I think I mentioned last week that I’ve been thinking about Christmas!  Not in terms of snow, Christmas music or the day itself, but in a crafty card-making kind of way.  Slowly, over the last month, when the 40% off a single item coupons have rolled in from places like Michaels or JoAnns I’ve been buying up sets of Christmas stamps; I even went to JoAnns on Saturday morning specifically to look at some new stamp sets that they had on offer for $4.99, there were three Christmas sets in the range so I got them all!  They were extra good value as they each included a clear stamp set, an acrylic block and a full size coloured ink pad.  I also mentioned that I’ve fallen head over heels with Kraft card stock too, so most of these first attempts are made exclusively with it.  I love the way you can dress it up or dress it down, you can make it a feature or just let it fade into the background.

All I’m doing right now though is thinking, laying out and practicing a bit of stamping and embossing… this is how they’re shaping up so far:

These first couple of cards have a centre section that has been scored on the front creating a depression into which I’ve put glitter glue.  The swirls have little crystal gems on some of them and then there is a little coloured strip of paper to liven it up.  What I plan to do with these is to find the right image or sentiment and stamp/emboss/colour it on white card and adhere it to the front with sticky pads…. not sure what that’s going to be just yet!

This is a tiny card 3.5″ x 4″, and I’ve made up a bunch of these in this size.  This one is stamped with the swirls again, but this time in light blue ink, and then over stamped with a darker blue snowflake.  The tiny gems put in another appearance, and to finish it I want to keep it simple with a stamped and embossed sentiment raised up on sticky pads, something like “Peace” or “Joy To The World” perhaps.

This next card is currently my favourite.  I’ve absolutely fallen in love with this little whimsical tree, stamped directly on to the kraft with Versmark Pearlescent Ivy, the colour is just glitter glue for the star, baubles and the snow on the ground.  The little sentiment is from the same set (Michaels own brand) and I stamped it with a Colorbox Pigment Ink called Merlot.  I can see from this image that I over inked the stamp on the right side, but I’m still getting used to this whole stamping malarky and as  most of these images here are practice ,I’m not too worried about it.  After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day!

This is a variation on the same theme, it’s not finished though.  I’m thinking of piercing a whimsical vertical line either side of the trees and then stamping tiny white snowflakes between the edge of the card and the piercing.  Perhaps!!

I’ve also been playing about with embossing, practicing again, learning what not to do!  I’ve decided that clear embossing powder and pigment inks give the best result, I prefer that to coloured embossing powder, it seems to be smoother and easier to work with than the coloured embossing powders.  The two “Joy” wreaths on the right were embossed with coloured powder, they look thicker and clunkier, there’s also extra powder that I couldn’t get off despite the embossing wipe and a little paint brush.  The two wreaths on the left and the “Noel” were embossed with clear powder, and I think they look so much better.

Sentiment stamps up next, again a woodsy kind of look.  I’m really liking the woodsy kind of look!  This stamp is from one of the sets I got on sale at JoAnns on Saturday morning…. I haven’t even opened the other two yet!

Some colour next.  I have some lovely scrummy Christmas papers so I’ve been playing about with patterns and colours and then arranging them on the kraft, along with a bit of doodling.  I’m very much liking the way they’re coming together.  To me they’re looking very woodsy, Up North country cabin kind of thing.  I think of pine trees covered with snow, little wooden cabins with smoke coming out of the chimneys and home made quilts to snuggle under when I look at these!

Finally a couple of the same images from my favourite Christmas set of stamps.  It’s the Reindeer from an Inkadinkado set called Christmas Silhouettes, I only bought this a couple of weeks ago and it’s the first time I’ve inked it up.  I think it’s absolutely beautiful.  Look at all those stunning little flower and star trails, and that adorable little dove on the belly of the deer.  I think this image will make a wonderful, more formal kind of card.  I can imagine small crystals or a little glitter glue highlighting some of the trail and organza ribbon in red or gold perhaps.  I’m really liking it in the red or brown ink the best, but I have more colours that I want to try out.

There’s another image from this set that I wanted to stamp yesterday, it’s a heralding angel and it has the same kind of flowery trail with starbursts and snowflakes too, but I discovered that my largest block isn’t quite large enough so I need to get another one before I can ink it up.  I think it would look stunning stamped in either silver or gold ink, just need to perfect those metallic type inks now, they never seem to stamp as cleanly as normal inks and I don’t know why!

I have other ideas too, mainly involving blue and white card stock with acetate and embossed snowflakes.  And another idea involving woodsy Christmas paper stuck onto card to make it stronger and then punched out in 1″ circles, which would then be arranged onto a kraft card to resemble a christmas tree shape.  The trunk will be dark brown corrugated card.  Another whimsical looking little card.  I’m so full of ideas that I’m having to take notes overwise I’m scared I’ll forget half of the things that are popping into my little mind!

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I didn’t feel guilty about spending so much indulgent “me” time this past weekend as the weather was pretty miserable for an August summer weekend.  We actually packed quite a lot in with a couple of lovely albeit slightly damp walks, some shopping, some baking and cooking (I made two lots of cookies on Saturday), some brainstorming for future plans, a coffee out and a little bit of TV watching at the end of the day!

Still thinking about those Christmas cards though!!!

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