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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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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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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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How to Measure Christmas

Christmas Day is just around the corner.  I can’t believe how quickly it has come up this year.  I probably say that every year, but this last twelve months has whizzed by, and so much has happened.  It’s been such a strange, disturbing year, with a lot of loss and grief for so many people.  I don’t know about you, but I am praying for a much kinder 2017.

My Mum is currently suffering with a nasty cough/virus and it makes me very anxious.  I can’t bear for her to be ill.  She is always so healthy and I sometimes forget she is a senior now, and small illnesses can be potentially dangerous.  Also, being sick at Christmas sucks!  I know she feels miserable and concerned and also annoyed that she can’t do a lot – she hates neglecting her garden and other chores.  I just worry incessantly, especially as I am not just around the corner but 30 minutes drive away, and I can’t keep a close eye on her.  Luckily, my best friend’s Mum is just around the corner – in fact, she is taking Mum to the doctor’s this morning (I would have done but had no one to cover me at work). Hopefully she will get some antibiotics (even though she hates taking them, she admits she probably needs some this time) and be on the mend soon.  We’re meant to be spending Christmas Eve with my brother and his family, but I don’t know if she will be well enough at this stage 😦

It’s funny how, in the lead up to Christmas, you think about all the things you would like, and hope that Santa obliges.  This year, I just want my Mum to be well, and for us all to have a nice, peaceful, stress-free time together, with no dramas.

This week, I managed to get all my Christmas shopping done in record time.  I have less people to buy for this year, for one reason or another, and it made it much easier.  I made a few gifts too, which meant less spending (always a good thing) and less stress (a very good thing).  I also decided not to do the fancy wrapping I always do, which usually ends up with me stressed out of my brain and wrapping gifts every night until midnight, making sure they all fit a “theme” and all look decorative and pretty.  Not this year.  I used store-bought wrapping paper and did nothing fancier than tying them with string.  I didn’t even use matching tags!  *gasps*  It just made everything so much easier and quicker and reduced my stress by about a million percent.  I am wrapped and done, ahead of time.

Whilst looking for gifts for my Mum, I pretty much followed the list she had given me (an Ian Rankin book, some gardening stuff, a Michael Buble CD, pyjamas) but I always like to get her some other little extras too, so she has some surprises.  I found this set of measuring cups in an op-shop and thought she might like them.  They look vintage (although I suspect they are not) and I liked the little Wintery scene on them, which I thought would also make them ideal for Christmas decorating, if Mum didn’t want to use them as actual measuring cups.  I just thought they were sweet.  And at $5.00 for the three, I wasn’t exactly breaking the bank.

I hope she likes them, and is well enough to enjoy all of her presents.
That’s all I want for Christmas.

Best wishes to you all.  Stay well and take care of each other x

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…and a partridge (sans) a pear tree

Last-minute mad card-making and doodling for Sunday’s market stall.  Why I always think I can make things right up to the eleventh hour, I do not know.  It’s craziness.  These are my little partridges sans a pear tree.  They all look different – the front one is probably the best and then it all went south from there (I can never draw the same thing twice – the bird at the back looks like a budgie) but I’m still quite happy with them.  I am remembering to wear my new glasses most of the time, which is helping when I am doing detailed colouring.  I still have to mount these on card blanks and maybe stamp a little sentiment underneath (which is always fraught with danger because I am hopeless at stamping straight!) and package them up.

Hope your day is happy – wish me luck at the market! 🙂

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Christmas Peeps

Still doodling and drawing and colouring this week.  I’ve come up with some new designs (typical of me – at the eleventh hour) and I will include them in a future post.  I am using every spare minute to get ready for my market stall on Sunday.  It’s a bit nerve-wracking, trying to get everything ready and not really knowing how many people to expect.  I might be making a whole bunch of stuff for nothing, or not making anywhere near enough.  You just never know.  I only have one allotted table space on the day so I am also trying to figure out how to display everything so it’s easy to access and makes the most of the limited space I have.  I’m sure it will be ok on the day – I just always get nervous beforehand.  It’s very anxiety-provoking, having your own creations on display, to people other than your family and friends who will tell you everything is wonderful (even if it isn’t) and there is nothing worse than having people pick through your stuff, turn their noses up and walk away having purchased nothing.

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I’ve started pricing everything, which is always a tricky process.  How do you make something affordable but still cover costs and time taken to make the darn thing?  Some of my cards take me HOURS to make.  If I charged at some hourly rate I would be selling cards for about $83.00 each!  You have to be sensible.  The doodled cards take less materials but are all hand-coloured and drawn, so do you take into account the fact each one is an original and took some time to colour or do you just say well, it’s a more simple-looking item and charge accordingly?  It’s hard, but at the end of the day, I need the money and can’t afford to make things so expensive that no one will buy them.  I am also guilty of making things I’m not very happy with cheaper, and then pricing some items up because I really like them and don’t want them to sell, ha ha.

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Anyway, I’d be interested to hear how other crafty people market and price their wares.  Particularly if you’re just a “small concern” like me ie not super professional or running an actual business.  To be honest, I just enjoy the creative process and the money isn’t the most important thing – ordinarily anyway.  But, right now, I am struggling a bit and need the extra moolah to see me through Christmas!

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Hope you are having a successful, stress-free week.  Thank you for reading 🙂

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Frosty Greetings

Following on from my previous post, I am on a bit of a snowman vibe at the moment.  I used to draw this particular little guy about 15-20 years ago, and had forgotten all about him.  I don’t know why, because he is so quick and easy to draw and enables me to get lots of cards done in a short amount of time.  Better still, he is of course white so I don’t have to do lots of colouring!  Just black for his hat, a bit of red or blue for his scarf and a tiny swipe of cool grey (Oh I do love my Copic Markers!) for some shadowing, and I’m done.  I’ve tried him with and without a carrot nose – I prefer him without – and he doesn’t even have the customary black-dotted mouth (I’ve always found them a bit creepy).

A quick stamped sentiment and a card is done and dusted in no time.  And I enjoy doing them.  He makes me smile.  I think I also like the fact that he is all mine – my design and idea (although, how hard was it to come up with a snowman?). He’s not exactly a very Australian concept though – perhaps I should try him with a bush hat (the kind with corks hanging from it) and some gum leaves sticking out of it.  Actually, that’s an idea…

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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