Thursday, December 9, 2010

Gingerbread House Ornaments (and a digital freebie)

The December days are flying by and I think I am trying to keep a few too many balls in the air (just like everyone else at this busy time of year!).  I have been working on getting the house decorated along with blog projects, design team projects, gift shopping and wrapping, making travel arrangements, doing a bit of baking and getting some Christmas cards ready to send.

If you are a long time reader of my blog you know that putting up the house decorations is a fairly complicated process.  We have many trees (one in almost every room) and some of them take a very long time to put up.  I do love the way the house looks and feels during the Christmas season and we leave all of the decorations up far longer than most people so my January is also quite festive!

I am a collector of many things and Christmas ornaments are one of my weaknesses.  We "need" so many trees to handle the collections and there are still some that don't get taken out every year.  Last year, I couldn't find one of my favorite sets of ornaments.  These gingerbread houses had been carefully packed but mysteriously left in the guest room closet and not taken to the attic with most of the other ornaments and decorations (we have an incredible walk-up attic that is very full!).

I was happy to find that the houses weren't permanently lost and I put them up in their "usual" spot in the desk area of my kitchen cabinets.  These are ceramic gingerbread with sparkly frosting and great details.

I bought these at our local museum store quite a few years ago.  The houses represent a variety of architectural styles through the years.  This is a cute "log cabin."

Here is another more formal town house...

...and a larger traditional style house.

There is even a church to finish out the little village.

I will be adding some greens and twinkle lights to the shelf  area where they are hanging.  We haven't picked out our live tree yet and I usually take the excess greens from the lower branches for a few spots around the house.  I love the pine smell they give to the rooms.

I decided to try a quick project with my photos of the ornaments.  I used my Creative Memories StoryBook Creator Plus 3.0 software to turn one of the gingerbread houses into a PNG file that I can use in my digital projects.  I tried using the "magic wand" but I wasn't happy with the edges of the image so I went ahead and did a long custom cut process to drop out all of the background.

Of course, I couldn't leave well enough alone - I had to play with the image just a bit.  I made four copies and rotated them at 90 degree intervals and then grouped them together to form this pattern.

I could see a star or pinwheel pattern in the image so I cropped away some of the house portions and created this image as well.

I thought I'd share my gingerbread ornament with any of you who enjoy using both digital and traditional paper products for your projects.  If you click on the image above it will take you to the download link for the full size image.  It is a very large image so the download will take longer than usual.  I hope you can use it and, as always, I'd love to see what you do with the image if you download it.

I had a surprise when I went to upload my photos to Blogger to make this post.  I found out that I had exceeded the free storage for my account and I would need to pay to have additional storage for my photos.  I have been blogging for nearly three years and, even though I reduce the size of my photos for the computer screen I finally "topped out."  Fortunately, the cost for additional storage is very reasonable so I will be able to keep posting lots and lots of photos for a long time to come.  I will just have to pay to renew this storage each year.

One other note - I can see that my hit counter is getting closer and closer to the one million milestone so I am planning some special things for when it rolls over.  I have to go get one with more decimal places since I only have six digits - I never imagined that this would be a problem!  I think I will plan to have the Celebration in January even if the millionth hit happens before then so it won't interfere with the holidays.  It's going to be fun (and yes, there will be gifts!).

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  1. These are very cute! I love collecting Christmas decorations and every year I want to get rid of some but I can't bring myself to do it!

    Congrats on your growing fan club!

  2. These are such beautiful ornaments. I've not seen these as a set. I too collect ornaments. I have the decorations that were on my Mom and Dad's tree when my sister was born in 1938. They actually put candles on the tree with spring clips!
    My mother loved Santa so I started making her Mr. and Mrs. Santa ornaments when I was a child. I have them all and I will pass them on to my grandchildren. It's so great to have remembrances you can touch. I think that is why I love paper crafting. In fact, you've given me an idea to make a scrapbook on the history behind my ornaments. Thanks. And thank you for sharing all your talent with us. Congratulations on nearly hitting 1 million!!!

  3. Your house sounds a lot like mine. Don't you hate having to leave some of your ornaments out & not use them?
    (Glad you found your gingerbreads.)

  4. I almost forgot--congrats on the 1 million mark.

  5. Thanks for the digital freebie and all the other files you have shared. When I finally so make a project with what I have collected I will certainly show you. Love your ornaments. Congrats on nearing 1 million hits.

  6. Wowee zowee, near a million hits! Congratulations!

  7. Diane
    You have the most amazing collection.
    I would love to see your house in all its Christmas splendour.

  8. I only have one of those gingerbread ornaments. Love it, but I'll bet your village looks charming! Great going on the almost a million mark! Thanks for all the inspiration!

  9. Diane,
    Thanks for showing us these beautiful ornaments. I also go overboard at this time of year. I put up a tree for Mom & Dad in another part of my home. Purple and silver decorations. I have about a 9ft tree in my livingroom. I have a loft area up the stairs that over looks the living room and I have the banisters decorated and a tree there. I do dept. 56 villages and have one the size of a plywood board and another small one in an antique roll top deck. I have ornaments from Hallmark back to the 70's. I keep things up in Jan also and take a little down at a time. Thanks for sharing this with us. I have had no time for cards of late but do read your blog.

  10. Thank you for the lovely file. Ornaments are also one of our weaknesses going back to the 40's/50's. Congrats on your pending milestone. Exciting!

  11. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave in the Cutting category today [10 Dec 01:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  12. I also have various Christmas ornament collections and started decorating the kitchen with gingerbread items a few years ago. I love the variety and simplictiy of your ornament houses.

  13. Your gingerbread ornament are lovely! Thanks for sharing them with all of us. Thanks for the image, too! I'll use it for sure!

  14. Love the card. Congrats on reaching the big 1M soon. I was looking at that blog counter. I think it will go to 7 digits. I did a test on my blog starting at 1,000,000 and it was fine. ;-)


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