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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Quilling Christmas Cards/Christmas Patterns/Designs

Quilling Christmas Cards/Christmas Patterns/Designs

I spoke with a quiller the other day who told me she wanted to make some special Christmas cards for her grandchildren. She wanted to put some quilling on the card that could be removed from the card and used as an ornament. It made me think back to some of the first times I put ornaments in cards. Apart from the obvious, not wanting them to get squished in the mail, I tried a few different ways of making and mounting my ornaments. My first attempts were just putting the ornaments in or on the cards gluing/taping the hanger to the card. But that allowed the ornament to kind of move around inside the envelope while it traveled from me to its destination. That was kind of tough on delicate type designs like snowflakes. Then I found these really neat clear plastic disks. I glued the ornament to the plastic disk and quilled a pretty border around the edge of the disk, but once again there was damage in transit. The glue just didn’t hold the quilling to the plastic; once it got bounced around in the mail some of the quilling just came loose. Next I cut 3” disks out of mat board because I knew the quilling would not come loose from the mat board. Unfortunately there is a front and a back to mat board, so I had to cut some kind of decorative paper to glue on the back of the mat board . . . and then of course some kind of decorative border to cover the cut edges of the mat boards. . . BUT they didn’t fall apart, in fact I still have a few of them.

In my conversation with this quiller, she told me she was using designs from one of the kits I had designed for Paplin products. She said she liked them because they were pretty basic and easy to do. She didn’t want to make very complicated or intricate snowflakes because she didn’t think the younger grandchildren would appreciate them. I went back to my web site ( and realized I didn’t have any Christmas designs up in the free pattern section . . . so I whipped up a few for anyone else who was looking for simple Christmas card ideas. (Just scroll down on the home page and you will find a link for free patterns or you can click here) I used the circle border punch Dancing Daisy for the background; the tiny punched out daisy reminded me of a snowflake, but any circle border punch would look nice. These will be attached to the cards with a removable adhesive called “Dotto Glue Dots” so they can be easily lifted off the card and hung on a tree or in a window. The designs can be assembled right on the background. If you do not plan to use a background, assemble them on a piece of waxed paper. When dry, just peel the waxed paper off the back slowly and add a thread or metallic cord for a hanger. If you click on the image you can see how the design will look on one of our colored cards. To be sure they don’t get crushed in the holiday mail you can put them in a protective mailer. I have a few other I ideas I hope to add within the next couple of weeks, so be sure to check back. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

New Husking Cards

New Husking Cards

Here is some exciting news for those of you who love husking, but don’t want to design your own patterns. Elizabeth’s Creations has just introduced new husking cards; these are 3” x 5” laminated cards with pre-designed husking patterns. You use them with your own work board and pins which keeps the price down to a reasonable $5.00 each.

For those of you who may not be familiar with husking; it is an interesting technique. Instead of rolling the paper the paper is wrapped around pins. Starting with pin #1, wrap it around the pin several times or to make a tiny glued loop around the pin, then wrap around pin #2, back to #1, around #3 back to #1 and so on. It is optional as to whether you want to put a dab of glue each time you get to #1, but you might want to the first time out. Once the shape has been completed,, I suggest that you twist the pins to remove them (just in case they got any glue on them) and then gently lift the finished piece off the board/card. Husking with pins has the advantage of making all of the shapes exactly the same size. It is especially pretty when done with specialty papers like two toned or graduated strips. You really get to see both sides of the strips because husking is much more “open” than traditional quilling. I also like to use gilded edge strips when I make husked snowflakes (I actually like gilded edge strips on my regular quilled snowflakes too); I like to used the blue gilded edge on white for my husked snowflakes.

Of course you can “do it yourself” with a piece of graph paper (on which you mark your pattern), waxed paper, a work board and pins. When I teach this technique that is what I use rather than having students invest in materials for a technique they may or may not enjoy. The down side of drawing your own designs on graph paper is that it wears out pretty quickly; the holes get larger and kind of sloppy. The laminated cards eliminate that problem; if you don’t feel like reinventing the wheel the pre marked pattern cards are a good idea.

We have carried Elizabeth’s Creations wooden husking boards for years, our customers have been very happy with them, although sometimes they have trouble deciding which one(s) they want. The laminated cards are 1/3 the price of the wood ones so you can get a bigger “bang for your buck”, no small consideration these days.

These cards have multiple sizes of each design on a card eliminating all of the guess work. Mary Elizabeth has 10 cards to start with more to come. Designs include: T001 Butterflies, Dragonflies and Flowers which includes 4 sizes of each petal/wing, T002 Classic Hearts in eight sizes, T003 Original Hearts in 7 sizes, and T004 Primitive Hearts with 10 sizes. (Mary Elizabeth says “These hearts are fun to make and can be used for many different designs . . . angel wings, flower petals, borders, butterflies, and oh yes . . . hearts) T010 the Snowflakes and More cards have three styles of snowflakes. There are five “nothing but holes” T005, T006, T007, T008, & T009 cards each with a different scale (i.e. 4 holes to an inch, right up to 8 holes per inch). The more dots per inch the smaller the grid, we do still carry that wonderful Dutch book “Quilling for Cards” by Janetta van Roekel-Wolters that has instructions for 21 husked designs. The book is written in Dutch and English; it is a great companion to the nothing but holes card.