Christmas {post} cards and chalkboard art

Friday, November 30, 2012

I am so excited ... my Christmas postcards arrived this afternoon! 

I knew that I would not have time to create 80 handmade Christmas cards like I normally do this year. Instead, I designed a holiday postcard and had it printed at  I have designed and print my business and family cards with moo many times over the past few years and I have always been happy with the quality of their products. The stock they print on is so nice and everyone always comments on how beautiful they are. The colour on the girl's photo turned out great and the digital chalkboard and vintage postcard backgrounds that I created look even better than I thought they would.

I paid for quick delivery turn around but it took the courier 4 days to get them to me after they were cleared from Canadian Customs ... long story short ... DHL Express should not have the word "express" in it's company name. Oh well, at least I have my cards now and I looking forward to writing on the backs and mailing them out to our families and friends.  

By the way, I am really glad that I made these as holiday postcards instead of cards. No envelopes to be thrown away and I had our return address printed on the back of the cards so I don't have to add return address labels. 

I have been on a bit of a chalkboard art phase lately. I have been pinning lots of chalkboard art and graphic inspiration on my "chalkboard" Pinterest board. And I think that I am going to use a number of chalkboard elements it in my holiday decorating this year. I'll share more about that later ... I'm still painting "things" with black board paint.

 I just finished this large chalkboard artboard on the weekend.  I was hoping to pick up a couple of large wood canvases but I was only able to get one in the size that I needed. My original plan was to create a piece that I could hang over the fireplace in the livingroom with a Christmas saying for the holidays. I ended up designing what you see above because I was missing my oldest daughter who is off to University this year and I thought that she would like these graphics instead. I loved reading "Guess How Much I Love You" to both of my girls when they were small and this quote was just so much fun to work with. Now I just have to figure out where we will hang it ... but not until I have the Christmas cards addressed!!

 If you are interested in making chalkboard art piece like mine, you can see my chalkboard tutorial on Creative Bag's blog over here

salt shaker snowglobes

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My oldest daughter went off to university this fall for the first time. She was home last weekend and I caught her looking through my Christmas decorations for things that she could take back to school to decorate her dorm room. Her room is as big as a closet and she shares it with another girl!! We ended up buying her some mini lights that she could hang on the walls and together we made a small salt shaker snowglobe to put on her bookshelf. 

Here's how we made them:
1. Gather your supplies: salt shakers, mini bottle brush trees , silver glitter, snow glitter, gel medium, E-600 glue, pliers, a long stick, mini dictionary and scissors.

  2. I found that the plastic bases on the mini bottle brush trees were too large to fit through the opening of the salt shakers, so I used a small pair of pliers to break pieces of the base off until it was small enough to fit. 
3. Then we added gel medium to parts of the tree that we wanted to add the german silver glass glitter ...
... and we quickly added the silver glitter before the gel medium dried. 
Note: I like to store my glitter in vintage salt and pepper shakers - it makes it easier to use the glitter and I have more control.
4. After the tree is completely dry, it is time to put it into the salt shaker. I added a small dot of E-6000 glue to the bottom of the tree base before inserting the tree into the shaker. You can use the long wood stick to position the tree in the middle and make sure that it is standing straight. Let the glue dry for a couple of minutes and then add snow glitter to the bottom of the shaker so that it completely covers the tree base. 
5. I torn pages out of a mini dictionary and cut little banners to go inside the snowglobe. My daughter is helping out with "frost week" activities after Christmas holidays on campus and we thought that "frost" would be a good word to use on her banner. I played with the paper banner a bit so that it would curl around the tree once we placed it in the shaker. Again, use the long wood stick to position the paper banner where you want it. 

And there you go! So simple right?!

I think that this is one of the holiday crafts that I will make with my youngest daughter and some of her friends for Christmas this year. 

Note: here are some more details about my supplies ...
Salt and pepper shakers - I collect vintage ones at the antique and second hand stores all year. If you want a bunch to do with the kids like I am going to do - you can buy new ones at the Dollar Store.
Mini bottle brush trees - I bought a value pack of assorted sizes of these trees at Michaels. I am going to use the larger sizes in larger glass jars so the value package was perfect for me.
Glitter - my favourite glitter hands down is Wendy Addison's Emporium Pure Glass Glitter. I found it in a shop in New York a couple of years ago and I am so happy that I can buy it at home  in Toronto at Creative Bag.
Looking for more holiday ideas and live in the Toronto area? I have two free holiday workshops scheduled at Creative Bag in November and December. You can get more information by clicking here!