Monday, December 11, 2006
So, my holiday decorating is a weeks-long ordeal and not really perfected until it's about time to pack it all up. I keep finding little spots here and there that need a drizzle of sparkle or a dash of hue. One of my rules (probably the only one) is that I do it a little differently every year. It's a rule I can follow well, considering I can never remember how I did things the year before anyway.
I thought you may like to see & learn about these little "gifts" that I made last year. I had painted them for a gallery show and made tons more as presents for friends. They are quick, fun, and versatile. And while you could make them as elaborate or as simple as you wish, they don't require any major artistic talent, or too much moulla (mulla?).
Here's how they're made: I took small scale deep-stretcher (as in thick sides) canvases, ribbon, paint, gold leaf, printed out text, and in some cases fabric. In the ones where I used fabric, I just Modge-Podged pieces of printed fabric right onto the canvas as my base. Then I painted over with watered down acrylics to let some of the print show through. I then decoupaged a computer-printed out word with more Modge-Podge. On some I would go back in with more paint as necessary. I used a simple gold-leafing kit to trace over and guild the words. Others I freehanded the text, and some I cut up the letters to make it look all ransom-letter like. As in "have J-O-Y or else!" Wrapping ribbon around, tying a bow, and securing with hot glue is the last step. Now it looks like a present! They are deep enough to stand on their own securely, as long as you keep the dimensions no larger than 8-10" or so.
Choosing your words, could be based on groupings, like "comfort" & "joy", or specific to the person you'd like to give it to. You could make a whole lyric from a Christmas carole with one canvas for each word and display all along your mantle. They are just as cute hung on the wall all year long too. Especially if you choose less seasonal words like "dream" or "hope".
Onward march, holiday soldiers!