Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Manly scarf

Making stuff for men is a tricky thing. Especially knitted gifts. I've done a relatively safe thing and knitted a scarf. I know, not exactly a very inventive and creative gift, but I'm really stuck! Men in their fifties have everything...
This scarf has been knitted not along the short side as usual, but along the long side! From end to end so to speak. It was a fun way of doing it, but the down side is that you'll have to first decide how long the scarf should be and then knit a test swatch to calculate how many stitches to cast on to get that particular length. The advantage is that you can make stripes going the long way, which is impossible to do the same way when you knit along the short side. The yarn is my favourite these days, Drops Eskimo Mix in two colours. More details here (Ravelry link).

Monday, December 28, 2009

Mile-a-minute scarf in natural colours

I've knitted a scarf for myself before in this pattern, named "Mile-a-minute" for good reason. All you need is a single evening or two. What I've discovered is that the scarf elongates and becomes narrow when used, as the pattern stretches a lot in the long direction. This one is shorter and wider to compensate for that stretching effect. More details here (Ravelry link).
This is one of several knitted christmas gifts, and I can finally share them here. :) More to come the next few days. Hope you - and the recipients - like them!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas cards

Having spent ages and ages and ages on my advent calendar, and having to finish four knitting projects before Christmas, I quickly decided to keep this year's christmas cards to a minimum. This is the concept - they are all alike on the outside except different pattern papers. I used TPC Studio papers, they are gorgeous and glittering - and because they match perfectly in colour I could keep everything else exactly the same! One PP gave me 6 cards. The lovely stamp is embossed in white to make it stand out well. The inside is just decorated with a couple of stamps in silver ink. Super effective, time-saving and cost-effective. :) I made the first batch of 15 in a single evening with some friends.

When I go blog surfing and find all these gorgeous and amazing christmas cards I sometimes feel like I should feel guilty for making mine so simple... But it's a matter of prioritising precious time and I don't regret my choice one instant. ;) After all, they're hand made and written with love and care!

Friday, December 25, 2009

December 25th - Christmas Day

When making this layout I decided to keep it very simple as this one is intended to stay displayed for several days to follow, and I wanted the lyrics of this song to be the focus of attention. It is, without question, my very favourite christmas song! The melody is wonderful, and the lyrics thoughtful and relevant to both the historical aspects of christmas and our modern world. Unfortunately it's not that well known - a Spotify search only yielded two hits, neither of them quite my style. I guess I'll just have to sing it myself then. ;) But if you're interested, here are the links to an instrumental version and one with vocals.

Just four layers and the last pieces of a luxurious lace ribbon. Some stickles and a stamp of a peace dove and that's it.
Here are the lyrics in close-up for my Norwegian readers. I won't even try to translate. I'd never do them justice.
Merry Christmas to you all!
Papers: Maja Design Vintertid: Varma Kläder, Making Memories Pearl Swirl I Do, Core'dinations Vintage
Embellishments: Unknown peace dove stamp
Other: Stickles Star Dust, silver ink pad

Thursday, December 24, 2009

December 24th - Merry Christmas!

The only thing I knew I wanted to do with the layout for Christmas Eve was to use pictures of my closest family members. This is the third set of pictures I've printed and glued on! I first used them in black and white, but that made the layout seem dark and dreary. Off with those, on with colour photos. The whole thing was completely done exept I decided to put some Stickles Star Dust along the edges of the photo as a finishing touch when the glue reacted to the printer ink turning it bright pink. Disaster. A rescue project was launched - I had to carefully remove the photos from bling swirl, ribbon and pattern paper trying not to tear anything - and then somehow work the new ones in without getting anything stuck on them. There was sweat and strong words involved. It looks good now though, I just put the Stickles on the edge of the photo paper instead of along the edge of the picture.
On a side note, the pictures are both edited. The one of my parents and myself is cropped and an ugly candle holder removed from the bottom edge. I the one with my brother and his wife I removed a huge flash reflex from the wall. It's not exactly expertly done, but it works in this small scale.
I've been stroking this bling swirl for so long - it's just too big to fit on cards and too beatuiful to cut up into smaller elements. It works so well in a symmetrical layout like this one.
Prima chipboard letters, painted with Twinklin' H2O's Dutch Iris and Rubilite, edged with Stickles Star Dust (oh yes, more Stickles!). I'm going to have to get another bottle of Stickles now. ;)
Just a simple little verse, wishing you and yours a merry christmas! The font is Porcelain, available for free here.
Papers: Maja Design Vintertid: Kyla and Snöflingor,
Embellishments: Prima bling swirl, Scrap FX chipboard snowflakes, lace ribbon from HobbyHimmelen, Prima Times Alphas
Other: Twinklin' H2O's Dutch Iris and Rubilite, Stickles Star Dust

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

December 23rd - Nearly Christmas!

This layout brings back the theme of passing time from December 1st. This time it signifies that the waiting is almost over! We all know how time seems to slow down the nearer we get to what we're waiting for... ;) In Norway the main celebration takes place on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day, so today is the day before the big Day! :D
Nearly christmas! :D
Colouring these clock hands was much easier than the last ones, I just stamped them with a brown ink pad and generously sprayed Glimmermist on them so they would shine. The chipboard letters got the same treatment.
I first stamped the tag with a text background stamp with a Versamark watermark ink pad, and later inked the edges with chalk ink. It's difficult to see in the image, but the result was a kind of resist effect on the tag! That was a surprise. I just might do it on purpose somewhere I can really show off that effect. ;)
Papers: Scrapper's Choice Julefryd: Julepost, Graphic 45 Times Noveau Collection: Hip to the Jive, unknown red plaid
Embellishments: Tim Holtz tag, Jenni Bowlin Memo Book pages, Scrap FX clock hands, Kort og Godt ribbon, Prima Times Alphas, QK Metro SkinniMini
Other: StazOn Saddle Brown, Glimmermist Old Lace, MS doily lace border punch, background text stamp

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December 22nd - Christmas porridge

Ok, this photo isn't exactly the most interesting one I've ever taken, but the tradition of christmas porridge is so important that I think it deserves some attention. At least I used a medium-length shutter time, so you can see her hand moving and a sort of spiral shape in the porridge. I have to admit I have a love for long shutter times...
I think there's a poinsetta punch available somewhere, but I don't have it myself. What I first did was to use my daisy punches, but I wasn't very pleased. But would you believe my luck - the very next day I found this Poinsetta flower tutorial! Off with the daisies, on with the poinsettas! And these really look like poinsettas too. All you need is two retro punches and a pair of scissors.
Again, you can see the Art Warehouse rub-ons, both on ("memories of childhood") and under ("time after time") the photo. Lots of papers and ribbons meeting in this corner... ;)
QK Frankie again! I just love the whimsy look of it, especially when next to a picture that triggers so many childhood memories...
Papers: Maja Design Gammaldags Jul: Julbord, Magnolia So Jolly: Wrapped Plaid, Magnolia Under the Mistletoe: Green Christmas Plaid, Fancy Pants Christmas Magic Notebook pages,
Embellishments: Kort og Godt ribbons, BossKut swirl, QK Frankie SkinniMini, Art Warehouse rub-ons, Retro punches, McGill branch punch
Other: Stickles Star Dust

Monday, December 21, 2009

December 21st - A little spark of madness

This layout is actually one of the first five layouts I've ever made. Oddly enough, it's also one of my favourites! Funny that - it seems that the success of my layouts is more due to the luck of the draw than an accumulation of experience. Or maybe this was simply beginner's luck. ;) Either way, I'm pleased with this one and it makes me feel like christmas is already here.
The wacky pictures in this layout are a part of some experimenting I did the first christmas I had my DSLR and when I found this quote I knew instantly that it would be the perfect companion! It also resonates with my thinking when I started this project - it was madness! I still have trouble believing I actually did it... ;) Totally unrelated: I snipped these metal buttons off of a pair of worn-out trousers. I love upcycling!
Lots of details in this layout. When I saw the McGill branch punch I couldn't resist it. It makes a nice background detail even when the embellishment used is not a flower.
Another little sentiment that found its way onto this layout. As you can see, I used buttons and Liquid Pearls as centers for all the Prima flowers - the red buttons are meant to resemble the red baubles visible in the photos.
Papers: Basic Grey Wassail Snow Dust, Making Memories sentiment overlay
Embellishments: K&Co rub-on, Art Warehouse rub-ons, Prima flowers, Kort og Godt charms/metal ornament and ribbon, Papirloftet bling brad, misc. buttons, QK Moxie SkinniMini

Other: Liquid Pearls White Opal, Stickles Star Dust, buttons from stash, Glimmermist Old Lace and Meadow Green

Sunday, December 20, 2009

December 20th - The blue hour

After a couple of warm layouts I'm right back to the icy blues! This photo has no post-processing, it's really that blue. There are actually two persons walking the path there, but you'll have to click the image above to see them, they're so small...
Chipboard letters again, this time coloured with a blue ink pad and completely drenched in Glimmermist. The dot will have to serve as the cicrle in the "å".
The bottom pattern paper was so difficult to match to anything of what I had in my stash that I had almost given up and was ready to throw it in the bin. Luckily I didn't. ;)
Just one last shot, showing how nicely the colours work together!
Papers: Scrapper's Choice Julefryd: Snøballkrig, Heidi Grace Frost Boulevard: Patch, DCVW The Old World stack
Embellishments: Prima Times Alphas, Spellbinders snowflakes dies, Papirloftet crystal brad, Prima bling swirls, DCVW glitter stickers
Other: Blue ink pad, Glimmermist Frost, MS Stars border punch

Saturday, December 19, 2009

December 19th - Gingerbread house decoration

After yesterday's raw material production, here follows the assembly and decoration stage! I had to convert these picture to black&white, as it was so orange that I couldn't find anything that would work. You might notice that I kept the figurine in the upper left photo in colours - that was a chore but when I had started I just had to see if I could make it work. My conclusion is that if I'm going to do it again I need a better photo editing program. ;)
--You've seen these price tags before in my advent calendar, I think this one is so cute. :)
Papers: Kreativ Hobby Juletid: Grønn Glede, BoBunny Classic Christmas Stripe, Basic Grey Fruitcake: Glisten/Avalanche, K&Co Christmas Cheer Days of Xmas

Embellishments: Kort og Godt ribbon, price tag from Bikuben, misc. hardware from stash

Other: Chalk ink Creamy Brown

Friday, December 18, 2009

December 18th - Gingerbread house in the making

We don't always make a gingerbread house for christmas anymore, so I love that I got to document this one. I've managed to use some different colours than most of my other layouts and I think these suit the pictures well. That typical orange tinge of indoor evening images doesn't go well with most of my papers so it took a bit of searching to find the right mix!
Lots of layers! Even a ribbon serves as a frame here. The little felt arrow is a cute detail - directing attention to the number 18, and simultaniously indicating the transformation from dough being cut in one picture to finished gingerbread pieces in the next.
The few overlays in my stash are much loved but rarely used... I find it tricky to find fitting techniques to attatch it, but this one is easy. I've simply put liquid craft glue directly under the brown print, and it's completely invisible!
The die-cut swirls on the corner of the pictures echo the swirls on the overlay. The lovely MS border punch fits this theme nicely, I think.
Check back tomorrow for the finished house! :)
Papers: Basic Grey Fruitcake: Gingerbread/orange peel, Hambly Urban Chic Frames overlay
Embellishments: MS doily lace border punch, Kort og Godt ribbon, BossKut swirl, QK Moxie SkinniMini, unknown felt arrow
Other: White ink pad

Thursday, December 17, 2009

December 17th - Snow lantern

So many of the pictures taken at night, especially in winter, have a strong orange colour - this one included. Being much more fond of blue colours, I simply shifted the colour tone to this lovely blue before printing it. Easy peasy. :) Making snow lanterns like this outside my window is something I really miss - I guess living in an appartment on the first floor has its disadvantages. ;)
I let the die-cut swirls move both under and over the chipboard snowflakes (covered in glitter - of course). It helped to create some movement and dimention to this otherwise quite flat layout.
The stamp says "Snowflakes are just unassembled snowmen". I risked stamping it directly onto the pattern paper and regretted it almost instantly! It didn't show very well so I quickly poured embossing powder over it but it didn't fix the problem completely. Notice the pattern on the snowman's scarf - I realised I had a scrap of that very same pattern paper and punched the numbers out from it! :) Instant match!
Papers: Maja Design Vintertid: Se det snöar, Maja Design paper scraps, Making Memories Pearl Swirl I Do, Bazzill Bling
Embellishments: Scrap FX chipboard snowflakes, Revolution swirls

Other: Penny Black sentiment stamp, silver embossing powder, silver glitter, Martha Stewart Arched Lattice border punch

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

December 16th - A window full of stars

"A window full of stars" is a take on a Norwegian children's song called "A heaven full of stars" - I couldn't resist using it as a title for this image. ;) The background pattern paper is very dark and I chose to use a lot of warm orange colours as a bright contrast.
The Prima Times Alphas were "gilded" with a gold ink pad and some home-made "glimmermist" made from water and Perfect Pearls Bronze powder. This was actually the first layout where I used these chipboard letters, and I've come to love them very much. In case you haven't followed this calendar from the beginning I should say again that I first made all the layouts and then arranged them in a suitable order, so the oldest are not nescessarily the first ones in the calender...
This old song is so cute and fits the theme of the layout perfectly. I'm unable to properly translate it and Google Translator doesn't really help either. The magic is lost in translation...
QK die-cut stars embossed with Cuttlebug embossing folders and sanded so the lighter core of the Core'dinations vintage cardstock shows. I love the effect of these!
Papers: Kreativ Hobby Vinterdrøm: Vinternatt, 7Gypsies Gypsy Market Paper: Herne, Papirdesign Julens Sanger, Core'dinations vintage
Embellishments: Chipboard cover from a Melissa Frances notebook paper pad, Tim Holtz ticket, Prima Times Alphas, Cuttlebug star embossing folders, ribbon scrap
Other: Glimmermist Old Lace, Prima swirl stamps, Distress Inks Walnut Stain, Gold ink pad, Perfect Pearls Bronze

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December 15th - Baking

One of my favourite traditions is to gather family and/or friends in December to bake and make christmas treats. There's something about it that brings up childhood memories, brings on the christmas spirit and takes the chore out of the preparations. These are my parents working hard! ;) The pictures were so orange that any amount of Photoshopping couldn't save them - I saw no way around it and converted them to black&white.
I picked up a whole bunch of new Magnolia christmas papers last time at HobbyHimmelen... They are gorgeous! Two of them showing here. You can also see the cute swirly edge stamps from Ladybug&Friends.
And yet again, the rub-ons from Art Warehouse are indispensible! They fit so perfectly for these kind of layouts!
Papers: Maja Design Gammaldags Jul: Tradisjon, Magnolia Under the mistletoe: Green Christmas Plaid, Magnolia So Jolly: Gingerbread
Embellishments: Tim Holtz ticket, Art Warehouse rub-ons, Prima Say it in Pearl centers, QK Phoebe SkinniMini
Other: Ladybug&Friends swirl stamps, Saddle Brown StazOn

Monday, December 14, 2009

December 14th - Snow storm

Some days you should just stay inside and watch the weather. Some days you don't do what you should. ;) Just look at my poor car covered in sticky wind-swept snow! It's bright blue if you would believe it. My brother's sister and I were getting rid of some of the snow before it became a wall of frozen ice, impossible to mow... Can you see us freezing? ;)
The left picture had a snow shovel standing very annoyingly in the center of the frame. As an experiment I tried to remove it using the clone tool, and the result was much better than expected! On this scale it's almost impossible to see where it should have been.
The Norwegian letters æ, ø and å gives me trouble sometimes - I only have three QK alphabets with those letters and none of them felt right for this layout. I decided to see if I could construct one from an o and some left-over pieces and the result wasn't too bad. I needed something to cover the joints with though, and glitter seemed like the perfect medium! ;)
This is possibly the most glittering layout I've ever made... The pattern paper has enough glitter on its own and I've added more than enough. A girl gotta have her bling. ;)
Papers: TPC Studios Winter Blues: Falling Snow and Winter Wonderland
Embellishments: Basic Grey bling snowflake, Prima Times Alpha chipboard letters, QK Moxie SkinniMini
Other: MS Stars border punch, blue glitter

Sunday, December 13, 2009

December 13th - Lucia

The idea I wanted to convey with the Lucia layout was light breaking out of darkness. That is, after all, a main theme of the Lucia celebration! So I found this very dark, almost black, pattern paper and cut it to a frame surrounding bright, warm yellow colours.
That's me as a deeply concentrated Lucia in the picture, taken in 1986 (uh-oh, I realise I'm letting my age slip here). ;) I scanned it from my parents' photo album, removed scratches and other imperfections, straightened, cropped, and reprinted it. The difference really was amazing!
The Prima Alphas have been put to good use again! After a bit of trial and error I realised that by tearing off the top shiny layer I could cover them in any colour with ease.
I've brought out the glitter again! Yellow, orange and a touch of red in the middle made for a nice flame, while Liquid Pearls simulated running candle wax.
Papers: Reminisce Northern Exposure Frosted Window, Core'dinations vintage
Embellishments: Scrap FX chipboard candles, Prima Times Alpha chipboard letters, Kort og Godt lace, QK Eliza Mini, unknown bling, Art Warehouse rub-ons
Other: Liquid Pearls White Opal, Twinklin' H2O's Lemondrop, Perfect Pearls: Pearl and Interference Red, MS Arched Lattice border punch