Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Making Spirits Bright

Panic truly was setting in a couple of weeks ago when we hit November and my Christmas card count was lagging behind. So, I set to and made seven cards in one 'batch bake', each one the same.

Shame on me, in the couple of years since I bought this fun stamp set (pre-loved), I've only ever used it the once:
I used:

- 5.5" x 4.25" white card blank, tent style

- stamped the festive cocktail onto Strathmore white 'Mixed media' card using Ranger 'Archival Black' ink. The image already has the sentiment alongside the glass stamp and is from SU's 'Making Spirits Bright' set

- coloured the image using Tim Holtz Distress markers and a couple of Ziggys - plus a gold gel pen for the ribbon bow then set it aside

- die cut an aperture in a piece of Christmas red card stock using MFT 'Rectangle Peek-a-boo Window' die

- then die cut the whole red panel using a die from the Lil' Inkers 'Stitched Rectangles' set of dies

- die cut the images (with a further little bit of extra trimming from the top afterwards) using a square Spellbinders die about quarter of an inch wider then the aperture. This saved fiddling around with measurements as I wanted a neat rectangle of card behind the aperture just in case it could be felt - as it was it can't but worth taking extra care over

- then added very narrow red line tape around the back of the aperture itself and carefully placed it over the trimmed image. Safest way to do this isn't to just plonk it in place but just remove the protective backing from the bottom edge to line that up, stick it down when happy and then (using pointy tweezers) peel off the backing from the other sides one at a time - finishing with the top edge. Perfect placement every time without the risk of that super sticky red line tape ruining a card - I didn't use glue as it can be prone to oozing or not being close enough the the edge of the frame

- cut a piece of shiny gold mirri card just slighty smaller than the card front and glued the image panel to it (using Collall All Purpose glue)

- glued the gold framed panel to the front of the card - finished

Hmmm, it's better in real life but the peek-a-boo stitched die is definitely best cut using white card - it stands out much more clearly.

So that brought me within sight of the annual Christmas card target - wahoo! To be honest, this year has been a struggle due to Mr Mojo going off on walkabout as well as me trying to reduce the time spent at the desk - which certainly is a big trigger for this wretched back. I might have to rethink things for this coming year and ease off a bit on the 12 per month Christmas card target - I've done it for five whole years (2013 onwards) and got quite a shock when I worked that one out! Looks like some folk (such as non-crafters) will be getting shop bought cards in future - I could never stop making Christmas cards but the pressure of producing so many is getting too much.


  1. 12 a month is a lot! I love this card though, the image and sentiment is so much fun!
    Have you ever tried stamping standing up? Would that be an option for you, I have found that I think it is an improvement to switch back and forth from sititng to standing.

  2. This is gorgeous Di. Love the image and the cardstock colour. Maybe batch baking is the way to go and do the cards in segments over a few days so your not sat at your desk for too long. Hugs Mrs A.

  3. sorry to hear your back is so bad, sit to stand and the Ikea raise and lower table is great (Loll has the Ikea table). your card is so cute and so apt for my friends :)

  4. FAB make, has it made you decide to use it more now you've finally inked it?

    Happy Wednesday


  5. That's a fab image Di and great batch bake.

    Sadly we do have to listen to your backs and bodies much as we try and fight it. I sometimes wonder why we feel we 'have' to make all these Christmas cards just because we are crafters, I for one have a love hate relationship with them.

    Take care,

    B x

  6. A great card along with detailed 'instructions' as always. Well done for making a good batch of them - something I rarely do which I maybe should. You might find if you lower your sights you might end up exceeding your previous target - 'sods law'!!
    Take care, hugs.

  7. You're preaching to the converted there Sistah! I completely concur with your comments on the pressure us crafters put on ourselves to produce cards for EVERYONE . . . in the certain knowledge that some will be binned immediately after the event too. So I think I will join your gang and send some shop-bought cards next year too!

    Loving the look of this festive make. Very cool and CAS.

    Hugs, Sarn xxx
    Hugs, Sarn xxx

  8. Hi Di, I'm in the middle of my first batch bake realising I'm 20 cards short for the year, mind you I added making calendars to my list... your card looks stunning love the stamp and sentiment together. As for your back problems I've moved my bits around so I have to stand up to use my CB, the people who toss there cards generally get a pre coloured digi printed out and simply slapped on a card... Have a wonderful weekend... Megan

  9. Great card Di.....Pressure?...well with the pressure we put ourselves under we should be stick thin ?...right? only make cards (usually) for those I know will appreciate them...bit different this year as I have been trying to use 'stuff from stash' !! xx

  10. A fantastic card Di, I love the stamp you've used. A great one to make several of.

    Sue xx

  11. This is such a fun card. I have to be really careful with my neck when crafting. Getting up and moving regularly is essential. I also use a writing slope when colouring to improve my posture as well as a decent chair x

    1. The one thing I don't have is a writing slope Cara - I do all the other stuff people have mentioned (including stamping whilst standing up). Think a writing slope is now on the list - I can see how it would help so thanks for that!


      Di xx

  12. I'm with you Di (altho this is a great card!). I have far too many to send to make them all - so I cheated back in January and bought half price card packs in the supermarket! x

  13. This is a great one for batch making Di and I love the fun message that goes with it, and the red background looks great. Like Carole I only make enough cards for the people who I know appreciate having one of my cards at Christmas and the rest are shop bought. I am useless at doing multiples of one card, I just find the mass production tedious, and I take my hat off to you for making this vast amount of cards throughout the year. I think there is no shame in making life a bit easier for yourself and just make as many as you feel you can, rather than feeling you've got to. I must admit I am a stand up stamper too because I never feel as though I am at the right angle when sitting down. x

  14. What a fun Christmas card Di! I love that stamp you have used and I love your cas card. The stitching is fabulous on the frame as well. Glad you were able to get so many made! Hugs, Brenda

  15. Fun sentiment with that glass for this Christmas card, and love the design!

  16. Definitely shame on you, it is a lovely stamp and a great sentiment. Huge well done on managing to use the the Lil'Inkers stitched rectangle die, I have had them for years and never managed to find an image that I have used that fits them, BUT I never thought of using them as you have done here.
    Shame on Me.

    Kath x

  17. Cute card, Di. I love the peek a boo window, and I agree using it on light cardstock looks better. I made the same mistake.
    Hope your back feels better. Have a good day. xx

  18. Hey... before you (gasp... ack... gag) buy store cards, would you allow any of your followers to provide you with handmade cards? I'd be happy to send you a packet of mine as I usually have more than I know what to do with! I'd even provide you with photos so you could pick out the ones you would like. Because... well... I kinda appreciate you!

  19. Lovely, Di....the gold is a fabulous and elegant touch to this card! Good for you for purchasing AND finally using a pre-loved image. I, too, pulled out a neglected stamp the other day and have made several cards with it in different color variations. Nothing wrong with batch-baking...all alike or with a bit of variation. Even with batch baking, though, my cards seem to take a lot of deliberation over which papers to use....since I do a lot of layering. (And those scraps just multiply the more I use of them!! lol...) So I am not sure batches save me any time...but they do reduce the mental energy required in thinking up a design.

    There also is nothing wrong with sending commercially made cards. I know it kind of goes against our card-making mindset to do that, but it is totally fine. I have several boxes of commercially made Christmas cards that are my last-minute "Oh, dear...I think I forgot to send a card to Aunt Bertha" cards. Hey....even a card-making friend might receive one now and then! Don't judge me!! Ha. All this pressure is solely from inside ourselves...not from anyone else. So make cards when you can and while you enjoy it. Then stop. Send commercially made cards. Or not. Or no cards at all. You have my permission!! :)
    <3 J

    jwoolbright at gmail dot com

  20. Ooh I love this card, it's gorgeous! I have just won a set of cocktail glass dies so am going to try and use them for some Christmas cards. Yours has inspired me! Don't worry about having to buy some shop bought cards, you have to take care of your back! One year, I had to buy all of mine except about three and everyone understood! It's tough if they don't really, your health and stress levels come first! 😊 Hugs

  21. Everything about this card is so festive. I love the gold mirror card border and the Christmas red. That darling stamped image couldn't be more perfect and I do like that die cut window design. I only make cards for close family and friends who are crafters because most seem to want photo cards that include my two girls. Thank goodness, because I would be stuck if I had to make them all!


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