Sunday, June 25, 2017

Keeping Christmas {From the desk of}

"I will honor Christmas in my heart...and try to keep it all the year long." ~Charles Dickens

I'm super excited to share this month's "Keeping Christmas" project with you. To be honest, they are becoming some of my most favorite projects. I seriously can't seem to make myself you will see today...there are LOTS of pictures! It's almost like 3 posts in one! Well, since I have a lot to share, let's get on with the projects!
This project is actually years in the making...I have been wanting to execute this idea ever since Santa Stationery came out back in 2010. Every year I have grand plans of putting together these "letters" and every year I am just too busy once the Holiday season hits. Not this year, however!!! When I started brainstorming what I should do for this month's project, I was so happy that I remembered this! It was SO much fun to do, but I had to be sneaky which was hard with my kids home for the summer. I even have to blog this sneakily...they are outside right now and my heart beats fast every time I hear someone bounding through the door! LOL!
To get started, I found a pack of super old SU! Christmas paper that is double sided which worked out perfectly for today's project. It eliminated the need to make liners for the envelopes and it also made it so that when I folded the "certificates" they looked nice as well. So...what I have created here are "nice list declaration" certificates for each of my kids from the desk of Santa Claus! I am a brave woman by declaring them "nice" this early in the year, especially during summer break! LOL! 

To create the certificates, I cut each piece of 12 by 12 pattern paper in half. I heat embossed the "from the desk of Santa Claus" sentiment at the top of each paper. After that was done, I quickly perused the other images to make sure that I placed them in a way that made sense. You can choose how you would like to lay them out, but I liked this way. Most every thing was just stamped in black because it stood out nicely on the pattern paper, but I did emboss the line for Santa's "signature" as well. Each child's name is stamped out using some seriously old alphabet stamps from PSX...they're my favorite and I will never part with them. Once those were all stamped, I trimmed them to the correct size. I also needed to trim the edges of the certificates as well because my handmade envelopes were slightly too small for the 6 inch width.
Let's talk about the handmade envelopes for a minute...they were created using another dear Martha By Mail envelope templates. I used to use these for EVERY card I made WAY back in the day! I'm so old now that I can say "way back in the day"! I'm glad I had a need to pull them out to create these one of a kind envelopes straight from the North Pole *wink*. The envelope templates actually inspired the rest of the projects that you will see later on.
You can see the one that I used for this project in the photo. I love that you can use it either horizontally or vertically. It also included a template to make the liners if you'd like as well, but since I used double sided paper, I didn't need to use this feature. You can also see the seals that I created by using gold embossing powder layered multiple times. This used to be my "go-to" technique to share at all of my SU! demonstrations. It was the perfect technique to create a realistic looking seal.
Don't they look fabulous on the envelopes? Signed, sealed and delivered...well, they will be in December! ha ha! I added one of my favorite sentiment stamps on the flap of the envelope. I have used these on different projects in the past, but it felt good to actually used them all coordinated together. I also made some santa postage stamps using the included stamp image as well as the postage die for a realistic look. I also used the "canceled" image from the postage stamp set to add to the charm.
I had Santa's signature in the return address section and the "please deliver via the polar Express bin the addressee section. My little boys will love that!!!
Once those were finished, I decided that I couldn't let the remaining images go un-inked so I put together a quick set of letters that my kids can send to Santa! I can't wait to pull these out, whip up a pot of hot cocoa and let them get to work! 
It will be interesting to see if they check naughty or nice. I used the postage strip in the blue and red from the postage set as well and inked it up with markers. I just used cheapy typing paper and standard envelopes! 
They're all addressed and ready to go! I put all of these letters back into my envelope template kit to keep them safe until December!
So.... like I mentioned before, the envelope templates inspired yet another project! There is a tiny gift enclosure card envelope template that was begging to be used for a Christmas tag. It was all feeling a little squeal worthy! I didn't want the tags to look anything like the previous project because my kids are clever and I didn't want their wheels to start turning. I went to my Christmas paper section and found a fabulous plaid that worked perfectly!
I was able to get 9 tiny envelopes traced onto 2 sheets of 12 by 12 paper. I wanted to make 6 tags, so I decided to make 3 coordinating cards with the remaining envelopes.
I used the fabulous knitted embossing folder from Richard Garay for the background of the cards. I used it on a nautical card I previewed on Instagram the other day. It worked surprisingly well on that design, too!
I couldn't decide if I liked it better with red baker's twine or without, so I tried both.
I really like how these tags came out. I used a black seal on the tags and I opted for a red seal on the cards. I like both.
I decided to create a quick set of tags, too, just like last month. These worked up so quickly! I literally had to make myself stop or I would have just kept going! I am really enjoying these projects so much! I actually stumbled upon a Christmas challenge on Instagram today. Uh oh! I might be in trouble!!!! Thanks for fluttering by! P.S. I would be over the moon if you would share any Christmas projects that you work on! Use the hashtag #keepingchristmas2017 on Instagram!


Cindy H. said...

Oh my goodness, your projects are just AWESOME!!! Love every single one of them :) What a fun Christmas your children are going to have and they'll have wonderful memories to look back on when they're older, too. I loved reading about your enthusiasm while making all of the gorgeous creations.

Anonymous said...

What a sweet idea and I love how you pulled it all together. Nice work as ALWAYS!!

Kim Heggins said... much magic on your post. Love all your wonderful and sweet letters and certificates from Santa, so sweet.