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Christmas Cards : Button Edition

I don’t know about all of you, but I have lots of buttons.  LOTS. OF. BUTTONS.  Jars and jars of them.  Despite this, I can never find the one I need for a particular project.  I think every crafter knows this dilemma.  You need a pink one, but it needs to be a rosy pink, not a baby pink.  You need a green one, but all you have is yellow-green when you really need a forest green.  Or you need big buttons when you only have teeny ones.  Or visa versa.  It’s a conundrum and wastes lots of time.

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So why would I decide to make lots of cards featuring this nemesis of quick crafts?  Because I am a crazy person and I enjoy having a floor that is covered in buttons (which mine now is).  Because my hands can be dicky (thanks again, Meningitis), I often drop things, so for every button I successfully pick up and glue down, there’s at least three that have escaped and are rolling about under tables and in between couch cushions.

I have been scouring Pinterest and other internet sites featuring all things craft-tastic, and have been very inspired by the clever designs people have come up with, using buttons as the main element.  And then I basically copied them.  Because I am, as I said before, very short on time and energy right now.  I’m also not selling these cards so I don’t feel so bad about purloining a few ideas.

Buttons are an easy way to add interest, colour and dimension to cards and can be just the right finishing touch.  Most of these ones below were made simply by drawing on lines with a pen, gluing on a button and then doodling some little details like bows and the tops of the baubles.  A stamped sentiment completes the look.  If I was feeling extra energetic I punched out some circles of pretty Christmas paper to stick down before the buttons to make them more colourful and chunky.

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So now, after mammoth card-making sessions, I now have to get stuck into mammoth card-writing sessions.  There’s only so many ways you can say “Wishing you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year…” but I try to mix it up a bit.  By 11pm last night I was getting my words all doolally and not making a lot of sense.  Plus I had a blister on my finger and a cramp in my hand.  AND my pen ran out!  Gah!  But, I am lucky I have so many people in my life to give cards to – so I am not complaining at all.  I know a lot of people don’t give cards any more, but I still like to.  It’s a way of telling people they are cared about and wished good luck and health and happiness.  I know quite a few people who are on their own, not just at Christmas but all the time, so a little card is the least I can do to show them they are not alone, and are being thought of fondly.

Hope you are having a crafty, creative day today and are surrounded
by people that make you smile x

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Christmas 2017
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Easy Christmas Trees

I am still madly making Christmas cards and am trying to have lots of different ones so there’s a decent selection for me to choose from.  I don’t like everyone to have the exact same card and I get fed up with making the same ones over and over.  But I am running out of time and “oomph” and so I am getting simpler and simpler in my designs.

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These cards were inspired by some I saw on the internet, where the artist had used buttons on a stamped image of a tree.  It looked very effective, but I don’t have a tree stamp and I knew I would drive myself nutty trying to find the right buttons and then having to glue the little buggers on to multiple cards.

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So, I decided to draw the simple tree shapes and use Liquid Pearls instead of buttons.  It worked a treat.  Even when my drawing went a little bit bodgy and my trees were weirdly deformed or botanically incorrect, it still looked pretty good with the liquid pearls dotted over it (to represent snow or leaves or, um, I don’t know, dots).

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Very easy to do and something I could whip up sitting in front of the telly, which is the only space I currently have left (the rest of the house being covered in craft materials, Xmas gifts and wrapping paper).

Thanks for dropping in 🙂

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Oh Deer!

Aghhh!  It’s December already!  Which means it’s time to panic about getting Christmas cards made in time!  Every year I do this to myself.  I swear I am going to start making some in June so I have lots ready by the end of the year, but do I ever do that?  No, I do not.  I guess I am just not in the mood in the middle of the year and want to do other things.  And Christmas seems a long way off then too.

But, here we are in December and so the card making frenzy must begin.  I’m not feeling particularly inspired at the moment, and I don’t have a lot of free time, so I wanted to create something that would look cute and effective, but also be fairly quick and simple.  I like reindeers – they make me smile and their overall shape and design is fairly easy to replicate.  You can’t mistake what they’re supposed to be once you have those antlers on!

So, I present to you Christmas card design (for 2017) number one!  These came together really quite quickly, although they are a bit fiddly (gluing on those antlers – aggh! There’s no surface area to put glue without it squishing out the sides so I had to use teeny tiny dabs) and I nearly went insane looking for the right buttons to use for their snozzes.  Turns out I don’t have many red buttons in my collection…

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Using the mottled/patterned papers gave the reindeers an almost printed quality, which I kind liked.   It made them more “organic” than if I had just used a plain coloured paper or card.  I just cut the head and ears out from the paper, free hand.  The antlers are actually made with a branch-design paper punch (which is rapidly becoming blunt now – this makes me very sad).  I drew in the little eyes and stamped one of two sentiments underneath.  I actually bought a stamp set on the weekend that had “Oh Deer” on it (as part of a Christmas theme) and I thought that was cute, but I didn’t like the font and size.  So I used another set of stamps (a really nice alphabet set I also bought that day) to make up the words myself.  I like how it turned out 🙂

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So, ten cards down and about fifty to go…  I will be making up another design now – I soon get bored of doing the same one over and over.  I should probably try and do something more Australian –  a Christmas koala perhaps?  A platypus pudding?  Hmm, I will have to work on that I think!

Thanks for dropping by – hope your festive season is shaping up to be a happy one 🙂

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Tiny Town (Torn Paper Collage)

Some time ago, our art therapist at work let me borrow a couple of her art books for the weekend.  They were great little books – filled with simple ideas for getting your art on.  One of them had some lovely collage ideas and I particularly liked a torn-paper cityscape.  I cannot remember the name of the book, but I’m pretty sure it was published by Usborne and the artwork work was possibly Fiona Watt.  Apologies to both artist and publisher if I have remembered this incorrectly (if anyone can enlighten me, do let me know).

Anyway, I kept this idea buried in the recesses of my brain (a dark and cobweb-covered place if ever there was one!), thinking it would be a good little project to try if I was ever in need of some creative inspiration.  Well, right now, I am in desperate need, so I decided to give this one a go.  I liked the simplicity of the technique, as well as the small amount of materials (and, therefore, mess) it required.

Simply tearing different sized strips of paper, in different shades, adding details with pen and markers, and gluing them down into a simple cityscape – what could be easier?  It was very therapeutic and I enjoyed adding the details, including the teeny little and flags.

So, here it is!  My Tiny Town.  I didn’t get the perspective quite right – there’s a couple of “floating” buildings – and I didn’t have a fine enough white pen to get the nice detail I would have liked but, all in all, I am pretty happy with it.  I added the dark sky as I felt it needed some extra colour and interest.  The original idea in the book didn’t have text but, as I am a bit word-obsessed, I added a few lines from a poem, which I think finished it off quite nicely.  I made this as a card, but I’m thinking I might make a few as little framed pieces.  What do you think?

So, happy to have just tried something new (without it being COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone – I mean, it’s still paper after all!) and gotten closer to leaving the creative slump I currently find myself in.  I’m definitely going to make a few more of these, just because they were fun and easy and I didn’t have to think too much 🙂   I try not to copy other people’s work, but sometimes I think you need to just borrow a bit of creativity, in order to get your own up and running again.

Thanks for dropping by – have a lovely day 🙂

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Creative Copying

Sometimes I am very inspired and know EXACTLY what I want to do, craft-wise.  Other times, I am clueless and spend ages just mucking about, not knowing what I want to do, and feeling rotten about it.  Completely uninspired (and pathetic), you could say. Just lately, I have been unable to make ANYTHING and just feel like I have no creative ability whatsoever.  At all.  Nada.  Zippo.  Zilch.

So, this weekend, I utilised a bit of creative copying in order to get my mojo back.  Having had a birthday recently, my shelves were full of lovely greeting cards.  Granted, I should have taken them down some weeks ago but, it will surprise no one to know, I am lazy and slack, and they were still sitting there, a month and a half after the event.  However, there were a couple that I really liked the design of – the shapes of some of their images – so I had a go at using them for templates to make my own cards and other items.

First up, I had this cute birdie card.  I liked the simple shapes and was pretty sure I could use them to create a design of my own.  Plus, you know me, I love birds, so it was a no-brainer in terms of subject matter.

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Cute birdy birthday card!

I started by tracing the basic shapes of each bird – bodies, feathers, tails etc.  I then traced those shapes on to cardboard, so I could cut them out and have them as patterns.  Using pretty, coordinated papers, I traced and cut out the shapes to build the various body parts of the bird, and then arranged them together until I was happy with the overall look.

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Placing all the pieces together…

In the end, I decided to put it all together on a notebook for my Mum, to say thank you for her support and always looking after us (even though we’re old enough to look after ourselves.  Apparently).  I painted a plain little notebook and bound the edges with washi tape, before gluing the birdie to the front cover.
I added a crown and some text cut from an old book.

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Finished Birdie Notebook

It’s not the greatest work of art on the planet, and I can’t say I was thrilled with the final product, but I had made SOMETHING and that is better than nothing.  I just needed to get back into things and “play” a little, even if the end result wasn’t spectacular. Otherwise I feel as though I am losing all my creativity and desire to create in the first place.  And that’s not a good thing.

So, one little birdie at a time, I am going to get my mojo back. Send cookies and hugs 🙂

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Ready To Rock (Cat Collage Card)

I don’t know about you, but I am very rarely primed and ready to do anything, let alone rock.  I follow more of a resigned and begrudging style of embracing life, to be honest.  Not so my nieces and nephews.  I have been spending a lot of time with them lately, and one of their favourite things to do is craft.  Whether it be colouring in or drawing, making collages or cards, or a combination of all four, they really love being creative.  Which is a bit of a relief.  What if they were super sporty or into playing computer games? *shudders*

A couple of weekends ago, we had a few happy hours of card-making and magazine-scrap collage-making.  Good fun.  The kids are so good at it because they just CREATE.  They don’t think too much or worry about anything other than putting paper and glue together in a design them pleases them.  Bliss.

Anyway, as all good Aunties must, I had to participate in the activity – just being a casual bystander was not going to be acceptable.  Can’t say I minded – what better way to spend a few hours than with little people I love, doing something I love almost as much.

So, this funny little cat card was one of my completed pieces.  Made from scraps of scrapbooking paper, corrugated card and pieces cut from magazines, it came together pretty quickly.  The hardest part was finding the “rock” text (which, of course, I could have just cut out from individual letters).

I like the cat’s saggy little belly and his general attitude.  Who doesn’t love a tabby in a party hat?  All he is missing is some cheese on a stick and he’s good to go 🙂

Hope you are primed and ready, to do whatever you need to do today –
thank you for reading x

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Christmas Wishes (Robin Card)

A quick post to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.
Let’s make a pledge to fill our world with kindness, love, understanding, and empathy this year. We’ve had enough hate, violence and suffering to last us into the next millennium.

I made this quick little Christmas card for my Mum (she loves robins).  I always seem to end up cutting out teeny-weeny bird toes, don’t I?

Best wishes to you all.  Be safe this festive season, and stay close to your loved ones.  Thank you for all your support and comments throughout the year 🙂

Happy Christmas x

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