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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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The "Popular Posts" list below is automatically generated by the number of visits these postings receive.

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Grace Notes

Grace Notes
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December 21, 2011

Reindeer Crossing Gift Bag & Tag

Dress up a plain white bag with this cute little reindeer. Don't you just love the string of Christmas lights woven through his antlers?

reindeer crossing gift bag

reindeer crossing gift tag
This combo made up fairly quickly.
The adorable reindeer and tag are from Winter Frolic.

I created the reindeer's spots, nose and eye using ProMarkers rather than fussing with tiny bits of paper. I like the more subtle shading.

If time had permitted, I would've made up several more bags and tags like this one. There are so many cute designs with coordinating phrases on the Winter Frolic cartridge.

December 20, 2011

Large Sheep Tag

Nativity Sheep make a fresh theme for kids' gift tags.

You wanna talk about FUN? When you can't find a store-bought tag to match your paper... and usually you can't, I prefer making one. Go with the theme of the paper.

Christmas sheep large gift tag

My little grandson, (not quite 3) is the recipient of this gift. I didn't have any Santa or snowman paper, so in order to make it fun and youthful, this tag features two sheep taken from the nativity theme in the paper. 

Cut at 3" high, it measures 5-1/2" wide. The generous size of this tag provides plenty of room to write the "to" and "from" on the back. I'm sure my little grandson will love it. 

Now... on with my gift wrapping!


December 18, 2011

Angels Touch Their Harps

Shining Angel and Golden Harp

One of the loveliest Christmas carols is, "It Came Upon The Midnight Clear". This card depicts that scene, "from angels bending near the earth to touch their harps of gold".

Angel and gold harp card front

The white card base is 5"x7". The musical excerpt is scanned from an old hymnal, then edited in PhotoShop to remove all the other verses. I needed to pair down the music to keep it neat. At this size, I was able to print 4 per page with room to spare.

The sky background is from a sheet I've had for awhile. Sadly, I can't find more of it anywhere. Other sky backgrounds just are not as realistic as this one. On with the card.

Angel and gold harp, front angled

As usual, we learn as we work through these things. For my first card, I placed the music over my gold "mat". Then I thought, in order to save expensive cardstock it would be smarter to cut a frame to place over the music, AND it would look more like a real frame. 

Here's what worked best: On the Gypsy, I designed a frame and placed the harp inside. Voila! Two images for the price of one, literally!

Angel closeup
Angel close-up

For the angel's wings and dress, I cut one on blackout for the backing. The lacy fronts, though pretty, needed something a little extra. Heavenly star glow! (In crafting terms that would be glitter.) Isn't she beautiful!

Angel card inside with poem by Grace Baxter
Copyright 2011 Grace Baxter
All of the card printing was done before assembling the rest. I prepared the card inside on my computer, printing all the words from "It Came Upon The Midnight Clear" on the left panel. The verse on the right side is a poem I composed especially for this card. I love it when God gives me wonderful poems that more fully express the story behind the cards.

I'm looking forward to a Christmas Eve service where, hopefully, we will all be singing some of those wonderful old Christmas carols.

December 09, 2011

Free Christmas Graphics

Here's a video overview of some of my downloadable Christmas Graphics, available on the Downloads tab.

December 03, 2011

Winter Branches - Practically FREE!

Snowy, frosty branches are lovely all through the winter. The sweet red cardinal adds a touch of Christmas.

From the brush pile to a place of honour in my dining room, these spruced up branches were the perfect accent. In thinking of an arrangement for a corner of my dining room, I decided I wanted something tall and not too fussy. In previous years, this plant stand held an arrangement of poinsettias at Christmas time, and the flowers get changed with each season.

Some branches after priming.
I shopped around for some pretty branches and decided I could easily make the perfect thing from what I already had available. After staring at the branches on the brush pile and noticing how graceful some of them were, I got the idea to pretty them up and display them inside. Yes, they are Christmassy but I will keep these out for the entire winter.

After snipping several branches and pruning away unwanted stray parts, I brought them inside and gave them a good cleaning with damp paper towels. Then I took them outside to prime them with Krylon spray primer. I have to say, the product was disappointing for this project. It just did not cover no matter how many coats I sprayed.

Primed and drying
I ended up using some fabulous ceiling paint that worked wonderfully well; high coverage and quick drying. I applied the paint with a sponge brush. Then I set all the primed branches in my lovely tall vase (a gift I was anxious to use) and let them dry thoroughly.

I tied a green ribbon around the green glass vase just to see if I liked the look. It was kind of woodsy but I liked it. My plan was to add white mini twinkle lights for sparkle, but I didn't like the green wires and could not find the minis with white wires. Besides, my container is glass and would show all the messy wires.

Sparkly Snow Needed
Although the matte white branches looked nice, I still wanted them to sparkle or to look more "snowy". The snow I tried didn't make any impact.

After trying various methods of applying glitter, I still wasn't satisfied with the look. Then I hit on the best solution. I wanted ICE CRYSTALS! But no one sells a product to give this look. Soooo....
Here is my solution.
closeup of snowy branches

I covered select areas with Mod Podge and sprinkled a mixture of epsom salts and glitter over it. This was a little messy but I knew immediately that it was the look I was going for! I LOVE it!

finished snowy branches

double bow of sparkly white and green
I beefed up the bow with a wider white sparkly ribbon. And happily, I found the perfect red bird for my branches. He was already in my Christmas tree ornament stash.

Cost and Materials
Green glass vase - free (gift from my sister who got it from Good Will)
Paint - free (ceiling paint I already had, but any white matte paint would do)
Krylon spray primer - $5.00 but was not needed
Martha Stewart glitter - free (already had it, but any white glitter would do)
Ribbons - free (already had both green and white)
Red bird - free for me but would've been a couple of bucks
Mod Podge - free as I already had it but I paid $4.47 at Hobby Lobby.

Don't you love it when a plan comes together? It makes me happy to give new life to these old branches, and I love the finished display.


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