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Crafting With a Vintage Look #038 - Christmas Card #6 and Mrs. Beeton's Christmas Cake
November 18, 2009

Issue #038 - It may only be November 19, but our local mall erected their giant Christmas tree a week ago. We finally went by to look at it, and discovered our mall had gone "vintage" in a big way! And it fit right in with our "Christmas Card of the Moment" #6 -- Honk If You Love Santa.

Mall Christmas TreeThe mall tree is enormous, with PR hype to match ("110 feet tall! 15,000 sparkling lights! 10,000 ornaments!"). Around the base of the tree are giant panels, each painted with Victorian post card images. You might even recognize some from our Driving Mr. Santa image books, and our Christmas Card e-book. Needless to say, we really only looked at the five-foot high Victorian illustrations, and barely glanced at the 110 feet of evergreen towering above us.

Look into this Special Edition of Crafting With a Vintage Look for:

  • Our Christmas Card of the Moment #6, Honk If You Love Santa.
  • Mrs. Beeton's 1861 Christmas Cake Recipe.
  • Buyers speak out!.

Let's get crafting...

Christmas Card of the Moment #6
Honk If You Love Santa

Honk If You Love Santa uses the special-effect, three-dimensional paper sculpture technique known as paper tole (or 3-D decoupage). Sounds fancy, but it is really as simple as cutting out elements from multiple copies of the same image, and layering them with a small spacer in between for depth. Paper tole comes from the 17th Century practice of dimensional decoupage known as "Vue d'Optique," which really was fancy, with dozens of layers of sculpted and lacquered paper.

The image for this card has all the elements you want for paper tole; clearly defined background, mid-ground and foreground, and a strong sense of perspective. In this, Santa is driving his flivver straight out of the picture!

This Card of the Moment is the sixth in our new e-book, Ten Vintage Christmas Greetings to Make. It is published in a convenient, high-quality PDF file format. You download it to your computer for reading or printing. The vintage images are included in high-resolution, pre-sized format, ready to print at a copy center or on your home ink-jet printer! For this card, we give you separate images for all three layers of the card.

Just go to:


Click on the "Add to Cart" button and complete your purchase with PayPal. You'll immediately receive an email with the download link, and you are one click away from creating some of the most unique vintage-look Christmas cards this season!

If the e-book link above doesn't work for you, type into your browser:

Remembering Mrs. Beeton

Mrs Beeton's Book CoverIsabella Mary Mayson was born in 1836 in London, the eldest of 21 children. She married Samuel Orchart Beeton, a book and magazine publisher, in 1856 at the age of 20. Over the next seven years, she established herself as an authority on household management. At 21, she wrote her first cook book, but her inexperience led to some glaring omissions and errors. Still, we have Mrs. Beeton to thank for the custom of listing the ingredients at the start of a recipe, as well as instructions on how long to cook a recipe.

Between 1859 and 1861, Mrs. Beeton wrote monthly supplements to The Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine, which were later published as a single volume with the concise title: "The Book of Household Management Comprising Information for the Mistress, Housekeeper, Cook, Kitchen-Maid, Butler, Footman, Coachman, Valet, Upper and Under House-Maids, Lady’s-Maid, Maid-of-all-Work, Laundry-Maid, Nurse and Nurse-Maid, Monthly Wet and Sick Nurses, etc. etc.—also Sanitary, Medical, & Legal Memoranda: with a History of the Origin, Properties, and Uses of all Things Connected with Home Life and Comfort." It is known today as "Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management" or sometimes "Mrs. Beeton's Cookbook" because it contained over 900 recipes. You can explore the original book text here.

In 1865, a day after her fourth child was born, she contracted a fever and died at the age of 28. This young entrepreneur, trail-blazer, wife and mother left a lasting legacy.

Mrs Beeton's 1861 Christmas Cake Recipe (in her own words)


5 teacupfuls of flour
1 teacupful of melted butter
1 teacupful of cream
1 teacupful of treacle
1 teacupful of moist sugar
2 eggs
˝ oz. of powdered ginger
˝ lb. of raisins
1 teaspoonful of carbonate of soda
1 tablespoonful of vinegar

Make the butter sufficiently warm to melt it, but do not allow it to oil; put the flour into a basin; add to it the sugar, ginger, and raisins, which should be stoned and cut into small pieces. When these dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed, stir in the butter, cream, treacle, and well-whisked eggs, and beat the mixture for a few minutes. Dissolve the soda in the vinegar, add it to the dough, and be particular that these latter ingredients are well incorporated with the others; put the cake into a buttered mould or tin, place it in a moderate oven immediately, and bake it from 1-3/4 to 2-1/4 hours.

Buyers Speak Out!

On Ten Vintage Christmas Greetings to Make:

"These cards are wonderful -- Very innovative -- not just the same cut and glue -- and also I can still embellish. Some digital artists -- while the image is cute -- there is so much going on with the background -- that it gets dated very fast and sometimes is not formatted in a way to cut and use for other ideas I may have -- SO yours are already A +." Kathy

(This excerpt comes from a much longer missive from Kathy, where she suggested improvements for future e-books, including "smaller card sizes," "variation in graphic sizes," "some black & white graphics," and many more great insights. Thanks, Kathy!)

Next issue:

We are up to Christmas Card of the Moment #7 already, Sealed With a Claus. This was our chance to try something different - an elegant card with an imprinted pseudo-wax seal. Finally, another use for the hot glue gun.

Just a reminder that we will be out of town from November 21 to 28, so get your hot comments and questions in to us before we go.

Scott & Martin

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