Festive Fleeces

Well, here we are at Christmas already!  It really seems to have come around quickly this year.  Firstly, this week, I’d like to share some exciting news with you:  I won a competition on Craftworld.com last month!  The competition was a colour themed challenge for a Valentine’s card and the prize was a full page in Simply Cards and Papercraft magazine, issue 225.  The card I entered was one I made for Mr L a couple of years ago (Feb 2020 blog post) and I was chuffed to bits to be chosen.  Here’s a snap of the page in the magazine.

Now onto my card for this week, although it’s actually three cards.  Our friends have a flock of Icelandic sheep so I try to do sheep themed cards for them for Christmas.  For the 2019 card, I used Clearly Besotted Feeling Sheepish and added some Santa hats, using Lawn Fawn Tiny Gift Box Holiday Hats dies.

The 2020 offering used the bagpipe wielding sheep from Penny Black 12 Days of Christmas on craft card.

This year, I had the idea to make a wreath of sheep.  And why not?!  I stamped the Clearly Besotted sheep onto flocked paper, die cut them and coloured the feet and ears with coloured pencils.

To make the wreath more festive, I stamped the small holly from Lawn Fawn Joy To The Woods and coloured with pencils.  The greeting was cobbled together from various stamp sets!

Lastly, I arranged the sheep in a rough circle, adhering some straight onto the card and raising others on foam.  To add some more festive bling, I added a couple of Santa hats onto the sheep and some red rhinestones for holly berries.  The final touch was a red bow.

Merry Christmas!

Pinecone Wreath

The idea for a pinecone wreath card has been rumbling around my mind for a while and I finally got around to trying it out.  I used some of the £1 stamps from Lavinia to create this with a Stampin’ Up! sentiment.

To begin, I lightly drew a circle for a guide and then stamped the pinecone repeatedly, changing the angles.  I used Versafine Clair ink in Pinecone as it’s waterproof and I planned to colour over the top later.

The next layer was using the mini-holly stamp and Rainforest ink.

I then used the sycamore seed stamp as mistletoe, again in Rainforest ink.  After the inks were dry, I used some water-based brown ink pressed onto my block and the Wink Of Stella pen to colour in the pinecones and add some shimmer.

I coloured in the berries and then topped them with red Nuvo glitter drops to them.  I added some white Nuvo drops for mistletoe berries too along with a few green dots around the wreath.

The panel was edged by drawing my Sharpie along the edge and then blending a little ink onto the corners.  I also added a few gold Nuvo drops around the wreath.

Now, I had envisaged it being finished at this stage but it just didn’t feel right so I stamped Pipin looking up at the sentiment and lightly inked a snow bank to make a scene.

It doesn’t show on the picture above but the Wink of Stella gives loads of shimmer, as you can see in the banner photo at the top of the post.

Festive Foliage and Friends!

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.