Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A Mid-century Modern Merry Christmas -

 This Christmas card evokes the feeling of a mid-century modern Christmas with the tinsel trees, and the mint green and pinkish reds with very clean lines and minimal decor.  I used several of my favorites from this year's Tim Holtz Christmas stamp and stencil release through Stampers Anonymous.
 The sentiment is from Christmas Classic CMS322 and the green Cracked Pistachio Distress Oxide background is made from the Sparkles and Christmas CMS324 stamp set.
The pinkish red background is the Starry THS093 stencil  made with the Candied Apple Distress Oxide.

All the the silver stamped images from Christmas Classic were stamped in Black Distress Oxide and heat embossed with Fine Silver Embossing Powder by Ranger.
The pine cone technique is the same one I used on a previous card to make holly leaves, and I used the same Festive THS029. You can see the technique on this post: Special Delivery.

Friday, December 8, 2017

A Christmas Memory Vignette Tray

I made this memory Vignette Tray using Christmas Ideaology and Sizzix dies in order to showcase some of my treasured Christmas memories.  I couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out.

When I was growing up, my family worked every December at a Christmas Tree farm in Central California called Friendly Pines. It was owned and managed by an older, retired couple from our church at the time. It was a Quaker church, also known as a Friends Church, thus the name Friendly Pines. Because this was a Christmas Tree farm in California's very warm San Joaquin Valley, in all the years we worked there there was never once so much as a single snowflake. Consequently it was always very green. That's why there is not a bit of winter snow in this vignette. 

The top of the large Vignette Tray is decorated with two Tim Holtz Tree Dies - Evergreen and Treeline. I cut multiples from these dies, inked them up and spritzed the with water to get the variations in color, then I trimmed them and popped them up and layered them to try and get them to look like rows of different sized Christmas trees on the lot. I used the Christmas Red Alpha Dice and added some pine branches from the Sizzix Tim Holtz Pine Branch punch and the pine cones are some Beaded Berries (another one of my favorite things from the 2017 Christmas release! I would love to have these beauties around all year long!)
The Wood Slices are one of my favorite things from the Tim Holtz Christmas Ideaology 2017 release. I especially love the ones with the little bits hanging off the sides that aren't perfectly round. My Dad cut slabs of burl wood and did tree pruning and cut the Christmas Trees when I was younger. Even at almost 80 he still prunes trees, and cuts small slabs of wood, usually for craft supplies for me and my mom. So when I saw the imperfect wood slabs I fell in love! They HAD to be part of my title for this memory vignette. I stamped the letters on them with the Ideaology Cling Foam Christmas Alpha stamps and Festive Berries Distress Paint. They, as well as the lights, are hanging from the Vignette Hardware screw eyes and hooks.
The Letterpress letters are painted with Festive Berries Distress Paint and then I lightly sanded some of the paint off once it was dry so the wood shows through.
In this part of the vignette, you can see I used the Christmas Paper Doll family. They represent the many families who would come to Friendly Pines to purchase their Christmas trees each year. The Christmas Paper Doll man with the tree represents my dad, who worked every weekend cutting trees for families and he would hold it for them and carry it to their car and help them get it tied down for the drive home.
The Christmas Baseboard and Christmas Ephemera represent some of the walls on the check out stand where they had tons of things posted.
The strings of lights represent the actual strings of lights that hung over the rows of trees so people could see at night when they were purchasing trees.

In this part of the vignette, the Christmas Paper Doll boys represent the kids who never stayed with their parents and ran around climbing on things and playing. The wood slices at the bottom represent all the wood slices from the bottoms of the trees that were everywhere throughout the farm.
The Christmas Paper Doll girl in the small Ideaology Vignette Box Top represents my sister, Melissa.  She was a serious seasonal entrepreneur. During the week my dad would help folks out by pulling mistletoe out of their trees around town. Then at night, my mom and sister would make clippings of mistletoe and tie it with pretty ribbons. The first year, my dad made her a sales booth out of a refrigerator box and they decorated it and handpainted a sign that said "Missy's Mistletoe." Mom put matching bows in her hair and she sat out in that box on the weekends and sold mistletoe for 25 cents a bundle and made a ton of Christmas Cash. No one could resist the cute little girl in the box selling mistletoe. Eventually she outgrew the box and sold it from a window in the Tree Farm sales booth. The decorations on the Vignette Box Top are from the Tim Holtz Village Christmas Time dies.
My job wasn't nearly as cute nor as lucrative. I was the greeter/parking lot attendant. I was tasked with sitting on a wooden crate and as soon as a car came down the driveway I said, "Hello! Welcome to Friendly Pines Christmas Tree Farm! You can park here, or in the parking lot further down. Have a Merry Christmas!" probably about a thousand times every Christmas season.
Thanks for taking the time to meander down memory lane with me as I described my thought process behind this memory Vignette Tray. When my mom saw it she said it perfectly represented our family  Christmas memories of the many Decembers we spent at Friendly Pines Christmas Tree Farm. one of the only things it is missing is that amazing fresh cut Christmas Tree pine scent that is hands-down one of my favorite scents of the season.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Have Merry Frontier Christmas

 I don't know about you, but I have really enjoyed the Tim Holtz Holiday Inspiration 2017 series! There are so many amazing projects that I really want to try and make.  I'm so honored to have my Frontier Burlap Panel featured in the series today. This panel came about when I was just sitting and looking through this year's delightful holiday products, and I realized I wanted to make a decor item to go with my Disneyland Frontierland Christmas Tree.
 The first step was to open the Ideaology 6x8 Burlap Panel. The panel is backed with a piece of brown, leather looking chipboard.  I trimmed it down so that it was smaller than the panel, then using my Clear 12" Ideaology Ruler, I poked holes 1/4" apart all the way around the edge of the panel. Then using the Brown Eclectic Elements Crafter's Thread, I sewed a blanket stitch all around the edge.
 This made a solid background that kind of looked like hand-sewn leather. That was important to the frontier look of the panel and it added a nice layer of texture.
 Because it was going to be winter in the frontier, I added some "snow" by putting Distress Grit Paste through the Tim Holtz Speckles Stencil THS021. Let it dry and then attach the faux leather panel.
Next, cut two pieces of paper from the Christmas Paperie Holiday Stash. I used the white paper with black + symbols, and the red, white and black plaid, which is my favorite paper in this year's stash. I added machine stitching around the edge of the two papers with white thread.
 The metal elements on this panel needed to feel like something that would fit in the frontier, and when I think of pioneers I think of cast iron. So the Stars Adornments, Snowflakes Adornments, and the Ideaology Trophy Antlers were all painted to resemble cast iron.  I painted them with Black Soot Distress Paint. I dried them and pounced more black soot paint on them. You don't want them to have a smooth texture. Once they were dry, I rubbed some Frayed Burlap Distress Paint over them and wiped it off with a wetwipe.  I just wanted it to give them a dry dusty old cast iron look to them but not cover up the black paint.  The snowflake got an added bit of Picket Fence Distress Paint.
For the wreath, I used the Ideaology Wood Slices and stamped various snowflakes from Mini Holidays 3 and Winter Sketchbook CMS094
I stamped the snowflakes onto the wood slices with Ground Espresso Archival Ink. Then I arranged them in a two layered wreath in a circle around the Trophy Antlers and attached them all to the plaid paper.
I cut some of the Holly branches from the Holiday Greens. I inked the edges with a darker green and bent the leaves to give them some texture. Then I adhered some of the Beaded Berries here and there throughout the holly. I liked the accent of the white berries as opposed to coloring the red.
I did however color the Linen Ribbon with Candied Apple Distress Oxide.  
The last little touch is that I cut a label from the Tags Thinlets die set and trimmed off the end, added a Holiday Quote Chip, and then tied it on by wrapping some black Crafter's Thread around the plaid and tying it through the Label Tag.

That's it! I know this isn't a tutorial, but I hope that my explanations help you if you decide you want to try to make a Frontierland Christmas Panel.


P.S. Today's Christmas recipe is a family favorite. Almond Roca is best made in a cast-iron skillet, so I thought it would be apropos to share it with this project.

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