Thursday, October 30, 2014

Snowman Ornament

Every year I devote all of my energy to Halloween. I spend weeks working on Halloween projects, decorating, and of course baking Bat Cookies.  Halloween, for me, signals the start of the holiday season and of course I like to get off to a good start.  The problem is that I can't sustain this pace until the holiday season is over. Usually by the time that Christmas roles around, I am so burned out from the baking, decorating and craft projects that I just want the holiday season to be over with so I can go back to working on projects at my own pace with no looming deadlines.  This year, I resolved, will be different! My yard decorations were starting to look tired and a little "ratty" so I opted not to put them out.  The whimsical witch on her flying broomstick will still hang on the front door along with my bats. La Sorciere and her friends are gracing the inside of the house with their presence. Of course Brittany is not on board with this paired down decorating, but it has allowed me time to start working on my Christmas projects. It is nice to be able to knit socks and scarves for gifts without the marathon late night knitting sessions to get them all finished the week before Christmas.

This year I want to work on some of the fun Christmas projects that always get bumped because something else more important had to be done.  Those of you who know me, know that it's not just about the gift but the presentation of the gift. I saw some little wood cut outs in the Christmas section at Michaels. The unpainted wood came in all sizes and shapes. I really liked the square shape and bought several to use a package decorations. I was inspired the snowmen in Snow Buddies Throughout the Year! bu Nancy Smith and Lynda Milligan. This is a book for making a snowman quilt block for each month of the year, but the book does not stop there. It also has ideas for painted decorative containers, appliqued sweatshirts, place mats and more. The book is still available from Amazon and other booksellers on line. My little snowman is inspired by one of the snowmen in the front of the book. The ornaments are drying on a Dry It Board. This board is a great help when painting small objects, all sides of the object can be painted at once and left on the board to dry without marring the paint. How is this possible? The board is composed of tiny, sharp tips that do not stick to the painted surface. These tips are very sharp and you must use caution when handling the board to avoid being stuck. No matter how carefully I move the board, I seem to always get stuck. It's sort of like getting stuck by a sharp needle or pin. The Dry It Board is available from on line craft retailers.

Original wooden square, and painted squares.
Finished snowman with blended fibers for texture.

Directions for Snowman Ornament:

Celebrate It Carved Ornament- available at Michaels
Liquitex Light blue, black, burnt sienna, white, deep rose acrylic paints
Liquitex Blended Fibers
Pebeo Prisme Fantasy paint-buttercup, glossy
Small flat, round and liner paintbrushes
Foam brush
Saral or graphite paper
Embossing stylus or ballpoint pen with a pointed end on the pen cap
Tracing paper
Stickles- Ice Stickles Diamond Dust-glitter glue
Martha Stewart Snowflake Border paper punch
Scrap of White card stock
Craft glue
Craft varnish or sealant- water based

1.  Remove the string from the ornament and set aside. Wipe the ornament with a damp cloth to remove any dust or residue and let it dry.

2.  Mix the light blue and white paint until the paint is the color of a blue sky. Paint the ornament on all sides with the foam brush. Lay the painted ornament on the Dry It Board and touch up any smudges.

3.  Sketch a snowman figure on a piece of tracing paper. I used tracing paper so I could see the image placement on the wood. Once the image is centered on the ornament, place a piece of saral or graphite paper under the drawing. Be careful not to shift the drawing. Use an embossing stylus or the cap of a ballpoint pen to lightly trace around the snowman.

4.  Use the flat paintbrush and white paint to fill in the shape of the snowman. Next paint the scarf and hat with the deep rose paint. Paint the carrot nose with the burnt sienna paint. After the paint has dried, use a palette knife to apply the blended fibers to the snowman; working around the carrot nose. Let the snowman dry over night.

5.  Paint over the blended fibers with white paint and let it dry and paint a pom pom on the end of the snowman's hat. Add a dab of black paint to the deep rose and shade the scarf and the hat to give them more detail.  Add a small amount of white paint to the deep rose and shade the lighter areas of the hat and scarf.
Using the round brush or the liner brush paint the eyes and the mouth with black paint and the cheeks with a light rose paint. Using the round brush, paint the Pebeo Prisme paint around the indented area on the top of the ornament. Apply 2 coats. Let each coat dry over night.

6.  Punch snowflakes from the white card stock with the snowflake border punch. Scatter the snowflakes around the top of the ornament and glue in place. Add a dot of Ice Stickles to the center of the snowflakes and to the pom pom on the hat. Set aside to dry over night.

7.  Varnish the ornament with the water based craft varnish or sealant. Let it dry and apply to more coats.

8.  Reattach the string to the top of the ornament.