Monday, 29 December 2014

Docrafts Papermania Strictly Party Pack

Hi everyone.

So that's Christmas done and dusted. Hope you had a great time and you're now not quite so knee-deep in discarded wrapping paper and empty walnut shells as you were a few days ago. And we have a white Christmas! Well, a few days late but there is definitely a smattering of something vaguely resembling snow as I look out of my craft-room window.

Of course, we are now in that weird "twilight zone" period between Christmas and New Year when no one really wants to do very much and if you're one of the very unlucky ones, you have to start back to work, only to have to stop again. But fear not, it is still... party time!

Even if you're not much of a party animal yourself, you may know someone who is and if so, anything made from the gorgeous Docrafts Papermania Strictly Party Pack would be perfect for them. The kit is mainly die-cut, so items are very easy to assemble and include card toppers, embellishments and decoupage, as well as easy-to-assemble gift boxes and tags.

There are also some truly gorgeous backing papers (lovely butterflies!) which could be used with any card or scrapbook project. The whole theme of the kit is very "girly" but with a sophisticated look. Think "ladies who lunch".

I chose a pretty purple colour-scheme for this matching set of card, gift box and tag. The card has a few layers of decoupage which were very easy to put together as all the pieces are numbered for you. This kit seems to lend itself to adding extra bits from your stash so a die-cut swirl, a lacy doily and the usual gems and bow were a must. I then picked out some of the same elements to decorate the box and tag so that hopefully, everything co-ordinates.

If you are living it up this Christmas and New Year, have a fabulous time and party on! See you in 2015.


Copyright Melissa Lawrence 2014

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Hearts Designs Christmas Scrapbook Page

Hi everyone.

As I'm writing this, there is a howling gale blowing around the house so I think it will be more of a windy Christmas then a white one.

I hope you are surviving the madness of the build-up to the Big Day. It always amazes me that even though Christmas Day falls on the 25th December every year without fail, it still seems to take us all by surprise.

As this is my last blog post before Christmas, I was going to do another Christmas card design but somehow I ended up doing a digital scrapbook page instead. Actually it's been really nice doing a bit of scrapbooking after such a long stretch of card making. And this design would probably work as a card front anyway if you removed the journalling.

Poinsettias are one of my favourite plants and look especially lovely in the house at Christmas. One year I even had a poinsettia instead of a Christmas tree although it was quite tricky to put the fairy on top. If  Wikipedia is to be trusted, the poinsettia originates from Mexico and takes its common English name from Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first US Minister to Mexico who introduced the plant into the US in 1825.

The poinsettia in my photos belonged to a neighbour and the artwork I've used with them comes from the gorgeous Hearts Designs Hearts & Roses Christmas digikit which I also used to make the card featured in a previous post. ( )

I used the cut-out studio in Craft Artist Pro2 to remove the poinsettia from its background and then faded it into the background paper with a blend mode. There is only one intelligent frame in the kit but it is the same as the frame embellishment so I used that for the outer frame as well as for the photos. After that it was just a matter of re-colouring a few embellishments and adding a line of journalling.

So now it only remains for me to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a peaceful one, too. Merry Christmas!

Copyright Melissa Lawrence 2014

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Design House Christmas Cards

Hi everyone.

And so this is Christmas...Well, not quite obviously, there is still a bit of time to go although those of you who are rushing round like Santa Claus on steroids might be feeling there isn't very much time left at all.

Without wanting to sound like Mistress Scrooge, I must confess to not being a big fan of Christmas. However, I do enjoy making Christmas cards. After all, on what other occasion in the year can you decorate your handcrafted cards with enough glitter and "bling" to light up Blackpool Tower?

I always enjoy seeing what my favourite craft companies have put out for their Christmas ranges. It's amazing how they seem to come up with completely original designs on a festive theme, year after year.

One of my favourite companies is Design House ( and I recently downloaded some of their gorgeous Christmas papers from the excellent website Crafts 2 Download & Print ( As I think I've said before, I love downloading craft papers from the internet (especially when they are as good as the Design House ones) because they are usually great value and you can start crafting with them straight away, at any time of day or night.

The first card I've made is an easel card and uses three cute canines from the Eclectic Christmas Dogs Toppers sheet together with sections from the co-ordinating backing paper which has a traditional festive fireplace design. I matted and layered everything onto gold mirror card, adding red ribbon and a red bow to match the bows on the backing paper. I then hand-finished the card with large gold brads, gems and glitter. Hopefully I've achieved my idea of one dog lying in front of the fire while the other two look on enviously from the door and window!


The next card is made from just one sheet of backing paper which is possibly my favourite of all the Design House Christmas papers. It is called Christmas Florals Red Backing Paper and as soon as I saw it, I knew it would lend itself perfectly to a black card base with lots of added gold. I matted and layered about half the sheet onto white Centura Pearl card, then cut the large flower and the tartan border out of the remaining paper for added depth. I die-cut a poinsettia flower shape from a small section of the paper and matted it onto black card, then added a gold mirror card stamen. The gold flourish was also die-cut from mirror board and I found the co-ordinating sentiment in my stash. Finally, I added gold Liquid Pearls and a touch of gold glitter.

The final card was quite a challenge to both make and photograph and was one I probably shouldn't have left until the early hours of the morning! I used the extremely pretty Snowflake Kittens Twisted Pyramid sheet and the co-ordinating Snowflake Kitten Backing Paper. The backing paper is a stunning design of gorgeous cat fur and I just had to have it. The reason I struggled was because I was determined to make another 3D card and only realised after I'd chosen to do a single gatefold card that the beautifully deep decoupage made that style of card too top-heavy. Also, whichever angle I tried for the photo, I couldn't stop the cats looking cross-eyed but I can assure you they have perfectly normal eyes on the actual card! Fortunately, the addition of silver peel-offs, silver die-cut fancy-shaped matts, some little flowers die-cut from leftover bits from the topper sheet and lots of tiny clear gems saved the day.

I hope you enjoy looking at my creations as I certainly enjoyed making them.

See you soon and then it really will be Christmas.

All Card Designs Copyright Melissa Lawrence 2014 

Monday, 8 December 2014

Hearts Designs Christmas Card

Hi everyone.

It's a bit chilly, isn't it? Mind you, I'm writing this post at 1.30am (Don't ask!) so it's hardly surprising. One of my delivery drivers was wearing shorts when he brought my parcel earlier today. Obviously a hardier soul than me.

Now that we are officially into December, I can't put off posting (no pun intended) Christmas cards any longer. This latest one is a digital design that I created using artwork from one of the beautiful Hearts Designs Digikits.

Hearts Designs is a family run business based in Bexhill and they are known throughout the world for their fantastic handmade cards based on all things vintage and retro. All their designs are completely unique and original. You can see a selection of their work on the gallery page of their website.

I used the Hearts & Roses Christmas Digikit for this 8x8 tent-fold card. To create the main design, I used just one digital topper, one sentiment and a frame embellishment. The small cluster of roses was digitally cut from the main topper and I re-coloured the backing paper to perfectly match the other elements. I then made the card up, using dark pink silk-art board and a few embellishments (not to mention glitter!) from my stash.

I hope it makes you feel really "Christmassy"!


Copyright Melissa Lawrence 2014

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Paddington Bear Christmas Card Design

Hi everyone.

Well, here we are in December (just) and as the song says, "It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas". It's a bit early for the Christmas telly to kick in but the cinemas have already launched some of their big guns and the new Paddington Bear movie opened in the UK on 28 November.

I've always been a PB fan and even had his image on my bedsit walls at university in the late 1970s when everyone else had posters of the Boomtown Rats or Fairport Convention. However, Paddington for me is how he looked in the original Michael Bond books and the delightful TV adaptation, so when I saw the trailer for the new film, I was pretty dismayed. Paddington Bear looks decidedly unhealthy to me, as if he's caught some deadly disease back in Peru. And scary too! Not at all soft and cuddly like the much-loved PB toy I remember.

So that's one film I won't be going to see this Christmas! But in case it has sparked your interest in our furry friend, here are five facts you might not know about Paddington Bear.

1. Jeremy Clarkson (yes, the Jeremy Clarkson) was the first person to have a Paddington Bear toy.

2. Paddington Bear is based on the spectacled bear, native to Peru.

3. Paddington's Peruvian name is Pastuso.

4. Michael Bond, the original creator of Paddington was a BBC camera man.

5. There is a Paddington shop on Paddington Station in London.

If you'd like to find out more about PB, why not check out the official Paddington Bear website? 

Anyway, to get over my shock at the film's depiction of Paddington, here is a personalised Christmas card design I did in Serif Craft Artist Professional recently which shows what he should really look like.

See you next time.

Copyright Melissa Lawrence 2014