Merry Christmas!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas and a lot like my Christmas cards will be arriving late in the mail. While my cards were one of the first holiday projects I made this season they're the last to make it out the door. I'm checking my list (and addresses) twice. Soon my holiday greeting and paper tree will belatedly arrive at doorsteps.

When designing this years card I kept in mind the limitations of my small table top letterpress. I also wanted to incorporate my calligraphy to illustrate the card. I knew I wanted to send out a folding Christmas tree so the design of the card evolved from that concept. Of course it should be presents for under the tree. I'm very pleased with how it all printed.

It was not possible to keep a heavy inking consistent for the green of the packages so I knew I'd be letting the ink naturally fall off as I printed my cards.

It was not possible to keep a heavy inking consistent for the green of the packages so I knew I'd be letting the ink naturally fall off as I printed my cards.

Put the presents under the tree! To keep things less complicated I drew a pattern that could be printed back to back without worry of registration. And I cut all these trees out by hand (with x-acto) so I needed the pattern to be forgiving for that as well.

Put the presents under the tree! To keep things less complicated I drew a pattern that could be printed back to back without worry of registration. And I cut all these trees out by hand (with x-acto) so I needed the pattern to be forgiving for that as well.

I added gold elastic to turn some of my pop-up trees into gift toppers.

I added gold elastic to turn some of my pop-up trees into gift toppers.

Have a wonderful Christmas! I'm hoping to have one more post before taking a little break to enjoy the festivities.

Wintery wrap with Bay Bridge ribbon

How's your wrappin' going? I haven't even begun to wrap gifts for this year. Luckily I dug up some wrap photos from last year that I never had the chance to share with you.

Last year I was clued into a stash of vintage cellophane ribbon being sold at a local art store. According to the penciled note on the spool the ribbon dates to 1938. Perhaps that's why it's printed with the San Francisco Bay Bridge and skyline which would have still been a young landmark. Of course I bought it in a few colors. 

I meet lots of people who are a bit intimidated by gift wrapping especially this time of year. Well I was intimidated by this ribbon! Aged brittle cellophane is not easy to work with! If you're nervous about your xmas wrappings make sure to use supplies you're comfortable with. And remember that it's about the sentiment of giving and not how perfecting crisp your wrapping is. Any extra creative embellishment will add that thoughtfulness. 

Have fun and happy wrapping!

It's hard to tell in the photos but I used wire to float one of the snow flakes above the package.

It's hard to tell in the photos but I used wire to float one of the snow flakes above the package.

Wrapping paper is from a 2013 print promotion by Hemlock Printers.

Shasta Claws

What? You don't have a Christmas Costume? I realize I might be the weirdest person on the internet right now so you're probably wondering what's this Christmas kitten all about? 

In years past I've taken part in Santa Con which is basically an elaborate pub crawl where everyone is dressed up as Santa. People often put their own spin on things such as becoming Disco Santa, Boom Box Santa, and Mrs. Claus. By default everyone is greeted as Santa and it's pretty wonderful to always know how to greet someone by name before you've met them. "Hi Santa!" "Hellloooo Santa!" "Ho, Ho, Ho, Santa!" Because I have an S name I've often been called Shasta Claus. This year it hit me. Shaaaaasta Claws! I'm already working away in my workshop to make all the good kitties their toys.

Instead of Santa Con I attended an ugly sweater party so it was the perfect opportunity to create a Shasta Claws branded sweater proclaiming my super powers. It was a costume that could do double duty. Triple duty actually because when I took a visible mending workshop last month I was inspired to mend a moth eaten cashmere sweater with needle felting. I'd finally be able to wear my soft sweater again.

Watch out for the claws!

Watch out for the claws!

Stretchy cat

Stretchy cat

I used needle felting to create the cat mask. You may remember I previously made one for my Smokey Bear costume.

I used needle felting to create the cat mask. You may remember I previously made one for my Smokey Bear costume.

I used tape to mask off my nails to create the slivers of claw. My paws were created by needle felting little red felt patches to an existing pair of mittens.

I used tape to mask off my nails to create the slivers of claw. My paws were created by needle felting little red felt patches to an existing pair of mittens.

All the accoutrements. I used Needle felting to create the little red puffs on the sweater. When I realized it would take forever to finish all the letters I decided to also use sequins with the bonus of a little extra tackiness. Look carefully and you can see my mending below the second S and and near the A and W in Claws. Ears and hat were also needle felted.

All the accoutrements. I used Needle felting to create the little red puffs on the sweater. When I realized it would take forever to finish all the letters I decided to also use sequins with the bonus of a little extra tackiness. Look carefully and you can see my mending below the second S and and near the A and W in Claws. Ears and hat were also needle felted.

Turns out I won the ugly sweater contest by not winning. My outfit was deemed to cute.

Thanks Jen Roberts for the photos of Shasta Claws!

Vintage inspired handpainted ornaments

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When I think of Christmas ornaments it's the vintage glass ones that always first come to mind. My mom has bunches of them but this year I realized I only have some reproductions (shown above). Don't know the truly vintage ones I'm talking about? I've got lots pinned to my 'Is it Christmas yet?' board.

For the last couple years I've been making these same shaped paper ornaments but using washi tape to adorn them. I was a little tired of making that style so I was excited to find another way to utilize my geometric ornament shape.

I used my pointed calligraphy dip pen to create the vintage inspired patterns. I printed them on paper and then added some hand painted elements with gold and silver metallic acrylics before folding them into their tear drop shape.

If you'd like a pair of your own I've got a few sets available in my etsy shop!

Jingle Balls

Yes, I am amazed I didn't think of this sooner. For your Christmas 2014 giggling while gifting I've made some Jingle Balls. These are a product extension of the other catnip balls I make and sell in my Kitty Confetti Etsy shop.

These toys don't have any catnip in them because believe it or not there are some cats who don't like the nip. I wanted to have a nip free option for those felines and adding some jingle is a puuurfect alternative.

These will only be available throughout the holidays so get 'em while they're in season.