September 30, 2012

Give Thanks: Thanksgiving Centerpiece

My grandmother recently moved to a new city, and she has a fancy new apartment that she's itching to decorate for the upcoming holidays! Unfortunately, since she lives several states away and I can't be there to help decorate in person, I wanted to create something that I could send her in the mail to add to festivity. So I started this little project with the goal to create something that represented Thanksgiving, but also subtle enough to be left on display throughout autumn... so I came up with this Give Thanks: Thanksgiving Centerpiece!

1. The whole project started with a trip to Michael's. As I was shopping, I spotted this faux, gold leaf plastic charger for only $1, so I added it to my shopping cart. I didn't know what I was going to do with it at first, but it was such a deal and looked so festive, I knew I could turn it into something fun.
2. As I was headed to the check-out, I spotted pieces of papier-mâché fruit going for $1 each, so I grabbed my three favorite shapes (pear, apple and peach).
3. When I got my low-budget goodies home, I grabbed some permanent markers (I'll take any excuse to use Sharpies), and a pencil, and started planning.

To represent the Thanksgiving spirit, I decided to decorate the paper fruit with one of the things my grandma is thankful for: her family! Using a pencil (and my swirly-est handwriting), I sketched the names of our family members all over the fruit. Then I took a very fine paintbrush and some basic acrylic paint (the brand I used was Americana), and painted the fruit. Our family names didn't completely cover the fruit, so I added a few swirls and doodles to complete the look. (Please excuse the poor picture quality: like most of my great ideas, this project came to life way after the sun had set and I was working by lamplight.)

After a bit of painting (a.k.a. the fine-line painting practice I desperately needed), the fruit was completed and all of my grandma's family members were represented. To keep with the fruit theme, I painted each of the fruit with a different color of paint, but all three tones were still in the autumn color family: the peach was orange, the pear was green, and the apple was red.

But I couldn't stop there, so I grabbed my permanent markers and added a the text "give thanks" to the rim of the plastic charger. Since the charger will only be used for decoration, I didn't need to use a special marker, nor did I have to worry about sealing it!

And that's really all there was to it - a festive Thanksgiving plate full of family-oriented fruit! If you want to make something similar, I've included a list of supplies at the end of this post.

I sure hope my grandma likes this surprise when it arrives in her mailbox! Do you have any holiday projects in the works? How about secret presents you're excited to give? Do you have any fun ideas on how to include your family in your holiday decorations? 

Give Thanks: Thanksgiving Centerpiece SUPPLY LIST
Plastic, faux-gold leaf charger (Michael's - $1)
Papier-mâché fruit (Michael's - $1 each)
Americana paint (I used olive green, pumpkin, and rockwood red)
Fine paint brush

September 23, 2012

My creative space

After years of dreaming of such a thing, I can hardly believe I have a dedicated crafting area! So now that I have enough space to spread out and get to work on all of the crazy projects I have in mind, I decided to start this blog so I can be a part of the the amazing, creative community of crafters online! 

Thanks for clicking over and checking out what I'm up to! I'd love to hear from you- what sorts of projects are you working on?