Xmas Cards on the Gel Plate

I am not going to use the ‘C’ word until December, but I noticed that a lot of people are making cards now.  I can understand if you want to sell them that one has to be prepared months in advance, but I really can’t be thinking about all of that until after Thanksgiving.

When I first moved down to Eastbourne, I used to take a lot of photographs with a nice camera.  I thought I would buy some card stock and print some of my photos and make cards.  That never happened and I still had about 150 blank cards in my cupboard.  I had used some for birthdays by cutting up some of my watercolors.  I am trying really hard (really) not to buy new things if I can make do with what I have.

A couple of months ago I went through all of the prints I made on the gel plate.  I had loads. Some came out really well and they have been put aside for matting.  I had a lot more unsatisfactory prints than I have space for so I decided to use them to make cards with my supply of card stock.  I spent a whole day just cutting up prints and making cards.  Some of my gelli prints got a makeover as I learned a trick about putting a stencil on top of very dark paint and picking up a print with an old gel print.  Only a little of the original remains.  You can see an example on the card on the right.

IMG_3886

I managed to use up most of my card stock and had about 30 left.  Then a couple of weeks ago I wanted to do some printing but didn’t know what to print, so I decided to make some Xmas cards with the leftover card stock.  I wasn’t going to make a template, but in the end I made a tree out of cardboard, rolled some ink on the 6×6 gel plate and got cracking.  I started with greens and yellows but I preferred the reds, magenta and yellow.

I decided not to be too precious about the card making and some of them look rather primitive.  Each card is different and I also used a stencil to fill in some areas.  For some of the longer cards, I found a small stamp that says Happy C… that I could use on the white space below.  By the time I finished making the cards, the template was completely covered in paint, so when it was dry I used it to make my last card so nothing got wasted.

It looks unlikely that I will be purchasing anymore cards for a while as I now have a stash of 100+ to get through!

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A New Year’s Walk – From Beachy Head to The Lighthouse

Christmas 2012 has been a bit of a wash out.  Literally!  It was wet, wet, wet!  Last year we had snow.  This year we had rain.  The rain didn’t make the Christmas experience less enjoyable, but it did limit what we could do.  Mainly go outside for nice long walks.  I do not like to walk in the cold rain.  So, after a week of horrible, wet and windy weather, we got a break!  Today, on New Year’s Day, we had sunshine and hardly a cloud in the sky!  Yay!

After a hearty breakfast, we drove up to Beachy Head for a walk to the Belle Tout Lighthouse and back.    I thought it was going to be a bit of a struggle after all the amazing food I had eaten in the last week, but it was a very nice and breezy, walk.  It is amazing what a bit of sunshine can do for your spirit.

Beachy Head New Year 2013

On the way back to the car, we stopped into The Beachy Head Pub. 😉  Happy New Year 2013 People!  Here is to another New Beginning!

What I Want For Christmas…

Christmas has become too commercialized.  Since when did it become bigger than birthdays?  Not everyone enjoys it either.  So much guilt is generated around this holiday.  Not everyone gets along with their family or wants to spend time with them.  I really don’t want my kids to feel obliged to visit me for Christmas.  As much as I love my kids, if they want to be somewhere else, then fine.  I would rather not guilt trip them about it and see them when they are happy to come around of their own accord.

I haven’t spent Christmas with my parents for years.  I don’t even live in the same country as they do!  Are they alone?  No!  Granted, the holiday isn’t the same without me…hehe!   Sure, I like decorating the house and giving gifts.  But when did the gift giving be the all important aspect of Christmas as it seems to be today?   What pressure there is in these austere times for parents to ‘give’ to their kids when many are struggling to pay the bills.  It would be really interesting if the kids told their parents not to worry about a present this year because they know it hasn’t been easy since mom or dad got laid off from work ( or any other scenario where a family is struggling).  I somehow don’t see that happening.

When my children asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I honestly couldn’t think of anything.  I have all the ‘stuff’ that I really need, as well as stuff that I don’t really need.  When I asked my sweetheart what he wanted, he couldn’t think of anything he wanted either.  When he asked me what I wanted, well, I couldn’t think of anything. I don’t need anymore diving equipment, or art supplies right now.  I don’t need clothes or shoes or handbags.  I don’t need furniture or accessories.  I haven’t seen anything that jumps out at me and screams, ‘buy me!’  There isn’t anything that I really want.  I would rather save the money for a great night out or a holiday.

In this run up to Christmas, I have had some free time on my hands to get ready for the big event.  Actually, it is in two parts as my daughter will be away for Christmas and so she came to visit me this past weekend.  I spent the week before running around like a mad woman getting all the shopping and decorating done before she arrived.  It was exhausting.  The upside to that is I don’t have to run around like a mad woman this week before my son comes down for Christmas Part 2.

What I enjoyed most about spending Christmas Part 1 with my daughter was the fact that she was here and I got to spend some time with her.  Sitting with my family at the dinner table is more important to me than presents.  Sharing time and making memories can’t take the place of a new sweater or any other item.

I am really looking forward to Christmas Part 2.  I haven’t seen my son since August as he has been away at University.  I could care less about a present.  All I really want is to spend time with my family and loved ones.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas Holiday!