I don’t like to admit it but i am already getting really excited about Christmas.
With no shed and limited storage space in our new house, we have kept our artificial Christmas tree outside for the last few months, wrapped up tight with a plastic sheet to shelter it from the harsh British weather. But last week, the rain was coming down so fast and furious it was bouncing off the ground and our poor tree was starting to suffer. So, after some negotiations, i managed to convince my husband Craig that it should come inside. But where would it go? Adamant that it was not suitable to have a Christmas tree up just yet, Craig insisted that the top two thirds of the tree must now reside in the coat closet, but agreed that the bottom part really has no where to stay other than the living room. So as i sit here, i see a partial Christmas tree that not only looks completely sorrowful and wrong, but also is reminding me how much i can’t wait for the holiday season. So, after months and months of complaining about seeing Christmas items in the shops already, i have bitten the bullet and decided that it is time to start thinking about Christmas after all.
This of course means two wonderful things: shopping for Christmas presents and making Christmas cards – and lucky for me, i love doing both! So as crafting always comes first, i started to think about the first Christmas card i would make. It had to be special, most likely big, and definitely fun! So here it is.
This card was inspired by a project in the November issue of Craft Stamper magazine , where designer Jo Young Firth showcases a pop up card depicting a meadow and terrace houses. I knew instantly that i had a selection of Christmas stamps that would go great together to make a funky Christmas scene in a similar style.
In order to get myself started, I pulled out a selection of rubber stamps that would possibly work for this idea and tried to visualise them all together in a way that might work. One of of my Christmas themed stamps in particular jumped out at me straight away – the “Winsome Wonderland” trees stamp by Stampendous, as it has a really cool, quirky, doodled look that adds a funky eclectic edge. I knew immediately that i wanted to use this as a starting point for the project.
Next i picked out some other stamps that would work, but in comparison to the trees stamp, they seemed too plain and too different in style. In order to reproduce the eclectic feel with these stamps, i first used some black archival ink to stamp some Christmas text and background designs a onto some white cardstock, then stamped my main design images on top.
By using an archival inkpad, this means that i can colour the images with watercolour pencils and use a wet paintbrush to blend the colours together, without worrying about the black ink bleeding into the image. This watercolour technique gives a nice soft colour coverage which compliments perfectly with the blue snowy foreground and purple sky background which was brayered onto white cardstock.
Once i had stamped and assembled all the bits for the inside of the card, i turned to the outside. To give maximum impact when opening the card, i wanted a plain and simple outer design. With a few strips of scrap paper, glitter card, foam pads and the polar bear stamp – the result was exactly how i wanted it. Proud of my new creation, i am definitely getting in the swing of Christmas, and i must admit that am feeling a desperately guilty urge to break into the coat closet to retrieve the remaining two-thirds of my poor Christmas tree (sshhhh…don’t tell Craig!)
Do you like my first Christmas card of 2008? Why don’t you leave a comment to let me know your thoughts.