Merry Christmas everyone!
2016 was the fastest year EVER - I truly can't believe it's Christmas already. I guess that means it was a fun, full year.
This was the first year in a long time that I wasn't too frazzled to "do" Christmas and Thanksgiving. This year, I enjoyed the real holiday season without feeling rushed or behind on life. I think Falliday Fest at Splitcoast really helped me enjoy the season in its own time. I made tons more holiday themed cards too, which I never get to do. It just has been a great fall and winter. The tree is up, the outside lights are twinkling. I hope I do it right next year too because this has been very fun.
Now, as is my custom on this day, I will show you my Christmas card. This year I made 200 of them, and I really enjoyed every one.
To start with, I created large backgrounds on watercolor paper with fluid acrylic paint, I did this in a marathon crafting session at my sister's house one day.
I really like to do backgrounds and cut them down for my cards. It ties them all together, but still each one is unique. Then I pick a size so that I 'm not wasting any of the background, and cut them into small, uniform panels for the cards.
Then, when I saw the November Paper Pumpkin kit - I knew how to finish them! I ordered enough refills to get 200 of the little tree die cuts, and I used the rest of the kits for my customer thank you cards for the year. So it was an incredible value and perfectly timed.
Over Thanksgiving and the weeks that followed, I assembled them during TV time after dinner - it was strange to watch Bates Motel while making holiday cards, but I love that creepy show. Right now we are also watching The Crown, of course Longmire, and Timeless and the Returned.
The fun part for me is that each card is different, so I oohed and aahed my way through the stacks of them during assembly. I love the way they turned out.
We will be doing this fluid acrylic technique at my June retreat so I can't spill the beans on exactly HOW I made them, but what I will tell you is that I used the same three colors the same way every time, and every one is completely different. (PS - I will open public registration for the retreat at the end of January, after the alumni registration closes.)
My favorites were the brights, like this one. The sentiment is from the Paper Pumpkin kit as well. Inside I stamped the "Merry Everything Happy Always" from Suite Seasons.
links to all supplies used
Some came out very muted and beautiful.
On some, some colors became more dominant.
This is just a tiny sample of how unique they all were. Since it's acrylic paint, the watercolor paper became very thick, so it's a pretty sturdy card.
Because of the size of the watercolor paper I used (link above in supplies), I was also left with little strips from each one, so I used those to make my team thank you cards for the year so I got nearly a hundred more from using up those leftovers. In the end, there was very little waste - and when the scraps are this pretty that's a good thing - and the cards were super economical, even though the paint was pretty expensive.
I cannot begin to tell you how much fun this was, and how much I enjoy sending out a little piece of happy mail every year.
To finish them off, I put them all in Audrey Blue envelopes, with round address stickers, and sealed with a piece of glitter washi tape. All that is linked above - and check out the labels - they are SO much cheaper than Avery, and they use the standard Avery templates built into Microsoft Word, or whatever label program you use.
In case you missed it, we did a Crafty Chat on holiday crafting and holiday cards and you can see that here.
Now it wouldn't be Christmas without gifts, right? Taheera Atchia was kind enough to include me in her fun Advent Calendar Extravaganza hop that has been going on all month - and my day is today!
This is especially awesome because Christmas cards is really where the MISTI saves me. Prior to this tool - I threw away between 25 and 30 percent of my Christmas card attempts because of stamping issues - uneven inking, crooked sentiments, etc. Now I can not only stamp them quickly, but totally accurately. It has eliminated the waste I used to have - incredibly valuable.
Here's how you can win - leave a comment here on this post telling me your favorite thing about this time of year, and also a comment at Taheera's blog for a chance to win the My Sweet Petunia prize. Then, to win the other prizes, leave a comment on each blogger's post and also on Taheera's to win the previous prizes. How fun is that? There's a ton of amazing sponsor goodies - it's a really spectacular series of giveaways. and you have until 23:59 EST on December 31st to enter for all of them. Check back on Taheera's blog on January 1 for winner info!
I hope your holiday season has been fun, full of cookies, and restful. I am off work for the next week so I'm hoping to be back with some fun cards for you after the break!