Oh wow, I am on the highest of sugar highs. Today I spent the afternoon with a distinguished group of fantastic ladies making the most delicious chocolates. As in proper handmade artisan chocolate, none of that Cadburys "I've never seen a cocoa been but I'm pretending to be chocolate" stuff. Chilli chocolate, strawberry and poppy seed, limegrass and cocoa chocolates and the most amazing basil chocolate. I know, it sounds crazy. But it's aaah-maaa-zing. And combined with a good merlot. Again, I know it sounds crazy, but it's just the most gorgeous flavour combination. If you are somewhere in Cambridgeshire and need delicious chocolates, take a look at Boutique Mama Bombon, run by the lovely Gloria.
Before I went off galavanting on my chocolate adventure, I finally tackled my Christmas card dilemma. I needed a quick and easy design to make Christmas cards for my colleagues. I spent a bit of time Pinteresting (yes, it's a verb, I have decided so) and found two lovely (the red card over here and this one here) cards which I combined in my mind into an easy and quick design, which I made in four colours.
I started by cutting out 20x10 cm (4x8 in) pieces of kraft cardstock and folding them into 10x10 cm (4x4 in) cards. I made a 10x10 cm (4x4 in) stencil with a 5x5 cm (2x2 in) square opening to ink through (note to self, for mass production, make the stencil out of acetate and not paper as the colours start eventually bleeding through the paper). I did multiple copies of each colour and found that the best way was to ink all cards in one colour before proceeding to the other stages, as that gave the ink a bit of time to dry before the embossing. After inking, I drew the white frames around the inked area with my gel pen, and used a watercolour brush to splash water droplets onto the ink to create the bokeh look. I wiped the water droplets with a piece of paper. Next the crucial step to avoid getting the embossing powder stuck all over the inked square - dab vigorously with your embossing buddy (anti-static bag). If you don't have one, I would suggest either leaving to dry until the next day, or drying with a heat tool.
After finishing the background, I stamped the snowflakes in Versamark and heat embossed in white powder. Again, I stamped all cards I had made in one colour and added the embossing powder, and then heat set them all in one go, it's so much quicker once the heat tool gets properly hot. Last, I stamped the sentiment in black ink, and added the adhesive gem. I also stamped a sentiment inside the card. I kept all the stamps mounted to clear blocks all the time (I don't have that many blocks so I mounted the sentiments on each side of one block, just quickly ink up one side, stamp on the front of the card, swap the block around, ink up and stamp the inside). All in all, it took about 3-4 minutes per card, and I have made 15 so far with another 15 or so to go. I might even create a few more colour combos just to keep it interesting!
I would like to link up with the following challenges:
One Layer Christmas Cards - Anything goes (I chose not to play with the optional twist of using silver)
ABC Christmas challenges - Unusual Christmas colours (the purple, orange and turquoise cards)
As You Like It - Monochrome or colour (obviously monochrome for me this time, for the convenience of mass production)
C.R.A.F.T Challenge - Christmas
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra - Anything Goes
One Crazy Stamper - Christmas/Halloween/Fall
Card: kraft card
Inks: Versamark, Memento Tuxedo Black, Tim Holtz distress inks in (for the blue card) Broken China, Blueprint Sketch and Chipped Sapphire; (for the yellow card) Fossilized Amber, Spiced Marmalade, Festive Berries; (for the purple card) Victorian Velvet, Dusty Concord, Seedless Preserves; (for the turquoise card) Iced Spruce, Cracked Pistachio and Peacock Feathers
Stamps: Stampin' Up Endless Wishes
Other: Papermania Seafoam White embossing powder, Signo white gel pen, clear adhesive gems from my stash