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Crafty Christmas Wrap and Handmade Cards

December 16, 2013 by Shauna Leva 

I can’t believe its almost Christmas!! Where did this month go? Where are all the months going!? I blame the lack of blog updates on my job and blossoming social life. It’s been a great year, but I certainly don’t have as much free-time to craft as I used to. Fortunately the winter holidays come with mandatory crafting; it isn’t Christmas without the trimmings, trappings, wrappings, and arrangements. I have not been known to decorate half-way. That is not to say that I go overboard, but the projects that I do take on, I do just-so.

Last week while I was wrapping gifts, I got the urge (prompted by a Michael’s sale’s flyer) to fashion a few with extra creativity. Handmade cards? Yes. That sounds like fun too.

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Here are some of my more photogenic gift exteriors. May they provide you with all the inspiration you need to finish your shopping, and make your gifts look great! Everything you see here I bought from Michael’s craft store. Some of it I had hanging around from last year, and some of it I bought fresh. The cards came with pre-cut scalloped edges, and I added the 3D scrapbook stickers and ribbon. Honestly, deciding what to write inside the card was much more difficult than assembling them—anyone can make cards like these. All it takes is some ribbon, stickers, and good paper glue.

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The gift boxes were also pretty easy to put together. The most complicated element was the bow, made more difficult because of its small-size. One tip I will toss out there is that pretty ribbon doesn’t go very far. I went through two yards of ribbon on these gifts alone, and they are not big boxes! Decorative ribbon doesn’t come in very long lengths, so I say go for the clearance ribbon and get more than you think you need. Happy wrapping~!

Ever Notice How Active The Squirrels Are In The Fall?

Fall is that one time of year where the squirrels seem to be extra busy. I see them everywhere! Collecting their acorns and getting into trouble. I hear that they have to bury extra acorns because they won’t remember where they put most of them. So if they just put an acorn everywhere, maybe they or one of their friends will be lucky enough to find it by accident.

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This squirrel was painted with watercolor and colored pencil on hot press watercolor paper.  I like the hot-press for fur because it doesn’t allow for much bleeding of the colors. The edges of every stroke stay sharp, whereas cold-press paper allows for fuzzy edges and bleeding, which is better for landscapes or large blocks of color. Hot press paper also eats a lot of the color up while the paint is drying. You can put down a stroke, which looks dark and vibrant while wet, but as soon as its dry it suddenly looks dull. This means layering is essential for building up strong colors, but neutrals are easier to control. In this case, I didn’t want my colors to get too bright because squirrels’ fur is neutral. Even if I made a mark that was a little too red or a little too blue, the hot-press paper helped to de-saturated the colors slightly as I painted, and left me with a very crisp and clean result

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