Inspiration: A Dickens Christmas

A Dickens’ Christmas

A Dickens Christmas: Supplies used in creating

A Dickens Christmas: Supplies used in creating this page.

Inspired by Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol 

This Classic Dickens Tale of a miser’s redemption written in 1843 is our literary inspiration this month. It’s the story of Ebenezer Scrooge that I’m sure we are all familiar with and particularly some of the annual presentations that show up on the Christmas line-up for holiday movies. I have to say the Mr. Magoo version is one of my favorite presentations. How perfect to have a nearly blind man, Mr. Magoo, portray the equally ‘blind’ Mr. Scrooge!

Dickens’ writings often served as social commentary and A Christmas Carol was no exception. He gives us the stark contrast between the festive celebrations of the early Victorian era and those who went without having enough to eat, and then to Scrooge’s own lack of celebration and disdain of those who would presume upon him to give to allow others to do so.

What many may relate to in this story and want to present in their layout is memories of Christmas past. It often brings the warmest memories of those who may no longer be with us or how content we were to find joy in even the simplest of Christmas celebrations. For Scrooge, Christmas Past certainly began to melt his ice cold heart.

Perhaps taking a look at Christmas Present and the preparations now going on, finding new ways to document the events and trimmings are where you’ll want to go.

What would Christmas Future look like to you? Are there things you’ve learned about yourself this year that you’d like to improve in the coming year? Are there new ways you want to “keep Christmas all year long” in the next year?

Here are a few more suggested ideas for A Dickens Christmas Carol Inspired Scrapbook page.

Possible themes:
• Christmas. Past, Present, Future.
• The plight of the unfortunate masses
• Charitable causes, Salvation Army red kettle ringers, Angel Tree, Operation Christmas Child, Toys for Tots
• Those who would keep Christmas all year long.
• Bah Humbug the person who doesn’t like the holiday fluff.
• Holiday shopping
• Holiday parties, plays and civic events like parades
• Preparing a feast
• Music. The story is called a carol and is written with five staves (or verses) as a piece of music is written.

Quotes:
• “Bah Humbug!”
• “God Bless Us Everyone!”
• “I will honour Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all year long.” (I’ve used the quote spelling “honor” as it is written, with the British spelling.)
• “For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its founder was a child himself.”
• “I wear the chain I forged in life…I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it.”

Images:
• Early Victorian England (circa 1843)
• Candles
• Street lamplights
• Dark, cold rooms
• Hungry people
• Paupers
• Ghosts
• Clocks
• Bed, dreams, curtains
• Headstones
• Graveyards
• Families
• Outdoor markets
• Prize Turkey
• Money, coins, bags of coins
• Carolers
• Fathers and sons
• Business partners
• Winter, snow, cold

Colors:
• Dark, somber colors
• Vintage color schemes: deep greens, deep reds to burgundies, black, grey
• White (snow, winter)

Textures:
• Ice, snow
• Coal
• Metal stoves for heat, brick fireplaces, hearths
• Gauze for ghostly images
• Chains

Here’s what I have done:
I began by collecting pins that related to A Christmas Carol on our Pinterest board…MM-Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
I also checked out these Wikipedia articles: for a breakdown with quotes and outline try HERE, and for an overview of the history of the story try HEREThere’s lots of interesting info there you may enjoy.

Of course you can always read, listen or watch any number of versions to get you in the mood!

I decided to use two quotes, one as a title and one as the theme. The title: “God Bless Us Everyone” and the subject: “I will remember Christmas and try to keep it all year long.”

A Dickens' Christmas: the photos to tell this story of Christmas All Year Long.

A Dickens’ Christmas: the photos to tell this story of Christmas All Year Long.

My photos are of several of the workers at our food bank. Every month for two days they work bringing help and often hope to the families in our area that are in need of a little special love. There are a core of dedicated workers from several area churches that work tirelessly to keep things stocked and distributed. Each of those involved see it a as a way to share Christ’s love…our ‘Christmas all year long.’  I even have our “Tiny Tim” in the photos, a friend still recovering from surgery, crutches in tow, dedicated to being there and working!

A Dickens' Christmas: color scheme of muted greens and reds, architectural feature of Tudor Style. Quote as a Title.

A Dickens’ Christmas: color scheme of muted greens and reds, architectural feature of Tudor Style. Quote as a Title.

My color scheme was inspired by a Tudor style building that would have been common in London and is frequently represented in the Dickens’ Villages that are collected and displayed at Christmas. So I chose an Ivory 12 x 12 Mosaic Moments Grid for the base, and green and red patterned paper that has a vintage, muted look. Ivory and brown paper tiles were trimmed to resemble the classic Tudor architectural look. Red and ivory tiles (using the new Mosaic Moments dies to get the right size layer) included for the journaling blocks.

A Dickens' Christmas: cornerstone tile of a candle inked to add depth.

A Dickens’ Christmas: cornerstone tile of a candle inked to add depth.

A Dickens' Christmas: red background block stamped with a Christmas carol to continue the inspiration.

A Dickens’ Christmas: red background block stamped with a Christmas carol to continue the inspiration.

A Dickens' Christmas: Candle cornerstone with a touch of gold paint on the edge of the flame.

A Dickens’ Christmas: Candle cornerstone with a touch of gold paint on the edge of the flame.

My embellishments include a white candle cornerstone tile  inked with Distress Inks for an aged look and the black tile that came with it was changed to a red block and was stamped with a Christmas carol stamp for a background. I used a Sharpie gold paint pen to run along the edge of the flame.Where would Scrooge be without his candle?

I punched a multitude of branches in green and attached them to a length of hemp twine with a metallic thread accent using a line of Aleene’s glue. I arranged them in a random fashion.

A Dickens' Christmas: glue branches to twine to form a garland for hanging.

A Dickens’ Christmas: glue branches to twine to form a garland for hanging.

A Dickens' Christmas: random placement along the twine.

A Dickens’ Christmas: random placement along the twine.

A Dickens' Christmas: the twine does have a mind of it's own just go with it to get a natural look once complete.

A Dickens’ Christmas: the twine does have a mind of it’s own just go with it to get a natural look once complete.

A Dickens' Christmas: A dusting of gold and red berries too!

A Dickens’ Christmas: A dusting of gold and red berries too!

I took my Encore gold ink pad and randomly and lightly tapped it on several of the branches to add a subtle pop of color.

Once the amount of garland needed to string from one side to the other in the ‘Tudor’ section was completed a small hole was punched in the border to feed the twine though to the back and once it was arranged I used a glue dot on the back to swirl a bit of the twine and hold in place. A micro dot on the front side anchored a particularly unruly section in place.

A Dickens Christmas: A 3/8" glue dot to wrap the end of the twine and secure in place by covering the glue dot.

A Dickens Christmas: A 3/8″ glue dot on the back of the layout to wrap the end of the twine and secure in place by covering the glue dot.

To finish the evergreen swag a red Viva Pearl Pen was applied to create several tiny red dots of berries.

A Dickens' Christmas: final touches tiny pearls of red berries.

A Dickens’ Christmas: final touches tiny pearls of red berries.

Each corner of the layout has a cluster of holly berries and leaves made from the Prickly Pear die and stamp sets. To continue to use the music or carol theme of the story, the music stamp image was selected for the leaves, some in gold some in library green.  On the edges of all the leaves a paint brush was used to lightly dust the edges with gold ink. The red berries were punched with a hand punch and attached with glue dots.

A Dickens' Christmas: Music stamped leaves keep the Christmas Carol theme.

A Dickens’ Christmas: Music stamped leaves keep the Christmas Carol theme.

My two journal blocks were handwritten one with a Dickens’ quote and the other with a short description. Galaxy Gold was used to ink the edges.

A Dickens' Christmas: Layered journal block using our Mosaic Moments Dies, edged in gold.

A Dickens’ Christmas: Layered journal block using our Mosaic Moments Dies, edged in gold.

My title, another quote, was created with chip board letters that were first painted with brown acrylic paint. Next, I used Pearlescent  Poppy ink and Hessonite (#230), a PearLuster embossing powder to cover the bottom half of each letter. Then the top half with Rocket Red Gold ink and Clear Tops Black Gold glitter embossing powder for some sparkle. I did leave some of the brown paint exposed randomly on each letter. I used Tombow Mono Aqua Liquid Glue to attach the letters to the page.

A Dickens' Christmas: painted chipboard inked and embossed, layer one.

A Dickens’ Christmas: painted chipboard inked and embossed, layer one.

A Dickens' Christmas: layer two ink added.

A Dickens’ Christmas: layer two ink added.

A Dickens' Christmas: Tip: dip the inked letter into the embossing container to reduced mess and waste.

A Dickens’ Christmas: Tip: dip the inked letter into the embossing container to reduced mess and waste.

A Dickens' Christmas: An embossing powder with a bit of glitter adds sparkle and interest.

A Dickens’ Christmas: An embossing powder with a bit of glitter adds sparkle and interest.

A Dickens' Christmas: Holly stamped with music, red berries and a touch of gold dusted edges, Chipboard letters embossed and glittered to make a grand border.

A Dickens’ Christmas: Holly stamped with music, red berries and a touch of gold dusted edges, Chipboard letters embossed and glittered to make a grand border.

Put all together, and this is my version of A Dickens Christmas!

A Dickens' Christmas: completed.

A Dickens’ Christmas: completed.

I hope something has sparked your imagination today. I hope you all have a wonderful Holiday season and that you have a multitude of ideas like visions of sugarplums dancing in your head, just waiting to be put together. I hope too, that you’ll share those pages with us on our Facebook page or on our Journella Story Board. We’d love to see what you are doing!

Let me leave you with one final tip…

A HOLIDAY PHOTO TIP: Be sure to take photos all month long, not just Christmas Day. Get all your preparations, from putting up the Christmas Tree and decorating, to all the baking, caroling, and special gatherings. Each photo will tell a part of your Christmas story.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! 

Andrea Fisher