My snowflake love affair continues this week with a Christmas tree made up of snowflakes. How cool is that?! I decided on heat embossing as this stamp lends itself very well to that technique and tried out gold, silver and white embossing powders on a Christmassy red background. I can’t even decide on a favourite – I love them all!
For this project I used:
11½” x 4⅛” Real Red card base, scored at 5¾”
5⅝” x 4” Whisper White mat layer
5½” x 3⅞” Real Red top layer
5½” x 3⅞” Whisper White card for the liner
Stampin’ Up! Snow Is Glistening stamp set
Stampin’ Up! Ink in Real Red
First, stamp the liner and envelope with the large snowflakes using Real Red ink and leave to dry.
Use the embossing buddy liberally all over the card top and then stamp the snowflake tree image and greeting using Versamark ink. Fill in some of the gaps by stamping the large snowflake using Versamark. Apply your preferred embossing powder and set with the heat gun. Apply rhinestones to the centre of the large snowflakes.
Adhere the top layer onto the white mat layer and then stick this onto the card base. Adhere the liner to the inside and you’re all finished.
Every year Mr L and I buy advent calendars for each other. They tend to feature beer for him and toiletries for me and are in general expensive for what you get. I thought we’d get back to more of what Christmas is all about – being thoughtful, making something for them, spending quality time with them or giving a gift that doesn’t cost any money, like cooking them their favourite meal or just going for a walk in a favourite location. We aren’t religious at all but I love the magic of Christmas and feel it can get overtaken by massive spending. So, I decided to make an advent calendar that we can fill for each other for years to come. One of us get to fill the odd days, one the evens, for the other to open (Mr L has bagsied the even days this year so he’s got an extra day to think of ideas!). The idea is that we would normally have 11 months to come up with ideas for gifts, maybe from somewhere we’ve visited or inspired by something we’ve done during the year however this year it’s all a bit last minute as I’ve only just finished it, so there’s some frantic googling going on for ideas! Here’s how I made it.
I used a fabric panel from Makower UK called Silent Night. The instructions are printed at the top, the middle section is the main body of the calendar and the bottom section is the pockets.
I started by cutting out the pockets and hemming the top edge. I then ran the side and bottom edges through the overlocker to stop any fraying.
The next job was to press the pocket sections into box pleats down the edges of the houses to form each pocket and then sew in place on the calendar.
Once all the pockets were completed, I cut out and piece of quilt batting and a piece of backing fabric and stuck the three layers together with spray baste adhesive (Odif 505) to form my quilt sandwich. The batting provides more stability to the project when it’s hung up and filled with gifts. To quilt, I just did straight line quilting around the borders and the pockets since it was just a case of holding the layers together rather than to produce a decorative effect. After this, I squared up the quilt by cutting the edges down to the finished size of the calendar, taking into account the pattern on the panel.
I then had to think about how it was going to hang. I attached a length of ribbon to the top for hanging but a length of dowel was needed to hold the top edge straight. I was going to sew on a pocket on the back at the end for the dowel but decide that since I had a pocket already from my quilting, I’d use the top holly border section as my in-built pocket. I cut a piece of dowel about ¾” less than the width of the holly border, unpicked a section of the quilting and fed the dowel into the pocket.
It needed a bit of wiggling due to the spray basting but went in without any problem.
Note: If you don’t want to have to faff about changing feet on your sewing machine, sew a pocket on at the end. I had to use my zipper foot to be able to sew around the edges and side of the dowel.
Next, I made some binding for the edges. It doesn’t need to be bias binding as it’s straight edges – bias binding is needed for curves. I cut strips of my backing fabric 2¼” wide and joined them using a diagonal seam as this spreads the bulk of the join around the edge of the quilt when it’s folded over to the back and avoids a big hump where the joins are.
Once the strips were joined, I pressed the binding in half and then clipped the binding to the panel, matching the raw edge of the binding to the edge of the panel and stitched in place with a ¼” seam.
Once this was completed, I pressed the binding away from the panel and then folded the binding over to the back and clipped it in place, ensuring that the edge covered the stitching where the binding was attached.
I pressed the binding in place and then stitched it down from the top of the panel by stitching ‘in the ditch’. The ditch is the slight indentation where the binding is attached to the panel. If stitched accurately, the stitches ‘in the ditch’ are almost invisible on the top side but will also be in the correct position to secure the other edge of the binding on the reverse side.
Due to inserting the dowel earlier, I had to use my zipper foot around the edges and top of the dowel but switched to my ‘in the ditch’ foot once I was clear of the dowel as it makes the whole process easier.
To finish, I ensured all thread end were cut off and then gave the calendar a good press with steam. All it needs now is to be filled with gifts – need to make a Thinking Cap pronto….!
This bauble was inspired by one I saw at my local garden centre. As soon as I set eyes on it, I figured I could try making my own using the Snowfall thinlits dies I had just bought. I purchased some lametta from the garden centre and rushed home to find the plastic fillable baubles I’d bought last year to make Christmas decorations with..…..but had never got around to!
For this project I used:
Plastic fillable bauble, available from Amazon, eBay or Hobbycraft
Stampin’ Up! Snowfall Thinlits
Stampin’ Up! Glimmer paper in Silver and Sparkle
Stampin’ Up! White Velvet paper
A piece of ribbon
Cut out a bunch of snowflakes – the smaller ones work better. I applied pieces of adhesive sheets to the back of my papers before I die cut them for an easy life.
Stick some snowflakes onto each bauble half.
Trim a few lengths of lametta and throw it onto your desk to muddle it up and then gather it up again. Bundle it up and push it into one bauble half. This is a lot easier said than done! It reminded me of trying to get our cat into the cat carrier!! Anyway, keep pushing in those stray ends and then add a couple of drops of glue to the top and bottom of the bauble lip and clip on the other half.
Stick on a few more snowflakes over the join and then add the ribbon to hang it up. Bauble complete!