Thursday, November 30, 2017

Excerpts From The Diary of a Designer #11

'Tis the Season 🎄

Dear Diary,

It has begun!

Today I walked out of my bedroom to find my 3 youngest girls sitting in eerie silence with a MOUNTAIN of Christmas cards piled in front of them, madly scribbling messages to friends.
Its worth noting that I'm using the term 'friends' VERY loosely here. judging by the 280 or so cards piled on the table (some of which had already fallen on the floor) every person alive, that they actually know the name of, will be the recipient of one of these Christmas cards.

The girls looked up from their epic task as I entered the room wide eyed at the scene before me and all at once started begging me to buy candy canes to put in with their cards. Darling Daughter number 2 stands up and declares
'we just need..... wait.... let me count! one, two, three....'


All I could think of was that I just needed some coffee to make it through!!

As I listened, from the kitchen, to the counting continue, interrupted only by the occasional instruction to move this or that and then everyone groaning as they had to start again because they had lost count, I realised this marked the beginning of the next 6 weeks of my life.

 The silly season had arrived.

I'm exhausted just thinking about it! Our whole house will now descend down into an unending spiral of parties, end of year events, award ceremonies, get togethers, family reunions, gift hunting, gift wrapping, gift giving and gift begging.  

There's nothing for it... I just have to take a deep breath, put on my big girl pants and go and face it!

Filled with courage only a double shot skinny cappuccino can deliver, I headed back to Christmas Card Hell Central where I was informed they just needed me to buy 113 candy canes to finish their monumentally important task. 

I looked at the adorable creatures and told them they could have 10 each to give away, that if I caught them eating any I would cancel Christmas ( yes I'm looking at you Daisy) and that if I heard one complaint about it all I would also cancel Easter. 

They got ready for school and left in a cloud of dark brooding silence. Again I was struck by the sheer irony that children still use silence to punish adults!!?! Bring it on I say.

I happily trotted off to my workshop, I had been planning on doing a layout today but now I couldn't shake the feeling that I really should be making some Christmas cards myself! 

And here's where my deep dark secret emerges... I loath making Christmas cards :( 

So much effort for cards that get admired for maybe 30 days then tossed out ... it's enough to make a grown craft lady cry. 
It might feel more worth it if you could give them out in about August!?
 And its the same theme over and over and over, year after year!!

I turned over the Christmas papers, chipboards and embellishments for an hour then swept them all aside and ran straight back into the arms of my first love .... a good old fashioned layout. 
I'll try cards again tomorrow, but today....

I got busy with this beautifully Australian Open Road collection from Kaisercraft.

I used a black sharpie pen on these chipboard words then a medium nib white gel pen to add the shine lines to each letter.

Dear Diary,

We had to eat dinner outside on the balcony last night as the great Christmas card ordeal of 2017 continues on the dining room table. Now darling daughter #1 has joined them and Darling Son #2!

 I've never been so pleased DS#1 doesn't ever leave his room and has only online friends, I assume he will send his online mates an online card? Actually thinking about it,  I dont know that he and his gaming mates will even know its Christmas? Probs not. 
I often wonder what my virtual reality, anime grandbabies will look like?

I attempted to sit down and make Christmas cards again today, but no ideas came to me at all, after a while I just gave up and decided to look up ideas on Pinterest.
Talk about going down the rabbit hole ... I was looking for 3 hours... 

and this was the only one I found that really tickled my fancy!!

Lets face it ... I'm just not a christmas card person.

So I did this layout instead...

Again using the Open Road Collection from Kaisercraft.

Dear Diary,

The disease is spreading ... today there are Christmas cards all over the dining table, the coffee table, the kitchen bench, and the end of the lounge .... WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? 
Apparently everyone is trying to 'sort' out their friend groups, or drive me crazy by covering every flat surface in the house!?! honestly I'm not sure which one is actually in play at this point?? 
I can promise you I'm getting over it all though. 

One more day and then I set fire to everything! 🔥

I didnt even attempt Christmas Card making today, I went straight into the comforting embrace of a layout. I have accepted that my Christmas cards this year ( just as they were last year) will be made from whatever is left over on the dining room table after the children finally pick all theirs up!

I did manage to calm down while scrapping though. Today I realised that scrapping is like therapy for me. I become calmer and more focused when I'm enjoying myself crafting, I'm able to let go of my anger and all my pyromaniac tendencies... which, lets face it, is only ever a good thing!

Todays Layout was made using the Wandering Ivy collection from Kaisercraft.

Dear Diary,

I'm happy to report that the Christmas cards are for the most part gone - YAY!

The kids sorted them all into bags last night ( Friends from school bag, friends from kids club bag, friends from the neighbourhood bag, friends from church bag etc) and off they went with them all this morning for delivery. There were just a few left on the dining table after that.

 I decided I would finish up early in the workshop today and write some out myself to send out, since there was a snow balls chance in hell that I was ever going to actually make one!

Today I returned to creating with the new Wandering Ivy papers from Kaisercraft.

After that fabulous crafty adventure, I was in just the mood for writing messages to friends so I sat down at the dining table and got to it. Alas as I worked, I realised more people belonged on the Christmas card list, that I carried around in my head, than I first thought. I mean I cant give a card to that couple and NOT give one to those guys, that would look strange!?
I abandoned writing the cards in favour of writing a list of people I need to send cards to. 
And the list grew.... and grew.

I was madly scribbling names when my husband walked past and said something to me.
I looked up and asked what he had said?

'I'm going to town, do you need anything?'

From the corner of my eyes I glanced at the remaining cards on the table.

'can you please pick me up 53 Christmas cards and 64 candy canes?'

He turned fully to me then with an ironic look of incredulousness on his face and said flatly.

'I'll buy you 10!'

Then he promptly turned and started to walk away adding just as he exited the room

'...and I better not catch you eating them!'


Kelly-ann Oosterbeek has been a scrapbook and paper craft designer for the last 20 years and lives in Northern NSW with her super-sized family.

She has her own line of gloss finish butterfly stickers ( featured on the projects in this post), and sells these along with Kaisercraft Collections and layout kits online ...


  1. hi kelly, you may be surprised, to know that hand made cards doot get thrown away, when i started making birthday cards and christmas cards, years ago, my then boss, said that he has kept every birthday card and Christmas card i have ever made, ( for a good 15 or so years ) he said that at the start , my cards were very basic as they would be and he says over the years, how my cards has improved, he said when he retires from work ( which he has now ) hes going to put them all in a album to look though, i keep all hand made cards also ,
    for the last 40 years of sending out cards, they always go out on the 1st December, but something happened this year, and they are not ready, i have bought 50 stamps ( which wont be enough) which to start and the cards are made its just to write them out its seems daunting this year, to say the least
    i have to get onto it , maybe sunday , i have a spare day at home . give challenges a miss for December
    see how i go, i will read the rest of dear diary tomorrow, getting tired now.

    1. Thanks fabulously encouraging to all those dedicated and motivated Christmas card makers out there :) Have an awesome weekend Jacqui <3

  2. Hi kelli. As with Jacquie. I know that my handmade cards are kept as keepsakes. I know i kept all one ones my daughter makes and how far she has come since she started. We are probably only making you feel guilty now.your layouts with the new collection are stunning
    I love reading your dear diary

  3. Lol ... thanks Maureen... the guilt was pre-existing so no worries on that account 😂 😂😂

  4. Hi Kel...If it's any consolation, I get to watch the faces of the children who receive the Christmas cards and I think it's beautiful. If only we could picture that and scap it!! It's a mixture of...'oh, am I really your friend?' or ' I must be special to get a card from you!' to ' that makes 101 cards! I am so lucky!' We ended up banning the candy canes from being eaten at school though! They'd eat them, leave all those sticky plastic wrappers around and not have time to eat their lunch!
    I loved your have a real gift (of the gab!)
    Have a wonderful Christmas (this is my card to you) and I'll see you on the 20th Jan with bells on!!

    1. LOL ... awesome insights there Robyn, I love it!! Will also ban candy canes in the future I think :)