Fabulous Foiling

Recently, my Mum has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  The doctor said that learning new things could be good for her so I invited her and my sister round to make some Christmas cards.  My mojo is still not in full flow so I wanted to something relatively easy so decided to try out a new product I’d bought to make some foiled cards.

We started by blending a variety of Distress Oxides to make the background for our snowflakes.  After blending, the card was spritzed with some water to create the distressed look.

Next, the Newton’s Nook Snowfall stencil was taped in place before applying a thin layer of Deco Foil Transfer Gel Duo.  The stencil was removed and the gel left to dry, when it will be clear but it is still sticky. 

The duo part of this gel means that it can be used to foil either the usual way with heat in a laminator or by pressure using a die cutting machine.  For the snowflakes, I used the pressure method.  The foil was placed on top of the card and then run through my Big Shot.   I was very excited when I first peeled off the foil to reveal uber-shiny silver snowflakes on the background!  So pretty!

I wanted the snowflake panels to be the focus of the cards so simply added a sentiment.

For the snowflakes, I used Cricut foil so I wanted to try out some proper Deco Foil to see if that was any different.  I tried this out with the Newton’s Nook Holiday Foliage stencil and Deco Foil in a gold and green mix.  To asses the different finish between using pressure or heat, I did one of each with these panels. 

The one on the left is the heated foil, the pressure foil on the right. The heated one has a smoother finish.

Again, I left these panels as the focal images on the card and just added a small sentiment.

I really love the shine on these cards and enjoyed showing my Mum and sister how to make them – and they had fun too!

Start Early!

This year, I’m hoping to avoid that hectic period of Christmas card making in early December.  It’s not always very enjoyable as it gets super stressful and is not really what I want out of my crafting time.  I’m in a crafting Facebook group where they have a reminder at the beginning of the month to make a few Christmas cards so I thought I’d share the ones I made for this month.  Only two, so not a big dent in the ‘to do’ pile but you’ve got to start somewhere!

As I’m learning watercolour, I’m trying out a line and wash technique.  Usually, this is done by drawing your scene in waterproof ink but (since I can’t draw) I stamped mine with these new Anita Jeram (of ‘Guess How Much I Love You’ illustrative fame) stamps. 

I started by painting the sky and adding a little salt whilst the paint was wet.  This gives lovely texture that looks a little icy.

My colour scheme for the card base was inspired by another lady in the group.  I love seeing other people’s ideas as I would never have thought about using lime green for a Christmas card but by adding that colour to the scarf, it gives a really cohesive look.  I added a little more interest to my card bases by stamping a distressed stripe background stamp in the same ink as the card stock.

The scenes were cut out using a stitched rectangle die and simply glued on the card front.

They’re completely flat cards too so easy to post.

Decorations To Remember

This week’s blog post is a little late due to that pesky Covid.  I was going to do a post on a fun decoration I’d made as gifts for a couple of friends but have been unable to deliver them due to being suddenly upgraded (or is that downgraded?!) to Tier 4, which is essentially another lockdown.  Since the recipients don’t have their gifts, I can’t post about them!  So instead, I’m focussing on Christmas tree decorations.  First though, I finally got my wreath made for the front door.

Do you have a colour theme for your tree? Ours is predominantly red and gold but not exclusively!  Wherever we are, if we spot a nice Christmas decoration, we get it to add to the collection.  I love unpacking the decs each year and having the memories of where they were bought.  I’ve got ones made from Fimo by my sister about 30 years ago, a Smurf Santa from when I was a kid and collected those Smurf figures, ones given to me by old neighbours and lots of homemade ones too. Our tree is lightly decorated this year due to the kittens.  There’s nothing breakable on there and nothing below the bottom 18”!  It still looks lovely though.

These ones are purchased decs.  Clockwise from top left: angel from Monaco, moon and star from a French supermarket, pebble cat on a heart from a local lady (Em’s Pebbles) and a metal tree from the Netherlands, accompanied by my gold ring felt ornament.

These are a selection of some handmade decs.  Clockwise from top left: sequinned pudding (on a polystyrene ball), cross-stitched Tigger mini cushion, piper piping felt ornament and a clay heart sent by our wedding venue the first Christmas after our marriage.

My latest felt decoration, again from mmmcrafts, is a Santa.  Mrs Claus is almost done but is alarmingly headless at the moment. I must try to get her finished before Christmas Day! 

mmmcrafts has just released a pattern for some elves so hopefully they’ll make an appearance next year too.

Wherever you are in the world and whomever you’re allowed to celebrate with, here’s hoping it’s a happy and healthy Christmas.