Friday, 30 November 2018

Angel Painting

Blog 48

This is my last holiday project for this year. Starting next week, I will post my yearly advent calendar that gives you a review of the artworks that I created during the last 12 months. I will post a new image every day starting on December 1 on my Facebook page In my blog, you will receive a weekly summary of the posts.

The last project is the angel painting that I also am offering as a painting party. It is the perfect project for all ages. Who can say no to such a cute angel?

Here is a list of the materials:
16” x 20” (or 8” x 10”) canvas
Acrylic or poster paint (I used white, yellow, red, and a little bit brown, but you could also get premixed skin colour.)
Stickers (hearts, stars, etc.)
Glitter glue (optional)
Palette, white plate or cutting board
Water container
Paper towels

Here are the steps to create your Advent calendar:

1) Draw the angel onto the canvas
Start with simple shapes: a circle for the head, then attach a triangle without the top for the dress. The shoes and ears are half circles, the hands half ovals. The wings can be any shape you like. Mine look like parts of a star.

2) Paint your background.

3) Paint the dress, the wings and the face.

4) Add the details once the base colour is dry. You could also use googly eyes, or use a marker for the detail work.

5) Attach the embellishments.

I hope you enjoyed my holiday crafts and got inspired to create your own masterpieces. Handmade gifts are so special in this age of consumerism. Creating something also gives you a nice break from your daily responsibilities and too much time spend in front of your computer and TV. As it is often even more fun in a group, get your friends and family together and make it a craft event. If you need some help, please do not hesitate to contact me at Winter is a great time for painting parties and workshops to have fun together and create memories.

At the end of today's blog, I would like to invite you to my 5th Annual Open House and Customer Appreciation Day on December 1, 2018 from 1pm to 4pm at 1270 Kinsella Dr, Cumberland, ON K4C 1A9, Canada. You will be able to talk to me about my new paintings and greeting cards while enjoying some holiday treats. Every visitor will receive a $10 discount coupon to be used when registering for any of my 2019 workshops.

Friday, 23 November 2018

Advent Calendar with Removable Ornaments

Blog 47

Is your house already decorated for the holidays? The recent snowfall here in Ottawa has certainly set the mood for Christmas. When I was a child, I could hardly wait for December 1 as this was the day that my mother put up the Advent calendar.  She had made it herself, and for every day there was a treat hanging on a little hoop. The Advent calendar was invented in Germany in the 19th century and is used to count the days of Advent in anticipation of Christmas. The date of the first Sunday of Advent can be anywhere between November 27 and December 3 as the first Advent is on the the fourth Sunday before Christmas, however most Advent calendars start on December 1. With one week to go until December 1, this is a project you cannot postpone.

Here is a list of the materials:
  • 16” x 20” canvas
  • Blue fabric, 20” x 24”
  • Scissors
  • Felt sheets in different colours (I used red, orange, beige, and white)
  • Felt piece of 16” x 20” in green for the tree
  • Liquid Stitch, stitchless sewing glue
  • Sticky back hook and loop fasteners (Velcro)
  • Embroidery Floss
  • Needle
  • Felting needle (optional)
  • Small piece of foam sheet (optional, for felting)
  • Small amount of brown roving for the dark patches on the bears (optional, for felting)
  • Small bag for the decorations or cloth to sew one

Here are the steps to create your Advent calendar:

1) Fold the piece of fabric around a canvas and glue it to the support frame.

2) Draw the image of a tree onto the large green felt piece and cut the shape out. The tree does not have to be symmetrical.
3) Put the tree onto the blue fabric and glue both the tree and the corners that you cut out to make the tips of the tree onto the fabric. I started with the cut out corners.

4) Cut out two different sized stars as the tree topper and glue them to the top of your tree.

4) Cut out 24 (or 25) ornaments of your liking. You could also get small store-bought embroidered patches.

5) Decorate your ornaments if you like. I added eyes and a snout for the bears, some stitches on the Christmas balls as well as the numbers of the days to all ornaments. I also used a felting needle to felt the dark spots onto the bears.

6) Use “Liquid Stitch” to attach a small piece of sticky back hook and loop fastener to each ornament as well as the opposite side to the tree itself. This way you can remove the ornaments.

7) Buy or sew a small bag as storage for the decorations. A Ziplock bag will work too if you do not have time to get another one.

Starting on December 1, each day another ornament is attached to the tree until December 24 or 25. This is the perfect Advent calendar for everyone who wants to avoid the extra sweets during the Christmas season, or as an additional one to your chocolate calendar. Please let me know if you would like the templates for the ornaments and the tree. You have exactly one week to get your project ready in time.

Friday, 16 November 2018

Christmas Cards

Blog 46

Do you still send out Christmas cards? With the hike in the prices for stamps over the years, I send about half the cards I used to send. Nevertheless, writing Christmas cards at the end of November is still part of my holiday tradition; by the same token, I also cherish all the cards that I get. Therefore, this week’s craft is a handmade holiday card; even if you do not send out cards, you might attach a smaller version as a gift tag.

Here is a list of the materials:
Card stock paper
Old magazines, books, flyers
Glue stick
Scissors (optional)
Markers (optional)
Stickers (optional)

Here are the steps to create your card:

1) Fold a piece of card stock paper in half.

2) Draw the image onto your front page.
3) Find images with the colours you need for your card in your magazines, books, or flyers and rip shapes of different sizes and shapes out of the pages. This looks more natural, as opposed to using scissors.

4) Assemble the pieces on the image on your card and glue the pieces to the paper. The scraps paper might slightly overlap each other which is fine.

5) If you would like, you can use scissors to cut out letters. You can also attach some stickers to your card.

6) If you do not like the slightly rugged edges of the ripped pieces of paper, you can outline your image with a dark marker.

This craft required some patience as it takes a while to find the right colours and then rip and assemble the paper scrapes on your card, but it is a lot of fun and a great recycling project. It would be lovely if you shared your cards with me.

Friday, 9 November 2018

Winter Wreath

Blog 45

In this second week of Christmas projects, I will describe how I created my winter wreath. I love projects that will bring joy not only for the Christmas season but can be left out for the whole winter.

Here is a list of the materials:
  • Grapevine wreath or any other type of wreath
  • Small bears, forest animals, or birds
  • Artificial Christmas garland
  • Ribbon
  • Felt for hats and scarves
  • Stars, snowflakes, and white pompoms
  • Artificial berries or other holiday decorations you like
  • Hot glue gun
  • Craft wire
  • Scissors
  • Pliers
  • Needles and thread

Here are the steps to create your wreath:

1) Take your wreath and wrap the artificial Christmas garland around. You can use wire to keep the ends in place if necessary.

2) Wrap the ribbon either around or create a bow and place it at the top or bottom of the wreath. You can attach the bow either with a wire or with the hot glue.

3) I attached the bears with wire but you could also glue them to the wreath. The wire has the advantage that you can change the animals over the years.

4) Glue the pompoms, stars, or snowflakes onto the wreath.

5) Attach the berries (either with glue or wire).

6) I made little scarves and hats for the bears from sheets of felt. With needle and thread, I used a backstitch to close the back of the hats. You can also knit or crochet little hats.

7) I also added little fly amanitas that I had felted to the wreath which which is a symbol of good luck in Germany.

I hope you have fun creating your own holiday wreath. You can find most of the materials at your local discount store. I would love to see photos of your creations. Is there anything that you would attach to your wreath for good luck or because it symbolizes winter or the Christmas season for you?

Friday, 2 November 2018

Felted Hearts

Blog 44

It is already November, and thus, it is time to think about making handmade gifts for your loved ones for Christmas. During the next four weeks, I will give you some suggestions for easy holidays projects. As with all arts and crafts projects, it is up to you to take the basic project idea and to make it special and unique according to your own personality and skills.

This week, I will describe to you how I created my felt hearts decorated with a poinsettia flower.

First, here is a list of the materials:

  • Toy stuffing material
  • Sheets of felt in light and dark green and red
  • Wool rovings, yellow felt or small buttons
  • Embroidery thread
  • Small piece of foam sheet (optional, for felting)
  • Felting needle (optional)
  • Needles and scissors

How to create the heart:

  1. You can either create a template for your heart or fold a piece of felt in half and then cut out half a heart; this way your heart is symmetrical. Then place the heart on a second sheet of felt, take a pencil that is visible on your felt or a marker and trace the heart to the second sheet of felt. You could also pin it with needles to the second sheet of felt. Then cut an identical heart as a backing.
  2. Cut an odd number of smaller and bigger petals for the flower.
  3. Cut any number of leaves.
  4. Sew the petals and leaves to the upper heart. If you have felting needles you can also attach the leaves and petals with a felting needle.
  5. Add veins to the petals and leaves either with embroidery thread or by felting with small wool rovings.
  6. Attach little buttons for the inside of the flower or felt little yellow circles for the inside of the flower.
  7. Put the two hearts on top of each other and start to attach the two hearts with a whip stitch. Before the heart is completely closed add the toy stuffing to fill the heart. Then continue to sew the heart together.

I hope you will have fun creating your own hearts. Depending on the size, they make lovely ornaments for the Christmas tree or can be hung on a door or in front of a window. If you follow my Facebook page, you will be able to see a video of me creating one of the hearts next Thursday, November 8, 2018.