Monday, 23 December 2013

merry christmas

Busy times these past couple of weeks! I am sure we are all feeling the stress and the pressure to get everything ready and done for the holidays. For me there just has not been enough time or energy to get in front of the computer in the past weeks.

Tomorrow is the big day for us here in Sweden, we celebrate Christmas on the 24th. So I wanted to take the opportunity to say Merry Christmas to all of you. I hope you get to have a lovely time with your loved ones.

I am excited and nervous to give these gifts to the ones that I love.

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Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

christmas morning



Christmas is celebrated on  Christmas Eve in Sweden, and the day finally came - even though I did feel like I needed a few more hours of both preparation and sleep - with a sense of anticipation. The presents were wrapped, the table was set, and the food was done. I even managed to get some pretty clothes on!

I take great pride in my wrapping and put in a lot of time and care to make them all match in accordance to a certain theme for each year. This year was kraft with stamped snowflakes (my love for snowflakes is eternal), washi tape, baker's twine, and red satin ribbon.



Many times I draw from the wrapping theme for the table setting. I find this particularly nice as our tree is always placed right by the dining table. This year was no different. I wanted that homespun, traditional look on the table as well.



I went with three thick wreaths along the length of the table and filled the centers with red apples. Those centerpieces smell so lovely!



For each plate setting I made miniature wreaths with a gingham ribbon and a little tag saying "Merry Christmas".  They fit perfectly on the glass plates.



I also used pillar candles, again tied with the gingham ribbon, in simple glass vases, and some large tealights.



My good friend Anneli gave me handmade (by her) three wick candles that I really wanted to use. The only problem was that I had no candle holders - can you believe it - to put them in. That was a total bummer, and it still irks me a little.

It was a quick. easy, and simple dressing of the table that felt perfectly restrained and laid back for a Christmas dinner.

We had a lovely and calm day with good food, a nice visit from Santa, and many wonderful gifts. Also, too many sweets. I will be using photos from the day in digi scrap layouts and Project 52 posts in the coming days.

Until then, take care!

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

laying it out | christmas

It's been a whirlwind of a week (and a half) and it has been impossible to steal away to spend some time in front of the compy. But I wanted to share with you two layouts about my beautiful tree that I love oh so much.


(Supplies: Solstice Papers, Stamped Snow Brushes by Nancie Rowe Jantitz, Father Christmas Papers by Jodie Lee, Christmas Day Full Collection by Carta Bella)


(Supplies: Hoho Holiday Mice Vol.2, Hoho Holiday Solid Papers, Tape It Up Krafty by Liv.e Design, This & That Christmas Full Collection, Very Merry Christmas Full Collection by Echo Park, Winter Wonderland by Jessica Sprague)

Have a great couple of Christmas days! I will be back soon with some photos from our Christmas celebration.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

christmas card | 2012

I love sending Christmas cards almost as much as I love getting them. Usually I also love making them and most years I go old school and make them by hand with glue and glitter and actual pretty papers.

I had big plans for our Christmas cards this year. I had the coolest photo shoot planned for the husband and I, and when the snow arrived I was quite giddy to get it done. But alas, the husband wasn't as gung ho as I was, and the one day where we was actually at home during the daylight hours, I was so stressed out with getting a bunch of other stuff done that we missed the slot. I was totally bummed. I suspect he wasn't. Ha!

So, this left me with one other option - this since I had waited so long to start those damn cards that handmade was out of the question unless I wanted to give up a week's worth of sleep to make them - and that was to go digital.

So digital, not a huge problem for me, really. I quickly designed a postcard style card with a big graphic greeting on the front, and a more personal note on the back. I wanted something retro looking but still very graphic and clean. I also needed something that was easy to alter as I needed versions in three languages (Swedish, English, and Italian). I also wanted several Swedish versions.

Here is one Swedish version, with a line from a traditional Swedish Christmas song.


with the back


And here is the English version with a traditional sentiment


with the back

(Supplies: Sleigh Ride kit by Crate Paper from AC Digitals)

I printed the front and the back on seperate sheets of paper and then attached them to eachother, thus giving me a super thick card. I also decided to go large and made them 14,85cm x 21cm (half of an A4 sheet).

I love how they turned out. Granted, they aren't traditional at all, but then again I don't mind stepping out of the box for the sake of good looks.

I would love to see your cards, if you want to share them!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

advent calendar grown up edition



So the husband mentioned a couple of months ago that it would be cool to have a grown up version of an advent calendar. I have been thinking of doing one for years, and now that he mentioned it himself, I knew I had to do it.

Being the natural born procastinator that I am, I put it off for weeks and weeks until I had just a few days to put it together. But oh! What do you get for a grown man if it has to be relatively small both in size and in prize? Finding 24 of those is difficult I tell you. I finally got the last piece on Friday on my lunch break and then spent half the night making number tags and putting everything in bags in order to be able to put them up today when the husband was at work.

It turned out well, I think. Some of the objects are a bit on the heavy side, which meant that I had to go a little overboard on the tape. I wish I didn't have to use tape; I originally wanted to attach the bags to string. In the end I couldn't figure out a way to fasten the string to the wall without making holes. So tape it had to be.

It was a great success when he came home and was able to open the first bag. I now hope the excitement lasts all the way until Christmas!



I put the bags on our chalkboard wall in the entry to the kitchen from the hallway. The chalk banner is always there but usually it says "Remember". I thought it fitting to change it to "Merry Christmas". And, ok, we won't be able to use the wall as a message board for the most part of the month but I think we will manage. As long as we remember to put the trash bin out on the right day, I think we're good. LOL!



I used regular kraft paper bags to hold the items. The tags are made from red striped kraft paper that I free handed the numbers on. I had planned to print the numbers but felt it was a tad too noisy at 1.30 am. I stapled the tag to the bag, also making sure to staple the bag itself shut at the same time. It was not until this morning that I noticed that I had forgotten to change the pink staples that I had used for the BIL and SIL's wedding in August. Oh well!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

winter white

On Christmas Eve, the day of celebration in Sweden, we had a very nice and quiet - I don't want to say dinner because we started around noon and finished sometime after 8pm, so let's go with day of food with my family. To match my Christmas decorations, and incidentally also the gifts, I decorated the table with all white on white on white on white. Delicate and crisp and pretty was the way to go this year for me.













Resources:
White plates from IKEA
Glass plates from local second hand shop

Lace mats from H&M Home
Crocet snowflakes from La Rinascente in Milano, Italy
Wreath from local florist Anna Gouteva
Small wreaths are styrofoam wrapped in white lace
Votives from IKEA wrapped in white lace

Candle holders from IKEA
Glassware from IKEA

Monday, 2 January 2012

hybrid | handmade christmas gifts

So I took this class on JessicaSprague.com that had me super inspired to bust out the glue and actually make something tangible for once. It was the Mouse, Paper, Scissors Give class that Jessica team taught with Heidi Swapp. The class objective was to create hybrid gifts, just in time for the holidays.

The first gift I made was a calendar for my mother. She has been asking me for years to make her one with my photos, and I have honestly dreaded it a little because I think the calendars you order from online photo sites are dead boring. But Jessica and Heidi got me excited again. Now, their style is a bit (ok, a lot) more frilly and elaborate than mine and my mother's, but that wasn't a problem at all. I just adjusted to fit and it was a done deal.

The calendar is like a book that holds not only a calendar for each month but also a note pad and pen.








For this project I used digital papers from my Get Happy Paper Pack as well as some Bazzil cardstock, and my Almanac Template Pack. The book thingy was included in the class kit, but could easily be recreated. I also used a clip to hold the calendar sheets, and a notepad that I had in my stash.

The second gift was a little tin of "to do" help for my sister.
(Please excuse the lack of quality in these photos, they were taken at 6.30 am the day there were to be given, and there was very little light at that time)






Now this project was super easy to create. I designed a cover for the tin with paper from the Moments Paper Pack and some brushes and fonts, and for the inside lid with paper from the Valpoicella Paper Pack. I also made some notecards, and lastly created magnets by gluing designed cirlces using the same papers, brushes and fonts and then attaching the magnets on the back. After that I simply added a small pen and the project was finished. I have to say, I like hybrid when the bulk of the work is done digitally! Hee!

The third gift was supposed to be something entirely different, but I had a glue meltdown (pun intended) and had to switch gears. For my other sister I created a subway style poster that I framed.
(This photo was also taken that early morning, so again, please excuse the bad photo)


The poster features the places and dates where and when my sister and her boyfriend were born, met, got engaged, and now live. I love, love, love how this turned out. And it was so easy to make as well. Want to make one of your own? Jessica and Heidi has made a little mini class for this one that is available right now. Check it out! The frame, if you are interested is from IKEA - where else?

So that was the extent of my craftiness this Christmas, not counting spending about two weeks on wrapping all the gifts. Perhaps next year if I start a little earlier I will be able to do more?

Oh who am I kidding?

Monday, 19 December 2011

white on white with doilies and lace

OK, so I felt the need to reshoot the Christmas presents. Here we go again!





So that's white on white with matte wrapping paper, with fabric lace, satin ribbon, paper doilies. I also used silver ink to stamp the initial of the recipient and the "God Jul" (which means Merry Christmas in Swedish), silver wax seals with a snowflake motif (can't leave the snowflakes out), and a sparkly silver pen to write the message.

Present wrapping is very important to me. I take it very seriously and always match all the presents. This year I decided to match the tree as well (and here's a hint - the decor for the Christmas Eve table). Overboard? Me? Nah! :)

Sunday, 11 December 2011

this year under the tree

After a full week away on a business trip, I have had a truly busy weekend to catch up with everything that needs to be done for Christmas - like presents to make, buy, and wrap, and  decorations to finish, I haven't had a single minute to sit down in front of the computer. It has actually been a full week since I even opened it last. I can't even remember when that happened before this week.

Because of this, I haven't shared my latest new product, or our Christmas card, that I actually made last week, but haven't gotten round to printing yet (no, there is no time to handmake them this year, so a photo card will have to do). And neither have I shared photos from our Italy trip, which I haven't even finished editing yet. Man, do I wish I didn't need to sleep!

So today I spent almost the whole day wrapping presents. The husband was laughing at me as it took me 45 minutes to get the first one wrapped. But once I got going it went pretty well. I have about half of the load wrapped now so they will definitely be finished this week.

Please excuse the crappy photography, the light was rapidly escaping, but here's what our gifts look like this year. White on white with silver wax seals and stamps. All to match the tree, of course.







I hope everyone are doing well, and coping a little better than I am with all the stuff going on in your lives! Have a great new week!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

laying it out | countdown

Every year I decide to make an advent calendar. Every year I fail to actually get my butt in gear  long enough before the start of December to be finished in time. So as a small compromise I created a layout instead.


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Supplies: Be Merry Tags Pack, Sassy Season Elements Pack, Clippings Alpha, Postage Alpha, Charmed Alpha, Indulgence Elements Pack, Tabbed Alpha, Meet & Greet Labels Pack all by In the Making Design

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Monday, 14 November 2011

new in store | be merry cards and ornament

I said last week that there would be more from the Be Merry line, and I wasn't lying. This week I have to new products for you guys!

It's about time to start thinking about your Christmas cards this year. If you are going the photocard route, then I have good news for you!

Be Merry

The Be Merry Photocard Pack contains four quick cards with the pretty papers of the Be Merry Paper Pack and custom wordart sentiments. The pack also contains a bonus template for each card design.

If you are into handmade Christmas decor and ornaments then this project is perfect for you. The beautiful paper ornament is easy to make and is very decorative.

Be Merry

The Be Merry Christmas Ornament contains two printable files with beautiful papers from the Be Merry Paper Pack and a printable tutorial with photographs to guide you through the process of making the ornament.

If you go to my Facebook page you will find, in the fan exclusive section, a coupon code to to get the ornament project for free! Please note that you need to be a fan to access the code.

Be Merry Cards Pack and Christmas Ornament Project are both available at JessicaSprague.com today. Both are 25% off today only!


Inspiration








Christmas Ornament project by Camille Robinson

Christmas card by Lauren Madsen

Monday, 27 December 2010

Homemade Christmas decorations

Here I am, coming to you live and direct from a brand new computer! I only unpacked it yesterday so I am far away from ready with migrating everything from the old one to the new, but so far I am totally loving the experience. Superfast and super pretty. What else could a girl want? LOL!

So, with Christmas just over and done with, I want to hold on to it just a little longer by showing you some crafts I did, but never had the time to post about, before Christmas.

These balls were done with papers from the Frostbite Paper Pack




They were surprisingly easy to make with directions from Kaiserkraft (link will come once I have it on this computer) but if you ever decide to make them at one point or another do get a circle punch! I didn't have one in the right size so I hand cut all circles for six balls. That's 120 circles. It took me four hours and gave me a nice little aching hand. Ouch!

I strung some of mine from the light over the kitchen island and it was just the right amount of decoration for me. Not overwhelming and not too ostentatcious. Simple but pretty.

You can also see a small peak of the wreath I made at the bottom of the first photo. All I did was wrap some white organza ribbon and attach some tiny white balls and that was it. It matched the tree perfectly.

Now, I am so not a flower person. I kill flowers and plants with lightning speed. I swear, plants have died within hours of being in my house. But in spite of this I bought some hyacinths and tried to do something crafty and pretty with them. Here's one:


I put a few pebbles at the bottom of a vase from IKEA, wrapped the bulb with fresh moss (apparently from France as per the florist's info) and placed it on top of the stones. I rummaged through my scrap stash and found a sparkly snowflake, a bell, and some gem brads. Those, together with some ribbon finished off the creation. I cannot tell you how accomplished I felt once I put it in the window, lol. Now, it still hasn't bloomed, but at least it's not dead.

Apart from the tree and door wreath, the wrapped gifts, and white pillar candles everywhere, this is pretty much all of my Christmas decor. I guess one can safely say you won't find any santa figurines in my house, lol. At least it will be easy to take down!

I hope Christmas has been good to you all!