Monday, July 30, 2012

Christmas in July: Finale

Christmas in July ends today.  We're out of month, and I'm out of Christmas cards.  I hope you've enjoyed the series!

Here are links to the other posts in the series, in case you missed them:
Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   Part 5   Part 6

Today we'll cover 2010 and 2011.

2010 was a fabulous year.  We were getting settled in the new house and new neighborhood.  The kids--five of them now--were adjusting well.  My stamps were unpacked and stored in beautiful cabinets custom-made for me by my dearly beloved.  What more could a girl want?

Once again, PhotoShop Elements (PSE) allowed me to bypass the labor-intensive coloring stage and beat the "mail by" deadline. 
2010
Here on the front, we see Bunny the dog and Marmie the cat admiring a decorated pine through the window.  Inside (not shown), its the same scene, in the great outdoors.  The snowy wood covers the entire space, and the lower part of the tree and boy are visible, anchored in the snow.

The tree is decorated with digital scrapbooking embellishments from Shabby Princess, as well as some rubber stamp images in my collection.

Stamps Used:  Eat Cake Graphics (dog, cat, pine tree), Remarkable! (boy).

Now we've reached the final entry, 2011.

I wanted to tell a story with our Christmas card this year.  It started (as it often does for me) with a single stamp.  The image was of a little girl, dressed as Mary, holding a baby.  The expression on the girl's face captivated me!  She looks so thrilled to be holding that baby.

I bought many of the nativity stamps offered by Art Impressions and then put them together like this:
2011
The sign on the outside of the card reads, "Christmas Pageant TODAY 2:00 P.M."  (It is not a stamp.  I typed it up in PhotoShop Elements.)

Inside we find seven children, plus a sheep and a baby participating in the pageant play.  The three kings (a single stamp) was cut apart to allow one of them to pop out when the card is opened.


Stamps Used:  Art Impressions--all, except for the sheep on the outside.  I drew him.

This concludes our Christmas in July series.  Thanks for taking a look!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

ATC Saturday: Dance

They make it look easy...
Happy Saturday!

We're all about the ballet today.

This image is in my stash because my daughter saw it at a convention when she was ten or so.

Now I have my own "for real" ballerinas--Holly and Laurel both started dancing on pointe a couple of years ago.  This ATC reminds me of them!

I stamped the two dancers, then masked them to add the third.  Purple was sponged on the background, and the floor was colored with grey Prismacolors.

Next the dancers were colored, and the sentiment added (Byron font printed onto a watercolor background).

The top seemed too empty, so I stamped some lace--sort of looks like stage curtains...it's feminine, anyway.  I toyed with adding ric-rac, actual lace, etc. but everything I tried over-powered the design.  Stamping was the way to go here.

Stamps Used:  StampFrancisco: ballerina,  Picture Show: lace

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Christmas in July: Part 6

Christmas in July continues!

Here are links to the other posts in the series, in case you missed them:
Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   Part 5

Christmas 2007 found us with two daughters, and now two sons.  Baby Liam joined the family in May that year.  Our growing family had many of its own traditions by this time, foremost among them the delivery of Christmas cookies to friends and neighbors.
...and baby makes four!

More on that later.

"Mary, Mother of Jesus", was the theme for 2007.  I needed something elegant, and "Santa Maria Virgo", from Postmodern Design filled the bill beautifully.  I've been searching around the web to find out what happened to this company.  I found a very few of what might be their stamps here.


In any case, below is the card that went out from us in 2007.  It required only two images, but lots of coloring.  I used four or five different-but-similar colors to evoke a feeling of richness.  The border pieces were stamped, cut out and mounted on foam tape for added dimension.

I like the architectural impression this layout gives.
2007
Stamps Used:  Postmodern Design (Virgin Mary), Unknown (spandrel).

2008 was all about the Christmas cookie.  This was the first year that I used PhotoShop Elements to do most of the coloring for me.  What a relief it was to only color something once!  The large snowman cookie was colored by hand, but the rest was done digitally.  I was a novice PSE user, and this project was a real learning experience for me.

My kids love to decorate cookies, and I admit I may be a teensy bit obsessed with them myself.  The two snowmen you see here are edited photos of actual cookies that I baked, frosted and decorated.  You can see more of our cookies here.

The biggest cookie on the card was printed onto white cardstock, colored with Prismacolors, then cut out and fixed to the card with foam mounting tape.
2008
Stamps Used:  TooMuchFun (reindeer cookie, angel cookie, gingerbread man)

2009 was a crazy, crazy year.  I had given birth (again!) to a baby boy (again) that May (again).  His name is Declan, and he and Liam are best friends.  Oh the sweetness!  Trouble was, our poor little three-bedroom home was bursting at the seams.  We moved to a bigger house when the baby was just ten weeks old (I don't recommend that, by the way).

All of my stamps and supplies had been packed away for months, so ten-year-old Laurel came to the rescue.  She drew a picture of Mary with Baby Jesus that I scanned and colored.  We sent it out for printing as a photo-postcard.  Though no stamping was involved, I've included it for historical purposes because my baby drew it.  Thanks for indulging me.


Only one more post to go in the series--see you on Monday.