For my handmade Christmas cards this year, I bought some new material over the summer despite still having some of last years Kanban kits left (which I'd bought from QVC last summer), but I didn't think it was enough and sometimes it's nice to actually get the pens and inks out rather than just use a paperkit - having said that, amongst the new stuff I got for this years Christmas crafting I bought another kit which was the new Christmas blockbuster kit from Kanban when they moved over to Create and Craft. I also bought: Humphreys Corner Christmas CD and Stamp collection; Me to You CD ROM which had a Christmas collection on from Docrafts (for their new Digital Designer software); Papermania Christmas collections from the Digital Designer CD; Me to You clear stamp collections (x2 different sets); a Hero Arts Christmas stamp set; My Craft Studio Papercraft Library 'Winter Whimsies'; several free gifts of stamps from craft magazines plus a Christmas paperstack from another, and of course my Funky Hand Papercraft Factory '12 Crafters Crafting' collection (I believe there is a 50% discount sale on at the moment).
In my stash, I already had fair collection of Christmas digi stamps from various resources - both freebies and purchases; I have my gorgeous Anna Griffin Christmas stamps which have some great vintage images amongst them; The original Forever Friends CD which has a massive resource of Christmas images for that much needed dose of cute (essential); a large resource of Funky Hand Christmas papers, as well as freebies collected over time and other digi collections bought in the past from Pink Petticoat.
Despite having all that resourse, and when I finally got round to it following numerous speights of bedrest, my chosen medium for my Christmas cards, was Funky Hand's '12 Crafters Crafting'.
I'd spent some time getting stuff ready to make my Christmas cards by pre-making the embellishments bit by bit using the MCS die cut Christmas embellishments kit which included the Christmas roses, poinsettias, mistletoe and holly and individual ivy leaves. I also printed out a lot of the pre-coloured digi images from the 12 crafters crafting CD and printed some papers out too. However, following my bedrest I seemed to have the crafting version of writers block...aaaarrrrgggh! I thought I'd better have a look round blogland for some inspiration then I remembered that my crafting friend Ruth (Tip Top Toppers Things) actually ran a challenge blog for Christmas cards called 'Crimbo Crackers'. I noticed that the challange at that time was a sketch... I made a card to fit the sketch but didn't end up putting the card into the actual challenge because I literally felt like I didn't have the time to write the blog post and link it up, but was thankful that I'd looked to see the challenge in the first place as it was something I felt was doable enough to ease me into the Christmas craft frenzy I was about to commence; it certainly gave me the kick start I needed... here is that card:
|Made following a sketch from Crimbo Crackers.|
Anyway, because I liked the look of this, I did a great deal of my cards on a variation of this. These ready coloured images from the 12 Crafters Crafting CD were great and a godsend. I did go around the image with a grey Promarker to make it pop from the page, then I added some glitter to the rim of the hat and the pom pom on the end. I really liked the look of this card - some of my crafting friends might recognise that their card would look something like this card.
On the 12 Crafters Crafting CD there are 12 collections of 20 papers - each collection being a different set of colours. There is one collection called "all I want...". When I first saw this collection, it was my least favourite - but do you know what? In the end it was the collection that I used the most of and just simply fell in love with it. The collection is based on red, black, white and two tones of grey. Also fantastic for the male cards - although it looked great with a robin on the front... Here is another card actually made using this collection:
|picture taken before snowflake embellishment and glitter added|
Because I started my Christmas crafting so late, I knew that I had to work hard to make the deadline of getting all my cards in the post in order to get them delivered in time for Christmas. While I'd finished the majority of the cards, I still needed to write in them - and some of my greetings ran into the realms of small letters (not like me eh?). Because of this, I ended up missing the post for the last day for gauranteed Christmas delivery. I soldiered through and got them in the post the very next day, sending each and every one by first class. Some of them slipped into the large letter catagory so in all, my small pile totalled over £17.50. Some where regular shop-bought cards for non-crafting friends, but for my crafting friends, each and everyone of them were freshly handmade.
With the relief of getting those in the post, I could now concentrate on friends and family close to home - and not all of them got a handmade card... Of course, in the middle of it all I had another printer nightmare where the blue ink just packed up on me - even though it was coming out of the ink wells and into the CISS pipes, it just wasn't coming through the print heads. Depsite my best efforts to carry out numerous nozzle cleaning it wasn't happening, so I had to swap the printhead for the coloured inks. Eventually, it all came good (thank goodness) as getting a replacement in time for Christmas was highly unlikely. Not long after that - I ran out of black ink. I couldn't believe it. I'd gone below the minimum line so it stopped coming through. Thankfully my sister came to the rescue and lent me a new bottle she hadn't used. I'll just replace it after the holidays when everyone is back to normal and open for business again... I think I should buy a bottle of each of the colours while I'm at it. They have lasted me a year so I can't complain - and when you see the volume of printing I do, I think I've done really well. It should cost me less than £25 to buy 4 bottles of ink which should last me another year - not bad eh?
I will show you some more of my cards over the next few posts, but first of all, I'm going to check out to see whether I can enter any of them into any Christmas challenges. If I post them before I check, I won't be able to enter them because no back links are allowed usually.
Do you work to the wire or do you like to get things done as early as possible. In my former life as a Governance Officer where one of my jobs was to co-ordinate everything to do with the company's board meetings, learning to prioritise was key to my role, so with so much stuff on usually, we were all working to the wire - and there was no bigger flaunter of the report submission deadlines as the Chief Executive! She'd be putting in and changing reports minutes before the meeting - and if it went pear-shaped - she blamed me!!!!
Hey ho. Card making is supposed to be for fun so while we all have deadlines for challenges, the post, someone's birthday etc. - I'm pretty sure that no one ever died from a late hand made card!
Sending crafty hugs
Paula x x x