'Twas the week before Christmas

minnie_txDecember 6, 2005

'Twas the week before Christmas

and the house was a hush.

Save the stamping of rubber

in a last minute rush.

The cardstock was cut

with precision and care,

In hopes that a greeting

would soon be stamped there.

The children were tucked in

their beds around eight,

but now it's 10:30--

How'd it get so late?

And I in my PJs

with bleary red eyes,

had finally arranged

all the stamping supplies.

It started out simple

(it does every year)

just make a few cards

for friends who are dear.

Nothing too fancy--

just an elegant touch

A gold embossed image,

some ribbon and such.

I pressed ink to paper

(it looked crisp and clean)

a sprinkle of powder,

then heat for a sheen.

When what on my green Christmas

cards should appear?

Why a tiny gold Santa,

with sleigh and reindeer!

But with little stray flecks,

and some missing spots, too,

I knew in a moment

this one wouldn't do.

Then I tried it again,

once more, and another.

"I will get this right!"

I said to no other.

On pigment! On powder!

On heat from a gun!

Now ribbon! And envie!

Can I make fifty-one?

"I can do it!" I said

with all of my might.

And looked at the clock--

'twas well past midnight.

I went straight to stamping

out card after card.

"This might take all night,

but at least it's not hard."

But after I finished,

they looked a bit lame.

I didn't want fancy,

but these were too plain.

And then in a twinkling

a thought came to mind.

"I'll just dress them up

and then they'll be fine."

So I went in my craftroom

and looked all around.

Then back to the table

with all that I'd found.

My Fiskars I brandished

(I wasn't a quitter).

And soon I was covered

in EP and glitter.

A bundle of papers

I spread on the table

to find the right background

(quite sure I was able).

With fibers that sparkled,

a mulberry sheet

was just the right choice,

my card to complete.

I started to smile

when the cuckoo came out.

"It's now 3am!"

That bird left no doubt.

The cap of a marker

I held in my teeth.

I'd lay in some color,

or maybe gold leaf.

My broad little face

was all beaded with sweat.

But I wouldn't give up!

Well, not at least yet.

There was glue on the table

and ink on the floor.

I laughed at the site,

though my fingers were sore.

I did not complain,

just kept up my work.

When more things went wrong,

I did not go berserk.

When I finally finished,

one card, around six,

it looked pretty good

after all of my tricks.

"I'm keeping this one.

My work on it shows."

So clutching my card,

up the staircase I rose.

I crawled into bed

at the first crack of dawn.

Creativity spent,

motivation all gone.

But make no mistake!

I promise one thing--

"You'll all get your cards!

But you'll get them next Spring!"

Author Unknown

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Are you SURE the author is unknown, Minnie?? Sounds like it might have happened to you this year - LOL! But I know it isn't 'cuz I've already received your wonderful card!

I sure felt the same way re: the cards I was (and still AM) making... but mine involved bending copper wire, coloring and baking shrinky dinks, making little red noses, wiring and gluing the parts together, etc. At least I got the required 20 done and mailed yesterday. Now to make more to reciprocate! Oh, boy!!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 3:06PM
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Can I have one Red Please Please please??

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 7:38AM
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You bet, Minnie... you're on my list! (And I didn't even have to check it twice - LOL!)

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 11:15AM
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Red, I think I told you how much I liked your card. Didn't you say that DH made a little template to bend the wires? How clever.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 11:32AM
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Yes, hubby did the first one "by hand." THEN I told him I needed LOTS more of them, so that is when he made the jig. He placed the first finished deer on a piece of board, then pounded little brad nails into the board at every bend in the wire (inside the outline).

For subsequent deer, he bent the wire around the brad outline. It still took a lot of work and his fingers got very sore, but he did a few a day until he'd fulfilled my request.

For those who are wondering what we are talking about... it was the card I made for the Kitchen Table forum Christmas card exchange for 2005.

I got the idea from the book Handmade Gift Cards: Over 50 Original Designs for All Occasions by Cheryl Owen. The ISBN is 0-7153-1268-5, published by David & Charles in 2001. Inside is an alternate ISBN: 0-7153-1177-8 - could be for a hardback edition. The one I have is paperbound. The instructions are on pages 74-77.

I did not make the painted copper heart - I substituted a red colored shrinkydink.

And instead of a red bead for Rudolph's nose I punched a piece of plastic, covered it with red sparkle dimensional paint and glued it on the nose. (I didn't think the bead would survive the mail. As it turned out, some of the shrinkydink hearts broke in the mail - only the ones to US addresses... the ones sent to France, Canada, and Australia survived intact!).

I love the card-crafting books published in the UK... they seldom rely on a particular brand of papers, punches, cutouts, ribbons, dodads, etc. as so many of the US books do.

My only regret is that I did NOT take a picture of the cards as I made them, and didn't make enough to keep one. Oh, well...

    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 10:27PM
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I have a tub of the cards I got. I'll find it and post a photo later one!!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 3:29PM
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