And, now, back to the Christmas preparations! A few months ago, I searched for a new recipe for play clay because I do not like the consistency and feel of the type with a high salt content. I found a cool site offering several recipes and how-to tips for cold porcelain, a no-bake clay that feels smooth and silky, which artists sculpt into amazing creations. (I am not artistically inclined in that way, so I’ll use the recipe, but do not expect a masterpiece like some I saw on the site or its links.) Some of the projects were beautifully detailed! Here is the link to the recipe I used: http://coldporcelaintutorials.blogspot.com/2010/08/recipes-to-make-your-own-cold-porcelain.html#more.
I used the cold porcelain as a roll-out clay for my christmas star ornaments, which I covered in silver leafing.
This is one of my cold porcelain stars with Silver leaf- I used a few sizes of cookie cutters for the various ornaments and embellishments (each with its own coordinating ribbon) but the recipe was the same for all of them.
The next project was some woven stars made from old book pages. I do not usually defile books. Books are my great friends. However, I had an old favorite, which was not is great condition, and I had another copy…so, I gave it a new life. One old paperback made several stars, and a centerpiece for this year’s mantle (which is still a work in progress).
Made from old book pages, a little glue, glitter, crepe paper, and a cold porcelain silver star. The pattern link(along with the others I've used) is on my Pinterest board for this year's Christmas theme.
Here is another variation I made on a pattern I found on Pinterest
This one is the first I made. A little simpler. I like it, yet I think the others have a little more visual "pop."
I made about a dozen of these altogether, tried a few variations and added a little red to some to match my tree topper star. No two are exactly alike. They went together fairly quickly, just simple cuts, some folding, a glue stick, and some hot glue for assembly and glitter.
Boy, the lighting makes my walls look yellow! They are actually beige. Oh well....This is a close up of the star centerpiece for this year's mantle. I used a design idea I found on Pinterest (the link is on my Christmas theme board), yet mine is a little different than the original, which was wonderful, too!
Next, I had to make some mercury glass ornaments! I have seen so many this year. (Pottery Barn has beautiful etched ones, but at $8.50 or so a piece, I cannot say yes to that. I found a few sites suggesting various methods and I tried combinations from a couple, including silver leafing/ silver paint, acid paint washes, and looking glass paint. I experimented on a couple of inexpensive vases I had in my cupboard, but the method I liked best was Krylon’s Looking Glass Paint alone. I found a bottle (it is a spray paint) at Walmart for a little less than $8.50 and I purchased two dozen clear glass ornaments at Hobby Lobby while it was having a sale. I spent about $14 total, and made 24 ornaments-enough for my tree and mantle – with quite a bit of paint left for another project.
"For God so loved the world!" This phrase from John 3:16 is the essence of Christmas joy, isn't it? These took a little longer because they required five very light coatings, which need drying time in between. Pop off the glass ornament's top, spray a tiny bit of the looking glass paint directly into it, swirl it around and set it back in its plasting case to dry for a while. Repeat four times, or until sufficiently coated for mirror/mercury glass look. I tried one technique that suggested spritzing the inside with water first, which creates a more mottled texture in places; however, I found I got that anyway because the paint sticks unevenly in each coat of paint. I topped these with the silver star (hot glued so the ornament will not come loose from the top), added a ribbon, and a glittery tag that ties into my theme.
- Here’s one from the tree. Each had a different scripture reference regarding Christ or light.
The mantle (still a work-in-progress) is different from what I’ve done in past years. I usually have a lit Christmas village there and a garland of greenery. This year, I wanted the star as the focus, so I have the village ona side table where the children can gaze at it with more ease. With my youngest being five now, I do not have the worry of tiny ones trying to touch all the time, as I have for the past 18 years.
It's still a little plain, but that's what "in progress is all about"
Because the lighting in my north-facing living room is a little weird, I had difficulty taking a picture of the whole tree- there was just too much glare. Here are a couple of partial shots to give an idea of the after shot:
Here's the topper from my last post.
and a shot from the middle of the tree (sorry for the glare).
On the wall opposite the tree and front window, my quilt rack sports a mini quilt I made about a decade ago, which just happens to blend with the stars, cream, black, silver, and red. Cool!
My project list is still pretty long. I may need to save some of it for after the new year and put them away for next Christmas. Either way, considering my late start this season, these were good ways to keep my hands busy while I listened to Christmas movies or carols as I wound down from long days or late study nights. Not too bad.
Wishing you warm, cozy surroundings and a very merry Christmas!
Until next time,