A bunch of Christmases all at once.

Happy December the 1st!

Yes  …  it scared me too and I didn’t see why I should be feeling that feeling all alone, so decided to drag you in there too.  And now that I’ve sent your brain into a spin, let’s get on with enjoying the day shall we?

So, to start with  … smile, even if you don’t feel like it.  S.M.I.L.E. …  and remember that even if the day is grey and you don’t feel like anything like happy …. just the act of smiling can trick your brain into sending out the feel good hormones which can turn your day around.  So stand up … go and stand in front of a mirror and smile your biggest cheesy smile at yourself for 30 seconds. 

Look into your eyes while you’re stood there grinning like a Cheshire cat – and although your cheeks might ache a littlekeep the smile going until either:  you crack and begin to laugh at yourself.  OR …  30 seconds is up.  Then go off and do something to get your day kicking and alive.  (And if you feel miserable at all any time today – do the smile thing again.  30 seconds remember!).  Even if it only works for half an hour, that’s half an hour of feeling better that you would have missed if you hadn’t tried the smiling trick.

I’ve been trying to post these Christmas Cards since last week!  I haven’t been tardy or lazy, I’m fighting an infection which is causing me the most dreadful pain on the right hand side of my back and partly in my tummy;  and it’s also affecting the skin on my back, making it feel as if the skin is burnt – like it’s been ironed with a hot iron, and it feels like it’s been sandpapered and should be red raw.  Just awful.  I’m now on my third (different) lot of antibiotics,  and if these latest ones don’t start making a difference within 24 hours,  I have to call my GP, and I think they may admit me to hospital so that they can plug me into the ‘powerful drug army’,  filling me up intravenously with infection fighting soldiers who will (hopefully) beat the infection to a pulp.  (I have my fingers crossed that these new antibiotics which they’ve given me, begin to work, so that I don’t have to go in, as I don’t like hospitals). 

Right, enough talking about rubbish stuff  …  let’s get these cards shared with you …

I wanted to make a few quick and easy cards for various people.  I have to send some through the post so wanted cards which will fit into an envelope and not have them damaged or bits knocked off them, so they had to be of few ‘adornments’, and flat enough to go into a regular envelope.  AND … just to add a bit of a challenge to the task, I wanted to make them from bits and pieces I’ve had left-over from projects I’ve made for Christmas cards of long ago.  So I went through my Christmas Box and by the time I’d finished I had a pile on my desk all the things which were left overs from previous Christmases.  Cor!  Did I have a lot of left overs! 

I found some card stock and bits of adornments from about 7 years ago (I think – but this is just a guess).  All of the following cards are made from those left overs.

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Frost and Ice Christmas Tree.

This first card …. is made on a background of a rich, dark blue card on which is printed a music score, with the addition of some script writing.  I embossed around the outer edges of the card background to make it look more icy and wintery cold, using the silver embossing powders by Tonic. (This icy cold doesn’t show up in the photo, but in reality it actually does look really wintery and like looking through a window which you’d scratched off the ice so that you could look through it).

I added a length of [plastic] balls on a ‘string’ around the tree (and glued it in place on the back) then added some red gems to represent baubles on the tree.

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I then mounted the decorated die cut Christmas Tree onto a square of printed velum using foam tape.  The addition of the greeting  ‘Merry Christmas’ finished the card off.

This next card was shamefully easy, but in real life looks far lovelier than in the photograph.

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The card background is actually white with a sort of shimmery silvery white patterning all over it.  If you hold it one way, then you see everything as white.  But if you hold it another way, you can clearly see the patterns on the cardstock.  It’s really beautiful, and so tactile too!

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I added tiny red gems to the die cut wreath and a die-cut bow – mounted on foam dots, to give it depth, then fixed the decorated wreath to the cardstock using foam tape, and Voila!  Card 2 done and dusted.

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Card 3 was made using the same cardstock as card 1 – the deep dark blue, with the musical score printed on it.  Two die cut snowflakes adorn this card.  One large, and one small,  along with a length of silvery balls, onto which I threaded a silver bead, and glued it in place on the length of silver balls using Tonic Glue.  Whilst that was drying I fixed the largest of the snowflakes in place …

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…  and added three little red gems to the middle of it, to give the card a nod of a third colour.

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Then added the second, smaller snowflake, which was die cut from holographic card, and twinkled like crazy.  I added a little clear gem to the middle of this snowflake, to give it an added dimension.

Finished the card off with the ‘Merry Christmas‘ greeting and this was then Card number 3 ticked off the list.

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The fourth card …  I love this background!  All those fabulous little Christmas Trees, with the great big star on the top, complete with the baubles.  Love it!

Using a rule, I drew lines with a thicker nibbed embossing pen all around the card, and using Tonic Silver embossing powder, I embossed those lines.

Then taking a square of velum, I embossed the edges of the card with a frosty looking Dtsilver Embossing Powder and then did the same thing on the edges of a die cut and embossed Christmas Tree.

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Using foam tape, I mounted the tree onto the velum, and fixed the velum and tree to the cardstock.  I wanted a silver star for the top of the tree, but sadly couldn’t find one big enough,  in the end I chose this lovely blue pearly star, which looks slightly different in colour in the photos, but it’s nearer in colour to the blues in the card background.

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And that was card 4 ticked off the list!  Now onto card 5 …

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For this final card, I chose to make another snowflake card, but this time on a different background, and with a more complicated snowflake as the main attraction.

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I’ve tried to capture the various layers of this snowflake but have failed miserably.  Because it’s cut from holographic paper and card, it twinkles madly, and I’ve tried taking photographs with the flash, without the flash, with the spotlights, without them, with and without a desk lamp and all sorts of combinations, I couldn’t find the right one to show you all the layers, so I’m afraid you’ll  just have to imagine them showing up – for they are there in that photo above!

And that, was a big tick against quick and simple card number 5.

Normal service of cards which need a box or a security guard, will be resumed as soon as possible – dependant upon how this darned infection behaves on these new drugs.  Hopefully I’ll be up and running at a more reasonable speed on Friday, when we have the regular ‘Things I’ve Learned This Week‘ post, where I share with you the stuff life has taught me during the last seven days.  (I already have a list made,  and I think you might enjoy this list …  and get a few laughs out of it at the same time).

In the meantime …  do me a great big favour and spread a little joy about your home and your neighbourhood.  Do something lovely which will make someone else smile.

How about using a piece of chalk and leaving little messages on the pavement (sidewalk) for other people to see, read, and smile about.  What would you say?  How about “Hello!” for starters?  Or: “You have a beautiful smile“,  or maybe  “Hello Beautiful!“.  Just say something you know would tickle you if you saw it chalked on the pavement.

Or .. maybe make someone’s birthday extra special …  don’t buy them flowers or chocolates, buy them something they may never have received before … balloons!  A bunch of  Helium balloons, chosen just for them, by you, and either deliver them yourself or have them delivered if you can’t get to them.  They’re a reminder of childhood, and seem to make everyone smile.  So give it a try.  (Even if it’s not their birthday … if you want to make them smile, then send them a bunch of helium balloons.  It will make their day!)

And . . .  for you;   I wish you a thoroughly tip-top Thursday!  May the day bring you smiles and at the end of your day, may you look back over the hours and realise that you’ve had a really O.K. kind of day, in a thoroughly good way.  May you have found something wonderful to smile about today.

Be careful out there … oh ….  and ….  be good to each other.

love and squidges ~

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Let’s all sing ‘Around the Christmas Tree’ … (for the Avon lady!)

Before I begin – apologies for the lack of posts over the past few weeks.  I’ve been quite poorly – and still not quite fully well – but feeling improved,  I’m now so far behind with my Christmas crafting that I don’t think everything’s going to be done!  But I’ve been into my craft room a couple of times and began crafting the Christmas cards which I wanted to make a little more special – like this lovely vintage style card which I made for my Avon lady.

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It all began with this beautiful little girl who’s carrying her very own Christmas Tree.   She’s a royalty free image courtesy of the Graphics Fairy (LOVE Graphics Fairy big time!).  The photo above is not true to colour – but I didn’t notice this until just now.  There seems to be a pink stripe across the middle of the card.  It wasn’t there when I printed the image out so it must be light playing with the camera.

The base is a little 6″ x 6″ Kraft card, which was covered front and inside with papers.  The music sheet on the front of the card is again the G.Fairy,  I resized it for what I needed.

The metal, fancy swirls corner (bottom right) piece was originally silver, but I wanted it to look old,  so enamelled it in a bronze/gold, and added a little verdigris powder in a couple of places, just to make it look like it was beginning to corrode in parts and add to the ‘aged’ look.

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The snowflake is ‘rusty’ metal and I’ve had a handful of them in my ‘metal embellishments’ drawer for so long that I can’t remember where I got them from, but I dragged a tiny bit of Stickles along some of the ‘arms’ of the snowflake, in order to give it that magical twinkle.

I added paper roses, lace and some bakers twine, then finished it off with a little string of Christmas lightswhich I bought a good length of about five years ago and put in a safe place in my craft room….  I’ve just this month found them again!  tsk tsk.

Finally, I added glitter around the roses and the matting & layering of the picture – just to add a little twinkle.

I made a matching box for this card, but forgot to take a photograph, and the card has already been given to my Avon lady.  She’s a lovely gal … and so dedicated and patient.  I barely buy anything from her – (the older I’ve got the more sensitive my skin has become and I can’t wear Avon cosmetics) – I tend to buy things like the gorgeous fabric and air fresheners and stuff like that.  But, bless her heart, she comes and delivers a brochure when they’re due, in sun, rain, wind, or snow (all of which can be experienced in one day here in the UK) and so I felt she deserved a card which I’d spent a little more time on.

Have to admit …  this card looks prettier in real life than it does on the photographs.  It has a sort of personality which comes over as warm, friendly and kind of romantic.  Shame the photographs don’t show it as well as they could.  I shall put that down to my rubbish camera work. 

Well that’s this card done and dusted!  If I’ve missed mentioning anything, or you want to know a particular thing just ask away in a comment, and I’ll answer any questions in a reply.

It’s great to be back posting.  I’ve missed everyone and missed sharing stuff with you.  I’m now hoping that I continue to get better so that I can get some serious crafting done!

Sending love . . .  and hoping that you aren’t getting snowed in under masses of Christmas wrapping paper and tape!

Cobs siggy sml