Monday, December 16, 2013

Paint up a little cheer

So, while Marigold and Bluebell were visiting from Michigan, we thought about making a craft project. We're all pretty into crafts of some kind, but not really the same kind. Bluebell has made some quilts, Marigold crochets, sews and makes other things especially with a hot glue gun, and I'm into the knitting and jewelry making. A common element? Not so much. This is why our crafts in the past have often involved pre-packaged ornament kits that create angels out of cotton balls and pipe cleaners. We made that one at least 5 years ago. It's so ugly I can't bear to display it, but so special I can't bear to throw it away. The "solution" is that the angel lives in the Christmas ornament box... 365 days a year.

This time, as I wandered the aisles at JoAnn, I was hoping we could find something to do that would manage to be both special and pleasing to look at. When we rounded the corner to the place where they keep the pre-packaged ornament kits (shudder...) we came upon some pretty cool ornaments!

We got some wood ones to paint on the outside, and some plastic bulb ones that we were primarily going to paint on the inside.

I described to the girls what kind of paint I had in my stash while we were standing there. We added a shade of green, since the mint I had at home wasn't going to cut it for Christmas, and a shade of hot pink.

Here's the reverse view of the spectrum. Bluebell decided to line them all up like ROY G. BIV so we could really get a feel. That's when I realized that my crafting might just be out of hand!

We got some Dixie cups at Target that were just the right size to drain the bulb ornaments once they'd been filled with paint and shaken.

I hung some yarn over the entrance to the kitchen to use as a drying line. I then proceeded to bump my head on each one of these ornaments. Nice.

And now, without further ado, I present the wooden ornaments I painted! (You'll have to stay tuned for an update on the bulb ornaments.)

First up, the birdie!
I noticed this bird mostly because it reminds me of one of my favorite ornaments my parents have for their tree. That bird is made of glass and has a bit of a gold "wash" effect to it - parts of the glass are still clear. I had in mind originally that I would give this bird a gold wash too. I started by painting it white, as a sort of primer, because the wood looked likely to be extra thirsty. Once I did the "wash" effect, I decided it was ugly. It's always touch and go with projects like these - will more paint really help? In this case, I figured it would. I got pretty lucky!

I also chose this little birdhouse. I don't really know what drew me to it - but once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. I saw it as a beehive from the very first moment. What about a beehive says, Merry Christmas? Beats me. It was compulsive, but I love it. I'm very happy with how it turned out. You might not believe it, but the hole in the middle is actually 3D. I mean, there's a hole and an inside. And then I painted it all black. Now, even in person, it looks like its just a black dot. So crazy!

Finally, the most traditional of the ornaments: the sweet little tree. I was originally thinking of paining a red, scalloped garland. Then, I decided to use a toothpick as my paintbrush. All of a sudden, the chevron effect was born. I wish I'd used a brighter red, but the color I chose actually helps the white really pop. Couldn't be happier!

Welcome to Christmas, apparently the season of painted nonsense!

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