Friday, 19 December 2014

Festive pottery painting

Some weeks ago I shared my trip to Winter Wonderland at Centre Parcs and I mentioned that I had done some festive pottery painting. I also showed my bauble I made on my Billy tree post here. I am back to share my work.

The pottery painting is held in a purpose built studio in the Village Square with lovely light airy facilities. 


 I was given a short demo on how to paint and then chose my blank pottery pieces and set to. I loved this gingerbread man so this is the first piece I made.
 I had to add lots of layers of brown and then painted his features.
 This is how he looked before he went into the kiln

and here he is "baked!" He'll be such fun to use for my Chirstmas baking.

I also painted this bauble for our tree...before firing.....
and here it is hanging up. 
I really did love our Winter Wonderland trip. It was the perfect start to the festive season.

My card today tries to capture the festive spirit.
I have used a LOTV art pad to die cut this sweet festive image. The backing paper and sentiment are also LOTV. I added a couple of die cuts and some pearls and then plenty of snowy glitter.
I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;

The artistic stamper anything goes
Deep Ocean Christmas is all around
Dream Valley Christmas 
Simon says stamp Wednesday winter photo inspiration I was inspired by the pine cones in the middle right photograph,
Creative Inspirations Christmas/New Year
All Crafts Challenge anything but cards
Country View nostalgic Christmas. I adore the TH nostalgic stamps I used here, they really are just as I picture Christmas
Loves rubberstamps Holiday blitz anything goes
Simon says stamp Monday anything goes

Only 5 days to go.....

Back tomorrow,

Jane x


The final Funkie Junkie tag for Christmas 2014, Jane's Journal style

Hello I am back again with another countdown to Christmas post.
I smiled wide yesterday when I got my milk in from the door step as.....the festive foils are back.
 I love that the milkman delivers these festive pints to me.

Today I want to share my final Funkie Junkie project.Where on earth did those 12 weeks go? Way back in September I started taking part in Linda of the Funkie Junkie's fun Christmas challenge. This is the second year I have taken part and I have loved it. I have really enjoyed exploring lots of new ideas and techniques. If you hurry you could still join in but you need to get your skates on. It closes on 21st December by which time you need to have submitted all 12 creations using Linda's tags for inspiration. You can make anything at all. The full rules are over on her blog here . Linda offers 3 very generous prizes of gift vouchers to spend in her terrific on line shop, The Funkie Junkie Boutique. Do have a look at the link here .

So here is my final project for her 2014 challenge. I have made 11 cards so far but as I have sent all my cards I decided to made a money/gift card holder instead for my son. I used a super tutorial over at my friend Brenda of Bumblebees and Dragonflies (thanks Brenda x)

The inspiration I took from Linda's fabulous #12 tag was the wreath, the red stamped sentiment and the red and white ribbon. This is one of my favourites that Linda made, do have a look here 

I selected my distress ink colours and using Tim Holtz's wrinkle free technique inked up my cut pieces of card.

Next I cut the pieces into shape as shown by Brenda and started to decorate first with a music score stamp by partial stamping using black archival ink

Next I used my TH wreath stamp and brown ink
and then I stamped a red Merry Christmas sentiment in the centre of it.
I then added various other stamps until I was happy with the result. I also die cut a half circle out of the base of the holder.
I continued adding some festive stamping.
Then it was time to attach the ribbon and my little money holder was complete.
Here it is with the ribbon tied
This is the back

 untie the ribbon

 and inside is the little pocket for the money/gift card


I would like to enter my money holder into the following challenges;

The Funkie Junkie's 12 tags of Christmas 2014 #12
A vintage journey Let's celebrate I have used lots of Tim inspiration here as I have shown in my post
The artistic stamper anything goes
Deep Ocean Christmas is all around
Dream Valley Christmas 
Simon says stamp Wednesday winter photo inspiration I was inspired by the pine cones in the middle right photograph,
Creative Inspirations Christmas/New Year
All Crafts Challenge anything but cards
Country View nostalgic Christmas. I adore the TH nostalgic stamps I used here, they really are just as I picture Christmas
Loves rubberstamps Holiday blitz anything goes
Inspiration Emporium  Sing, sing it loud
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas challenge urgently needed Christmas cards
ABC Christmas Y for your family I made this for my son
Simon says stamp Monday anything goes
Cute 
So there we are ...all finished. Thanks Linda for inspiring me again this Christmas and for organising the challenge, it must take a lot of hard work. I really appreciate it. Dare I say it without someone shooting me....I can't wait until next Christmas.

There are now only 6 days to go........
Take care, keep calm and carry on with your Christmas preparations ;0)

Back tomorrow,

Jane x

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Jane's Journal goes crackers for Christmas 2014

Here we are, it's my countdown to Christmas, with just a week to go now. Thanks for coming back to share it with me.Yes it's that time of the year that I turn my hand to making my handmade Christmas crackers. I have been doing this for years, many years before I even started blogging and 4 years ago I posted a tutorial here  . Each year I have shown my creations here on my blog. These were lasts years creations . Today I have decided to update my latest techniques and share them with you here.


This is a long post so grab a cuppa and take a seat.........
Like most crafters I have found some little tweaks helpful in making better crackers each year. For some of my American visitors Christmas crackers may be something you have not seen before. Here in the UK they are a tradition dating back to 1847 when Tom Smith invented the Christmas cracker. There is a link to the history of crackers here . They are  sold everywhere in the UK...this is just one type seen in the local shops. They feature at everyone's Christmas parties and dinner tables and the corny jokes inside always make everyone laugh whilst they put on their paper hats and enjoy the little gift  found inside. The cracker makes a "bang" as it is pulled open by 2 people holding the ends and ripping it apart.



Each year I try to match my handmade crackers to the serviettes I have bought for my Christmas table.  This is my choice this year. I love the homespun/vintage look to them.

I decided to pick out the  red and white as my base colours and bought crepe paper in those colours.
I also decided to use one of Nicecrane's fabulous vintage images for my focal decoration and chose the one below, which I die cut.

This image is in Ignacio's shop here and the whole set are perfect for vintage projects.
I cut dark green spellbinder frames and mounted them up, adding some Cheery Lynn holly die cuts and little Lili of the Valley tag sentiments. A little festive red Stickles added a little sparkle for the berries.

It was then time to get my supplies together
 It involves a lot of kitchen roll tubes, crepe paper, small gifts, cracker bangs, jokes, sticky tape, double sided tape, ribbon/twine, additional patterned paper (gift wrap is ideal) and paper or foil hats. I find my own jokes on the Internet and print them out as sheets which I cut up

I also decided this year to buy some premium quality foil hats...these are really lovely.

I also have Santa's little helper, aka my cat Billy who oversees everything. I am sorry the photos are a little dark but these were made on a dark evening or 2 on my front room floor!

OK here we go...first cut about 1/3 off the length of the cracker "middles". These will hold the cracker contents. The gifts can be anything which fits inside.I have used Lotto tickets, hand creams, sweets etc (I can't give too much away here as my family do read my blog!) There are 8 of us for Christmas dinner so I needed 8 of everything.
Here is a sneak peek into my bag of gifts...
Roll up a gift with a joke, banger and hat
and put it inside the cut down roll. I tape the cracker banger to the inside or it tends to keep falling out.

Sandwich this roll between 2 full length ones making sure the banger is inside and then roll the crepe paper around.

Secure with tape and then repeat with the second colour paper, taking off about an inch from each end. I use pinking shears on the inside paper.
Ease out one roll slightly and tie with ribbon/twine etc, I used raffia.


Repeat this the other end. By keeping the rolls in place they maintain a good shape for the ends of the cracker
Cut a piece of gift wrap or any other paper you like and attach to the middle of the cracker. I found this one from last year, my Hb wrapped my presents in it so I used the leftovers. Us crafters do like to recycle don't we!


Now you can even up the ends by trimming with pinking shears (this is why I don't do this at the beginning).
Once the cracker bases are complete you can decorate them any way you like. I added double sided tape to my focals and stuck them in place.

 To remember who's is who's I always write the person's name underneath.  So here are my finished crackers......ready for the Big Day, which is now only a week away. They will be on my table to share with my dear family. Such a great tradition which goes on from generation to generation.



I would like to enter my Christmas Crackers into the following challenges;

Country View nostalgic Christmas. Crackers just have to be a part on my Christmas dinner, always.
That craft place Christmas
Pile it on anything goes Christmas/holidays
Stamp and Create anything goes
All Crafts Challenge anything but cards
The Mirror Cracked upcycle/recycle a Christmas gift
Deep Ocean Christmas is all around
Dream Valley Christmas 
Simon says stamp Wednesday winter photo inspiration I was inspired by the beautiful white snow and the the little red bird in the top right photo.
Creative Inspirations Christmas/New Year
As you like it favourite Christmas image and why I just love this Nicecrane image, it evokes Christmas nostalgia for me, We always have crackers at our table and this image is a perfect gift sharing one.
Cute card Thursday sparkle
Loves rubberstamps Holiday blitz anything goes
Simon Says stamp Monday anything goes


And to make you smile here are a couple of cracker jokes;

What disease can you catch from putting up too many Christmas decorations?

Answer; Tinsilitis .

What do you call a man with a seagull on his shoulder?
Answer;Cliff

Why can’t you go fishing with a bearded man?
Answer;  Because you need a fishing rod.

Tee hee! I hope that all your festive preparations are nearly complete and that you are starting to look forward to enjoying some relaxing family time with your loved ones. I can't wait.

Back tomorrow,

Bye for now,

Jane x