Friday, 16 December 2016

Favourite Christmas Digikits

Hi everyone.

Well, not long to go before the Big Day now. Hopefully you are keeping on top of the pre-Christmas stress and not drowning in a morass of mince pies and mistletoe.

I've been working round the clock recently trying to reach my pre-Christmas sales targets for my handcrafted cards, stationery and gifts business Melissa Lawrence Designs. I'm well over halfway now which is very pleasing with about 10 days to go. Someone even came round last night on their way to India and bought some items for their family over there. MLD goes global!

As I've often mentioned before when blogging, I'm not a great fan of Christmas and find it something of an endurance test but I do enjoy designing (and crafting) with all the gorgeous and inspirational artwork associated with the festive season. Because I've been so focused on making products to sell over the last few weeks, it was really nice to sit down at the computer for a while yesterday and work on some Christmas designs for this post.

I decided to pick three of my favourite Christmas digikits and create a card front design from each one. All the kits are available to download from the DaisyTrail website at the moment if you want to check any of them out for yourself.

The first kit I chose is called Hearts and Roses Christmas which has been designed by Hearts Designs. I love everything that Hearts Designs create. Their style is vintage but with a trendy twist and their kits contain imagery in soft, muted colours which provide a welcome variation from the usual Christmas colour palette.

For this 6 x 6 card front, I selected one of the vintage style toppers from the kit and used the decoupage tool in CraftArtist2 Professional to add some extra depth. I created a matt with a "messy" edge from one of the digital materials to go behind it and a background that already had a matt built into the design. The frame round the edge is an incredibly useful embellishment from the kit that I've used lots of times in various designs, as are the ribbon and the gems.

For my second design, I went much more "cutesy" with a card front from a DaisyTrail digikit called Cosy Up Christmas which is full of incredibly cute creatures, all wearing various hats, scarves, jumpers etc. The original images are clearly hand-drawn which gives the artwork a lovely nostalgic feel.

The starting point for this design came from a Christmas card I saw in a local shop which gave me the idea of putting the different creatures from the kit inside or on top of the different letters. I chose "Noel" as it fitted more easily on the page than "Christmas". I picked a background paper from the kit that had a felt-like texture to it, adding to the warm, cosy feeling of the design and also included some other embellishments such as the bells and the holly for balance.

For my final choice, I selected another DaisyTrail digikit called Manhattan Winter which is not strictly a Christmas kit but has some lovely elements in it for creating snowy scenes which are perfect for Christmas cards. However, as it's primarily a digikit based around the iconic imagery of New York, you don't need to stick to traditional scenes but can go "off piste" with fabulous New York skylines that are much more fantasy than fact. 

I must admit that I cheated very slightly with this design and used one of the pre-designed layouts in the kit as my starting point, mainly because I always panic when I'm building a complex scene that I'm not going to get the perspective right. Once I got going though, I was able to shed many of the original layout's elements and substitute others which meant I ended up with something quite different from the original. I also created my own "story" with the design. Who left the present on the bench, for example? 

As I probably won't blog here again before Christmas, I'll take this opportunity to say that I hope you have a really good one, however you choose to celebrate it and I very much look forward to sharing more designs with you in 2017.

Merry Christmas!

All the above designs are Copyright Melissa Lawrence 2016.

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