Joy to the World!

joyI love Christmas. I don’t love Christmas shopping. I use this as motivation for making gifts for Christmas. Since I love making cards and quilts, this usually is a yearlong process. My quilts are small, practical or decorative items. I try to think of what somebody likes or needs when I make my projects.

I am a caregiver for a disabled friend. She can’t leave the house, so her bedroom is pretty much her world. She has a table by her bedside where she sits to read, eat and work on her computer. A few years ago I made a table runner to fit the top of her table. This has become a Christmas tradition and now we have a nice selection of colorful and seasonal table runners. This tradition started off because I thought she might like a softer surface on her table, and now she makes suggestions about themes. We are now working on wall hangings for her bedroom door. That is this year’s gift, so we need to keep that project under wraps.

My wish for everyone this year is for joy. Joy in looking at the world around us, joy in each other’s company, and joy in ourselves. Don’t let all the negativity in the world take the joy out of your life. Let us all fill our hearts with joy and let it spill over into the New Year.

Creative Challenges and Inspiration

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I recently gave myself a personal card making challenge. If you have been following my blog, I wrote seven posts, one for each card, and gave instructions for how I made each card. I also decided that I cannot part with any of the cards that I made in this challenge. I put a lot more time and emotional investment in these cards. I had a lot of fun making these cards. For the most part, I let the artwork be my inspiration; I do have to give credit to some new and some old places that I regularly visit for craft ideas.

The first place that I really have to credit is www.paperwishes.com. I have been shopping from this website for years. What I love most about this site is that they have free, online classes every week called “Weekly Webisodes.” This is not a new thing; they have been doing this since the 90s. They also have product demos for a lot of things that they sell on their website.  I also find inspiration in that this is a company that is run by a woman, who literally started her company on her kitchen table. This company, Hot Off the Press, has been a major contributor to the growth of paper crafting. I highly recommend that you visit this site and check out their “Weekly Webisodes”; they have past webisodes archived.

http://www.paperwishes.com/webisodes/index.php?page=archive

I discovered a new place to visit. Did you know that the UK has a shopping channel dedicated to crafts? This is a QVC or HSN for crafters of all kinds. It’s Create and Craft TV. (http://www.createandcraft.tv/) They actually will ship some items here to the US. Of course you have to pay a lot more for shipping and there are the little customs issues that slow down delivery, but there’s new crafting stuff. You can actually watch live TV from their website.  During the demonstrations they quickly go over the products for the first half hour of the show and spend the last half hour doing demonstrations. The show has a very relaxed atmosphere and there is more of a sense of crafting community. I have to admit that this site is my new obsession, but so far I have limited myself to just window shopping.

Finally, there is Hunkydory Crafts (http://www.hunkydorycrafts.co.uk/). This company makes the most beautiful paper and cardstock. They use high quality heavyweight cardstock that they call Adorable Scorable. They promise that when you score this cardstock that it will not crack or show white. They keep their promise, this cardstock is wonderful, 350 gsm (grams per square meter, I found a nice explanation of paper weights at http://www.paper-papers.com/paper-weights.html.)  What Hunkydory is most known for is the foiling on their paper products and their designs.

All of these websites have Facebook pages as well:

Final Card in my Personal Card Making Challenge

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I made seven cards out of the Pretty Presents set from Hunkydory Crafts Stylish Season Christmas card kit. I don’t know if it was me, but shortly after I started to blog about this set, it sold out from www.paperwishes.com, where I bought the set, and then it sold out on Hunkydory Craft’s web site (www.hunkydorycrafts.co.uk), and finally, the Pretty Presents individual set just recently sold out on Hunkydory Crafts website as well. Hunkydory makes beautiful and high quality card making die-cuts, paper and cardstock. Their products are exquisite and a joy to work with.

I had just one  die-cut, one border die-cut strip and scraps of paper and cardstock left for me to create my last card. My inspiration was a “twisted easel card” that I saw demonstrated on a video. I figured out how to create this card, it is an unusual style, but it fit perfectly with the little bits that I had left from the card making set. I created a diagram on Illustrator to explain how to make the card.

Materials:

  • 7 inch square of purple cardstock, 3 1/8 inch square
  • Leftover bits of green printed and suede paper
  • Purple Adorable Scorable 2 ¼ x 7 inch rectangle
  • Gift die-cut
  • Purple and gold stars border die-cut strip
  • Hot Off the Press Dazzle stickers: gold borders, poinsettia and present stickers  from one of the Christmas  Dazzle sets
  • Hot Off the Press Petit Gold Dazzles: “Peace” sticker
  • Green 7/8 inch button
  • 3D Crystal Lacquer
  • Purple circle leftover from the doily die-cut from card # 3
  • Glue

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Following the paper engineering instructions for the twisted easel card, score the 7 inch square in half and cut a 3 ½ square off the upper right inside of the card. Score the remaining 3 ½ section of the top of the card from the bottom left edge to the top right edge of the square. The bottom section of this square is where the image is glued and which creates the “twisted” effect. The diagram shows where to make the cuts and the scores. You might want to practice this fold a few times to make sure that you get the desired effect. The important thing is that you glue your image to the outside of the card and fold the scored triangle line to the inside of the card.

Cover the inside of the card with layers of the green printed paper, purple Adorable Scorable, and purple and gold star border die-cut so that the green printed paper shows between the Adorable Scorable and purple die-cut border.

I used gold line border dazzles on the top and bottom of the purple Adorable Scorable so that it matched the gold border on the die-cut strip.

I matted the gift die-cut on purple cardstock and then matted the square on green printed paper and attached the square so that top of the design lined up with the left edge of the 3 ½ square of the front of the card and glued it to the bottom scored triangle. When you fold the glued image to the inside, the image straitens up and has a slight twist.

To finish off the inside of the card, I glued a small purple circle to the inside of the green button using 3D Crystal Lacquer. You will need to let this dry overnight before you continue. I also glued the button to the leftover purple circle from one of the die-cuts from the doily die used on card number 3. I used a scrap of green suede paper and put a couple of present Dazzles and “Peace” Dazzle, and mounted the rectangle of scraps of purple cardstock. I glued this to the right side of the inside of the card. When the button dried, I topped it off with poinsettia gold Dazzle. This is the “stop” for the easel part of the card. Fold the image down and glue the button circle on the inside of the card.

This personal Christmas card making challenge blog series was a lot of fun. What will I come up with next?