February 26, 2015

Christmas Cards 2014

Okay, try not to panic at the mentioning of 'Christmas' already.  The truth is, I'm a wee bit backlogged in posting so despite the fact that it's nearly March, I still wanted to share my 2014 Christmas cards with you, for inspiration purposes if nothing else.  And let's be honest, I know there are a few of you out there already working on this year's Christmas cards and presents (you know who you are).

Now, having started a job at a new school this academic year, I was feeling slightly more swamped than usual coming up to the holiday season and I was having a hard time coming up with card ideas.  Luckily there's always Pinterest for just such occasions!  I've always loved this card since first seeing it and so used it for my inspiration:

So I set about planning how I could recreate it.  For the circles, I invested in a Martha Steward circle cutter, which (personal feelings concerning Martha Steward aside) is pretty darn awesome and much better than my old and crude circle cutter tool.  I have plenty of ribbon so the scarf wouldn't present a problem but the die cut arms would, as I don't have a die cutter to hand...  And finally, while I could certainly use paint and the circular tip of a paintbrush to stamp out the charcoal bits, I really wanted to ideally use some sort of black rhinestones for dimension but that would require a lot of rhinestones and where would I find those in quantity for a good price?

Happily, it all worked out:

My version

I would have liked to have made them square like in the inspiration card but I make 40-50 cards each year and so I need to buy envelopes in bulk and unfortunately, the dollar store equivalent over here doesn't stock square envelopes in bulk so I went with the traditional A6 sized format instead, which admittedly isn't as nicely balanced but there you go.  Sometimes you just have to think practically.

You can see how nicely the circles turned out using the new circle cutter.  I also decided to ink my circles in a light blue tinge instead of the grey of the inspiration card (which I felt looked a bit dirty and I like my snow pristine looking).  For the background, I stamped a variety of snowflakes and then heat embossed them with a 'snowflake' powder, which is essentially a white with silver flecks mixed in.  I also popped a few clear rhinestones on for a bit of sparkle.

Detail view

A nice bright red ribbon made this little fellow's scarf but I had about five different ribbons that I used so there was a little variety to the set.  For the arms, I decided some dark brown twine would look suitably like branches and add another textural element, which I liked.  And I totally lucked out at the dollar store when I stumbled over massive sheets of colour self-adhering rhinestones, including black!  They were like perfect little chunks of charcoal just waiting for a snowman to adorn!  Serendipity, I tell you.