Friday, 19 December 2014

Make Your Own Christmas Banner

Do you decorate your home for Christmas?  

While I love fairy lights, in Australia we don't get a white christmas, so these are a little over the top for my house!

Or is your idea of Christmas decor a sad "Charlie Brown" style tree?

My own style falls somewhere between these.  

This year, I've decorated my entryway with some fairly lights and a banner I made using my Big Shot, a punch, string and cardstock.  You could make it without a Big Shot but you'd need to draw a template and cut each piece by hand.  

It's fairly simple - I used Kraft Cardstock (which is a heavier weight cardstock) from the main catalogue, and cut out the banner pieces using the Party Pennants Bigz L die.  I made sure I had enough pieces to alternate the shapes for each letter.  The great thing about the Bigz dies is that they will cut through fabric, cardstock, chipboard, cork sheets, felt, etc.  

I then put each piece through the Big Shot again with a variety of embossing folders - of course, because I subscribe to the "she who dies with the most craft stuff, wins" philosophy, I pretty much have all the embossing folders in our catalogue, LOL.  But you could use the same one for each pennant, or even leave them plain.  I then edged each pennant with white craft ink, and punched holes for the string at the top.

I used one of the tag shape framelits from Chalk Talk to cut out tag shapes out of the Under the Tree speciality DSP (the same DSP I used to cut out the letters) and the Star Framelits to cut a gold Glimmer Paper star for the letters in "Christmas".  I did that because it was hard to see the letters on the darker coloured cardstock.  The red tags had enough contrast without using the gold stars.

In these detail shots you can see the fun texture added to each pennant with the embossing folders.

I assembled the banner and hung it in my entry hallway using those clear Command hooks, then strung battery-operated fairy lights along the top.  Done!

Have fun making your own Christmas banner - this is one of those projects the kids could help you with, if you like.  

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Sunday, 14 December 2014

Bokeh Background Christmas

Have you seen the Bokeh Background trend that's all over Pinterest?  Do you know what "Bokeh" is?
Its a photography technique where you get a pretty blurry effect when photographing lights.

Here's an example:  

There are plenty of ways to achieve this look - and I'm hoping to try a few more in the next few weeks when I have some time to play.  

I found a blog showing one way to make a Bokeh Background by a clever US Demonstrator, Deb Valder - you can see it HERE.

Here's my version of her card:

I was going for the effect of Christmas lights on a green Christmas tree, what do you think ?

I used Garden Green ink sponged onto Whisper White paper for the background and sponged Whisper White Craft Ink using a template I made using circle framelits and my Big Shot.  The small circles are made with a dauber and some non-Stampin' Up! chalk ink I had in my stash.  

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Sunday, 7 December 2014

Book Club Christmas

Do you love to read?  I am an avid reader, and am almost always found with my head in a book (even if it is an e-book) when I get the chance.  I have joined a bookclub of like-minded friends and we meet up once a month.  I love this group!  I've enjoyed meeting new people, reading different books, and engaging in some intelligent conversation.  Each year at the end of year Christmas party I have made it a sort of tradition to give everyone a handmade card and a little bookmark.

Here's what my friends received this year:

I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out a page of feather shapes from this gorgeous double sided card from the Occasions Mini, and stamped the word "JOY" from one of the new photopolymer alphabet stamp sets with black ink.

The card was a simple one layer card - Whisper White yardstick, Peace on Earth stamp set, and either Real Red ink or the new in-colour Mossy Meadow.

A simple enough token, but nice all the same, I think. :-)

PS- This stamp set is on the Year End Closeout on sale right now!  Run over to my Online Store now!

How's your Christmas preparation coming along?  You'll be pleased to know I've done about half my shopping, out tree is up, and we have decorations all around the house.  Haven't posted any Christmas Cards yet though!

Here's a festive photo of our cat in his favourite spot, checking out the tree.  He loves to chase loose baubles all over the house, especially at 3am!


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