Monday, December 27, 2010

Busy in my spare time

A big apology from me for the lack of chatter. I have been a bit busy in my spare time and I really thought I had posted more recently- sorry about that. Where did the time go? I had last week off from work and I got everything that needed to be done without any stress, OK maybe just a little. I don't know if I procrastinated because I knew I was going to be off but it was down to the wire for making my Christmas cards and cookies. I embossed and cuttlebugged like a mad woman the weekend before Christmas. I had the perfect setup in order to get all fifty of my cards completed. I used my Big Shot to die cut and then moved them over to the cuttlebug for embossing. It was a piece of cake since I didn't have to keep changing out the plates. I made all the cards the same except I changed out the color here and there.

Once the cards and cookies were done, it was onto a birthday gift for one of my dearest friends- Carol. She really likes purple so I knew I was going to make her a chunky tag in that color. I had been in cahoots with her husband Jean Paul to find me a picture of the two of them for this project. The first ones he gave me were a bit too large for the ornament plate so he shrunk them down and it meant another challenging time of trying to get them out of her house without her seeing them. Mission accomplished- she didn't have a clue. On my previous chunky tags I covered the 2x4 with pages from an old book but to make this one more personal I used sheets of music that were given to Carol from her sister-n-law who passed away last year. Being the generous person that she is, Carol had shared her precious treasures with me not realizing she would be getting them back in a different form. Once the paper was attached using Claudine Hellmuth's Studio gesso I distressed it with Dusty Concord and Bundled Sage. I then stamped the flourishes onto the block. Don't ask me why I don't stamp the paper prior to attaching it. I guess I need to see the block in 3D to know which flourishes to use and just where to place them. Since this was a gift I decided to use a sealant on it by covering it with Speedball Matte Medium. I think it gave it a chalky look and I 'm not sure I would go that route again.

Now the fun begins. The picture above is the front and it was embellished with a Tim H. ornament plate, some flowers and one of my homemade stick pins. The large flower was actually cream color but I sprayed it with Forever Violet Perfect Pearls Mist. You can see the other sides of the tag in the images below.

This side says it all of the wonderful friendship that has come to mean so much to me and more than she will ever know.

~Have fun and enjoy!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I still believe...

I think I was 9 or 10 when I finally found out that there was no Santa. I had my doubts, but this Christmas was the one that stole my childhood holiday magic. It was 1969 or 70 and my father was stationed in Alaska. We were on our own for Christmas that year- my mother, my little sister and myself. I had asked for a Barbie case that opened up and the beds would fall down from the wall and the other side of the case was a kitchen area. It was as big a small suitcase. I remember looking at it every day in the Sears catalog and hoping against all hope that Santa would bring me it for Christmas. We lived in a mobile home because my mother didn't like base housing so we would move the trailer to where ever dad got stationed. It was great because we always had the feeling of "our" home and it wasn't as unsettling when we had to move to a new place. Anywhoo, I almost forgot where I was going with the living arrangements, but being a small place without many places to hide Christmas presents, my mother's closet was about the only place and I knew it. I remember opening her closet a few days before Christmas and there was the most beautiful thing hid in between her dresses- my Barbie case. I had to hold myself back from opening it up and playing with it. If I got caught it might go back to where ever it came from. It was after all too early for Santa to bring, so I thought He might be bringing me something even more wonderful and this was going to be from my mom and dad. I think I checked that closet every day until Christmas just to admire my gift. My Aunt Mary lived in the same town (mom's sister) and on Christmas eve she didn't want to see us by ourselves so she sent my cousin and her boyfriend over to pick us up. I remember it being dark and a bit snowy. My cousin told us to lay down in the back seat and not peek while they loaded the presents into the trunk of the car- Right, who was she kidding. She was speaking to the Christmas present sleuth. Of course I had to peek to make sure the Barbie case made it to the trunk. The presents from Santa never got wrapped and I was surprised that my case still didn't have paper on it. The next morning there sat my Barbie case in front of the tree unwrapped. It had a tag that read "To Kim from Santa". I couldn't believe it. I was a bit disappointed because all the surprise had been taken out of Christmas morning. The disappointment was soon forgotten because I had the best time playing with a new Barbie and the case. The image of Santa may no longer be there but the spirit of him still lingers inside.

Today's card was made with the Christmas days from my childhood in mind. Very vintage and old looking. I think it is the champagne glass glitter from Stampin' Up that sets the tone. I also used one of their new punches- Decorative Label and the stamp set "Tags til Christmas" for the dec. 25th label. I just love this stamp set because each image has a coordinating punch. The paper is also from SU- Always Artichoke, Crumb Cake and Deck the Halls designer paper. I used one of Tim Holtz stamps- Christmas Miracle in Always Artichoke and distressed it with Vintage Photo and then some glass glitter around the edge. I also used his die-cut for the rosette. The little oval flourish is also from the same stamp set. The ribbon is vanilla seam binding from SU that I ran over a Distress ink pad. I think I used Antique Linen for that.

Here is a closeup of the rosette.

I hope you all are keeping Christmas in sense that it was meant to be and not driving yourselves crazy. We still don't have any snow so it doesn't quite feel like the season for me yet. Tim Holtz's twelve tags of Christmas is helping me get there as well as the Christmas music I listened to all day today.

~Have fun and enjoy!