So the family christmas card has been handmade by us for over 20 years. Each year we must come up with something a little better and a little different. Yes there are expectations from those that receive them but it is also fun. Sometimes I get an idea, sometimes mum likes bits and pieces she has seen in my cardmaking magazines. Sometimes I need to do two designs as Dad decrees they are a bit cutesy for business use. After quite a bit of playing around test designs were provided to the family for approval. Yes its serious business!
This year I was inspired by this tutorial on making a folded xmas tree from a half circle. Great I though, I can use the cricut to cut the circles. I was also keen to destash particularly brads. I did have to buy some xmas paper with smaller designs but I did economise by choosing a pad which worked for these and our gingerbreads plus the 12 days of xmas tags I still need to make.
Usually I split up the construction tasks between myself and mum but as I am not working and she is, its all me. I have completed 1/4, 1/4 need some stamping, bases are 90% made for the balance of our 120 odd xmas cards. A bit of stamping, colouring and attach our handmade stickers to the back and I will be done. Hope you like them. I am quietly in love with every one.
So today was the day, I had base coated the remaining 38 gingerbread, cut 80 sets of clothes (3 goes to get the design right so I could use the cricut to cut out, still needed a small trim as I went but much easier than doing all by hand), raided the stash for ribbon, bling, buttons and anytng else we could use for decoration.
I ended up using a glue stick rather than the xyron after some advice from a friend to attach the clothes and pressed flat with my bone folder. It took mum and I about 5 hours to dress and bling all of them. Great to do a far bit of destashing. They are all resting in a box until they are gifted to the lucky recipients safely layered with greaseproof. Not what we had actually planned to do today but pleased to get this job done.
Well as I am still looking for a new job I thought I would get stuck in to the christmas craft projects, in my christmas box I found wooden decorations and laser cut shapes. Aah that’s right a friend gave me a chipboard christmas ornament with laser cut shapes painted in gold and tied with a ribbon. So what will I do. Paint them, add the laser cut shapes painted in antique gold and when I ran out, added some bling.
I also had two gingerbread garland with 5 gingerbread people. Mum saw it and asked how many I had. Mmm not enough she said, she had 40 staff. So off I went to kaiser craft and yes, craft gods, thank you, they had enough to get to 40 and they were on sale. So a sample was made and provided for approval.
And here they are, decorated front and back. Approved! So 10 left to undercoat and need to play with the cricut to see if I can cut the clothes using it instead of by hand. So, go mum, it was a garland but they look great as individual christmas decorations.
Currently I am churning out christmas cards for a local homeless charity op shop to sell to raise new funds to build new accommodation. I am taking this opportunity to start destashing but also come up with some simple elegant angel policy compliant cards that can be made quickly and sold for a reasonable price.
Bit like my family christmas cards I like to create a design that I can then repeat quickly. It is great to have beautifully designed cards but when you are making 150, even starting in October its a lot of work.
So I bought a 12×12 paper with christmas messages from kaisercraft and cut it up, then die cut a stack of christmas trees with my cricut, found some green pattern paper and started tearing. Top tip with tearing, tear on the wrong side facing you and toward you and you will not end up with white bits! Assemble, tidy up the edges and add some bling.
A call went out from some lovely ladies who make up christmas stockings for Aussie soldiers serving abroad. Mum made the christmas stockings and I made a few cards. The requirements – must be 1/4 of an A4 sized page and not folded. A challenge indeed as not christmas cards but postcards and no sparkle, glitter or metal of any kind was to be used. Needed to be for men and women so no cutsey ones would suit.
Well I wanted to do something different and make sure they could be displayed. So how could they be displayed when must be flat? Of course, I thought after many hours pondering they could be decorations on the tree as well as a card. So I started by cutting a printed xmas paper to cover the front and wrap around to the back to give a little hint of colour. Then added chipboard embellishments, printed journal cards and stickers. Hole punched the top and threaded with some bakers twine. Here are the finished results.
I love this design so much I am going to use for our family christmas cards this year. Well better get started!
My mum tells me I used to love Bill and Ben the flower pot men which may explain my fascination with all flower pot dolls. This cutie is a fashioned from a painted upturned flower pot (red and then glittered), a large wooden ball, 4 small balls for the hands and feet, cord, curly hair, a small santa hat and some decorations.
Start by painting the pot your desired colour. Once dry give a quick coat of varnish. Work out the appropriate length to cut the cord for the arms and legs by draping over the pot. Sorry it is not a precise science. Tie a knot in one end and thread on your beads. The cord for the arms is tied around the cord for the legs to anchor.
Glue on the curly hair, some eyes and draw on a mouth. Glue on the Santa hat and then decorate as desired. I’ve used pom poms for buttons, the brim and top of the hat. You can turn this into an angel by painting the pot gold, adding bow twisted at the middle (use wire-edged ribbon) for the wings and leaving out the santa hat.
OK by now the organised amongst us have our trees and christmas decorations up, gifts purchased and wrapped, xmas cards and letters done and hopefully sent. But, what if you have a difficult person to buy for? How about doing the 12 days of xmas – you can make it as inexpensive or elaborate as you wish.
What’s not to love about receiving a present a day for 12 days and it isn’t even christmas yet. I should note, that although I understand that traditionally the 12 days starts on xmas day I’m a big fan of making the 12th day xmas eve so that it doesn’t get lost in the xmas excitement.
There are some truly fabulous websites that give you ideas on what to make, gift tags to print and complete. And, as it is getting closer to xmas you probably find a lot of stuff you need in your pantry, at the supermarket or liquor store. Simply decide whether you will try to match the gift to the verse for that day or do it by quantity e.g. 12 of the same thing for the 12th day and of course, you don’t need to use the traditional verses there are parody’s, an Australian version and others. Get googling and think creatively.
Here are some of my favourite sites:
Or if that all seems too hard, how about buying a xmas jig saw puzzle and posting a few pieces to a relative who’s lives out of town each day. It will keep them amused right up until xmas.