Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Christmas Craft Day Survival Guide

My little Thing Three had a Christmas Craft day at school on Monday, so naturally I was roped in to volunteer to make things with her friends.  It was a fun day - think desks pushed together to make little craft stations, with parent helpers assigned to various activities.  There were headbands to be decorated, reindeer decorations, cookies to be adorned with sweets and icing, pine cones festooned with glitter, T shirts being screen printed,  and close to 80 excited little girls going from one activity to the next.  Madness!  But fun.

Of course, my station was for making cards and tags.  I kept it simple (I've been to one of these days before) by preparing as much as possible ahead of time (e.g..  Cutting up base cards and pre-scoring them, cutting out the elements to make the tags, etc) by only designing one layer cards, with one colour ink pad per stamp.  Here they are:

This was the most popular design!  I think the bright Cucumber Crush green drew them in.  Inside, they stamped their "Merry Christmas" sentiment.

This one featured Mint Macaron, and it was my favourite. The tree was punched with the co-ordinating punch.

And here are the tags the girls could make:

I cheated and printed out the "Merry & Bright" and "Be Merry" with my computer, and punched  them out with the 2" circle punch.

I laid out Stampin' Grid Paper at each place at my table, and had all the bits and pieces in easy reach.  I found this clear plastic organiser at the cheap shop - I think it is supposed to be for makeup - and it was perfect for the glue sticks, bone folders, big rolls of baker's twine, scissors, and tag elements.  Not shown:  a big pack of baby wipes for easy clean up.

It was a huge day - by the end,  my hands were stained green, my feet were throbbing, and my lower back was aching (clearly I'm soft and not used to being on my feet all day), but I'd had a lovely day.  I think the girls enjoyed it too.

So to sum up, here are my tips:

1. Keep it simple.  The greater the number of children, the less likely the will be to want to wait their turn, so quick turnaround is essential.  One layer cards; one ink pad per stamp.
2. Have shared tools like scissors and glue sticks easily accessible and plenty of them.
3. Preparation is key.  Do as many steps beforehand as you can to save time.
5. Have a sample on a little stand so the child knows what it looks like,
6.  Comfortable shoes. Duh.

I hope those of you who craft with children find this useful!  

Here's what I used the create the cards and tags:
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Tuesday, 17 November 2015

20% Off Selected Stamps!

Can you believe it?  Love me a bargain!  Click on the link over there on the right to see the list of goodies on special until 20th November.  

Here are a few of my favourites that are on sale - if you haven't already got them, take advantage of this special ASAP.

This is big news - for the first time, Stampin' Up! has released a list of the products from the Holiday Mini that will be retiring, so you get to make sure you don't miss out.  Isn't that awesome? 
Over on the right, you can click on the link to see the full list.  My personal favourites?
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Friday, 13 November 2015

One Stamp Set, Three Ways

I love Christmas in Australia - not that I've experienced Christmas anywhere else, yet.  I love the gorgeous poinciana trees that flower in December here. We have one in our back yard that makes me happy to look out my kitchen window.  Unfortunately, it drops loads of leaves into our pool, and my husband is colour blind, so he never appreciates it's beauty.  

This is not my tree, but one from the internet:

Isn't it lovely?  And so Christmassy!

Another plant you only see at Christmas time, which I also love, is the Poinsettia.

So when I saw the Poinsettia flowers in the Reason for the Season stamp set, I had to have it!

Here are three pretty quick and simple cards I've made using this set - even the more complicated "Stepped up" version is pretty quick to assemble.

Pretty straightforward:  Stamp the outline flower image in black, taking care to note the orientation of the stamp, so it is easier to "line up" the petal and leaf stamps.  Don't beat yourself up if your colouring goes outside the lines - it will still look great.  Stamp the sentiment in green and then go over it in black ink, moving the stamp slightly so you get a "shadow" effect.  Mount the panel on Real Red yardstick and Cucumber Crush envelope paper before adhering to the card base.

Make panel of card the same way as in the first card.  Place a panel of the patterned side of greed envelope paper down, then arrange the top panel on a diagonal angle, with a gold foil doily cut in half and adhered as shown.  You might prefer stamping the sentiment in Versamark them using gold embossing powder if you want to bring up the bling factor.

This final card is again, simple, but I still think it works.  Just stamp the flower four times in black on the corners of the panel of white.  Stamp the leaves and petals as before, stamp the sentiment in black in the centre.  Adhere to card base.

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