Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Snow Princess

At Christmas we observe all those time honoured traditions and clichés which is one of the many things I love about the season.  

I love to cook and fiddle about with recipes and ingredients, my kitchen can resemble a mad scientists lab at times and some experiments are more successful than others as I'm sure my long-suffering family will confirm. Christmas day however, is not a time to go messing about with a successful formula although I'm still striving to create the perfect roast potato (any hints/tips are welcome!).

The Christmas gift is another part of the season steeped in tradition..... socks for Dad, smellies and deodorant for the teenage boys, school photo for Mum/Gran etc.

One tradition which I started myself (and as my birthday falls on Christmas day I have special dispensation to do as I please!) is to create an embellished photo frame for my Mum featuring a photo of my daughter Poppy. This year will be no exception so I'm using this blog to work through a couple of ideas.

I wanted to use a slightly less predictable colour palette than the usual Christmas/winter combinations and I threw in a little mustard (the colour not the condiment....that would just be silly!)

The dies I used are listed below, click on each one to bring up a link for more information.
I also used a little gesso and Distress Glitter, a combination which I am trying to wean myself off but it just seems to work so well with the current Christmas collections.

I started by choosing my photo and colour palette assembling a collection of plain and pattern card and paper from my ever growing stash. I die-cut two pieces of the foliage and applied a thin layer of gesso to subdue the colour intensity, using gesso in this way helps everything blend together in the final piece. 

I die-cut two snowflakes giving them the same gesso treatment before die-cutting the 3D flowers. I used a sanding pad on the edges of the flower die-cuts to give a little distressed contrast although I used a light brown Distress Ink (Old Paper) on the ivory flower. Next, I assembled the flowers and matted the snowflakes together adding an adhesive gem to the snowflakes' centre. I also added a little Distress Glitter to the tips of the foliage and snowflakes.

I chose my photograph and printed three copies in black and white. I carefully cut around two of the figures and used one as a mask which I placed directly over the main photo before applying spray glue. After removing the mask I sprinkled the photo with Distress Glitter giving the entire background a magical frosting. It's quite hard to pick up in the images but it is quite spectacular (Honest!!!). Next I attached the other pre-cut figure in place using adhesive foam pads this gives a wonderful sense of dimension, especially when combined with the contrasting frosty background.

I took a wood effect picture frame and lightly distressed the edges using a fine sanding block  before inserting the spotty background and the assembled photo. Next I attached the foliage die-cuts together with some assorted flower stamen.

All that remains is to attach the snowflakes with adhesive foam pads before applying the flowers with my trusty glue gun.

Hopefully this will turn into a nice little collection of as the years go by, I have even bigger ideas for the final gift which sadly I can't share just now as my Mum reads this blog from time to time!

Why not start a creative Christmas tradition of your own.... you have my permission!


  1. This is stunning, Pete. I was a little worried about the colours to begin with, but I like how you toned them down to a more subtle shade. Your daughter looks so cute - what a lovely gift for your Mum :)

  2. Thanks Wendy, I know what you mean about the colours, especially the mustard! but it turned out OK in the end I think?