Sunday, 23 November 2014

A Christmas Tale, Jane's Journal countdown to Christmas 2014

When is a card not a card? .....when it's a book. To explain myself; some time ago I bought a Tim Holtz configurations box book. I have been saving it for a special project. When I saw the challenge "All sewn up" over at A Vintage Journey I decided that it was time to get decorating. I chose to make a very special gift card for my son for Christmas. He is so like me and even at 25 loves everything about this magical time of the year. I realised my box book could become a Christmas card and decoration gift for him all rolled into one.I spent some time thinking about a theme and I decided that it would resemble a cloth bound vintage book on the outside and that inside it could tell a little vintage Christmas story.

 It is also the very last challenge over at Lili of the Valley, who are so dear to my heart. I wanted to make something really special for this too. So this became a special Jane's Journal Tim Holtz and Lili of the Valley vintage fusion.

For those of my blogging friends who have no idea what a configurations box book looks like, here it is in its raw undecorated state. 
It has little compartments which you can decorate as well as a "cover" to make it look like a book from the outside.

I made the very brave decision to not only decorate the inside but also to make a cover for the outside which would resemble a vintage cloth bound book.

 I suggest you grab a cuppa at this point or pop back when you have some more time as this is a very picture heavy post.

Firstly to make my box look more like a book I added some acrylic paints to texture paste and covered the top and side to look like book pages.

I spread this down the edges with a palette knife and roughened it up a little
When it was dry I also added some gold gilding wax.
To make the "cloth" covers I decided to first paint some printed papers with watered down Gesso. When Gesso dries it gives the paper a very different, almost material feel to it. I added some festive stamping, some stenciling and lots of Tim's Christmas remnant rubs. I love these as you get a black and white sheet in the pack. 
Here is part of the back cover showing my "gilded "pages. I also distressed them to give even more of a vintage feel
and below is a close up of the back cover.

Here is the front cover. I added lots of stencilling too. I also altered some silver metal menu holders with Distress Paint and added them as book corners.
You can also see that I tried to make the binding look like material. To do this I embossed some green card and added it as a spine for the book, with plenty of distress ink and gilding wax to "age" it. I added Remnant rubs to look like the title of the book.
and here is the book opened out.

For the inside cover I die cut my Cheery Lynn Merry Christmas sentiment as I shall write in this for my son.
I added some distress glitter for even more texture.
Above is the inside page, I used Astrid's free Santa download for this page from her blog, thanks Astrid.
So having made my "cloth" book covers, which I will confess took a lot of time and patience, it was time to think about what to put inside.
I had bought some fun wooden pieces which I thought my son would like. I then had to decide the arrangement of my little boxes.
I made some tiny little parcels which I wrapped with Christmas paper and tied with gold sewing thread. I altered the deer with metallic distress paint and I hand sewed a little hessian sack and made a little draw string for it with embroidery cotton.

I also made a little wreath, using the TH garland wire below which I stitched together and added some bells and ribbons will see this later.

Now my son is not really into LOTV cute fairies so I chose an image from their great Christmas eve art pad. 
I chose the bottom image from this page to use as the main Christmas scene. My son loves snowmen so I thought this one would be perfect to use. I also thought that the cottages already gave me an idea for a little Christmas story to tell with my artwork. 
My whole theme of my "book"is a
of a  vintage childhood Christmas.

So I then spent hours creating all these little boxes, each one is a special scene.
So how about a peep inside then........
I shall open up the pages.............and tell you a story..........

Come on in...............
Once upon a time one snowy Christmas Eve, in the village of Deepwish stood a snowman. Deepwish was such a pretty little village with cottages all lit up in the darkness by golden lights shining from within. Roaring fires inside added to the cosy glow. The snowman had been made by the children that afternoon. They had given him a hat and scarf which he wore with pride.  The moon had already risen into the inky sky lighting it up like a little beacon.

The snowman had a friend called  Leaping Deer who reared up with excitement as they watched the children excitedly taking their sledges home. Their shrill young voices could be heard ringing like bells through the still cold air. It was nearly time for Father Christmas to make his annual visit on his sleigh with his sack of presents bulging to the brim. The children hurried home eager to get to bed and await his arrival.
No one in Deepwish could ever remember the snow being so deep, it glinted in the moonlight like thousands of diamonds.

Daisy Harper was 7 years old and lived at Holly cottage. She knew that the deep snow would make a soft landing for Rudolf as he led his merry band of reindeer that night. It would be hard to hear the hooves on the roof, even if she managed to stay awake. 
 There were decorations up all around her home; lots of Christmas cards and in pride of place in the parlour was the Christmas tree with a special magical blue star at the top. She had stood there that evening and made a special wish before she kissed her parents goodnight and they tucked her into bed.

Florence knew that tonight was such a magical one. She had written her list, using her favourite ink pen, to Father Christmas and sent it up the chimney a few weeks back. She knew that  if she had been good girl all year perhaps he would visit her and leave a present or two..........

As the clock in the hall struck 12 there was a gentle thud on the roof of Holly Cottage. There was also the sound of jingle bells and the crunch of boots walking through the snow. With a sparkle of magic dust a jolly face appeared and  smiled at the sight of the sweet sleeping girl. Shhhh, don't wake her...Father Christmas had arrived...Sweet dreams little Daisy and Merry Christmas. It looks as though all your Christmas wishes will come true  xxxxxxx

The End

I hope you enjoyed my little Christmas tale ;0)

Here are a couple more shots of the inside scenes

The Father Christmas image is by Nicecrane Designs. I also reduced a couple of images to 1cm size and made the tiny Christmas cards. Ignacio has lots of wonderful vintage Christmas designs. The tree is a Tim Holtz tree which I altered with Dylusions spray ink and I added some sewing thread as tinsel and gems as baubles. 
The icicle border is Cheery Lynn cut with a shimmery white card stock. The holly and Santa sleigh are also CL and the branch is Marianne.
The charms and corners are all from my jewellery making stash.

I absolutely loved making this piece and I have put lots of love into it for my darling son for Christmas xxx

It's his card and decoration for this year...all sewn up ;0)

I would like to enter my box card into the following challenges;

A Vintage Journey all sewn up
Lili of the Valley Merry Christmas
Sparkles Monthly The big guy aka Santa
                               Mixed Media Monthly stamps I have used lots of stamps to make the covers of my project
                                                         Divas by Design let it snow
                                               Frilly and Funkie a gift from the heart
                                                              Bunny Zoe snow
                                 Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas getting ready for Christmas
                                    Rhedds Creative Spirit mixed media anything goes
Pan Pastels UK cold and frosty colours

It has been such a dismal, wet day here. I hope that my little tale has put a smile on your faces. Enjoy your Sunday evening. 

Back soon,

Bye for now.

Jane x

Saturday, 22 November 2014

The Funkie Junkie's 12 tags of Christmas #8 Jane's Journal style.

Thanks for coming back to see my creation for this week. I managed to get it photographed yesterday so I can post it today.
Everyone is welcome to join in with The Funkie Junkie 12 tags of Christmas challenge. It closes on 21st December by which time you need to have submitted all 12 creations using Linda's tags for inspiration. You can make anything at all. The full rules are over on her blog here . Linda offers 3 very generous prizes of gift vouchers to spend in her terrific on line shop, The Funkie Junkie Boutique. Do have a look at the link here . I am choosing to make 12 Christmas cards instead of tags.

This week for the 8th tag Linda went for a homespun style card which you can see here. As you know I am making cards instead of tags and this week I was inspired by her lovely stocking. I have a gorgeous Nicecrane Image which is part of the Christmas children greeting set which I have been wanting to use for a while so I printed this out.  Linda also included a snowflake and some bells and I wanted to bring these into my design as well.

My daughter and I had been looking at Christmas stockings recently, she was looking for one for Daisy.  We really liked the lovely vintage hessian ones that are in the shops this year. I had a light bulb moment and decided I could create a "faux sewn" hessian stocking on my card and create a special Christmas card for  Daisy. I had a rummage through my stash and below is initially what I came up with, although you will see that in the end I did not use the wooden pieces. I love that what you initially plan often takes another direction as it comes to life!
I first stamped my snowflake background onto the lovely deep green card I found.
 I used white pigment ink with my Visible Image snowflakes stamps
Next it was time to cut a stocking shape out of my hessian. I looked at images on the Internet but none were the right size so I ended up just drawing one freehand.
 which I cut out
I wanted to add a pretty top to the stocking and heels and toes similar to how Linda's looked so I raided my ribbon stash and found a great wide lacy ribbon which I cut down
as I wanted a bottom edge to my cuff I just cut this off the ribbon and stuck it in place
I also had some fun holly ribbon (it's amazing what you find when you search through you stash!) 
 I  cut round the toe and heel of the stocking and added the lacy ribbon there too
I have some sweet golden bells which I added brass jump rings too. My jewellery stash comes into its own sometimes with my card making.
 I threaded 3 onto a piece of fine red ribbon
 and then tied a bow.

So then it was time for the creative fairy to do her work....and this is what I came up with.........
 a close up of the gorgeous vintage image, those smiles are as wide as my darling Daisy's. They seem very pleased with the stockings they are hanging up ready for Father Christmas.
Below is a shot of the bells,  LOTV tag sentiments and the great Cheery Lynn icicle die cut.
 and this is the heels and toe of the sock I make with the lacy ribbon.

I must admit I was really pleased with how this one turned out and I am sure that Daisy will enjoy shaking her card as yes the little gold bells really do ring!

I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;

The Funkie Junkie's 12 tags of Christmas week 8
Visible Image Favourite stamp I use the enchanting snowflake set so much, I love these stamps
A creative Romance something old my old is my vintage image and the ribbons and bells from my stash.
Crafty Catz  winter theme
Divas by Design let it snow
The artistic stamper Christmas is coming
Bunny Zoe snow
As you like it Favourite Christmas style and why  mine is traditional as it takes me back to my own childhood, such special memories.
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas getting ready for Christmas
Allsorts No designer papers
The mixed media challenge stamps I used snowflake stamps for my background paper
Merry Monday bells
Cheery Lynn tag you're it

I hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend. We are off this afternoon to babysit our Daisy as my SIL's 30th birthday celebrations are beginning...he is spreading them out over the next week!

Back soon with something rather special which as taken me many hours to make.......ho..ho...ho!

There are now only 32 days left until the Big Day....keep shopping!

Jane x

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Golden brown

I think this autumn has been one of the best for glorious leaf colour. Many trees are still in leaf and wearing shades of gold, red, green and yellow. This morning I had a rare day at home and as well as some crafting time I went out for a walk. It was a pleasant mild day with some milky sunshine too.

I took my camera to capture the wonderful colours that are still around where I live.

 and in the garden my neighbour's false acacia is finally dropping it's leaves.
As I headed to my garden studio I decided to make a Christmas card using a Tim Holtz wreath stamp which I have itching to ink up for ages.

I decided to focus on the stamp so I made a simple stencilled background using my TH Christmas words stencil. I then used a water colour technique. I painted Distress inks onto my stamp and then gave a huff...........
 and stamped out this very pretty stamp

 I misted up the stamp again and tried a 2nd generation stamp which I also loved and I will use this for another card.
I mounted my image onto some festive paper and stamped a sentiment and a bow.
I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;

Divas by Design let it snow
Pan Pastel cold and frosty colours
We do doobadoo Christmas
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas challenge Go Green
The Artistic stamper Christmas is coming
Bunny Zoe snow
Artist Trading post stencil mania
Christmas cards all year round no patterned papers
Pile it on vintage
That's Crafty vintage

I need to dash....I'm meeting my Hb for a meal out tonight, candlelight, chat and  laughter...I can't wait. Enjoy your evening. I will be back on Sunday with my Funkie Junkie week 8 card, gosh time is flying by. Take care and enjoy the weekend. Thanks as always for your kind visits and comments you all take the time to leave.

Bye for now,

Jane x