Sunday, November 29, 2020

December Countdown Calendar

Hello friends! Today is the first of Advent and my Christmas lights are up in the windows. It's a combination of chandeliers and stars. I also put up a bunch of other lights. It is nice when it is dark so early. It was also time to finish my tags for this year's December Countdown Calendar. If you don't want to do a countdown calendar, the tutorial will be perfect for quick and simple Christmas cards. You can make a whole bunch of cards in one go.

Layers of ink - December Countdown Calendar Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

The tags do double-duty as a countdown calendar, hanging on the wall in the living room, and as journaling cards for my December Daily journal. I simply take down a tag in the evening and write my journaling on it. Sometimes I add photos or ephemera too, but the words are the focus of my December journal. I document the photos in different ways. 

Layers of ink - December Countdown Calendar Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

The tags are a little different this year. Usually I use #8 sized tags and keep them in Tim Holtz's tag page pockets, but I didn't have enough page pockets at home and therefore I decided to cut my own tags in a larger, chunkier format. On these tags there is also more space for journaling. I made sure they would fit on my Countdown Calendar and in the journal before deciding on the size.

Layers of ink - December Countdown Calendar Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson. Ink with Distress Ink.

Start by smearing three colors Distress Ink on a non-stick craft sheet. I used most of the Speckled Egg ink, less of Faded Jeans, and the least of Pine Needles. These were also the colors I used on my December Journal cover. Mist with water and press watercolor sheets into the ink. Color both sides of the paper.

Layers of ink - December Countdown Calendar Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson. Stamp with Simon Says Stamp Circle Pattern Background.

For a quick background texture, which won't overwhelm the writing, ink the SSS Circle Background stamp with Distress Ink, mist pretty heavily with water and stamp repeatedly. I used mainly the Faded Jeans here, since Speckled Egg was a little too light and Pine Needles was a little too dark.

Layers of ink - December Countdown Calendar Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

When dry, cut the tags into the size that you want. Mine are 4x6.2 in. Turn them into tags with the We R Memory Keepers Angle Corner Chomper tool. This tool makes it so easy to make your own tags. It is quite a hassle trying to cut those even angles by hand. Measure the ring binder in your journal to make sure you get the holes in the right place. Punch holes with a Crop-a-Dile.

Layers of ink - December Countdown Calendar Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

I do the dates in a different way each year and this year I die cut them from SSS Teal Glitter paper with the Archie Jr Solid die

Layers of ink - December Countdown Calendar Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

Glue the dates in the top right corner of the tag.

Layers of ink - December Countdown Calendar Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

Next comes the fun part. Stamp the tags with a variety of Christmas stamps. I don't plan this much, but simply grab some stamps and stamp them. I used the SSS Soft Navy ink, Faded Jeans Distress Ink and Manganese Blue Archival ink for the stamping. Use stamps that you have at home. 

Layers of ink - December Countdown Calendar Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

The tags then fit on the Countdown Calendar that I made five years ago. You can find that post here. You could make any kind of background for the tags, or just hang them from a hook.

Layers of ink - December Countdown Calendar Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

And then one by one the journaling tags will make their way into the December Daily journal. Find the tutorial for my 2020 December Daily cover here.

Layers of ink - December Countdown Calendar Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

The first tag has a hello December sentiment.

Layers of ink - December Countdown Calendar Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

I usually stamp the ledger stamp from Tim's School Desk set on my tags, but this year I used the Circle Pattern Background instead and I don't have lines to write on. The reason for that is that the tags are wider, so the ledger stamp was a little too narrow.

Layers of ink - December Countdown Calendar Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

Each tag is different, but with the same colors.

Layers of ink - December Countdown Calendar Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

I just love the details of these pine cones from Tim's Yuletide Gathering.

Layers of ink - December Countdown Calendar Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

There is a mix of normal and watercolor stamping, with Faded Jeans being used for the watercolor part.

Layers of ink - December Countdown Calendar Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

The moose comes from Tim's Into the Woods set.

Layers of ink - December Countdown Calendar Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

Every tag has a stamped sentiment.

Layers of ink - December Countdown Calendar Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

As we get closer to Christmas Eve, Santa makes his first appearance. 

Layers of ink - December Countdown Calendar Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

Santa delivers gifts personally on Christmas Eve in Sweden, which is why there is always a Santa stamp on the 24th. Christmas Day is usually a calm day.

Layers of ink - December Countdown Calendar Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

Christmas celebrations continue until the 26th, so that is always the end of my December Daily. I made a couple of extra tags if there were days that needed more journaling. 

Layers of ink - December Countdown Calendar Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

There is only stamping on the front of the tags this year. But you can of course stamp images and words on both sides.

Layers of ink - December Countdown Calendar Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

And more tags ready to be filled with memories, from this unusual Christmas.

Layers of ink - December Countdown Calendar Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

Now we just need some snow.

Layers of ink - December Countdown Calendar Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

I always liked the textures and colors of these Letterpress letters

Layers of ink - December Countdown Calendar Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

I hope you enjoyed this post and that it inspired you to document your month of December in some way. It doesn't have to be a complicated projects that takes a lot of time. A few sentences each day can be enough and when you have time to write more, do that. 

Here are the previous countdown calendars:

2015 Christmas Countdown Calendar (the first calendar with a tutorial for the burlap base)
2016 Christmas Countdown Calendar (with a video for how I made the tags)
2018 Christmas Countdown Calendar
2019 Christmas Countdown Calendar





Thank you so much for stopping by here today! 

Happy Christmas crafting!

Anna-Karin

Supplies:

* Please note: the links are affiliate links, for which I receive a small percentage of sales generated by the link, at no extra cost to you.



Monday, November 23, 2020

Watercolor Apples Tutorial

Hello friends! I hope you are well and healthy. We had one day of rainy weather this weekend and one day of sunshine. I walk in any weather (except if it is really icy), but Saturday's walk was a wet one, even so I never regret going for a walk. 

Today, I have an art journal page to share with Distress Ink watercoloring. You can use the techniques for other themes and projects too.




At the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog we have a Food and Drink theme this week. Don't miss our November guest designer's beautiful project, at Laura Cassina aka elaborando on instagram. And don't miss the very creative approaches to this theme by the design team.


Layers of ink - Watercolor Apples Art Journal Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

I love apples and grew up with apple trees in the garden. There are almost always apples in the house and my youngest loves them too. He prefers red apples, while I like almost any apple. I did an art journal page featuring some of my favorite apples and watercolored them. The names were printed and cut into strips. The page was stapled to a burlap page in my Dina Wakley Media Journal.

Layers of ink - Watercolor Apples Art Journal Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson. Stamp the apples.

I used Tim Holtz Schoolhouse Blueprint set and stamped the apple six times on watercolor paper.

Layers of ink - Watercolor Apples Art Journal Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson. Watercolor the green apple with Distress Ink.

Each apple is painted with a different combination of green and red Distress Inks. Smear the ink pads on a non-stick craft sheet, mist once with water and then pick up with a paint brush. By using more or less water you can get a lot of shades from just one ink pad.

Layers of ink - Watercolor Apples Art Journal Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

Continue with the rest of the mainly green apples. 

Layers of ink - Watercolor Apples Art Journal Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

I looked at reference photos, but didn't aim at perfection. Leave white highlights on the apples to give them life. Paint shadows with Black Soot.

Layers of ink - Watercolor Apples Art Journal Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson. Add texture with Scribble Sticks.

When the Distress Ink was dry, I splattered some Scribble Sticks on the apples, to add texture. Dip a Scribble Stick in water and then flick a paint brush against it. This is one of my favorite ways of adding splatters and it is also fairly mess-free. I used sticks from both Scribble Sticks 1 and Scribble Sticks 2.

Layers of ink - Watercolor Apples Art Journal Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

Finally, when the apples were dry, I added a little bit of Gilded Avocado Opal Blaze Polish. Apply it with your finger.

Layers of ink - Watercolor Apples Art Journal Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson. Lobo apple

Lobo is my all-time favorite apple. We had a tree in the garden of my childhood home and I am forever looking for the same kind of apples that came from that tree. It is not an easy apple sort to find. One day, I hope I can have my own tree. It is a late autumn apple.

Layers of ink - Watercolor Apples Art Journal Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

The Scribble Sticks gives a great texture and since they are more opaque than the Distress Ink, even the lighter colors show. 

Layers of ink - Watercolor Apples Art Journal Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson. Granny Smith apple.

Granny Smith is best for baking, but sometimes I feel like eating them as is too. I like the bright green color of this apple. 

Layers of ink - Watercolor Apples Art Journal Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson. Golden Delicious apple.

Golden Delicious is another apple that I eat sometimes. I like varying the apples we have at home. 

Layers of ink - Watercolor Apples Art Journal Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson. Ingrid Marie apple.

Ingrid Marie is another autumn garden apple, which I always get when it is available in the shop. It's got a deep red color, in fact, a little darker than my apple here.

Layers of ink - Watercolor Apples Art Journal Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

The title was die cut from kraft paper with the SSS Archie Jr. Solid die

Layers of ink - Watercolor Apples Art Journal Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson. Royal Gala apple.

Royal Gala is one of those apples that are almost always available in the shop and I like how crisp it is. It is also one of the apples that were most widely available in South Africa. 

Layers of ink - Watercolor Apples Art Journal Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

Here you can see the texture of the splatters and the polish.

Layers of ink - Watercolor Apples Art Journal Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson. Gravenstein apple.

Gravenstein is another garden apple, which we used to have in the garden. As you can see, I added some red to this apple, which was initially green/yellow. The red was added with a Scribble Stick.

Layers of ink - Watercolor Apples Art Journal Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

The polish shimmers real nice from certain angles of light. 

I hope you will join us this week in our Food and Drink challenge. You have a chance to win a $25 gift voucher to do some fun shopping at Simon Says Stamp. You have until next Monday 8am Ohio time. 1pm UK time, 2 pm CET to join in.

Don't forget to follow Simon Says Stamp on Instagram, they post great stuff daily. 




Do you use Instagram? If so please add #sssmchallenge so we can see your entries there too.





Thank you so much for stopping by here today! 

Happy crafting!

Anna-Karin

Supplies:

* Please note: the links are affiliate links, for which I receive a small percentage of sales generated by the link, at no extra cost to you.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

December Daily Peaceful Winter Tutorial

Hello crafters! Here comes one of my favorite projects of the year, my December Daily journal. This December is going to be different from any other year, making it even more important to try to document the month. I really like Ali Edwards's concept of a December Daily and have been doing it since 2012. I do something of a mini version, without a lot of photos, but instead focusing on the words.

Today I am sharing a tutorial for the cover. I will do the inside pages next week. If you don't want to do a journal, you can use the techniques for cardmaking, art journaling or perhaps on a canvas to give as a gift to someone.


Layers of ink - December Daily Peaceful Winter Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

Since 2013 I have used Tim Holtz worn binders as a base for my December journal and it did that this year too, since the covers are very versatile, sturdy and since they all look nice together on a shelf. This is the eight one and this year's version features another peaceful winter scene. It was made with dies by Tim Holtz and Simon Says Stamp in combination with pastes and paint. I usually try to avoid bulky objects on journal covers and this one has a lot of dimension and texture, without being bulky.

Layers of ink - December Daily Peaceful Winter Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

Start by coating the worn binder with gesso. You will need to add more than one layer, since the covers soak up the gesso.


Layers of ink - December Daily Peaceful Winter Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson. Paint the cover with acrylic paint.

When dry, paint the top with Speckled Egg and Faded Jeans - I placed Stormy Sky in the photo by mistake, but it is a similar shade of blue, so if you don't have Faded Jeans, you can use Stormy Sky instead. Many of my December Daily journals have a teal tint (since I love teal), so I decided to make this one different, with paler blue colors.

Layers of ink - December Daily Peaceful Winter Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson. Stamp with Simon Says Stamp Old Letter stamp.

Stamp the sky with the SSS Old Letter Background stamp. Having some of my designs being turned into stamps by SSS was one of the highlights of my year, and I wanted to include one of them in the cover.

Layers of ink - December Daily Peaceful Winter Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson. Die cut Tim Holtz Snowscape.

Die cut the Tim Holtz Snowscape Colorize dies from watercolor paper. 

Layers of ink - December Daily Peaceful Winter Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

Layer and glue them together with matte medium. 

Layers of ink - December Daily Peaceful Winter Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

Die cut the Darling Deer from watercolor paper.

Layers of ink - December Daily Peaceful Winter Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

Coat the snowscape and the deer with gesso.

Layers of ink - December Daily Peaceful Winter Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson. Paint the snowscape with Distress Paint.

Paint the snowscape with Speckled Egg, Faded Jeans and Pine Needles. Don't worry about perfection since we are aiming for a textured look.

Layers of ink - December Daily Peaceful Winter Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

Glue to the background with matte medium and extended the river so that it flows off the cover to the right. 

Layers of ink - December Daily Peaceful Winter Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

I only used three of the deer and picked three that looks most like the deer who come to visit in our garden. Apply Grit-Paste to the white area of the cover, creating snowy hills. I added a thicker layer to the front and a thinner layer to the spine and back. Later, I added some more to the spine, so that it formed a natural hill together with the die cut.

Layers of ink - December Daily Peaceful Winter Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

Here you can see the added grit-paste to the spine. Let the paste dry and then dry brush with the blues and green here and there. 

Layers of ink - December Daily Peaceful Winter Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson. Apply grit-paste.

Add a little more grit-paste into the snowscape scene and as snow on the deer.

Layers of ink - December Daily Peaceful Winter Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson. Splatter to create snow.

Splatter the background pretty heavily with white gloss spray.

Layers of ink - December Daily Peaceful Winter Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

Ink 'Joy' from the SSS Happy Days set with Winter Sky and Soft Navy, for a two-toned effect. Stamp the sentiment from the Circle Sentiments Christmas set with Soft Navy ink.

Layers of ink - December Daily Peaceful Winter Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson. Add stickles glitter gel.

Add a little Moon Dust Stickles here and there to make the snow sparkle.

Layers of ink - December Daily Peaceful Winter Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

I also die cut some SSS Snow Flurries snowflakes and the words 'winter' and 'snow' from white glittery cardstock and glued to the cover.

Layers of ink - December Daily Peaceful Winter Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

I wanted to take a photo of the cover against a snow-covered background, but we only had a dusting of snow so far.

Layers of ink - December Daily Peaceful Winter Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

I like the look of the snowy hills and the two-toned trees in the snowscape. 

Layers of ink - December Daily Peaceful Winter Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

I really like the stream that is part of the die cut. It can also be a path. Extending it to flow off the cover looked nice and it would have looked weird if the grit-paste snow would have stopped the river.

Layers of ink - December Daily Peaceful Winter Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

The SSS glittery paper is very sparkly, but without shedding any glitter at all, perfect for a journal cover.

Layers of ink - December Daily Peaceful Winter Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

Stamping with two colors ink give a great effect on bold words like this one.

Layers of ink - December Daily Peaceful Winter Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

I love deer and these are so cute. There are three deer who come to our garden during the cold months of the year and I see them often.

Layers of ink - December Daily Peaceful Winter Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

The deer all got an eye with a black pen. Adding eyes adds life to the animals.

Layers of ink - December Daily Peaceful Winter Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

The back is kept simple, with just a die cut word and two snowflakes.

Layers of ink - December Daily Peaceful Winter Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

I die cut the year with SSS Archie Jr Solid from the glittery paper.

Layers of ink - December Daily Peaceful Winter Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

The grit-paste in combination with the paint and the glitter gives a great textured snowy look. For another example, check out my snowman from earlier this week.

Layers of ink - December Daily Peaceful Winter Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

Folded open, the cover creates one continuous snowy scene.

Layers of ink - December Daily Peaceful Winter Tutorial by Anna-Karin Evaldsson.

My journal posing together with the light Santa/gnome in the garden. The leg you see behind it belongs to an elk. I am taking out more Christmas decor and lights this weekend. It will give some warmth to a bleak November month.

You can find my previous Christmas Daily journals here:

2018 - Birch Forest December Daily
2017 - Narnia December Daily
2016 - Winter Village December Daily video
2015 - Believe December Daily
2014 - December Daily
2013 - Christmas Daily
2012 - December Mini-book




Thank you so much for stopping by here today! 

Happy Christmas crafting!

Anna-Karin

Supplies:

* Please note: the links are affiliate links, for which I receive a small percentage of sales generated by the link, at no extra cost to you.