Sunday, December 20, 2009

adorable ornaments to make on a snowy day

Yesterday, while the weather outside was frightful, I finished up my ornaments for my CCD class (which of course, got snowed out! But of course, if I hadn't made them, we would have gotten 2 inches). The Nativity ornaments were for my class of Kindergartners and the Angels are for Paul's class of 1st grade girls.

I was inspired for the Nativity ornaments by a craft my twins had made in Mrs. Messina's class last year. They were so simple and so lovely, and I felt like they really captured the essence of what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown. The kids painted everything themselves, which made it so much sweeter. These both would be fun to do with kids, letting them personalize and get as creative as they want.

You could paint these any way you like, and if I had more time I would have gotten way more detailed with them (arms on the angels, a star at the top of the "barn", maybe some glitter.... though I did add glitter to baby Jesus. He deserves some glitter!

How to make Nativity ornaments:

Use the hacksaw to trim the legs of Mary and Joseph to height. You can see in the picture at the top that Mary's are cut almost all the way, and Joseph's are slightly longer. You don't want to make them too long or you won't be able to make the top of the triangle close. Baby Jesus is made from cutting one of Mary's discarded pieces of wood in half. Use the sandpaper to smooth all rough edges. Paint all pieces as desired.

When dry, hot glue a bundle of spanish moss to the center of the large popsicle stick, and then add more hot glue and Baby Jesus. Glue Mary and Joseph to either side, making sure first that the other popsicle sticks will be able to meet at the top to make a triangle. Glue both sides of the other sticks to form the triangle, holding them until they set. Turn the triangle upside down to glue the top together. Tie a loop with your twine or ribbon, and personalize. You're done!

How to make Angel ornaments:

Paint a face and hair on your doll pin. When dry, get out your gold paint and paint on a halo and a band around the neck.

For the wings: cut both ends off a large popsicle stick on an angle, so that they form a heart when placed on top of each other. Paint both sides gold. (I also think these would look lovely painted a deep red, or in rainbow colors, or sprayed silver, or... you know. Have fun with it!)

Cut your doily into quarters, and then cut a semi-circle shape out of the top of the pie shape. Put hot glue all around the neck of the doll pin, and place the center of the doily piece in the front under the face. Press and glue all around (doily will overlap in back).

To glue on wings: lay wings on table. Add glue. Press twine/ribbon loop to hang ornament, and then quickly press back of angel on top. Hold until it sets, then let dry flat until it cools.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2009

christmas present work in progress: angela's giraffes

I've been so crazy busy plugging along that I haven't even gotten to scan in or keep up with it all! So here is Angela's giraffes in progress. Angela was originally supposed to have a painting of Beethoven, but after looking at reference material with her, she started to get madder and madder that she couldn't find anything that looked exactly like what was in her mind. Hearing that I could take cues from different pictures and put them together only got her angrier so a diversion was needed.

Enter Panda Cam!

From there it was a short step to Panda Kopanda (or Panda! Go! Panda!), and for a while she wanted Papa Panda and Baby Panda with candy canes... and somehow we got to giraffes. I don't quite know how that happened, but I'm so glad that she chose something fun and relatively easy. She has a thing for giraffes (and zebras, and ponies, and unicorns, and unipegs, and in general cute four-footed beings).

I think this is close to being finished, just want to go over it all and give it the details. I think I'm going to look to Richard Scarry for inspiration on this one.

Friday, December 11, 2009


I've finally gone and started a Twitter account. If you want to hear the bits and comments that are too small for a post, I'd love it if you'd join me!

Here goes: (Easy enough to remember, right?)

And - if you have an account and want me to follow you, leave a comment and introduce yourself! I am especially interested in following other artists, parents, musicians, and those who are generally creative. :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

christmas present work in progress: lightning

Beginning of Peter's present. Very rough drawing, but it'll come to life once I can start splashing that paint around.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

christmas present: samus is done!

That's Miss Samus if you're nasty.

What really surprised me was that full-on body armor is actually easier to draw - and paint - than Cinderella's dress. My guess is that simple is harder. That and I didn't feel right about throwing a heap of glitter on this one.

Up next: Lightning McQueen gets his turn and we'll see how well a car translates in watercolour.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Now at your library: lots of fairies, coffee, and glitter.

Oh hi. I didn't notice you there, I was so busy reading this book about Cezanne and sitting under MY PAINTINGS!!!

It's been quite an exciting day! I will post more photos soon, (and larger) but in the meantime, can you recognize any paintings that are up there? Every one of them has been on this site.

Meanwhile, if you're in the area: Westfield Memorial Library.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

christmas present: cindy's done!

So the first present is done - Cinderella's all ready to go to the ball! I was almost done, when I had a brainwave.

She needed some glitter!

It's hard to tell from the scan, but in person, she's downright sparkly.

(Note: this painting will not be available as a print.)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

making the most of it

I'm a little bit nervous this morning as I get ready to go pick up 15 or so paintings I dropped off to be framed in October. I'm treating my dabs and splashes of watercolour (and coffee, and glitter) as Art, and I kind of don't know how to handle it. When I first met with the framer, and we were trying out mats and things, and I saw everything laid out on the table, I actually had a moment where I thought I was going to cry. It's the first time most of these paintings have been liberated from their sketchbooks where they get painted, scanned, posted here on the site, and then tucked away for what? - I don't know - safekeeping?

But while pretty much everything that's getting framed has been on the site, where people who like me/art/fairies/whatever have seen it, I'm now going to be showing it in public. Which I haven't done for a really long time. Before the art show earlier this year, I hadn't hung anything publicly for about 20 years.

This weekend we'll be hanging all of these at my library, which is one of my favorite places in the world (I say this as I sip coffee out of my mug: "It's your library... make the most of it" with a line drawing and the name of our library on it. I kid you not.) And that, while it's exciting, also scares the pants off of me. But in a good way.

I'm not hoping for anything from this. Nothing past hanging them up and seeing what happens. But to enjoy that they'll be displayed... hopefully for others to enjoy too.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

jingle jingle yeah!

Getting into the holiday spirit... I seriously love this. Enjoy!