Many years, when I was 8 years old, I began to learn to play the organ. I had to wait until I was 8 as that’s when my legs were long enough to reach the pedals! My first teacher was an old lady who focused on the theory of music and I did little playing. My second teacher was a young man named Jonathan who taught me to play, taught me theory, got me though the exams to Grade 8 and also became a friend. When it came to choosing a career, I didn’t want to go into music as it was my hobby and has continued to be for almost 40 years.
One of the highlights of my year is having a gathering of family and friends at Christmas to sing carols and Christmas songs, drink mulled wine and apple juice and eat mince pies.
Mr L. produced song sheets so no-one had any excuse for not knowing the words!
We had a very enjoyable evening and it certainly put us in a Christmassy mood!
So, the only thing left for me to do is to wish you all a very, Merry Christmas!
One of the main things that gets my goat about wrapping paper is that it’s not recyclable due to it being shiny. Therefore I thought I might try making some myself this year that could be recycled. I’ve made birthday wrapping paper for individual gifts using brown parcel paper but haven’t ever attempted Christmas wrapping paper. A roll of white easel paper was purchased, which was a real bargain at 20m for £5, I put on one of my favourite Christmas movies (Miracle on 34th Street) and set about making my wrapping paper using a selection of stamp sets and inks.
I did some designs in a repeating pattern format and others in a random scatter pattern depending on the stamp set.
I made some of the designs to coordinate with the tags from my previous posts.
Plus, it spurred me on to make a start on my wrapping too. Result!!
Last Friday I had the most enjoyable day when some friends came around for coffee, biscuits and wreath making. Mr. L had been busy with his chain saw on our overgrown Leylandii hedge to give us some base materials and I had pruned the eucalyptus and rosemary bushes that I let grow large for this very purpose. Between the rain storms, I’d nipped out and cut a little holly and ivy and from the hedgerow and I’d gathered some teasels from the scrub land next to our house and some pine cones from a local park. There are no air miles attached to these wreaths!!
Jane’s husband Dave also came along to offer words of encouragement and be a guest cat bed for Leia….
I’d watched a Gardener’s World video and made a wreath last year so I was the appointed “teacher”. We started with a 12” wire frame and using binding wire, attached the various base foliage to the frame by winding the wire around the frame and foliage, wiggling it between the fronds and leaves to avoid getting a ‘bandaged’ look!
This process was repeated until the base layer was completed and the wire frame was covered.
Next, we prepared the accent pieces – the holly, ivy, pinecones and teasels – by wrapping the stems with floristry wire. Our holly was nude so we attached some artificial berries for added colour.
These pieces were pushed through the base layer and secured to the metal frame. We finished the wreaths by making a bow using wire edged ribbon and secured that into the frame with some binding wire.
Here are Ruth, Joy and Jane with their finished wreaths. They look so professional!
We had so much fun making these and they really weren’t difficult nor expensive to make so I encourage you to have a go!
Since there was a lot of foliage left, Jane took home a couple of the eucalyptus branches for the church flowers so Dave got his own aromatherapy experience on their return journey!
I made three wreaths in total; one for us and one each for my Mum and my Mum-in-law. I finished off my wreaths with a bit of spray glitter.
Last year we bought mini Christmas trees, hellebores and cyclamen to put in the wall mangers which gradually died when I neglected to remove them and plant them in the garden in the spring. So, since I had enough base foliage to make wreaths for about half of Hampshire(!), I decided to fashion some wreath style Christmas trees. I started with some garden wire mesh and cut and moulded it to form a sort of half cone shape and then added the foliage in tree type layers.
Some accent pieces, fairy lights and a star for the top and my Festive Foliage Christmas Tree (that looks like Cousin It!) was complete.
The Christmas Traditions Punch Box comes in a gorgeous tin with 6 festive stamps, a coordinating punch, 2 ink spots and an acrylic block. The tags are quite small so I wanted to pop them up as a feature on a larger tag so set to work making a background. When I buy a new stamp set, I tend to use the main images and the smaller images don’t often get a look in so I thought I’d try making this background using only the small stamps from the Mistletoe Season stamp set. I’m really happy with the way the festive foliage background turned out.
For this project I used:
A4 piece of thick white cardstock
Scraps of green and red glimmer paper (from Joyous Noel glimmer paper pack)
Gold foil paper
A strip of white card for the sentiments
Stampin’ Up! Mistletoe Season stamp set
Stampin’ Up! Christmas Traditions Punch Box
Stampin’ Up! inks in Shaded Spruce Ink, Old Olive and Real Red
Gold Ink pad
Scalloped Tag Topper Punch
I started off randomly stamping the whole A4 sheet with the pine boughs in Shaded Spruce and Old Olive. I then filled in the gaps with the sprig of berries stamped in Real Red and the 3 dots in gold.
The sheet was cut down into 2” strips to fit in the tag topper punch and then cut in half to make ten 2” x 4⅛” rectangles. This left a narrow strip which I scored at 4⅛” and folded to make an additional tag.
The Sending Christmas Wishes stamp was stamped in Shaded Spruce and Real Red ink and then punched out.
I cut out 11 circles from the gold foil paper and a bunch of foliage and berries from the green and red glimmer paper. This was the longest job.
The tags were punched with the tag topper punch to give the lovely scalloped shape and then I used the envelope punch board to round the other two corners, stuck on a gold circle, a couple of pieces of foliage and berries and topped off with the sentiment tag mounted on dimensionals.
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.