I must thank Terri at Windlost for the idea. I was struck by her lovely banners and thought they looked like something I could tackle (with a little bit of help). And I know it is 11 months til Christmas season starts, but I wanted to do it while it was fresh in my head, otherwise it was very likely it would never get done at all.
I'm really happy with the results. There's no way I could have done it on my own. Fiona is a very talented crafter who taught me lots of tricks and she has every crafty gadget known to man! We even made the freshwater pearl garland that the 'joy' tags hangs on.
Here's a close up of the letters. You can see I chose paper embossed with Christmas words. Little details like this matter to me. It was Fiona's idea to stitch around the edges, and I think it added that finishing touch.
And here's the other one.
We went for an aged look with this banner. I chose a caligraphy paper, written with Christmas phrases for the background. We scanned and photoshopped the paper because I didn't want the original blue colour - we went with a soft grey instead. Once we cut the paper, Fiona taught me how to 'age' the paper using a couple of different types of ink.
We used black velvet to string the letter tags up. I used a hot glue gun for the first time - a very useful gadget!
I love the little pewter brad on each letter. I didn't even know what a brad was when I first started!