Monday, November 14, 2011

Grateful, Part One

In the past, the Christmas holiday season didn’t officially start until the day after Thanksgiving. This year, I was disappointed to see Christmas decorations and hear Christmas songs playing on the radio THE DAY AFTER HALLOWEEN!! Huh? What happened to Thanksgiving? Is the country skipping the Thanksgiving holiday altogether?

Many of my friends, determined to observe and uphold the Thanksgiving holiday, have started new traditions this year. One friend put up a dry-erase board in her living room. She and her family members take turns leaving notes to each other about what they are thankful for. For example, “Mom, thanks for making sure my uniform was clean for my game today.” Or, “Sweetie, thanks for having such a great attitude about doing your chores today.” Another crafty friend made a mini-chalkboard by painting 3 layers of black chalkboard paint onto the bottom of an old bar pan (a cookie sheet with an edge around it). She hung it in her dining room, and they make a short list of things they are thankful for during grace. Another friend is publicly declaring her thanks in daily Facebook posts. 

What kinds of things are you doing to inspire a grateful attitude in your homes or workplaces? How do you make the season last beyond having a turkey dinner one day out of the year? 
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I decided to make greeting cards that I titled, “Grateful.” I intend to make multiple copies and mail out one card each day between now and Thanksgiving. I will pick one friend each day, jot them a little note, and let them know how grateful I am to have them in my life.

Over the next three days I’ll post samples of three of my cards along with instructions on how to make them. Most of the supplies I used are from Stampin’ Up! (and the actual stamps I used are available in their current catalog).
Grateful, Part One:
1) Take one 8 ½ by 11 piece of medium brown card stock and cut it in half so it measures 8 ½ by 5 ½ inches. I used Close To Cocoa, but you could use Soft Suede or any other medium brown shade. Fold it in half to make a card that measures 4.25 X 5.5 and opens at the bottom.

2) Cut a rectangle out of Really Rust (or Cajun Craze or any dark orange) that measures 3.75 X 5 and glue it onto the front of the card, centering it.

3) Next cut a 3.25 X 4.5 inch rectangle out of a rustic, weathered looking patterned paper that uses autumn shades. I used leftover paper from last year that had a teal grid pattern on top of a vanilla background with brown “paint” splatters. 

4) Using the French Foliage stamp set from Stampin’ Up!, stamp the French words onto the top center of the patterned rectangle (as shown). Since my paper had teal in it, I used Taken With Teal, but you could use any blue-green ink, or pick a different accent color that coordinates with the other colors you’ve chosen. Stamp paint splatters onto the lower left-hand corner using Really Rust (or whatever dark orange color you already picked). Stamp the Paris postal mark near the splatters using Chocolate Chip or dark brown, as shown. Glue the rectangle onto the center of the card.

5) Stamp three different leaves using the color scheme you’ve already established: dark brown, medium brown and a dark orange, all onto a cream colored cardstock such as Very Vanilla. Trim around them closely, leaving a slight border visible. Glue them onto the patterned paper as shown.
6) I borrowed the Grateful word stamp from a different set called Falling Leaves, and stamped it onto Very Vanilla paper using Chocolate Chip ink. Use a trimmer tool or scissors to cut around the word leaving a ¼ inch border on all sides. Glue it onto Chocolate Chip cardstock and then trim around that, again leaving a ¼ inch border all around. Glue it onto the card slightly off center, as shown.

Voila! Your French inspired Thanksgiving card is complete! Try using alternate color schemes with this layout, such as:
Real Red with Soft Suede and Old Olive

More Mustard with Cherry Cobbler and Always Artichoke

Share your results…and have a grateful season!

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