Welcome to the weekend and a very warm welcome to new followers and subscribers.
Enjoying a special time with family and crafty friends and my approach for stress free Christmas card making.

My scheduled work finished earlier this week, there is still some admin, accounts and 2019 prep to finish but with that in hand I’ve enjoyed a couple of meals out with family and friends, finished the last bits of shopping and made the impromptu decision to buy a real Christmas tree this year. Some years I do this, it’s a reflective time of year, the smell of the pine and the memories it brings prompted me. It’s sat there in place all ready and waiting to be decorated today, I will have a day of festivities with my daughter Jennifer while we do this. A few tasty treats and some mulled punch will add to the fun. Tomorrow we have another family lunch out and will be delivering some presents and cards. Have you any nice plans for the weekend…

    When I was growing up I liked nothing more than to create Christmas gifts and cards for family and friends, crafting in a carefree way, making it up as I went along. I would use whatever I had to hand and this led to me being pretty resourceful as I grew older. Then with age perfectionism crept in and that tends to limit creativity and can take away some of the enjoyment. I have always made pretty much all the cards I send for all occasions and Christmas could quite easily become unnecessarily stressful, making and sending something like 80 cards. Like most people I’ve cut back considerably over the years, postal costs impact the type of cards we send.

Acknowledging the stress making these cards could bring with the minimum time available can impact creativity and the enjoyment and reason why we are creating in the first place. So this year I made the decision to take a step back and do things the way I use to as a youngster. A couple of months ago I stocked up on my florist supplies, I use these regularly in mixed media work. I chose a nice selection of stamens, leaves, ribbons, twine etc and put them aside, I had no plan but knew I could create something with them. The idea was to Christmas cards gathering these items along with others in my stash and just create. No agenda, no stressing what stamps or dies to use, whether to stamp, die cut or what techniques to use.

I would simply do what I use to do and create with what I had gathered  in front of me. Perfectionism went out the window and I relived my youthful ways, creating freely and leisurely and I really enjoyed experiencing that again! Feeling satisfied and relaxed about what I was creating I produced makes that are from the heart and made with love with all sorts of random bits an bobs, experimenting as I went along. The result was rustic, homely makes not perfected but assembled with the joy of simply creating a nice card to give, exactly what I was hoping to achieve.I loved using dried fruit slices, they cut really well into pieces so a whole bag has gone an awful long way, I still have loads left.

Ribbon not cut and measured straight but cut and frayed, pieces of torn corrugated card with a quick application of perfect pearls, I twisted wire around a cocktail stick to curl it and randomly gathered metallic netting.

Before I started I did quickly select three large individual stamps and a couple of my new favourite ink colours and then just had fun.

The stamps are old one’s from my stash, Woodware clear large Noel and 25 and I think the large Believe was from Beecrafty. My new favourite ink are Memento Luxe, Rhubarb Stalk and Pistachio, they sound good enough to eat and such yummy colours! They were pretty quick to make and for once in a long time I haven’t stressed about making my Christmas cards! I had so much pleasure in creating and giving these. A batch were handed out this week while out and about and to the lovely ladies at our craft class festive lunch. New members this year and the gift of new friendships, we had a wonderful time.

Hope you have a good weekend…Karen xx