Happy Labor Day!

Can you believe it is already September 1st? Where did the summer go?

Well I guess it is time to begin to accept that it is over and embrace Fall, along with all the holidays to follow. One super perk to being on a design team is that it puts you in the holiday mood early!!

You may have noticed every month, on the first, that Nichole gives her Senior Design Team a special challenge. This month was to create a special holiday ornament, with packaging.ย  Now we are talking! You know how much I LOVE creating packaging!!

She asked we try to incorporate any “other” hobbies/crafts we my have in our repertoire to create a unique ornament. ALL the ornaments on my family tree are special. Each has it’s very own story. Many are handmade, usually from the kids. Their little artwork FILLS out tree. No glass ornaments for me. I feel our Christmas tree becomes more and more special each year because of our decorations. The kids get so excited to see that I saved their little handprints Christmas tree, of felt mouse/candy cane holder.

So I went back to those summer days at my grandmother’s, back when I was about 9, and she taught me cross stitching! I spent the summer making several pillowcases, for everyone! They came out awesome too. My mom still has a couple I believe.

I learned cross stitching with a pattern, which was where you have a pre-printed pattern of X’s to follow, with a photo for color suggestions. I also learned how to do french knots, and the lazy daisy stitch! Later in life I learned counted cross stitch, where you just have a pattern in a book, and you count it out onto your fabric. Not a good idea for those who have poor eye sight. Oh, and if you had good eyesight BEFORE, you won’t after! LOL!

So I decided that would be a great place to revisit.

I was “re-freshed” on the how-to-do’sย  to create these stitches by Googling them!! I found great instructions/photosย at the following place: Primrose Design! She has amazing step by step photos and instructions ๐Ÿ˜€ She has already done all the hard work, why attempt to recreate what is already perfection?! Seriously check it out!

French Knot-HERE! -for my holly berries

Lazy Daisy-HERE!-for my leaves

Satin Stitch-HERE!-for my tree trunk

I really want to thank Janet McCaffrey atย Primrose Design, because her tutorials, I was able to just pick this old past time right back up, and go! I just plucked myself in front of my computer, and began following her instructions ๐Ÿ˜€

Now I have to say, even if you have NEVER cross stitched in your life, you should try it. It’s truly easy. HELLO, me at age 9 was able to do it, so YOU can too.

Another great thing is you don’t need a bunch of expensive items to start!

ย A large needle, some embroidery floss, and the embroidery cloth ย to stitch on, as well as an embroidery ring. All really cheap!

So enough of my blah, blah blah. You know how much I babble when I get excited about something.

So lets start by sharing my ornament and gift box!

ย ย O’Christmas Tree

ornament-gift-set.jpg

Supplies: Believe set, Rustic Branches, simple alphabet, Pure Poppyย  cardstock, Spring Moss cardstock, Pallete Black ink,Old Olive ink by SU!, Pure Poppy ink, white craft ink by CTMH, polka dot ribbon & satin ribbon in pureย poppy, Circle nestabilities, tag nestabilities, Scor-Pal, Cross stitch fabric, wide eye needle, embroidery hoop, embroidery floss, decorative ring, silver cord

I got my concept of my box,ย from the many engraved ornaments I purchase every year. They are often placed in boxes, with a clear cover. So I measured my finished ornament, and using my Scor-Pal, came up with this box, that is my own different take on what you’d get in a store ! Don’t you love paper-crafting?! Limitless possibilities.

Here is the template I created for my box. Click to enlarge.

ย oh-christmas-tree-box.PNG

It is NOT to size, it serves as a guideline so you can see how my box came together. Obviously your ornament may be of a different size, so your measurements would be different.

I measured the width of my ornament, then added 2 inches on either side. I scored every 1/2 inch, 4 times-to create the borders, which fold in. I did the same for the bottom flap. I then measured how tall my ornament was, and then scored for my lid. making sure it all fit snuggly. There was room for a little flap. I then made a bottom flap to fold up from the bottom.

My finished box measures 4 inches across, by 6 1/2 inches tall, by 1/2 inch deep.

This is the outside of my ornament box.

ornament-box-front.jpg

I LOVE Rustic Branches. Its a super set, and I love how quickly I can create a Holly wreath. I just stamped my wreath in Olive ink, onto spring moss cardstock, then -without re-inking, moved, and re-stamped. I stamped my berries in Poppyย  Red. I used my scallop nestabilities to die cut my wreath, then used a smaller circle to to take the center out.

Here is how the ornament box opens:

Remove the ribbon

opening-ornamnet-box.jpg

Open the flap

ornament-box-flaps-open.jpg

Here you go.

ornament-box-open.jpg

Now you have your ornament sitting snugly in this great box, that will serve as stylish, and treasured storage for the ornament from one year to the next!

It doesn’t have to end there though. you could create a little wall hanging for any time of year, and present it in the same manner!

As you will see I used the tree from the Believe set. It was absolutely PERFECT for this challenge!!

I stamped the tree with my Pallette Black ink, onto my cross stitching fabric. Now seriously HOW COOL is it to think that your stamps have a whole new use, and can take you into yet another fun hobby?!! I know I was super excited that it actually worked!

pti-cross-stitched-tree.jpg

I picked 3 different colors ofย green embroidery floss for my leaves. I wanted dimension. Not just every leaf to be the same! So I stitched one color of green leaves randomly, on my pattern, staying in the lines. Then onto the second, and the third. Then it was time for my Holly Berries, an my trunk ย (that uses a silk stitch).

ornament-close-up.jpgย 

The finished product ๐Ÿ˜€

I found this faux wooden oval frame at Michaels for about $1.50. I put my finished tree into place, then trimmed off the excess fabric, once I was CERTAIN it was exactly as I wanted it! I created a tag with the “handmade by” and added my name using the simple alphabet set.

The “problem” with cross stitching is your back is a little “messy”. So I used my oval nestabilities to create a cover for the back, and keep it neat and clean! This allowed me to also put my creative info there as well! I just adhered it with redline tape. It is going NO WHERE!

ornament-back.jpg

Now you are most likely wondering HOW LONG DID THAT TAKE? It only took me 1 1/2 hours. I know you are thinking that is crazy, bu it really wasn’t THAT long if you consider HOW LONG some of our card creations take us. Oh, and the fact that my embroidery skills are rusty. That does NOT include the ornament box I created. That took me about the same tp figure out WHAT I wanted, and HOW to get my idea to work. Now you have it done for you!

Now for the FUN part! WHO WANTS IT?!

I would love to give this away to someone! I so appreciate each of you, so it’s my turn to give a little something back. Simply leave me a comment here, telling me what your favorite holiday tradition is! No matter WHAT the holiday, share something your family does together every year!

I will pick a random winner on Wednesday via www.random.org!

I hope you enjoy all the projects today!

Be sure to check out all the folowing Papertrey Ink design team member blogs :

I am sure you will be inspired to start creating those holiday ornaments!

Till tomorrow ๐Ÿ˜€