That’s Crafty! Show Samples: Christmas

Following on from yesterday’s post, here are the Christmas demo samples I made for the live Hochanda shows. Unfortunately, we seemed to enter a time warp for the final hour, and there was not much time to go through all the demos I had lined up.

Merry Christmas Wreath

That’s Crafty! Surfaces MDF Wreaths and Baubles Set
That’s Crafty! Surfaces Bits & Pieces Greyboard: Christmas Sentiments 2
That’s Crafty! Surfaces Bits & Pieces Greyboard: Holly & Mistletoe
That’s Crafty! Surfaces Bits & Pieces Greyboard: Christmas Florals 2
That’s Crafty! Multi Surface Paint: Christmas Red / Green / Purple / White
That’s Crafty! Multi Surface Paint: Antique Gold / Gold / Silver
That’s Crafty! Multi Purpose Craft Adhesive Pen

Try mixing different colours to make shades of green – red for a warm brown, purple for a rich evergreen. Use Craft Adhesive for a doming glaze over the berries, and a glaze for the leaves.

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Altered Art: Decorated Tree Decoration

treeThis is another of my specially designed tree decorations for today’s workshop in The Studio (candy cane one here if you missed it). The workshop has just finished, so you’ve missed out! Cut out from card and pushed onto a split-pin clothes peg, I’ve decorated with DecoArt Media fluid acrylics, Ranger Stickles and Liquid Pearls.

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New Year’s Day Project: Card Collage

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It’s the annual Christmas Party for my studio regulars tomorrow, and traditionally we do a project that upcycles the now defunct Christmas cards and wrapping paper. This time I thought we’d do a little home decor piece ready to pack away with the decorations to bring out again next Christmas. Here’s my example, created in a Tando Creative Mini Printer Tray (laser cut greybeard).

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Mass Production Line: The Burley Christmas Cards

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It’s that time of year again. That time when you’ve designed this year’s Christmas card, and it’s time to make all 75 cards that are apparently required. So, a mass production line swings into action. Here are some tips:

  • When heat embossing large numbers of images, consider getting a teppanyaki hot plate (top right). Cover with a heat resistant non-stick sheet, turn up to a temperature where the embossing powder just melts, and then as you stamp and add the powder to each piece, the previous piece is melting. Slide the piece off with the end of a paintbrush as the embossing powder finishes melting. Occasionally you may need to push the card to the hot surface (again with the end of a paintbrush) if it has curled up.
  • Liquid Pearl dots love to cling and merge to the next one if wet. In my mass production line, I dotted in the same place on each holly sprig before leaving the set to dry. After a minimum of an hour, I did the next dot on each sprig, and left them again. Finally the third dot was added in the same fashion.

    TOP TIP:
    If your Liquid Pearls is misbehaving, warm it up on a radiator or in your pocket. It become less viscous, flowing better and forming nice domes.

  • Assemble in batches – and take a break between batches to stretch, change your attention, and generally improve productivity. And prevent boredom!

As to the finished result – you’ll have to wait and see. Especially if you’re one of the lucky 75 that receives the real thing 😉

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Perfect Packaging IV: it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

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So I’ve spent the last two days making more snowmen, with another trip to Aldi and/or Asda to get more socks and lots more rice! It was a bit of a struggle to work out how to package them in their foursomes. Whatever it was needed to keep them clean and dry. It also needed to give them their space and not get crushed. I considered getting bottle crates – the cardboard ones you find at supermarkets, but was concerned at a) buying that many bottles, and b) the ickle snowmen getting lost in the box and bouncing around too much. As I looked round the studio for inspiration, I saw some paper cups I got to mix polyurethane in – and they were the perfect size for the smaller snowmen. Then I spied a large cardboard tube left over from carpet underlay I think – sawn with a bread knife and finished off with a scalpel, the 2 inch rings cup the larger snowmen well. With some cardboard bracing and taping them together, a perfect package was born. Wrapped in a plastic bag (with suitable warning label attached), a quick curling ribbon bow and dangles, 40 snowmen are ready for their forever homes.

Now all I need is a forklift to move the total of 15kg of rice up to the house, and then to the church Christmas Fayre 😉

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Crafted from Caravans: The Christmas Collection

IMG_6545_wThe floor, tables and just about every other surface in the studio is currently covered with a fine layer of shredded wool polishing wheels and jeweller’s rouge… I’m also going to have to do a thorough wipe down of all the aluminium filings that didn’t hit the bin beneath…

I’ve been working in a production line over the last two days, making these hanging tree decorations. You may remember my ‘sit and be wind chime’ was made from the sidings of my grandfather’s old caravan – these are too. All are hand cut from the sheet aluminium, cleaned up with wire brush and wet’n’dry sandpaper, hand drilled and hand sawn, hammered, punched, filed and polished. Ok, I did use a Dremel for the polishing.

If you’d like a set, let me know – I will make them to order for £10 each including p&p to UK addresses (international orders extra), so if you’d like them in time for Christmas please order by the end of October.

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Christmas Quilt 2014

I started this year’s Christmas Quilt earlier in the year, but it stalled, and as has started to become traditional, I spent a week in December finishing it off. I didn’t follow any particular pattern, being guided by the sizes of fabric pieces I had. After designing and cutting a stencil for the swirl and spending two days doing all the quilting on the calico border alone, I am so glad it’s finished. The overall quilt size is 56″ x  71″ (142cm x 180cm). The centre blocks are from fat quarters, with the borders added and mitred (finally got the hang of that!). There’s approximately 1 km of sewing thread, with 400m of quilting (I know this as I used exactly one 400m reel of the variegated gold/brown thread!).

I’m looking forward to the arrival of my ‘what do I get a man who has just about everything’ Christmas present, which after much thought is going to be …. an overlocker 🙂

I’m also going to be hosting a sewing/stitching/quilting session in the studio on Wednesday afternoons in the new year, so keep an eye on my workshops page if you’re interested in joining the group.

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