15 December 2012

Ornament Blog Hop

Miss Sally Russick of The Studio Sublime invited us to participate in the 2nd Annual Ornament Swap Blog Hop. I had a great time last year so I knew that I wanted in on the fun!

(Apologies to all. I had computer issues last night. I set it up first thing this morning. And it STILL wasn't right! ;-(

I was paired up with the delightful Miss Kathleen Lange Klik of Modern Nature Studio. Miss Kathleen has partied with me on some of my hops and I always appreciate her fine attention to detail. She recently hosted her first home party that is not only a model experience for home shows but if I lived anywhere near there wild horses couldn't have kept me away! I love her sense of design and her sweet nature. It was an honor to be paired with her!
Look at that sweet packaging! And hiding inside is the prettiest little birdie ornament! I just love the attention to details from the beautiful ribbon, the little metal leaf tag, the lovely note, and then the sparkly crystals and the handmade wire hanger! Thank you Miss Kathleen! I will treasure this always and it will be in my studio all year round to remind me of your friendship!

I have been promising a glimpse of my new holiday mantelscape. I posted a YouTube video of it on Facebook in my attempts to get it off my phone and someplace that you all could see it.

Here's how I did it....

I started with a 30x40 canvas that I picked up at Michaels.com with a 40% off coupon, three bottles of Plaid Champagne metallic acrylic paint and some flat snowflake stickers from the dollar spot at Michaels and some Martha Stewart puffy dimensional snowflakes stickers.

1:: Randomly place the stickers on the canvas concentrating more of the stickers at the top.

2:: At the bottom, I freehand drew the words "Let is Snow."

3:: Next I painted around the entire canvas, pretty haphazardly. I wanted that sort of old crumbling wall effect and I was going for a tone-on-tone look.

4:: I had to be a little more careful around the words, but the same rough painting applied. The only thing I would have done differently is that I would have erased the pencil lines before painting. I realized that after I started painting.

5:: When the paint dried, we peeled off the stickers. The flat stickers worked like a charm! They left behind the prettiest little white snowflakes! The dimensional stickers, not so much. Paint pooled in the spaces and even seeped under the stickers. So I left them.

6:: I bought the Martha Stewart snow glitter and her glue bottle with the tiny tip. I think that any white craft glue would work, but that tiny tip was perfect! I added little highlights of glitter to the words and also around each of the dimensional snowflakes. I actually like the fact that the happy accident happened and I had to leave the dimensional stickers on there. They are toned down quite a bit from their overly silver color and they literally make the canvas pop.

7:: The best part about this is that it lights up! I was inspired by some beautiful artwork like this and this and even this to make my own mantel glow. I used two sets of twinkling icicle lights behind the canvas. At first I taped each light behind a snowflake. Painstaking stuff. But then when it was lit at night you could see the tape. Doh! So I pulled off all that tape and then just jimmied it up to the outer edges of the frame. When I take it down, I plan to string it better and use a staple gun to attach it more permanently.

{Bottle brush trees fresh from their bleach bath}
For my forest of bottle brush trees, I was inspired by these pins on Pinterest here, here and here. I picked up a set of 21 trees from very tiny to about 8" tall at Michaels.com, but they were that really ugly not-found-in-nature bluish-green color with white frosty chunks on their tips. I can't seem to locate it now, but I had read several tutorials online about how you can bleach the trees.

I filled an old ice cream bucket with bleach and dumped them in. The bleach turns this disgusting brown color and the trees start losing their blue-green hue almost immediately. You can leave them in for as long as you like to get that really creamy white, or you can take them out a different points and you will have frosty mint trees. I am assuming that you could dye them in the same way, with RIT or even alcohol inks. I am going to look for more trees after Christmas so that I can add more to my little forest!

When they were dry, I took a little paintbrush and brushed on the lightest layer of white craft glue. Then I glittered them up. I love the way they look on my mantel against the red wall! Next year I plan to add more trees, need to find some larger ones, and also some faux tin houses made from chipboard house forms and acrylic paint! I would have done that this year but I just ran out of time.

Want more ornament and decorating ideas? After you are done with the hop, skip on over  to Art Bead Scene Studio Saturday where I share some suggestions for handmade holiday ornaments and you can register there for chance to win a wintery pendant that you can turn into an ornament and even find a few codes for discounts in my Etsy shop for last minute gifts!


Heather Powers said...

Erin your mantle looks like a magical holiday forest. I love the bottle trees and now feel like my house needs a few! Your painting is so whimsical and fun. I can see why this has been such a hit!

Kathleen Lange Klik said...

So glad you like the ornament that I created for you! We are kindred spirits when it comes to packaging; I am happy to know that I am not alone in my quest for beautiful packaging!

Your mantel is fantastic! I watched the video on FB last night. So creatively beautiful Erin, especially the lights!

Alice said...

What a gorgeous ornament you received!!! I love the little rustic bird sitting atop the gorgeous crystals. And Kathleen's packaging is fabulous!!

Thanks for sharing your mantlescape with us. That is the most unique thing I've ever seen in terms of decorating. Bravo!!!

Now I'm off to check out the ABS post.

Therese's Treasures said...

Hi Erin,
The ornament you received from Kathleen is beautiful. I love the little black birdie. Your mantel is gorgeous, wonderful job!
Merry Christmas,

Christine Altmiller said...

I cannot wait to check back in later to see the mantlescape! I am getting ready to take the kid to orchestra so I am only going to comment now on the ornament, but I will be back!
I LOVE The Ornament! I love Kathleen's blend of that Earthy Clay Bird and sparkling crystals. Kinda like how we take an earthy tree and bling it out with our ornaments!

Bits of Learning said...

Erin, thank you so much for taking a little time to participate in the swap/hop again this year. The ornament that Kathleen made for you is beautiful, I love the little birdie. I have to say that i'm very surprised at how so many of the swappers didn't use the typical Holiday color palette of red, green and white. Also, the mantlescape you created is fabulous (it lights up! How cool is that!) and the pretty wintery trees, love them!
Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Hey Erin,
I love the ornament Kathleen created for you. What a great idea to keep in your studio to enjoy always. I love the little bird. Kathleen just lives a mile down the road from me. Small world. Enjoy your holidays!

Becky Pancake said...

Thanx for sharing your lovely Christmas mantle with us. You did a great job. I like the ornament that you made for Kathleen and also the birdie ornament that you got. I'm glad I looked at your blog today I had lots of fun seeing all the ornaments. I do want to be part of this next year.

Patti Vanderbloemen said...

Her packaging is as beautiful as yours!!! And her ornament is jus adorable! I LOVE your mantlescape! Those bottle brush trees are amazing!!! Thanks for the video and tutorial!!! Merry Christmas!

Patti Vanderbloemen said...

Her packaging is as beautiful as yours!!! And her ornament is jus adorable! I LOVE your mantlescape! Those bottle brush trees are amazing!!! Thanks for the video and tutorial!!! Merry Christmas!

Lola said...

I love the birdie ornament you received from Kathleen! I also love that you are kindred packaging spirits! =)

That mantlescape is beyond awesome!!!

Unknown said...

What a fabulous mantle and the background picture with lights is just adorable.

What a fabulous tip of bleaching the bottle brush trees - I would never have thought of that.

Just love love love your creations on your blog and website - just spent a fabulous time looking at back posts and 'exploring'.

Have a wonderful Christmas.

I have now added you to my following list so won't lose you again ever

Jenny said...

Isnt Kathleen a sweetie? Got to meet her at ArtBliss - you really should try and come next Sept Erin!

Her ornaments is charming - I would leave it up in a window all winter! Your mantle - stunning! Quite a bit of work that I know you will continue to enjoy each year! Enjoy! Happy Holidays!!!

Jennifer Cameron said...

That ornament is just darling! What a sweet little bird. I would probably wear it. Or at least hang it somewhere year round.

And your winterscape is amazing! I love the glowing lights behind the canvas. Will you be leaving it up through the winter? I think I probably would...

Andrew Thornton said...

What a lovely ornament you received (and sent)! The one Kathleen sent reminds me of that 12 days of Christmas song. And I love the one you made. It's wintry and full of magic.

Oh and thanks for sharing the info about the trees. We had a tree that we ended up spray painting, but this might have been a better step to do first... because the dyes of the tree reacted with the spray paint and made some pretty fuggly colors.

Kerry said...

It turned out GREAT Erin!!
I love it!! Well done, Kerry

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