Thursday, December 20, 2012

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Hello one and all,

Are you ready for Christmas?  I won't mention how many sleeps are left, because frankly I am in denial.  I still have so much to do and I even started early!

A quick post today to share a Christmas Stocking I made using Angel Tilda.

The photos do not do it justice - it really looks much nicer in real life.  Here is a close up of the lovely Tilda, stitched in counted cross stitch.
My Top Tip Tuesday tip is for turning your rubber stamps into counted cross stitch.  First, decide what fabric count to use and then download the appropriate graph paper from CyberStitchers here.  Their charts might not work in all browsers, so if it doesn't work try a different browser.  This is a fantastic free resource.  Next, stamp your image onto the graph paper.  Use a positioner for this step and try to line up as many outer edges with gridlines as possible.  This will simplify things when drawing the backstitching lines.  Colour your image in softly (so you can still see the lines), focusing on shading.  Draw in the lines for backstitching following as closely to the stamped lines as possible.  Decide on colours - using dark and light shades of the same family, select three to five colours to allow for blending.  I found it was best to use colours that are adjacent to each other on the manufacturer's colour charts as this allowed for smoother blending.  Assign symbols to your colours and draw them in following your shading as a guideline.  This part might require a little trial and error.  You are now ready to start stitching!

There are also online programs that allow you to upload a photo, such as a coloured stamped image and they will convert it into a chart for you.  Having looked at some of the charts on a few of those sites, I was not pleased with the end result, but it might be worth a try and could possibly be used as a starting point.  With some editing and fine tuning, it might look really nice.

As I have done all of the trial and error already for my version of Angel Tilda, I thought I would share my pattern with you!  I entered my chicken scratches into a program to make them more legible and took a photo of the screen.  You are free to take this pattern, but please do not publish it in any publication or post it anywhere on the internet.  This is for your personal use, and if you would like to share it with your readers, please direct them here.

symbol    DMC

 ª            930
l               931
µ            932
¼            3752
 ä            3753
!              945
"             951
J             3770
r              754
p             948
=             838
d              839
m             840
P             841
v              842
2             E3747
1                   E520

I do apologize, I will have to come back and add the backstitching colours later.  This chart is sized for 18 count fabric = same size as stamp.


I would like to enter my stocking into the following challenges:

Magnolia Down Under - Christmas
Simon Says Stamp - Merry Christmas
Top Tip Tuesday - Anything Christmas

Thanks so much for popping in and for taking the time to leave a comment - I will do my best to visit everyone over the holidays, but it might take me a little while.  A big thank you and welcome to my newest followers!

Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday season!  All the best to you in the new year!



Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Sweet Christmas at Creatalicious

Hello everyone,

How are your Christmas preparations coming along?  I just realized that there is only one more full week before the big day!  Yikes!!  We have a lot of things checked off the list, but still just as many left to do.  Oh well, I guess there is no use stressing - it is supposed to be fun after all.

Today starts a new challenge at Creatalicious Challenges and an opportunity to get another Christmas project done.  This month we want to see your Christmas crafts using pink and turquoise (no red or green) and including something sweet if you can.  We are sponsored by the lovely Cedar Chest Designs who kindly provided us with images to work with.  For my project I made a little treat bag using Christmas Dew Drop Ornament.

I have a ridiculous amount of Christmas paper in my stash, so it was not surprising that I actually had a sheet that was pink and turquoise.  However,  I could not believe my luck when I stumbled on these 'chicken bones' - at least that is what we called them when I was a kid.  I used to love these candies, but I hadn't seen them in ages.  Now they are called 'Choco-cinnamon hard Candy.'  That's just about as imaginative as my blog post titles :o).  Turns out I still love them, but managed to keep enough to fill the treat bag.


Paper - white card, American Crafts DP
Image - Cedar Chest Designs - Christmas Dew Drop Ornament.  I printed the image on plain white card, covered it with Be Creative double sided adhesive sheet and covered that in Glitter Ritz microfine transparent glitter before colouring with Distress inks.  I got the idea for this on Donna's blog here - her cards made with a very similar technique are truly stunning!
Other - McGill pine branch (though I kind of wish I would have left this off - not really happy with how it looks), TH banner die, Stampendous sentiment, ribbon from my stash and shapes are from the elegant edges cricut cartridge.

If you are still preparing for Christmas, I hope you will join in with us this month.  It was really fun to create a Christmas project using this unusual colour combination, and I would love to see what you come up with.  If you are looking for more inspiration, make sure to check out the beautiful work of my team mates.  We also have a great prize up for grabs from our sponsor, Cedar Chest Designs.

I would like to enter my treat bag in the following challenges:

Anything but a card - Celebrating the light or seasonal holiday
Cupcake Craft Challenges - Merry Christmas
Simon Says Stamp - What's your favourite - I actually had to think about this - but my favourite embellishment has to be ribbon - I have sooooo much of it in all different colours, but that doesn't stop me from buying more :)

Thanks so much for popping in and for taking the time to leave a comment.  And last, but definitely not least, a big thank you to my newest followers - I very much appreciate each one of you!

Have a great weekend!  Hugs,


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Countdown

Hello Peeps!

Are you all ready for Christmas???  Only 19 days left!!!  I haven't done an ounce of shopping (or, more accurately, purchasing) yet, but on the bright side, I can say that all of my cards are done.  Hooray!  It is so nice to not have to worry about finishing cards in December.  Speaking of, I am super excited that Sweet Stampin' has started up a monthly Christmas challenge and even more excited, though still somewhat in disbelief, that I was offered a spot with all the super talented gals on the design team!!

Although the challenge does not officially start until January, we are starting the fun early by having a pre-challenge in December while everyone is in the full swing of Christmas.  So, to kick things off it is nice and easy - anything Christmas goes!  I hope you'll join us and I'm looking forward to seeing your Christmas creations!

For my inspiration piece, I made an advent calender for my son.  Though I love how this turned out, it took a ridiculous amount of time to complete.  Luckily, when I found out about the first challenge, I had already glued all the little boxes together and painted and sealed all of the pieces.  I will not tell you how many hours that took, but in the end it was well worth the effort.

The DP is all from Bo Bunny's Midnight Frost line and I painted the calender dark blue to match.  (My first tip for Top Tip Tuesday - if you are making one of these calenders, it is much easier to paint the pieces prior to assembling.  However, do NOT paint the tabs because they will no longer fit in the slots.  I found out the hard way :(  )  The kit came with chipboard numbers, but I felt they covered too much of the box front, so I cut my own using the TH typeset die.  The numbers were cut from dark blue card and then embossed twice - first with Stampin' Up Iridescent  ice to make them really glittery and sparkly and then with Lindy's Stamp Gang Twilight Blue Slate which gives a beautiful two tone colour and looks really cool and shimmery when it reflects the light. ( My second tip for Top Tip Tuesday - embossing powders are a great way to change the colour or look of paper or chipboard shapes, numbers and letters.  However, most colours are only available in a matte finish or occasionally a metallic finish.  To add a beautiful glittery finish to your colour, emboss it twice - once in the colour and once with a translucent glitter embossing powder such as Stampin' Up Iridescent ice or Stampendous Star Dust.  The look will also change slightly, being more or less glittery depending on which one you use first, so have fun experimenting with it.)

For the background, I used shimmery white card to create the hills and snowflakes (which are a retired Stampin' Up die).  The trees are a TH die and were cut from dark blue card to create silhouettes.

I found the Christmas tree in the Christmas decor section of a local store - it was originally designed to go with those Victorian Christmas villages.  It was a bit too tall, so I cut it down a bit.  I decorated it with TH tinsel twine, beads, little bows and a string of lights, which was also a Victorian village find.  I made the star on top using wire and a jig.
I love that it actually lights up!  Here is a shot in dim lighting to give you an idea, though it looks much brighter irl.  This shot also shows the snowflakes in the background.
The birch trees were made using those long wire stems with berries that you can get from most all purpose craft stores (I got mine from Michaels).  I had purchased them with the intent of just using the berries, but then it occurred to me that the stems themselves actually looked like trees.  So, I cut it in pieces, shaped them and drew little lines using a grey Copic multiliner.

The image is by Penny Johnson for Stampavie and I coloured it with Prismas (the carrot and holly) and Copics (everything else).  I added some glitter to the turquoise hat.

If you haven't already, be sure to pop by the Christmas at Sweet Stampin' blog.  My teamies have made some gorgeous cards and projects to inspire you.  There is also an awesome prize up for grabs!  The winner will get surprise stamps from the Personal Impressions range at Funky Kits

and a set of Promarkers from Letraset!!!

And, as if that wasn't awesome enough, there is also a follower's candy up for grabs.  All you have to do is be or become a follower of Christmas at Sweet Stampin', post the candy on your blog and enter our anything goes challenge to be in for the chance to win this fantastic prize:

I would also like to enter my calendar in the following fun challenges:

Playing in Paradise - Mr. Masculine (I made this for my son)
Allsorts - advent
Crazy 4 Challenges - snowmen
Cute Card Thursday - snowflakes
Deep Ocean Challenge - so this is Christmas
Jingle Belles - anything holiday goes
No Matter Which Challenge - Christmas
Make it Monday - always anything goes
One Stop Craft Challenge - Christmas for the boys
Papertake Weekly - anything goes
Sparkles Christmas Challenge - button or bow
Stampin' for the Weekend - use some texture
Top Tip Tuesday - Christmas
Totally Gorjuss - anything goes with glitter on it (glitter on the hat, the numbers and the snowy base also has loads of glitter)
Totally Papercrafts - Anything Christmasy but a card

Ok, that is probably enough, heh?

Thanks so much for popping by, and for taking the time to leave me a much appreciated comment.  I love having the chance to visit you too.  And a big thank you and welcome to my newest followers - I really appreciate you and am so happy to have you along!