Under a creative spell

Twelve Ways Of Christmas With Stylish Handmade Decorations

Monday, December 22, 2014

Hello Friends! Thank you for finding a moment to stop by today, especially during such a busy time of the year!

Are you ready for Christmas? I'm almost there. Just a few final things to organise and we'll be ready to celebrate.

As always when the house is so beautiful with all the Christmas decorations, warm twinkling lights and pressies waiting under the tree, I'm getting all emotional and grateful for what we have. 

Initially when I was thinking about this post, I was just going to take a couple of photos of our Christmas tree and some of the festive garlands I've put together (I have a soft spot for garlands lol).

Then, when I started photographing the tree, I had this warm fuzzy feeling flooding in. And no, it wasn't (just) the mulled wine :). I just felt this overwhelming pride and joy seeing how special our Christmas tree is - all because it has so many unique handmade ornaments.

I've recently heard some (unkind) people saying that handmade ornaments usually look 'handmade' for a reason (in other words 'cheap') and they fall apart after the first season. I hope this post will prove them wrong. I know I'm bias but I love my decorations and I think they are beautiful and stylish. Most of my ornaments are now a few years old which proves that handmade decorations can last just as long as shop bought ones. 

So here are my twelve (handmade) ways of Christmas, some of these projects have been blogged before, some have never been shared. I hope you will enjoy looking at them just as much as I do :).

1. Shabby chic sparkly hearts - these paper mache hearts were painted and covered with sparkly wallpaper off cuts and finished with glitter glue and sparkly gems.
2. Gold bauble ornament using Creative Photo Corners - you'd never believe this ornament started its life as a simple Styrofoam ball and a couple of packs of gold Creative Photo Corners.
3. White rose tree ornament - grab a mulberry paper rose, die cut leaves from vintage music sheets, glitter glue and a crocodile clip to create a beautiful shabby chic decoration.
4. Sparkly bauble ornament with white sequins - after painting a Styrofoam ball with vintage white paint simply adhere white sequins, one by one, to fill the entire space. I buy packs of assorted sequins in varying sizes and colours from £1 shops. These packs are great value for money. The ornament was really easy to make but it took ages so it's best tackled during a girls' night in with your BFF and a bottle of wine. Or two. Friends that is. Or wine bottles - depending on your preference :).
5. Glitter Styrofoam star ornament - another easy make where with a sprinkle of glitter, a selection of pre-cut adhesive foam star shapes, rustic ribbon and a metal charm you can create a truly unique ornament.
6. Handmade Styrofoam star ornament with sequins - another example of a star ornament, this time embellished with glass glitter, a die cut paper star and a handful of unusual sequins.
7. Disco ball bauble ornament with sequins - this is one of my favourites. It was made in the same way as the sparkly white bauble (see 4 above) but this time I used gold, silver and holographic sequins. To secure larger sequins I used short dress maker pins. The metallic and holographic surfaces on the bauble beautifully reflect the lights from the tree and if you tap it gently, it will shine like a super disco ball!
8. Silver pinecone ornament using Creative Photo Corners -  this is a slight different take on the technique I used to make the gold bauble (see 2 above). This time instead of a Styrofoam ball I used a Styrofoam egg. After adding some die cut pine branches I got a smart pinecone ornament. This very decoration was featured on the cover of the Winter 2014 CardMarker Magazine and for a limited time you can download for free a full step-by-step tutorial for this pinecone ornament.
9. Easy DIY Star ornament with snow-ice sprinkles - oh, this one is so much fun to make and it could not be easier. Cover your Styrofoam shape with adhesive, sprinkle with Shaved Ice and watch it glow in the light. 
10. White Christmas birdhouse ornament - this is my most recent make. It started its life as a plain paper mache birdhouse and with a little of mixed-media magic it because a sparkly home for winter loving birdies. Hop over to check out my full photo tutorial for this DIY winter birdhouse ornament.
11. Simple ribbon bow tree ornament - to wrap up my handmade ornaments collection, a couple of easy and quick ideas for trimming the tree. First up - a simple bow tied using a sparkly ribbon that will compliment your colour scheme. Decorating a Christmas tree with simple ribbon bows? Why not?! :)
12. Florist hessian mesh bow ornament - this one is for all rustic look lovers. Cut a length of plain wide weave burlap mesh, tie it into a bow, add a simple rose brad and attach to the tree with a black wire, crocodile clip or even a paper clip will do! 

And here is our tree this year in its full glory.
12 days of Christmas Kirsty Allsopp inspiration tree
And here are a few more photos of our decorations. First - Altered Christmas Candles with beautiful vintage hand-stamped images from Stempelglede.

And here is one of my DIY garlands. To make my garlands I buy 'blanks' (long plain garland branches) in after-Christmas sales and then collect glittered flower sprays, embellishments and small ornaments throughout the year in promotions, car boot sales or from charity shops.

Then with a touch of paint and (even more) glitter it's really easy to alter them to create an elegant uniform look. As for assembly itself - cable ties are your best friend! Easy, affordable, discrete and indestructible! :)

So what do you think? Are my decorations Kirstie's Handmade Christmas - worthy? I truly hope so. 

Thank you for stopping by and for surviving till the end of the post :). If you'd like to hang around a little longer, feel free to browse through my other Christmas craft projects. Or go totally crazy and subscribe to my blog to stay up to date with my future projects!

Big crafty hugs from me

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Home For Christmas - Sweet Birdhouse Ornament

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Hello everyone! I hope you are well on this lovely December day. It's really sunny and calm today where I live. You could easily mistake the seasons if it wasn't for the bare trees with just a handful of dry leaves on them...

But seeing that it's a December day, all I can think about is Christmas! We finally put up Christmas decs up yesterday. The house is looking really beautiful with all the decorations and lights... and our Christmas tree is proudly standing in the centre stage. I might even share a few pictures soon :).

And speaking of decorations, today over at Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L's blog I have a pinable tutorial for this sweet little DIY Birdhouse Ornament.

It was really fun and easy to make so I hope you will enjoy reading the tutorial.

Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L supplies I used:

Adhesive Sheets – 4×6”

Other supplies:

Stampendous: Christmas Diamonds – Perfectly Clear stamps, Crystal Micro Glitter, Gold Micro Glitter, Champagne Crushed Glass Glitter

DecoArt: Snow-Tex, Americana Decor Chalky Finish Lace paint

Tsukineko Delicata Golden Glitz ink

Thank you so much for visiting and for any kind words left to let me know you've been. I've been so busy with my projects and commissions that I am really behind with my blog commenting - but I have been keeping an eye on your beautiful blogs! I hope things will settle a bit soon so I can spend more time drooling over your beautiful projects :).

Don't forget to check out the tutorial for my little DIY Birdhouse Ornament and I hope you have a wonderful day!

Big crafty hugs

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Artful Christmas - Art Anthology And Stampendous Blog Hop Finale

Friday, December 12, 2014

Festive greetings to all! :) I hope you are well my friends and are enjoying getting ready for Christmas!

But Christmas preparations aside, this week the Design Teams at Stampendous and Art Anthology have been playing together to create beautiful items with rubber stamping and paints. Oh boy, what an amazing week it's been so far -  if you've missed all the wonderful projects be sure to check them all out.

And today it's our big blog hop finale! Along with the inspiration we have prepared some awesome prizes packages for the 'happy hoppers'. Here is what you could win:

Each of the three prize packages will consist of:
Stampendous Creative Palette Monoprinting Plate
$20 Stampendous Gift Card
6 X 9 Art Anthology Stencil
1 - Colorations Spray
1 - Dimensional Paint
1 - Dimesional Crystal

To be in with a chance of winning hop along the participating blogs and leave some love. The more comments you leave, the higher your chance of to win (NB. the winner must have a US shipping address).

And here is my inspiration for today. A bit of a change from my Tuesday's vintage mixed media Santa card, don't you think? Today I have a trio of CAS (clean and simple) Christmas cards with spray paints, Frantage and stamps. Uhmmm... delicious!

I created the backgrounds by spraying Art Anthology Heart Color Spray onto white card. Then I sprayed pools of paint onto my craft mat and used them to ink my Stampendous Jumbo Snowflake Trio stamps. BTW. Did you know that the Snowflake Trio stamps coordinate with the new Snowflake Die Set? Pretty cool if you ask me! :) 

So I repeatedly stamped my snowflakes over the sprayed background and I moped any leftover colour with my handy cheese cloth, which just happened to make its way onto my cards! :) 

I trimmed the background panels to fit my A5 size card blanks and I sprinkled some Frantage Shabby White Embossing Enamel in the centres and heated the powders from underneath.

Once the powders were melted, I again inked my snowflake stamp with the Heart Color Spray to have them ready for the next step. Next I remelted the embossing powders with a heat tool and quickly stamped the inky snowflake impression into the hot enamel. I let it rest for 2 seconds then lifted the stamp up to reveal an amazing textured impression in the enamel. This is such a cool technique - I absolutely love it!

Finally, I adhered the backgrounds to the card bases with Creative Photo Corners in White and Crafty Power Tape. I added some sentiments stamped with Black Archival ink (Believe Christmas, Rare And Wonderful, Christmas Air) and some 3D Foam Snowflakes sprinkled with Crystal Micro Glitter.

OK, ready to do some hopping? Here's who's playing today:

Asia King (you are here)

Thank you for stopping by today and for all your lovely comments. 

Big crafty hugs

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Letter To Santa From Art Anthology And Stampendous

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Ho ho ho my dear Friends! Welcome to the totally mixed-medialicious blog team up from Stampendous and Art Anthology! Oh, we are having so much fun this week playing with lovely stamps and paints - what can be more enjoyable than smooshing silky, dimensional paints around and adding some rubber stampin'?

Yes, we're loving it and we hope you will, too! We've got lots of inspiration prepared for your viewing pleasure, lots of helpful tips and ideas.

And to make this collaboration even more fun, we have prizes! There will be three lucky winners, each will receive a superb mixed media prize pack: 

$20 Stampendous Gift Card
6 X 9 Art Anthology Stencil
1 - Colorations Spray 
1 - Dimensional Paint 
1 - Dimesional Crystal

To be in with a chance of winning, visit the participating blogs playing throughout the week and leave some love (yes, we love comments, your kind words make us really happy and fill our creative hearts with joy!). The more love you leave, the more chances to win (NB. the winner must have a US shipping address). You have until the end of Sunday 14th December to enter.

Now onto my inspiration. This is my second take on the  Jumbo Dear Santa stamp, which I absolutely adore. My previous sparkly Christmas Santa card had more of a 'colourful shabby chic' vibe. This time I opted for a textured art journal-ish style but still in keeping with a vintage look I was after.

I started by creating a background for my card using the paints, inks, stamps and the Bubble stencil. Here is my finished background.


Stampendous: snowflakes stamp from Jumbo Penguin Snow, script stamp from Stack Art Angel Wings Kit
Art Anthology: Heart and Silk Tie Color Sprays, Stone Effects - Sand Stone, Sorbet - Kenyan Copper, Velvet - Lemon Tart; Bubbles stencil

I cut some scrap pieces of patterned paper to form a Christmas tree and adhered it to the background with Adhesive Sheets. I stenciled the baubles through the Bubbles stencil with Kenyan Copper paint. The star was painted with the Lemon Tart.

Next I stamped the Jumbo Dear Santa onto kraft card and coloured it with Inktense pencils. I added some accent highlights to the Santa's suit with the Kenyan Copper paint - I love shimmer paints and this one is supper yummy! I popped the Santa onto some 3D Foam Squares and adhered him to the card.

To finish the card I added some rub-ons, banner and cut of words (from Prima flowers packaging).

Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L: Adhesive Sheets 6x12"3D Foam Pennants3D Foam Squares - Mix WhiteCrafty Power Tape.

Other: Inktense Pencils, Echo Park Lovely Notables papers, Finnabair Prima - Vintage Vanity, Opaque Cotton White StazOn ink, Black Archival ink, Dylusions White Linen ink spray, Maya Road Calendar rub-ons.

Soooo... playing today are:
Asia King (that's me!)

Thanks for stopping by and for all your lovely comments! Happy hoppin'!

Big hugs 

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Finnabair Daydreamer Workshop At Artist Trading Post

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Hello everyone! Just wanted to pop in to share what I was up to last weekend :)

On Saturday I attended a workshop with the amazing Anna Dabrowska aka Finnabair. The workshop was hosted at the Artist Trading Post in Wirksworth. 

For those who are not (yet) familiar with Anna's work - Anna is an incredible Polish mixed media artist, known for her signature eclectic industrial collages.

I waited for almost two years for an opportunity to attend Anna's workshop. So you can imagine how exciting it was for me to be able to finally make it :).

The class I attended was for the Daydreamer collage. It was packed full with fantastic metal embellishments from Anna's Mechanicals range (Prima Marketing). It was like an early Christmas treat for me! 

I was really lucky to share the table (and quite a few laughs, too!) with wonderful ladies: Karen, Michele and Tracey. I also learned a thing or two about crafts industry people - I won't go into details but let's just say 'size matters' :) ha ha ha!

Here we are with Anna and our completed projects (from the left: Tracey, me, Michele, Anna and Karen).

And here is an obligatory selfie of the day :).

The whole group together...

And my completed canvas :).

If you ever get a chance to attend Anna's workshop - go for it! Anna is an amazing artist and a fantastic teacher. Her art is truly inspirational and so is she!

Big hugs

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Christmas And Snowflakes Are In The Air

Friday, November 28, 2014

Hello Everyone! Happy After Thanksgiving to all my American friends! :).

Today over at Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L's blog I am sharing this quick and easy sparkly background Christmas card in my favourite Christmas colour palette. It would be fabulous if you had a moment to hop over there and check out all the details :).

Now confession time. I love vellum. Unconditionally. I'm always completely smitten by vellum used in seasonal winter cards. It is so versatile and delicate. 

I often use it for my sentiment panels, like on this recent Christmas Poinsettias card or these: Rare And Wonderful Christmas card and the quick Season's Greetings cards from my 'Chrsitmas archives'.

Other supplies:

Cardstock - Core'dinations, Spellbinders - Snowflake Pendant die set, Stampendous Christmas Is In The Air cling stamp, Stampendous Micro Glitters: Crystal, Pink, Ice Blue; Cuttlebug Snowflakes embossing folder; Tsukineko Radian Neon - Pink ink; Perfect Pearls, sequins.

I hope you enjoyed today's post and thank you so much for stopping by today. Also big hugs to all leaving some love under this post :).

Big crafty hugs

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Challenges for this card:
Live and Love Crafts #29 - Favourite Christmas Colour Combo (Pink, Blue and White)
Simon Says Wednesday Challenge - Anything Goes
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Faringdon, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
Hello, my name is Asia - welcome to my crafty blog! I'm a creative card maker, occasional scrapbooker, mixed media explorer and handmade home decor lover :). Stay around if you’re prepared to become bewitched by my creative spell :).

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Asia King (aka Joanna K)

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