I am not ready for Christmas to end, even though I will begin removing the decorations today. I love the spirit of Christmas, the gathering of friends and families, the fun of selecting, wrapping and opening gifts and the soft glow of Christmas evening when it's all over. Even the hustle and bustle of last-minute shopping is different from any other time of the year. The Christmas spirit that pervades the atmosphere, especially around 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve, an hour before all the stores close, is magical. You hear strangers wishing each other a Merry Christmas and everyone smiles at everyone and there is a peace in the air that can hardly be described. I just love it.
This particular December has been the best we have enjoyed in many years. There were parties every weekend, six in the last week alone, and lots of visiting with old friends, especially my BFFF (Best Family of Friends Forever), Linda, Ronnie, Charlotte, Debbie and Judy Gordon, whose home was the center of my teenage years. Linda was my best friend, and though we have not been as close in the last few years, I have always known that she would be my best friend forever. This Christmas was so special, spending time with this wonderful group of people.
All that being said, I have always loved A Christmas Carol and Scrooge's turn-of-heart at the end, even though I may have not gotten the quote exactly right. Larry and I have made a conscious effort in the last few years to be content with where we are in life, the gifts God has given us and not allowing petty grievances or the shortcomings of others to affect the way we see the world. I used the design element I created (It was created with the Duectica Lettering Arts Studio, and the illustrations and layout design were done in Adobe Illustrator, although I'm sure there are other layout programs you could use.) to make this little ornament which will hang on my tree for years to come as a reminder of the wonderful Christmas of 2011.
If you have followed my blog, you know what a love I have for fonts and typographical designs. The Duectica Lettering Arts Studio allows me to create custom lettering the easy way. The fonts all have a variety of styles within each font, so every word is unique.
Here's how I did it:
Christmas Design Element
1. Open Duetica Lettering Arts Studio and set the C using DT Mandolyn-2 BOO.
2. Create a new 12” x 6” file in Adobe Illustrator. Fill the background with a cream color, then edge the rectangle with a light tan.
3. Place the C and apply a gradient from light to dark green. Set the remainder of the word in dark green using DT Mandolyn-1-A00.
4. Using the Text on a Path tool and black fill, set I will keep along the curve of the top portion of the C using DT Piper-A00. Add the remainder of the quote along the bottom of Christmas.
5. Draw Holly and berries using the pen tool and place.
The piece is ready to be printed and used as a framed wall hanging, a scrapbook page or greeting card element, or a nice little Christmas ornament.
Printed Design Element
Mat board scrap
Christmas paper scrap
Versamark Clear Ink
Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel (UTEE), clear
Viva Décor Paper Soft Color, Walnut
Round Sponge Dauber
12” ribbon, plus a 3" scrap
Cropadile or 3 /16” hole punch
1. Print Christmas element, reducing the size to 4” x 2”. Cut a piece of scrap mat board to the same size and adhere the printed piece to the mat board. Cut a piece of Christmas print paper to fit back and adhere.
2. Sponge edges front and back with Walnut Paper Soft Color.
3. Cover front with clear Versamark ink and emboss with clear UTEE. Repeat twice. Repeat again on the backside. This will help make the piece feel a lot more substantial as well as making it very shiny.
4. To create the hanger, punch two small holes with a Cropadile ¼” from the top and right and left sides. Thread ribbon front to back,knot and trim ends. Tie the 3" scrap to the ribbon on the left side and trim edges.
Now, go hug your sweetie!
NOTE: I received product form Duetica Lettering Arts Studio and Viva Décor, although I would have purchased them anyway. I love these products and would never promote their use if I didn't have absolute faith in their performance.