It seems like an odd time to be writing a “normal” post, but on the other hand I feel like a bit of normalcy and lightheartedness is something we all need right now. And with everyone stuck in doors it seems like the perfect time for a post about crafts. No need to leave the house to make cards!
When Jan’s choir has concerts, he often brings home advertising postcards that he’s supposed to leave in various places. Last year, after the concert, he had a big stack that he planned to throw away. I noticed that the image was an indistinguishable pink circle, so I asked if I could have them for crafting rather than wasting so much paper. Later in the year, he had another concert and I claimed the leftover postcards from that as well.
Here are the adverts in question (I removed the names of the choirs because some privacy has to be allowed!):
And some of the cards I made from them:
Of course, not everyone has a regular supply of advertising material with pretty backgrounds coming in, but there are plenty of other things you can recycle for cards. Take a look at these two Easter cards:
The blue egg with the flowers was made using the backing cardboard from a packet of stickers and the pretty patterned orange one is from a teabag box. (Random aside: Pukka teas have the prettiest boxes!).
So while we’re all stuck indoors, go forth, see what pretty packaging you can find in your house and make some cards! You can even post them if you’re out anyway, fetching groceries or medicine – I’m sure your family and friends will be very glad to receive some happy mail while we all try to stay safe, at home, away from our loved ones.
This probably won’t be exciting to anyone but me, but I shall tell you about it anyway.
I got a die cutter for Christmas – specifically the Big Shot foldaway – and after having a bit of a play with the shapes that came with it, I have been very much looking forward to making some actual cards with it. My opportunity came this week. I am determined to keep being involved with Post Pals* this year, and one girl who likes butterflies has a birthday coming up.
I cut out the red butterflies using a die that a penpal sent me. The yellow butterflies are felt ones I bought ages ago, the flowers are stickers, and the “Happy Birthday” was cut using a die I purchased.
I can’t wait until I’ve built up my die collection some more and can (hopefully) make better, more complicated cards.
* In case you’ve missed all my previous references to it, here is my explanation of what Post Pals is all about and here is a link to their website where you can read all about them in their own words and maybe even pick a pal to write to. Apparently January and February are the slowest months for mail, so if you do want to brighten a sick child’s day now would be the perfect time!
I discovered that Duck Tape now comes in patterned versions when someone in a Facebook group mentioned that they have a unicorn one. I immediately thought I need that for Post Pals packages! At the same time, I bought a penguin version thinking I could use that one on winter parcels. Apparently I am entirely uncreative because despite the fact that I have literally used ribbons and patterned papers in the exact same way as the Duck tape on the cards I’m about to show me, it didn’t even occur to me that I could do the same thing with my penguin tape. Luckily, others have more imagination than me… when searching for quick, easy Christmas card ideas, I came across this post. This person just uses tape and a stamped sentiment for her cards, so I like to think I have been at least a little creative and added my own twist by also including stickers and other embellishments.
If you want to make your own Duck tape cards, all you will need is some blank cards, Duck tape (or other patterned tape that sticks really well), stamps/stickers for the sentiments – or you can write them yourselves if your hand lettering is better than mine (which to be fair most people’s probably is!) and any other embellishments you want to add, like stickers, buttons or beads. Here are some of my efforts. First, the penguins:
I also added two other tapes to my collection. Here are some cards made using Christmas tree tape:
And finally, snowmen:
I am loving how fast these cards are to make! Since I’m trying to make cards for every Post Pals family as well as my own family and friends, fast is definitely an advantage! And I think they look pretty good too. I spied tapes with things like spiders and pumpkins on as well, so ideas for next Halloween are already swarming around my head… as well as birthday cards, of course!
If you have any other ideas for fast Christmas cards that still look like I’ve made some effort, please throw them my way!
~Despite the constant mentions of a brand name, this is in no way a sponsored post. I purchased the tapes with my own money and am definitely not being compensated in any way. It just so happens that my tapes actually are the Duck brand!~
Yes, you read that correctly! I bet at least one of you is now sitting there thinking “But it’s September”… and believe me I muttered those exact words at the display of Lebkuchen and other Christmas treats that have somehow snuck their way into the supermarket in the past week. But if you saw the length of my Christmas card list you would understand why I say when it comes to crafting it’s just different, okay? Anyway, I recently received some new wooden buttons I had ordered and I was desperate to try them out!
Of course, I don’t really have to pester my poor readers with thoughts of the festive season when autumn has only just begun, but I haven’t posted for an entire week and I can’t think of anything else to day, so Christmas cards it is. If you don’t like it, you should have looked away by now 😉 For the rest of you, here are some of the fruits of my labours.
As well as being the first day of autumn, apparently in Switzerland today is the day of the apple. I know this because the local supermarket was giving away apples to celebrate. Free fruit? I’ll take it!
Happy first day of autumn, happy apple day and, most importantly, happy Friday everyone! Have a great weekend.
I just realised that I haven’t actually uploaded any of my cross stitching so far this year. Not that I’ve done much, what with the move and everything,but I did manage to make a few cards. Unfortunately I have a habit of forgetting to take photos before I send the cards so there are at least three missing, but here are the ones I did remember to photograph! For each one, I’ve included a picture of the full card and a close up shot of the actual stitching.
First of all, a birhday card for a friend’s little girl whose birthday was at the beginning of February. A fairly simple one to stitch, but I thought it was incredibly cute.
Next, a Mother’s Day cardI stitched for my mum. I decided the little girl looked like me. Please take note of all the French knots – there were loads of them and I hate French knots! With this one I didn’t actually take a picture of the completed card for some reason.
I’ve made two New Home cards so far this year, but only took a photo of one of them. Both were of bird houses, but in slightly different styles. Here’s the one I did remember to take a photo of.
Finally, my most recent piece of stitching – a card for the wedding I attended at the weekend. Try to ignore the weird pink splodges! I had to block out the names to protect the innocent!
Next up will be a birthday card for my godson, then I think I’ll need to get started on Christmas cards based on how long they took me last year!
Would you appreciate being given a cross stitch card, or would you just throw it away?
Which of these cards is your favourite? Let me know in the comments!
This still isn’t the post I wanted to write yesterday, but it’s a post so that’s better than nothing.
At the end of last year, I dound myself getting really fed up with cross stitch, so in January I decided to start making some smaller projects that I would actually be able to finish in less than five months! Spending ages stitching the same thing had been getting really frustrating, and the idea of actually achieving something was very appealing. So I started stitching cards for various occasions that were coming up. The first was my paternal grandmother’s birthday at the end of January.
She loves gardening and cute things, so this little bear seemed perfect for her. The watering can was actually supposed to be a different shade of green, but I didn’t have the right threads so I just made it up.
You’ve already seen the card I made Jan for Valentine’s Day, so next up is a daisy that I stitched for my other grandma’s birthday in March. I actually messed up at one point and had to improvise. Can you tell where?
Finally, my most recent completed project – a Mother’s Day card for my mum. This one was difficult! So much complicated backstitch. But I managed… and I’m actually quite proud of how it turned out.
So there you have it, my 2014 cross stitching so far. My current project is an Easter card that I’m working on for a friend, then I’ll be doing some baby cards for a few people I know who are due in May. Busy, busy, busy!
I mentioned on Friday that I have a new baby cousin – the first on my dad’s side of the family! Although my family is large on both sides, my dad only has one brother and until now he had no kids (that we know of). On Wednesday that changed – my new cousin was born on 12.12.2012 (what a great date!) at 10:50 a.m. Melbourne time (my uncle and his partner live in Australia).
Here’s the new baby card I made to send them:
Underneath the lion it says the baby’s name. I blurred it out here because I don’t think I have the right to broadcast other people’s baby’s names across the Internet even if my readers have no real way of finding out who she is.
Here’s the cross stitched part of the card in more detail:
It went in the post along with a small gift on Thursday. I hope they like it!
Last weekend, I wrote and sent a whole pile of Christmas cards.
This morning I got a message from my mum: “Received empty envelope from you. Did you forget to put the card in?” I wrote all the cards then had Jan sign them, after which I distinctly remember taking each card and placing it in its correct envelope (which I had previously addressed). At the end, no cards were left over, and since I had opened each card to compare the name inside with the name on the envelope it’s unlikely that one card ended up inside another so that two went in the same envelope. No stray cards have turned up here since, either. Nevertheless, my mum has no card. My brother’s, which went to the same address, has arrived perfectly fine. So where is my mum’s card?
Did the envelope somehow come open en route and lose its card only for some good samaritan at the post office to seal it again (without noticing that the envelope was, in fact, empty)? Does my mum have a postman with a fetish for cards with other people’s names on? In which case, why did my brother’s arrive… did the postman not like his name? Why would anyone steal a Christmas card… that’s all that was in the envelope. No money, no chocolate – just a card with a pretty picture on the front. Am I being censored? And if so, what exactly do they think “Hope 2013 is the best year ever!” is code for? It’s a mystery!
Regular readers who’ve been around for a while (are there any of you?!) may remember me telling the story of my friend’s baby, Ellie, a while ago.
For those who don’t, here’s a quick recap.
At 28 weeks gestation, Ellie was diagnosed with Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease (ARPKD). As the name suggests, it’s a kidney disease, but it also affects the lungs, heart and other things. At birth, Ellie’s lungs were too small while her heart and kidneys were enlarged. She faced a life of dialysis,, medication, hospitals and transplants. Unfortunately, her lungs were just too weak and at 40 hours of age, Ellie passed away surrounded by her loving family.
After Ellie’s death, her mum, Naomi – a friend of mine from school days – started raising money for charity in her memory. Initially she was collecting for Tiny Lives, a charity associated with the hospital where Ellie was born. After only starting in February 2011, she’s managed to raise over 4,000 pounds, which I think you’ll agree is amazing! But no Naomi is going one step further and doing something even more amazing (in my opinion). She’s setting up her own charity in memory of Ellie – 4Ellie-Phant. 4Ellie-Phant will “be working to provide children and babies with Magic Memories Keepsake boxes, to help them smile and make sure they capture all the memories they can during traumatic times” (that last bit being a direct quote from the website http://4ellie-phant.webs.com/ ). To help them get started on their way to registered charity status – for which they need to raise 5,000 pounds, I will be holding an online auction of handmade stuff in November, which is why I’ve been making Christmas cards for over a month now! Naturally I’m hoping you, my loyal readers, will dig deep and buy some of my stuff, if only to save me from the embarrassment of ending up not getting a single bid. And because I love you all sooo much I’m even giving you a sneak preview of some of the items that will be for sale. Only cards for now, but there will also be keyrings and jewellery, so watch this space if that’s what you’re interested in! in the meantime, here are some cards. I must apologise for the blurriness of some photos – not sure what went wrong, but I shall sort it out before the actual auction pictures go online! And now, without further ado, I shall let the photos do the talking…
Today was Reunification Day (Tag der deutschen Einheit), Germany’s national holiday, which meant my office was closed. ABout time a holiday fell on a useful day! A long weekend is never to be sneezed at. I decided to seize my extra day off and take the opportunity to get some crafting done ready for my auction – which I promise to actually explain to you all one of these days. I now have a grand total of eleven cards. For those of you who couldn’t believe I was starting on Christmas cards in September, now you know why. I am slow! I really must get on with things though, if I want to make all the Christmas cards to send to my family as well. Have I taken on too much, I wonder? I’m actually quite proud of a few of my cards. I’m definitely getting better at this creativity lark – surprising really, seeing as I had absolutely no talent for art at school. I’ve grown up knowing that my sister was the artistic one. The intelligent one as well, come to think of it. I wonder which one that makes me?
I’m planning on making some more cards after work one evening this week. For now though, I’m all crafted out. I shall dream of glitter tonight, I’m sure! At least that will be better than dreaming about being pregnant, which I have twice recently. And no, I am not before anyone gets any ideas!!