My 2016 Christmas Cards

Christmas has come and gone, but I thought it would be fun to stretch it out a little bit more with this behind the scenes look at how I put together my Christmas cards this year. It was a lot of fun and I was very pleased with how they came out.

I started out by making the ornaments. This was the most time consuming part of the process, but since I wanted this to be the main feature, it was worth the effort. Using a design that I had adapted from my favorite vintage ornament box, I printed a full sheet of the ornaments, with Silhouette crop marks, at a copy center using toner based ink. Then I used the print and cut feature on my silhouette cameo to read the crop marks and die cut my ornaments.

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After they were cut, I used my Minc machine to add gorgeous red foil to the design. You can check out a little video of them over on my Instagram. Then I just added a simple twine bow, and they were ready to go! Next I cut the background pieces, some woodgrain, and some green, as well as the pine branches.

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Then, it was time to heat emboss my sentiment on the back of the card with a cute stamp from a Cavallini Christmas set. I made sure to treat the surface with my powder tool first to cut down on unwanted powder sticking, then stamped with my Versamark watermark ink pad, before adding red embossing powder. I usually repeat these steps until I have several cards ready, then heat them in batches.

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To add some dimension to the card base, I backed my green and woodgrain shapes with craft foam and adhered with a tape runner.

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Finally I could assemble the parts and add some embellishments. I attached the ornament with a foam square for even more dimension, and tucked my paper branches around it with a few dabs from a glue stick.

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I added the sequins with tacky glue, to give it a little extra sparkle.

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And there you have it! Thanks for stopping by. I hope to share more behind the scenes looks with you in the coming year, so stay tuned!

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My Holiday Home 2015

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If you read my Holiday 2014 post, you will probably recognize a lot of the same decor, but my collection has grown a bit over the year and I was very excited to add some new things! I will keep this post heavy on the photos, and light on the words as it is really about the eye candy anyway.

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I always put my white dove in the tree. It is the only non glass ornament on the tree, and I think it adds something special to it.

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There is an endless variety when it comes to vintage ornaments. So many unique colors, illustrations, shapes, sizes and textures.

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Here’s a secret: this gold bell is the only one that isn’t vintage. It was a wedding gift from my Aunt. I love the symbolism and it fits in very well with the rest of the tree.

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There is clearly a lot going on in this tree, but when you step back it all looks very uniform and polished. I love how they come together. Of course, I have far too many in my collection to put on the tree, so I have to find other ways of showing them off.

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Some of them don’t even come out of the box because they look so nice all together.

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I even sneak some of the ornaments into the kitchen.

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The Kennedys were feeling festive this year too.

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Here we are on Christmas day! Happy Holidays Everyone!

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My Holiday Home 2014

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I love to decorate, but decorating for Christmas is by far my favorite. Each year I find myself eager for Halloween to be over so that the store shelves can begin their glittery transformation into holiday wonderland. I was especially excited for this year because we decided to splurge a bit on a brand new artificial tree. After a few years of struggling with our other tree, which turned out to be a bit of a dud from the start, I was finally ready to throw in the towel. I didn’t even take pictures of the tree for last year’s post because I was so disappointed with how it looked. I set my sights on a champagne colored tree, though I was skeptical that my husband would share my vision for such a sparkly and non-traditional tree. To my surprise he liked the idea. We have a small, fairly dark living room and a large dark green object made it feel smaller. We hoped that maybe a champagne tree would brighten things up a bit, and by golly it does just that!

 

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I try to keep the holiday decor contained to two zones: kitchen and living room, just to make it easier on myself (and those living here!) Let’s start with the living room. The wreath that I made last year has survived it’s first year of storage. (Whew!) This is probably my hardest piece to store because of the shape and extremely delicate nature of it. A few pieces did pop off, but I wasn’t quite finished filling in all the gaps with tiny ornaments after last year, so I just re-glued all the loose bits as I finished it up. Now it is nice and full.

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Mr. Rabbit has donned his festive chapeau once again.

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Kitschy holiday knick-knacks abound everywhere you look.

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But the star of the show is the tree. I am just over the moon about it! My collection of vintage blown glass ornaments looks absolutely perfect among the shiny tinsel branches, and the tree itself even looks vintage. I did consider getting an actual vintage aluminum tree, but it is much harder to find the size and shape you want, and many of them cannot be strung with lights.

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I find myself not wanting to leave the room at night to go to bed. I just want to stay curled up on the sofa staring at the beautiful glowing tree and basking in my own little Christmas wonderland.

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Ahhh… Now, onto the kitchen!

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One advantage of having a mostly red and green kitchen year-round is that it easily transforms into a Christmas themed kitchen!

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Once again, kitschy knick-knacks abound.

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Even the top of the refrigerator is festive.

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I’d like to give a special thanks to June, the amazing photo-boming dog, for once again inserting herself into the scene. Where will she show up next? Who knows!

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Thanks for stopping by for another little peek into my life. Happy Holidays!

Christmas and Beyond

Christmas has come and gone, can you believe it? Here is a look back on how we enjoyed the holidays.

We had my family over for Christmas Eve. I loved getting to use the pull out leaf of our table, and the red and white colors are perfect for the Christmas table setting!

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Since this was our first time to host a big holiday at our house, I thought I would try some simple sounding recipes. We had lemon pesto chicken that cooked in the crock pot (so easy!) with mashed potatoes, honey roasted cauliflower, bread, and salad. All followed by a cornucopia of baked goods and sweets. I was so excited to eat I forgot to take any pictures of the food once it hit the table, but it was delicious and beautiful!

Exchanging gifts was a blast. I love giving gifts, even more than receiving them. I love finding them, making them, wrapping them, and watching them get opened! I made everyone open mine first because I just couldn’t wait! My most crafty gift was for my sister. She loves mason jars, so I made her this custom brooch using her middle name as the brand. Lots of painting, sanding, and sealing went into this one to make all the details stand out. I love it!

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I won the award for creepiest gift given, by making a replica of the Laura Palmer glamour shot prop from Twin Peaks for my super-fan husband. He was surprised, delighted, and a little creeped out all at once. I signed it “to Chris, from the Log Lady.”

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Christmas Day was spent with Chris’ family, which meant even more delicious food, sweet treats, and fun family time.

The next morning I was off with my parents to visit mom’s family in Iowa/Nebraska for my Grandmother’s 80th birthday. What a milestone! It was so fun to see everyone. We had almost that entire side of the family present. The weather was sunny and 65 degrees! What?! Their neighbors had laundry on the line, and there was no snow on the ground. My aunt & I ditched our coats and popped out for some fresh air and speed thrifting after diner before the store closed. My grandparents town may only have a few hundred residents, but they do have a killer thrift store! I found the exact mid century wire shelf I have been hunting for, as well as some milk glass plates and miscellaneous craft supplies. All in under 20 minutes!

Thrifting was the theme of our journey. There is a lot to see in the midwest, but not so much on the stretch of highway between Chicagoland Nebraska. We tried to keep things interesting by stopping to eat and thrift when we needed a break. That’s how my family gets its kicks. We even stopped by Le Claire to visit picker mecca – Antique Archaeology!

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I really got to stretch out the holiday celebrations this year. I got home and a couple days later it was New Year’s Eve! Chris filled in on drums for a friend’s 90s cover band. I tried to get a picture, but it was hard with him moving at warp speed.

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So much fun, despite the horrifying driving conditions. In case you missed it, we got some winter in these parts. At one point we checked the radar to find the storm was shaped like a thick line moving straight over our town. We are loving the electric snowblower we purchased this season!

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Happy new year!

Festive Finds

I have not posted my finds in a while! Mostly this is because I have been purchasing a lot of thrifty gifts and don’t want to ruin any surprises! I did go to an estate sale a few weeks back and got these great items:

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So many fun holiday finds! The fiber glass tray and pitcher are the highlight for me. I spent quite a while digging through boxes at this one, those are the best sales. How cute is this guy!?

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I have still been crafting like a mad woman to get ready for the holiday rush. Today really kicks off the shopping season, but I already have so many presents bought and wrapped. I like having them done early so I can put them under the tree. Bonus decorations! This will be our first official Christmas in our new home, so many fun firsts this past year!

Estate Sale Digging

This weekend I went to two sales in tight, maze-like houses. There were narrow stairs, tons of people, and mountains of stuff.

The first sale was small, and picked over. I only got a few things.

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The hat needs work, and I don’t know if I can even get it clean. I don’t have a lot of experience with wool felt, but it has no holes or issues besides the stains, so for 75¢, I took a risk.

The bigger sale was a digger. There were so many un-sorted boxes. I came out with some real goodies.

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The furry thing draped over the box is actually a mink collar. This is something I never thought I would own. I am not into the whole animal pelt thing. I will spare you my soap box rant about animal rights. However, while digging through boxes of christmas decoration in an attic, I discovered it and thought I ought to rescue it. An animal died to make that collar, why let it get destroyed? I had intended to make a (faux)fur collar for my coat, but this one is perfect, just needs a little freshening up.

I was happy to get a handful of good Christmas craft supplies. I can put those to use right away. There was a giant box of the wooden cut outs. They were handmade by someone who lived in the house. The tiny storks and camel are birthday candle holders. So fun!

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The bank and the planter are probably my favorites.

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I also found a nice shelf for my kitchen. It is already painted white and has grooves for plates, major bonus for the kitchen. My ingredient containers from the first sale will look great on here. I plan to add hooks or a dowel rod to the bottom for hanging towels and utensils.

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And now I go back to my studio for more Christmas crafting!