Thursday, December 29, 2011

Our Christmas Eve Tradition

This is the cover of Our Christmas Tradition Book.
      Every Christmas Eve we gather as a family and read the Christmas story from Luke chapter 2. We discuss the miracle of Jesus Christ and his gift to us and all the world, and we remember our blessings and our responsibility to follow his great example and truly be Christians. This year I finally got down to work and made an altered book for Christmas. A couple of years ago Somerset Holidays & Celebrations had an article by Mary Benson showing her altered book about the Christmas story. My book was inspired by hers. It is not exactly the same, but I have used some of her ideas. Her book used the story from a sweet children's book titled "This Is The Stable" by Cynthia Cotten and illustrated by Delana Bettoli. I have combined the verses from Luke and the storybook, as well as favorite Christmas songs and poems in my book. The papers are a combination of stock scrapbook paper, pages from the storybook, and a digital collection from Scrap Girls called Holy Night Collection,
    Since this was my first venture into creating an altered book, it definitely has flaws. I have learned a lot about what not to do, and hopefully the next time I feel the ambition to create another book like this, I will do it much better. Since I lean towards jewel tones and sparklies when it comes to Christmas, I tried to embellish each page with glitter, jewels, beads, and golden trims. Here are the inside pages, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do:
First page. Tag slides into slit on right.

Tag is stable scene.

Stable scene is framed and inset in Bethlehem.

Manger close-up is inside folder.
Stable close-up.

Inside the stable.

Open the stall gates to see the animals.
Mary and Joseph welcome the baby Jesus!

Close-ups of Mary and Joseph inside.

Shepherds watching their flocks.

Tag slips out with Luke 2:8-12 on it.

Three layers of angels stacked, glittered, and flocked.

These are the wise men...

Library pockets with gold embossed flourishes.

Verses about the baby born that night.

The Magi and their gifts.

Slider tags with verses pull out of the tops.

Corner pockets with verses on tags.
Close-up of tag fronts.

Close-up of tag backs.

Inside back cover with tags stuffed in pockets.

Tags with songs and poems.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Our Family Forever

     I love this sentiment. I've seen these done on boards with vinyl lettering, but I wanted something different, so I opted for an artist's canvas, instead. The canvas is 12" x 24" and came ready to paint (it's not a board, it's a canvas stretched over a frame).  I painted the undercoat several different colors: barn red, forest green, yellow ochre, and metallic gold. Once it was dry, I applied a thick layer of crackle medium and allowed it to dry again. Then, I painted the top coat with antique white which crackled and allows the colors to show from underneath! After it was thoroughly dry, I brushed a layer of Mod Podge (Matte Finish) on top to seal it.
     The lettering I designed on my PC and printed out (on several sheets of paper) in a reversed image. Painted with a couple of layers of Mod Podge, the image can be transferred to a surface. I applied a thin layer of Mod Podge to the canvas, then placed the lettering, paper side up, on top, centering it the way I wanted it. After it dried, I sprayed the paper backing with water and rubbed it off. This is a bit time consuming, and works better on a lightweight paper, rather than your best quality printer paper. Once the paper backing is gone, another layer of Mod Podge seals it all. The dimensional letters and words I printed on colored scrapbook paper and wrapped around pieces of fiberboard. I sealed these with Mod Podge, too and then used E-6000 to attach them to the canvas when they were dry.
      For the "frame" I covered a piece of thin foam core about 1 1/2" bigger all around than the canvas with fabric layered over batting to give it some dimension. I think it would look great covered with patterned paper, too. A small hole punched in the center top of the back allows it to be hung on a small nail. Easy peasy...though not fast.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Rudolph Cake Pops

      I decided to try my hand at making reindeer cake pops this year. They turned out to be fun and not too
time consuming. I love the wide eyes. Slipped into a pop bag and tied with a red bow, they were a big hit 
with my class of 6 year olds, as well as my teens and their friends. On top of being cute, they taste great! It doesn't get much better that that!
     Let's see who's left out of the reindeer games this year...