year so make sure you hang up a really big stocking tonight, I mean really BIG, you know;
a humungous whopper of a stocking - yes, you have been that good and so have I.

Here are just a few of the Christmas cards I made this year. Each one badly photo'd and wonky, no change there then. If you want to see it wonky even bigger, click on it, if not then just tip your head to the side a little bit.

Happy creating right through 2012!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Opus Gluei Challenge #120. I'm dreaming of a white Christmas.

The lovely Electra over at Opus Gluei has set the challenge this time and it's whatever "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas" inspires you to create.

Well I thought I would experiment.
Now as you well know, those are really dangerous words for any crafter, because it could all end up in the bin and me in a huff.
So last night at bed time I was in a huff and this project would have ended up in the bin had I had enough time to make something else but, alas, time is not on my side right now so here is my not quite white or quite right Christmas Scene.
Ooops, I was hoping to rescue it with my shiny Cosmic Shimmer watercolours and truly they did help but they cannot perform miracles.

Look through your fingers or out the corner of your eye at this and don't click on it, nobody wants to see it bigger.

If you join in I'm sure you'll make something nicer :-)
Happy Creating!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Modified Easel Desk Calendars.

I have been making these desk calendar Christmas presents over the last several months.
This is my version of the fantastic punched screen card tutorial Jane Johnson made for Whiff of Joy Inspirations here.
However I did use my easel aperture card method instead, that I describe here.

I fell in love with this Kanban stamp set Moulin Divas- Tres Chic when I saw it featured in Craft Stamper earlier in the year.
The papers are from GCD studios 8" Paris Nights collection that is just superb.
Click on any picture to make it bigger.
Oh la la.

Calendar 1

Calendar 2

Calendar 3

Calendar 4

Calendar 5

I ran out of steam after the 5th one although I had ideas for more variations, as they do take quite a while to make but some desk calendars I've made in the past are going into their 3rd year with a new set of calendar pages so they can last year after year.

Happy creating!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Opus Gluei Challenge 119. Gingerbread.

The lovely Jana over at Opus Gluei has challenged us to
Run, run as fast as you can...
and create something inspired by the word Gingerbread.

Like many others I don't like the taste of ginger in any form of sweet or pudding including gingerbread but I do love all the creative ways gingerbread is used. It is practically an art form with my favourite use being the making of gingerbread houses.

So I have made a christmas gingerbread house out of card, paper and a little bit of shiny.

Click on the pictures to make them bigger.

I got the idea from the book Mixed Mania by Debbi Crane and Cheryl Prater,
( I've linked to the USA amazon store only because it has the look inside the book feature which isn't available on the UK amazon site, but you can buy it through amazon.co.uk.)
This book is visually feastworthy and the layout using the idea of a cook book style is very slick, novel and appealing.
Another huge draw for this book is that both these ladies keep up a funny dialogue throughout the book. They are both funny and artists, a combination that is seemingly quite rare, quite why I don't know but there it is.
Do publishers think we can't cope with both together or that we wouldn't want that?
Anyway I recommend this book as a stocking or under the tree treat for yourself.

Undone this is what the house looks like.

It is quite straight forward to draw yourself a template, which is what I did.
Each house panel is a 2 inch square. So draw a 3inch by 8 inch rectangle.
The gable ends (the triangles) are 1 inch deep, so draw a horizontal line at 2 inches up the rectangle and draw your triangle points at 3 inches and 7 inches along the top line.
After you have cut it out, score vertical lines downwards at 2, 4 and 6 inches so your template looks like my photo.
The roof is an ATC size, 2 and a half by 3 and a half inches.
Aha! Have the eyes lit up of the ATC makers out there? Just think of the possibilities. You just need to remember it has to fold in half width ways to make the apex of the roof.

There is another lovely surprise in the instructions for these little houses but I'll not spoil it, you'll have to get the book.

I used Co-ordinations card in Bon bon for the gingerbread.
I used polar white flowersoft on the roof to make the snow which I stuck down with permanent double sided tape that comes out of roller gadget made by Stick it! I don't have any sheets of double sided tape which would be perfect for this.
A wet glue like white PVA (which you would normally use for flowersoft) over the whole area will warp the ATC and you'll end up with a wonky roof so use a dry glue of some sort.
The card candi is held on the flowersoft using silicon dimensional glue.

Plan how you are going to decorate the sides of your house first before you cut the door and windows in case you need to leave enough room for a particular embellishment.
I needed to leave enough room under my windows for the picket fence.
I cut the windows and doors without measuring using a metal ruler and a craft knife.
I used Martha Stewart border punches in Picket fence and deep edger Garden Trellis which I glued on with white PVA and used Anita's 3D gloss to glue on the bugle beads.
The snow on the sides of the house is Stickles in frosted lace (yes another one Electra!).
Make two holes using a pokey tool, one for the brad and the other for the embroidery floss, see the photo above for placement. Wind the floss around the brad to hold the house together.

My prototype house was this one.

 I didn't like it being held together by 2 pieces of embroidery floss tied in a bow, it looks a bit messy so I change it to a brad and embroidery floss on the gingerbread house.

So are you tempted to join in?
Happy creating!