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Welcome to my Christmas blog. If you arrived here from my other blog, Gracenotes For Today then you already know all about my love for cardmaking, home dec items, sewing projects and graphic design.

This site will host anything with a Christmas theme, either NEW or that was previously on the Gracenotes For Today site. Also, to the above list, I will include some of my poems that are perfect for use with cardmaking.

I'm so happy you decided to drop by. Please feel free to comment on anything you see here that inspires you.

~ Grace

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November 23, 2011

Happy Holly Days ~ Using One of My Free Graphics


2 cards made using my graphics
These two cards are designed using one of the graphics I offer here at It's All About Christmas. I made these cards to give you an idea of what you can do with these images.

The cards are 5-1/2 x 4-1/4 with a white base.

Happy Holly Days graphic by Grace Baxter
Printed Tags
Using the Graphic
I printed several graphics at once, using a table layout in Word. Then I printed a sheet of this one graphic, copying it a few times in Word.

After printing in draft mode, I now had a map of where to place my cut frames. These were done on the Gypsy and shadow pieces were cut from black at the same time. The frame I chose is from A Child's Year but you could use any frame you like. There are so many good ones.

To get the printing onto these cut pieces, I use double-sided Scotch tape that is easily removed after printing. This works very well in holding the pieces in place while they go through the printer. I have done this trick many times with my Epson 835 printer. You might want to test your printer on just one graphic before trying several on a page.

red and white Happy Holly Days card
Red and White Card
I punched a wide border, leaving a 1-inch plain section. This is where I embossed the winter house. Then I glittered the trees and house with MS glitter. The pics don't clearly show the sparkle but believe me, it shines!

By the way, I can't take credit for planning to leave a wide enough border to emboss. I had punched one long piece quite awhile ago, while testing my new punch. It just so happened that I left an inch on the other side. Another one of those happy accidents. Some call it "serendipity" when that happens. I call it a blessing yet to be discovered.

Holly Card
Using the same white base and inside verse as the card above, this card made up quickly. The holly paper is an 8-1/2 x 11" sheet, easily cut into four.
Holly card featuring graphic by Grace Baxter

These cards made up so quickly, I almost felt guilty for not spending much time on them. The hardest part was already done in creating the graphic.

inside holly card
Inside
I composed the verse for the inside, and in Word created a text box placing it in just the right spot. Then I added small holly graphics to coordinate with the card fronts.

closeup, Happy Holly Days assembled sentiment
About This Graphic
I have never liked the phrase, "Happy Holidays". Being Canadian, that always seemed like a strange thing to say. You see, we celebrate our Thanksgiving in October, so by Christmas, it's... well, (like the title of my blog says) "It's All About Christmas". If someone says "Happy Holidays" to me, it sounds like a cop out. I always want to ask, "which holiday -- Groundhog Day? Or Valentines? No, no. In Canada, we don't have to guess about which holiday we are celebrating. For Christians, it is Christmas and only Christmas." And of course, our Jewish friends would celebrate Hanukkah, with all of their own traditions. As Christians, we know that Jesus came from Jewish lineage and He is our Saviour, too. He is the reason for the season, as they say.

So how did I come up with the wording for this graphic? I assure you, it was not so as to be politically correct. Holly Days are all about festivities and decorating for Christmas. And all the days leading up to and including Christmas, are Holly Days. It's my new way of saying "Deck the halls". Get it? Love it! So in this context, I am okay with "Happy Holly Days" as it differentiates itself from the secularism of a celebration bereft of Christian values. I just wanted to clear that up.

So help yourself to the Happy Holly Days graphic on my Downloads page in Collection #2, and see what you can do with it. It's a fair size, so I have scaled it down somewhat for this card. I wanted to be generous with these graphics so you would have flexability in how you could use them. There is SO much fun to be had!


November 21, 2011

Quick Snowman Card

simple snowman window card

I rediscovered this little guy on the Stretch Your Imagination cartridge. It's a very simple process to follow the example in the front of the SYI handbook. It's an older design but I still think it's pretty cute. Be sure to check out my latest DOWNLOADS... FAMILY TAGS.


November 13, 2011

Joy to the World

I've been waiting a whole year to post this card. I couldn't give away the surprise until my daughter opened it. I love anything to do with musical instruments, and at Christmas time, it's the perfect theme. The French horn has a beautiful sound (and my daughter used to play it in school) so it is especially appropriate for her.
Joy to the World, music Christmas card front

For the horn, I used gold foil cardstock. Once again, I opted for the traditional colours of red and green. They work beautifully with the gold horn. I used a tag from Winter Woodland to cut the cream-coloured musical background.

The following picture shows more detail on the card front. For the Joy to the World sentiment and black shadow behind the horn, I used black sparkle cardstock. I wish I could remember where I purchased it. This is not your typical glitter stock. It's quite heavy so you need to set the blade to 6. The evergreen swag is made from several sprigs of green, punched with my Martha Stewart punch, and one gemstone holly berry sets off the swag.

Joy to the World, French Horn music card

Inside
Joy to the World, inside card
I had more fun creating the inside of the card. First, I made the scripture verse on the computer, framing it in red. Then I added a large black sparkly treble clef and red swoosh.


For the bottom panel, I prepared the verse on my computer and printed it on the same heavy white cardstock. A red 16th note with black swoosh completed the inside. I punched the corners of the bottom panel and added some inking to the top one.

This card, with its brass instrument reminds me of a Salvation Army band playing Christmas carols on a snowy night.

Doesn't it just make you want to join in the singing of Joy To The World?
November 05, 2011

SNOWMAN FAMILY

There is nothing more fun than the whole family going tobogganing. This snowman family is out for a fun day on the slopes.

snowman family Christmas card
I created this card for a family of three, and designed the snowmen to mimic the style of each family member. I love the hat on the Dad. It's exactly what he would wear! And the sweet little Mom, standing quietly by while Dad pulls baby along on the sled, is SO like her (not complaining that her toes are getting cold).

The pictures pretty well tell the story. This card is a 5x7 because I needed lots of room for everything. The snowy hills are hand-cut from embossed swirly cardstock. Rather than explain every single detail that went into this card, I will let you figure it out from the pictures.

I will say though, I gave the characters at least 3 layers. The sled has 2 layers. And please notice the snowmen's noses.They are totally carrot-like only better. I glammed them up with some gold ridges, first drawn with pencil and painted over top. I could NOT stop smiling as these characters came to life.

Snowman family, inside card
Inside
I prepared the verse on my computer and printed it on white cardstock. The top panel has the same snowflake background as on the card front. I used another piece to mat the verse on the bottom. Before gluing down the mat and verse, I stamped snowflakes all over the base and added 3 silver snowflakes for interest.

It's at times like this, when I am designing cards that are personal to the recipients that I have the most fun. I couldn't wait for them to open their card. I knew they'd love it. Exchanging personal cards has now become one of our family's yearly  Christmas traditions, and it is SO much better when they are hand-made.


November 04, 2011

Easy Personalized Card

Merry Christmas, Becky, card front

When you're short on time, let the paper do your design work. For this card, I matched the coral-red in the paper to a plain cardstock.

The toques and mittens were fun to replicate by cutting them out of this bright cardstock.  For fun, I added glitter to the snowball and a real pom-pom to the toque.

"Merry Christmas" is from Joys of the Season. The name is cut from Alphalicious letters and shadowed in black. The banner background was very easy. I just cut a rectangle of the coral-red, and punched the corners. Then I inked around in black and attached the finished banner to the card bottom with brads. Done!
November 03, 2011

DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE?

 
The sentiment is quoted from the Christmas carol by the same title. When I noticed that these polar bears were gazing upward, it gave me the idea to have them looking up into the heavens on the night that bright star appeared. The light from it was like no other star in the sky. And on that silent night, angels could be heard singing. Perhaps these bears heard the beautiful sound. It's for certain they saw the star, for how could they not!

Do You See What I See, polar bear card

Card Details
The white card base has several layers overlain. The first is the night sky, cut from navy glittered felt. To that I added hand cut layers of snow drifts. The front layer is glittered white. All layers are pop-dotted for dimension. The bears are cut at 3" and 2.5" cut from smooth cardstock.

Polar Bear card front

I prepared the sentiment on my computer and sponged the edges with gold. The star and sentiment mat are the same yellow. I added some shine to the star with gold glitter paint. 

These bears seem to have their own personality. I love their expressions and their cheerful red scarves.
 

November 02, 2011

Deer Snow Globe

Easel peace, deer snow globe Christmas card
This card was SO much fun to make. But what made me happy was, the snow globe practically made itself! Read on and you'll see what I mean.

Cartridges used are listed at the bottom. I love the colour combination of blue and brown.

deer snow globe card front
FRONT
The snow globe is cut at 5" three times (1 on blackout from white CS, 1 from metallic bronze, and a shadow in brown). If you take a closer look, you'll notice that the deer actually appears to be inside the glass snow globe. I tried using clear acetate as a glass overlay but it wouldn't stick to the white felt. The felt was already lightly sparkled and had depth to it.

This is where it gets interesting! My bright idea was to create the look of glass using a piece of acetate cut to size. I had some sparkle glue that I thought would work to adhere the acetate to the felt. This stuff is pretty thick so I ended up spreading it with my fingers, being careful to only put it where the snow would really fly inside the globe. I pressed the acetate globe on top of the sparkly glue, pressed it down well and left it to dry.

When I came back awhile later and picked it up, the acetate layer completely fell off. But to my surprise, the sparkle glue (which was really paint) had flattened so perfectly it had created this beautiful glassy effect, without needing the acetate over top. In any light, this snow globe shines. Love it! If you're wondering why I only used 2 corners, read on. Click on the image to see the glassy look up close.

SIZES
Finished card size is 5" x 6".
Globe 5, Deer 3, PEACE 1-1/2, peace frame (tag) 3-1/2, corners 1.

INSIDE

deer snow globe easel card front
I won't get into all the details of how to make an easel card as there are tons of examples on Youtube. First, I created my personalized message on the computer, printing it in brown on white CS. I cut the printed page to 4-3/4" x 5-3/4" and inked all edges with bronze. 

PEACE Sentiment
The word "PEACE" was cut from white at size 1-1/2, twice. To one I added a good layer of MS sparkle and popped it with dimensionals to the other one. The frame is a pretty scalloped one that works well with the corners.

Now, notice the brown corners? When the card is fully open and displayed, they are right.

Cartridges Used
Winter Woodland - deer, PEACE and frame. The frame is a tag on pg. 79 cut at 3-1/2.
Sweethearts - corners cut at 1, shadow.
Joys of the Season - snow globe

Sequins and just the right ribbon dress up the snow globe.

November 01, 2011

Sleighride Together With Me

sleigh ride together, vintage Christmas card
For this wintery scene, I used the sleigh from Christmas Cheer cut at 2-1/2. The rolling snowy hills were cut by hand, then inked and popped for dimension.

Inside
Since this card is for one of my very musical sisters, I couldn't fake the music. This excerpt was photocopied from the old Christmas carol. (You're allowed to do a short excerpt without violating copyright.)

I loved making this card. Be sure check out the inside picture for the surprise musical excerpt from the familiar Christmas song.


Sleigh Ride Together, inside card

Cheery Christmas Tags

BRING ON CHRISTMAS!



I'm getting a start on my Christmas tags with a variety of themes, all done in the traditional colours of Red, White and Green. My mind was swimming with ideas and I could barely focus on just a few ideas when I finally came up with these. More are on the way.


I Love Skates

Ever since I was a girl I have always loved white figure skates. I used to be quite a good skater, and would stay out in the freezing cold, skating for hours until I could no longer feel my toes or my nose.

What does that have to do with cards? Only that who we are comes out in the things we create.


These skates are cut from two different cartridges: Winter Woodland and Joys of the Season. All shapes are cut at size 3. Notice the jingle bell on the red and white tag? I ALWAYS used to put jingle bells on the toes of my skates. It was so much fun to hear them jingling as I skated around the outdoor rink. Skates are so bare without them!


Holly and Vellum
There always needs to be a touch of holly. This little card is 3x3". The window is backed with swirly vellum.

This was cut using the card feature with another layer for green leaves. Then I added some coarse green glitter to the edges and red rhinestones for the berries. I used a small stamp for the "Fa la la's" and added a red ribbon for attaching to a gift.


Juggling Snowmen
This is such a cute cut from the JOTS cartridge. I used the positive and negative cuts from the snowmen and it gave me two tags. On the green tag, the ornament top is painted with MS silver paint marker. You can see the reverse one on the left shows a bit of the silver paint around the cutout stars. I call it "star glow".

O Christmas Tree

This is MY version of the familiar Christmas song, O Christmas Tree. Today is the day I put up my tree, and I was thinking about all the great Christmases of years gone by and how important a role the tree has always played.

So here is my poem. While reading it, I suggest you hum the melody or sing the words of the poem. Just my way of giving you a little taste of Christmas early. ENJOY!

That One Gift

A Tag For Every Bag

Gold Stars

If you love the designer look of gift tags that match their bags, create your own using your Cricut and a little imagination. Last year, I bought some nice gift bags, but their tags were scimpy little squares of paper, so I made all new tags and cards.


First up... Gold Stars. This gift card allows plenty of room inside for your "To" and "From". I cut the card from white using Joys of the Season.

I then painted over the stars using MS gold glitter paint. I like the look of a frosty window, and I didn't want the writing inside to show through too easily. So, to make the cutouts less open I added a small piece of vellum behind the window.




On the inside, I punched a small hole for the gold cord. The finished gift card ended up looking far more elegant than I thought it would!








Penguin

I loved this bag with its penguin carolers. And I was so excited to find the perfect penguin for a matching tag on the Christmas Cheer cartridge.

I know this cartridge is an older one but it still has some terrific shapes on it. Actually, even though there have been many Christmas carts since this earlier one, Christmas Cheer can't be beat.

The size of the penguin is about 2-1/2.

His feet and beak are cut from white and painted with gold glitter paint.

The eyes of the penguin are actually cut out, so I decided to shadow the whole penguin in white. That way, I could add blue eyes (a small dot of blue MS glitter paint against the white).

This little guy sure made the happy recipient smile.

Fashion Boot

I picked up this gift bag especially for my daughter. She's a shoe lover. I didn't know what kind of tag I'd be able to find or make, at the time.

Several weeks later, I came across a pad of sticky notes that were the exact same boot design! It was one of those "meant to be" things.

I'm sorry I don't remember which cartridge I used for the "to" and "from" but there are many that have these cuts.


Closeup of tag.







Ornament

This bag uses very non-traditional colours so it was good that I was able to create a gift card that matched.

The blue is almost a baby blue. I started with a 6" x 3" piece of white cardstock, folded in half for a 3x3 card.





I cut a square of blue for the front.

The ornament is from Christmas Cheer cut at about 2-1/2".



For this one I decided to use an eyelet for the cord to go through. It looks a lot more polished than to just have an empty hole.

And to make the tag match with the others on the bag, I added some glitter around the ornament.

Gift

These little cards are so simple and quick to make. When I look through my cartridges I see endless possibilities in Christmas designs.

Many cartridges have various gifts. This one is from Christmas Cheer because it best matches the gifts on the bag.



I rounded off the corners using a punch. I think this one is from Creative Memories.

Once again the card size is 3"x3". I inked around the edges in red to mimic the other gifts.

A punched hole and piece of red cording finish it off.

A-Caroling We Will Go

October 28, 2011



These happy little carolers are all decked out in their winter finest. At first glance you might think this card may be too difficult or time-consuming. Actually, it is neither!

What MAKES this card is the fabulous cardstock. You have to start with the best. I love The Winter Wonder Stack from DCWV. (No, they aren't paying me to say that.) The crisp stock is the perfect weight, and I can't even tell you how hard it was deciding which designs to use. They are all wonderful -- some smooth, some shiny or glittered.


Winter Frolic is the perfect cartridge to pair up with these papers. I usually search through my cartridges and choose cuts from a few different ones. But this time I stuck with just Winter Frolic. It was everything I needed!

Begin with a tri-shitter card. Directions are HERE. Jayni has a helpful video and printable instructions. I recommend testing the cuts on cheap plain paper if you've never done one of these before. But seriously, it's very easy. I like to add a personalized message, prepared on my computer and placed on the back of the card.

Happy Cardmaking!
~Grace

Christmas Chapel

 O Come, All Ye Faithful

October 26, 2011


I loved making this card. I imagined music coming from this country church as townsfolk joyously greeted one another and began singing those old, familiar Christmas carols. In fact, I can picture exactly what the inside looks like.
A center aisle with rows of wooden pews on each side and at the front a platform that has a piano on one side, and a real Christmas tree on the left, all decorated. There are candles on the window sills of each window and wreathes hung over the windows. How do I know all this? I have sung in many such churches over the years; most of them are white but every bit as charming.
The card base is white, with a black mat on top and then the bright Christmas green as a frame. For the snowy background, I used snowflake vellum over white cardstock. Then I created mounds of snow from swirly white and added blue to the edges for definition.

The evergreen trees and rooftop are laden with thick snow. To the cutout windows I added a sheer golden vellum which makes the church come alive. (The windows glow in the picture below.)




And what could be more welcoming on Christmas Sunday than a giant wreath hung on the church front?  I prepared the sentiment on my computer, then punched the banner ends with MS lace punch.


Inside:




I created the verse on my computer and printed it on cardstock. and punched the corners to make it lacy. Before gluing it down, I embossed the green mat with rows of holly branches.


Cartridges Used:

Sweethearts - church
Winter Woodland - trees

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