Christmas Scenes

Well – here we go again and, before we all disappear into a pile of wrapping paper, we‘d like to send good wishes for a very Happy Christmas from all at d4daisy. Here is our Christmas scene – it’s made with a similar technique to the gesso and ink video on the WOWbook members’ page. I laid a thin base layer of gesso on very heavy watercolour paper, sprayed it with very dilute Quink ink and let it dry. Then layers of gesso were applied with a palette knife to make mountains. A little salt was sprinkled here and there and more ink was sprayed on the lower half. The salt pulled the ink and made darker areas. No stitching but I was pleased with it.


I paid a visit to my old blog Someone remembered the mad time we had putting catalogues out to weather and then using them for art – such fun. While I was there, I happened upon this little design exercise for anyone using an image program with a layer function. It is quite easy. I use an old version of Paint Shop Pro but it worked well on my up to date Photoshop Elements, too. It’s another one that is good for Christmas images. In the pic below, I have printed it on ordinary printer paper, crumpled it up to soften it and then pinned it onto felt, ready to stitch.


















This started off as a simple quick photo of a birch tree.

We have been discussing stitching with birch bark on the members’ Facebook page so this seems very appropriate.

There need to be some good contrast in the pic for this to work.


















Find your Layers menu, usually at the top,  and click Duplicate twice.



On the Layers Palette select the middle layer. See below.


Then , in the image menu, click Negative. See below. This affects the middle layer, as you can see in the palette in the pic below. Your image won’t show it yet.


Click on the TOP LAYER. This is important.

Somewhere in your Layer Palette there will be an option called Modes, often next to the fade option. See below.











This brings up a menu with lots of things to try. When you have a spare year in your life, play with these but for now just choose the one marked Difference

The result can be seen at the bottom.


Brief Thoughts on Christmas Cards

It’s so lovely to receive hand-made cards but I always seem to be too busy to make them. Apart from one glorious year (when I was clearing old stocks of ‘Silly Bird’ cards and sent them to all my stitchy friends), I hardly ever manage to make cards. Next year perhaps.










Then there was the the year when we moved to our current address. As we moved just before Christmas, there was even less chance of anyone receiving a Christmas offering. However, it was a very snowy Christmas that year and we made full use of the fact that we had a post box opposite. Unable to persuade a friendly robin to oblige, we took one of our wooden bird ornaments over and made do with a photo of that on our cards. The neighbours were thus convinced very early on that the new folk at number 96 were a little weird but our friends loved the cards.









My stitching group, Beyond Stitch (we have now gone so far beyond stitch that we mostly just talk), always make just one card each and these are placed into a box and we each take one. This means that we only make one card and they are always a delight to receive. The one below was made by my friend Sandy and very glam it is.


My card was based on a technique that I used in the WOWbook article. I overlaid a base drawing of leaves and flowers (a bit of stamped lettering added interest) with a lightweight tissue version of the same thing which I then worked into with watercolours.  A touch of hand stitching and a wired cut-out of a smaller flower was a good finishing touch. I enjoyed making that – might get into flower and leaf painting in the New Year.

The WoWbook is going great guns – I think it will be out best selling book ever. Many thanks to those who have purchased it and joined the Members’ club. It’s been great meeting you in the facebook group.