Advent Challenge: Day 14 – Snowflake Ribbon

Day 14: Snowflake Ribbon


I can’t believe that this is my first ribbon-based Christmas card in this challenge! I feel I’ve let myself and my ribbon addiction down!

I first saw this sensational (yes, high praise I know, but really, it is!) ribbon in my favourite local craft shop, Tutbury Crafts. It’s made of organza, and has white snowflakes running along the length of it, each picked out with glitter too. I wouldn’t usually know what to do with such a wide ribbon (it’s 2.5″ wide). It would be perfect wrapped around a Christmas cake, but it’s quite big for adding to a card. But I liked the fact that each snowflake was contained within it’s own white square with a little border between each one. This made it easy to cut so that I could make the ribbon snowflake the main feature on the card.

To make the snowflake topper:

  • Take the snowflake ribbon and cut down the middle of two borders, leaving a snowflake in a square, plus approx 5 mm of ribbon either side.
  • Cut a pale blue square of card to the same size as the snowflake square.
  • Wrap the remains of the border around the back of the card, securing with double-sided tape. This way there is no glue or adhesive showing though the organza of the ribbon.

To make the card above:

  • Mount your snowflake topper onto a square of iridescent silver card using double sided tape, leaving a border of approximately 3 mm.
  • Again using tape, mount this square onto a white A5 card blank, leaving an even border at the top, and left and right sides.
  • This leaves a space below to place a peel-off greeting.

To make the card below:

  • Use double sided tape to stick the original snowflake topper to the centre of a white square card blank.
  • Chalk around the edges of the card with pale blue chalk, smudging it with your finger to soften the edges.
  • Place a ‘Merry Christmas’ peel-off above, and a ‘Happy New Year’ peel-off below the snowflake.




I only bought a metre of ribbon (I can’t remember how much it was, but it was under £1 I’m sure), but made 10 cards quite easily from it. The trick was working out how to fix it to the backing card, and what colour backing card to use, to get the best from the ribbon. I’m really pleased with how these have turned out – they’re elegant, and a bit different to a lot of my other cards (no Christmas trees!).


Advent Challenge: Day 8 – Book Page Tree

Day 8: Book Page Trees


I’ve made loads of these this year! Great for making bulk lots of cards as they are quick, easy and cheap to make, and can easily be made unique, or even tailored to your recipient!

This year I’ve seen a few people using book pages in their craft – mainly on ATCs – and I’ve had a go at a few myself. Although to start with I did have problems with the mere fact that I had to destroy a book in order to use its pages! I’ve found that I am more mentally capable of such a dreadful crime (!) if the book book is old and tatty anyway. So I bought an old art book from a charity shop, and carefully took it apart so I could use it in my craft. I’ve used the picture pages to make some gorgeous handmade envelopes, and the written pages to use on these Christmas cards.

To make these cards:

  • Tear a page from an old book into rough Christmas tree shaped triangles.
  • Use green chalks to colour the trees, particularly highlighting the torn edges.
  • Glue the tree to the centre of a white square card blank
  • Draw a short trunk at the bottom of the tree using a brown marker pen
  • Decorate the tree!

There is so much scope for decorating the trees individually. In the two examples here I’ve used adhesive pearls for baubles in one, and glitter glue for tinsel in the other. I’ve also used adhesive gems, brads, peel-off borders (which can also be coloured with permanent markers), and fibres. You can tailor a card to your recipient’s favourite colour very easily if you want too. At the top of the tree I’ve used star-shaped gems, but again, you could use pretty much anything that’s starry or sparkly!


You’ll notice that I’ve used my book page with the writing running vertically. This is another example of me being frugal! It’s quite easy to tear a series of diagonal lines down a page and get lots of triangles, but if I had done this with the page horizontal, half of my trees would have had upside-down writing on. I’m sure this wouldn’t bother plenty of people, but for some reason I didn’t like the idea, but could happily tolerate sideways writing – go figure! The result was that I ended up using the entire sheet, and only threw away a tiny border from around each edge. So just one book page (approx A4) has made about a dozen cards, and I still have some left over!

Another variation I have made on this theme is using a piece of sheet music (bought for 20p in a charity shop) in the same way. In this one I’ve used purple fibre as tinsel, and put a purple gem brad in each corner of the card.


Advent Challenge: Day 7 – Embossed Poinsettia

Day 7: Embossed Poinsettia


I blogged about embossing in a post I did for last April’s A-Z Challenge – you can read it here. I recently invested in a proper light box (well, invested is hardly the word – it was an absolute bargain!), and a few more brass stencils, one of which was a poinsettia. I found the plain blind embossed image a bit too subtle for my tastes, so I coloured it in carefully with chalks.

To make this card:

  • Blind emboss an image of a poinsettia directly onto the centre of a plain white square card blank.
  • Use coloured chalks to carefully add colour to aspects of the design
  • Add a peel-off greeting in the top left and bottom right corners.




The second card was just as simple, I just embossed the image onto loose card rather than a card blank.

To make this card:

  • Blind emboss the image of a poinsettia onto a square of scalloped white card.
  • Use coloured chalks to carefully add colour to the design, and also around the edges of the scallops.
  • Put a red brad in each corner of the square.
  • Mount this topper onto a square scalloped white card blank, using adhesive foam pads.

I haven’t used a greeting on this one for a change. I like its simplicity as a result.


Kirsty’s Crafty Charity Calendar Challenge

(Try saying that three times quickly!)

My good friend Kirsty is an Occupational Therapist, and to celebrate World OT day (which is on 27th October 2011) she has set her blog readers a challenge: to create an ATC that celebrates an aspect of Occupational Therapy. If you don’t know what OT is, you need to visit Kirsty’s blog here and discover the amazing, varied and under-valued work that Occupational Therapists around the world undertake.

As Kirsty was introduced to ATCs by me, I did feel somewhat obliged to join in her challenge! But she has already had lots of entries, and her aim is to create a 2012 OT calendar to sell for charity.

So please join in! I’ve enjoyed the challenge, not least as I have learnt in more detail what Occupational Therapy entails.

So here is my entry to the challenge.

OT: live your life.


My initial idea was to use the letters ‘o’ and ‘t’ as the main focus of the ATC, and it occured to me that put together, them form a little stick person. So using some suitably sized rub-ons I made my little man. One of the things that OTs do is to help people regain independence after illnesses. For people with a weakened grip even things like pouring a cup of tea can be very difficult. OTs can encourage independence with the use of tools – in the case of my OT stick man, he is using a kettle tipper. I have never seen a kettle tipper in the flesh before, so it was an interesting experience trying to draw one! I used a font from my Scrapbooker’s Handwriting Workshop book for the journalling at the top and bottom, and softened the look of the background with pink chalk to match the rub-ons. I used some star gems to fill in the empty spaces (the stick man wasn’t as big as I’d planned!), and finally I used a marker pen to colour the edge of the ATC to add definition.

Please join in with the challenge if you can – there are some great examples of OT ATCs already on Kirsty’s blog. You have until 26th October!

Rainbow and ‘Mixed Media’ ATCs

Ever since I bought these ribbons in America, I have been dying to use them all together.


I love the quote ‘without rain there can be no rainbows’. And when you’ve got a fab ribbony rainbowy background like this, what better quote could I choose?! I used some decorative scissors to cut out the cloud (sooooo much easier than cutting out by hand!), and handwrote the sentiment. I finished off with 4 little blue brads as raindrops.


Mixed Media ATC

This one was made specifically for a Swap-Bot swap. I will quote the exact instructions, because they really inspired me.

“Create an atc using two or more of the following artistic media: paint, ink, pencil, charcoal, water colors, collage, original photography, any type of printmaking, stamping, assemblage, fabric art, wax, etc.”

It was when I saw the word ‘wax’ at the end that it hit me. Although I really enjoy making collage ATCs, I would love to be able to make ‘traditional’ art – ie painting / drawing etc. I thought this ATC challenge gave me that opportunity.


I used black ink to create the background wave effect, and over it I dropped melted wax, from birthday candles! I used yellow and blue, then filled in the gaps with clear wax from a tealight candle (I used a paintbrush for accuracy, as I found the birthday candle wax never went where I expected it to!). Then I pooled a big blob of wax three-quarters of the way up, waited for it to solidify slightly, and stamped it with a basic heart stamp. I coloured the heart using some chalk.

So my mixed media ATC actually has 4 aspects to its creation – ink, wax, stamping, and chalk. I’m very pleased with this one, and it’s helped me get out of my comfort zone of just making collage ATCs.