It's time for another instalment of Rudolph Days Challenge - run by Maureen - aka ScrappyMo HERE. The challenge runs every month from the 25th right to the last day of the month.
And, I'd like to join in with Hazel's Christmas Card Challenge #387 - HERE. Hazel is the sweetest lady ever and I feel really guilty that it's been an age since I played along. It's always anything goes nowadays and I used to play really regularly so am delighted to finally join in again! A new challenge each week as well as a lovely prize to be won. At one time entries were up in the hundreds and it would be fabulous if those of you making Christmas cards could link into Hazel's challenge and bring those numbers back up again.
My target of 12 Christmas cards per month was lagging very sadly behind and, in an effort to catch up, I made 12 cards exactly the same. I know, 12 identical ones is about the maximum 'batch bake' for me and I was secretly very glad when they were finished. Maybe I should have scanned a first coloured image - but then that would be cheating a bit .....IMHO. It all started when I found a background card in pale blue which I adore and needed to use (I have tons of it!). And so the card developed from there really.
This is what I made:
- 4" x 4" square white card blank
- a square of 'Merry Mistletoe' pale blue background card, made ages ago by Kanban and cut to just one eighth of an inch smaller all round than the card itself and then glued to the card front
- stamped the little image onto white card stock using a new 'Hybrid - Black Licorice' ink pad by MFT (more of this below). The stamp is a wood mounted pre-loved Penny Black one called 'Thinking of you' - dated 1999!
- coloured the image using Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils and a little touch of Sansodor blending solution here and there - making sure I had matched the blue background and the scarf
- then die cut the image using a The Works 'Stitched' Squares' die
- next I stamped 12 little LOTV Christmas labels onto white card stock using a Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink pad and fussy cut round them ( sorry, the stamps are no longer made by LOTV which is such a shame - it remains to be seen but am not sure that their decision to go all digital was a wise one. Again, only my opinion and it would be sad to see them fail in this new change of direction)
- added a round matt red Josy Rose nail head to each 'label' and then adhered them onto the image panels using red line tape - the most secure and also least potentially messy way when you know just where something is to be positioned
- glued the image panel(s) onto the background and sat and looked, feeling something wasn't quite right - it wasn't the lack of clear Wink of Stella as I just felt the image didn't need it so what was wrong?
- asked the opinion of my in-house critic, who had chosen the Christmas Wishes sentiment, and he said - 'he's just gazing up at nothing really'
- bingo! Of course he needed a star to wish upon and so I added a little Josy Rose star shaped silver nail head in what I thought was the little mouse's line of sight - times twelve of course!
Finished - 12 more for the box!
Back to the MFT hybrid 'Black Licorice' ink pad. The idea is that it works with both water as well as alcohol based colouring mediums and I was really excited to think such a versatile ink pad was now on the market. I was on a 'wait list' for a while and only recently received the ink pad.
However, I have huge reservations and they are: the lid is almost impossible to remove whenever you want to use it (I needed the help of a blade of a pair of scissors each time), the ink pad is overly juicy and liable to 'spread' with too much pressure when you're stamping PLUS the quality of the pad itself isn't anything like as good as the likes of a Memento ink pad. I found there were stray fibres (NOT what you want when inking up an image) - to the extent that one long strand came loose and I peeled it right off one edge of the pad.
My advice is not to fall for the 'hype' and just stick to using two different pads depending on how you intend to colour images. I use Memento for alcohol inks and my Polychromos pencils - and Stazon (with or without embossing powder) for water colouring. We live and learn I guess!