Friday, December 16, 2011

Peace On Earth

Every year I tend to under estimate the time it takes to make Christmas cards. No matter how good my intentions are it seems that I'm always making my cards at the last minute. I suppose that I could go to the store and buy a box of cards but I just can't bring myself to do that. I really enjoy making the cards and printing an individualized Christmas message for each recipient.

The lion and the lamb laying down peacefully together is one of my favorite themes. It's a theme that I feel is appropriate especially at Christmas time. This card uses 3 Cricut cartridges: Noah's ABC Animals, Joy of the Season and New Testament.

Directions for Peace On Earth:

Cricut cartridges: Noah's ABC Animals, Joy of the Season, New Testament
White, light blue, dark blue, yellow, golden yellow, and black card stock
Cuttlebug Swiss Dots embossing folder and Sizzix Big Shot or Cuttlebug
Self adhesive pearl trim
Self adhesive clear crystals
Martha Stewart Snowflake border punch
Stickles Icicle glitter glue
Gold ribbon
Foam Dots
Computer greeting card program

1. Load the Noah's ABC Animals cartridge into the Cricut machine and cut the Lion at 2 inches out of golden yellow, yellow, dark blue and black card stock (as directed in the handbook). Assemble the lion.

2. Load the New Testament cartridge into the Cricut and cut the lamb at 1 1/2 inches out of black and white card stock. Assemble the lamb.

3. Load the Joy of the Season cartridge into the Cricut and cut the North Star at 1 1/2 inches out of dark blue and yellow card stock. Assemble the star. Next cut peace at 1 1/2 inches out of dark blue card stock.

4. Punch several small snowflakes out of white card stock using the Martha Stewart snowflake border punch.

5. Cut a 4 3/4 inch wide by 5 1/2 inch long piece of light blue card stock and emboss it with the Swiss Dots embossing folder and the Sizzix or Cuttlebug machine.

6. Using the greeting card program select the half fold vertical card option and print a Christmas message on the inside of the card. Fold the printed card in half and crease along the edge.

7. Glue the embossed blue card stock 1 1/4 inches from the bottom of the front of the card. Apply foam dots to the back of the lamb and attach him near the bottom right of the blue embossed card stock. Apply foam dots to the back of the lion and attach him to the embossed card stock, with his paw extending onto the lamb's body. Press the lion in place. Center the North Star at the top of the blue embossed card stock, apply foam dots and press into place. Glue the small snowflakes to the embossed blue card stock. Place a self adhesive clear crystal to the center of the North Star. Apply Stickles Icicle glitter glue to the center of each snowflake and the yellow part of the North Star. Apply the self adhesive pearl border along the top edge of the embossed blue card stock.

8. Measure 3/4 inches down from the top edge of the card and center the word peace. Glue into place. Dot the ends of the word with Stickles.

9. Cut a piece of gold ribbon the width of the front of the card plus 1/2 inch. Starting at the left edge of the card glue the ribbon in place and fold the extra 1/2 inch of ribbon over the edge of the card and secure with glue. Tie a small bow and glue it over the ribbon.

Snow Friends Candle

I have had this idea on my project list for a while and finally got around to completing it-just in time for Christmas. I enjoyed making the Halloween candle so much that I wanted to do a winter themed candle. Although I hate snow, I think snowmen are so cute. The Cricut Snow Friends cartridge has the most adorable Snowman images. These happy little Snowmen were perfect for my winter candle. This was a quick (2 hours start to finish) and easy project.

Directions for Snow Friends Candle:

Cricut Snow Friends cartridge- still available through Amazon
White or Ivory Flame-less Candle
Candle Holder-large enough to hold the candle globe
Glass Candle Globe or cylinder
Sheer Dark Aqua Ribbon
Martha Stewart Snow flake paper punch
Self adhesive crystals and pearls
Blue and white print card stock, white, black, and orange card stock
Pink colored pencil
Hot glue gun
Xyron Machine

1. Using the Snow Friends cartridge cut Snowman 7 at 2 1/2 inches out of white card stock. Cut the shoes, buttons and eyes out of black card stock. Cut the nose out of orange card stock. Cut the scarf out of blue and white print card stock. Cut a total of four Snowmen. Assemble the Snowmen. Highlight the Snowman's cheeks with pink colored pencils. I like the look of Snowmen with rosy cheeks.

2. Run the Snowmen through the Xyron machine. Remove the paper backing and attach each Snowman 1 1/2 inches from the base of the glass cylinder, leaving about 1 inch of space between each Snowman. Press them securely in place.

3. Tie a small bow with the dark aqua ribbon and use the hot glue gun to attach the bow between the Snowman's hands. Trim the ends of the ribbon if necessary. Repeat this 3 more times.

4. Punch 8 snowflakes out of Vellum using the Martha Stewart Snowflake paper punch. Punch each snowflake slowly to avoid tearing the Vellum as it punches. Run the snowflakes through the Xyron machine. Carefully peel each snowflake from the paper backing to avoid tearing. Position 4 snowflakes approximately 1 1/2 inches above the bows and press in place. Next position the other 4 snowflakes between the attached snowflakes about 1/4 inch from the top of the glass globe. Press firmly in place.

5. Add a self adhesive rhinestone to the center of each snowflake. Add a small pearl to each branch of the snowflake (5 pearls for each snowflake).

6. Place the glass globe in the candle base and place the flame-less candle inside the glass globe.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Annie Portrait

I recently visited New York to do some sight seeing and of course shopping. Michelle, Brandon and I took a walking tour of Central Park. I was mesmerized by it's beauty and it's calm demeanor in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city. I took several photographs of the park and the lake. I hope to turn one of them into a painting.

This was my favorite spot in Central Park.

I never know what to give my friend Cindy for Christmas. She has everything and really doesn't want or need anything. Cindy owns a beautiful Golden Retriever, Annie, that just turned 8 years old so I thought a portrait might be a nice gift. I wanted the gift to be a surprise so I called her husband Randy to enlist his help. Randy sent me some pictures of Annie so I could make a sketch. I asked my husband to be a combination of technical adviser and art critic. I asked for an honest, don't spare my feelings critique of the initial sketch and the painting itself. Sometimes it's hard to see things that need to be changed when working closely on a painting for a long period of time and I feel a second set of eyes is helpful.

Annie is so sweet and I wanted to convey her personality in the portrait. I had worked on the painting for several days but it wasn't until I did the shading on her face that I was able to finally put down my brush and say yes this is Annie!