Saturday, January 17, 2009

Artistic talent

I have very little. And what I had received no training; I never took an art class except one in college in which everyone else had some idea of how to draw and paint, so the instructor just let us all play.

But it turns out that you don't need artistry to paint your own Christmas ornaments; all you need is slavish devotion to directions! I bought this paint-your-own kit of teddy bears six years ago and named them for the members of my family. My bear has the trumpet because I'm obviously worthy of fanfare (or else because I'm a loudmouth), my dad's singing because he's so good at that, and Mom's holding a present because she's always giving her kids nice stuff.

As instructed, I painted the bears with light brown paint and then mixed dark brown with water for a thin stain to brush over them. Then when I brushed more light brown very lightly over the surface with a dry brush, the dark brown remained visible in the crevasses and gave the fur a more textured look. I did the same trick with white and light blue stain on the fur linings of the boots. There's also pink stain on the cheeks and light blue stain brushed over the black boots and hats, though the latter is hard to see. And finally, I painted a glaze over everything to make the ornaments shiny; that part was a lot of fun.

Yup, I photographed my ornaments when I was taking them down yesterday. :) Turns out I've made more than enough in my lifetime to cover our little tree. Some years ago my sister gave me a really fun kit of plastic beads that you had to place on a small pegboard in the desired configuration. Then a hot iron briefly applied would melt them together. Results on the right. As I recall the snowman and Santa Claus and maybe the candle were the kit's suggestions, and I made up the rest. The "G" is what I did with all the leftover beads.

As for my three cross stitch ornaments, they have the distinction of being the only cross stitch projects I ever finished. Anything bigger or more complicated has no chance with me. :)

It seems I take after my mother; she has about as much talent as I, but when she was about my age she also painted some ornaments which we hang in the window every year.

This post would've been seasonal a month ago, but oh well. :)


Eanah said...

Ahh! I remember those bead things! I had those kits too! :) Well, maybe not that exact kit, but you know what I mean. Aww, those were so fun. It was like playing in MacPaint in "Fat Bits" mode, only in color. ;-)

And neat! I didn't know you cross-stitched anything. Awesome! :-D

Rachel Gray said...

Thanks! I think I vaguely remember FatBits...