Gelli printed Christmas

I know I’m late on parade this week – lots of reasons, but partly down to a very patchy internet connection.  The good news is that we have had builders here digging up the pavement and we do now have the cable duct in place ready for BT to install a phone line.  When they will get round to putting tarmac over the gaping hole is another matter, but they did make an excellent job of re-seating the block paving on our drive that they had to disturb.  Can you believe we have been in our new home for 8 weeks!?!  It still feels awesome to look out at the sea every day.

I deliberately put more information in this week’s Monday Mojo email as I knew I’d struggle to do a blog post as well, so if you want a bit more information, please click here to read this week’s tutorial.

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The stamped images are once again done with PanPastel which was covered in issue 2 of the Monday Mojo series.

I’m keeping this short and sweet as I have a house to get ready for very important visitors – Lesley (our General Manager at Chocolate Baroque) is coming up with her hubby for some fresh sea air and crafting over the long weekend.  We completely failed to realise that the August bank holiday is earlier in the month in Scotland, so we are sticking to English bank holidays at the moment – wonder if anyone will notice if we adopt both?

Harlequin Pears

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This week’s Monday Mojo email got me thinking about batch production for this year’s Christmas cards and inspired by last year’s bauble aperture card, I came up with a variation using a pear shaped die.   I got three cards out of one sheet of A4 card by cutting the long side into three equal strips (9.9cm) then folding each one in half.  The size also meant there were no problems getting the card and die through my die cutting machine.

I used the three different harlequin stamps from Harlequin and Tangled Fragments and stamped each card with VersaMark before dusting with PanPastels in shades of green and yellow.  I stamped and coloured the whole of the card front before die cutting so that I then had decorated pears to use on other cards.

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I added a turtle dove stamped in Archival Vermillion and the greetings inside are all stamped with Archival Olive.  If I wanted to follow the Mojo tutorial, I could have cut a smaller pear shape to suspend in the aperture, but I decided to let the sentiment inside be the focal point.  When I actually come to send these cards, I will probably write my greeting on the back of the card.

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I also made a couple of A6 topfold cards, one of which is shown here using the pear cut out with a little red PanPastel added to it. I stamped the greeting at the bottom then added a strip of card with ribbon attached above the sentiment.

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Here is another card with a very similar layout, but no die cut this time, just the harlequin stamp coloured with PanPastels.

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I’m starting to get quite a nice little stockpile of Christmas cards now, partly because I always try to make at least 3 or 4 cards at a time with the same colours and materials.  That’s just one of my little productivity tips in this week’s email.  (If you’re not on the list to get Monday Mojo emails, you will see a sign up box in the side bar here on my blog.)

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How are you getting on with your Christmas card making?

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Looking ahead to winter

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We always have to launch our Christmas stamps in the heat of summer which can be challenging when it comes to creating artwork.  Yesterday we added a couple of individual winter themed clear stamps to the website.  As Lesley pointed out in the post on the Design Team blog, they are not strictly speaking Christmas, they are winter scenes, so they can be used for other occasions too.

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Both cards are created using the same stamping technique.  I used Adirondack dye inks which contain no fixers so they are not waterproof.  Immediately after stamping, I used a waterbrush to pull colour from the stamped line and add a little shading.  This is a really simple way to get a lovely monochrome image and you can add as much or as little water as you like.

Once dry, I trimmed the image and used a large stipple brush with the same inkpad (this one is Adirondack Stream) to add shading around the edges.  Sticking with just one inkpad means you have perfectly toning colours.   I also used a glue pen to add some fine crystal glitter to the scene and both cards have a strip of embossed tan card that has been sanded to reveal its white core.

I stuck the stamped image to a dark turquoise mat and that is layered onto an embossed panel that I made some time ago.  I think the colour on it has come from me drybrushing a mix of turquoise and metallic silver paint over the top.

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The stamping is done in the same way on the church card, this time using Adirondack Pebble inkpad.  There is a tiny bit of colour where I added a little Dried Marigold to the baubles on the tree, but it is muted by adding crystal glitter over the top.

Both cards have sentiments from Warm Christmas Greetings – one of our bestselling clear Christmas word stamp sets.

We are looking ahead to winter in other ways too as our new home has no central heating.  It was built as a holiday home and just has electric panel heaters, which we know will be hugely expensive to run, so we are busy getting quotes in now to try and get a better heating system installed before the really cold weather comes along.  We need a new kitchen too as what is here would be better described as a kitchenette really.  Fine for holidaymakers eating out and picnicking, but there’s hardly any storage and the fridge is out in the utility room which is not ideal.

Just as we get everything organised and put away, we will probably have to move a lot of it again when the new heating system goes in, so I’m trying to get ahead of the game and make a good batch of Christmas cards for myself ahead of time.  Now where’s that glitter …

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Oh, I almost forgot to mention that these stamps are available singly or as a multi-buy and if you like them, you might be interested in Lesley’s latest new feature

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From time to time, Lesley (Chocolate Baroque’s General Manager) will be including a time limited special treat in the weekly email and this week she has reduced the price of the multi-buy, but only until midnight on Sunday.  It is her way of rewarding our email subscribers so click here if you’re not already on the Chocolate Baroque weekly newsletter list, and watch out for her treat weekends in the future.

Home Sweet Home

This week I feel like I’m getting back to a normal working routine.  Lesley has handed Monday Mojo back to me after helping me out over the last couple of weeks, and didn’t she do a great job?

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This week’s original card was one of the most popular of the whole series, so I hope I’ve come up with another winner with this sweet little landscape card.  As I said in the email, I’m obviously well into ‘nesting’ mode with the choice of house stamps coming to me without even thinking about it.

I have used a mix of stamps – the houses are from Home Sweet Home, the trees are from our clear set Terrific Treescapes and the foliage is a mixture of Tall Trees and stamps from Briar Rose Butterfly and Harebell Butterfly.

I stamped the two house images with black Archival then connected and extended the hills between them with a black fineliner. I also used the fineliner to draw some leaves on the bare tree (the tree behind the house on the left doesn’t have leaves) to match the other one.  I coloured the houses and trees with my Polychromos pencils then drew a faint pencil line to act as my cutting guide and cut away the sky completely.

The hills are coloured lightly with pencils, then I used various green dye inks and a large stipple brush to add stronger colour at the base of the hills.  I stamped foliage all the way along the bottom, mixing and matching elements from different stamp sets and varying the shades of green.  I then scored about an inch in from the left, folded it and put double sided tape down the folded edge.

The back of the card is a separate piece, brayered with a home made inkpad (using distress reinkers) and stamped with a selection of trees from Terrific Treescapes.  I glued the folded edge of my shaped panel onto the back of the brayered card and trimmed through both layers on the right to get them the exact same width.

I am not going to do a colour challenge with this week’s card, but instead, I’m going to leave you with a little tease of something new that we are introducing this Wednesday.

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Check out the Design Team blog on Wednesday to find out what it is.  I’m sure you’ll see this image popping up on the other girl’s blogs too – we’re all pretty excited about it!

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Copyright 2008-2014 Glenda Waterworth. All rights reserved.